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The “Non-Woo” Version of The Law of Attraction (And How You Can Practice it Daily)

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The "Non-Woo Woo" Version of The Law of AttractionThe Law of Attraction actually works. But not in the way that most people think it does.

I recently got $1000 deposited into my bank account for no reason. That’s enough money to sustain me for an entire month.

However, I never asked for that to happen. It was freak luck. Nothing else. It was not the Law of Attraction that gave me that money.

Let me give you the neurological  explanation for why the LoA works, as well as my personal strategy — the strategy that I have been practicing for a few years with incrementally improving results.

This is one of the core things that I practice daily, and it’s something that I believe to be essential for success in any area of  life.

But first, let’s take a look at how most people think the Law of Attraction works.

The Common Interpretation of Law of Attraction

Here’s how it’s supposed to work, according to dumbed-down movies: you state your desires and wait for it to manifest.

You’ve probably heard the following catchphrase:

“I told the Universe I needed money… Suddenly checks arrived in my mail box instead of bills. It was like magic!”

But that’s bullshit.

It doesn’t matter if you’re the best person in the world at “manifesting your desires”– if you don’t know basic economics. You must provide value to get money.

Your life cannot change for the better — financially speaking — unless you find an efficient solution for helping other people achieve their goals. That’s economics 101, you provide a valuable service or product in exchange for money.

Point being: You don’t manifest shit. You make your own luck.

But, if you can find ways of getting your brain to keep focused on the right things it certainly helps you in making your own luck. Stay tuned til the end to find out what I mean.

Example: Stupid People on a Forum

Let’s take a closer look at how some people interpret the LoA. And just exactly how it fits into their lives…

Here are a number of funny messages that I stole from the Power of Attraction Forum from a thread about something called “RS” — Remote Seduction. These people are using their mind powers to get people to fall in love with them.

They begin by telling each other of their cool, supernatural experiences of making people of the opposite sex notice them. Then they get into a “highly scientific”  discussion about how to use Remote Seduction and the LoA, trying to find their way towards a best practice:

[Note: My commentary is in normal text, the forum comments are in grey.]

“Maybe it helps to take a break of 1-2 days :) That’s how I do it.”

Peaceevrywhere

–Another user responds, reassuringly:

“I don’t do it every night.so i take break sometimes :)”

ava

–The first user responds:

“That’s good :) all I can say is stay positive and keep trying as you never know when the universe fulfills your desires :D

Peaceevrywhere

–Just wait for the universe to fulfill your desires. Eventually your begging will reach the universal god and it will grant your wish, if it’s having a good day and feels like it.

This sounds like a smart plan: Don’t take any personal responsibility for making your desires come true.

Later,  another user gives a more in-depth explanation for how the LoA should be used:

“The thing is that the process helps you believe that your desire will come true. It shouldn’t be used to bring your desire to you. By using RS in that way, you’re using it out of desperation or inpatience, sending a message of discomfort of your current lifestyle. REMEMBER: It’s not something you do X times and then you have your guy/girl by your side. Stay happy and that’s the most important thing that you need know!”

Coley915

–Did I understand correctly:

  1. This magic superpower should only be used for altruistic purposes?
  2. It has nothing to do with skill or practice, but works purely on random?

Some other user (I didn’t copy the comment) isn’t seeing any results from doing the Remote Seduction mental magic. She begins to wonder if something is wrong, and needs to reaffirm her beliefs. She has become insecure and skeptical. She lists some mundane occurences during the last days.

Another, more experienced, user responds to her:

“those are RS “Symptoms” you mentioned above! So KNOW that its working. My guy is acting soooo weird sometimes when he see’s me he smiles makes eye contact other times he freaks out! and looks confused or even scared(by his own emotions towards me) it’s like im dealing with TWO completely different people here…! is completely Logical for them to act this way.”

memo dissolvedboy

–Indeed. It must be working. Boyfriends that smile at their girlfriends is not at all standard behavior.

User Coley915 leaves another confused message.

“Lately I feel it’s hard to do RS.  I just don’t have any energy to put into it.  Some days I try and I just can’t.  Other days I have really intense RS sessions. I guess part of me feels stupid that I am even trying to attract someone back by doing this in the first place. I’m torn because I love J so much and I miss him.  I just want him to come back to me.”

Coley915

–Yes, Coley915, this will get you your man back. There is no more efficient way of accomplishing your goal. Especially not talking directly to him and trying to assert some personal influence.

You just keep thinking hard about how much you want him, and don’t do anything about it. Things should come to you effortlessly. Remember, if you exert any real effort, you must be using the LoA wrong!

—————————

I think you get the point.

