I was inspired to write this post by a couple of things. Firstly one of my friends wrote on Facebook how inspired she was after watching The Secret. If you haven’t heard of The Secret, it’s a bestselling book and movie about the law of attraction. What is the law of attraction? Well basically the premise is that if you ask the universe, it will provide. Or in other words, if you believe strongly enough that you will be a successful person with lots of money, a big house and a great relationship then you will get all those things.
So anyway what was weird about her posting this is that I’d literally just read The Secret the day before. This is not a new book, it was published (and the film was made) in 2006 so it’s kind of a weird coincidence that we both watched/read it at exactly the same time 7 years later. I’m not sure exactly why I decided to read it, I was put off when it was on all the best seller lists because I tend to run a mile from anything over-hyped.
In my opinion, the main problem with The Secret is that it is over-dramatised, it over-promises (both great things for best-seller status!) but it’s light on the actual practical application of the law of attraction.
Now the premise that you can wish for a million dollars (or whatever) and it will just end up in your lap may sound like hippy mumbo jumbo and it is really. The idea that you can wish something and have it happen without any work on your part is rather dangerous. Before I read the secret, I read a few other books along similar lines but they are much more practical in their advice. positive thinking is all very well and good but you also need to be willing to take action towards achieving the things that you want.
For example this one goes into the science and psychology of positive thinking and visualisation and why they are so powerful. When you start to think about this, the law of attraction really starts to make sense – if you see yourself as a successful person and look for good things to happen in your life then you open yourself up to new opportunities and see possibilities that your eyes may have been closed to otherwise.
Visualisation has also been scientifically proven as an effective way to achieve success in many aspects of life – from achieving gold medals in the olympics to birthing a baby without pain. This is another reason why it’s so important to set specific goals when you want to lose weight, save money or whatever as it’s practically impossible to succeed without being very clear with yourself about exactly what you want.
Doesn’t sound quite so improbable when you start thinking about it in these terms right?
The thing about the law of attraction is that it also works in the opposite direction so that if you constantly think bad thoughts then you will bring bad things to you – people who constantly complain about being ill will always be ill, people who think and stress about their debt will only end up in more debt.
So the second incident that made me write this post was a nice little example of this negative effect of the law of attraction. Made has got it into his head that I attract bad luck. This started when we had a very old, unreliable car that was constantly breaking down. For some reason, if he went out in the car on his own it would be fine but then when we went out together it would break down. Now as far as I’m concerned, this was coincidence, but the seed was planted in his mind and now he swears whenever he brings me out with him, we have some kind of bad luck. When we went out for lunch today, the road was closed, causing us to make a lengthy diversion. Made immediately started harping on about how this only happens when i’m in the car and if he’d been on his own, he was sure the road wouldn’t be closed! 5 minutes down the road, what happens? The car splutters to a halt – out of petrol. Now was this just coincidence? Do I really attract bad luck? Or is Made creating bad luck by being convinced that we’re going to be victims of it?
The other thing that I find interesting about the guidelines for inviting good things into your life is that they’re basically the same as prayer – ask the universe for the things that you want and express gratitude for the things you already have. I am not a very religious person (much to the consternation of my very religious husband) but I do find the parallels fascinating. Not being familiar with the methods of prayer when I first met Made, i quizzed him about it and the best way he could describe it was a form of meditation.
Now meditation is another fascinating subject. In fact several studies have shown that meditation literally changes our brains and it’s becoming rather the in thing for entrepreneurs and creatives to use it as a tool for becoming happier, less stressed and better at what they do, eventually leading to more success in every aspect of their lives. See the link?
So I’d be really interested to hear what everyone else thinks about this. Do you believe that you can manifest your ideal existence? Or are you of the opinion that it’s complete bullshit? Opinions please!