Robert: Well, the keys that that I focus on are five different things. The first is to be really clear about who we are, our true self, our values, the contribution that we're here to make, the roles that we play, things like that, have a real good sense of who we are.
The second is to have clear intentions. To know what it is we want to attract. Often times people want to manifest something different in their life, but they haven't really gotten clear about what that is. So people who are master manifesters, as I call them, are very clear about what it is they want to manifest.
The third step is about connecting to feelings and emotions. Many people are caught in a trap of experiencing the feelings and emotions that they don't want to be experiencing, the fear, the despair, the sadness, the anger, whatever it might be. And, in my experience, that's like sending a message to the universe that says, “Please send me more fear, more anxiety, more stress,” and that's what they keep getting. So connecting to the feelings and emotions that we really want to experience is critical.
The fourth thing that I focus on, is called letting go of attachments. Things like: worrying about what other people will think and needing it to happen now, our own judgments, judgments of ourselves, wanting to figure out how. All those kind of things are attachments that people spend a lot of time on, and it just gets in their way. And then the fifth thing is taking action, what I call inspired action.
David: I love that. I love taking action.
Robert: Yeah, and we talked about the non-guru part of the book title. Well, the manifesting part of the title, sometimes people think manifesting is this magical, meditate-my-way-to-success kind of strategy, but it's not. Manifesting is very practical. All those people that you cited and others, who are master manifesters, are consistently taking action. They're out there in the world, they're fully engaged, they're active in the process and that's where the results ultimately come from.
David: Do you think it's possible for everybody?
Robert: I do think it's possible for everybody. And what I really think is possible for everybody is for them to take their next step, to take incremental steps. Sometimes we see people that are in total financial despair and they want to be a millionaire. That might not be their next step. But I do think, for anyone, it's absolutely possible for them to identify what it is they want to do, where it is they want to go, and start taking steps in that direction from wherever they are now.
So much of the kind of work I do starts with what I call welcoming. Just be willing to welcome your current circumstances, even if they're not everything that you'd want them to be. Welcome them rather than resisting them, and pushing against them, and fighting with them. Welcome them and then identify what that next step is.
David: Okay, it's great. I would like to focus on the keys. You say that the first one is to know yourself, so how can you know yourself? How can know ourselves?
Robert: Know ourselves, and it really is answering that question: Who am I? And, most people, if you ask them the question, “Who are you?” they'll answer with what I call their roles. “I'm a father, I'm a speaker, I'm an author, I'm a runner.” Those are the types of things people will say, but we take them much deeper.
We ask them questions about what contribution they're really here to make. Who would you like to help? How would you like to help? What difference would you like to make in the world, which to me is an important part of who you are?
And then we deal with something called core self, like who are you beyond the car you drive and the clothes you wear and the house you live on? Who are you beyond that?
David: Do you have to have a sentence?
Robert: Yes. It's about asking the question, really. And for most of us, we're so busy, this question is totally foreign to most people. And the key, to me, is to get people to pause long enough to ask the question.
Now, I do guided visualizations to help people go deeply into this process. It's one of the things I do in my coaching. I'll work with people, kind of taking them to a step by step process to help them identify. But, to me, the key is to ask the question when you're in a calm and peaceful place.
Like you and I, we could we could pause right now and have this really profound discussion about who you are, who I am. There's no stress right now. We could just explore it and take a look at it and see different options.
Most people don't stop and think about who they really are, or don't really need to know who they are until they're under stress. Like, life is happening, someone cuts them off in traffic, they lose their job, whatever, and now all of a sudden they're trying to figure out who they are. And that's a terrible time to try and figure it out.
But the beauty is if we've already asked the question, if we already have a good sense of who we really are, like in the deep work that I've had the honor to do, what shows up for me when I ask who I really am is pure, unconditional love. That's who I really am. Like, at my core, that's who I am.
So, when life is not showing up in the form of pure, unconditional love, I'm more likely to become aware of that and not always shift completely into a state of pure, unconditional love, but at least shift in that direction.
I love to use the example of teaching my children how to drive, which was not an experience of pure, unconditional love, but I really do love my children. And so even if they were driving through a red light, or driving through a stop sign, or slamming on the brakes or whatever, and I wasn't feeling very loving, I was quickly able to come back to a place of loving them and treating them with love, even under stressful circumstances.
David: And how do you do that?
Robert: It's about awareness and choice. In that moment, being aware that I'm not being loving, and choosing to be more loving.
