creative actions towards purpose and your red rubber ball

Last Friday I had the opportunity to attend an event put on by a group called Creative Mornings PDX. According to their website, "Creative Mornings is a breakfast lecture series for the creative community." They supply breakfast, coffee and an inspiring speaker. Each month they choose a theme and chapters all over the globe. SCORE!

How have I never heard of this before? Especially since upon further examination I saw that Brad Montague (of Kid President fame) has done one of the breakfast lectures. Let's just say I knew exactly what my weekend was going to be spent doing. (I mean, I of course have other scintillating plans as well so this will just be an addition to the already wild and crazy weekend I had planned.)


I was doubly excited because the person speaking this month was none other than Kevin Carroll. You may recall me mentioning Kevin in a few past posts. 

Yeah, if it isn't obvious, this guy is inspiring. For this session he was speaking on the theme "ACTION". As a person who calls herself the "Chief Ideation Officer" of her own endeavors, the idea of action is a must have. As creatives, we tend to be people full of idea and inspired by the things around us, which is amazing. The struggle, sometimes is putting those ideas and inspirations into action. Dreamers can daydream non-stop. Often times we need to be prodded to keep moving forward on one project instead of jumping around to the next. 

I often speak to this idea of putting action towards your purpose and the question that always comes up is "HOW".  It isn't always easy. If you search hard enough you can find lots of obstacles to block your path. Nobody is going to stand and hold your hand. The truth is that you have to have "a thrust of spirit to do this, you have to want it" according to Kevin. Think about that for a minute... a "thrust of spirit". If you really want something you should be feeling some kind of emotional, physical and/or visceral thrust towards it. You have to feel deep in your spirit. That is what passion is all about. 

Passion isn't about liking something a little more than something else. It isn't about something being cool or popular. Passion is something that cannot be ignored. Surprisingly, passion isn't always sexy. It is a bully in a way. It gnaws at you if you ignore it, sending things in your life time and time again to smack you over the head until you notice it. Most people seek out their passion for a long time but ignore it when it comes to their door. You see, here is the thing, passion isn't just the love or the spirit of something, it has to include the thrust or the chase. Without an action, passion is becomes something different. It's spark starts to dull and it becomes something you yearn for from a far which causes pain. 

Your passion should never be the cause of your pain. Sweat, blood, tears and exhaustion, YES, but pain?Kevin's grandfather often spoke of this idea that "you can't do anything with a broke want." I have heard him say this a number of times and I like the idea more each time. We live in this weird time where "wanting" has become more important than "doing". It's as if we don't realize that if you want something YOU have to go get it. We actually expect other people to satisfy all of our wants and needs and when they deliver we become unsatisfied and can't figure out why.

I'm going to tell you why. We are unsatisfied because if something is truly OUR passion, we don't want someone else to wrap it up in a pretty bow and give it to us. Having a passion is about way more than wanting, it is about the journey. So cliche right? Maybe. Who cares, I happen to believe in the truth of it. You will never truly embrace your passion if you didn't do anything to bring it to life. 

There are a lot of talkers in the world (I should know I am totally a talker), but we need more doers (which I just realized is the tagline of a Home Depot commercial). If you are a talker then use your voice for something, talk about SOMETHING REAL. That is the way to be a doer. If you are a doer, make sure people see it, it will catch on. If you are both, then share what you have learned and how you have found your way.

There's a quote you have probably heard a hundred times; 

The two most important days in your life are the day you are born and the day you find out why.
— Mark Twain

This implies that everyone is born with a purpose. Regardless of what you believe. I believe it is our duty to find that purpose and use it to make the world a better place. It is time that we stop being complacent with our purpose, it is time we put it into ACTION. Don't know what your purpose is yet? Time to get moving and find out.

I have no special talents. I am only passionately curious.
— Albert Einstein

I can't thank Creative Mornings PDX and Kevin Carroll enough for an inspiring morning and for reminding me to act towards my purpose. 

P.S. After finding out Brad/Kid President did one of these as well, I immediately ran home and watched his. Since the one I went to is not yet up online, I thought I would share Brad's. It is truly inspiring and actually kind of follows the theme of "action" so it is a good addition to this post. 

time to turn it on

It is time for us to turn it up a notch on our manifesto's. I know I took a little break and for that you have my apologies. The truth is I hit a road block while building mine. 

I had gathered images, quotes, different pieces of inspiration but it didn't feel right. Has there ever happened to you? You are cruising, everything is going great and then.


