The Law Of Attraction Is Complete Nonsense

Seriously dude, she just like....expected that a penguin would be there and BOOM! The Law Of Attraction kicked in.

“Seriously dude, she just like….expected that a penguin would be there and BOOM! The Law Of Attraction kicked in. So what if it’s at a zoo? It’s proof, man.”

The Law of Attraction isn’t a law – it’s positive thinking with magic glitter on it.

From the wiki page: “One example used by a proponent of the law of attraction is that if a person opened an envelope expecting to see a bill, then the law of attraction would “confirm” those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a cheque might, under the same law, find a cheque instead of a bill.”

Oh, that is fantastic! According to this philosophy, if a belligerent person were to point a gun at me, and I expected that inside the gun was one ounce of confetti and no bullets, upon him pulling the trigger, I would be celebrating, not dying.

For anyone who possesses common sense, there is a problem with this idea – that pesky problem of reality. I can’t change a bullet into confetti with my mind, and expectant thinking can’t change a bill into a check (or even a cheque). When a bill is sent out as a bill, it stays a bill, even *gasp* if you expect it to be a certificate for a new car. Of course there are thousands of anecdotal examples of “I expected a parking spot to open up, and WOW!!!! Someone was leaving!!!”

Yeah…big shocker that a parking space would open up or you might get a check in the mail once in a while. The positive confirmations of this BS are clung to like the Lombardi Trophy, while the colossal daily evidence against it, and the common sense rebuttal, are denied.

Did it work for Rhonda Byrne, multi-millionaire author of “The Secret?” Or was she perhaps the benefactor of brilliant marketing campaign and a gullible segment of the population looking for the next shortcut to happiness and wealth? If you’re a believer of The Law Of Attraction, please don’t let my sarcasm blind you to this important message – you have been deceived.

“The Secret” was a well-named book, but the true secret was never divulged: Promising easy riches to people can sell a lot of books.

Positive Thinking – Now That’s A Good Idea

Positive thinking is nothing more than having high expectations for yourself. When you expect to find prosperity, expect to be liked, and expect to be fit, all of those things become much more likely to happen. But it isn’t through Law Of Attraction magic…

Proponents of positive thinking will tell you that your mindset plays a key role in how the world responds to you, by result of your beliefs manifesting in your actions and body language, thus influencing the trajectory of your life. The Law Of Attraction takes this 17 steps too far, suggesting that you can control the world and change reality with your expectant vibes.

I want to see a non-magician demonstrate that bill-into-check trick. Maybe a hidden camera could capture the bill’s ink moving around at the time of expectation?

I suppose The Law Of Attraction could have some benefits; after all, beliefs do matter, and this would encourage you to have very positive expectations. But any benefits of this belief are from the positive thinking aspect of it, not the magical hubba hubba. It’s dangerous to your well-being to think that expectant beliefs can solve your problems and bring you checks in the mail. That could easily get in the way of, ya know, actually doing something to cause a check to be sent to you in the mail.

When The Law Of Attraction turns my junk mail into chocolate – go ahead everyone, expect that really hard for me, or is it limited to checks only? I’ll have to ask Rhonda the rules – I’ll take it all back. Until then, let’s think positively and put magic back in its Fiction cage.

(photo by followtheseinstructions)

About the Author

I'm lazy, but you can call me Stephen. When you're as lazy as I am, you need superior strategies to live well. My strategies are so effective that I'm productive every single day. As the world tries to figure out how to always stay motivated, I create strategies that don't require it.

Alana

This is hilarious and perfectly timed because I was watching The Secret the other day and there were moments when I definitely rolled my eyes at how airy fairy it all sounded. Even though the presentation sucked I believe it’s based on a larger universal truth (albeit a very watered down and commercialized version of it).

Intention (not just positive thinking) PLUS inspired action can create positive results.

True, you can’t just sit around thinking about checks, cars and cribs and expect them to appear. However, I do think that if you have a desire, set an intention and are open to receiving it; opportunities and experiences will pop up out of nowhere that will support you in achieving it (I promise I didn’t try to rhyme on purpose).

