The social media platform TikTok has been flooded with so-called “lucky girls” for weeks. They smile broadly into the camera and, beaming with joy, talk about their happy life, which they owe solely to their attitude towards life – and at the same time propagate a way of life that is not at all safe. The videos under the hashtag

It’s one thing when the promise of easily attainable and everlasting happiness is used as a marketing tool by corporations or shady life coaches. Is that reprehensible? Definitely, because there are people who fall for it – and possibly plunge into perdition in search of happiness. But probably at least buy something that can only give them the promised happiness, if at all, only in the short term. However, one can still speak of an unfair sales strategy here. In the case of the Lucky Girl Syndrome, however, the users rather give the impression that they really believe what they propagate in their happiness videos. For example, American influencer Laura Galebe says in one of the first Lucky Girl videos: “I just always expect great things to happen to me and then they happen.” There is no product placement, no offer for a webinar or anything else – just a hint that you should try Manifestation yourself.

In the original sense of the word, manifestation means making something visible. Nowadays, the term is mainly used in the yoga and mindfulness scene for mantras that you say to yourself over and over again. These can be general affirmations such as “Life is good to me” or individual sayings that relate to the respective life situation. In the spiritual scene, it is believed that manifesting has the power to direct our lives through the focus on our desires and visions.

The Lucky Girls on TikTok are now using exactly this philosophy. The senders firmly believe that they can turn their lives around for the better through the power of their thoughts alone. And they post all sorts of presumed evidence that their concept is working: they manifest a new love and a short time later they get to know their dream partner. You think of a job – and the HR manager knocks on the door. And who knows, maybe their thoughts can even heal illnesses… Sounds almost too good to be true? It is. No matter how much we believe in good things, bad things can still happen. In order to be successful, to have a loving relationship that works, and to fulfill most of our big dreams, we need to do more than just believe that all of this will eventually become a reality. But – and this is good news for all the lucky girls out there – it can help to think positively. If you do it right. In this case, right means that positive intentions should be followed by action. Instead of giving up responsibility for your own life by convincing yourself that you can solve problems with the power of your thoughts, you can use positive thoughts. Namely, to strengthen one’s own self-confidence and thus better arm oneself for the crises and negative feelings that life has in store for each of us. We all secretly know that where there is light, there is also shadow and such.

Manifestation does not mean convincing yourself that you can change external circumstances through positive thinking – but strengthening your inner being, concentrating on the positive things in life without ignoring or repressing the negative sides. Anyone who succeeds in doing this has the chance of actually becoming a happier person – at least in the long run. That’s exactly what the Lucky Girls on TikTok mostly do wrong. They almost completely refuse to deal with reality because “everything will be fine anyway”.

Realistic optimism, on the other hand, changes our view of the world. It also makes us more confident and solution-oriented when facing problems, rather than sitting down and wishing the universe would just sort things out for us. Quite apart from the fact that the Lucky Girls on TikTok seem to forget in their positive thought bubble that there are bigger problems than the desire for a perfect boyfriend or a new car.

The biggest shovel they do is emancipation itself. For decades we women have fought to be able to make decisions about our own lives. And then we are slowly on the right path towards more equality, suddenly thousands of young, educated women are willingly disenfranchising themselves. For – yes, for what actually? For a happy life that actually isn’t one. A realization that the Lucky Girls will probably get at some point. Because there are things that are more powerful than any manifestation. Racism, poverty, climate crisis, war, cruelty to animals, crime… the list could be continued at will. The major problems of our time agree on one point: they simply cannot be solved through the power of our thoughts. No matter how lucky the girls on TikTok get – they will not find a solution to structural problems. Neither does the universe.

And yet the many crises of recent years have something to do with the success of the Lucky Girls: people long for security, for control. The more confusing times become, the greater the breeding ground for seemingly easy ways out of the maze. Unfortunately, these are often a dead end. Instead, it’s worth critically questioning yourself when life isn’t going in the direction that makes you happy. Am I on the right path? Which direction do I want to take – and which paths have I only taken for others? What kind of person do I want to be – and with which people do I want to spend the time I have? Finding honest answers to these questions may get us closer to long-term happiness than anything the over-motivated lucky girls on TikTok have to offer. You just have to believe in it.