You go blank. Well that has been me for the last couple of weeks when ever my manifesto came to mind.  I felt like I had let you all down until I realized that this was probably a very normal moment. 

Years ago I was in Vegas at a trade show. I was going through a rough time and felt a little lost. I met with a colleague from another company. She was this young, hip, stylish lady who just seemed like she had it all together. We sipped on margaritas as she listened to my sad story of the moment. Once I completed, she looked up from her straw and said

"dawne, you just need to recalibrate."

Recalibrate, what a great word. In case you are wondering, I have a small little obsession with words. I even offer a session called "5 Words" that focuses on how words can set you up for success.

Remembering that moment, I realized that maybe that was exactly what I needed to do regarding my manifesto. I needed to recalibrate and take a moment to redirect my efforts. I did a little meditation session, took a few walks, reading books, writing in my journal and being at peace with the fact that for the time being I wasn't working on my manifesto, in fact I wasn't working on much at all. At first I felt guilty, then I realized if this is what I needed then I should feel guilty if I DIDN'T do it.

Now I realize, not everyone can just "take a break" from their life, especially for a manifesto project they read about on a blog. But a break, doesn't have to be a week or even a full day, but it is crucial that we all recognize when we NEED to take a moment and recalibrate. How you do it is irrelevant, it just matters that you do it. Most of us get so worked up and busy with the daily rigmarole of our lives that suddenly we look up and realize we are sick, tired, unhappy and a host of other awful words that don't describe the life we imagined.

So for this Friday, I want to tell you that we are back on track with our manifesto project. There is no specific timeline we need to follow, it is pretty free flowing. The one thing I do ask of everyone, is that you take a moment. Don't wait to take it until it is urgent. Try to figure out a space in your day/week to take a moment for you. Use it to do what works for you, maybe it's a walk, maybe it's a bath, maybe it's a pedicure. It doesn't matter. Take it and while you are doing it remember...

no guilt!

taking care of ourselves should always be a number one priority. 

We can not truly make anyone else a priority if we don't first make ourselves one. It. sounds cliche, I realize that but sometimes those cliche's were created for a reason. What I feel pretty confident about thought is the following:

When you put yourself first other's reap the rewards. 

now what? step 2 of writing your manifesto

5 test.jpg

Happy Friday everyone. I heard from quite a few of you that you are especially liking the manifesto series. Thank you. Don't forget you can comment below on things you like, or even questions.

So, today we head into the weekend with Step 2. We have spent a week brainstorming, so...

now what?

Well, if you are anything like me, you first have to clean up the gigantic mess you made in your mother's family room. (as evident by the above picture) Oh wait, is that just me? Please tell me you made a mess too. If you don't my Mom will be vindicated after all of these years and I am just not ready for that yet.

i digress.

I have included some pictures to display the progress I made so far as proof that I am not just making this stuff up, I am actually going through the process with you.

Solidarity People!

I have paper cuts and ink all over my hands to prove it. I would not typically fancy myself an artist. I write things down and my doodling leaves little to be desired but a friend of mine from Ponder and Muse is a big doodler and I love her stuff. (she did my logo). We were talking and she said how doodling relaxes her and calms her mind so I said, what the heck and gave it a shot. I can tell you that my doodles are NOT what she does, but I guess doodle has a pretty loose definition.

Gosh, blogs are supposed to be short. Even in the written form I love to talk. ANYWAY...based on the emails I received many people felt they needed more time to brainstorm so I am sharing this post to help get some creative juices going.

Step 2 is all about organization of thoughts anyway. This means that as you are organizing what you want the manifesto to represent that you can still be brainstorming too.

Organize: verb used with object
”to form as or into a whole consisting of interdependent or coordinated parts, especially for united action:”

HUH? This definition is awful. Sorry dictionary, but it is true When I say organize here is what I mean in a few simple steps.

1. Take everything you have saved or written down and lay it out on a table, desk or other work surface. 

2. Group like things together. This could be similar sayings, quotes, actions, images etc.

3. Is anything missing? If so, examine what it is. Did you include all aspects of what you want in life ie. health, happiness, family, money etc. if there is something missing, write down what subject it is referring to.

4. Now you have another week to collect any other thoughts, or missing pieces.  For example, as I was putting together this post, I saw this on Instagram and absolutey felt inclined to put some of this stuff into my final project, though as of yet, I'm not sure what.  How great is this though?

