The Tower: A Free Report for a New Way of Life

The Tower

Greetings, friends and readers.

I’m on the road as usual, and today I’m also excited to announce the release of a new manifesto, The Tower.

As with my two earlier works, A Brief Guide to World Domination and 279 Days to Overnight Success, this report is completely free, with nothing for sale and no email opt-in required.


You can download your own copy here –>

The Tower — Main Download Link (PDF)

Kindle Version | Version for Printing

Tech Notes: This document is best experienced on an iPad (click the PDF in Safari to open a version in iBooks) or other tablet device.

If viewing on a regular computer, you’ll need the latest free version of Adobe Reader. For Kindle support, see this page.


What It’s About and Who It’s For

This report is not about Frequent Flyer Miles or making money as a blogger, as much fun as those things can be. Instead, it’s about URGENCY and LEGACY—topics I’ve been thinking a lot about recently.

What if life were like a video game? How can we incorporate creative work and the desire to build something into our routine? What truly matters?

These are the questions I examine in the manifesto. Over the next few weeks, I’ll be traveling in Africa and then doing my Annual Review. Wherever you are in the world, I hope you’ll take some time to think about the next year and your own legacy project.

As always, thanks for reading.

Action #1: If you find the report interesting and valuable, would you please help in spreading it along?

You can post a link to this page or the whole PDF on your blog, through Facebook, or wherever you connect with interesting people.

Action #2: What does legacy mean to you… and what are you doing about it today?

Feel free to share your response to this question through the comments field.


Image: Evginy

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  • Aurooba Ahmed says:

    SO excited to read this! Just downloaded it, will get back to you on the question after I read it.

  • Patricia Giacona-Wilson says:

    Thanks, Chris!

  • Joe says:

    Thanks for making it free once again, Chris. The two previous reports were dynamite content, and I need a renewed sense of urgency with some of my life tasks, so “The Tower” should be right up my alley… Can’t wait to read this one!

  • Sarah Russell says:

    Thanks for sharing this. Can’t wait to read it, and I have no doubt that it’ll be every bit as good as the last two you’ve released.

  • AJ Leon says:

    Looking forward to reading it, bud!

  • Scott Webb says:

    I as well, cannot wait to read. I actually still had your post open from days ago – related with a video about steve jobs. I caught part again that reminded me of the release today. Here I am and will share this even further.

    Here’s to the last of 2012!

  • Jon says:

    Who designed this manifesto? It looks incredible!

  • Laura Simms says:

    Chris + Reese = dynamite. Looking forward to digesting your thoughts. And also do doing my first annual review this year. Happy travels!

  • Chris says:

    Hey everyone!

    Thanks so much — I’m really glad to have this out in the world. I’ll be traveling to Africa over the next few days, but will post comments up at each stop along the way.

    Also, I’ll mention it again in Thursday’s post, but my amazing designer for this manifesto (and all things AONC) is the great Reese Spykerman. I’m tremendously honored to work with her.

  • Joe Lalonde says:

    Awesome! Thanks for getting this out.

  • Renee King says:

    This couldn’t have come at a better time. I’m in the midst of setting my own goals for the upcoming year….my own personal vision board. Thanks, Chris!

  • carolina baker says:

    I’m very excited to read this – I’ve noticed the trend you spoke about; not having goals, slowing down, and enjoying life. it’s a fine balance and i find myself alternating between both constantly. I recently downloaded Gretchen’s happiness project spreadsheets and have been keeping track of my goals (for the last month), and have realized that I am much happier when I do the small tasks that I set out for myself.

  • Nathalie Lussier says:

    I’m excited to read this Chris! 🙂

    As for legacy, I think it’s all about knowing yourself really well and being able to make the most of what you’ve got to benefit others. That might mean leaving something behind, or just living the best life you can while you’re here.

  • JPH says:

    Just downloaded the PDF version and will read it soon on our New Year’s Cruise in Europe !

    The Kindle version link doesn’t seem to work… I’m getting a bunch of strange symbols ans stuff…

    I’ll transfer the PDF version to my Kindle for now.

