“When you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change.” –Wayne W. Dyer
I just gave a presentation on the Law of Attraction last night, so I’ve been thinking, reading, and using the Law of Attraction a lot lately.
A simple definition of the Law of Attraction is: Like attracts like. The belief is if you focus your thoughts in a positive direction, positive things will happen in your life. By the same token, if you focus your thoughts in a negative direction, negative things will happen in your life.
I think the Law of Attraction is much more complex than this…and it is also just this simple.
Our brains are wired to focus on the negative as doing this gave us an evolutionary advantage. If we assumed a twig breaking behind us was a predator when we were gathering berries in the woods millennia ago, we were more likely to survive to gather berries another day.
In modern day North America, at least, focusing on the negative does not give us an advantage. It’s a hindrance because it prevents us from trying new things, meeting new people, using our creativity, and it also causes our stress levels to increase to illness-causing levels. (Some stress is healthy; constant, chronic stress causes chronic health problems.)
Fortunately, we can train our brains to focus on the positive. It’s not easy, as the brain prefers the familiar over the new, but it is possible.
The easiest way to apply the Law of Attraction is using the following two-step method:
- Focus on something you want: Clearly define what you want and why you want it.
As a writer, I have often said I wanted to be a published author. That’s not specific enough to be helpful.
“I want to complete my nonfiction coaching book this year,” is much more specific.
Why do I want this? I have so many reasons, but I’ll just write here that I feel passionately that the medical profession is broken and I believe I can help medical people be effective caregivers while also enjoying their work and their lives by offering them the skills and tools I’ve learned over the last fourteen years as a life coach.
- Do what feels good.
Another way of saying this is right out of the Law of Attraction literature: “Get aligned and take inspired action.”
If I know what I want and I have a strong, positive emotion around what I want, then the next step is whatever it occurs to me to do toward that goal that feels good.
For me, that usually means, “Write for 15 minutes,” or “Say ‘no’ to that request that will take me away from my writing.” It might also mean, “go to bed early so you can get up at dawn to write.”
“Inspired action” is usually something pretty mundane, but it always helps me move forward.
The Law of Attraction states that all good things (relationships, experiences, as well as material objects) want to come into your life, and you can become open to those good things by feeling good about whatever it is you want to manifest. By being open and feeling good, you become a creator of your reality.
If that’s a little too woo-woo for you, think of it as retraining your brain by focusing on how you will feel when you have what you want, and then practice feeling that way now. Once you feel that way, you will be more likely to get what you want.
So, fellow writer, what do you want?
Why do you want it?
What next step feels good to you?
 Law of Attraction resources: Ask and It Is Given: Learning to Manifest Your Desires, by Esther and Jerry Hicks (The Teachings of Abraham.)
Diane MacKinnon, MD: I’m a writer, blogger, life coach, and family physician. These days I’m focusing on how much writing I get done, not how much I didn’t, and I feel a lot better about the whole process–and I think I’m a little more productive, too.