Monday, December 21, 2009

Manifest Your Creative Destiny

My father, a sculptor, will never tell you what he's working on next. In fact, he likes to build up the suspense so much that you just have to ask him. He'll finish one project and then just start dropping hints about what he may be up to. It's like watching a really good movie trailer. Some projects may take months or even over a year to complete, but he's always tight-lipped about revealing any information about them. 

"You'll just have to wait and see," he will say.

As a result, he's been quite prolific throughout his career and he attributes much of his success to working in just this manner.

"A lot of people," he says, "will just talk an idea out. They're all talk and no do."

In a world where books like "The Secret," would have you think the key to manifesting is talking about your idea and letting others know what you're up to, evidently new research shows  that people who talk about their creative ideas are less likely to actually follow through with them.


Check out the info I pulled off Derek Sivers blog. Derek is a musician and the creator of CD Baby. If you'd like to read his entire entry (which I highly recommend), you can find it at

"Announcing your plans to others satisfies your self-identity just enough that you're less motivated to do the hard work needed.

In 1933, W. Mahler found that if a person announced the solution to a problem, and was acknowledged by others, it was now in the brain as a “social reality”, even if the solution hadn't actually been achieved.

NYU psychology professor Peter Gollwitzer has been studying this since his 1982 book “Symbolic Self-Completion” (pdf article here) - and recently published results of new tests in a research article, “When Intentions Go Public: Does Social Reality Widen the Intention-Behavior Gap?”

Four different tests of 63 people found that those who kept their intentions private were more likely to achieve them than those who made them public and were acknowledged by others.

Once you've told people of your intentions, it gives you a “premature sense of completeness.”

You have “identity symbols” in your brain that make your self-image.  Since both actions and talk create symbols in your brain, talking satisfies the brain enough that it “neglects the pursuit of further symbols.”

A related test found that success on one sub-goal (eating healthy meals) reduced efforts on other important sub-goals (going to the gym) for the same reason.

It may seem unnatural to keep your intentions and plans private, but try it.  If you do tell a friend, make sure not to say it as a satisfaction (“I've joined a gym and bought running shoes. I'm going to do it!”), but as dissatisfaction (“I want to lose 20 pounds, so kick my ass if I don't, OK?”)"


  1. i hold back for anti-jinxing purposes. it works out better for me though, it's true.

  2. I hear a lot of our tribal members using the anti-jinx formula too, but I wonder sometimes if, like a magnet, it pulls fear into a project.

    Sometimes I think being psychic and being an artist are one in the same. We spend so much time using our intuition around choices and following our inner voice and heart that it's hard to tell the difference.

  3. i can definitely understand that perspective. however, i've been burned so many times in the past, that this anti-jinx method has been proven for me. i made it a point, for the last 6 months not to say anything until 'after', and everything goes swimmingly. really, i was convinced i had bad luck and that i might as well try something new/different.

    i'd like to say it's scientific, but my method has noticeably shown enough difference to me, that i think, "ah ha, universe, it's like THAT!"

    i.e. i pander to its silly little games.