Some people believe you can manifest your destiny. What does the science say?
We are taught manifestation from an early age through the power of positive thinkingand goal setting.
Tangible or quantifiable and in incremental steps, this is what form we are told our goals should take to be achievable.
As we age these goals take the form of intentional behaviours that forge our path to personal and career success.
Some people are able to set and achieve their goals on their own with ease, and others require, or prefer, outside assistance, support or motivation. Either is fine.
The Secret is a popular documentary directed by Drew Heriot. Through interviews with scientists, authors and philosophers, The Secret investigates the principles of the metaphysical school of New Thought and the ‘secret’ to leading a happy and successful life.
The film essentially concludes that what you desire you attract and you become, and you can therefore manifest your desired destiny if you want enough for it to happen – consciously or otherwise.
Oprah Winfrey and Will Smith are famously outspoken about their belief in manifestation and how they use it to shape their life. But it’s not just for notable celebrities; many individuals have used some form of manifestation that they say has transformed their life.
Ella Drew, health and lifestyle coach and founder of True North Lifestyle Design, was introduced to manifestation through her own quest for perfection.
Battling depression and an eating disorder, she happened upon a mentor who coached her through her “blocks and beliefs” to complete mental, physical and to a lesser extent, financial freedom. It changed her life.
Ella is now a health and lifestyle coach and manifestation is a crucial step on her clients “guaranteed journey to freedom”. Recently Ella ran into car problems; shortly afterwards she won a brand new Mini Cooper. She believes she manifested it.
Mentors in business
Mentors, coaches, advisors; call them what you will but they are becoming increasingly commonplace in business. Today many of the most notable businessmen and billionaires are outspoken about the impact mentorship had on their success – behind many notable businessmen and billionaires has been a mentor.
In British newspaper The Sun, Richard Branson wrote: “It’s always good to have a helping hand at the start. I wouldn’t have got anywhere in the airline industry without the mentorship of Sir Freddie Laker.
“Understandably there’s a lot of ego, nervous energy and parental pride involved, especially with one- or two-person start-ups…Going it alone is an admirable, but foolhardy and highly flawed approach to taking on the world.”
Bill Gates is another who credits part of his success to his mentor, in this case Warren Buffet. During a 2009 interview with CBC, Gates credited Buffet for teaching him how to deal with tough situations and how to think long-term. Gates famously believes that “as we look ahead into the next century, leaders will be those who empower others.”
Mentorship can also happen informally, in almost any situation, and an increasing number of people are recognising and seizing the opportunity to absorb as much information and perspective from these experiences, situations or scenarios, whether serendipitous and free or intended and paid for.
Mentorship and manifestation
Part of what mentors do is instil, or at the very least encourage, some form of manifestation or goal setting.
Meditation is a popular style of manifestation as it allows one the time to focus on, or mentally and physically recharge and keep on track to, achieving their goals.
Jerry Seinfeld is an advocate of meditation, saying, “To me it’s a work thing – if you meditate, you can get so much work done. I always say to people you know how about three nights a year you get a good night sleep? You can have it every day with meditation.”
Oprah has also spoken publically on the subject on manifestation, saying: “Knowing that stillness is the space where all creative expression, peace, light, and love come to be is a powerfully energizing, yet calming experience.
“Only from that space can you create your best work and your best life.”
Believers attest both neuroplasticity and the Law of Attraction as the scientific grounds of manifestation.
Some believe that because of neuroplasticity – the brain’s constant rewiring of itself by forming neural connections in response to thoughts, behaviours and environments – we can all train our brains to dwell in joy, productivity and peace. To do so, we accept that we’re masters of our own experience and step into the present moment where we can effect change.
But the most common argument supporting manifestation as a scientific principle is the Law of Attraction. It first appeared in print in 1877 and by the end of the century it was a solidified concept of New Thought philosophy.
It is based on the idea that everything, including people and their thoughts, is pure energy and that ‘through the process of like energy attracting like energy’ – in this case focusing on positive thoughts brings positive experiences into a person’s life – a person can improve their health, wealth and relationships.
The naysayers, on the other hand, note that the law of attraction is considered pseudoscience, with experts split on the subject.
They say the claim by some that the law of attraction is bound by quantum physics is false; that the law of attraction is not at all based on quantum physics because ‘thought energy’ is within the realm of metaphysics, not real science.
Whether or not what you truly think is what you truly become, is there any harm in taking measures that are suitable to you personally that keep you on target to achieving your goals; personal, career or otherwise?
By Lydia Truesdale