Is Manifestation Real?

How putting things into the universe makes them real

Happy Sunday and thank you for opening today’s story from #TheLifeofJLOWE!

It’s been a rainy weekend in Miami so far, but that just means good weather for writing 😄. The forecast looks sunny for the rest of the week, so I’m just taking the rain as the blessing that it is.

Aside from the weather, as you can tell by the title, something that’s been on my mind is this word/idea - “Manifestation”.

What is Manifestation?

To me, when I was in high school, the words “manifest” and “manifestation” were kind of a joke. It was something that seemed otherworldly, in terms of trying to will something into being. It was funny to say that I was gonna “manifest a good grade on a test” or “manifest the fried chicken tasting good today” because that just seemed to be how the word was being thrown around in my social circles.

From the Cambridge dictionary:

Manifest (v) - to make something happen by imagining it and consciously thinking that it will happen.

“Manifestation” was one of those things that started out as a joke, and then somehow became real. 🫢 

How I think about Manifestation

These days, I still think the word/concept is a little bit funny to use because it still carries a connotation of being able to will something into being. To be frank with you, I don’t think it’s possible to outright manifest something into being by, say for example, sitting in your bed every day and manifesting great wealth for yourself. I don’t believe that “manifestation” is a passive verb.

I think about the concept of “manifestation” as much more active and more of a starting point than an end goal.

What I do believe in, which may also sound equally otherworldly to some, is the idea of “putting something into the universe”. I might sound a little bit spiritual or astrological here, but time and time again I’ve found that making your goals and desires tangible, or even just verbal, allows you to begin the process of changing your attitude towards those things.

“Putting things into the universe”

I think there’s real power in our words. When I write my goals down, it motivates me to work towards them. If I take an abstract idea and verbalise it, it becomes something tangible. And for me, once an idea becomes tangible, it’s suddenly within reach, and no longer just an idea but a destination.

That’s what I mean by putting things into the universe.

If there’s a feeling that you have about something and you’re not sure what it is, spending the time to think about it and get it out into words will make it much more real.

Take, for example, me running a marathon:

If you had asked me as a kid whether that was something I’d ever do, I’d ask you what the heck a marathon even is and tell you there’s no way I could ever run that many miles. In fact, I didn’t even have any concept of what a mile was, much less 26.2.

But as I started doing distance running more consistently back in 2019, I set that goal for myself. I said one day I’d run a marathon. I didn’t know when, nor where, nor did I have any registration in place or even a plan to do it, but I put it into the universe that it was going to happen.

5 years later after setting that goal, I found myself in a perfect scenario where I lived in a city that hosted a marathon and I had great friends to train with.

And I did it.

The 300 before 30 List

“So, Justin, when you talk about “putting things into the universe” and “manifestation” you really just mean setting goals for yourself don’t you"?”

Yes and no.

A few years ago, one of my best friends gave my friend group the idea to create a list of 300 things that we want to do before we turn 30. It’s this list (yes, a real list in my notes app) called “300 before 30” and it’s really a mix of things like places I’d like to travel to, activities I want to do, skills I want to learn or milestones I want to hit.

But more than just being goals, my friend encouraged us to add things that might never happen.

On my 300 before 30, you’ll find 1. graduate from college, 32. take a mixology class, 41. paint and sell a piece of art, 74. give a keynote speaker address or 87. visit Big Sur.

It’s this real-life bucket list of things that are within my imagination, but not all things that I’d consider “goals”. It’s kind of like a list of life. And that’s for before I turn 30 😂.

Actually, my list doesn’t even have 300 things on there yet. I have about 110. I still add things every time I think of something, so it’s a constant work in progress and that keeps the idea alive in my mind and makes the concept so much more exciting.

I 100% recommend to any and everyone to make a 300 before *age* list, no matter what age range you’re within. Dream a little, create your bucket list and then the fun part - start to check them off!


Manifestation may very well be real, but I’d be damned if I could say that I’ve ever seen someone will something into existence just by saying it.

For me, putting your ideas into the universe, speaking things into being and really working towards the things that you’ve verbalised is the way to manifest things in your life.

I truly believe once you put your ideas, goals and dreams into a tangible format, whether that means writing them down, telling them to someone or even just spending the time to mentally organize your thoughts, you’re one step closer to actually “manifesting” them.

A problem well-stated is a problem half solved.

Charles Kettering

As usual, thanks so much for being here, and remember to subscribe to receive #TheLifeofJLOWE newsletter every Sunday at 9:00am EST!

Until next Sunday,

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