These people don’t understand that they actually have to put in some intelligent effort to get what they desire.

They don’t believe in the Law of Compensation. They think they can get something for nothing.

They will do anything — including resorting to magic thinking — in order to avoid putting in any real effort. They can’t face the reality that they need to improve and become more competent before they can get the things they want in life.

It doesn’t matter how skilled at Remote Seduction a 300 lbs woman is. She still has to lose weight.

It doesn’t matter if you slap a suit and tie on a loser guy. He’s still a loser, and nothing will change that but hard work and action.

To clarify: I’m not talking down on wishing, doing affirmation, and formulating goals. But none of those things matter unless you purposely place yourself  in situations that are conducive to help you achieve those things.

The Neurological Explanation for the LoA

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Practice your brain’s pattern recognition.

When I first learned about the Law of Attraction I was highly skeptical to it.  I am a critical thinker and I didn’t buy the dumbed-down explanations for how it worked. I saw that it was a marketing ploy to sell videotapes to the unthinking masses.

However, this actually impeded me, because it made me dismiss everything associated to the LoA. Including writing down my goals, stating my desires, and doing affirmations. I was unsure about those things for a long time — until I began seeing positive results from doing them.

Here’s the real explanation for how the LoA works. It has to do with using certain parts of your brain. And you can practice them regularly. Here are the main parts of the brain that are involved and what they do:

  • The prefrontal cortex (PFC) is used to sustain attention at a task, or maintain a stream of thought. It’s with this part of the brain that you make decisions and associate with “wakeful consciousness”.
  • The reticular activating system (RAS) together with the thalamus relay information to other parts of the brain. They then filter out all incoming stimuli except for the miniscule amount of information deemed as necessary to bring up to your immediate attention.

In combination, these processes allow human beings to set goals and find ways of achieving them by spotting unlikely opportunities:

PFC: Set goal X + repeat it by consistently focusing on it = sustained attention

RAS & Thamalus: Sustained attention on goal X filters out unnecessary information and helps you find what you’re looking for.

It’s not magic. It’s merely about telling your brain what to look for while you take a lot of action. That is intelligent effort.

Practical Example

Let’s say you run a business and your current goal is to build a sales team. You are now looking to recruit a sales person.

You go about your day and socialize with people.

As you go to your favorite lunch spot you hear a guy in the queue, in front of you, talk about how he sold his car. You listen in on the conversation a bit longer.

The guy starts talking about how he skillfully got the buyer to pay more for the car by using clever sales tactics he’d learned from a book. He then says to his friends that he’s got a new, much cooler car. He tells them he got it by getting several of  his friends to make fake offers to the seller — and then got his friends to withdraw their bids in the last second to make his own, lower bid, become the last one left. This made the seller desperate, and he got the car cheaply.

At this point you butt into the conversation and ask the man what he does. You then talk him into taking a position in your sales force.

How did this happen?

Let’s break it down:

It’s highly unlikely that you would have even paid attention to this conversation unless you’d specifically told your brain to scout for candidates to your sales force.

And even if you had, you wouldn’t have made the appropriate connection and thought: “oh, I can use this event to my advantage. I gotta butt into their conversation and make it happen!” unless you were certain that it would help you in accomplishing your goal.

How to Practice Your Brain

If you do the following things your brain will let you notice opportunities to a higher extent, and you will find solutions and smart strategies that you otherwise would’ve missed if you had not told your brain to focus on finding them.

  1. Practice your concentration. Read books, meditate, visualize, exercise, do anything that is conducive to helping you focus for prolonged periods of time. (PFC practice).
  1. Go about your day looking for a specific thing. Limit your selection to just a few things. Your attention span can’t handle keeping more than a few important goals in your mind at once. (RAS & thalamus practice).
  1. Remind yourself what you are looking for. Do repetitions of various sorts. Tell yourself in your head “I’m looking to do X today!” many times throughout the day. Write down the objectives of the day on a note and look at it every hour.

Words are a lens to focus one’s mind.

— Ayn Rand —

Long-term readers also know that I am very keen on keeping a whiteboard and a commonplace. These are the most efficient ways I’ve found of keeping focused on the big picture of what I need to do.

What is your opinion on this? What do you think about the Law of Attraction?

 


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Comments

  1. Wan Muhammad Zulfikri says:

    I don’t like the idea of a pure LOA – think and you’ll get it like magic.

    But like you said, if it’s used to guide ourself to focus on the right thing then do something about it – two thumbs up from me.

    Although, I don’t know if effort and logic are included in the principles of LOA in its purest form(as practices by their ardent believers).

    • Thanks Wan!

