The Science of the Law of Attraction

    By Lauren Kress

     22 minute read

    In this video on the science of law of attraction, Lauren Kress provides scientific explanations from the disciplines of psychology and neuroscience that help to explain the "magical" outcomes that are many followers of the law of attraction experience. Lauren also takes a look at the scientific language that has been adopted to make 'law' of attraction sound like a proven fact instead of a new age belief system.

    Video Transcript:

    Lauren Kress:

    G'day, everyone. Lauren Kress, The Business Scientist® here. I'm doing another science and philosophy video. I'm thinking about calling this - this is my sister's idea, thanks Elle - I'm thinking about calling it something like, "What science says about..." and so the first one was on science and atheism. This one is on the problems with the "law" of attraction.

    Now I use these little babies here, these little inverted comments, very, very intentionally. The first really important thing to understand about the "law" of attraction straight off the bat is that it is not a scientific law.

    What my goal is here is really - 'cause I've seen other people do videos on, you know, sort of the problems with the law of attraction - I'm really going to try to show what - there are... there are phenomena that are explained in the law of attraction that can be explained, from what we understand from things like attention and memory, things in psychology and neuroscience, without needing the sort of magic of the law of attraction.

    And that's one of the big problems I have with it. I've watched "The Secret". I've watched "What the bleep do we know?" And I'm - today I'm going to review a video by Bob Proctor from about four years ago, talking about how the law of attraction works. Go and watch the whole thing. I'll put the link in the description really, really important that you know, that I'm not, editing things to make it sound, you know, worse than it is. I, I think it's very, very important, to be very clear about these things. So, let's start off just by having a little look at Bob Proctor's video.

    Bob Proctor:

    "I want to explain something to you that not many people really understand. I want to talk about the law of attraction. Do you know that the law of attraction is always working? It's like the law of gravity. If I let this go, it's gonna go down. It's never gonna go back up. It's gonna go down. That is the law of gravity. Anything heavier earth is attracted towards the centre of the world. Well, the law of attraction's always working now, so how does it work?"

    Lauren Kress:

    Okay. So Bob Proctor in this video, doesn't tell us what the law of attraction is. He uses an analogy with gravity, which is completely incorrect and misleading. And then now he's, he's going into how it works. So we're gonna pause there for a second. And I just want to ensure that we're all really clear from the outset about what the definition is. So I looked at what "The Secret" said. They say: "The secret is the law of attraction. Under the law of attraction the complete order of the universe is determined, including everything that comes into your life and everything that you experience. It does so through the magnetic power of your thoughts. Through the law of attraction, like attracts, like." Okay, so they've used sci- some scientific language. Firstly, they've said the complete order of the universe is "determined". Now the word determined to me my mind goes to determinism as in the philosophy determinism, basically the, this philosophy and there's different versions of it, is the idea that because everything was set in motion after the big bang, right?- Like, working off the big bang kind of theory - big bang happens, there's very, very complicated maths essentially going on from that time. Boom. But technically if we were mathematically able to, we could predict if we looked at every single atom has like a determined, movement, right? Kind of like this, the wheels are set emotion, everything's set in motion and therefore everything that's going to happen will happen. Then they've used this idea of magnetic power, magnetic power. Again sounds like physics like magnetic. "Oh yeah. Magnetism. That's a thing, and that doesn't - we can't even see magnetism, but it exists. It's this force, it's this physical force." So it's kind of, it's now going, like, it sounds a bit like physics. Okay. There's magnetic power. Um, and this idea of "like attracts like" which kind of sounds right to us. So it sounds sort of plausible like, oh, okay.

    "Everything that, you know, like attract like sort of like positive and positive" - even though in magnets it's actually the negative and the positive attracts. It's sort of like, it sounds a bit, it's all of it sounding a little bit like, oh yeah, that, that kind of makes sense. I looked up some other definitions as well. So on "Success Consciousness", it says "The law of attraction is the attractive magnetic power of the universe that manifests through everyone and through everything, it is part of the creative power of the universe. Even the law of gravity is part of the law of attraction."

    What they didn't say is the law of attraction is the BELIEF *laughs* it just says the law of attraction IS the attra- like it exists even though there's no proof that it exists. I don't want to harp on too much more about definitions, but I did note that on the, they do a similar thing to Bob Proctor where they don't actually tell you what the law of attraction is.