David: Yes, I understand that. Some people say to me I understand the process, the principle, but what I feel is the emotion against my children, for example, or my wife, or husband, or clients, what I feel is that I can't control that. Just after, I regret it, but in the moment I don't have the control. So how can I develop the ability to control that in the moment?
Robert: Well, I think it's like building a muscle. It's like going to the gym. You don't go to the gym and start bench pressing 500 pounds immediately. You start with 50 pounds and you work your way up. And it's the same thing with learning to control ourselves, control our emotions. Be at choice.
Much of my work right now is focused in on the concept of consciousness. Being around this work, consciousness has always been kind of this woo-woo kind of term to me, like higher consciousness, trying to elevate myself to higher consciousness. But what it's showing up as, now, is a very practical concept.
It's about making choices, making decisions on a conscious level instead of letting what's going on unconsciously, the way my parents brought me up, the beliefs that were installed when I was very young, instead of letting those run me. And it's taken a lot of time, but what happens over a period of time is we really do gain the ability to, first of all, be aware.
Let's use anger as an example. Let's say you do something and I get really angry at you. I, at this point, am acutely aware that anger is not a state that I wanna be in. That doesn't mean I never get angry. It just means when I get angry I'm aware of it and in most cases I can shift away from it.
The other thing that's really important is that idea of welcoming, that we were talking about before. If I get angry and I try to resist the anger, then it becomes this like push/pull, resistance kind of game, that's very difficult to win. But if I'm willing to, first of all, go, “Hm, isn't that interesting?” I'm angry, step outside of myself, observe…
David: Do you do it to yourself?
Robert: I do, but here's the thing, and this is one of the things I learned working with Jack is people say, “I am angry.” Well, I'm not. That's not who I am. It's the emotion that I'm experiencing in this moment. And when I say, “I am angry,” I'm giving up control. I'm giving up the ability to choose my emotion in any given moment.
When I step outside of myself and say, “Oh, isn't that interesting? I'm experiencing anger in this moment. Is that the experience I want to have?” And, again, like with my children, again, three teenagers right now — I have moments of anger, believe me. But when I do, I pretty quickly shift to remembering that I love them unconditionally.
David: What do you change in yourself, in your mind, your physiology, to shift quickly? Do you have some…?
Robert: I don't think there's any trick to it. I think the reason why I shift quickly is because I've been in and around and sharing and teaching and practicing this work myself for 20 years.
David: Okay. So the [inaudible 00:09:31].
Robert: Yeah, 20 years ago, for instance, I was spending a lot of time comparing myself to other people. I grew up with a brother a year younger, a brother a year older, and I always compared myself to other people. Most of the time I lost. They're smarter than I am, or they're faster than I am, or they're more accomplished…
David: Yeah, when you start to compare, you find always things to…
Robert: Yeah, it's not a winnable game.
David: Yeah, I agree with that.
Robert: So what happened was I became aware that I have a tendency to do that and, for me, it's like hard wired. I still do it, but over a period of time I noticed it more and more easily and I stopped doing it. I just don't do it anymore.
I get together with my brothers for the holidays or something. I still fall into that, but I notice it completely differently. Instead of falling into the trap, I observe it from a distance and say, “Isn't that interesting? Remember how that used to run my life. Now I choose not to do that.”
David: Okay, that's great. I love that. The second key was intention?
Robert: Yes, setting intentions.
David: And you say that the second intention and the fifth, it was to let go?
Robert: The fifth was inspired action.
David: No, the fourth one, it was letting go?
Robert: Letting go of attachments.
David: Yeah, attachments, okay. Some people maybe have difficulties during this one because the set of goals, because they love that. I ask that because one time a young man asked me, “I don't understand. So I set a goal and I have to not be attached to that? I don't understand.” So what do you want to say to those people who think they can be both?
Robert: It's a great question and we do see people who set goals and the sequence of what I teach in this process is part of my coaching, part of my speaking. It kind of looks linear, but it's also kind of more like the Olympic rings where it all kind of overlaps with each other.
This is a perfect example of your question about how people set intentions and sometimes they get really attached to those intentions, like, they need to have it. And what we see over and over again is when we're in that state of: I need it, I have to have it, my life won't be complete unless is I have it. It's very unattractive.
People don't want to work with you, they don't want to help you, you're not open to creative ideas. But the people who are willing to set a goal, set an intention, be very serious about it but also be willing to let go of the attachment.
And, I love your question because it brings in something you've probably talked to dozens of people about already which is gratitude and appreciation. A very important part of all this work, it's connected to the feeling and emotional state we talked about.
