Is The Law of Attraction REALLY A Law?

Is the Law of Attraction REALLY A Law?

I’ve seen a lot of people asking this question lately: “Yeah but is the Law of Attraction really a Universal Law? You know, like gravity?”

hen there’s this question: Is it attraction or just coincidence?

Well for those of you who hate having a question answered with a question I’m going to annoy you right now because here’s my answer to both of those questions:

Does it really matter?

I mean, does it matter to you if Gravity is REALLY a Universal law? If you just slipped on some ice and are about to land on your butt, do you care whether gravity is a Universal Law? Let’s face it, your butt is going to hurt either way!

Long before the “law” of gravity was “proven,” people were falling on their butts after slipping on ice. Does that mean that gravity did not exist or that it was not a “law?” Of course not.

In order for something to be useful and effective it does not need to be proven or even provable as a Universal Law.

And in fact, I would suggest that entering into this debate is nothing more than a distraction.

Remember that one of the key concepts of the Law of Attraction is that energy flows where attention goes. In other words, wherever you focus your attention, you immediately focus your energy as well.. Now let me ask you this, would you rather have your attention and energy flowing towards the creation of the life you desire or towards determining whether or not the Law of Attraction is REALLY a Universal Law?

Of course controlling where your attention is focused is a challenge in this culture of information overwhelm. The other day I came across an online conversation that drove this point home to me, mainly because I discovered how easy it is to get drawn into this argument.

Back in November, Joe Vitale wrote a post on this subject, Is Attraction A Law? His post generated some very passionate debate with hundreds of comments. And it’s a very tempting debate to step into, and I did get sucked into it for a while before coming to my senses.

I had to choose where I wanted my energy to flow: To that debate or to some intention I have for some a positive change in my life?

So as difficult as it was – and it was difficult – I chose to pull my attention back from that debate and refocus on the specific actions I had planned for that day: Actions that I knew would take me closer to the positive change I am attracting in my life.

Here’s the bottom line: Does the Law of Attraction work? Absolutely. Is it a Universal Law? I don’t know, and honestly I don’t really care. It doesn’t matter to me because I know that it works. I’ve seen it working in my own life and in the lives of those around me.

Some will say that I’m deluding myself and that the Law of Attraction is nothing more than a bunch of hooey. Am I deluding myself? Perhaps. But again, I don’t care, because if I am deluding myself I’m doing so into a continuously better life!

So I’m going to keep using it to create the life I desire.

Remember that Henry Ford said, “If you think you can or you think you can’t, either way, you’re right.”

If you believe the Law of Attraction works or if you believe it doesn’t, either way you’re right. Whether The Law of Attraction is a Universal Law or not is irrelevant. So you need to decide if you want to believe that the Law of Attraction has the ability to help you create the life you desire or not. Again, either way, you’re right.

The choice is yours.

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    13 Responses to “Is The Law of Attraction REALLY A Law?”

    1. Derek on February 26th, 2008 2:51 pm

      Edward, you’re right – ultimately it doesn’t really matter. As I have been thinking about this, I have come to understand that if I maintain a focus on the change that I want in my life that it will come to be.

      Whether someone wants to call that coincidence or the Law of Attraction ultimately doesn’t alter the end result. Thanks for sharing your thoughts, as well as the link.

    2. Karen Lynch-Live the Power on February 26th, 2008 3:32 pm

      Excellent post Ed!
      I absolutely and completely agree! What difference does it make?
      My life is happy and joyful and I “Believe” that is because my thoughts make it so.
      Coincidence or Law, makes no difference to me!

    3. Stutz on February 26th, 2008 6:41 pm

      Well, it might not matter, assuming that TRUTH is irrelevant.

      This is an argument that is commonly used to justify religious belief. If it makes me happy, and gives me fulfillment, what difference does it make if it’s true?

      I suppose that’s fine for some people who don’t care to think too deeply. But as George Bernard Shaw pointed out, “The fact that a believer is happier than a skeptic is no more to the point than the fact that a drunken man is happier than a sober one. The happiness of credulity is a cheap and dangerous quality.”

