Today I'm stepping out on to the cyber high-wire. I'm performing a high-risk blogging manoeuvre. No safety net. No cyber-harness.
I'm going to write a brief opinion piece on the Law of Attraction (LOA). Possibly a no-win situation for me. Aah well. Advocates (of the concept) will disagree with me. (I'm okay with that... as long as you're okay with me thinking differently to you). And opponents are already with me.
I personally think the LOA should be re-named the Law of Distraction (as the title of my post suggests) as it (in my opinion) actually distracts people from change principles which actually work. (Just lost half my readers).
Firstly, I am not a vocal opponent of the LOA (as such), in that, I have never written or spoken publicly about it.. but I am a seeker of the truth... and it is my belief that it (the LOA) may not be the 'answer' so many believe it to be.
When it comes to creating forever results and believing in something (which we all want), I want proof, I want consistent evidence, I want impartial analysis, I want large-scale, irrefutable results over an extended period of time and I'd prefer someone who's not trying to make money through the peddling of this or that particular philosophy or program (to be the person doing the talking).
So why am I doing this post? Clearly, I'm a masochist. Who wants to be popular anyway? It's overrated. I sat back for a while (about a year) and observed the fervour surrounding the LOA... and while I get some of the thinking (no, I don't disagree with everything), I have a few issues (no, not those issues... other issues) to discuss, points to make and questions to ask.
So let's put a ripple (or tidal wave) in the personal development pond and see what it's about.
Note (2): Yes, this is an open forum for you to voice your thoughts.. just keep it civil, nice and constructive and we can all explore (debate, argue) together. Happily. We don't all have to agree.. (that's the beauty of being a grown-up) we just have to live on the same planet. And be nice to each other. Even though... we have different beliefs. Hmm, maybe we should tell our leaders that? Wanna join my political party? Me either. By the way, I love a healthy, good-spirited debate... but not some inane verbal attack from a bitter, twisted, angry zealot who simply wants to impose his or her opinion on the rest of us.
Which leads me to my next comment....
What I am about to write are my thoughts and opinions only... don't get offended, defensive or angry (well, I'd suggest you don't anyway). Feel free to agree, disagree or stop reading at any stage... Sometimes it ain't about right or wrong; it's about what we think, believe and choose. Let's commence boys and girls....
While there are volumes of information on the LOA, the following is an assortment from a range of sources and seems to be indicative of the general thinking, principles and beliefs... and there's also some thoughts, suggestions and questions from me thrown in (of course). The stuff in blue (or purple... I'm not sure!) is me. (Probably woulda figured that out all by yerself).
Some Definitions of the LOA: (1)People experience the corresponding manifestations of their predominant thoughts. I think this is a fancy schmancy way of saying "you get what you mostly think about"... gotta make it sound like pseudo-science though. I could give SO many examples of people focusing on (the attainment of) certain things for years.. and never getting them... but do I really need to? Nup.
(2)People have direct control over reality and their lives through thought alone. Mmm.. surely at some stage WHAT WE DO is gonna have some impact on our reality? Thought ALONE... don't think so. It's an ingredient... but it ain't the whole recipe.
(3) A person's thoughts (conscious and unconscious), emotions, beliefs and actions are said to attract corresponding positive and negative experiences "through the resonance of their energetic vibration." I'm a scientist (a crap one admittedly), so I've explored this a little... and nobody can tell me how the resonance of an individuals 'energetic vibration' (which apparently occurs when they focus on stuff) can help them lose weight as they sit on the couch, while simultaneously inhaling beer and donuts. Stupidly, I thought losing weight (for example) may involve getting off the couch and at some stage, expending some energy. Thought it may have something to do with behaviour not JUST thoughts.
(4) The "law of attraction" states "you get what you think about; your thoughts determine your destiny." I wonder how the billions of people who live on less than a dollar a day feel about this ideology... no wonder those LOA workshops never took off in the Sudan. "C'mon you guys over there in that mud hut with no food... your attitude and your thinking is holding you back.... stop limiting yourselves with your crappy mindset!" "Stop it with those negative thoughts." If you think I'm being insensitive, how do you think they (people in the Sudan) would feel about someone telling them that their thoughts are responsible for their reality?