My real life non-magic glittery example: About a month ago, I saw that Anthony Robbins was hosting a weekend seminar here in Chicago. Tickets were crazy expensive but I wanted to go and told myself I was going to go. That intention prompted me to look around for opportunities to get my ticket paid for. I saw that there was a scholarship available through his foundation and even though it was past the deadline, I applied anyway and…

Yesterday, I found out that I received the scholarship!!! Woo hoo! ;-D

It wasn’t just thinking positively that made this happen, I actually had to do stuff lol.

PS. I’m now reading Think and Grow Rich which is the old school version of The Secret. Have you read it? If so, is your opinion of it the same as The Secret?

I’m assuming you haven’t read The Power….

Stephen Guise

Oh that’s awesome Alana! Tony Robbins is a great speaker and teacher.

“Intention (not just positive thinking) PLUS inspired action can create positive results.”

I’d agree with that, but that’s not the Law Of Attraction! The Law Of Attraction adds fairy dust to that, which is seen clearly in the belief that a physical object can morph because of your thoughts.

In your example, you took action and found the scholarship. My question: did the opportunity pop out of nowhere or did you pop out of nowhere? You were the one who found it, not the other way around. You’re going to the seminar because you wanted to go the seminar and found a way. You found it, as you said, because you set the intention to go, which is not exclusive to The Law Of Attraction.

The part of The Law Of Attraction that does not make sense is the part where it implies that the universe caters to your wishes. It doesn’t. The universe does what it does, and the people who take action and give themselves a chance are the ones who find more opportunities and success.

If the Law Of Attraction motivates people to take more action, then perhaps it isn’t so bad, but let’s be serious. It’s taking action – not the magic mumbo jumbo of the universe known to transform bills into checks – that brings great results. Positive thinking and pushing your limits can accomplish the same thing as the Law Of Attraction, but they are based on reality.

No, I have not read that Think and Grow Rich or the power. I watched “The Secret” film and found parts of it inspiring, but never did I think the universe was going to dump a bucket of gold in my lap because of my golden thoughts, haha. 🙂

Igor Glinsky

Stephen I love all of your blogs that I’ve read. But I think you misunderstood this one. Granted, they MAKE it easy to misunderstand. And yeah, the part where that joker says “People are positively flabbergasted how I can get a parking spot next to the front door”, I think the Eye Roll to Sarcastic Sniggering ratio was 1:1.
They didn’t delve into the law far enough.

There is another movie called the Beyond the Secret, with part of the same cast and a similar premise, where the message is,

“People watched The Secret and think they can just watch retarded TV and think of a Ferrari and watch it land in the driveway. False. Thinking the thoughts CONSISTENTLY will inspire ideas UPON WHICH YOU MUST ACT.”

And that is very true. If you think about what you want, and believe that you can get it, the HOW will come to you. You become receptive.

If you think about what you want, and just focus on “But HOW can I get this??”, every form of doubt settles in that you cannot get it, and you are not receptive to inspired ideas, and even if you do have an inspired idea, you say “But HOW can I do that? WHO AM I to do that” etc. And down the drain goes your belief.

Personal Example:
I’m making $2,500 a month
I want to make $4,000 a month

I just work a regular job doing software testing. “HOW” do I jump from $18/hr to $24?? IT’S NOT POSSIBLE. I keep making $18/hr.

or…..

I get an inspired idea…..

I give a tithe to my church. My Bible says to give a tenth of my labors to God’s work. I give $250 a month, of the $2,500 I make.

My inspired idea says: If you give $400 a month, eventually you’ll make $4,000 a month.

That law of Sowing and Reaping (Karma, etc) is always in effect. So I ACT on the inspired thought without thinking about “HOW”. 4 months later, I’m almost fired. I leave work and send in my resignation on a whim.

I’m depressed and feeling shitty. Just lost the highest paying job I’ve ever had. I’m moping in a deep blue funk for almost 30 minutes when…….. I remember my action. I been giving the $400 consistently. My belief is re-ignited.

3 weeks later I get a job making $4,160 a month.

Ok lets see if it works again. I start giving $500 every month, expecting $5,000 paycheck. 3 months later: $500 bonus.
3 months after that, I get a raise: from $24/hr to $28/hr.

That’s only $4,850 a month! I gave $500! I will not settle!

