There are many ways to write a personal creed. Some creeds are entire poems, while others are one-liners. This framework will help you to design a creed for yourself. Think of a creed as a way of living with your whole being.
- Your head knows who you are
- Your heart beats with purpose
- Two arms embrace your relationships:
- your family on one hand
- the rest of the world on the other
- Two legs ground you:
- acceptance of your reality
- action to change it
6 steps to write a personal creed
This is going to work much better if you get pen and paper now, and actually write a personal creed. Even a crappy draft is better than simply reading without taking action.
1. Who you are
“What we do flows from who we are.”
– Paul Vitale
Start your personal creed with a statement of who you believe you are. This is probably the hardest part of your personal creed to articulate. It certainly was for me. I ended up borrowing a line from the book The Monk Who Sold His Ferrari and two lines from the poem Invictus. Feel free to borrow from your own sources of inspiration.
The ‘head’ part of my creed therefore reads: “I am more than I appear to be. All the world’s strength and power rests inside me. I am master of my fate and captain of my soul.”
2. Your purpose
“First say to yourself what you would be; and then do what you have to do.”
Your purpose is what you HAVE to do. If you didn’t do this, life would lose its meaning, and you will wander lost. It is not what others expect you to do, nor what you feel obliged to do. Your purpose is what makes you jump out of bed in the morning.
The ‘heart’ part of my creed is: “My purpose is to grow; to be a better person today than I was a week ago. I make the world a better place by first being better myself, then sharing what I know with others simply and humbly.”
3. Your relationships: family
“Call it a clan, call it a network, call it a tribe, call it a family. Whatever you call it, whoever you are, you need one.”
– Jane Howard
This is probably the easiest part of the creed for most people. Many have the luxury of living with a blood family. Some don’t but belong to a group that they consider family. Think about the truth of your relationship with this family.
The first ‘arm’ of my creed: “I am enveloped in my family’s love. Their support frees me to be everything I can and want to be. I in turn provide for and protect the people I love most in the world.”
4. Your relationships: the world
“We live in the world when we love it.”
– Rabindranath Tagore
At the deepest level, we are all one. You have to think beyond your immediate family and be involved in the world at large. When you do, you will connect to the source of all things and have infinite power. Decide how you relate to the world.
The second ‘arm’ of my creed: “All things are one. There is a part of me in each person; there is no ‘other’. Every person owns a beautiful story; I learn best by listening, not judging. By learning about another, I learn about myself.”
5. Your grounding: acceptance
“We cannot change anything until we accept it. Condemnation does not liberate, it oppresses.”
– C G Jung
This part of your personal creed is about how you accept yourself, others, and life. This acceptance keeps you grounded in what is, rather than you wish would be. When you see clearly, you can act wisely.
The first ‘leg’ of my creed is: “The people I love do not belong to me; they have every right to think, speak, and act as they wish. Things don’t always work out the way I want; I can grumble, or I can grow.”
6. Your grounding: action
“Trust only movement. Life happens at the level of events, not of words. Trust movement.”
– Alfred Adler
The final part of your creed is the closest you will get to an affirmation. This is the way you behave as a result of what you believe, most of the time anyway. Nobody is perfect and that’s fine. Just write the behaviour you want to manifest – this is why this part approaches an affirmation.
The final ‘leg’ of my creed: “I live each day as if it were my last. My motto is to think deeply, speak gently, love much, laugh a lot, work hard, give freely, and be kind. I am happy and grateful that I am becoming all I was born to be.”
Your personal creed
Go ahead and write a personal creed, using this framework or any other. Writing a personal creed is a little like trying on dresses. The first few attempts may not be a perfect fit so you have to keep looking.
Once you find a fit, you’ll know. It just feels right – you feel both comfortable and beautiful in this skin. And just like dresses, you may one day outgrow it and have to find a new one.
Our creeds are our offerings to life. It is the soul we leave behind when we depart this world. It should make the world a better place. Your creed is your legacy.
