The YOU MATTER Manifesto

My friend and mentor Seth Godin says, “only reason to give a speech is to change the world.”

It is in that context and with that as inspiration that I share this message and manifesto with you.

The YOU MATTER Manifesto is a call to action. Before we can convince anyone else that we matter, we must first convince ourselves. You are called upon to acknowledge and put to use the gifts that have been entrusted to you. Empower yourself and realize the importance of contributing to the world by living your genius. Mattering is a process, not an event. It has no expiration date; it’s a new way of life. Knowing that we matter is essential to our existence. Consider this Manifesto an acknowledgement of your significance and that….



1. You are Enough!

Do you know what it takes to make a difference in this world?

You don’t have to be rich or famous. No special knowledge or skills are needed. Whether you are young or old or in-between, you matter.

2. You Have Influence

To acknowledge that you can change the world is overwhelming. Yet all of us have the ability to begin changing the world by contributing our genius to solve the world’s problems.

3. You Are a Genius.

Author Seth Godin defines genius as the act of solving a problem in a way no one has solved it before. You don’t have to win a Nobel Prize or earn a Master’s degree to be a genius. You just have to use your insight and initiative to find original solutions that matter.

4. You Have a Contribution to Make.

“We cannot all do great things, but we can do small things with great love”
– Mother Teresa of Calcutta

Your mere presence can bring a smile to someone’s face. Your poetry can lift someone out of a slump. Your passion can lead you to create something magnificent.

The size of the contribution is not what matters most. What counts is how much of your heart you put into it.

Mimi and Eunice, CC-BY-SA Nina Paley

5. You Have a Gift to Give, That Others Need

“Happiness never decreases by being shared.”
– Siddhartha Gautama (Buddha)

Happiness and love are the two greatest gifts you can give to the world.

Too often, we indulge our own gratifications and forget there are people in this world that we can make feel loved, or appreciated, or even noticed. These are gifts anyone can give.

READ: People Know They Matter When…

6. You Are the Change.


Image via Flickr

It is in the small encounters with others that we recognize that we matter, that our presence is important. A shared smile, an unexpected kindness, leaving each encounter with something positive.

It is in these small moments we find opportunity to make the choice to matter. In doing so, we make the world a better place.

7. Your Actions Define Your Impact.

“How wonderful it is that nobody need wait a single moment before beginning to improve the world.”
– Anne Frank

Action is the world’s greatest currency. There is no better day than today to start to make a difference to the world. You don’t need to wait till you have the time; you don’t have to wait till you make more money; you don’t have to wait one second to let someone know they matter.

Start with these two words, and you will know how much that little effort counts today.

8. You Matter!

To matter means to be of consequence or importance to others.

It means you are significant, relevant, worthy of note and of crucial value. The world may not always affirm this. Your friends and family may not adequately communicate the importance of your presence in their lives.

But that doesn’t mean that what you do and who you are doesn’t have a profound impact on the world.

It does. The world would be a very different place – a lesser place – without you.

Let’s make our time together matter! This is only the beginning!



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  • Henrique Ventura

    Awesome article ! 
    Thank you for these insights.

  • Kneale Mann

    I heart this. You matter. I matter. We matter. Now let’s get out there and do something about it. Oh and book that call!

  • Bruce Sallan

    Teach, I am so thrilled that you will be co-hosting #DadChat on Feb 9 and we’ll be discussing this subject that you feel so passionate about. It has clearly touched a (positive) nerve with the community at large.

    I do have a question. What is the difference between You Matter and the Self-Esteem “movement”? The latter has been taken, IMHO, in a somewhat healthy direction in our schools while You Matter is clearly headed in the right direction. That may be a question I have for you on Feb. 9.

    But, we will have a GREAT opportunity to share your vision on #DadChat that evening and, for that matter, why don’t you guest on my radio show that day, as well? 

  • Chrysta Bairre

    Thank you for this awesome manifesto!

    I learned long ago that I can’t be anything for anyone if I’m nothing for myself. Only I can build myself up (and consequently tear myself down). If I want a great life (and I do!) I know I must create and nurture healthy confidence, self-care, and self-love.

    And I’m doing it- I’m living a great life every day. I don’t have everything I want, and my life is far from perfect, and I’m happy because I’m happy with who I am.

    It took a long time to get here, and I’m not going to give this up. It’s important to continue to seed, and plant, and feed, and grow. The YOU MATTER manifesto is all that!


