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Sorry to break it to you, but "Manifesting" is really hard work.

You may have heard about the DVD “The Secret” that was recently featured on Larry King Live (here) and Oprah (here and here).

It is an introduction to the concepts of the “Law of Attraction“. What I like about it, is that it is opening up dialogue on topics like attraction, possibility, passion, and even spirituality at work and in business.

At the core of the message are the three steps to “manifesting” what you want:

1. Ask – Know what you want, specifically and precisely. The universe can’t deliver without first knowing what it is that you want manifested into your life.

2. Believe – You need to truly believe that what you are asking for will become yours. Belief sets up the energy patterns that broadcast to the Universe what you want to attract. Doubts need to be pushed away so as to not distort the “signal”.

3. Receive – Become an active player in reaching your goals. When opportunity comes your way, don’t hesitate to grab it.

Hmm… A simple and attractive way of describing attraction. The concept of attraction itself is attractive, because it triggers images of being a magnet and having things/stuff/results come towards you of their own volition. However, when I hear people discussing the three steps, I get the sense that it is (mis)interpreted in a way that is too passive. That by simply “willing” something, you can “manifest” it into being. “Your wish is my command”…

Is it that people are interpreting the law of attraction to be more like “winning the cosmic lottery”?

This is why I think there is one “step” missing between “Believe” and “Receive”:

WORK

Attraction is simple, yes. However, it is not easy, it requires a lot of hard work and a willingness to change oneself and one’s environment.

Let me be clear, I really like the movie and its message. And when I see the part about the Three Steps to Manifesting, I see a deeper pattern to make attraction come alive. To me, Attraction requires a very proactive, co-creative, directed and deliberate effort. Here is my take on the Three Concepts (à la Coach Davender):

(THE SECRET STEP #1: ASK)

1- Imagination: Create an environment where possibility can flourish

The mind is a powerful tool, with the ability to simultaneously open up possibilities while putting up barriers to these possibilities. So to encourage imagination, I need to create an environment around me that encourages me to dream. Therefore I need to clear my mental environment of any messages that prevent me from being in a positive energy (advertising, propaganda, news media, whining, complaining, dramas, TV, etc…), and tune into ideas and thoughts that are constructive. This is called cleaning up my “memetic environment”.

2- Visualization: Experiencing the emotion of a new possibility

Visualization is the process of experiencing a situation without physically being in it. Because all decisions take root in emotion, I have to experience the emotion in order to start believing in it. Daydreaming, visualizing, writing, brainstorming, all are part of the visualization process.

(THE SECRET STEP #2:) BELIEVE

3- Clarification: Defining the future that I choose to create
Now comes the stage of transforming the conceptual into the physical by first defining it and committing to it, using “Coach Davender’s modified SMART” method:

  • Specific – Describing the end result as something tangible
  • Measurable – Translate the end result into measurable actions
  • Audacious – Doing these actions creates an end result that is just slightly beyond the edges of my comfort zone, that changes my present status-quo into a more desirable situation
  • Real – In alignment with my mission, vision, values
  • Timelined – A specific time structure (timelines, milestones, heartbeats)

4- Simulation: Modeling the experience
Gradually putting yourself in the experience – giving yourself a taste of the experience as you move forward, to prepare yourself to being open to the result you want. This includes meeting and talking to people who are currently experiencing what you want, or of course, creating vision boards, or going out to see, feel, etc what you want… Simulation also feeds back to step 1 – Imagination, by reinforcing all these steps

(THE SECRET STEP #3:) RECEIVE

5 – Execution: Moving into action to trigger the new desired experience
Daily actions, measured and tracked. Start small and when you gain confidence, make bigger and bolder actions.

6- Realisation: Recognizing that new possibilities have become a new reality
Recognizing what you have created. Feeding back into the imagination to create the next cycle. Acknowledgement and gratitude

Success is not a result, the prize you get by “winning the quantum lottery“. I define Success as the process of creating an experience that expresses all of Who You Really Are.

If Success is a process, then to manifest takes courage, guts and effort, “blood, sweat and tears”. It is the struggle that shapes and defines us, this effort that tempers the steel of our resolve to create a hard edge that cuts through any obstacle.

Manifesting is really, really, really hard work. Overnight successes take years of unyielding focus and effort. The message that I hear from “The Secret” is to unswervingly believe in your dreams and to take bold, consistent action to make them come alive.

Those of us the believe in “The Secret” (and yes, I do like the movie and its message), need to make sure that the popular view of Law of Attraction does not become a “winning the lottery” mentality. Positive thinking is not enouch to make you rich. It is POSITIVE ACTION that enables you to make the leap from Passion to Profit.

Hey Coach… do you mean I have to sweat to create what I want? The short answer: Yes. A lot. This attitude may not make me popular or sell a lot of DVDs, but in my humble opinion, it is The TRUE Secret to creating the future you really want.

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