      “Although, I don’t know if effort and logic are included in the principles of LOA in its purest form”

      –Honestly, I don’t know. There’s probably a bunch of different branches, like most religions ;)

  2. This way of thinking is pretty much what keeps religion going. The human brain has a remarkable ability of focusing on what you want to believe and to ignore everything else.

    When you break it down, the law of attraction is simply the feeling that if you really want something… for some reason, you become closer to it…

    Well, that’s pretty obvious. I want a chicken sandwich, so when I go into the kitchen and find my fridge filled with chicken and not, Oh I don’t know, crabmeat… it’s because a series of events led to that happening. It wasn’t magic or the universe.. it was me, some money and a shop.

    Apparently, according to science, our brain cannot understand the concept of probability and chance. It’s completely man made and artbutrary, so when something happens which is lucky or is against ‘the odds’ we struggle to find a logical reason for it. We can’t fathom the maths of it, so we try to attribute it to something supernatural.

  3. Ive never believed in the law of attraction. Just like you say, its a bunch of bullshit marketed to people who dont are too lazy to work for things.
    still i think it was a good read.

  4. Heathenwinds says:

    Law of Attraction – new-agey “woo factor” = Bbeaking out of homeostasis seems to be the general theme.

  5. Remote seduction. Haha! Well, know I know what type of forums you frequent ;)

  6. The “Law of Attraction” gobbledygook is just a re-packaged (or rather, de-packaged) form of petitionary prayer. “Ask, and it shall be given unto you.” After two thousand years of experience to the contrary, vast numbers of people still believe they can get stuff by begging God for it. That’s easier than actually working for it, and takes away the uncertainty – if you don’t get what you want, it’s because God “had something else planned”, and the effort you didn’t make was doomed from the start. No effort, no responsibility, and no matter how badly things turn out it’s all for the best because it’s “God’s plan”.

    Prayer, and magical thinking in general, helps people feel like they are involved, and less than totally helpless, when they are unable or unwilling to take meaningful action. A primitive rain dance, praying for a remission of cancer, staring at a TV screen trying to will a basketball into a net, and “remote seduction” are all ineffectual non-actions. But then, maybe so is posting comments on a blog…

    • Abgrund,

      “staring at a TV screen trying to will a basketball into a net, and “remote seduction” are all ineffectual non-actions.”

      — Yes. This is why it annoys me when sports fans scream at the TV and curse the referee, and mentally associate themselves with the team: (WE’RE WINNING!)

      “But then, maybe so is posting comments on a blog…”

      — That would depend on what you’re trying to achieve. The difference is that this is a two-way (or more) interaction. Screaming at a TV is not.

      Ps:
      “petitionary prayer” –> Great use of words.

      • It’s amusing to me how sports fans project themselves into the game so much that they feel like they’re on the team, but I suppose other people do much the same thing when reading fiction or watching a movie. You could call it the “Law of Distraction”.

      • Sure, you could pass it off as that.

        It’s impossible not to generalize at times, but I feel confident when I say that sports fans identifying with their team are less productive/conducive to their life goals in the long-term, than reading fiction is.

        The main argument for why I think this is that TV is a passive medium, that doesn’t require much effort on the viewer’s part. It doesn’t SELF-activate the brain. Reading does, and it practices your imagination.

      • Agreed.

  7. You got a thousand bucks for free? Lucky you,man! Ive never got anything for free.

  8. I tend to think such stuff are bullshit too, until I decided to give my own meaning to LoA myself. Pretty much the way you’ve described it. It isn’t magic, but it works if you think of it this way.

    Not too long ago, I was at an “energy clearing session” webinar by a healer from Mind Valley, one of the top personal development organisations apparently. I was my usual skeptical self but I decided to go for it anyway. I did whatever I was supposed to imagine in my head.

    Well, I don’t feel any positive results, and I bet people will say all kinds of things like how I didn’t do it properly, how I needed to have faith and be not skeptical etc.. And I’m not swayed by testimonials which they provided at the end of the session. I do not have any trouble believing people will believe literally anything once they have set their minds to it. They’ll find even the tiniest improvements in their lives and attribute it to the session.

    • Haha Jeremy,

      I agree with what you’re saying. The thing that pisses me off about it is that no one emphasizes that it’s practicable — and if they do, they’re always very, very vague about how to do it.

  9. Ludwig – I get what you’re saying in that our minds become more conscious and aware when looking for answers so we are more alert and seek out what we are looking for. I’m not totally sold on loa (haha ok I am) but here’s how I’ve found it to work for me. It’s a combination of visualization and radiating positive energy. Visualization tends to work in other parts of our lives (for example, when you go for a job interview or visualize performance in competitions or sports) It’s visualizing what you want happening occurring.

