Intentions, Subconscious Thought, and How I Learned To Do Magic

I’m an engineer by trade.

I believe in what you can measure or feel with your senses. I trust science, facts, proof and, above all else, math.

So, when I stumbled upon the world of the subconscious mind and intention I nearly had an apoplectic fit over the blatant ignorance of that entire school of thought.

The principle as I understood it at the time was as follows:

Think and you shall receive immediately and without effort. 

Pardon me?

magicYou mean I can just think myself into fortune?

Well why didn’t anyone tell me that before?!

Bring on the lawn chairs and hippy costumes!

Queue the gongs and someone find me a dozen or so school children to sing a hymn for me while I conjure material objects out of thin air.

Oh and don’t forget my magic wand.

It was ridiculous to me. Frankly I was insulted by the presence of such primitive thought in my reality.

However, being the enlightened human that I am, I tolerated it. I smiled patronizingly down at the poor souls trying to turn lead into gold with their alchemy.

The problem was while I was sitting all high and mighty on my solid chair of fact and science, those fools were sitting in lotus position on clouds and excelling at life in a way I’d only planned for.

I may be logical and stubborn, but I wasn’t stupid enough to stick to principles that obviously weren’t working for me.

So although it pained me dearly to retract my opinions about this woo-woo voodoo magic thinking, I decided to give it a try.

After all, if what I was doing wasn’t working, what’s the worse that could happen by trying it a different way?

Most importantly, what’s the best that could happen?

Enter Napoleon Hill

In a seemingly unrelated event, I decided to read Napoleon Hill’s Think & Grow Rich after hearing about it for the billionth time.

This was about a week after I decided to give ‘deliberate thought’ and ‘intention setting’ a try. Whenever I sat down and tried to will myself to be serious about visualizing my intent I ended up famished and in the kitchen making a sandwich.

Don’t judge. We all have our ways of dealing.

When I started the book I knew nothing about it except it was hands down the closest thing anyone can get to a manual for financial and personal success. I was sure I was about to read a book full of detailed plans, calculations, and concrete scientific instructions.

What I actually read about can be summed up in three words: positive mental attitude.

If I had a nickel for every time that phrase was written in the book…well, I wouldn’t be very rich but I would have a sizable amount of change for tolls to last me a few years.

Here I was, an engineer, a worshiper of science, a believer in all things that can be felt with the senses and shunner of everything else, reading one of the most celebrated books of all time about success, and I was being told to ‘visualize and believe in the attainment of desire.’

You. Have. Got. To. Be. Freaking. Kidding.

Talk about a paradigm shift. My world was rocked forever.

In moving forward I had a few choices.

I could…

  1. stubbornly ignore decades of research and study into the successes of men and go on living in my happy little predictable world.
  2. blindly believe what I was reading and switch my way of thinking immediately.
  3. test the theories being presented to me in this book.

You know which choice I picked. I am a scientist after all.

An Experiment With Shocking Results

I finished Think & Grow Rich in November of last year. By the end of the month, I was beginning to put Hill’s theories into practice.

One of the first is a method by which desire can be transmuted into it’s physical equivalent.

Well, what I wanted was to work with amazing bloggers and I wanted to earn more money from working online. Napoleon gives you six steps that I’ll summarize really quickly:

  1. Fix in your mind exactly what you want. It needs to be as specific as possible.
  2. Determine what you’ll give in return for what you want.
  3. Set a date by which you intend to get what you want.
  4. Create a plan for carrying out your desire and begin it immediately, even if you don’t feel ready.
  5. Write a clear statement summarizing 1-4.
  6. Read your statement aloud right after getting up and right before going to bed. See and feel yourself in possession of what you want.

By December 2012 I reached step 5. I’ve been doing step 6 ever since.

As of today I earn all of my income online and I’ve worked with Scott Dinsmore, Leo Babauta, Natalie Sisson, Natalie MacNeil, and Jeff Goins to name a few.

That’s what happens when you set a deliberate intention and back it with unwavering faith that it will come true and belief in your ability to attain it.

The Reality Of Intention, The Power of Subconscious Thought

In case you weren’t sure, there’s no actual magic involved in this whole process. I’m sorry about that and if I could do something to change it for you I would.

The truth is there’s a lot of concrete and definite actions that take place in between all of that thinking and visualizing. You need to be decisive, you need to have an actual plan, you can never give up, and you must continue to learn and grow.

You can’t just sit on your bum sipping a Bloody Mary while daydreaming all day and expect for your dreams to come true. It requires your participation.

Let me tell you that the realization of a dream is no easy thing. The work involved is nothing to sneeze at and you’re kidding yourself if you think you can wish yourself into fortune.

But, there’s no escaping the fact that without consciously setting an intention for something you desire so fiercely and then believing in it with all your heart makes up the bulk of what it takes to manifest your desires.

