Many years ago when I was just starting my career at the bank, I was frustrated at my inability to breakout of the pack and move, faster, quicker, more rapidly, up the corporate chain scenario. I had a friend who I saw win interview after interview with top companies in our city, even though she, admittedly, was not the go-getter type. I asked her how she managed to land these great opportunities and her response dramatically changed my belief system, and therefore, my life.
"Oh getting the interview is easy," she said. "It's keeping the job that is the most difficult part for me." And for her, this statement could not have been more true. My friend repeatedly started new jobs, only to be promptly laid-off, or have the company go under, or simply realize the fit was totally wrong for her at that time.
After hearing her statement, I decided right there and then to change the way I thought about the whole job/interview process. I took her belief as my own and stated out loud, "Getting an interview is easy." From that moment I was determined that I was going to believe my statement -- and I did.
Now, this is a true story, I promise.
No sooner had I made this declaration of my new belief, when upon returning to my desk a few days later (I was away in a training seminar), my phone rang. I was offered an interview for a position at a competing private investment bank that practically doubled my salary and gave me the title and responsibility that I desired. Two weeks later, I had a new job!
Of course manifestation, or the ability to bring about something in our life, doesn't just work for jobs and new careers, it works for any want or desire that we may have. In her article for Oprah.com, writer Arielle Ford describes the process that she used to land a great spouse and life partner. She advises creating a "Soul-Mate Wish List," and provides some additional steps that she says help to deliver your intention.
I believe (and belief is the operative word here) that manifestation can and does work in any area of anybody's life. Whether it is a new job, a new spouse, new friends, or some other new opportunity, through manifestation, you can realize your goals and desires.
What's Worked for Me
Although I appreciate the ceremony that Ms. Ford suggests in terms of manifestation (who doesn't like a good glass of Champagne), I've found that the pomp and circumstance around harkening your heart isn't really necessary -- at least it has never been so for me. Instead, when I've had success in manifesting things, events and people into my life, it has come through the following easy (yes, easy) three steps system: Request, Belief and Action.
A long time ago, when I was in my 20s, I moved to London for a new job. I knew a few people in my new city, but certainly did not have the "circle of friends" that most 20-year-olds have at that time. And it bummed me out.
So I decided to make some new friends -- lots of friends -- fun, interesting, active, healthy and smart friends. Each night as I turned in for bed, I set my mind to the goal by making the statement, "I'm in the process of gaining a fun and interesting life, filled with a terrific circle of friends." I'd make the statement and then energetically send it out to the universe.
So here is the thing about making a "universal" request -- you have to believe it. You make the decision about what it is you want in your life, you then make the request for it, and then... you believe that the request will be answered. And I mean unfailingly know it.
Your belief has to be so strong that you don't worry about how it will come to you, thats the job of the Universe, not your. Because the truth is, the channel that your request takes to reach you probably isn't any channel or path that you could have ever imagined anyway.
You also don't concern yourself with when it will come to you. I'm not a proponent of putting deadlines or timestamps on a request. Rather, I believe that the request will be fulfilled when the Universe is darn good and ready to fulfil it... or when you are actually ready to receive it. (OK, I realize that this statement can be viewed as the "golden loophole" by many, but I'll address this below).
All that is required of you in this simple step is that you simply believe (aka know) that once your order is placed, it will be fulfilled.
Action is what I believe is the secret sauce to the whole "I'm-gonna-manifest-something-great" process. And I think the best explanation I can give to this step is a first-hand account of how it happened for me.
So what do you do when you are in a new town, don't know anyone, but want to? Start living your life like you have a whole group of great friends surrounding you!
I wanted to be a part of a tennis team, so I signed up for lessons and the local tennis centre thinking I'd meet some folks there. I got better at tennis, but never even got a phone number let alone an invitation to play a match outside of the lessons.
I wanted to go out to dinner, grab drinks, and generally socialize with other folks. And there was a street full of restaurants and bars within blocks of my house, so convenient, so close, all good, but again, who to call? I went anyway, and sat at the bar and talked to whoever was close.
And I wanted to enjoy shows and concerts and other live events, but going alone made me feel "alone," so I joined a theatre group and went to shows with them.
It was at one of these group events that I met a gal named Judy. Turns out she lived in my same neighbourhood. Turns out we used the same dog sitter. Turns out she ran into the sitter walking the most adorable new puppy. Turns out that it was my puppy.
I had a great time getting to know Judy that evening, and was so excited that I might have made my first new friend that I forgot to exchange information with her. Drat! All my efforts for nothing. Well, fast-forward a few weeks, and I'm at the bar eating alone, chatting with the bartender and another "regular." We get to talking and she says, "I've a friend you have to meet, you'll love her." A quick phone call, and 10 minutes later Judy walks in.
She is still one of my very best friends 15 years later -- and not just because she introduced me to a wonderful new circle of terrific friends.
Was it the fact that I took action and put myself out there, was it just merely a coincidence, or was it a helpful hand from the universe? Since I don't believe in coincidences, I'm going with one and three -- that I put the intention out there and then took steps to make it happen.
Universe or Just Hard Work?
Now those non-believers among you might be saying to yourself that I landed the new job and new friend because I had the intention, believed in myself and took the necessary steps to make those intentions a reality. No hocus-pocus involved, just sound logic within a solid plan, enhanced by confidence in my ability. And to those non-believers I'd say, you are absolutely right. Those elements are necessary for most of the things we want for our lives.
But how often does your phone ring the moment you take on a new belief? How often does the same opportunity (Judy) knock twice for you?
When it comes to manifestations, I think there is a little bit of both -- hard work and Universal assistance -- at work in the things that have the greatest meaning for us.
I think manifestation is about wanting something and setting your intention and focus on it. When you do so, ideas about how to obtain it come to you. When you follow up with those ideas, some work, some don't -- but if you want it enough, you keep trying. It is through those efforts that most achievements are made. And ever so often, the universe blows air into the sails of that event that helps us realize our desires.
Bonus Round: Why You Didn't Get It
So what does it mean when your universal call goes unanswered? Honestly, in my personal experience, it simply means that this particular "want" wasn't an overriding passion for you, you didn't want it enough, and/or you didn't believe that you deserved it.
Yes, I've definitely had wants left out there for years (hello, soul mate?). But if I looked at this desire truthfully, I've always prioritized my company and career first and been fairly passive about finding Mr. Right, although I absolutely believe that I deserve him (hello, Val Kilmer!)
* Decide what you want and focus on that every single day; this may sound rather simple, but it's surprising how many people spend most of their energy concentrating on the things they don't want, rather than what they do need in their lives
* Spend time visualising what you would like to manifest in your life every day, ensuring that you do so as though it's already something you possess
* Vocalise what you would like to bring into your life by chanting a mantra or an affirmation that sums up your cosmic order
So get truthful about what it is that you want, set a plan for how you are going to obtain it and know that it will happen. And don't be too surprised when the universe steps in to give your desire the bit of serendipity that it deserves.