TWO DAYS LATER they raise my 40 hours per week cap to 50 hours. Now I’m making ~$5,500 a month

The idea of the Law of Attraction is to SHIFT YOU FOCUS off of the HOW and onto the WHAT. The “how” is not up to us. I had no idea whether I would get a raise from 2500 to 4000 or find a briefcase full of money or get a bonus or…… One “HOW” that I surely didn’t entertain was getting nearly fired and being unemployed for 3-4 weeks. But I maintained my focus, and I was confident to ask for $24/hr when I did get offered a job.

The best I can say is, you need a foundational belief. Mine is God and the Bible. So much of what all these guys (Jack Canfield, Arnold Bennett, Wallace D. Wattles…) teach coincides unintentionally with Biblical principle, and I have a strong bedrock upon which to rest my faith. If you don’t have a bedrock, find it.

Attracting is believing.
Believing requires action.
Action reaffirms belief.
Belief in attraction get stronger.
Stronger belief begets more action.
More action produces results.
Results reaffirm belief in attraction through action
(Read my Personal Example again, does it coincide with this?)

Igor Glinsky

Nice job!

I was about to ask Jack Canfield the same thing about the retreat that he runs, in the same exact words, “Do you have a scholarship?” but first I ordered his book The Aladdin Factor (about how to ask for stuff) and then I will email him 😀

Thanks for the comment Alana. Looks like I’ve attracted a bit of inspiration into my life =P

Since I’ve been thinking and acting on asking a motivational speaker about a scholarship, I attracted an example of another person thinking and acting on asking a motivational speaker about a scholarship 😀 —and getting it!!

The draft has been in my inbox, gonna go send it now. I’ll let you know what happens!

Stephen Guise

Igor, thanks for the comment and congrats on your successes! That’s awesome!

The thing is that I don’t disagree with you, and I like the idea of focusing on the what instead of how (in some cases). To me, it looks like you simply set high expectations and reached them.

But how do you explain this: “One example used by a proponent of the law of attraction is that if a person opened an envelope expecting to see a bill, then the law of attraction would “confirm” those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a cheque might, under the same law, find a cheque instead of a bill.”

A person is about to open an envelope, and according to this paragraph, the envelope’s contents can change based on his expectations. That’s factually false. This is making it into some sort of magic trick.

The envelope contains what it contains, regardless of what the person expects. Perhaps it was poorly worded to give this impression of magic transformational powers, but from what I’ve read on this law, it’s seems an accurate representation of what The LOA claims.

The ONLY part of the LOA that I disagree with is the part that says you can change the world with your thoughts. That’s it. I believe you can change your life by having the thoughts that lead to the right actions, but there is no direct thought-to-result connection with the universe. It seems that the Beyond The Secret movie got this right.

And maybe I am misunderstanding it, but that’s only because it is presented in this way. And the wiki page uses this check magic quote as the primary example of what the law is. And Rhonda Byrne, who popularized this thing, said that a tsunami disaster happened because the people were thinking tsunami-like thoughts.

“According to the Religion Dispatches, Byrne argued that natural disasters strike those “on the same frequency as the event” and implied the 2006 tsunami victims could have spared themselves.” ((source)

Do you believe that?

But hey, if it is working for you, I say continue onward my friend! I don’t argue with success, only with magical check tricks! :-).

evanhadkins

Someone on a blog once asked what people thought of the law of attraction; I said, “It’s not a law and I don’t find it attractive”. Which is still what I think. Not attractive because it ends up blaming the victim for their misfortunes.

Stephen Guise

Haha Evan, that is quite clever. I agree.

Like you said is the case with the LOA, Rhonda Byrne essentially blamed the 2006 tsunami victims for thinking “on the same frequency as the event.”

As if that many people would in unison be thinking the same thoughts. What if people in a non-coastal town thought those thoughts? It’s just nonsense.

Igor Glinsky

I disagree with something out of every single book, blog, video, speech, sermon, motivation, etc, etc that I encounter. It’s part of life. So what, Rhonda Byrnes believes hocus pocus about the tsunami. I read Florence Scovel Shinn, and she had a phenomenal chapter on Facing Fear in her book The Game Of Life And How To Play It. The rest was crap! Some lady came to her saying, “Florence, I [visualized/LOA’d] this house, and the owner died. I was able to purchase it after he died. Am I responsible for his death?” Florence told her “YES! You are!” And she was serious! Then after the lady’s husband died, Florence said, “There now see, the Law Of Getting Even For Wishing Somebody To Death has killed your husband”. Lol I laughed and retained the chapter she had on Facing Fear and that was it. There isn’t a speaker/ author/ anybody that I don’t disagree with on some point.

