The Real Secret of Attraction
If you have been in a bookstore or online in the last year,
you probably know that this has become the hottest new idea in
self improvement. Of course, it isn't a new idea, so really it
is just the hottest new way to recycle an old idea. But what
is the secret of attraction, and does it work as claimed?
The "Law" of Attraction
The basic idea is that you attract more of what you think
about. Think about money constantly, and it will come to you.
Think about love, and the woman of your dreams will appear. Yes,
unfortunately, it is often presented like that. Years ago it
used to be more common to teach this idea as part of general
goal-setting techniques, where it was assumed that you would
also be taking the relevant actions that lead to achieving your
goal. Now the action part is glossed over as somehow not so important.
We all like the idea of discoverable "laws" in the
universe. Discovering and applying our knowledge of the laws
of nature and mathematics allowed men to fly to the moon. Now
if we could just discover the "laws" of success and
self improvement. We could create simple formulas that get us
anything we want. Unfortunately, these kinds of "laws"
tend to be mere probabilities.
"The probability of attraction" isn't a very inspiring
concept, is it? "Do this and you'll improve your odds of
getting what you want" just doesn't sell the books as well
as "Do this and your success is guaranteed by the ultimate
laws of reality." Okay, enough of poking fun at the sellers
of certainty. Let's look at what is really going on here.
The Secret Is the Reticular Cortex
The secret of attraction is in the reticular cortex as much
as anything else. This is a small organ in your brain, a kind
of "gatekeeper" that directs incoming stimulus to your
conscious or unconscious mind. Your thoughts more or less instruct
it as to what to bring to your attention. This is why if you
start studying flowers, for example, you might start seeing flowers
all over that you never noticed before. You have effectively
said to your reticular cortex, "Let in anything about flowers."
Yes, if you keep your thoughts focused on money, then, this
part of your brain will make you more aware of things related
to money, even possibly opportunities to make some. If you continually
imagine meeting the woman of your dreams, you will probably become
aware of more opportunities for that. This is one of the ways
in which the brain works, and so we can use such "attraction
techniques" as a useful tool.
But "probably" is the important, if uninspiring
word here. It is important, because if you start to believe that
such "secrets" always work, you inevitably have to
either give up on the idea when you fail, or blame yourself (you
just didn't have enough faith, right?). Neither is a very productive
approach to any goal. A better approach is to accept that sometimes
things work and sometimes they don't, and that if you keep trying
in ways that increase the probabilities of success, you'll almost
certainly get better results.
Start focusing on what you want then, because it does increase
the probabilities of success, by putting the reticular cortex
to work for you. But learn what you need to learn as well, and
do what you need to do to achieve your goals. The real secret
is to get your mind AND your actions working towards that goal.