    Please check and let us know.

  • Chris says:

    Thanks JPH! And I’m not 100% sure about Kindle (I use Kindle on iPad, which is a bit different), but if we get a different link, we’ll post it up.

  • Patricia Giacona-Wilson says:

    My tower is a legacy of published books; an author of novels.
    I’m working on it today by writing 1000 words, and reading a book in the afternoon to expand my knowledge of writing style and storytelling.

    Excellent manifesto, I enjoyed it and found it very motivational. I’ll be passing it along to people who also need a clear sense of direction.

  • Chris Skoyles says:

    Excellent stuff as always. Downloaded and dove straight in this afternoon. Always motivated by the idea of leaving a legacy, and this really struck a chord. Thanks for the awesome words!

  • Sea says:

    Just read The Tower. You’ve outdone yourself with this one! And really struck a chord for those of us who have allowed games to distract us too much from the ‘real work’. It’s an easy trap to fall into.

    I love that you used that framework to help us all be successful in our own tower-building by analyzing and applying those features the game-architects exploit all the time.

    I’ll download the Kindle version, as well, so I can re-read as necessary. Thank you!

  • Benny says:

    Thanks Chris. I know this will be read by thousands like your other ones. Can’t wait to read it.

  • Alex Humphrey says:

    Just downloaded it and am very excited to open it up. Legacy is something I have been thinking of as well – mostly the legacy I’ll leave for my family.

    I’ve been married for 6 months, we’re probably only a year or two away from children, and I haven’t been sure which direction I should go in life and especially business.

    I’m working on my legacy and especially my future. I hope this manifesto will help!

  • Lydia Puhak says:

    Wow, Chris. Very nice!
    …and thanks for the inquiry about legacy.

    Mine is about evoking deepening awareness and a certain sort of purposefully deliberate showing up. I’ve created a whole-life practice that I’m devoted to and I share aspects of it with others pretty much every day of my life.

  • Donna says:

    I just downloaded The Tower. Can’t wait to read it. There are changes coming my way early in the new year with my job and legacy has been first and foremost on my mind as I contemplate what my next step is going to be. I have no idea yet what the question is but my answer is YES.

  • Linda Gabriel says:

    Thanks! So much appreciate what you are doing and what you stand for.

  • Ward Luthi says:

    For years I’ve led adventure travel programs around the world but always felt something was missing. The local people throughout the world that make most travel adventures as unique and worthwhile as they are still remain where they are, often without many of the basic amenities in life that most of us enjoy: education, medical help, food and shelter.

    Your words helped crystallize my own legacy project. Thank you for so clearly sharing the path you’ve led and the conclusions you’ve drawn. If we could evidence this same passion, drive and creative process in our leaders, we’d change the world. As it is, our own efforts will need to lead the way.

    As they say in Costa Rica…Pura Vida!

  • LD says:

    Am sharing your link. My legacy project includes finishing a music CD I’ve been working on for years, after a lifetime of trying to make this happen. It’s been greatly stalled due to many roadblocks and crises (and I keep being inspired to create more new works to include, which doesn’t help ;), but it’s the one big thing that – if I don’t complete – I will regret at the end of my days. This is how I need to leave my mark. This is what I *need* to do. This is what I am.

    Thank you for validating these life perspectives. Legacy and urgency are looming large in my mind, and I appreciate your work and the “kick in the butt” this provides.

  • cloudio says:

    Thank you Chris.

    The kindle version is OK in my Kindle reader

  • Tanner says:

    Just downloaded The Tower and will be reading it with vigor today. This couldn’t come at a better time as I am in the infant stages of creating my own project and the inspiration and tools are always a wonderful resource. Thanks again Chris and I will get back with feedback once I read it. Have fun in Africa, I miss it so much.

  • Stephenie Zamora says:

    Yay, I am so excited to read this. THANK YOU!

    Legacy to me means creating something that will continue to serve others long after I’m gone. I’m working to build a legacy project around teaching personal responsibility to others. I truly believe it has the power to change the world.