5. This time can also be used to trim the fat. Do you have too much? Can some of the things you have collected be combined. 

Remember, this manifesto is all about you. It will be your guidepost and therefore must truly represent who you are, what you want and where you are going. Be honest with yourself. Make the tough calls and be vulnerable enough to put it all out there. In the end, it is up to you if you want to share it with others. There is no reason you have to. This is about and for YOU and only you. If you decide to share it, all the better. Sharing makes you accountable. 

Ok....enough blabbing. Week 2 and step 2 begins now so get organizing, collection and pulling things together. Next week, we prioritize and get ready to put it all together. YIKES! we are moving fast.

Have a great week. Leave comments below with any questions you may have, general statements, or even funny stories about the process. This is a community for sharing so I want to encourage that we all share our experience.

personal manifesto writing part 1

We all have a dream. Some of us have lots of them. We may not always realize that is what they are. We may avoid the work to make them come true. We may be lost as to how to make them a reality. Maybe you haven't unearthed what it is yet. But we all have a dream.

Dreams are what I focus on because it seems the only way to truly connect with people. Once you discover and chase your dream, you start to know more about who you really are and who you want to be. This in turn makes it easier to see who other people are, thus making connection simpler.

Nobody ever wrote down a plan to be broke, fat, lazy or stupid. Those things are what happen when you don’t have a plan.
— Larry Winget

It is for that reason I continue to focus on creating a manifesto. Like any journey, it is crucial to have a plan, even a rough one. Let me be clear, having a plan does NOT mean that you will follow it to the letter. Oh gosh, the most fun things in life happen when the plan falls through. That being said though, having a general direction or map you can refer to along the way helps you make not only the right turns but the left ones that actually turn out to be right all along.

If “Plan” A didn’t work, the alphabet has 25 more letters? Stay Cool
— Author Unknown

So what is supposed to go in to a manifesto?

That is the beautiful part. They can be short or long. They can be targeted to one particular thing or encompass all that you believe. They can change an infinite amount of times as you change and grow.  There is really only one rule to building a manifesto...

It must reflect who & what you are and challenge you to stretch yourself.

I should clarify, nowhere does it say that in the dictionary of manifesto's or online at some "how to site", Well...I don't think it does, I didn't actually look. So really, this is my belief and I realize some of you have just met let me prove my point here.

Read brand manifesto's, or personal manifesto's from any and everyone. Take note of what is similar and what is different. They all have a call to action for the person(s) that is reading it. They all use positive language. They all aspire to something better. They almost always have a theme or direction even though it isn't always blatant. And they almost always show you what the person(s) ultimately wants to aspire to.

I promised in my previous post: Tips on How & Why Brands Use Manifesto's to Connect with Consumers that I would help us all focus on the steps to writing our own manifesto's and so today we start.

It doesn't need to be in a fancy journal or a perfectly handwritten list. It actually doesn't even have to make sense. But spend a day or better yet a week writing things down. Have scraps of paper or a notebook and a writing tool around at all times and when you have a it down. 

I am a firm believer of visual and written goals. YES, I vision board, get over it. I know it works. Why wouldn't I do it? Don't believe me that writing things down helps? Check out the Positivity Blog and their 7 Powerful Reasons Why You Should Write Things Down. By the way, how cool is it that there is something called the POSITIVITY BLOG?

Anyway, if you are not yet comfortable with writing down your thoughts, why not choose visuals to represent them instead? Lots of people have image journals with little to no text because that is the way the learn and see the world. That is totally acceptable as well and if you are visually creative would probably look pretty great too. So search for things in your surroundings that represent what you believe and what you want.

Okay, so this is step one. All we will talk about today is step one because quite frankly it is the foundation for everything else. So spend this week collecting information, words, images and anything else that might help you to create your very own manifesto.

Next week we will address step 2, organizing your thoughts.



all photos provided by AnD Creatives

tips on how & why brands use manifesto's to connect with consumers.

Last week I shared The Optimists Manifesto. A great manifesto for an even better philanthropic organization. I found it while at a Dutch Bros. Coffee.

Many brands build a manifesto to let people know who they are. It is a way of getting up close and personal with consumers with the goal of transparency. They figure if you why they do what they do. You will want to join them thus becoming a customer of theirs.

