Well, this is probably not what you want to hear, but here it goes.
First of all, “manifesting your every desire” is a pipe dream. Even the greatest manifestation queens and kings won’t manifest their every desire. Why? Because it takes focus and intention, so you pick your battles.
Second, even if you could do it, it’s not what you should be doing. This is why I can’t stand The Secret, because it encourages people to act only out of self-interest and greed and not give a damn about others.
So “How do you use a powerful method to manifest your every desire?” is the wrong question to ask.
What’s the right question?
“How do I manifest a materially, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling life?”
Because let’s be real here, this is what everyone actually wants. All the stuff people buy is just a distraction from that gaping void in their hearts that can never be filled with one-night stands, shopping sprees, drugs, luxury vacations, sports cars, or McMansions.
So I will answer the question you didn’t ask. There are three things you can do to manifest a materially, emotionally, and spiritually fulfilling life:
1. Walk with God.
Align your own will with that of Spirit, and your life will improve immediately. Every morning, make a list of blessings you’ve received and thank God from the bottom of your heart. This shows that you are willing to receive and will open you up to more receiving. Ask Him to send you signs and guide you where you’re supposed to go. Ask Him to help you serve others during the day.
2. Give, give, give.
Seize any opportunity you get to serve others, as opposed to only serving yourself. The more you give—time, energy, money, love, kindness—the more you will receive. Give a portion of your monthly income to a church or charitable cause. Look actively for ways to make someone’s day; sometimes just a smile will do it.
If you ask for chances to serve, Spirit will send some your way; just make sure you look for them. Maybe it’s the woman in line ahead of you who lacks a few bucks to pay her grocery bill. Maybe it’s the guy at the bank who dropped a $10 bill on the ground. Maybe it’s the young woman who needs someone to help carry her stroller down some stairs.
In your friendships and relationships, don’t look for what you get out of them, but for what you could contribute to them. This is guaranteed to make you happier and will lead to many good things flowing your way.
3. Try the Goodwill Manifestation.
This is my favorite manifestation technique for any and all situations that involve other people or even your pets. It asks for nothing, but can provide anything… often in sheer miraculous and nearly instantaneous ways. All you do is spread blessings around, and it’s totally awesome. I’m describing the technique in this blog post and in greater detail in this free report.
See, this is why I always say there is no Law of Attraction. Books like The Secret claim that you get out exactly what you put in. That might be correct for computers, but manifestation is a little bit more complex.
So, no, I don’t believe that having positive thoughts will give you positive things and negative thoughts will bring negative things. If that were true, every single person with depression, a phobia, anxiety disorders, etc. would have an objectively horrible life. So would natural pessimists.
Obviously, that is not the case. I know tons of people, including myself (hence the “grumpy”), who don’t have the sunniest outlook but whose lives are pretty darn good and who have no trouble manifesting.
I think what’s much more important is intention and faith. Visualization of what you want, combined with faith that it’s already yours and an overwhelming gratitude for the fact that it is, are the most important ingredients for a successful manifestation.
Aside from those “technical” aspects, I believe it’s also important what kind of person you are. For example, not everyone who’s super-nice is a good person, and not everyone who is a good person is super-nice. But a good person will always drift toward service to others vs. service to self alone, and their manifestations will reflect that as well.
And finally, often negative things can happen in your life because you’re not doing what you’re supposed to do. I’ve found that Spirit abhors stagnation. If you’re digging in your heels even though there are things you’re meant to do and places to go, you will at first get little nudges and pokes. If you keep ignoring those, at some point there will be a major kick in the butt.
Unfortunately, most people who experience these kicks in the butt don’t recognize them for what they are. Instead, they lament that they are “down on their luck” when in fact what they experience is a direct effect of their stagnation.
A friend of mine was stuck in a terrible job where her boss humiliated her daily. At the same time, she and her husband also lived in a place that was drafty and cold and the landlord was literally insane.
All of a sudden, she developed a mysterious clumsiness. She kept stumbling over her own feet, falling down stairs, slipping and falling on ice, etc.
I told her to get out of that job and out of that house immediately. A few months later, she called it quits on both parts, and her accidents instantly stopped.