    I will be sure to share this! xo

  • Amy Scott says:

    Can’t wait to read this! I’m in the throes of honing my purpose and what I have to offer the world, and considering my legacy is definitely part of that.

    Thanks so much for providing a Kindle version for us nomads! Hopefully it will work OK for me.

  • Tim says:

    That was great to read and very inspiring as always 🙂

    also: YAY TINY TOWER!! I was addicted to that game til a few weeks ago haha

  • Kathryn Brown says:

    just finished reading The Tower, excellent stuff! I really like your mission goals of adventure and generosity, very much in line with my own aspired life-path. As a writer, have you ever used It’s an excellent way to merge the game-like reward system with getting your daily word count, plus it tells you a lot about what your writings over time say about your style and personality…. “I don’t need to win by competing against anyone else, but I also don’t want to lose.” those words spoke to me. thanks for sharing this!

  • AJ Borowsky says:

    Yes! I was intrigued by your post on Psychology Today, saw Gretchen’s tweet today, and just finished reading The Tower now. A great way to live your life. I’ve said that you are either moving or you are standing still, the choice is yours. The Tower will inspire a lot of people to get moving but inspiration without action is just a good intention. Taking action brings goals to life.

    I’m with Patricia in that I want my Tower to be a legacy of books (right now just book) that motivates people to ask What Next?

    Looking forward to following the success of the Tower.

  • John says:

    I’m looking forward to reading your latest manifesto. I’m off to transfer it to my iPad and dig in!

  • Primal Toad says:

    Thanks Chris! I just downloaded it and will be diving in tonight after Dinner 🙂

    I’m sort of new to this site and the more I come back the more I LOVE your thoughts… keep on rockin’!

  • Misty says:

    Chris – what a wonderful call to re-purpose, to live authentically, to leave a legacy , especially at this crazy time of year with demanding deadlines and overwhelming tiredness.

    Thank you for giving me much food to think over the Christmas season.


    P.S. Have you ever heard Nichole Nordeman’s song “Legacy”? It is in a similar vein..

    “I want to leave a legacy
    How will they remember me?
    Did I choose to love?…” and so forth.

  • Ryan says:

    Great read. I can tell you write with your heart and that makes it powerful. Thanks for sharing.

  • Bill says:

    The Tower is a great read and very motivational. Perfect timing in order to make New Year’s resolutions for 2012 truly meaningful.

  • Amanda says:

    Legacy, to me, means lasting impact on others. Today, I’m following up on 2 legacy related projects that I’ve been “meaning to do” for more months than I’d like to admit.

    Thanks for *your* legacy, Chris. Life changing.

  • Harry says:

    Thanks for sharing, you are one of the few e-book writers that practice what they preach. Good for you. Meanwhile I am working non-stop on my legacy, no time to stand still.

  • June Price says:

    Thank you Chris for writing this inspirational manifesto. There is so much in it that spoke to me as I look to design my life to be more meaningful to myself and others. You have helped to focus my creativity as I work on my life’s ‘legacy project’, my ‘archive of work’, day by day….with discipline and joy.

  • Heather Wardell says:

    I am thrilled to get another manifesto from you. The earlier ones (plus your art+money course) really helped me figure out who I want to be as a writer and guided me to self-publish my novels. I’m hopeful this new one will guide me yet again.

    The Kindle version displays perfectly on my Kindle, just FYI.

  • Jackie says:

    Thanks Chris, just downloaded and will be digging into this tomorrow

  • Alex Hajicek says:

    Powerful sludge hammer to the face. Awesome work. 🙂

  • Samantha Zacher says:

    Today, I am a teenager. In order to create a base for my legacy project, I am working hard in school and molding myself to be the person I want to be. A year someone asked me what I wanted to do before I died and I said “To leave a legacy”. I don’t necessarily want to be in a text book or have something named after me, but just to leave behind something positive that wasn’t in the world before. The future is always changing and so my legacy won’t always be useful but if just for a moment something I did was positive, that is all I want.