As for The Secret.. I guess I understood it differently. I saw the same thing, I know just the part you mean in the movie where they talk about expecting bills to turn into checks.

The way it registered in my head is that when I’m CONSISTENTLY thinking about bills, HABITUALLY thinking about being behind on bills, HAVE A PATTERN of thinking about having a lot of bills, that’s what I’m going to get. I will do dumb things and have reckless spending behavior (credit cards, unneeded Stuff), overall make poor choices that will send me more bills in the mail (speeding tickets, late fees), and do stuff that’s completely unintentional (lose a phone), because I literally expect it to happen (Personal testimony: When I was in 2nd grade, I forgot my coat at school once. My dad called me colorful names and said that I’m just a loser who’s “always losing his coat”. I must’ve believed it, and held that thought (makes sense, since I still remember that) and I’ve lost probably 20 coats in 20 years since. I stopped it couple years ago when I realized I was subconsciously expecting to lose my coat. And yes, ONLY COATS!)
The thoughts that I think habitually become ingrained in my subconscious, and the cookie crumbles the way it does because the subconscious will want to reaffirm what it expects in life. I believe that 100%.

Likewise, if I HABITUALLY think about getting checks in the mail, about the size of the check that I get, about the number of zero’s at the end of it, I ingrain THAT into my subconscious over time. I make the choices that bring me closer to it, because it is in the subconscious.

Eventually I don’t need to ACTIVELY keep thinking the thought because it goes into the subconscious. This is why it’s so hard to find the sabotaging thoughts. They’re invisible, or as Ramit Sethi calls them, Invisible Scripts.

What they try to teach in The Secret is to FORCE those thoughts until they become habit (i.e. ingrained in the subconscious). Force is the only way to make it a habit. If I am in the habit of checking out every girl that goes my way, I have to FORCE that habit out of my life. The best way to do that is to FORCE a different thought into my life that isn’t true, and make myself believe that it is true. What do I mean? I INTRODUCE a new thought wave. Now when I check out a girl, I FORCE myself to say, out loud, “I have pure thoughts”.

Right… “Pure”. Haha! Good one. I’m also the Mayor of a Martian Colony.

But what happens when I repeat that 35 times a day, every day, for a month or two or three. I start having pure thoughts.

Over time I added to the line until it became “I am a child of God, and I
have pure thoughts of long term success for the good of all concerned”. When I repeat that 5-10 times a day for 60 days, I begin to think pure thoughts of long term success.

Dumbed down: My living room is freezing cold. I’m tired of freezing my balls off and I decide to change that. So I seal off my living room and get a commercial vacuum service to suck all the cold out of it.
False!
I edge out the cold by FORCING in heat!
If my living room is dark, I INTRODUCE light!

Admittedly, The Secret redefined “dumbing it down” lol. If they would’ve put as much effort into the follow up, which talks about taking action, a lot more people could use it. The problem is the profits; they wouldn’t make so much on that flick because our culture is one of entitlement, and telling them they have to (gasp!) WORK for something… God help us

Igor Glinsky

One more thing:

Loooooong before I ever even heard a whiff of LOA, there was a Volvo S60 T5 sitting in my dad’s garage. He bought it from Copart and it needed fixing. He bought it to flip it. I used to go into the garage (I lived with my folks) and sit behind the wheel, and picture myself driving it. I’d roll down the windows, slide the sunroof back and pretend I’m driving down the California Coast (I live in WA). I did this so often it was practically a weekly appointment. Nobody knew about it. But I’d picture myself so vividly when I was in there, thumbing the steering wheel controls and setting the cruise control…. and thinking, “One day this will be mine”.

5 months later, I’m married, moved out and going about life as usual. My dad calls me up and tells me to come to his house. I get there and he gives me the keys to the Volvo, all fixed up and clean and shiny. Gift. Free. Says since I’m pursuing real estate, I should have a decent car in which to drive clients. So yes, you can have a car land in your lap lol the LOA works!

Side Note: I realize someone may read this and instantly “know” that everything in my life was given to me by a rich daddy, so LOA or no LOA I was bound to whine and get the car. In fact that was the only thing I ever got for free. I held a job steady since I was 13 years old. I saved up 100% for all four or five $600 bicycles I went through as a kid. I bought all my own clothes since I was 15. The only other thing I remember my dad buying me was (strangely enough) a coat, and that for the Holidays.