      See, the problem is that we have to live in the real world, and the real world does not care what we believe. I’m sick of our society being proud of ignorance. Knowledge should be VALUED, not scoffed at.

      I prefer to take the world as it is, taking into account the best and most current scientific knowledge to make my judgments about what is and is not good for myself and others. And guess what? Psychological studies have been indicating for many years that optimists generally lead happier, more fulfilling, healthier lives. But such studies only confirm common sense. Common sense also indicates strongly that working toward goals makes us more likely to achieve success. We don’t need any quasi-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo “Law of Attraction” to know how to be happy. And it’s not a question of some universal law versus mere coincidence, it’s simply being smart by increasing our opportunities–and thus our odds–for success.

      I worry that by focusing on this silly “Law” people might unrealistically increase their expectations and imagine that they can get whatever they want just by thinking. It’s a philosophy of laziness. It’ll be a cruel lesson when they learn that success takes quite a bit of “doing” as well. The thinking part is only important insofar as it spurs us into action. I’ve also never heard a good rebuttal of the critique that “The Secret” implies that all of the suffering in the world is brought on by people’s negative thoughts. Are children starving in Africa because they aren’t focusing hard enough on food?

    4. Jenny on February 27th, 2008 7:36 am

      I don’t think it is. I just think someone saw something, felt they needed to important and said WALA!!

    5. Edward Mills on February 27th, 2008 8:18 pm

      Derek: Focus, yes. But also action. In both of the examples you gave in your post, you had taken action that led to a response. And as you said, whether you call it “Law of attraction” or coincidence, it doesn’t alter the end result.

      Karen: I love that your positive energy comes through even in those few words. That positive energy is what attracts more positive things into your life. And if you believe that your thoughts make it so, then, for you, it is so!

    6. Edward Mills on February 27th, 2008 8:28 pm

      Stutz: Thanks for taking the time to respond. First I would point out that nobody is suggesting that truth is irrelevant. I’m certainly not. Your comparison of what I wrote to religious beliefs being justified by the use of “truth” is a faulty one. The truths being used by religions are being used to convince or convert others to a certain belief system. In this post I have never suggested that anyone attempt to convince anyone else that the Law of Attraction is True or not. In fact, quite the contrary: I’m suggesting that whether or not you believe the Law of Attraction is a “Law” is irrelevant to its effectiveness.

      Furthermore, it could very easily be pointed out that TRUTH is a fluid concept. Much of what we understand to be true today about science or spirituality or natural laws, would have been dismissed as “quasi-metaphysical mumbo-jumbo” just a few decades ago (in some cases a few years ago!)

      You wrote that: “I worry that by focusing on this silly “Law” people might unrealistically increase their expectations and imagine that they can get whatever they want just by thinking.”

      If having unrealistic expectations was a bad thing, Edison never would have invented the lightbulb, Einstein would not have discovered relativity, Ford would not have mass produced automobiles.

      I say go for “unrealistic” expectations, because, after all, who is to judge what is realistic for you?

    7. Stutz on February 27th, 2008 11:29 pm

      Thanks for the clarifications.

      I understand what you mean, but I kind of think that whether or not anyone is trying to “convert” people to believe the Law of Attraction as they do for religion is beside the point. My point was only that it is the same (or a quite similar) defense or argument in both cases. And in both cases the truth of the belief in question is pushed to the side, when, really, it should be at the center of the issue.

      See, I mostly agree with you that the techniques commonly associated with the Law are generally beneficial and can increase people’s odds of achieving success as they define it. But I was trying to demonstrate that labeling this system “The Law of Attraction,” talking about it like it’s some law of physics, and focusing on the “power of thought” muddles the issue and distracts us from the kernel of truth underlying it. The Law is nothing more than a metaphor to help us understand that we should be focused if we want to be successful. It is not “real” in the sense of being physically efficacious. We do not physically “attract” good things like gravity, we simply increase our odds of experiencing them by focusing and working towards them. My worry was that lesser minds would not make this distinction and would believe that the Law is supernatural, and thus miss the point.