  • Ricardo Bueno says:

    Just finished reading this and wanted to say that I thoroughly enjoyed it. I see it as a call to action to get up and create something you’re passionate about daily.

    My new daily task sheet:

    – What am I making today?
    – Who am I helping today?

    Then, working my face off to deliver.

  • Kerry Murray says:

    Well done, Chris! Just finished reading and there is much to think about and a few questions I need to write up on my office wall to keep me moving.

    Thank you for bringing great clarity to what can seem like an overwhelming topic. What to create today? and Who will I help?

    Travel well.

  • Kerry Murray says:

    P.S. I read this on my Kindle for Mac before checking out the .PDF. Read the .PDF people. Looks gorgeous and resonates more strongly. Well done, Reese!

  • Aurooba Ahmed says:

    So I’m back. I read the manifesto back to back twice and went through it at least a couple more times, rereading passages that really resonated with me. I recently took the plunge and started to write daily and post some of the better ones online.

    To me, legacy means sharing my personal and unique voice with the world. Adding my story to the written fabric of our world, and hopefully it’ll help someone somewhere. Legacy means clarifying my life’s purpose and weaving together the story of my life into a message that I embody with my actions. Legacy is leaving footprints on another path that was untrodden, in hopes that it may help another who was stumbling.

    I love your work, Chris! I’ve been reading your work since mid 2008, when I was 15, and you’ve had a big impact on my life. Thank you.

  • John Reed says:

    I have just discovered your site and it’s perfect timing for me. I’ve been spending much of my time lately developing a mission statement for myself. Thanks for inspiring me to think in terms of a “Legacy Project”. I’ve decided to start blogging about it to chronicle the journey of discovery. After writing 750 words daily(aka, morning pages) and doing this for a week now, I can see how legacy projects are actually quite do-able, one step at a time(like the ol’ journey of a 1000 miles). I’m really enjoying the process.

    Thanks much,


  • Frank Lamb says:

    Awesome motivating article as usual. It made me evaluate where I am in my legacy projects and the part about the game really resonated… I’ve always been kind of addicted to the creating kind of games, i.e. Sim City, Civilization, and its nice to hear I’m not the only one who feels a bit guilty about wasting time on them… At least they don’t force you to play them like the tower, they just kind of insidiously lie in wait…

    I am about to leave on a 1 month trip to 7 Central American countries partly because of your influence. When I return I will be moving forward on my biggest legacy project which can be seen on my blog. Thanks for the inspiration Chris, I always feel so much more driven after reading your posts!

  • Lynn says:

    What am I doing about legacy today?

    This ( and hopefully more ): Today….too few people know that lack of access to clean water and sanitation kills children at a rate equivalent of a jumbo jet crashing every four hours. Here is one small way we can help change that ….today:

    Give The Gift of Clean Water

  • Jordan says:

    This is a really great work. Really inspiring. I can certainly relate to this manifesto as I used to play video games pretty religiously until I realized it was depriving me of a real life worth living. Thanks again for the inspiration and safe travels!

  • Monique says:

    So beautifully designed! Haven’t read the whole thing yet, but looking forward to reading it all. I just read Joel Runyon’s manifesto so I seem to be drawn to people like you who are sharing their inspiration with the world FREE. Love the idea of passing on inspiration to others. I think that alone is worth while, and is a “tower” in a sense. If you can inspire a group of people to think differently, to make a difference to the world, then that is a huge thing. Great work, Chris!

  • Wyman says:

    I am building an Internet and off line business consulting business to change the financial lives of my three boys and extended family forever. I will also teach them to give rather than spend lots of money on toys.

  • Tia Tuenge says:

    Hi Chris, Thank for sharing the Tower. I’m looking forward to reading it. I love that you’ve created a dialog about giving back.

    I am most interested in the gender inequity in the world. After reading Half The Sky, by Nicholas Kristof and Cheryl WuDunn last summer I decided that I would definitely take some kind of action. It is also important to me that I involve my 8 yr. old daughter and teach her the importance of giving back. Together we created the ART FOR A BETTER WORLD SHOW, which took place last Saturday. It was very exciting, my first fundraiser. We raised over $1,100 for If your interested you can check out the video and pictures from the event.

