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Manifest, Affirm, and Do the Work: How I Get Big Things Done

You know what I find slightly grating? People who are constantly begging for pie in the sky “motivation” and “inspiration” and put absolutely no action behind it. You probably know someone like this:

  • They're all about the motivational posts on social media but never follow it with even the smallest of actions.
  • They always talk about the hustle and grind, but don’t seem to do much of either.
  • If they’re a woman, they definitely talk about their vision board.

And what do they have to show beyond their vision board and posts? Nothing.

Let me be clear: motivation and inspiration have their place, and people who look to spread it (as opposed to using the lack of it as a crutch) are okay in my book. And you also don’t need to be a massive success on the first try (in fact, you probably won’t. I’ve written about how my most successful entrepreneurial ventures were numbers 4, 5, and 6).

But you need to stop waiting for inspiration and motivation to strike, and just put something out there. Anything. Even if it’s shitty. In fact, especially if it’s shitty, so you can quickly get feedback and iterate instead of wasting more time on a bad idea.

Simply taking action and following through on what you claim you want to do sets you apart from 90% of people. How many people do you know who say “I should really….” Or “I really want to…” but... never do it?

I know someone who has been "wanting to write a book." For years. They haven't even done so much as open a Word doc to start an outline.

I’m a semi-regular practitioner of manifestations and affirmations. In fact, I’m even launching an annual planner this fall to help take you from manifesting your best life, to breaking down the big goals, into small, actionable steps in order to completely transform your life in a year.

And you know who my target was for this product? ME. I made it for myself, and it helped me:

  • Become a top-ranked consultant at two top-tier / award-winning firms and complete dozens of successful engagements for Fortune 50 companies 
  • Attend grad school at Johns Hopkins and Harvard University
  • Launch 4 businesses from scratch
  • Live and travel throughout 10+ countries and 25+ cities in the past 6 months
  • Write a book
  • Learn half a dozen new languages
  • Help build a thriving nonprofit from the ground-up

Only after seeing the results in got me, and testing it with some of my personal network to test their results, did I decide to redesign it to launch it as an actual product. It's strategy-focused, instead of tactics-focused. You won't find any daily to-do lists or spaces for appointments. It's for making sure that you're working on the most important actions that will actually move the needle.

I mention that to say that my point is not to dismiss the critical spiritual work: it is necessary and powerful to set a vision for the outcomes you want to see, and I agree that you should be mindful about the intentions that you set out into the universe. Neuroscience backs the general sentiment: we are actually capable of wiring and training your brain for optimism and positive outcomes.

But you have to do the actual hard work, too.

And be compassionate with yourself. Rome wasn’t built in a day.

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