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Published on December 15, 2020

7 Ways To Manifest Positivity To Actualize Desired Outcomes

7 Ways To Manifest Positivity To Actualize Desired Outcomes

In the Greek view of craftsmanship, what separates the skilled artisan from the craftsman was the craftsman’s ability to articulate the goal of the work to be done versus simply demonstrating a mechanical ability to perform a particular task.

The Greek word for this is technê—the root word of the term “technique.” To help actualize your desired outcomes, you’ll have to learn how to manifest positivity.

According to the Greek philosopher Plato, a craft is defined by its goal, which requires knowing the intended result. Fully developed, “knowing” how to accomplish a goal based on understanding the goal before acting was then articulated in an account by the craftsperson. The account was used to inform and guide skillful practice—to achieve the desired outcome of the project.[1]

Technê is distinguished not only by the craftsman’s ability to give an account of the desired outcome of the result envisioned, but it is also distinguished by the end goal to benefit the welfare of its object. In this case, you are the end object—the recipient of your skillful actions upon yourself.

Your personal welfare is the result you must envision before you apply processes, tools, and techniques to make a change in your life—that is, to understand what is to be done before you plunge headfirst into doing it. Your improved condition, gained through the application of skillful technê in your actions, is the benefit you receive.

If you ask people, “what are your desired outcome?” regarding anything they would like to improve in their life, they will likely answer you with a description of an “end-state” they consider to be a positive change from their current or present state. But for you to achieve this “end-state,” manifesting positivity is key.

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For example:

  • To be financially wealthier (than I am right now)
  • To be physically stronger, bigger, or slenderer (than right now)
  • To feel happier (less stressed) or mentally (emotionally) better (than now)

As you can see, it does not take much for most people to describe an alternative “end-state” they would like to inhabit. However, understanding the goal or the “why” (the reason) for this desired change and being able to clearly describe it—as in the Greek (and others) view—marks the difference between those who are recognized as craftsmen and craftswomen versus those who perform tasks mechanically—without understanding the desired outcome to be achieved.

Considering what we have just described, below are 7 techniques used by trained master craftspeople around the world for Imagineering the creation of a “masterwork”—also known as a masterpiece.

1. Recall a Moment of Achievement

We have all had moments of achievement—a time when a sensation of power, strength, and positive energy flowed through us. Craftspeople in many trades have been trained to use a thinking tool we call Imagineering to re-ignite the release of this positive energy on demand.

The goal is to reset their mental and emotional state to a place of strength they recognize from experience. We call this “getting in the zone.” There are many techniques to do this. If you have ever been in the “zone,” you know what I am speaking about. Changing your state as we describe here, is a learned skill that is acquired by study, observation, and practice until it becomes second nature.

2. Envision the End State

Trained craftspeople in any profession, vocation, or occupation learn techniques of how to hold an image in focus in their mind long enough to create a replica of what they see. Whether in a drawing, a paragraph on paper, a voice recording, etc., it is a model—a map of the desired result. Positive energy development is the result of this exercise. Therefore, to manifest positivity is to envision the end state.

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Positive energy is easily recognized by the sensations it triggers, mental clarity, and a change in breathing rhythm and heart rate—a feeling of excitement often resulting in a smile and a sense of happiness or well-being. Think about a moment when you see clearly the end goal to be achieved, followed by a feeling of confidence, and understanding. You are experiencing positive energy.

3. Use a Recipe

Some people are intuitive cooks. They grab whatever they find in the refrigerator, mix, and match the ingredients at the stove, and voila! See what comes out. Some people are quite good at it. But not in every situation. A recipe is a guide for ensuring you will have predictable results most of the time.

In time, this expectation of a positive outcome builds positive mental energy and confidence in the accuracy of your predictions. Once you gain confidence by relying on solid recipes, go inside yourself and create new, original recipes. Then, follow them.

Recipes have a beginning, middle, and end. They have defined borders. They have defined parts. They can be assembled and disassembled to understand their connections. Recipes help you understand the world. Using a recipe allows you to manifest positivity.

4. Clear Your Workbench

In ancient workshops—and even to this day—if your workbench were cluttered and in disarray, you would hear about it from the workshop master. Have only one work project on your workbench at a time and focus on that work alone. Focus results in clarity of mind. Clarity of mind creates positive power. If you are working on two projects simultaneously, have two workbenches.

This fundamental management principle of The Way of Craftsmanship is alive and well in many places in the business world. A cluttered and untidy workplace can lead to low productivity, worker dissatisfaction, and re-occurring accidents. They follow systems like LEAN 5s to reinforce this.