LOA Principles: (1) Know what one wants and ask the universe for it. (The "universe" is mentioned broadly, stating that it can be anything from a god to an unknown source of energy). Okay... I want to be able to run a hundred metres in nine seconds (a world record)... the fact that I'm fat, slow, forty three and don't train for the event shouldn't be a problem... the only thing which might get in my way is my negative energy... (and I thought it would be my hamstrings).
(2) Feel and behave as if the object of one's desire is on its way. Hmmm, let's say the object of one's (such a funny word... I sound like the queen) desire is to be a rock star and right now I'm flipping burgers for seven bucks an hour. (1) As long as I'm working at Big Sam's Diner, I'm never gonna feel like Bono (good in theory, stupid in practice)... but I need to keep working there 'cause right now I'm not a rock star and.. I need the money. (2) If I walk around behaving like a rock star.. I'm probably gonna get punched in the head by someone who doesn't share my reality. (3) Perhaps I actually need to get off my ass, practice my music, develop some skills and do some work. (4) Perhaps I'm never gonna be a rock star 'cause I don't have any musical ability.
Just a thought.
(3) Be open to receiving it. I'm open to creating it, chasing it, working for it... not so open to sitting on my ass and waiting for it to knock on my front door.... call me old-fashioned.
"Er.. hello Craig, it's the universe here... I'm at the front door with that tropical island and that incredible singing voice you wanted.. let me in..."
(4) Proponents say that by abiding by these, and avoiding "negative" thoughts, the Universe will manifest a person's desires. My experience tells me that (by and large) the only person/thing that will create forever positive change in my life is ME... yes, thinking plays a role but typically it's more about my actions, my life choices, my ability to persevere and deal with discomfort, my ability to adapt and... my drive to create something from nothing.
Some quotes from LOA websites: (1) "The Law of Attraction is fun to learn and use because you are always watching, waiting expectantly for your desires to manifest. You can deliberately use this law to create your future!" Part of the appeal (in my opinion) of the LOA is the whole notion of how easy and fun the process is. Who wants to buy hard work, self-control and discipline when the universe can manifest your desires while you pull your nose hairs? Easy (fun, quick, painless, convenient) is what people wanna buy. Don't believe me?... look at how weight-loss and fitness products are marketed. Look at how money making schemes are sold. I don't like waiting for things to manifest.. I like creating.
(2) "You get what you put your energy and focus on, whether wanted or unwanted." I know plenty of people who have focused on finding Mr or Mrs right for years... if only they'd lose fifty pounds, get a job, change their crappy attitude, use a mouth wash and stop whining. But what do I know?
(3) "A major factor behind this universal law is the energy and vibrations of our emotions and feelings. Any thought you may have, when combined with emotion, vibrates out from you to the universe and will attract back what you want. You can leave all the details to the universe. Let the universe figure out the method of delivery, when you will receive it, etc. Now all you have to do is Allow It." Crap. Sorry.. couldn't help myself. (I'd been so grown-up too).
In the last month I've (did I mention I'm back in black now... hey, isn't that a song?) spoken to a bunch of people who tell me they have no plan and no idea how they will achieve their goals... but know they will (achieve their goals) because "their thoughts alone will attract whatever it is they desire"... they just need to put "that energy" out there at "it (their desired outcomes) will come to them". When I ask them for more of an explanation, one of three things happen:
(1) They say they don't know how it will happen and they don't need to... just need to allow it.
(2 ) They get very defensive.
(3) They get aggressive, grumpy or critical of non-supporters.
So... like many Personal Development philosophies or ideologies, I guess the underlying motivation for any individual to embrace the LOA is to create positive change in an area or areas of their life (I think both sides of the fence will agree with this). We all have this in common; the desire to create positive change... to have more... whatever 'more' is for us (peace, fun, love, money, power, recognition, happiness... and so on).
I guess it's a matter of us finding what really works. For us. I know what works for me and the people I work with... but that's my truth.
Craig Harper (B.Ex.Sci.) is an Australian motivational speaker, qualified exercise scientist, author, columnist, radio presenter, and owner of one of the largest personal training centres in the world.
He can be heard weekly on Australian Radio SEN 1116 and GOLD FM and appears on Australian television on Network Ten's 9AM.
Motivational Speaker - Craig Harper http://www.craigharper.com.au/