Alana

Igor,
I’m glad my story inspired you to take action and I definitely want to know the outcome!. ;-D

Alana

I definitely agree, it is incomplete and doesn’t put the proper emphasis on action. Maybe, you don’t get that part of the story unless you read The Power…for an additional $19.99 of course lol.

Side note: I’ve been doing daily money affirmations (ie. money comes to me from expected and unexpected sources) and I found $10 on the beach yesterday…coincidence? or did the universe turn the sand into money bc I asked? ;-D

Stephen Guise

I see what you’re saying with habitual thoughts and I agree with them, as well as the benefits of positive thinking. I think the Law Of Attraction claims to be more “magical” than that.

Our difference in opinion seems to be what the Law Of Attraction actually claims. If it doesn’t claim what some proponents of it have said, then I have no problems with it. But when Rhonda Byrne blames tsunami victims for thinking tsunami-like thoughts, sorry, but I have to say she’s crazy.

Stephen Guise

One time I found $20 in a Wal-mart parking lot, and I wasn’t thinking about money at all. 🙂

I think when you think about things this way, the good stuff is filtered through as “confirmations” and the negative things are passed off as anomalies or your fault for attracting them. Again, I think the tsunami example is perfect.

Rhonda Byrne claimed that the people who lived there brought this natural disaster upon themselves. Do you think this is true? Do you think that ALL of these people were thinking in such a way to bring this upon themselves? Or do you think it was because they lived in a coastal area and nature happened?

Igor Glinsky

I removed the 38 paragraphs I commented earlier and will summarize them in 4 sentences.

It does not make sense to disregard an entire field of study on the basis that one proponent of that field said something we either do not understand, do not believe, or deem impossible.

I learned a lot from about 8 blogs [of yours which I’ve read] and seek out ways to implement your insights into my life. But if I read blog number 9, disagree with it on one point, then proceed to publicly discredit every other work you’ve done–that would not be fair.

Charlie Sheen and Mother Theresa would agree with me.

Guest

That’s winning right there. Couldn’t agree more

Charlie Sheen

Damn right I agree. Steve you should listen to this guy he’s a genius

Stephen Guise

I’m happy Charlie Sheen joined the discussion, haha. 🙂

Igor, you’re right. It could be that I just think Rhonda Byrne is a wacko. Whatever the case, I disagree with the “magic” part of the Law of Attraction, if it is actually a part of it (you say it’s not, some other proponents seem to think it is).

Aside from the “magic” part, I really like the concept and believe it does make a difference. I write about optimism and high expectations a lot – always on the pro side of the fence. But I wouldn’t call this a law either, because that should be reserved for science, which this is not.

Oh, and if a core part of a philosophy relies on something false, it definitely can ruin the entire philosophy! In my case, this post is mostly unrelated to everything I write about, so disagreeing with this doesn’t mean you disagree with my ideas on focusing. But for the law of attraction, from what I studied and read about the highest-profile proponents of it, it’s largely based on “magic.”

Again, I could be wrong, but if so, someone should edit the wikipedia page and speak out against Rhonda to correct her understanding of the law. But if all you wanted to hear was that I don’t find the entire philosophy ridiculous, then yes, that is true.

Specifically, I think you ARE more likely to attract success if you expect it because it materially changes your behavior, like what I wrote about here – http://stephenguise.com/how-high-expectations-enable-success/

Frank Sides

I just happened on your blog and really liked it. I believe the universe has much better things to do than grant people wishes – which is what the Law of attraction really amounts to. If you really dig into each successful account of this “Law” working, I will bet my next paycheck that there is an underlying action that the benefactor took to make it possible. Nothing is free, you have to invest some of your own time and energy to make things happen.
Excited to read some of your other posts.
Cheers!

Stephen Guise

Thanks Frank, I fully agree!

It’s always action that makes the difference. Thanks for the comment and I appreciate the blog compliment very much. Cheers!

