Do you believe in the power of thought to change the things around you? The topic we are going to talk about today will delve into this question, looking at what the believers say and also what the critics tell us. The Law of Attraction is considered what we call “New Thought”, a movement that started in the 19th century and tells us partly that we can manifest a certain reality just by concentrating on that reality.
Think positive thoughts and positive things will happen to you, think negative thoughts, and you’re likely to end up starring in the reality of your negative musings. It goes back years this kind of thinking, but the movement was revitalized after the publishing of a 2006 book called “The Secret” written by Rhonda Byrne. So, let’s see what this is all about, in this episode of the Infographics Show, How Does the Law of attraction Work?
Ok, so first let’s talk about the basic concept of the Law of Attraction.
In Rhonda Byrne’s book we are told that if you think really hard about the things you want in life, but couple the thinking with positive emotions, you can get what you wish for. A coupe of Byrne quotes should make matters clearer. (1) “Start telling the story of your amazing life, and the law of attraction must make sure you receive it!” (2) “Absolutely everything you experience in your life is a result of what you have given in your thoughts and feelings, whether you realize you have given them or not.”
By that rationale, if you walk around complaining that life is hard, work is demeaning, and have a desultory way of navigating through life, that’s what you’ll receive: A hard life, bad work, and a feeling of not going anywhere. But if you focus on positive things, you’ll be rewarded. Some people have likened the law to karma, whereby you’ll be given good karma by not only doing good things but also thinking good things. But even though it kinda makes rational sense that a positive outlook might bring dividends, believers in the law say it’s more than just payment for a positive outlook.
It’s more like actually making your wishes come true, maybe like magic. But those that endorse the law invoke quantum physics, not magic.
We are told that by observing a reality, we can create it. There’s no simple explanation, and many scientists are not on board with this, but what we are told in very basic terms is that phenomena happens at the subatomic level, but of course we don’t see any of this. As one person writes, “Light and matter do not exist until something happens to it to make them ‘real’, but what is that?” Well, basically, our consciousness can make it real. We radiate energy, send out vibrations into the cosmos, and we shape reality with this energy. We could go on, but it would take too much time.
So, what does all this mean, according to proponents of the law of attraction?
Well, for one thing, you can manifest love. Yes, you can find your soul mate by using the power of your own thoughts. According to one website, people don’t find love basically because they lose faith. We are told, to find it you must look with intention. You must have focus and clarity about who you want to love. A little bit like the old movie “Weird Science,” you have to actually design a mental image of who you want to love. You must create their character, their looks, know exactly what you want from them, and how you want to be treated.
You must also start to love yourself, because you need that positive energy. Become your ideal self, the person you want someone else to love. You need to get this mental image, and even start to imagine you know their smell, what they feel like, how they sound, and come back to it daily. In conclusion we are told, “Visualize being with the one you love, and let a warm, golden glow fill your chest. This is the energy that will propel you through the day on exactly the right frequency to attract love.” Now doesn’t that sound better than swiping through Tinder daily or incessantly and creepily ‘liking’ someone’s cute ‘pet’ posts on Facebook?
But it doesn’t stop there. If you’ve got your soulmate, you’ll want good health, and possibly wealth – especially if the person you’ve dreamed-up was kitted-out in Gucci and Hermes every day. Ok, maybe your lover has the cash, but that usually means you’ll have to have some too.
So, for good health you must encourage the ‘placebo effect’.
That means the power of will to make changes to your wellbeing. Placebos are the dud drugs that actually do sometimes work in medical trials. We are told you must focus on your fit body, you must get rid of stress, and you must visualize yourself as a healthy individual. Do not obsess about your weight, because as you know already, this is negative thinking, and you’ll just get fatter. Think thin and watch the pounds fly off you. Enjoy your cheesy Doritos.
We think you are now getting it. So, if you want wealth, you must focus on abundance. But, as it’s not really a greed thing, as this law doesn’t work in a negative way, you must focus on the abundance of things you already have and be happy you have them. This will make you feel positive and happy, and you can get more things. We are also told you must actually smell money, or imagine its smell, because this will, “align your own vibration with wealth and abundance.” In the style of mantras, we are also told you can repeat certain things each day while meditating on cash.
There are many, but some include, “I love money. Money is good”; “There is no limit to how much money I can attract”; “Every day, I magnetically attract more wealth.”
“Start today” says the websites that propound the law of attraction as the beginning of a new and wonderful existence. But is it that easy?
None of us are so cynical that we can’t agree that some positive thinking, making lists, having direction and focus, can help us get the things we want. Most clinical psychologists will tell you that. Will Smith made a recent video saying just that, although he forgot to mention theories such as Malcom Gladwell’s in that there is a lot of luck in gaining great success, too. But could an emphatically uneducated, perpetually broke, universally unattractive person, end up with unholy riches, and the perfect husband or wife, driving down the Pacific Coast Highway in a Bugatti Chiron joyfully singing along to Survivor’s “Eye of the Tiger”, just weeks after beginning law of attraction exercises?
So is any of this real?
We don’t mean to dash your hopes, but we must now talk about the critics. Psychology Today calls law of attraction “Metaphysical Pseudoscience”, saying it is based on, “erroneous, unfounded, and often incorrect assumptions.” The site debunks the science part, but it would take too long to explain, and then in a fairly long deconstruction of the law, debunks the rest of the positive thought scenarios. The article ends, “Millions of people are wasting time, money, and energy on an ineffective and detrimental system.”
There are many articles out there calling it a con, a waste of time, a scam, a lie and utter nonsense. An article in the New York Times, written by two psychology professors, talks about the many millions of books sold purveying the law, and calls it merely a meme. It was invented, says the article, “to optimally exploit a suite of weaknesses in the design of the human mind.” Oprah Winfrey is harpooned for plugging the law on her show, and the article goes further by saying the law creates the illusion of potential, which isn’t a hard sell to most people. Remember Eye of the Tiger and the Bugatti?
As for the science, the professors write, “Whenever you hear someone appeal to impenetrable physics to explain the workings of the mind, run away.” They do, though, at the end, say that the people selling the books certainly knew how to get their way, and so in a fashion they did control their destiny and get the sports car they wanted.
We should always stay curious, if not skeptical, and we at the Infographics Show can’t tell you the truth about this, because it is not entirely clear. Basically, it’s for you to decide, and we’d love to hear your thoughts. Do you think the law of attraction is a bunch of hooey, or is there something to it? Let us know in the comments!
Also, be sure to check out our other article called What Makes Popular Kids Popular. Thanks for watching, and, as always, don’t forget to like, share, and subscribe. See you next time!.