"discretionary spending"

is now a very common phase, one our parents probably rarely if ever heard. With more money than ever before, and more power in the hands of consumers, brands have to relate to them in different ways. It is no longer just about necessity. It is tapping into the consumer psyche to create loyalists to a brand.  Let's face it, we have a lot of choices and brands know that, so they push even harder to know more about us. It is no longer just demographics.

Brands now have to look at Psychographics.

Analysis of consumer lifestyles to create a detailed customer profile. Market researchers conduct psychographic research by asking consumers to agree or disagree with activities, interests, opinions statements. Results of this exercise are combined with geographic (place of work or residence) and demographic (age, education, occupation, etc.) characteristics to develop a more ‘lifelike’ portrait of the targeted consumer segment.

I created this image to showcase some research that listed out the top 5 ways men and women spend their money. You will note, that they actually spend it quite differently. (click on image for source site). 

The problem is that most brands or brands of the past didn't consider gender differences. They marketed one and only one way. As the facts come out and companies saw sales decline, they used the tools to gather consumer information. The brands who really dug in would have found out that..

Women account for 80% of all purchases in the US.
— Why She Buys - Bridget Brennan
Millenials have now surpassed Baby Boomers as the largest generation in history and they are also more diverse. 87 Million MIllenials and only 56% of them are white.

The tastes and preferences of these two powerful demographics put more of an emphasis on connection to brands. Quite frankly, they expect more of everything 

Today, the brands that last and are ahead are doing so by appealing to the psychological side of how and why people buy. They work to draw connection and loyal consumers throughout life. The goal is to catch them young and keep them as they age.

But Dawne what the heck does this have to do with Brand Manifesto’s?
— Probably You My Blog Reader Right at this very Moment

I will tell you what. As I said at the start of this post, a brand has to connect with these new consumers and one way to do that is to appeal to them by focusing on the same things they care about. I have shared a couple brand Manifesto's below from brands that continue to grow because of their ability to connect with their consumers on a deeper level.

There are even companies and brands out there that start from a manifesto and use that to connect with people, no product necessary. Here is one of my favorites from Live in the Grey where I am lucky enough to be an ambassador for the program.

So, if companies and brands can have a manifesto, and so can organizations then why can't we as individuals? So, today I want to challenge myself and you to come up with our own manifesto. Maybe you already have one...but for me I need to dust off a pencil and get to work.

What is your manifesto? Is it something you just know but have never written down? Have you never thought of one before? 


Brand Manifesto

noun, plural manifestoes.
1. a public declaration of intentions, opinions, objectives, or motives, as one issued by a government, sovereign, or organization.
— Dictionary.Com

The other day I decided to stop by Dutch Bros. and I noticed some words on their window. I didn't even know coffee companies HAD manifestos. I had to know more. I of course inquired on the whole thing. I asked the lady working behind the counter if they had them on some sort of card that I could take home with me.  She showed me this water bottle instead. Of course I purchased it as a reminder of something that hit so close to home in what I believe. In fact, I have prayed every single day for almost 20 years for "health, happiness & prosperity", which is the second line of the creed. Can you say KISMET? Imagine my surprise when I came home to research the credo a bit more and discovered that it is in fact borrowed from a group called "Optimist International...



Optimist International!


You can read the whole creed for yourself above. Once you do I am pretty sure you will be as enamored as I am. So I decided to learn more about this organization of optimism. Here is how they define themselves.

Mission: By providing hope and positive vision, Optimists bring out the best in kids.

Vision: Optimist International will be recognized worldwide as the premier volunteer organization that values all children and helps them develop to their full potential.

Purposes: To develop optimism as a philosophy of life utilizing the tenets of the Optimist Creed; to promote an active interest in good government and civic affairs; to inspire respect for the law; to promote patriotism and work for international accord and friendship among all people; to aid and encourage the development of youth, in the belief that the giving of one’s self in service to others will advance the well-being of humankind, community life and the world.
— Optimist International Website

This post was originally going to be about manifestos from all sorts of companies and organizations and what we can learn from them, but after finding out about this great organization I decided to keep that for later. Instead I want you to finish this and go check out their site, volunteer and become part of this organization. It is time for us to spread 


into the world. What better place to start? Tell me how you help support positivity and optimism. Use the hashtag #positivecontent and #dawnehanksdotcom. Let's make the internet a better place for all and take heed the Optimist Creed.

Want a manifesto of your own. Stay tuned in the next few weeks as we explore how to build our own manifesto post so we can all set our intentions together. In the meantime check out Optimist International and help volunteer in your community with the goal of optimist for everyone.