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A Much Needed Makeover for “Manifest”

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 Hey readers, I’m back to bemoan the fate of the world with a twist of optimism at the end!

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Something terrible is happening to eight letters. Manifest. The definition you’ll find for manifest in the dictionary is “ something readily perceived by the eye; obvious,” but what manifest has come to mean something more like “ to bring into existence with willful visualization.” in my last essay, I talk about language being alive and changing as our needs change. So this contextual shift isn’t uncommon or, in its essence, all that special. But I am not dramatic. THIS IS BADDDD. 

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 Every new year people write out a list of desires they want for their lives in the upcoming 364 days. So considering the growing acceptance of spiritual values, the word manifest is being used even in traditionally religious connotations. The idea to manifest something comes from a set of values popularized about a decade ago. 

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This is the law of attraction. 

In case you don’t remember or know what the law of attraction is, it’s a philosophy that says that when you think positive thoughts, you attract positive outcomes, and when you think negative thoughts, you attract negative outcomes. Attaching the philosophies of LOA to the word manifest is the exact thing we do not want.

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Very simple. Besides the hordes of fishy characters promoting the law of attraction, it’s just problematic. 

 

 

Problem One

Encouraging people to just be positive pushes them into denial of the traumas they face.  Telling people to just be positive is dehumanizing. Being positive to the point of delusion is the sort of eerie character trait that writers put in robots to scare us. It denies you access to great insight that is only available on your darkest nights. There is wisdom in every dark night, but it’s unhealthy to try to force it away with positive thinking. In a great loss, we usually learn what matters most to us. Do not subscribe to whatever solo gaslighting all these gurus sell in their oh-so-exclusive online course.

Problem Two

It makes people directly responsible for all their life’s misfortunes. That’s not fair. Not every bad thing that happens to people is attracted to them by how they think. Ergo, if you find out you have cancer, it would be because of your own negative thinking. This world is chaos. You absolutely aren’t responsible for everything in your life. It’s unfair to even suggest that. This idea doesn’t exactly promote compassion either, and a helping hand can go a very long way.

Problem Three

The Law of attraction uses super broad scientific reasoning. Weird justifications from mid-air” in physics like attracts like,” Okay? and correlation doesn’t equal causation. On top of that, it’s not a law. Laws in science are proven through repeated study and retrieval of data. An individual testimonial does not count, one thousand individual testimonials don’t count.

Problem Four

This isn’t an alternative for real goal setting or ACTION. There is no timeline for milestones, just someone lying with an image of them running a marathon on a vision board and in their mind. Manifesting is choosing a direction and the work you put in. When people say manifest, and only refer to LOA, the word erases the peaks and valleys that come with working toward a worthy goal. It turns into something they just conjured up.

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Manifestation should not be synonymous with bibiddy babiddy boo but with Beyonce, duh.

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There’s a better way…

Manifestation has likely entered the mainstream vernacular because it addresses a need all humans have to self-actualize. LOA isn’t a natural match for me, but when I do use the word manifest, I’m using the following ideas.

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Reduce Myopia

Myopia is just a fancy way to tunnel vision. You need to expand your worldview and what you perceive as being possible. The first way to do this is by traveling(it’s a pandemic, and I know that, but this is all in theory). Most people wouldn’t dream of watching the same TV show for the rest of their life. But, they’ll live in the same zip code their entire life. If the opportunity presents itself, leave and come back or don’t. You ought to see how different people are away from your home base and how they are all fundamentally the same. Second, through education, you don’t have to go to college for 14 years if that’s not your thing. It could be as simple as learning how to plant tomatoes till it’s time for harvest, then moving onto winter produce and spring. The internet is an infinite reservoir of information at your disposal. You can learn anything. The real trouble is choosing something. Last, find someone who already accomplished what you’re aiming for and copy them. You may not find a mentor to hold your hand when you’re on your way. But, if someone is making it happen and you see their formula, what’s stopping you? You can do this! No one is 100 percent original. Marketing experts always design a product to be familiar with a little twist to keep the audience’s attention. Spotify did this with their “Discover Weekly” playlist. This is a specially curated playlist based on your music library. When they first launched, it got very little engagement because all the songs were new. When they added artists and songs that listeners were familiar with engagement soared. If you want to engage with an audience being completely original may be a turnoff.

You mustn't be afraid to dream a little bigger, darling.

Create More Windows for Opportunity

Let’s say your goal is to sell a hundred thousand units of your product in a year. That means you need to sell roughly 8,000 units every month. Do not sell your product on a single platform, don’t be silly. Sale in person, on Etsy, through your website, and even on the Instagram marketplace. You wanna get rid of some old junk, post the same knick-knack on letgo, depop, ebay and winner take all. It’s dumb to wait for a window of opportunity to open up when you can put another hole in the wall.  If your goal can be reduced down to numbers then this is easy. You want to get out of debt create more income somehow, don’t just save money, create more income. Then when you get that extra income start insulating it with good credit, insurance policies, and a healthy stock portfolio.

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Play Perform Practice

You should create a hierarchy of activities to strengthen your ability in your life’s work. Using myself as an example the endgame for me is to become a successful published novelist. This blog is for practice. I have to write on a deadline and convey my ideas clearly to people who scare me (my mom). As well as be entertaining or add some sort of value to the people who read my blog. But I practice and I still get that rush of “Omg people are gonna read it and say I’m stupid” and in some corner of the world people very likely do. I keep writing and working on my craft because this is what I want. For play, I shitpost on Instagram constantly. To the untrained eye I’m just annoying (I’m annoying with purpose which is a lesser crime thank you very much). But to a trained eye, I’m getting better at punchlines, working with experimental sentence structure, and even write mini poems. It’s fun for me, the stakes are low, and I’m not gonna stop. For performance, That is the manuscript I’m working on. It’s the second one I’ve started and I’ve scrutinized it to no end. Because it’s my Sistine Chapel and I hope somebody gets to someday read what I saw in my mind day in and day out.

  • Play: an activity that is very low stakes and enjoyable while still somehow rooted in the desired skill
  • Practice: An activity with higher stakes and intended to strengthen your skills through personal review and assessment
  • Perform: Production of your highest quality work at the highest stakes for an audience.

Conclusion

It is absolutely possible to bring things into your life from seemingly thin air. But as manifest enters the mainstream vernacular, and the Law of Attraction re-enters, use it responsibly. Because “Mood follows Motion” you have to WORK towards your goals you cannot just be positive about them. You should not ignore the things that hurt along the way either. At the center of the law of attraction is a good idea, but the further towards the edges you get, it falls apart and even gets dangerous. So I hope a offered you some better ways to manifest and thanks for reading!

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