Truth

The primary reason that individuals are not able to successfully manifest in a near instantaneous fashion is that they are unconsciously holding beliefs that are in some way opposed to the very thing they are trying to manifest. Look at the writer of this article — he obviously doubts the law of attraction at a fundamental level and so he will automatically sabotage all of his efforts to use it successfully! The majority of humanity is not aware in the slightest of the beliefs they hold at a core level and that define their reality. They have never actually turned their gaze inward and begun to explore and probe the depths of their own consciousness and therefore there are many areas of it that highly influence their reality and thoughts simply operating on autopilot.

Ones beliefs, which define the framework of their reality, operate in the background of ones awareness and it requires some ‘digging’ and conscious introspection and searching to uncover and identify them. Then one can see where they are holding themselves back not just in terms of manifestation, but in any aspect of their lives. This is the internal work we are all here to do. This is the work that truly advances consciousness and takes ones awareness to new levels and it is also the key that unlocks ones ability to manifest.

Those who doubt the law of attraction do not know what they do not know and also cannot see above the level of perception that they are at. Reality is not what it seems at first glance. One must look behind the curtain (to use a Wizard of Oz metaphor) to see what is really occurring. As long as one is hypnotized by the lights and sounds (reality as it appears at first glance) they will not see the man behind the curtain (how reality actually operates). The vast majority of humanity at this time is hypnotized by the lights and sounds. The process of becoming conscious and aware is learning to look behind the curtain in every aspect of ones life. This will unlock your full potential, beyond your wildest dreams.

Stephen Guise

You have some good thoughts in there, but they are not “property” of the Law Of Attraction. I can and do reject the part of the Law that suggests supernatural power. I would never deny the psychological impact of positive thinking and believing in yourself.

Do you believe that thoughts can change a bill into a check? How would the issuer of the bill feel about that?

Truth

The law does not itself suggest supernatural power — you are mistaken. The law encompasses all of reality — all occurrence within the universe and in the universe supernatural power exists and can be harnessed by individuals with proper level of belief, mental discipline and conscious control. The two are related in that supernatural ability, as an aspect of existence in this universe, is then automatically governed by the law of attraction which is always in operation governing all activity.

You inherently disbelieve in supernatural phenomenon, which is your real issue in this article, not any actual qualms with the law of attraction. You disbelieve that which exists beyond the explanation of mainstream scientific understanding, although there is certainly a large body of scientific evidence that proves the existence of supernatural abilities beyond a shadow of a doubt… but that is your choice as you have a choice in what you believe whether or not it actually reflects the true nature of reality.

Not only do supernatural abilities exist, but they have been actively demonstrated both in scientific labs and in more real world situations. One of the most striking examples is that of the Qi Gong master known as ‘Dynamo Jack’. I suggest you watch this mini-documentary to see him demonstrating some of his supernatural abilities: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UaXvtF69Vog

As someone who has myself been in similar shoes as yourself at points in my life, it is always interesting an hits close to home to see people trapped by their own perceptions and self-imposed limits. The universe is inherently unlimited and anything is possible, however, in order to operate at this level one must remove all barriers to experiencing this level of awareness and reality, which take the form of limiting beliefs. In your case these are expressed as doubt with fundamental laws of existence that science is not yet able to fully understand or explain due to their incredible level of complexity. Does this mean they do not exist? Hardly. But you can certainly keep yourself from experiencing them first hand by strong beliefs, which you do exhibit. For more on belief see the work of Bruce Lipton — a true pioneer in consciousness.

Frankford Hope

I’m a proponent of LOA as I’ve seen it working in my own life. I also enjoyed your article as seeing the other side can help you think of -why- you believe something. I also enjoyed and related to most of the comments posted here.

I have a possible solution to the check transformation problem. First, i agree that positive thoughts promote positive actions towards the completion of a goal over time. However, I also believe that thoughts have a power unto themselves outside of physical action taken by people.

Example: Once I moved to a new home and was missing an clothes iron. I went to the store and picked one out that I -had- to have. But it was too expensive and I didn’t have enough money at the time. A few days later a friend came over with a gift: an iron–but not just any iron–the -exact- same one I decided I must have. My friend never knew I needed an iron at all, I didn’t even tell anyone I needed one nor that I picked one out at the store.

How could that even be possible aside from the craziest coincidence of all time? I think my thought went out and effected the world around me. I think my friend had a thought of wanted to do something nice for me. I think those two thoughts attracted eachother and came together in some kind of thought-space and in turn effected actions which manifested in my friend choosing a specific iron for the specific purpose of giving it to me.