So if you experience “bad luck,” examine your life for possible bottlenecks. Are you not doing something you’re supposed to do? Are you doing something that you’re supposed to not do? Should you move somewhere else? Change your job? Start that college education? Finally marry the guy/girl you’ve been engaged to for five years? Or break up with him/her if you’re just not sure he/she’s “the one”?
Once you identify the source of your stagnation and remove it, you might be surprised how fast things change for you.
Is the Law of Attraction about working on yourself by seeking knowledge... or changing your habits... working smartly on your job... or not taking any action at all?
As I always say, the Law of Attraction doesn’t really exist. If it did, people with phobias, depression, anxiety, or people who are simply natural pessimists would have objectivelyhorrible lives… but they don’t. Many have loving friends and family, a good job, a decent income, a nice house, a good relationship, etc.
Instead, manifestation is all about intention. It’s using your God-given spark of innate magic to create physical objects by turning ideas into matter. And I think keeping the “God part” in manifestation is essential for results that truly benefit you.
That’s why I abhor The Secret and similar LOA books that are all about getting that Lambo, that McMansion, and that luxury Caribbean cruise.
I believe there are three levels of manifestation:
I wrote about them at length here.
Once you elevate yourself to Level 3, you realize that life is really about serving, not getting and consuming. At that point, your oh-so urgent wants and desires from the “Stuff” Level start looking really pathetic in comparison to your real goal: your own soul evolution.
Sure, we all need to eat and have shelter, warmth, clothes, and other creature comforts. And there’s no reason that we have to be dressed in sack cloth and become hermit monks.
Also, it’s hard (if not impossible) to continuously stay on Level 3. We’re all just human, after all. We falter, we fall on our face, we pick ourselves up and try again.
But once you even get a glimpse of Level 3, there’s really no turning back. Once you know what the sky looks like above the clouds, you can never be satisfied with the dim ground view of the overcast skies again.
I recently got this email from a reader:
Hello, I am from India. I have been reading your Quora profile from a lot of time and want to thank you for the wealth of information you are giving. I hope you solve my query. When I manifest or have a wish which I want to get completed, just as my wish is about to be fulfilled, something goes wrong and it does not get fulfilled.
To give you a clear picture about this: Once I wanted to study in a particular which my parents did not wish me to study. It was in my mind the whole year. I had to give an entrance exam to clear it and cleared that exam. I got accepted to that school.
Just then my dad got an educational counsellor’s number which was in the college which they wanted me to study in. She made up stories about how their college was successful compared to the school I was accepted in and brainwashed me and my parents. Something happened to me, and I accepted her suggestions despite getting accepted to my school of choice.
This is not an isolated incident. There are many of these in which at the last moment something happens and my wish doesn’t get fulfilled. Hope you give me a way out of this.
Thank you, Farman M.
Dear Farman, I'm using your email for a blog post because it's a great object lesson. What you're experiencing is what I call "the last-minute monkey wrench." Some motivational speakers call it "resistance."
This is very common in manifestation, especially when you're trying to manifest something big and life-changing.
So you're writing down affirmations, you visualize the heck out of your goal, you know it's about to manifest in your life; you can already see it, taste it, smell it. Everything is going great.
And then, BOOM! something gets in your way. Something big and seemingly insurmountable. And often it's not an overpowering external force that stops you from reaching your goal... but something that changes your mind, something that makes you question your original goal. It's as if the Universe is throwing a monkey wrench into your well-thought-out plans.
At some point, I realized that these are tests from Spirit, to find out how serious you are about your wish or goal. Will you abandon your goal first chance you get? Will you allow yourself to get distracted? Or will you stick it out no matter what?
It's like God is telling you, "Hey, listen, if you're not going to put 100% of your energy into this, I'm certainly not going to. So let's see how badly you want this."
This has happened to me a number of times when I was in the process of manifesting something monumental (for me), like leaving Germany (my native country) and moving to the United States.
In my early thirties, I was living in Germany and working as a freelance copywriter. I was kind of fed up with my job and burned out. Straight out of high school, I had started working and kept working and moving up the ladder for 15 years, but it didn't fulfill me anymore.
My greatest wish was to move to Sedona, AZ, the New Age mecca of the American Southwest and, for once, just spread my wings and fly a little.