      One thing that bothers me about your response is your claim that “TRUTH is a fluid concept.” No it is not. Actually, our understanding of truth is fluid, not truth itself. Again you’re confusing metaphors with reality. Our understanding of the universe deepens and changes when new evidence comes to light. Our hypotheses and sometimes even our theories about the universe change, but the truth of the universe itself does not. So it may come to pass that we will someday discover that the Law of Attraction is actually a physically verifiable universal law. If so, my congratulations in advance. But for now, you’ll excuse me if I go ahead and stick with the facts.

      Finally, it’s a fair point you make about having unrealistic expectations. But I’d point out that Edison, Ford, and Einstein also worked very hard to ensure that their ideas came to fruition. They did not expect to just “attract” their success. Instead, they knew that setting goals and maintaining focus enabled them to work harder and more passionately. That’s the kernel of truth in the Law that I was talking about.

      And are you so sure that their expectations were unrealistic? They dreamed big, for sure, but obviously they had to believe that their goals were at some level both realistic and achievable.

      Thanks for the interesting discussion, Ed.

    8. Stutz on February 28th, 2008 12:14 am

      Ed, I was just reading your “About” section and realized I may have expressed some of my thoughts in haste. I stumbled on this post and felt like it had some gaping holes that begged for a blasting. Such are the perils of the internet. But I see that you’re not exactly a rookie dabbling in the Law of Attraction, so I apologize for entering into an argument of sorts about it’s truth or falsehood. I see that you do focus most of your energy on its “kernel of truth,” as I put it, so more power to you.

      I think my concerns about the metaphysical language used to talk about Attraction are still valid, however. I still think it confuses people, and I think some people get needlessly caught up in the supernatural. I think that calling it the (Universal?) Law of Attraction sells more books and fills more hotel conference rooms than calling it “Techniques for maintaining focus and achieving success”. But these may be concerns best explored in another arena. Perhaps I’ll start a blog myself.

      So thanks again, and feel free to delete any of my posts.

    9. Brian on February 28th, 2008 7:06 am

      Hi all,

      I’m calling out for help from people interested in the law of attraction or personal development. I know many people have vision boards and big dreams. Here is my dream…

      I want to collect dreams. Dreams of anything. Actual dreams when you sleep, or dreams of where you want to be in 5 years, what you want right this instance, dreams of career, family, relationships, money, life. Anything. I want to leave it open-ended just as a “secret” can be. A chance for us to share our goals, our desires, our dreams. If you have a vision board that’s already a great start. If you have a secret that is full of hope and love, then you fit right in.

      It is a combination of 43 things, Post Secret and a chance to make our dreams come alive in picture form. Feel free to write stories or captions. I would love to see anything your creative mind has to offer.

      So here’s the bottom line,
      Illustrate your dreams (passions, goals, desires, dreams when you sleep, stories and more) how you see best and please send them to (will be kept anonymous unless requested otherwise)

      My dream can be found at the site of Every1 Dreams

      Thanks so much,

      This means the world to me!

      Brian Wu

    10. Edward Mills on February 29th, 2008 9:40 pm

      Stutz. I really appreciate your well-thought-out response. Unlike some of the other Law of Attraction skeptics, you clearly have a willingness to listen to and engage in an intelligent conversation on the topic. It is this type of conversation that can lead to positive changes for everyone. Blanket statements and fundamentalist thinking on any issue just leads to more divisiveness and anger. So thank you. And now let’s continue this discussion!

      You wrote: “The Law is nothing more than a metaphor to help us understand that we should be focused if we want to be successful.”

      This is where I have to disagree with you. We don’t yet “know” that the Law of Attraction is just a metaphor or if it may be true. You also said that the truth of the Universe is NOT fluid but our understanding of the truth is. I completely agree with you. And that’s why I’m not willing to live my life based completely on what has been “proven” to be True. I have had too many experiences that point to a Truth beyond what has been proven to limit myself to what we currently know.

      Plus, it is much more fun to live with a bit of mystery.