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However, in their personal lives, people seem to abandon this idea quickly or do not have the same support as they have at work in maintaining a professionally managed workbench. Doing this in your personal life will have a big impact on maintaining your positive thought.

5. Know Your Skills

By this stage in the process, you have before you the desired outcome and have articulated the reason—the goal of the desired end-state you envision. Now, you must acknowledge whether you currently possess the skills required to complete the work you have set yourself to accomplish.

This honest assessment differentiates the skilled craftsperson from those who believe they can achieve anything simply by cultivating a positive mental attitude. Most people fail with this approach, abandoning project after project. However, those who achieve their desired outcome through the application of learned skills are rewarded with the prize of a positive mental attitude as the result of the skillful execution of their work. These are the people who can manifest positivity in their craft.

6. Manage Your Tools

If you have ever tried to do something with your bare hands and wished you had not, then you will understand the importance of this guideline. Tools can be tangible objects that you will use when working on a particular project, whether it is a hammer or an app on your mobile device. A tool can also be intangible such as a repetitive mental exercise—a “mind-tool” used to sharpen your ability to focus.

As you ready yourself to begin your work on any project, be sure you know which tools to use and that you have trained (i.e., practiced) using them on your workbench before you apply them to yourself.

Remember, your welfare is the result you must envision before you apply processes, tools, and techniques to change your life.

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7. Pace Yourself

Pacing does not mean going slow. It means deliberate control of your speed and energy output. When you release your energy in a measured manner, you are more likely to complete the desired outcome and manifest positivity. If you get trapped into thinking ‘fast’ means ‘good’, then you greatly increase the chance of sloppy work, disappointment, and abandoning your project prematurely—never having achieved the desired outcome.

You Are the Craftsperson of Your Life

Your life is in your hands. Will you release control to chance encounters with fate and the forces of life to randomly bend and shape it? Or will you follow your intuition, piecing things together and hoping they stick? Or will you become the skilled craftsperson of your life, shaping it with deliberate care—through the application of learned skills, improved over time—and make a masterpiece of your life?

It is a choice for you to make, and it is a recipe for you to follow. If you want to reach your desired goals, you have to manifest positivity first.

“Neither talent without instruction, nor instruction without talent can produce the perfect craftsman.” —Vitruvius, Architect and Engineer

More Tips to Manifest Positivity

Featured photo credit: Charlotte Karlsen via unsplash.com

Reference

[1] Charles Collins: The Way of Craftsmanship

More by this author

Charles Collins

Best-selling author of the LifeCraft book series | Host of Making A Masterpiece of Your Life podcast & MyLifeMasterpiece.com

7 Ways To Manifest Positivity To Actualize Desired Outcomes

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Last Updated on January 21, 2021

10 Willpower Hacks to Help Achieve Your Goals

10 Willpower Hacks to Help Achieve Your Goals

“Strength does not come from physical capacity. It comes from an indomitable will.” – Mahatma Gandhi

“Willpower is essential to the accomplishment of anything worthwhile.” – Brian Tracy

“Just do it.” – Nike

The most important and satisfying things in life usually aren’t the easiest ones.

The good news: In today’s hyper-connected world, we have access to all the information we could want to help us achieve our future goals. We know what foods will make us healthier (would kale or quinoa be as popular without the internet and Dr. Oz? I think not). We can also estimate for ourselves the benefits of starting retirement savings early – and the implications for the lifestyles of our future selves (that boat at 65 means fewer vacations in your 20’s).

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We almost always know what we should do thanks to endless knowledge at our fingertips. But actually doing it is an entirely different kind of challenge. Most of us can relate to that feeling of inertia at the start of a big project, or the struggle to consistently make good, long-term choices for our health, or saving for the future. This mental tug-of-war we experience has evolutionary roots. While knowing this might bring comfort, it doesn’t help solve the problem at hand:

How can we flex our willpower to become better, faster, smarter, and stronger?

The bad news: you can’t Google your way out of this one.

Or can you? A fascinating body of research (much of which you can turn up online through popular press and academic articles) sheds light on how to hack your willpower for better, easier results in all areas of your life. The Willpower Instinct, a great book by Stanford prof Kelly McGonigal, provides a deep dive into these and more topics for anyone keenly interested.

Here’s the short version: we can make the most of our willpower through two types of hacks. First, there are ways to turbo boost your willpower. Second, there are ways to hack the system so you make the best use of whatever (sometimes infinitely modest) willpower you have.