  • Michele Price

    The one I would like to see more focus on is “Your Actions Define Your Impact”. About to take an action to spend more time taking care of the internal me, you know the one that runs the show even when we thing that it does not lol.

    Always thought I was very attuned to the internal me and yet I am committing to take that learning process even deeper in 2012.  Imagine a world where everyone does their “personal internal work” with as much diligence as their outer jobs they give over so much value to. 

    Thanks for a great message.

  • Angela Maiers

    Thanks Michele- you emulate that tenant every Monday in #Speakchat  I am excited to take my learning deeper in 2012, and I know that surrounding myself with others who are equally and more passionate will only make it more astounding and special! 

  • Angela Maiers

    You are very very welcome Chrysta- so glad the message resonated with you! I love your spirt and can-do attitude! 2012 is definitely not the year to give u but rather the year to get going!!! 

  • Angela Maiers

    Bruce- I am so excited as well! 

    What is the difference between You Matter and the Self-Esteem “movement”?

    That is going to be a great question to ponder between now and then! Thanks for making me a better teacher and an even greater learner my friend! 

  • Angela Maiers

    I think we need to put this to music!!! Love it!! :-)

  • Keri at Idea Girl Media

    Angela, I guess my answer is…

    I have a goal that every person I meet must learn at least one thing from me.  If we can all reach each other in that way, there is an exchange.  And people will know: They matter.



  • Laurence Mechanic

    This was a breathe of fresh air. Taking the time to recognize our individuality and importance can help us all to do better things.

  • Jane George

    loved this! rt xxx

  • Chris

    This was a great piece to read and remember as I begin my day and week.

  • Angela Maiers

    Thank you! Pass it on…

  • Angela Maiers

    Thank you Laurence! Pass it on and see the ripple start! That will really take your breath away; it has mine!!

  • Maz Iqbal

    Hello Angela
    Great manifesto, it looks like you and I are fruits of the same tree.  I totally get that I matter, you matter, they matter, we matter.  And I wrote a post about that titled “Are you ready to face the scariest truth of all: you matter”, you can read it here:

    And then a week or so after that I google “You Matter” and I find you!  Fabulous, it feels so good to come across you and know that I am not alone.  

    With my love

  • Michael Fisher

    Love, Love, Love.  Can’t wait to see you in Jacksonville! (And talk about the anti-bullying #YOUMATTER manifesto! This is such important work. You Rock!!! -Mike

  • Krissy Venosdale

    What an awesomely inspirational piece to read, reread, and post near your desk. I think it’s what missing in our schools, things and people stop really mattering to each other and it all begins to unravel. When really, if everyone would just look, we all matter. Thank you for the inspirational message. :)

  • Annette Middleton Tomlinson

    Absolutely FANTASTIC!

  • Beth McCracken

    It all comes back to simply making human connections, doesn’t it? Recognizing one another’s humanity is so vital for creating community, and it starts with yourself. Please consider checking out David Robinson’s blog at The Direction of Intention, where he works to teach that you can change your life, if you change the story you tell yourself. Consider if you asked yourself this question every day: What will I bring to this day?

  • M. Holladay

    Thank you! Using this with my middle school students! i appreciate you sharing!

  • wilderness

    life almost made.. we should never think about what others do for us,, but shud think what we do for others.
    yes a few thingz in life really do matter alott..
    Thanks for a great message

  • Wilderness

    ”Are You Ready To Face The Scariest Truth Of All: YOU MATTER”

  • Adam Hennessy

    I just heard Angela speak at the ISSN Conference in Brooklyn, she brought me to tears….amazing woman!

  • Joffre (J.D.) Meyer

    “You Matter” means something extra for me because of an unfortunate, opposite reaction from an academic vice-president. Once I gave a funny presentation in the weekly assembly at my small college, “Knowing Spanish Can Reduce Stress.” Stress was the topic of the assembly. The crowd loved it, laughed, and applauded; about ten faculty and students complimented me. However that VP said the following week, “The people that matter (referring to the administration) did not approve of it; show some dignity.” This occurred as an aside while we were on the same stage when I was about to introduce my friend, the newsman. Thanks, Angela.

  • Julie

    I always tell my students that they are a genius. Nice to see all these things put together to build self-esteem and help children know that they may be small, but they are important:)

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