The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

The Oldest College Weekly in America. Founded 1868.

The Colgate Maroon-News

It’s Time You Start Manifesting

Graphic by McKenna Dalton

Have you ever been told to stop complaining and start manifesting? Maybe you were groveling about not having enough cash to spend on some notoriously pricey Taylor Swift tickets. Perhaps you were confiding in a friend about your disappointing love life. These days, dating apps can only take you so far. Of course, there is always the possibility that you are innocently scrolling through TikTok and happen upon a video that makes you shout, “Why can’t that be me?!”

Whatever prompted you to verbalize your grievances, hearing that you should spend less time wallowing and more time manifesting probably caught you off guard. How does one go about launching themselves into the mystical world of manifestation? What does the word even mean? It’s time to do some digging. Let’s find out what exactly it means to manifest and whether or not this cultish trend could be worth its weight in gold — or Eras Tour tickets.

The word “manifest” has some deep historical roots. According to the Online Etymology Dictionary, it originated from the Latin adjective “manifestus,” which means “plainly apprehensible, clear, [or] apparent.” In Old French, manifest also translates to “evident, palpable.” Now, we’ll fast forward a few centuries. Does the term manifest destiny ring any bells? Held by many U.S. citizens during the 19th century, this was the belief that U.S. settlers — with a little help from God — were bound to keep expanding their countries’ borders westward until they ran out of land. But that’s enough for today’s history lesson. The bottom line here is that the word manifest has always been linked to sensations, both visible and identifiable. Implications of reality and conscious awareness have always been bound up in the definition. Having placed this term in its historical context, we’re more than ready to discover what it means to manifest today.

Manifestation is closely tied to the law of attraction, which simply suggests that “like attracts like.” Positive thoughts bring positive outcomes, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes. However, a critical distinction must be made between these two concepts. While the law of attraction is constantly at play in the monotonous background of our daily lives, manifestation requires hard work, energy and effort.

When we manifest something, we are sending positive energy out into the world. According to the law of attraction, this should attract other forms of positive energy back into our lives. By manifesting, we’re essentially turning ourselves into giant magnets for all things positive and desirable.

Woah there. That was a lot of metaphysical jargon. Before we get lost in the theoretical weeds of manifestation, let’s clarify a few things. In our working definition of manifestation, there are two types of positive energy: that which we send out into the world and that which we attract. Let’s start with the former. There are actually many different ways to create and dispatch positive energy. Whether you want to design a vision board with some aesthetic photos, start a manifestation journal or simply try visualizing the best version of yourself, all of these activities have the power to generate positive energy. One of the most popular forms of manifestation are positive affirmations. By repeating short phrases such as “I am strong” or “wealth flows to me,” you are rewiring your brain to think positively, banishing any negative self-talk that may be holding you back from reaching your goals.

The second type of positive energy is a bit easier to imagine. The energy that we attract via manifestation can take on just about any form that you desire. If you manifest better grades, the positive energy you’ve released might materialize in the form of an “A” on your latest paper. Manifesting wealth might result in a pay raise or a hefty birthday check from grandma. The point is that manifestation puts the power in your hands, giving you the ability to translate your dreams into reality.

The question of the hour still remains: Does manifestation actually work? Many have tried to answer this question with scientific or religious proclamations, but that’s not what we’re concerned with here. If you ask me, manifestation can be as powerful — or as useless — as you make it. So, if you want to try manifesting a trip to the moon, go for it. The true power of manifestation lies in what I’m going to call the “manifestation mindset” and its heavy focus on positivity and gratitude. Being actively thankful for any goodness that already permeates your reality is an invaluable practice. Whether you choose to start your day with some gratitude journaling and positive affirmations or simply a glass-half-full mindset, I have a feeling that the universe might reward you with an extra smidge of well-deserved kindness.

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About the Contributor
Abby Harn, Assistant Special Projects Manager
Abby Harn is a sophomore from San Antonio, TX concentrating in international relations and economics. She has previously served as a staff writer for the Commentary section. 

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