But what I teach people is set your goal. Be very serious, be very intentional about it, but use gratitude and appreciation for all the blessings you have in your life right now to get you to that state of: Yes, that's my goal. I want to lose 50 pounds or I want to earn $100,000. Whatever the goal is. “Yes, that's my goal. And while I'm staying focused on my goal, I'm gonna be really clear that my life is amazing and beautiful and wonderful just as it is right now.”
Call it high intention and low attachment. And these are the people who are manifesting like crazy. Amazing things happen in their lives because they're just open. They're not in this, “I need to have it.” And, to me, relationships are the best example because, when people want to get into a new relationship and they set an intention and they get really attached, they're so unattractive to the people that they could be in a relationship with.
But the people like, for instance, myself, I met my wife, I've been married 24 years. I met my wife coming out of another relationship and I was not interested in a relationship. I was as unattached as you could possibly be. I didn't want to have anything to do with relationships, so I was totally open. And we ended up meeting and connecting and, again, we've been married for 24 years. So, high intention but low attachment. Getting there through gratitude is what I teach people to do.
David: I love that. I would like to know also your point of view about do you know the smart…
Robert: Smart goals?
David: Smart goals. So you have to fix the date, to set up the date, when it will happen. In your own process about intention, is it important for you to set up a date, a time?
Robert: I don't spend a lot of time on that. I do think it's important to have a really clear and measurable goal. And here's why I think it's important. It's because the mind thinks in pictures. So if I have a goal to be wealthier, what does that look like? I don't know what that looks like. But if I have a goal to earn $100,000 by December 31st of this year I can see what that looks like. I can put that into a picture.
And in terms of manifesting, the way the mind works, the way the world works is the words that we speak or write, turn into pictures. We think in pictures, and those pictures are what connect us to the feelings and emotions that we experience.
What I see over and over again, is it's the feelings and emotions that really accelerate this process. When we really connect to the feeling and emotion that we most want to experience from making more money, or being in a better relationship, or being healthy or whatever the intention is. When we connect all the way from words to pictures to feelings, that's when things really start to happen.
When I was working with Jack, I used to have people all the time come up to me and they had a pocket full of three by five cards and they said, “I heard Jack speak and I heard him talk about visualization and affirmation. I wrote down my goals, and I have smart goals, and I do my visualization every single day and it's not working. And I wanna know what I'm doing wrong.”
I would listen to this person and say, well, what is the feeling and emotion that they're attaching to this whole process? And what I was observing was that it was stress, anger, fear, despair. You know, all the emotions that they didn't want to experience. So they had their words all figured out, written down on three by five cards, they had their pictures all figured out. They were visualizing every single day, but those pictures were associated with all the wrong emotions.
They weren't allowing them to ask the third question that we talked about, which is how will I feel? When I earn a million dollars, how will I feel? When I am my ideal body weight, how will I feel? When I'm in the perfect relationship, how will I feel? And then let go of the attachment, get on with your life, take action, and see what shows up. That's, in my experience, how manifesting really works.
David: And how can we dial up the ability to feel? Because, for example, in the past, I was separated from my emotions and in totally in my mind, and it took me a long, long time to learn how to connect to my body. So what is your advice for people to be able to visualize in feelings because, you have to feel something about your goal? Okay, I feel nothing. What can I do?
Robert: I think your question as far as, “How do we learn how to do that?” is, we already know how to do it. But what you're really saying, I think, is that most of us don't do that.
Robert: Most people don't go all the way through that process. They might have identified their goal, they might have written down a smart goal, they may even be visualizing, but they're just not taking the time.
I always tell people in this process that I teach, that the simplest question is: How will I feel? It's also probably the one that can make the biggest impact and it's the one that's the easiest to overlook. People say, “Oh, how will I feel? I'll be happy,” and then they move on.
And, yet, that's the one. I tell people the book has a partner journal. I teach people to go through these five steps to do a journal entry on a daily basis when they're first getting started with this work. I tell them, if you have a couple of extra minutes, “How will I feel?” is the place to spend it, and just ask yourself the question.
Because if I just asked you what goal you're working on and asked you how will it feel when you achieve it, you could tell me. And then I could ask you again. How will you feel? How else will you feel?
We could spend a couple of minutes and just really allow you to feel those feelings, and I believe that's the Law of Attraction at work. That's where we're sending a message to the universe saying, please send me more of this, send me more happiness, more joy, more excitement, more calm, more peace, whatever it is that you really want to experience. Too many people are sending that message to the universe saying, send me more anger, more stress, more fear, and that's what they keep getting.
David: If I want to do that, if I want anger, I can ask for anger?
Robert: Absolutely, just keep putting anger out and that's what'll tend to come back.
David: This is great.