The phenomenon of the film The Secret speaks to a secret that a small segment
of the population has known about and prospered from for thousands of years. The
secret is really not so secret. It is the Law of Attraction: you create in your
life what you focus your attention on. Your life story is the outcome of where
you focus your attention.
But just focusing your attention on what you want is not magical. If it were, the world wouldnt be so crowded with wishful thinkers. Lets take a look at why the Law of Attraction works (and what The Secret didnt tell you), and examine four principles that will help you empower its application.
Why It Works
The Law of Attraction is based in neuroscience. Your mind is an energy field that responds to focus: where you focus, your attention creates brain connections.
The mental act of focused attention holds in place brain circuitry activated by the focus. Paying attention over time keeps the brain circuits open and active. Focused attention plays a crucial role in altering the structure of the brain. With repetition, these chemical links actually become stable changes in the brains structure. Neuroscientists call this neuroplasticity, from a well-verified law in quantum mechanics called the Quantum Zeno Effect in which focused attention systematically rewires the brain.
If you lay a nail and a paper clip side by side, nothing happens. When you take a magnet and stroke the nail several times from head to point, the nail itself becomes a magnet and it can then pick up the paper clip. Why? The molecules of the nail are aligned in the same direction, creating a magnetic field. When all of you is going in the same directionand focusedyou have power.
This concept explains at a brain level why a solution focus is more effective than a problem focus. Focusing on possibilities creates new neuronal networks and pathways, while focusing on problems deepensfurther etchesthe already existing circuitry. These brain connections literally become mind-maps and subsequently influence the reality that we see.
Heres The Secret deconstructed: focusing on a vision will create structural tension in your brainthe tension between where you are now and where you want to be. Dissonance can create motivation. And your brain, like nature, abhors a vacuum. Your brain will conspire to close the gap between your vision and reality.
Following are four principles that will help you maximize the effect of the Law of Attraction in your life.
1. The Power is in the Focus
The paradox is that we do not attract what we want, we attract what we focus on. Your unconscious doesnt register positive or negative. It just registers the focus. A print or its negative is the same image; your unconscious registers the image.
The power of focus is that whatever you attend to or focus on, you align yourself to bring aboutlike the magnetized nail. Be specific about what you do want, and not just what you dont want in disguise. I want to get out of debt focuses on debt. I want a reliable car focuses on the idea that cars break down and need repairs. Everyone wants more money, so wanting is not the key to having it. Focusing on scarcity attracts scarcity. Focusing on prosperity aligns your energy to pursue prosperity.
Put energy into what you want. Focus on wealth instead of debt; possibilities instead of problems; desires instead of obstacles. To fight something is to engage itto add energy to it. That creates resistance. When you focus on what you want, what you dont want falls away, like your lap when you get up to walk.
2. Take Strategic, Planned Action
The Law of Attraction wont give you what you want; it will give you the energy to sustain the process to create what you want. It wont send a Brinks truck up your driveway or align the Lotto balls for you. The magnetized nail just lying on the table does not get anything done. However, you can align your internal molecules by focus and purpose to point the energy field of your mind to specific goals. Its a way to use your power to write the story you want.
The pen is in your hand to write your story. The world will not pay you for what you know. It will pay you for what you do. It rewards action. I know from my work in Executive Mentor Coaching that people need to be taught how to believehow to believe specifically, strategically, systematically and consistently; then, to have a plan and act on it. Once you begin acting on a plan, you can always self-correct.
This particular secret behind The Secret is also ancient wisdom, captured best by my grandmother who said, Wishes dont wash dishes.
3. Be of Value to Others
Your focus and actions must bring value to others. This is the Law of Attraction applied: you have to give value in order to get value. You get back what you put out. If just focusing your attention and putting it out to the universe were enough, there would be no one left wishing for more money.
4. What You Attract Is Equal to What You Provide
The mantra of The Secret is: Ask, Believe, Receive. You will have much more success by converting it to the ABCs: Ask, Believe, Create. The amount of benefit you receive depends on the amount of benefit you provide.
An example of this final secret behind The Secret is that the amount of money you make depends on the amount of value you provide. And, of course, you have to ask for and collect what youre worth. While there is no Blue Fairy, you can create immense success with planned, strategic, consistent action that is of value to yourself and others.
DR. DAVID KRUEGER is CEO of MentorPath, an
executive coaching practice tailored to the needs of executives,
entrepreneurs and healing professionals. Dr. Krueger is author
of eleven books on success, money, work and self-development.