    Secondly, putting yourself in a positive place so you are exuding positive energy somehow attracts more positive energy and circumstances into my life.

    Is this LOA who knows but it’s how I tend to believe in it and I can speak for the results. Of course, I am a big believer of action too which loa people don’t focus on that much. You actually have to do stuff for things to unfold in your life.

    • engresults says:

      One of the key points Ludvig has shed some light on is why some people find it difficult to make a meaningful connection in their desired relationships and the source of some of the dysfunction we observe in our society and culture.

    • Vishnu,
      What you’re saying doesn’t contradict me at all. It’s just communicated in a different terminology. We speak of the same thing, I just use different words and arguments.

      I would call what you describe “mental rehearsal” or “visualization”. However, writing this comment makes me wonder about where I draw the line between the two… I will think about this.

  10. I haven’t read any books about so-called LoA, but I guess a big part of Think and Grow Rich is about this.
    Things have started to make sense to me ever since I read Bold and Determined for the first time. (sorry for bringing him up all the time)
    Victor says that the mindset is the key. There is no “Let’s just try and see how it goes”, only option is “I AM the authority, I DO make shit happen”.
    However, when you challenge, when you try to get something, it’s not easy to have a mindset of a winner who knows he can get it.
    So THAT’S where LoA comes in. You convince your brain that you REALLY want it, and you CAN ACTUALLY 100% have it, NO MATTER WHAT.
    Then the brain believes that you actually can get it, and it pushes you into doing anything to get what you want.
    It’s not magic, it’s not about magic, it’s about changing what you and your brain believe.

    • Takumi,
      That’s fine. You bring up whatever you feel like.

      “However, when you challenge, when you try to get something, it’s not easy to have a mindset of a winner who knows he can get it.”

      –Victor is a cool guy, and I agree with him on many things. But I think he suffers the curse of knowledge a bit in this regard. Meaning that he’s a changed man, and doesn’t think the same way he did a few years ago. He’s got many reasons to be confident now.

      “It’s not magic, it’s not about magic, it’s about changing what you and your brain believe.”

      — This is an incredibly interesting thing. How to trick the brain into mental investment. If you go to college/high school, I would encourage you to read this post:
      http://www.lifehack.org/articles/communication/powerful-mindhack-that-you-can-use-study-work-less-your-leisure.html

  11. I read everyday the LoA book which was the precursor of many LoA concepts – The Science of Getting Rich.
    One of my favorite quotes is: “Do not try to “project” your thought in any mysterious or occult way, with the idea of having it go out and do things for you. That is wasted effort and will weaken your power to think with sanity.”
    and another : “You must not rely upon thought alone, paying no attention to personal action.”
    So the modern version of LoA is just the expression of nowadays tendency toward instant gratification.
    The primal LoA was much closer to what you’ve described as “intelligent effort”.
    Having said that I don’t buy the concept, that it all goes down to my brain. I experienced so tiny probabilities, that I just can’t believe that we all have such the power at our service.
    “Once is an Accident, twice is a Coincidence, but three times is an friendly Deity action” ;)

    • Well said Michal!

      I’ve read The Science of Getting Rich myself. My impression of that book was that it was written by a person obsessed with getting rich, making it his #1 aim in life.

      “Having said that I don’t buy the concept, that it all goes down to my brain. I experienced so tiny probabilities, that I just can’t believe that we all have such the power at our service.
      “Once is an Accident, twice is a Coincidence, but three times is an friendly Deity action” ;)”

      — Maybe it’s not all about the brain. But even if not, it’s irrelevant. You can’t control or practice God’s will. But you can do what is in within your control to improve your brain.

      • “Pray as if everything depended on God and work as if everything depended on you.”
        – St. Ignatius Loyola

  12. Great post Ludwig, and an extremely insightful one for me. To me if I want something (sales, relationships etc.) I would consciously do things and train my brain to do it – just like your example of hiring a salesperson.

    I’ve never heard of Remote Seduction but that forum sure sounds interesting! :)

    • Hey Aqilah,

      I actually did this today in networking with some pretty famous people. Gotta always give orders.

      Yeah I’ve never heard of Remote Seduction before. I just figured I’d do a google for a LoA forum to prove my point. I laughed my ass off reading that thread.

      Thanks for reading & commenting!

  13. Kind of like that movie “the number 23” with Jim Carey!

    What ye seek, ye shall find. I know this works. Ever since i was young i would always try to calculate the business potential of a given situation, eg i would sit in a cafe and note what people ordered, guess an approximate bill, guess roughly how many customers had come induring the time i was there etc, guess overheads, and come up with a rought idea of whether or not the business made good cash.