    This was just the first step for me.

    Much love and gratitude, Tia

  • Janice Holladay says:

    I really benefited from the article. I shared it on my professional FB page as well as “liking” it on my personal page. I’m not sure I have a legacy project all scoped out. I feel I’m sort of STILL in the process of even clarifying and crafting what shape it will take. That itself might be a lifelong project, but I do like how this article clearly identified ways to work on such a project daily. It’s too true how addictive those silly games can be. There have to be ways to make the positive things in our lives, to make our lives themselves, just as addictive in a positive sense. Thank you.

  • Mike Vardy says:

    This was an amazing read. Absolutely tremendous. Thank you for sharing it with us.

  • Jon R says:

    I Read the tower, re-read some parts two or three times. The sincerity and the urgency in the manifesto was heartfelt, authentic, and powerful. It asks us to deal with some issues that most of us try to ignore – including our own mortality. I don’t believe anyone can think deeply about the inevitabilty of death, without thinking deeply about the present. Whereas that alone might lead to sadness, the manifesto gave me the motivation to live a full life now and to focus on building a legacy for others. A lot of people need to read this manifesto. Thanks!

  • Travis Hellstrom says:

    I was hoping for something amazing. As always, you didn’t disappoint. Thank you for writing this Chris.

  • Matthew says:

    Interesting read. I also found that the design really helped to bring out the story.

  • Rex says:

    I swallowed it whole, in one setting!

    Thanks Chris, for creating a meaningful legacy and pulling us along with you.

    After just reading Julien Smith’s “The Flinch” and now this, man am I hyped up to do some great things next year.

    It’s amazing how powerful words can be.

  • jerry says:

    Great stuff as always…looking forward to what you have planned for 2012..

  • Aaron says:

    Thanks for another great piece of work Chris. So much good stuff and thank you for continuing to work to pull the narcisism out of us.

  • sanjay says:

    this was amazing! not only did i love the content and analogy – but i loved your design. you have a way with storytelling chris.

  • Zary says:

    Thank you! Great gift.

  • Kat Rosati says:

    To me a legacy is leaving something behind that is bigger than you are. It isn’t fame or anything like that , it is about reaching out to others. How many lives can you make better today by doing what you would normally do with a different perspective. The greatest legacy I will ever leave is with my children. I hope I am able to teach them things like compassion towards others, being honest and ethical- even in business decisions. That nothing is worth more than your integrity. I try to be a living example of this everyday with my company- I hope they notice.

  • Lavonne says:

    About two years ago, I read The Artist’s Way by Julia Cameron, and when I was first introduced to these concepts, it was life changing. Now your manifesto is affirming… and a kick in the butt, because I’d just slowed down with indecision. Happy to have reached so many of my goals, but forgot to make new ones on the way… and found myself floundering again. Things have a way of showing up at the right time.

    Thank you! I am now going to start my annual review and make new goals.

  • Massie says:

    Welcome to Kenya and Somaliland! Thanks for this sharing the Tower, an amazing read.

  • Pau Ruŀlan Ferragut says:

    Thanks and congratulations for the work!

  • George Donnelly says:

    Thank you. Loved it. It is helping me refocus and catalyze my work. Sharing.

  • Kelly Wagner says:

    Thanks for this Chris; a wonderfully useful and wise guide with principles I’ll keep in mind as I’m doing my 2nd ‘Annual Review’ process in preparation for 2012. Happy to share it. Inspiring as always.

  • True Collar Worker says:

    Thank you so much for this, man. You’ve made me think deeply about creating something greater than myself, and building a “Tower” that will have an impact long after I’m gone. I don’t know exactly what that will look like yet, but you’ve sparked something in a way I haven’t thought about before. I love what you’re doing, and have been incredibly inspired by your work. Happy New Year!

  • Agnes says:

    I just Read your book and ultimately I rushed to see this site, I have now printed out your manifesto and the 279 days and can’t wait to read them. I think that the way you think and understand life is beautiful.

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