That’s just one of countless examples I personally have. Also, from what I’ve seen, I’m suspicious that thoughts can sometimes travel through time to effect actions taken in the past or future. Now THAT seems crazy to even suggest that, but there’s been things that have happened to me that I can’t explain any other way.

So in the case of the magically changing check in the mail. I think in most cases it does happen over time through positive thoughts begetting productive actions, eventually turning bills into checks. I also think in some cases–SOME cases–that those intense positive thoughts travel back in time, effect the actions of people that are receptive to their influence, that may not even know you exist, and influence them to not send a bill for whatever reason, but instead, they or some other person is influenced to send a check. I also think that while this is happening you can also sabotage yourself and the effect on the past dissipates and normal action flow goes back into effect, and you get the bill that was gonna come in the first place.

That’s way over-simplified but I think it’s the best answer to the question you’ve raised several times.

Frankford Hope

The biggest point I like to highlight is that on their best day, positive thoughts can only influence yourself and your behavior, which in turn influences those that you come into contact with. BUT what happens when your positive thoughts influence people and things that are miles away, have never met you, don’t know anyone you know? That’s where LOA kicks in. It’s on a whole different level.

Often times I’ll run into someone that is not only receptive to me and helps me out (results of positive thinking), but helps me out in a specific way that I was thinking about. This person didn’t just happen to cross paths with me, but something crazy happened in their or my routine that put us on the same course (completely out of anyone’s physical control, can’t be explained by the most intense actions resulting from positive thinking, but can only be explained by those positive thoughts going out and bearing influence in the world outside your awareness.).

Stephen Guise

Coincidences are not proof of anything. Why does the iron occurrence need an explanation? It just happened. In a life full of so many experiences, there are bound to be a lot of coincidences (I’ve had very many).

It takes a massive leap of faith to think that “thought energy” leaves your mind and travels out into the world to do things. And why do LoA proponents only focus on the positive affirmations?

What about the people thinking positively when a tornado rips through their house? We have systems that measure and explain many natural phenomenon that have a horrible impact on the world at times. Do you think “thought influence” is a better explanation than the scientific ones?

Frankford Hope

“positive” is a relative term. you mention natural disasters, but the reality is that the “best” day in this world is still horrible in comparison to what life should be like: without pain, suffering, death, disease, natural disasters, etc. but this is the reality of an imperfect, degenerating world, so we make the most of what we’re given.

and “LoA” works both ways. i’ve had moments where my life is crashing down around me but i still give focused attention to my goals and ‘coincidences’ still happen in that direction, even though i’m in an overall dark time in life. on the other hand, i’ve had times when everything is going great but i’m continuously dwelling on negative thoughts and doubts, and sure enough stuff just happens to come out of nowhere that brings my dreams to their knees. (note that i’m observing these things coming at me, not making them happen through personal action.)

if things like that happened once or twice in several years i wouldn’t think much of it, but when it happens continuously and i can trace back and identify thought patterns that coincide every time with things happening in my environment, science would call that a series of notable patterns that gives evidence of invisible forces at work.

as far as that tsunami thing goes, i honestly don’t know what to think of it. it could be that negative thoughts of the majority from loose morals get sent out and at the same time a tsunami is forming and is energized more than it naturally would be due to the thoughts. or it could be just nature running its course. either way, LoA is just one piece of the whole pie.

not only do i need to think positive thoughts to improve -my actions- and win the approval of others, but i have to think those positive thoughts in a relatively positive -human group environment- as well as a relatively positive -natural environment-. after all that, add to it the -influence of your thoughts- in some higher dimensional space we can’t see. and then after THAT, add to the mix that -every other individual- is having a similar effect and influence on the world and you. LoA is one piece of an enormous puzzle which is life. it isn’t everything as the secret claims, but just because “The Secret” is trying to make money and influence as many mindless lemmings as possible through hype doesn’t mean that LoA don’t exist.

one fact is certain though: the influence of groups means a LOT. if the majority in a group are bad, they will bring everyone down. if they are good, they will bring everyone up. some groups are small bands of people we can choose to be a part of. other groups, such as a city or nation, we belong to that group simply by our geographical location. so, yes, bad things can happen to positive thinkers if they’re in the wrong place at the wrong time. so why would they end up in that environment if LoA works? again, there is more at work than thought waves, as mentioned before. “the secret”, “LoA”, is just one aspect of the whole.