    This was all rough, as i said – the point being I see money everywhere now. It’s literally everywhere and in everything. EVERYTHING is a business, and if you train your mind to see it, there’s unlimited opportunity out there. As my boss recently taught me: even garbage is treasure (if you’re a waste management company haha).

    I think this is what you’re getting at Ludvig. Well said again :)

    • G-Freedom,

      “Kind of like that movie “the number 23″ with Jim Carey!”

      Exactly like that, friend!

      Very cool to hear about how you’ve practiced yourself into seeing money patterns. I got a post about “synergistic thinking” coming eventually, it’s a bit similar to what you describe. I talk about creating a big picture of what your life is going to be like, then categorizing it mentally, then seeing how these parts play along with each other and how you can create positive spilloers into as many of these areas of your life as possible.

  14. This one is a fun topic, and I think you laid it out well Ludvig. I had the same issue with the vast majority sales material on LOA, because it sounds like a load of hogwash. They really are cheating smart people out of the incredibly useful to tools of visualization, affirmations, and intentions, by dressing it in so much woo.

  15. Hi Ludwig,

    First time finding your site. I really like it.

    I used to not think anything of LoA, but then there are some things that are just too coincidental. Granted, (like you said), you didn’t do anything to get that $1000. But I think there’s a balance in there somewhere.

    Being proactive about your dreams is definitely the side I’d lean towards. Because one can meditate all they want, and be an expert ‘thumb-twiddler’ for all I care, but if they don’t go out there and do something— then I doubt much would be attracted to them. Great post!

    Aloha from Maui, Hawaii,

    Robb

    • Hey Robb,
      Glad you like the site. Your own site seems legit as well.

      “But I think there’s a balance in there somewhere.”

      — Hehe. Maybe my karma is good. I’ve been doing a lot of stuff lately. I’ve failed with most of the things, but a few things have gone very well.

      Cheers from Lund, Sweden,
      Ludvig

  16. Hi Ludvig,

    I first read the ‘The Secret’ years ago when I found it helping out a relative to move house. I’ve never seen the film. I read the whole book and like you I was very skeptical. I started reading more books on the subject. With an very open mind I tested out the classic example of visually checks coming through the door. 3 months later I received a check from the government for £1300 because I had apparently paid to much tax for the last 3 years. I still have a open mind and except it could be coincidence, but hey, £1300 why complain!

    I believe LoA will work better if you tap into your sub-conscious mind. You may be visualizing all day, but if your sub-conscious mind says “your lazy so this won’t work” then it won’t. How it works obviously hasn’t been outlined clearly or we would all be living the life we want. Many people don’t realize a few years before the The Secret was released America was hit with the great recession! What does that tell you!

    Supposedly there are missing LoA laws that have never been released. There are 3 additional laws. The secret has 10 or 12 but there are supposed to be 13 or 15. I read these ‘so-called’ missing laws years ago. I’ve tried to search for a link for you but I can’t find anything useful, just more psycho forum users!

    My theory is… universe or no universe, god or no god you have to act to make things happen and LoA is ONLY a additional part of the action process not the only part. A car can’t run with just an engine, it needs hundreds of other components it needs to run smoothly.

    Naomi

    • Naomi,

      “but hey, £1300 why complain!”

      — Haha. Nice. You got more than me!

      “Many people don’t realize a few years before the The Secret was released America was hit with the great recession!”

      — Yeah it’s all about the mindset. So many people have a “recession-depression-mentality” and feel sorry about themselves instead of setting out to find what they’re looking for, and win.

      Nice engine analogy!

  17. Heathenwinds says:

    Hey Ludvig,

    Sometimes when I load up your website the banner looks wrong and the page also looks different from usual. I can take a screenshot if you would like. Is that intentional?

    • I can vouch for that.

    • Heathenwinds, Abgrund, and Jeremy:

      — This is not intentional. It’s some CSS error causing the site to load its mobile version. I will fix this soon, it’s annoying the shit out of me. I have tried, but failed. I need some help with this one.

      Also, can you see the admin bar at the top of the site at times?

      That’s another strange recent error. However, it’s not harmful, unless you know my password and want to ruin my life.

      • Yes, I noticed that. I’m not gonna lie, I tried to click on your stuff to look around, haha. Was intending to inform you about it via email, along with the interview preview link! I’m almost done with it.

      • Jeremy,

        I can understand that. I’d do the same thing out of curiosity.

        That’s great news bro. I look forward to it!

