A movie called "The Secret" came out several years ago. The premise of the movie was that putting your desires out into the universe attracts those objects or achievements to you. You can manifest what you want in the world. Many people, including me, created a "dream board" based on this premise. A dream board is a collage of all the things that you would like to attract into your life, such as a trip to Tahiti, or a fit body, or a boyfriend.
However, in spite of creating my dream board, and repeating over and over that I would like to have more money and meet the love of my life, nothing happened. My desires did not manifest. Through investigation and reflection, I realized 4 things...
1) The process of manifesting is happening all the time, not just when you stop to consciously do it.
So if I spent 90% of the day worrying about money problems, and 10% of the day envisioning more money coming to me, I would unintentionally repel money. To avoid this problem, I learned to keep myself in a positive thinking state by being grateful for the life I already had. The more I felt fulfilled by my current life, the less dependent I was on it changing, which allowed me to be excited for the future.
2) It is important to dream things that you actually believe can happen and to be specific.
Instead of saying I want more money, I pictured myself on my dream surf vacation. I imagined how excited and free I would feel, how I would meet new people and would be filled with confidence and laughter. Specificity helps the process because…
3) The key to manifesting is to really imagine the feeling of having whatever you are trying to attract to you.
So, if I wanted a boyfriend it was important that I spend time imagining feeling the love I would receive from that relationship. When I became anxious about not getting what I wanted, I unintentionally interacted with men from the fear that they wouldn't like me. But as I practiced bringing myself back to a place of excitement to meet the man of my dreams, many more opportunities to meet him presented themselves.
4) It takes action to make things happen.
Instead of just daydreaming about having more money, I looked for opportunities to build my business. I consulted a business coach, I updated my website, and I talked to everyone I met about my goals and dreams. Instead of waiting for Mr. Right to show up, I online dated and said "yes" to every social event I was invited to. Each week I put energy into what I wanted to create.
In the end, I got everything I wanted and more. I went on an amazing surf trip in Bali; I was handed money that I did not expect; it became easy for me to motivate myself to work out, and I fell in love with the man of my dreams.
Those things were all awesome, but looking back, I realize that what I really wanted was the feeling that came from working to achieve the things I was trying to manifest. The process of manifesting-- feeling grateful for what I already had, being specific about what I wanted, imagining the feeling of having my desires, and taking real action-- made me feel at peace, grateful, confident and hopeful.