Katie

@Stephen: May I ask you something private? Do you have a religious affiliation, Stephen?

Peter

I have a question to all of you: First, why has this website been created if this whole LOA stuff is complete nonsense? Live and let live… Second: Why do you guys waste your time writing articles about something you obviously totally disagree with? Wouldn’t it be a much better idea to spend the time with your wife/hubby and kids?

Stephen Guise

Hi Peter,

This site isn’t about the Law Of Attraction. This is the one and only article here on the topic, and I only think about it when someone comments on it.

It’s worth writing about because a lot of people believe in the LOA. I don’t think it’s ever good to believe in ineffective, false strategies for life improvement. That’s why I wrote this. Perhaps it caused some people to reconsider the LOA, perhaps not.

I’m also strongly against motivation-based personal development because it doesn’t work, but people don’t take offense to that like they do with the LOA. Interesting, isn’t it? It’s like the LOA has become a cult or something.

Katie

Hi Stephen! Wasn’t Jesus (and of course his followers) the first who practiced the LOA? There’s a “…believe that you have received it, and it will be yours…” in the bible? I think you got that whole LOA thing a bit wrong… it’s not about wishing for something, sitting and waiting for it to come true…you’re right with positive thinking, but the LOA is not the “glitter”… LOA are all the positive things that come back at you when you start thinking positive thoughts while you go on with your life… because your decisions are going to be different… it’s more a cause and effect thing…

Stephen Guise

Hi Katie. If that’s what the LOA was, I would agree with it! But the main proponents of it DO take it to the extreme of magic things happening from thoughts. If those magic things were actions you take, then that’s not magic, it’s life. But the key LOA proponents suggest that you can sit in your room, doing nothing, and wish your way into wealth. This is what the wiki page says…

“One example used by a proponent of the law of attraction is that if a person opened an envelope expecting to see a bill, then the law of attraction would “confirm” those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a cheque might, under the same law, find a cheque instead of a bill.”

It doesn’t say, if a person expected wealth, they might do things to bring them more checks. It says if they’re holding an envelope with something in it – what they think is inside will impact what is actually inside. This is factually false and on the same idiotic lines as “if a tree falls and nobody is around, does it make a sound.” YES it makes a sound. And NO, we can’t move ink with our minds!

This is a bit of an argument of relative truth vs. absolute. My philosophy teacher in college claimed that rocks only exist because we saw them and named them. As if what we think can impact the existence of solid matter. The LOA is the same relative truth BS, and as for God, the LOA contradicts everything He stands for, which is absolute truth. It is what it is, regardless of thought.

Peter

@stephenguise:disqus: You quoted:”I’m also strongly against motivation-based personal development…” but you like Tony Robbins? (Quote:”Oh that’s awesome Alana! Tony Robbins is a great speaker and teacher”)… and isn’t motivation-based development the reason why America is one of the economic leaders in the world? From rags to riches…

Stephen Guise

Tony Robbins has some great ideas. From what I’ve seen of him, he’s more of an action-based speaker.

I don’t know that it is and I would be surprised if it was, because we all know that motivation comes and goes. It’s based on feelings. Motivation isn’t a bad thing either, it just isn’t reliable, which makes it a poor choice as a core strategy. If you only do things when you feel like doing them, then you won’t get very far.

Some people might say that motivation is wanting to do something, but it’s feeling like doing something. People want to be healthy and happy 24/7/365. That desire is constant. They always want it, but they don’t always feel motivated to make it happen.

Katie

Let’s call it quits. I totally respect your opinion, Stephen. But still, I have to disagree… I’m on Gandhi’s side: “Keep your thoughts positive, because your thoughts become your words.
Keep your words positive, because your words become your behaviours.
Keep your behaviours positive, because your behaviours become your
habits. Keep your habits positive, because your habits become your
values. Keep your values positive, because your values become your
destiny.” Take good care Stephen… Greetings from Paris, FR

Stephen Guise

Ok Katie. That’s a great quote. It appears to me that we don’t disagree on that (positive thinking), but we disagree on the definition of the Law Of Attraction. I’ve always been in favor of positive thinking.

Paris, huh? Very cool. I plan to visit your country at some point. 🙂 Greetings from North Carolina!

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