  18. Not only does the page look different, the “reply” buttons do not work for me.

  19. Really interesting. Every morning at the gym I diary three outcomes I want to get out of that day, and the practice helps me a ton in channeling my energy and focus into those three things.

    I agree with you 100% that the only way to get results is to train your brain and put in the time and effort–way too many people expect to get results without putting in the work. If you want to have results, there’s absolutely no way to avoid the work.

    It’s funny, a year or two ago a middle-aged man I worked with gave me a book on the Law of Attraction because he was into it, and I wrote it off as some hippy-dippy nonsense after I dove into it a bit more. There’s some incredible theory and science under the idea of the LoA, but I totally agree with you, that practical element is so often missing. You can’t expect much results without being practical or hard-working.

    • Chris,

      “Every morning at the gym I diary three outcomes I want to get out of that day, ”

      — This sounds brilliant. I do a similar thing. Before any relatively important event, I always write down what I will do and how I envision it going down. It usually goes very close to what I write down. I’ve made some creepy “predictions” with this. I think it serves as excellent mental rehearsal. Then when the time comes to do the deed, you already know what to do, so you just go through the motions almost.

  20. Very interesting points. I’m glad that you don’t buy into the traditional definition for the LOA. To me, it always seemed more like psuedo-science based on superstition. It’s like believing in a magic rock that will miraculously bring you luck.

    yeah, that’s not what I go for.

    I’m with you – make your own luck. Do the work necessary to make something happen.

    I especially like what you said about the RAS. I’ve thought this for years – that if you keep something in the forefront of your mind, eventually you’ll spot it. You won’t filter it out with the rest of stuff. That’s why I’ve been so good at doing so many things i want to do. I keep them in the forefront of my mind so when the opportunity comes along, I take it. And I think that’s basically how the LOA actually works. If you concentrate on something enough, you’ll eventually find a path that leads you to it. It’s not the Universe giving it to you, it’s you giving it to yourself.

    • Steve, you mean to tell me that my magical rock has no effect?

      No. No… NOO!

      …..

      “That’s why I’ve been so good at doing so many things i want to do. I keep them in the forefront of my mind so when the opportunity comes along, I take it.”

      — Yeah. From some of the posts I’ve read on your blog, we seem to use a lot of similar strategies.

  21. If you’re confident that you’ll get lucky in business, you are more likely to notice and welcome opportunities that can lead to profit. So for people who go through this process successfully, it can seem like magic. Then there are people who have gone through the change in mindset, taken risks and ended up broke or with less money. Those will become permanent skeptics. Then you have people that go in with a goal, a positive mindset, but maintain their calculative nature, and in the long term they will win out every time.

    But the essence of mainstream LoA, “Believe and you shall get” is utter crap to me and I don’t think I will ever change my mind. I think I already illustrated how I felt that these people arrive at the conclusion with the help of confirmation bias, although I’m probably biased myself because I believe in research, work and persistence, haha! Bias is a funny thing that way.

    • Yeah, Ragnar. Cognitive biases are interesting.

      “Then there are people who have gone through the change in mindset, taken risks and ended up broke or with less money. ”

      — Of course, there’s always people with “bad luck”. But they’re the exception to the rule. Most people who “have gone through a change in mindset” and taken a ton of action succeed. At least to a certain extent.

  22. I find the repetition bit especially interesting. We like to think that once we’ve learned something once we’re done with it – we KNOW it. But intellectual understanding and grokking a thing are dangerously different.

    Alain de Botton praises religions for their willingness to repeat things. Schools are afraid to do this. After the exam we forget everything. The most important lessons need to be put in our face daily (or more) – something that intellectuals seem scared of. Religions aren’t afraid to bash one idea into brains over and over until it becomes a belief so deep that no amount of proof will change it. It’s a powerful thing.

    The consciously-created object of LoA that you’re talking about seems almost like a way of aiming your own religious mind.

    • Kyle,

      “Schools are afraid to do this”

      — I disagree with this. At least Swedish schools are keen on repetition. But they do it in a VERY stupid way because:

      1. They rarely tell you exactly WHY it’s important.
      2. If they do tell you, they suck at explaining it. You are not convinced to undertake the monotonous task of doing a ton of repetitions.

      But there is no faster way to success than doing intelligent repetitions. I’ve had to create my own framework for learning and find “fun” and “interesting” ways of motivating myself to do a ton of repetitions.

      “After the exam we forget everything”

      — Yes. The incentives are completely messed up. The (Swedish) school system needs to be fixed. Maybe by me.

      “Religions aren’t afraid to bash one idea into brains over and over until it becomes a belief so deep that no amount of proof will change it. It’s a powerful thing.”

