Is the law of attraction real?
Do you have a dream job or something that you want to achieve? A friend of mine introduced the law of attraction. Philosophy suggests that positive thoughts bring positive results into a person's life while negative thoughts bring adverse outcomes. I was a little suspicious about this concept. I still am, but with more curiosity and openness rather than suspicion.
Because of the lack of scientific evidence, the law of attraction is generally viewed as a pseudoscience. But, what do we know? Only time can tell what is right or wrong, but we don't have control of it. So, let's start with why people find the law of attraction rightful?
Fritz Strack and colleagues published a psychology study in 1988 in which they asked volunteers how funny they thought some cartoons were. While looking at the cartoons, some participants held a pen between their teeth without it touching their lips, while others had a pen in their lips without allowing it to touch their teeth. (The participants believed they were testing out methods disabled people could use to write.)
If you also find a pen and try the two different holding by yourself, you'll see that when you hold a pen in your lips, you look vaguely as though you're frowning; when you hold it with your teeth, you're grinning.
The volunteers with a pen between their lips thought the cartoons were less funny than volunteers holding a pen in their hands. Those with a pen between their teeth thought they were the most amusing. Simply contracting the same muscles as when we're amused or not changes how we perceive things.
You may be surprised about the power of the human mind and its relationship with our bodies. Another great example is the placebo effect. It is defined as a phenomenon in which some people experience a benefit after administering an inactive "look-alike" substance or treatment. Therefore, "act as if" or "fake it until you make it" can truly impact our experience engagement, or even better, the outcome.
Over to you, think about an activity you like, such as running, painting or video gaming. Now, try to memorize the moment when you started to like it. Was it at the beginning? Probably not. Most people enjoy doing something because they are good at it. And they have to get through a tough time of being lame before being good at something. This is when the law of attraction or “act as if” kicks in. It helps people to build the resilience needed to be good at something. The desire to be excellent at something does not play a vital role in the result, but the action driven by the desire does.
Back to the question: Is the law of attraction real?
Personally, not really. But, if our ultimate goal in life is to pursue happiness, then positive thoughts are the specific medicine. If you are more of a result-focused person, you probably won’t be satisfied with the answer. However, what do we know? Only time can tell what is right or wrong. How can we be sure about the result is good or bad in our lives? So, instead of the law of attraction, I am more into the law of action:
1. Practice, practice, practice. Action is louder than words.
2. Be patient, befriend with time.
3. Be at present. It helps you focus on what you have, not had or will have.
4. Be grateful. We had more than we thought, but we took them for granted.
5. Be kind to yourself. Our mind is a powerful tool, but it needs to take a break if it wants.
Book to read: "Thinking, Fast and Slow" ------ Daniel Kahneman