“This is the creed of creeds, the final deposit and distillation of all important faiths: that you should be able to believe in life.”
– Harry Emerson Fosdick
48 replies on “How To Write A Personal Creed”
This is very incredible.I love the way you put it “The people I love do not belong to me; they have every right to think, speak and act as they wish. I believe the world will forever remember you.good job.
i dont think that the acceptance should be on there may be happiness or imagination 🙂
This has really helped me writing a creed! Thank you so much!
I’m speechless this is one of the most powerful articles i have come across. You have inspired me to write my creed. Life is so much beautiful when you set your sail instead of being blown wherever the wind’s of the world take you.
this was a big help to me!!!!!! THANKS!!!!!!!:)
Thank you for posting this! :)) This article really helped me in doing my homework in Values Education, which is write a creed about moral values. It’s kinda hard, right now I’ve already composed a 9 stanza creed. And I know that it’s not that good. Hope I’ll get good grades with it.
[…] over at Joyful Living encouraged me to sit down and write out my personal creed. Inspired by my word of the year (light) and the words of Marianne Williamson, my personal creed […]
Oh, this is so wonderful…Daphne, your whole explanation and diagram of how purpose and action can co-exist with a deeply felt experience of the world – especially if that experience sometimes feels paralyzing is masterful, thank you. I’m so glad I found you and would love to reference you often, Thank you, Rori Raye
Welcome and thank you for visiting and leaving a comment! Glad you found the explanation and diagram useful, and I love your interpretation of it – of integrating purpose and action with a ‘deeply felt experience’… wow. I’m glad you found me too and I look forward to sharing our experience of life and blogging!
[…] for writing your personal creed and for pointing me to Daphne’s blog, Joyful Living where this project began. I had not been planning on posting but rather journaling or attempting a poem for myself today. […]
I have visited you frequently over the past few weeks. I am inspired and motivated with your posts, each and every time. This post is especially special, for me, at this time. I am working on finding my way back from somewhat of a journey that took me away of “my self.” Thank you!
You inspire me to pen down my personal creed. I might have to come up with something real soon. Thank you for this!
Abundance (doing what I can do now) through authenticity.
Beautiful creed! Your heart speaks so clearly through your thoughts and words! No doubt, your creed will inspire so very many!:~)
Thank you for sharing.
I thought I had already written my creed but it doesn’t seem to be anywhere here…?
I love your little person and I love the heart is our purpose. Your personal creed is beautiful and the last part is very powerful. Thank you for sharing it with me.
Imperfect Action is better than No Action
Hi Giovanna, I’m glad you like the little person, and the meaning of the heart. I’m grateful for your affirming words about my creed. Your warm encouragement is much appreciated.
The beauty of a personal creed is that I get to create whatever I want. I can dream and imagine utmost greatness in myself and in others. Kind of a personal mission statement…I guess that’s how I’ve been thinking of it lately…my mission, my project…perhaps is similar to a creed.
great outline – very helpful for someone like me with a logical brain!
Stacey, you’re so right that a personal creed is for us to create exactly as we wish. There is no right or wrong way because it it personal. If you’d like to share your personal mission statement here, I’d be happy to include it in the post with the other examples. Glad you like the outline – I guess I have a logical brain too!
Thanks for this great assignment Daphne. I incorporated Marianne Williamson’s words into my creed.
I am light.
My purpose is to let my light shine, to shine light on others,
and to give people permission
to do the same.
Stacey, I love your creed. The first line, just three words, is so powerful because you use the “I am”. And I love the fact that part of being light is to allow others to shine their light too. You’ve certainly shone some light here today. I always feel brighter (not as in cleverer but as in happier) when I see you around!
This is a super post. I would say my personal creed spills over onto my website, livelife365, and that is: live live every day, every way, as best you can, and never give up.
Social Networking Blues
Your website name is certainly a creed in itself, and very nifty sounding too! You’re right that we’re all given 365 days a year and can choose to live each one to the full. Great creed!