I knew that determination would be a major factor in this manifestation. Every day, I visualized arriving in Sedona and got so good at it that I would cry tears of joy and gratitude during my visualization sessions.
The first monkey wrench was that German labor laws changed. The advertising agency I was working for as an in-house freelancer all of sudden found itself in the position to have to turn all freelancers into employees or to let them go.
I was offered a cushy job as a senior copywriter with prospects to make creative director. Otherwise, I was told, I would have to leave. To me, it was an obvious choice between safety and freedom, and I consciously chose freedom. So I turned down the job offer and instead opened up my own copywriting business with a colleague. I told her right away that I probably wouldn't be around for too long, since in about a year or so, I was going to leave for Sedona.
So far, so good. Things proceeded well. I took several long vacations in Sedona and fell more and more in love. It was clear to me that this would happen.
I have to add for background that at that time, I hadn't had a relationship in quite a while (and since I was on my way out, wasn't looking for one either).
The second monkey wrench was that I suddenly met a guy... and it was like magic. About a year earlier, I had answered some online request by a Reiki master who was looking for other Reiki practitioners to establish a healing circle. I'd sent off the request but never heard anything back.
The year before my planned move to Sedona, I got a phone call out of the blue from R., who said he was that Reiki master. He said when I answered his request, he had written my phone number on a piece of paper but had lost it when he moved... and he had just found it again, stuck to the back of a file cabinet!
We arranged a meeting at a cafe, and it was massive attraction at first sight. Sparks were flying, and he was such a nice guy and so interesting and so completely on my wave length that I fell for him head over heels... and vice versa.
We got together and it was amazing. Our relationship got so deep and intense so quickly that just after a few weeks, it felt like I'd known R. forever.
He knew that I wanted to move to Sedona, and he would say, "Yes, it makes me really sad, but at the same time I don't want to stand in your way. You should do what your heart really desires."
Which, of course, made me love him even more, and I slowly started doubting my decision to move to Sedona. Should I really go? Was I leaving the love of my life behind for... what? Some vague pipe dream of freedom and the "spiritual life"?
After three months, we were so close that we started talking about moving in together. We even looked at houses. I had all but given up on my goal.
One day, R. came to my house in a very distraught state. He said the mother of his three-year-old son, whom he had divorced not too long ago, had revealed to him that she had cheated on him for years and that the child might not even be his. He was in a horrible mood—to a degree that I feared he might hurt himself.
He said he needed some space to think and process this huge blow. He asked me to give him a week or two to get over this. He asked me to wait for him, and that he would call me when he was ready. I said okay and promised I would hang in there for a few weeks.
What I hadn't counted on was the complete radio silence. I had thought at least he would update me on his progress. One week went by, then two, then three, without a word from R. I was starting to get anxious: What had happened to him? Was he so depressed that he couldn't call? Worse, had he gone and killed himself?
I had met some of his friends but didn't know their last names, addresses, or phone numbers, so I had no one that I could call and ask about him.
I became more and more desperate to reach him. I left messages on his voicemail and asked him to at least give me a sign that he was okay and still alive. Nothing.
I lost my appetite and could barely focus on my work anymore; I was just going through the motions day by day. Surely, something had happened to R., and I was already grieving. There was no way he would have put me through such anguish if he were fine.
Six weeks after R. had left, he suddenly showed up at my doorstep, beaming and ready to pick up our relationship. I couldn't believe he had done this to me. I was so outraged that I threw him out and told him never to bother me again.
And I realized that I had failed my test from Spirit. How serious was I about moving to Sedona? Not very, apparently.
So I renewed my firm commitment to God and my goal to move to Sedona. I vowed that I would never again get distracted from my greatest dream by a guy (or anything else, for that matter).
Suddenly, things started falling into place. Our copywriting business got a new client, a publisher of magazines that was looking to launch a new soap opera mag. Because my colleague and I had to interview soap stars, we received press IDs.
Since we didn't just cover German soap operas but also American ones, like Beverly Hills 90210 and Melrose Place, we decided that I would become "our correspondent in America" and with the press ID, I was able to get a six-year journalist visa to the US.
