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le manifesto

Inspiration > Smart Girls

By: Candice Kumai

A Year-End Manifesto in Review

By Candice Kumai

extended story published for: Well + Good 

Stepping up your game each year means ushering in a better, bolder, and more graceful you. The exercise of documenting your plans and purpose—what matters most—can bring clarity and intentionality to your day-to-day. What better way to start a new year than with a personal manifesto? Here, Well+Good Council member Candice Kumai shares how she created her own… and how you can do the same.

When I was in my twenties and really struggling as a writer in Brooklyn—even when I was judging on Iron Chef—I was STRUGGLING.

One Christmas, my sister, who is also an entrepreneur, gave me a poster, a “manifesto.” I I framed it and put it on the wall of my broke-ass-artist room of flea market finds and beloved trinkets from my childhood. It came with me to each apartment. It went from an East Williamsburg apartment share to my Wall Street studio (where I could barely afford rent) to a two-bedroom on the waterfront of Brooklyn. No matter where I went, the manifesto poster always came with me.

This year, I launched two new companies and published a new book and launched a successful podcast with 200K downloads in 29 weeks.. I steered my company in the global direction my dreams pointed to; early next year, I’ll be working in Tokyo, Paris, Poland, San Francisco, New York, and Los Angeles. I saw these goals in my manifesto and then it came to life. This is growth, and growth comes only with hard work and perseverance.

If you are feeling lost and are in need of a new place of inspiration and fresh creativity, or if you are struggling to find peace in your heart or clarity in your mind: You are not alone. We are all struggling and we are all in this perfectly imperfect life, together:

Manifestos can serve as a sense of purpose, a place of direction a true north in direction. We are all in need of some good inspiration and focus and this is the place to do so.

After creating my own Wabi Sabi manifesto, I turned it into a poster. Why not be inspired by these simple words of love and light that helped so many of us survive?

Get on paper + make your own:

You don’t have to be a professional writer to create your own manifesto. You can sit down right now and get out a pen and paper. This is your time to get it all out and to shine.


1- Grab a notebook, a notepad or your iphone, open an email — just start: Write on what inspires you — tomes that keep you going and life lessons … write on your morals and values and those little things you’ll never back down on… soon, write out what makes you feel good, short advice you’d give to a friend, lessons you have learned…you’ll both feel and see who you are as a person, what really matters to you … You can also start this in DEC/JAN and add on to it all throughout the year…. Cumulatively strengthening it throughout the year(s)


2- Allow this writing to be the deepest form of self-expression and be honest!! This is the place to practice honesty. Be real with yourself, be real with your intent.


3- Realize when working on this project: when we take time to put our hearts on paper, we take time to connect back to our deepest calling in life — service… service is our purpose. Make your manifesto about service to others, this will lead you to your life’s greater calling.  


4- Optional: You can choose to draft an artist version of this, designing it into a poster. Graphically or with watercolor, colored pencils, caligraphy or even stencils. Get as creative as you’d like…


Your manifesto can be shared with others or kept personal. There are no hard and fast rules to this, so have fun, get creative, and fly. Growth is an imperative part of life and this puts more good intent into your life.


A manifesto can help to solidify and clarify your life’s BIG calling. It puts all your pondering thoughts and anxious days into one safe place, bringing you back to earth and reminding your heart what really matters. Simplify, be kind, be honest, travel more, love deeply, be free with no judgment on others. Know and live with the notion that you are right where you are supposed to be. Trust. Life is and will always be perfectly imperfect.


Keep shining—because no one can dim the light of those who are destined for greatness. xxx ck 

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