Wishing. Often associated with the idealism and naivety of childhood or fairytales, we can be quick to doubt or dismiss wishing outwardly as adults. But inside, we all (still) have wishes…dreams that we keep close to our ever-aspiring hearts.
It is a natural human tendency to wish. And it can be a beautiful way to keep our hopes alive. But according to research by the University of Scranton in the United States, 92% of people who set goals at the beginning of a new year never achieve them.
A natural question for us to ask then is: If we humans naturally wish…how do we turn our wishes into actions? How do we make use of our wishing tendency and bring them into reality?
Many ancient traditions hold secrets or teachings in regard to manifestation, but they can be difficult to understand, interpret and apply. So, let’s draw on this wisdom, while keeping things straightforward and simple.
Wishes must begin with Inner Contemplation
The first step in wishing is asking yourself, what do I really want? Are my wishes really in accordance with my inner values, principles, and things I consider important?
It is essential (in order for them to come true) for your wishes to align with your core beliefs.
Sometimes, we find ourselves wishing for something that we don’t really want. Maybe it’s family pressure, cultural values, or the need to please others that fuels our wish. But, if this is the case, internally a part of you will always resist and even sabotage the wish coming true. Why? Because it’s not what YOU really want.
So, before you begin wishing, slow down and pause. Consider whose wish your aspiration truly is. If it aligns with your core beliefs and values, you will be much more committed, internally, to seeing it through.
Wishes must include the ability to In-Vision
Visualisation. Something every expert on “making wishes come true” will tell you is an essential ingredient. If you cannot see something happening in your life, it most likely will not happen. We must be able to “see” the end result clearly and with conviction.
But I’d like to take this one step further. That’s why I called this section “In-Vision” instead of “Envision.”
In-visioning is not just being able to see something happen. It is a long-term inner vision that carves your path forward. In-visioning demands patience and time. It is an inner conviction and understanding that wishes don’t come true overnight. There is a path we must follow. And this path demands that we align our long-term vision with our short-term goals and actions.
In his book, The Happiness Hypothesis: Finding Modern Truth in Ancient Wisdom, Jonathan Haidt wrote,
"The psychologists Ken Sheldon and Tim Kasser have found that people who are mentally healthy and happy have a higher degree of 'vertical coherence' among their goals -- that is, higher-level (long-term) goals and lower-level (immediate) goals all fit together well so that pursuing one's short-term goals advances the pursuit of long-term goals”.
In other words, when you have a long-term wish, try to create small, obtainable steps to get you there. And understand, your wish may ask for patience and a few winding turns before you reach it.
Patience and flexibility are two things we humans don’t (typically) tend to be very good at.
Wishes must invite In-teraction
You are human. You are bound to fall back into old habits, fears, and patterns, to procrastinate or lose motivation. This is why you shouldn’t keep your wishes locked in a vault, somewhere inside of your heart.
Interaction is incredibly valuable, and it will help if you set up two things: a feedback cycle and trusted mentors.
A feedback cycle is someone you trust—a coach or “accountability partner” that knows your short-term goals and long-term vision and will help hold you accountable and honest. When you stumble or temporarily lose faith in your wishes, they help you find your path again.
Trusted mentors are your go-to people for expert advice and guidance—people that are a bit further down the path than you, who are already living the life you are wishing for. They can be incredibly helpful in providing regular inspiration, wisdom, and insight.
So, here we are. Wishing is the beginning of magic. But like magic, successful wishing demands a set of skills, that we must practice and master. Otherwise, we lose faith in our human potential and power to make our wishes come true. We don’t need a genie to grant us our wishes. We simply need to find our own inner clarity and vision and surround ourselves with the real “genies”—our tribe or a community of people who support and believe in us.