If your plans go to hell, you can use that desire and faith to come up with a new one.

When nothing is certain and that tiny seed of doubt begins to grow in your mind, you can use that desire and faith to rip the weed from it’s roots.

When you feel like giving up,, passion will carry you the rest of the way.

Nothing can take the place of the fire that comes with a burning passion, desire, and faith.

And the only way to get that is to know what you want.

Go through steps 1-5 above and set your intention based on what is true right now.

For more information about how I plan for the future and set my priorities and for the year based on what I want to achieve (include pictures of the inside of my journal), check this post out.

In all honesty, I don’t know what happens between really starting step #6 above, and getting what you want.

Some kind of fundamental change in your psyche occurs once you’ve decided on, named, and committed to a set of intentions or desires. It’s as if you not only change the course of your own life, but you also change the world around by changing your mindset. All of a sudden your subconscious starts sending it clear signals of what it needs to do to get you what you want, and the world obliges (figuratively speaking).

Either way, I can’t say anything for sure other than it works. I’m proof and that’s good enough for me.

But don’t take my word for it. What is your intention? Your desire? What will you give in return for that desire and what do you intend to do to achieve it?

Say it out loud and if you believe in it with enough honest intensity your subconscious will pick up on it and your desire will come to you.

What’s the worse that can happen?

More importantly, what’s the best that can happen?

TheNote: This post is a part of a blog tour for an awesome book called ‘The Declaration of You’. This week is intention week and it’s a topic close to my heart so I had to spread the word. 

The Declaration of You will be published by North Light Craft Books this summer, with readers getting all the permission they’ve craved to step passionately into their lives, discover how they and their gifts are unique and uncover what they are meant to do!

This post is part of The Declaration of You’s BlogLovin’ Tour, which I’m honored to participate in alongside over 100 other bloggers. Learn more by clicking here.

{ 5 comments… add one }
  • Tammy R June 18, 2013, 4:12 pm

    Wow, Liz. I wrote down the title, but I may be able to skip the reading of this book you summarized it so well. I love the idea of reading your message before you go to sleep and when you get up. We’ve written a book, so I’m sure we can manage six steps. Thank you so much for continuing to share what’s working for you and how you got there. That surely is one of the things you’re giving up – your time and your privacy to help others.

    • Liz June 19, 2013, 3:13 pm

      Oh my Tammy thank you!

      And if you haven’t read it, you really have to. I can’t tell you how much that book changed my life. It’s cliche, but it’s so true.

  • Kwesi June 21, 2013, 7:31 am

    Hi Liz, what can i say? you are right again. No one can explain what goes on between the , Thought and the magic’ but it happens all the time but we are just too blind and too robotic to understand this light. So my thoughts shall from now be steered to do good and be rewarded with good living and simplicity. I know and believe in that magic. Love

  • Brian June 21, 2013, 11:36 am

    You da proof, alright.

    The subconscious is a beautiful and mysterious thing. Amazing how things happen when we feed it great thoughts and act on them in earnest, with total belief. Especially so, given the times when we know we fed it crap and saw what ‘wonders’ that produced.

    Visualization does tend to get thrown around as a genie by itself, without the active follow through. As a tool for conscious, directed thought, at least the folks who emphasize infusing it with strong emotion get it right, though Napoleon was clearly onto that a lot earlier. Even in our otherwise passive downtime we can find opportunities to fuel/program our subconscious with everything that matters to us. Or we can fill all that time with the haphazard, unintentional reality of TV and such.

    You’ve inspired me to reread TAGR right away. When I read it, the “P” in my MDP (major definite purpose) was much less “D”. No longer the case, but lately I feel like I’ve become a bit too easy-going in my approach. My intentions could stand an infusion of, well, intensity.

    A visualization: I’m at Barnes & Noble browsing. I notice something by Martin Seligman, but a book sitting just to the left catches my eye. It has a wicked title. I skim it. Fun and quirky prose. Checking out the blurb, the photo. Author is a young woman with great poise, bright smile and remarkably youthful cheeks that belie her age. 🙂 Same time, somewhere else on the planet, a person ordering on Amazon is first to see the message, “People who bought ‘Think and Grow Rich’ also bought __________ by, well, you know who. And another bucket list item meets the big strikethrough. Hill and Seda. Like that intention. It will happen because that future author lives very intentionally by what she preaches.

  • Morgan June 23, 2013, 2:13 pm

    I got off the manifestation train about seven years ago – it can encourage pointless wishing. But you are right, you need that goal and intention setting. Feeling yourself in the situation you want to be in can do amazing things. That’s actually how I wrote most of my college papers. I visualized how I would feel when I was done. Planning, certainly, probably helps too. I think you’ve convinced me to try it again. That would probably help me test drive which changes I want to make too. I’ll let you know how it goes. 😉


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