If I told you I can read minds, would you believe me? What if I told you, by the end of this post, you’ll be able to read minds too? “Probably not,” you just said to yourself (yes, that is my attempt at a corny joke).
All jokes aside though, reading minds isn’t that difficult. I’m not talking “think of a word, any word, and I’ll guess it,” type mind reading a lá Kreskin – it’s something more subtle than that. And it’s something that on some level, everyone already does all the time — maybe just not very effectively. The basic idea goes something like this:
If I see a man swinging his arm, bashing relentlessly at everything he sees – it’s safe to assume he’s holding a hammer.
Revelatory, I know. But don’t stop reading yet – this is a topic that’ll fast track your manifestation progress.
The “law of the instrument” is a psychological concept that says people tend to rely on familiar tools to solve problems in their lives. More colloquially, it’s understood as the principle that gave this post its title – to a man with a hammer, everything looks like a nail.
When people ask me questions in DMs or the comments of my posts, I rarely pay any attention to the specifics of what they’re trying to manifest or what their problem is. Not because I don’t care, or because I’m not reading closely what they’ve written, but because that kind of specific information is almost always irrelevant.
It simply does not matter what particular thing you’re trying to manifest, or what obstacles you run into in your pursuit of it. Neville called it “The Law,” for a reason. It applies exactly the same way to everything. Doesn’t matter if you’re trying to manifest a paper clip or a $50 million penthouse apartment. The law is the law and doesn’t change for anyone or anything.
As a result, the important thing to me isn’t what people communicate, it’s how they communicate. All I’m ever trying to see is what tool you’re holding – I don’t care what fastener you think you’re using the tool for. The basic premise of all Neville’s teaching is that the tool you think you’re holding dictates what the fastener you’re acting on will be. Think of it as a “quantum nail.” If you strike at it with a hammer, it’ll be a nail. If you come at it with a screwdriver, it becomes a screw. If you break out your wrench, it’s a bolt. And on and on. The tool you’re holding (or rather, the tool you think you’re holding) is the only thing that ever matters. The fastener you end up encountering will always morph to match the tool.
Again, this is the essence of “feeling is the secret.” A man with a hammer sees only nails.
A person who feels lack, manifests lack. A person who feels hopelessness manifests situations that make them feel hopeless. Most people see it backwards and think “I feel hopeless because of all the hopeless things I experience,” but that’s just a cognitive bias, not an objective truth of reality – and in a minute we’ll discuss a method of exploiting that cognitive bias to our own advantage.
Let’s jump back to the idea of reading minds. If someone talks about the thing they want to manifest in a sad, hopeless way, it must be because they feel sad and hopeless. If they really want to be given specific techniques or exercises, it must be because they believe a specific exercise or technique that they don’t know about yet will be the magic bullet solution to all their manifestation woes.
People who act desperate think desperate thoughts. People who act angry think angry thoughts. Someone who messages me explaining in great detail all the nails that keep popping up in their life must be holding a hammer. It isn’t rocket science. And while you might think it’s redundant or tautological to even point out (I mean, of course how someone feels is the way they feel) understanding what tool someone thinks they’re holding is actually invaluable information.
Notice how I said “thinks.” That’s important. As we’ve covered in previous installations of this series, the narrative someone spins about their life isn’t real. Not in the sense that they aren’t genuinely experiencing it, but it’s not real in any concrete way. You can’t “find” your narrative anywhere in reality. It’s just something you impose on the raw data of your experiences in an attempt to organize them mentally. I mentioned the “quantum nail” before – you can think of this as the “quantum hammer.” Whatever tool you think you’re holding is the tool you’re holding. Not because of any objective reality, but because your state of consciousness determines your reality. Feeling is the secret.
I point all this out because it’s time for you to start reading your own mind. Stop obsessing over all those pesky nails that just won’t hammer in straight. Take a step back and investigate what tool it is you think you’re holding, and how the hammer in your hand might be the reason everything looks like, and quite literally starts to become a nail (remember, we’re talking manifestation here — this isn’t some self help “just have a positive attitude” spiel. When you’re holding the quantum hammer, everything actually does turn into quantum nails).