Wow! What a way to put it into words! Thanks for this!
Mark, thank you for your encouraging comment. I really appreciate it.
This is wonderful! You’ve laid it out so nicely. I’m going to take the existing creed I have and rework it this weekend. And what you’ve written is such a great framework for bringing it all together. Awesome stuff!!
Hey Lance, I’m so glad you agreed to rework your creed. I can’t wait to read it because I’d love to know what drives someone as wonderfully giving as you. I’m glad you like the framework – I had to think quite a bit about how to write my own creed and couldn’t find any guidelines out there, so I had to make it up!
This really helps! I will put mine in writing and let you know how I do! Thanks for informing me of the errors. Taking the time to contact me shows how much you care!
Tess, I’m looking forward to reading your creed if you’ll share it. You’re very welcome for the heads up – I do care and you deserve the best anyway. I’m learning so much about you and admire what you’ve done in your life.
Hi, Daphne! Thanks for sharing your wonderful, creed. We are indeed more than we appear to be. Within each of us is God unmanifest, and our purpose is to fully manifest our godliness within! 🙂
Jocelyn, I like the way you put it: within us is God unmanifest, to be manifested in our lives. Nice!
Great series Daphne- plus I love the Jung quote! This is very nice Daphne! Your creed is showing through big time!
Jay, the Jung quote is brilliant. And so true. Thanks for your support, Jay.
This is beautiful, Daphne!
My favorite part is the sentence: Every person owns a beautiful story; I learn best by listening, not judging.
It’s so true! That’s what I love best about blogs – people share their beautiful stories and I get to learn.
The graphic and approach you offer here are truly inspired! (Perhaps I should have waited for the instructions before I did the assignment)
Anyway, thanks again for sharing your own joyful story!
Thank you so much for your kind words. Your creed was beautiful and part of that beauty is that it came naturally to you without need of this framework. I love the way you also posted it on your site.
You’re right that the great thing about blogs is that they are written by real people with real stories. You have much to contribute with your stories too!
Hi Daphne – I really like the way that you laid out how to develop a personal creed. I have pieces of “the body” figured out, but not the whole thing. I think I’ll take some time to flesh it out.
Also, I think your creed is more poetic than you realize 😉 Thanks!
Hi Amanda, aww… thanks for thinking the creed is even a teeny weeny bit poetic. You’re too sweet!
Good on you for having parts of the ‘body’ figured out. If you get it all figured out in the next few days do post it here so I can include it in a post linking back to your blog!
I love your little figure and its meanings, Daphne.
Robin, thanks so much. I had to think a little to work out that figure!
I agree! Your diagram is one of the best parts of this post! It’s like an evolved stick figure 😀
I’m enjoying how your creativity shows up on your latest blog posts, it’s so wonderful to see!
I loved how you broke it down…the visuals plus your own creed as an example really helps. You’re such a great teacher (and thinker)!
I feel like, I can now roll up my sleeves and get going on my creed writing 😉
Hi Carlota, as you can tell I’m not much of an artist so I have to stay with stick figures! Glad you like it though. And your kind words about being a teacher and thinker mean a lot to me. Thank you so much for those words. Hey, if you get your creed done in the next few days I’d love to feature it in the next (and probably last) post in this series!
I have one word. Impressive!
Very nicely put Daphne. 🙂
Sunny, I have two words. Thank you!
It’s great having you here.
Thanks for this post. I’d say my goal in life is to be open to every experience I have, without fear, closure or rejection, and to help others cultivate the same openness to their own experience.
Hi Chris, being open to experiences is a great personal creed. That practically guarantees growth! Thanks for your comment.
Thank you too. BTW I have a question too. Is there any specific reasoning behind putting the Acceptance on the right leg and Action on the left one? 🙂
Hi Sunny, I’d meant the two legs to be equal without any one coming first, but as I wrote I realised that acceptance brings about better action so maybe it does make sense to put acceptance on the right leg so that from our perspective reading from the left, it comes first. Great question!