Then a friend in Sedona told me that her roommate was going to move out and his room would be available—precisely when I had planned my move there! And so small and large miracles kept falling into my lap, supporting me and making my dream come true.
The next spring, I sold everything I owned and moved to Sedona, with two suitcases and two very small moving boxes. I left everything behind and never looked back. I lived a blissful hippie life in Sedona for two and a half amazing years. Sometimes it was difficult and money was tight, but all in all, I'm looking back on this time as one of the happiest of my life.
I also met my husband there, whom I was married to for 15 years and who gave me the most wonderful kid I could have wished for. So one thing led to another because I stuck to my guns. I recommend you do the same.
When you're trying to manifest a big dream and life throws a last-minute monkey wrench into your plans, persevere. Stick it out. Don't let yourself get distracted.
What if you can't manage to persevere? What if you give into the temptation to do the easier thing, take the wider road?
Don't beat yourself up, first of all. Self-blame and guilt aren't constructive emotions. Ask yourself how important your original goal really is to you. And if you find that it's very, very important, then change your path. Re-commit to your original goal and prove to Spirit that you're determined to see it through this time.
Someone on Quora asked me how they might use the Law of Attraction or other methods to attract their "twin flame."
The answer is multi-leveled. Let me start with the simplest answer: I found that writing a “soulmate list” works pretty well. That means you create a manifestation list specifically geared towards finding a partner.
I recommend making it as long and detailed as possible. I wouldn’t list too many details about outer appearance, though. My “type” used to be tall, dark-haired, and dark-eyed, but I ended up marrying a blond and blue-eyed man. So don’t limit your opportunities to find the right person by being too finicky about looks.
Other than that, though, you should be relatively precise. Then read your list over and over (and make additions or changes) for 21 days. Then put it away in a drawer and forget about it. This is necessary to let go of the wish, release its energy into the universe, and give Spirit a chance to work on it.
One super-important part, though, that no one talks about is the prep work you should do, and that means working on yourself. People tend to say, “I want the perfect partner,” but there’s no such thing.
There’s only the perfect partner for you, at any given time in your life.
The person who would be your perfect partner when you’re 20 might not be your perfect partner when you’re 50.
And usually, when we say, “perfect partner,” we mean someone who is our ideal of a person we’d like to spend our life with.
But ARE YOU the type of person someone else would want to spend their life with?
I know it’s hard to ask yourself this, and most people practice an astonishing level of self-delusion, but it needs to be said. Most people want a partner who is kind and supportive, loving and nonjudgmental, who has their SO’s best interests and happiness at heart, even more than their own. They want someone who treats them like a prince/princess and will stick with them through thick and thin.
But very few ask themselves: “Am I the kind of person that would/could do all these things?”
A relationship is a two-way street, and you should be prepared to give what you want to get from your significant other.
Unfortunately, many of us are somewhat dysfunctional. Maybe you grew up with a distant father and now you have daddy issues. Maybe your mother was stern and demanding, and you inherited some of her traits. Maybe you’re so afraid of being abandoned that you tend to push people away so you won’t get hurt. Etc., etc.
Just know that if you have dysfunctional patterns, you will only ever attract partners with matching or complementary dysfunctional patterns.
That’s the reason why abused women tend to get together with abusive men… or why women with cold, aloof fathers tend to fall for men with commitment problems.
We want someone who’s loving and altruistic, but we keep asking ourselves in every relationship, “What am I getting out of this?” instead of "What can I contribute?"
We make mental lists of how much we have done for the other person versus how much they have done for us.
We get impatient and annoyed when after the honeymoon period, we find out that our partner has character flaws like everyone else.
We don’t want our partner to expect too much from us because it makes us feel suffocated… but on the other hand, we want them to provide all the emotional satisfaction we’ve been lacking.
In other words, before you can attract your “perfect partner,” you must become a better partner.
That requires a lot of soul-searching, brutal honesty, and the ability to face your own Shadow. I recommend counseling because it’s much easier to figure all this out with the help of a professional.
Honestly, I think if everyone would do this before launching into a relationship, there would be a lot fewer divorces and breakups. Plus, the world in general would be a better place, because striving to be a better partner comes in handy for all kinds of human relationships, not just romantic ones.