      And your point about Einstein, Edison, etc., is right on. Their visions, dreams, goals – whatever you want to call them – were NOT unrealistic. They proved that through their actions. But it was only the force of their belief that enabled them to push through the pervasive beliefs surrounding them that said that what they were attempting was impossible or unrealistic.

      Do we have any idea what is truly unrealistic? Have we even come close to the limits of our capabilities? I think not. I hope not!

    11. Lirone on March 3rd, 2008 1:18 am

      “I have had too many experiences that point to a Truth beyond what has been proven to limit myself to what we currently know.”

      OK, so there isn’t always proof, and sometimes you just have to go with your best hypothesis. But my experience is rather the opposite of yours – I’ve had too many experiences of being let down when trying to follow things that were not reliably established, even though I wanted to believe in them. Some things are mysterious, and therefore fascinating, but I don’t regard mystery as good in itself.

      (Plus alarm bells always ring for me when people write about “Truth” rather than “truth”.)

      Having said that, there is definitely a lot to be said for believing that you will achieve something – it can make you push through obstacles, look in places you’d never have looked at otherwise and so on. Belief that you will succeed can indeed make a real practical difference and determine success or failure.

      But I think claiming something mystic is going on is, on the basis of our current knowledge, just wrong. And it is annoying when so many proponents talk about the law of attraction as if it is based on the physical sciences – in some bizarre quantum/magnetic/electromagnetic way! I can accept it as a psychological reality, but to claim it’s a physical reality is rather far-fetched as far as I can tell.

      People have asked above, What harm can it do? I think there are two possible negative effects – If you believe that all you have to do is visualise success, you may neglect to put in the hard preparatory work needed to succeed.

      And if you visualise something and it doesn’t come true, it puts the blame on you for not visualising it strongly enough, and so can lead to unnecessary guilt.

    12. Ellie Walsh on March 5th, 2008 10:42 am

      I totally without a doubt believe it is a Universal Law – that is my belief and so – I do indeed live that truth….

      And I absolutely agree – that it doesn’t really matter! What matters for me is that I live a Joy-Filled Life! 😀

      As for Truth – I do believe Truth is a perception —

      One car accident – 10 witnesses – the policeman takes the 10 reports – He now has 10 accidents! Which report tells the truth? All 10 do – as each witness reported their perception of the accident….

    13. Ned on March 28th, 2008 8:34 am

      This is an interesting discussion here in the comments. I don’t have anything thought-up to add, but I do feel like saying that there is some truth in all of the statements above.

      I’ve searched for answers like this…such as “is this really a universal law or is it just a way to motivate myself?”

      I agree that in terms of effectiveness, it doesn’t really matter if one calls it a “universal law” vs. just a way to see a direction one desires to go in more clearly. And in that sense I agree with this post.

      But more subtly, I guess in my own mind, because I’m this searching/scientific/curious type of person naturally, I *would* like to get to the bottom of this, not so I can now feel better about myself having argued with so many people in the past that this is a real law or that it’s just a thought, but a nice, helpful thought, but so that it can be documented and added to our collective wisdom…

      … just like all the major discoveries of truth/science/reality in the past up until now have helped us. Newton’s laws of physics, then many others, then Einstein’s new breakthroughs, and so on. These are helping make reality more clear to us, so we have greater understanding of what is and what isn’t.

      I guess one thing that really sheds some insight into my thought process here is the topic of astrology. Because current science does not have any way of validating it with its current models/theories. It both seems impossible and according to ideas such as “gravitational waves” or other attempts at explaining it, it never works. Why would such a tiny, distant body such as Pluto have so much significance in a chart? Why would even the countless asteroids between Mars and Jupiter matter?

      Speaking from experience–I was once an athiest/skeptic in the past until I stumbled onto (serious, not sun-sign horoscope entertainment) astrology and started reading a lot about it, observing other people, and so on–astrology is real. It taps into some universal law or principle that has yet been elucidated in documented science. But it’s real…and I’m interested in if this Law of Attraction is a similar thing. That it may actually be a real “law”, regardless of whether it works when people believe that or not.

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