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The following 10 tips draw on both of these toolkits.

1. Slow the heck down.

Most regrettable decisions (the splurge at the mall, the procrastination on the project, the snacks in the break room) happen when one part of our brain effectively hijacks the other. We go into automatic pilot (and unfortunately the pilot in question has a penchant for shoes, Facebook and cookies!). Researchers suggest that we can override this system by charging up the other. That is, slow down and focus on the moment at hand. Think about your breathing. Bring yourself back to this moment in time, feel the compulsion but don’t act on it yet. Try telling yourself, “If this feeling is still just as uncomfortable in 10 minutes, I’ll act on it.” Take a little time to be mindful – then make your decision.

2. Dream of ‘done.’

Imagine yourself handing in the big project, soaking up the appreciation from your colleagues or boss. Or crossing the finish line for the half-marathon you’ve always wanted to run. The rush, the aliveness, the wind on your face, the medal …

That’s a lot more fun and motivating to think about than how much work it is to get out of bed for your long, Sunday morning run!

Re-orient your brain by summoning more motivating feelings than just “not running this morning is more enjoyable than running this morning.” If your goals are meaningful, this will help.

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3. Make your toughest choices first.

Scientists have found that willpower is like a full bathtub that’s drained throughout the day. So, why not start your toughest challenges when you have a full reserve? Get that project started or fit that workout in before you even check your email or have breakfast. Bonus: the high you’ll get from crossing off your hardest ‘to-do’ will help you sail through the rest of your day.

4. Progress = commitment, not a license to backslide.

A lot of times people will ‘cheat’ right after taking positive steps towards their goals. (A common version of this trap is, “I worked out three days in a row, so I deserve this cookie.”) Most of us can relate to this thinking – but it’s totally irrational! We’ll often trick ourselves into setbacks because we think we deserve them, even if we don’t really want them and deep down we know they’ll work against us in the long-run.

How can you counteract this effect? Research finds that if you use your positive streak to recommit (“If I worked out three days this week, I must be really committed to my health and fitness goal!”) rather than an excuse for wiggle room, we don’t take the same cheat options. Cool, right?

5. Meditate.

Meditation is an expressway to better willpower. Bringing your attention to your breathing for 15 minutes, or even five, flexes your willpower muscles by applying discipline to your thinking. It does this by working two mental ‘muscle groups’: first, the set of muscles that notice when your attention is drifting, and second, the set of muscles that bring you back to your task at hand. Over time, even small amounts of meditation will help you build the discipline to easily do what was once hard – like pushing through a long stretch at work.

6. Set mini-goals.

Which seems more doable: committing to three 20 minute runs this week or a half-marathon? Mini-goals are brilliant because they’re easier to achieve and boost your commitment to continuing. When we size them up, we see them as achievable rather than daunting. Each time you succeed at one, it boosts your sense of efficacy and personal integrity: not only are you capable of doing what you set out to do, but you followed through on it. Nice.

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The beauty of mini-goals is that over time, mini-goals – and the momentum you’ve built by doing them – can quickly turn into super-goals. So that half marathon might be more likely to happen, and sooner and more easily than you think!

7. Eat.

Low blood sugar decreases your ability to make tough decisions. If you’re running on empty physically, you’ll also be running on empty mentally. (Yes, this one’s somewhat ironic if your goal involves changing food patterns – but even so, letting your blood sugar drop too far will only sabotage you over time.)

8. Sleep.

Research shows people who don’t get enough sleep have a tough time exercising their willpower. Sleep is critical for a healthy brain – along with just about everything else. So to optimize your willpower muscle, make sure you’re catching your zzz’s.

9. Nix the self-sabotage.

Making yourself feel bad hurts, rather than helps, your willpower efforts. Researchers have found that compassion is a far better strategy than tough love – telling yourself “It’s OK, everyone has setbacks sometimes,” will help you bounce back more quickly than negative self-talk.

10. Take the first hard step.

As a new behavior becomes a habit, it is more natural. You have to use less and less willpower to ‘make it so.’ When you’re starting a new pattern that feels hard, remind yourself that the first steps are truly the hardest. It will probably never feel harder than it does in those first few choices. In the case of repeated behaviors, like exercise or saving money, it takes weeks for new habits to take hold. By that point, the habit will be so ingrained, you’d have to try hard not to do it.

Featured photo credit: Kym Ellis via unsplash.com

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