A couple of years ago, I was seeking to manifest change in my life. Up to that point, I thought I had tried everything. I had networked, researched, read books, and even taken action. However, nothing had brought about the real, lasting change I had sought.
That is, until I read Jack Canfield’s famed book The Success Principles (also known as the white book). One of the principles in the book was to daily take 5 actions per day in the direction of your dreams. As it was referred to in the book: every day take 5 swings of the ax.
I thought that this was simple enough and decided that it couldn’t hurt to try. Every day I made a list of 5 small steps I would take that could possibly lead to the life of my dreams.
For each day, I tried to ensure that at least one of those action items related to helping someone else get what they want. As the motivational speaker Zig Ziglar states, “You will get all you want in life, if you help enough other people get what they want.”
When I tried this practice, I was amazed by the results. Not only did I feel better, because I was taking action, but I also started to see doors open up.
Not every door I knocked on opened. Sometimes, I would have a conversation with someone only to realize this was not a viable option. And, in life, learning that something is not the right fit for us at a given time is just as valuable as learning what is a good fit.
A key element of why this practice is powerful is that it does not require us to exhaust ourselves trying to do, do, do! In fact, it works because taking a fixed number of actions per day allows us to detach from the results.
Every day that I did this, as soon as I crossed off the fifth item from my list, I would do a little victory celebration, and then go back home and not ruminate about it anymore. I had already done what I had committed to. And with practice, the universe delivered everything I had requested and much more.
Regardless of what area you want to manifest change in, here are 5 simple actionable tips you can use to leverage the spiritual power of habit:
1. Perform 5 action items daily.
Brainstorm a list of ways that you could make your dream come true. Then, every day, randomly pick 5 small steps, and act on them! Then, when you’re done for the day, do a victory dance.
2. Commit an amount of time every day.
Some areas work better when you commit a manageable amount of time per day to research your project. A friend of mine wanted to live on the beach. He committed to looking at apartment listings for 20 minutes per day.
3. Perform one good deed per day.
We help ourselves through helping others. Every day, plan to commit at least one good deed in the service of others. Maybe this is helping an elderly person to cross the street or giving food to a hungry person. It could be helping your co-worker understand how to create spreadsheets.
Regardless, this act alone will take you out of your own way and put you in the space of serving others.
4. Write 500 words per day.
This tip is geared more towards our writer friends, but it can be applied by anyone. Writing is the remedy to our ills. It helps us to think and act more clearly. Writing allows us to organize our thoughts in a way that no other action can. If 500 words is too many or too few, find an amount that is comfortable for you to perform and stick with that.
5. Be creative every day!
The artist Mike Winkelmann, better known as Beeple, creates one work of digital art every day and posts it on his Instagram account. While being a world-class artist is not a requirement for spirituality, at heart we are all artists. Flexing our creative muscles makes us better thinkers, writers, poets, parents, and creators.
Every day, try to be creative in any way possible. Maybe it’s penning a short poem (that no one has to see) or doodling on your Post-it notes or even just doing a little dance in your kitchen while nobody is looking!
In summary, the Universe co-creates through us by leveraging our thoughts, words, and deeds. When we become consistent with a practice, the Universe has the best possible chance of reaching us.
As for what resulted from my own dreams of fulfilling work and international travel by taking 5 daily action steps? I ended up going on a whirlwind international travel tour and making life-long friends! Consider your own spiritual, personal, or health goals. Brainstorm ways that you could use the power of habit to manifest change in your own life.