Earlier today, I had a discussion with a friend about the Law of Attraction.
He made it very clear that he wasn’t the type of guy to subscribe to “woo woo” beliefs, but he said he believed the Law of Attraction was at least partially correct in the sense that our attitude can significantly impact our experiences. But then he made the following criticism of many people who swear by this idea. He said “Some people think they can just make all their dreams come true simply by thinking positively without ever acting on anything.”
I agree with him.
You can’t manifest an awesome life through the power of positive thinking alone. At some point, you have to act on your ideas and inspirations if you want to alter your life. There’s no such thing as an opportunity that can’t be undermined by a lack of appropriate action.
Even if the Law of Attraction (or just some random rich guy who wanted to help you out) delivered a million dollar check to your doorstep, you would have to take some action in order to cash it. You would sign the back of the check. You would travel to a bank or ATM. You would deposit it. You would take all sorts of actions necessary to spend it and so on.
Most people, even the laziest among us, would be fully prepared to take those kinds of actions if the Law of Attraction (or some purely secular force) delivered a million dollar check. So the problem isn’t our unwillingness to take action. It’s our lack of imagination regarding what a successful manifestation looks like.
When people focus on things like “manifesting a better life”, their concept of manifestation is usually something like “a million dollar check delivered straight to my doorstep.” This all or nothing concept of manifestation makes people overlook or dismiss any opportunity that doesn’t show up in a complete, obvious, and fully-formed manner. The person who focuses on “attracting wealth”, for instance, might overhear a friend talking about a Dave Ramsey course about getting out of debt. Because a Dave Ramsey course doesn’t fit the template for “successful manifestation”, it doesn’t register as an opportunity worth acting on. In fairness, there may just be some laziness in there too. It’s a lot harder to go through a course on getting out of debt than it is to walk over to the bank to cash a big fat check. But the underlying principle stands: we’re more willing to take action when we believe we’ve manifested an opportunity worth acting on.
Maybe the key to manifesting more goodness in your life is neither more positive thinking nor more hard work. Maybe it’s all about bringing more imagination to the practice of recognizing when you’ve actually manifested something positive. The more you recognize the goodness that’s already in your life, the more you’ll feel inspired to act on it in a way that amplifies the experience. But it doesn’t matter how much goodness you attract or how hard you work, if you don’t develop the ability to notice good results and awesome opportunities when they’re staring you in the face.
Instead of waiting for the million dollar check to magically appear, look for the small wealth-building opportunities that might already be showing up your everyday experience. And instead of trying to motivate yourself to work harder for wealth, look for the wealth that lies in finding things that already feel like they’re worth working for.