There has been much discussion about the “Law Of Attraction”, especially over the last couple of years since the release of the cult DVD “The Secret“.
So what is the Law Of Attraction and how does it work. Well basically, it says that the more you focus on something, the more of it you get. In The Secret it talks of how the rich elite have passed down “the secret” to each other for thousands of years, which only now is being passed on to the masses. That secret is that the more you focus on something, you send out brainwaves and thought energy into the universe, which in turn will attract more of the same energy back into your life.
I will admit that I have some trouble with that explanation of the Law Of Attraction. However, I did read that in one big city an experiment was conducted with a big group of experience meditators. They meditated and focused on peace and (allegedly) the crime rate went down in that city. I’m not convinced, but I’ll keep an open mind!
However, in Nuro Linguistic Programming (NLP), practitioners have been applying the practice of focusing on what you want for decades. Lets say you want to “give up smoking”. Your unconscious mind does not recognise negatives (“give up”, “stop”, “quit”) and will simply focus on “smoking”. That is why it can be so hard to give something up (because you keep focusing on it).
If my daughter is sullen, I sometimes tell her, “whatever you do, don’t smile”. The brain does not recognise the negative and she just can’t help but having to smile (which makes her even more cross with me).
If you were to go to an NLP practitioner, they try to help you to find the answer for yourself rather than to tell you (human nature is to take it more seriously if you feel it is your idea). So the conversation would probably go something like this:
You: I want to give up smoking.
NLP guy: Good, what do you REALLY want.
You: To give up smoking.
NLP guy: But why do you want to give up smoking.
You: Well, to be healthier.
NLP guy: And how would you know that you were healthier.
You: Well if I had more stamina and energy.
NLP guy: So your real goal is to have more stamina and energy?
You: Errrrr. Yes.
That is very simplified, but you can see how a negative focus of quitting smoking and been turned around to be a positive focus of having more stamina and well-being. If you focus on the stamina and well-being you will not be thinking so much about the smoking, so it will be easier to give it up.
You can apply this to many things:
I want to lose weight . . . . . I want to look goood in my new clothes.
I want to get out of debt . . . . . I want to be rich/well off.
I don’t want to mess up the interview . . . . . I want to impress them.
I really don’t want look silly . . . . . I want to excel (or, I want to fit in).
I don’t want to fail that exam . . . . . I want to do well at that exam.
Many people experience ideas “just popping out of nowhere”. Not true, they pop out of the unconscious mind. So how do you get the unconscious mind to produce the results you want? By focusing the conscious mind on WHAT YOU DO WANT (not what you don’t want). When you focus the conscious mind on the WHAT, the unconscious mind will work on the HOW.
This is why visualisation is a very important tool. Visualisation is simply one method of focusing the conscious mind. If you have money problems it is difficult not to worry, but if you focus on debt, that is what you unconscious mind will work on. If you focus on being rich (or at least better off), then your unconscious mind will pop up ideas (hopefully legal) of how you might be able to earn a bit more money (either by being better at your job, or some little enterprise on the side).
This is the true secret and the true Law Of Attraction and it is not new. However, if you accept the teaching of the DVD The Secret (sending out thought energy) as a metaphor and focus the conscious mind, then I think it is probably the best presentation of how to apply this concept that I have seen. I don’t agree with the explanation of how it works, but it is great for showing the principle of the Law of Attraction (focusing on what you want).
Famous motivational speakers and authors like Paul McKenna and Anthony Robins (both of whom I’d recommend) are high level NLP practitioners, so if you have followed any of their works then you may recognise some of what I have said above in their teachings.