      — I think one of the main reasons why religion works well here is because it tends to contain rituals. Powerfully emotional rituals. That links it to memory SO much better.

      “The consciously-created object of LoA that you’re talking about seems almost like a way of aiming your own religious mind.”

      — Maybe. Please elaborate!

  23. I watched The Secret when I was 14 and that changed my life. I don’t sit around waiting for things to happen but I do tackle life and obstacles with the delusional belief that it will somehow work in the end.

    It’s been working pretty good ever since then.

  24. Interesting thoughts about the power of repetition and ritual. I’m not sure how much education needs to rely on repetition, especially higher education. The fact is that so much material, most of it of no practical use, gets crammed into a university curriculum that I think most students retain almost none of it within a few years, even though some of it is abundantly repeated for a semester or even for a few years. In the long run, only what’s periodically reinforced (as by actually using it, or by participation in rituals) is retained. The true function of higher “education” is not education /per se/ at all, it’s a kind of screening.

    I don’t think the people who take risks and end up “broke or with less money” are the exception to the rule at all. There’s a reason why it’s called “risk”. There are people who succeed on their first attempt, but they have either exceptional ability or luck or both. Quite often, people get burnt multiple times before succeeding (or giving up). Of course there are people who are unlucky over and over, but (by my observation) the most common cause of persistent failure (after “not really trying”) is “fundamental lack of ability”, not back luck.

    Naturally I think the “Law of Attraction” as such is baloney, mere magical thinking. Only action can lead to achievement. But certainly it’s important to visualize goals, to keep them constantly in mind, and to imagine the process by which they will be attained. Otherwise, the mind will be uncertain and easily distracted and effective action will not be consistently taken.

    • Abgrund,

      ” The true function of higher “education” is not education /per se/ at all, it’s a kind of screening.”

      — Precisely. If one can create value through innovative ways, there absolutely no need to go to university. The only counterargument would be the network opportunities granted at university. (Especially Ivy-League schools)

      • I think Uni has crap to do with creating value, innovative or otherwise. My guess is that for technical occupations, the typical graduate winds up using no more than 5-10% of the course content to do anything valuable professionally. For non-technical occupations, it’s more like 0%. But most careers are closed to those without college degrees, regardless how unnecessary the “education” is to the actual work. The degree is proof that you have the discipline to persevere through years of drudgery, and the ability to function within a complex organization governed by arbitrary rules and irrational practices.

  25. I think you give people a better picture of LoA. Good job on that.

    The reason people are skeptical about the movie is because its overwhelming in a good way but they have bad intention, like one of their priority is of course making money of that movie so making the movie as good and presentable as possible. They talk about beautiful way of getting things just by thinking your way to it. They are not lying they are just putting focus on that magical thinking aspect. I don’t know if people have noticed it but the part about action is really short. So people don’t even take that in consideration. Every movie is just a digital drug in my opinion that spikes up emotions as I have seen great amount of movies I can confidently say that.
    I have done research to about Law of Attraction watched the movie and read the book to understand the underlying concept. The people you see in those movies as well. I can say that they all took some good action because the very first thing was they knew what they wanted. BETTER THING IS JUST TO TAKE ACTION AND ADJUST FROM THERE. YOU GET WHAT YOU GIVE !

    I myself do believe in LoA. I ruffly understand it and applied it before. One thing i can say for sure is if there is no some kind of physical action. Then you should join the form and ask for advice of those guys on forums haha.

    • Thanks for saying that, Robert.

      “as I have seen great amount of movies I can confidently say that”

      — I believe you ;) I agree though. Movies are about giving a powerful experience to the viewer.

      “Then you should join the form and ask for advice of those guys on forums haha.”

      — Hahah. Yes. I will be sure to do that when my life goes down the drain and I feel no other way out.

  26. Great post but very long:)

    Wishful thinking will not produce results, it’s only through action. We have to act (take action) our way to what we want. The key is to focus and take action on the tasks that will lead to our desired outcome/future.

  27. Jackson Anderson says:

    Hey Ludwig!

    Great post man , very enjoyable read at 6.30am to get my day started and my head in a good position!

    Funnily enough, I’ve read the secret twice + seen the video and find it to be enjoyable (let the judgement begin haha) but by no means do I believe that the LOA can be used like magic (as the marketers and masses would have you believe).

    I believe the LOA holds it’s place – similar to how you do. Using positive affirmations to ready our minds, writing down and visualising to have a greater sense of where we’re wanting to head within our lives and knowing what we wish to achieve, but not for one minute would I ever expect freedom and a filled bank account to come out of the sky – believing that would be like believing in god, and that just isn’t for me.

