Law of Attraction – is it magic?

Dan Miller —  June 25, 2012 — 12 Comments

Here’s a recurring question that I get about once a week in some form or fashion:

“Dan, what are your thoughts on the “Law of Attraction”, the thought that many self-improvement writers seem to forward. Being a Christian it makes me uneasy, as if it’s some sort of magic.”

Wow – it’s interesting that this concept is itself has such a power of “attraction.”  It seems to get everyone’s attention – either out of hope, belief or skepticism.

So what do you think:  Is this just a modern-hip version of Prov. 23:7  “As a man thinketh in his heart, so is he”?  As Christians how does our “thinking” play out in predicting what we will experience in business, health, spiritual vitality, and family & personal relationships?  Isn’t this the same principle talked about repeatedly in the Bible as the concept that shapes our ultimate position?

I think we can agree that we do move toward what we focus on.   So if you want to get an advanced degree, you imagine the new opportunities that will be yours and you create a plan of action.  If you want a better job, you refine your resume, and do a professional job search, contacting 30-40 prospective companies.  The Law of Attraction – and your concrete action will produce new job offers.  If you want to own your own business, you look inward to confirm your best area of focus, get the advice and counsel of people who are already successful in their businesses, create a timeline and specific action steps and you’re open for business.

On the other hand, if you fear losing your job, your actions may lead you to that conclusion.  If you believe the economy is “bad,” your reality will confirm that belief.  If you think about Krispy Kreme all day, chances are you’ll swing by there on the way home and continue gaining unnecessary weight.  We move toward what we think about.  The Law of Attraction will work for us – or against us.

The Law of Attraction isn’t magic at all.  Let’s look at some possibilities as it relates to getting that Mercedes you’ve been dreaming of:

  1. If you just sit in your house watching TV and hope for a Mercedes to appear in the driveway – you do have to believe in magic for that to happen.   If you hope to win the lottery or win the Reader’s Digest sweepstakes or think the government’s going to give you one, you have to believe in magic.
  2. If you go down to the local dealership and sign up for a lease on a new Mercedes at $900 a month and you make $1500 a month – that’s not the Law of Attraction OR God’s providence.   No – that’s just being stupid and allowing yourself to be taken advantage of.
  3. But if you create a plan of action where you’re going to mow 10 lawns every Saturday at $60 each and you save that money for 12 months – and you get familiar with prices on eBay – and then you take that $28,000 that you earned and saved and buy a really cool 500SL – yes, that’s still the Law of Attraction at work – but in a positive way.

As I say in my upcoming book –Wisdom meets Passion:  “Success is never an accident.  It typically starts as imagination, becomes a dream, stimulates a goal, grows into a plan of action – which then inevitably meets with opportunity.  Don’t get stuck along the way.”  And there you have it – The Law of Attraction.

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  • MrTravisScott

    Great post! I have actually been on both sides of the law of attraction (negative and positive). My wife and I had a full term still born baby in 2010. After the funeral we had a mindset that our lives would be bad for awhile…and they were. Then we decided to change that mindset in 2011. Since then I got a new job that I love, am publishing my first ebook, and things just keep getting better. It is all a mindset.

    • 48DaysDan

      Travis – wow, sorry to hear about your very real loss.  And no, I am not one of those who would imply that your “thinking” brought that on.  We live in a real world but also have a lot of choices to make every day.  Sounds like you and your wife are maximizing your opportunities for good things in your lives!

  • John

    I got to say you put it really well. I think the book “The Secret”  kinda gets it wrong, but there is a place for the Law of Attraction. Thinking is a huge part of the equation of success that many times is easy to dismiss as magic. The Bible does speak to this. The end of your post was a great encouragement towards action! Thanks!

    • 48DaysDan

      John – yep a lot of it is simply semantics – what we choose to call the principles that are at work, regardless of what name we give them.

  • http://www.liveyourwhy.net/ Terry Hadaway

    Great response, Dan. A lot of people who want to defend the Law of Attraction misuse Proverbs 23:7 which says, “For as he thinks in his heart, so is he.” This gives people the idea that we can manipulate the environment for our own benefit. Too bad that’s not what that Bible verse means. I wrote a post entitled “Three Ways to Know the Future” (http://wp.me/p2fSH9-2i) in which I give people three ways to guarantee their futures—do nothing, do what you’re doing now, do anything other than your why. 

    • 48DaysDan

      Terry – thanks for your comments.  Great post on Three Ways to Know the Future – I’d like to get some of those $300 that people are spending to know their future.  All I have to do is listen to what they say and watch what they do for a day and I can predict where they’ll be in 3 years.  

  • http://talesofwork.com/ kimanzi constable

    Great post Dan and makes so much sense. If this is a sneak peak of the book then I can’t wait!

    • 48DaysDan

      Kimanzi – trust me, there’s more where that came from!  Ha – I can’t wait to get it out there either.

  • GJTeach

    Proverbs 23:7 – “As a man thinketh IN HIS HEART…..” 
    More than just desiring, planning, and following through, it seems to me, via scripture.  Who and/or what is residing and leading ones heart.  Are we listening the the right voice?  Are we thinking as our Father leads, or following someone or something else?

  • http://168opportunities.com/ Peder Aadahl

    Ha Great Post Dan!  Oh how I have seen how people have abused there concepts of their thinking mixed with their work. 

    It reminds me of the example of the person who looks at a field and says “God please provide corn” and yet never plants any.

    You have to do some work and not be stupid like in #2! I agree with kimanzi I am really looking forward to reading your new book!

  • http://www.facebook.com/jbsommers John Brian Sommers

    LOVE THIS!  VERY VERY GOOD

    http://www.abstractsbybrian.wordpress.com

  • BurleB

    Very well stated,Dan.