zen habits : breathe

Why the Law of Attraction is Wrong, But Why It Still Works

Recently I was asked by a reader named calande, on the Zen Habits forums, what I think about the Law of Attraction:

“I think it would be interesting to have blog entries on the Law of Attraction (if Leo believes in it, obviously).”

So I thought it would be an interesting starting point for discussion if I stated my opinion on the LOA. Just remember that I’m one guy, and this is just one guy’s opinion, but since it was asked …

I don’t really believe in the Law of Attraction. I believe that it can work, but not for the reasons claimed in the “law” (which is not really a law or even a scientific theory, as it cannot be proven false).

The reason the Law of Attraction can work is because someone following it does the following three things:

1) Very specifically states what he/she wants — something many people fail to do otherwise.

2) Constantly focuses on it.

3) Actually takes action to make it happen. This part isn’t a part of LOA, but it naturally follows from 1 & 2.

The combination of those things will, more likely than not, make a desire or goal come true.

But not for the reasons that are stated in the Law of Attraction, as I’ve seen it stated. Most statements of the Law of Attraction (there are different definitions, which makes it hard to argue against it) use pseudo-scientific explanations for why LOA works, about how our thoughts go out into the physical world and influence it somehow. Various scientific phenomena, such as electromagnetism, are used in some of the explanations, but there have been no actual scientific studies done to support this theory, as far as I know. And as I said, the LOA cannot be proven false, and if a theory cannot be proven false, it is not scientific.

However, that doesn’t mean you shouldn’t take what is useful from LOA and put it into practice. If you can very specifically state what you want, constantly keep that goal on your mind (focus), and (this is important) take actual action to make it happen, you will have a great chance at achieving anything you put your mind to doing.

I’d love to hear more from others on what they think about this. Thanks for the great question, calande!



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