    At the end of the day it really is all about undertaking consistent action, building momentum and confidence through small wins to create bigger wins and not quitting – and if some factors associated with the LOA help do that well I’m all for it.

    Speak soon buddy!

    • Hey Jackson!

      “At the end of the day it really is all about undertaking consistent action, building momentum and confidence through small wins to create bigger wins and not quitting”

      — Indeed… Especially true about the self-esteem part. It surprises me how few people deliberately set out to improve their self-esteem. They should view it as a strategic asset that needs to be invested into each day. Why? Because the level of self-esteem one has will determine one’s entitlement as well as general happiness.

  28. “Go about your day looking for a specific thing. ”

    This is my #1 struggle! I work hard and I have so many ideas, but I need to focus on small wins.

    I would like to see a post from you on that. Too many ideas is just an excuse for not starting, right? :)

    Nice post!

  29. Great post. Concentration is a long lost skill set us human beings need to bring back. There’s so many things some people having going on at once they tend to forget about the most important things in life.

  30. Hey Ludvig!

    I couldn’t agree more with this post. Brian Tracy put it best when he commented that nowhere in the book ‘The Secret’ does it mention the word ‘Work’! I think that sums up a lot of peoples attitudes to LoA. They think that all you have to do is think about something to attract it into your life whereas in actual fact you have to work very hard.

    It’s also dangerous if you believe in the power of LoA too much as you will start to blame yourself for things that happen that are outside of your control.

    All the best

    • Hahaha, great example!

      “It’s also dangerous if you believe in the power of LoA too much as you will start to blame yourself for things that happen that are outside of your control.”

      — It would seem that way. At least after my 60 minutes of studying the forum where those nut cases hang out.

      Thanks for the comment, Ryan.

  31. Fantastic article! I think a lot of people think that just sitting around wishin’ and hopin’ really will accomplish something, but there’s more to life than creating vision boards and then drumming your fingers while you wait. Nevertheless, people who don’t state their intentions ARE at much greater risk for never achieving their goals … great of you to define the line between LoA used wisely and used stupidly. It’s harder to find than some people think. One of my favorite quotes illustrates your point well:

    “It’s easy to sit there and say you’d like to have more money. And I guess that’s what I like about it. It’s easy. Just sitting there, rocking back and forth, wanting that money.”

    ~ Jack Handy

    • Hey Sarah,

      Great comment. I wholeheartedly agree with what you’re saying.

      “people who don’t state their intentions ARE at much greater risk for never achieving their goals”

      — Yeah. For sure. If you don’t state your intentions and set specific goals, how will your brain know what to aim for? How will it know what type of information to filter out?
      Said in spiritual lingo: The conscious being chooses what to do, and does it.
      Said in management lingo: What gets measured gets managed.

  32. Sharon Ballantine, Life Coach says:

    Ludvig, the actions you describe for training your brain are actually some of the tools that students can use to apply the Law of Attraction in your life.

    Law of Attraction is a natural law, like the Law of Gravity. It is not about some “universal god” who will “grant your wish, if it’s having a good day.”

    Natural laws work 24/7. They do not discriminate and they do not rely on some magical being having a good day.

    There are many books and movies that describe the Law of Attraction, and yes some of them give a “dumbed down” explanation. Most are meant as an introduction, not a full instruction manual on mastering the application.

    Learning to manifest takes practice and focus. By using tools like the ones you describe and more, one can manifest a “magical” life–no woo-woo required.

  33. Do you even got the authorization of those people to use their usernames on your article? It’s not correct to call others “stupid” just because they have different beliefs than you. If they believe LOA works that way, good! But PLEASE respect others opinions and points of views!

    • Hey Lara,
      I did not. But I don’t believe there’s a law against it.

      “If they believe LOA works that way, good! ”

      — I don’t think it’s good. I think it’s unintelligent. And I think there are a LOT of other people who make the same cognitive mistakes — and it hinders their personal development and gives them a valid excuse for being lazy. That’s why I wrote this article to clear that up.

      “PLEASE respect others opinions and points of views!”

      –I do. I am not trying to be mean to these people individually. But what they stand (perhaps for lack of education) for is the opposite of what I stand for.

  34. I have bought-in the affirmations, intention statements and visualization tools and would love to hear a post about yours. I know you mentioned some in earlier posts.

Trackbacks

  1. […] And after having written your goals you will look at them daily to improve pattern recognition. […]

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  3. […] Write it down with strong affirmations that bleed into your subconscious, triggering your Reticular Activation System, your success-seeking missile. You’ve stoked the flame, watch what begins to show up and […]

  4. […] can also read more about the RAS from a fellow motivator, Ludvig over at Start Gaining Momentum […]

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