I’ve recently become interested in what is called the law of attraction. Many of the youtubers I follow were talking about it some time ago, and it triggered my curiosity. Basically, it is based on a rather simple principle combining visualization techniques, positivism and manifestation.
The law of attraction explains how by anticipating future success, good health or positive actions in general, you can end up manifesting them in your own reality, in your life. It might sound a bit esoteric to some of you, even magical or too good and easy to be true. However, not only does it work, but it is also kind of hard to achieve and it requires practice as well as a strong level of awareness and mindfulness.
This law seems to share some elements with the concept of karma – you reap with you sow. Except that the law of attraction focuses on yourself and on bringing you positive vibes. In other words, “like attracts like”. The basic principle of this law is that we are the one responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into our lives. Thus, if we spend our days dwelling about the past or fears of the future, we will indubitably see and attract more negativity around us, and vice versa.
Many might believe that you cannot impact your future and manifest such abstract things as success. However, it has now been proven several times that your mindset can transform your actions. The simple different between having a fixed mindset versus a growth mindset can help you heal faster, learn more, be more efficient. For instance, funny story, Michael Phelps himself visualizes the race he is about to do again and again in his head before diving in the pool.
The law of attraction is part of the New Thought movement that originates in the teachings of Phineas Quimby in the early 19th century. Though the term law of attraction was never used, and he focused his study on health, the basic idea that you attract what you think was already there. It was in 1877 that the term ‘law of attraction’ appeared in print for the first time in a book written by Helena Blavatsky.
Many authors became interested in the concept in the 20th century, with two of the best-selling books of all time being written : Think and Grow Rich (1937) by Napoleon Hill and You Can Heal Your Life (1984) by Louise Hay.
The concept is inspired by many different philosophical and religious traditions. The law of attraction indeed finds some roots in Hermeticism, with Van Helmont, a 17th-century Flemish physician, who proclaimed the curative powers of the imagination. It is also inspired by New England transcendentalism whose leading principle was “the supremacy of mind over matter” according to George Ripley ; or even Hinduism, and more.
Baby step to visualization
With a simple exercise of visualization, you can learn to achieve this. In the morning, or at night, just take a few minutes to sit still in silence or with some relaxing music in the background. It basically works like meditation. First, attempt to empty your mind to relax yourself, do not control your thoughts. Once you have gotten rid of any muscle tightness, berth mindfully. Then, you just want to internally visualize what you want to achieve. Try to construct this like you would for a dream and see your actions through your own eyes rather than in the third person point of view for better effectiveness.
The important thing during this practice is, beyond being relaxed, you have to be positive. Feel the good in you, your body, your thoughts. Sometimes smiling helps a lot because your brain associates the act of smiling with joy, and in turn your body and mind will act accordingly.
This technique reminds me of an article I wrote a while back, Fake it until you feel it. I know you might feel weird isolating yourself and smiling alone, with your eyes closed, but why not try it out ? After all, it is a good meditation and relaxing technique.
Practice is what makes you good
The objective is ultimately to rehearse this ritual daily, so that it ends up acting like a mantra. It is like a workout : just as you need to practice running 5 miles or doing a headstand before being able to do it, you need to train your mind first in order for it to internalize your desires and manifest them externally.
Be as precise as possible during your visualization exercices. Sometimes, going backwards can help : start by thinking about your big goal (run a marathon, write a book, be a lawyer…). Then, imagine you have already achieved this in another reality. You just need to go back in the process, step by step, to understand how you reached it : what did this other you did to reach this goal ? Whether it is running one mile every day, writing 3000 words daily or getting into law school, in the end, it works like everything else : you need to have every step of the way in your mind to be able to take action in the direction of your goals daily.
Unlike what you might think, visualization actually extends far beyond the exercise of drawing mental pictures. In fact, you can practice it in more concrete ways through actually drawing, painting, or even writing. Whatever works for you is the answer. If you are more into empirical, hands-on approaches, then physically externalizing your goals might help you better in the process of making them more real.
Just be consistent with it, breathe, and believe.