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.