December 8, 2009

The Secret Behind “The Secret”

The secret behind “The Secret” is that you can make your entire livelihood teaching losers about the Law of Attraction, which in it’s most basic form states: You attract what you think about into your life.

From this premise, people are advised to think about things they want, visualize abundance, focus their intentions, don’t dwell on what they don’t want or focus on things that are absent from your life. “Energy Flows Where Attention Goes”.

Which is for the most part, all true. The entire Law of Attraction “phenomenon” can be summed up as: Your biases impact your outcomes. It’s really that simple. There is also a hardcore scientific basis for it in physics: Inertia. Things tend to keep doing what they’re already doing.

This is why depressed, negative people seem to drift into a downward spiral that feeds on itself, while annoyingly upbeat pinheads walk on pink clouds and consistently roll sevens through life. The rich get richer, and the poor…not so much.

Each success or failure, if seized upon by the mind as “this is completely normal for me”, sets up the expectation for the next sequence of events and heavily influences it’s outcome.

Positive Mental Attitude works because it sets the stage for succeeding. To succeed at something requires work, fortitude and tenacity. In order to cultivate these things, you need optimism, energy and the belief that the outcome will be in your favour. Otherwise, if your mental state is permeated by fear and self-doubt, then even if you are proceeding along a positive outcome path: you are more likely to abandon it at the first speed bump or obstacle.

Most of us walk somewhere down the middle. We have good days and bad. We have up phases of our lives and down. At the extreme ends there are people who are lost in the downward spiral of negativism – they simply can’t buy themselves a break and seemingly act as a magnate for cataclysmic drama. And then there are those creepily happy people who put a positive spin on everything that happens to them no matter what – from personal bankruptcy to head lice – it’s all good.

Both extremes deny pragmatic reality in unhealthy or potentially negligent ways. I read a blog post from a self-help guru the other day who declared with pride that he never saves money because he’s confident in his ability to manifest abundance around him whenever he needs it.

That may work, for now. But if you go back through history, there have been times when Positive Mental Attitude gurus weren’t in big demand. It’s fine, even helpful to be upbeat. It’s reckless to throw caution to the wind.

Prepare for bad times and you will know only good times is a pretty good maxim. It acknowledges that both exist. The more naive adherents to Law of Attraction or PMA will have you believe that you can “manifest only good things into your life”, the way some of the more clever money managers believe they can hedge out all risk. It looks possible in theory but when it collides with reality it tends to not work.

There is a big difference between writing your own ticket in life and “manifesting reality”. I don’t care how high you’re vibrating and how much abundance you’re visualizing: if you don’t have a serious method for producing income in your life, a pile of money is not going to fall out of the sky into your crotch.

The Law of Attraction and Positive Mental Attitude are tools that aide you in the execution of a strategy. They are not magic beans that allow you dictate reality (they only allow you to dictate fantasy).