It should only take a second or two to see this clearly. If things keep happening in your life that make you think the world sucks and is a hopeless evil place, your state of mind must be one of hopelessness and anger. If the person you want to win back just got engaged and more than ever it looks like you’re never going to be with them, you must be in a state of fear about never being with them.
This isn’t meant to be a judgment – I’m not trying to say you’re wrong or bad for feeling the way you do, or that it isn’t a valid way to feel. I’m just pointing out that if all you see is nails, then you must be holding a hammer.
I hope this is all clear by now, because even if it is, you may still be asking “but how do I change which tool I think I’m holding? No matter how hard I try to pick up my screwdriver, I just can’t seem to let go of my hammer!” Which brings us to our exercise. And it’s a fun one because you can approach it in two completely different ways — and those who struggle to do things the conventional way will actually excel at the second option.
As you go through your day to day life, make note of all the things you experience and how they make you feel — good, bad, or otherwise. Basically, acknowledge if what you’re seeing are nails, screws, bolts, etc. This will offer insight into what tool you’re holding most of the time — some of us will experience a healthy balance, and some of us will realize we never put the hammer down.
Then, while you’re taking note, make a concerted effort to do one of two things.
A) Try and use a different tool. Meaning, make a conscious effort to hold a different feeling than the one you’re used to. This is kind of the standard Neville protocol, but the classics are classic for a reason – even if many people struggle to employ them effectively. When you pick up a screwdriver instead of a hammer, you’ll start running into less nails and more screws. Manifestation 101.
B) Start actively looking for different fasteners. Meaning, if all you ever see is nails, instead of trying to pick up a different tool, just start looking for screws in your life. If all you ever experience are things that make you feel angry and afraid, try to find things that make you feel happy and secure. They can be small – a funny meme, someone holding the door open for you, etc. And you don’t have to see only screws whereas in the past you only saw nails. Start small – if today you saw 100 nails and zero screws, make an effort to find 2 screws tomorrow; then 4 the next day; then 20 next week; etc. Learn to have an Eagle eye for that single screw in a sea of nails.
Here’s the magic of this technique. Because we’re dealing with “quantum hammers” and “quantum nails,” when you change which tool you’re holding, the fastener you encounter will change too, and vice versa.
Option B in particular — if you do lots of SATS and visualization but struggle to change your feelings/beliefs — will prove to be a gamechanger. If you’ve spent years and years holding only hammers, there may just not be a screwdriver in your toolbox. So take the pressure off yourself. Instead of changing your tool, just look for different fasteners. Every time you see a screw, the hammer you’ve been holding will magically morph into a screwdriver.
That’s what I meant earlier when I mentioned exploiting our “I feel x because I experience y” bias. If you feel bad because you experience bad things, then instead of trying to feel good, just start looking for good things. Eventually, you’ll end up feeling good without even realizing it. “I feel x because I experience y” becomes “I experience y therefore I feel x.”
As you experiment with this practice, you’ll realize you’re starting to see more and more screws, and thus, holding less and less hammers. Again, let me be clear: this isn’t just some positive psychology tactic. It won’t be a trick of the mind whereby you notice more and more good things just because you’ve started looking for them. You will very literally start to experience more good things. Your “luck” will improve, so to speak. And it requires almost zero effort — all you have to do is be on the lookout for screws.
To bring us back to where we started, this understanding when honed properly will give you the ability to read minds. I wasn’t being silly when I brought that up at the start. Sure, it’s not a fortune teller “you’re thinking of your friend Mary Sue aha,” type deal, but it’s something more useful. You’ll become deeply attuned to sensing how people interact with the world. I’ve been sharpening my blade for so long now that I will meet people and in a five minute conversation know everything about them — not the literal details of their life, but the full picture of which tools they use to deal with the world. And that gives you a seemingly supernatural ability to predict how they’ll behave in different situations. Ever wonder how Abdullah knew Neville would come to see him — knew it so clearly that he told Neville he showed up late? Yeah, this is how. Abdullah was such a master that he could sense Neville “picking up the tool” that would lead to their paths eventually crossing without even knowing the guy.
EDIT: u/MindMagus pointed out, Abdullah said the Brothers told him Neville would be coming. Still, the point stands. Neville’s energy was being subtly picked up.
But before you get to that level, start by learning to read your own mind. The hammer in your hand is the reason you see only nails. And now you have the power to put it down.
As always, good luck.