Gretchen Rubin

Frank Lloyd Wright’s 10-Point Manifesto for His Apprentices.

Every Wednesday is Tip Day -- or List Day.
This Wednesday: Frank Lloyd Wright's Manifesto for His Apprentices.

I love personal manifestos -- for instance, on the home pages of their blogs, Bob Sutton includes his 17 Things I Believe about work and Madame X lists My Rules about money.

I recently read Frank Lloyd Wright's Autobiography -- a very thought-provoking work. In it, he includes a list of the "Fellowship Assets" that he outlined for the architecture apprentices he worked with at Taliesin, his summer home, studio, and school.

1. An honest ego in a healthy body.
2. An eye to see nature
3. A heart to feel nature
4. Courage to follow nature
5. The sense of proportion (humor)
6. Appreciation of work as idea and idea as work
7. Fertility of imagination
8. Capacity for faith and rebellion
9. Disregard for commonplace (inorganic) elegance
10. Instinctive cooperation

This list was interesting to me, because although it's quite short, it packs in a lot of big ideas and strongly held views. It really started me thinking -- to ask, "What does Wright mean by 'inorganic' or even 'nature'?" "What's an 'honest ego'?" I particularly loved #5 -- the inclusion of humor on this list, and the tying of humor to a sense of proportion. I'd never thought of humor as an expression of a sense of proportion, but I think that's one reason that humor can be so helpful at difficult moments.

Writing a personal manifesto is a very interesting exercise; it really forces you to articulate your values. Have you ever written a manifesto for yourself? Was it a useful exercise? I wrote my manifesto, though I should probably update it.

* I love checking out my friend Liz Gumbinner's blog, Mom 101 -- "I don't know what I'm doing either."

* If you've been waiting to buy the paperback of The Happiness Project, it's coming out next week. If you're inclined to buy it, for yourself or a friend, you'd really help me out by pre-ordering it now. Pre-orders give a BIG boost to a book. (Can't resist mentioning: #1 New York Times bestseller.) If you do pre-order, as a thank-you, I'll send you my page of Happiness Paradoxes. Just drop me an email at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com, with the note "I pre-ordered."

If you want a signed, personalized bookplate, email me at gretchenrubin1 at gmail dot com (they're free; I'll mail anywhere, be sure to include your mailing address!)
Order your copy.
Read sample chapters.
Listen to a sample of the audiobook.

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