    They just say "the law of attraction can be understood by understanding like attracts like, what this means is that whether we realize it or not, we are responsible for bringing both positive and negative influences into our lives. A key part of the law of attraction is understanding that where you place your focus can have an intense impact on what happens to you. If you spend your days wallowing in regrets about the past or fears of the future, you'll likely see more negativity appearing. But if you look for the silver lining in every experience, then you'll soon start to see positivity surrounding you every day. Therefore the law of attraction encourages you to see that you have the freedom to take control of, how your future develops, shaping it in the ways you choose."

    So that there's no definition here. The other thing is - is they say some things that are true and that makes it really confusing.

    So when they say a key part of the law of attraction is understanding that where you place your focus can have an intense impact on what happens to you. That, that is true. The reasons that that is true to a certain extent has nothing to do with the law of attraction and everything to do with what we understand about attention and memory.

    So I'm going to talk you through that a little bit more as well, because some of the things that are being said in the law of attraction, people go, yeah, yeah, that's true. And I'm like, yeah, it's true. But the mechanism is different and we understand it in a different way in science, but that's not how it's been spoken about. It's been spoken about as a, this sort of mystical philosophy. That sounds a bit like science. So I'll talk about that in a minute. All right. Let's get back to Bob Proctor's video. And now he's going to explain to us how the law of attraction works.

    Bob Proctor:

    "Well, I use a diagram to explain the mind. Now, let this circle represent your mind and let this little circle here, represent your body. Now, I want you to think of this for a moment..."

    Lauren Kress:

    I do think it's funny that the mind is so much bigger than the body. I also, again, think it's interesting that, they've been separated. So in science, a lot of scientists would argue that we have much more evidence for materialism than dualism. So materialism is the idea that the mind is like an emergent property from our physical body as in the brain.

    So the brain is where our mind is. And we have thoughts as a result of having a body and having a brain. And these things are all connected. They're - they're part of the same thing. By separating the body and the mind they're sort of this like implied dualism. And, and by making the mind bigger, it's sort of also saying the mind is more, more important. And it's, you know, something separate and something better.

    Bob Proctor:

    "...your body is a molecular structure. This is a massive energy and a very high speed of vibration. If you looked at your body through a microscope, you'd see that energy dancing right before your eyes."

    Lauren Kress:

    This is said like this is magic. Right? Like, if you looked under a microscope... We are this molecular blah. And it's like, yeah. So is a chair. So is a table. So are the things that you cook on the stove, everything, is made up of molecules and that's how molecules behave. It happens with everything. It's not special to humans.

    This is, this is something that just, this is how our universe works. That's the structures that make up everything in our, in our universe. And it's pretty cool. I mean, physics and chemistry are pretty interesting

    Bob Proctor:

    "...and here's something that'll keep you thinking for the next 20 years. When you move out of it, the body does not stop moving. If you go to a funeral parlor and pick up the remains and look at it, you will see it moving."

    Lauren Kress:

    Which is the same as, like I said, inanimate objects are the same, right? So if it's a thing that exists in the universe, that's what it will do. It will vibrate. You can get to the, the absolute zero - if I remember my chemistry correctly - absolute zero as in the coldest cold is like, where nothing vibrates. It's too cold for anything to have the energy to move.

    Bob Proctor:

    "You move into your body and you will move out. And it's how you use your mind. That's going to dictate the vibration you're in. Now stay with me. You have an imaginary line right across here. And that separates the conscious mind from the subconscious mind. Now, the subconscious mind has been programmed when you were a little baby, this is the way it was. You're just like this, subconscious mind wide open and everything that was going around it went right in there and all the energy that went in there when you were just a little baby formed something called a paradigm."

    Lauren Kress:

    So this is a concept that we kind of learn in psychology. Like first year, first semester, they'll start to talk about, you know, this idea of the conscious and the subconscious. Freud's work in this area, Jung's work in this area, a bunch of early psychologists that paved the way for this discipline, started looking at the fact that there were these things that we consciously understood and things that we subconsciously understood, but it goes a lot deeper than that. And it's, I've watched this video before it's not talked about in this video.

    So I just want to take a quick break to explain this, 'cause it will actually inform the other things that are talked about here. So what happens with our brain? We have different parts of our brain that are responsible for different things. Now, if you wanted to explain what the brain is from a, like almost like a computer science kind of perspective, the brain is essentially a very lazy pattern recognition machine.

    What it does, how the brain works, it has all of these neurons - so these are nerve cells in the brain. And as we learn things, those neurons start to connect together, and that's what allows us to connect ideas together and thoughts together and movements together and all these different things, right?

    You have parts of your brain that are responsible for thinking. You have parts of your brain that are responsible for saving your life. You have parts of your brain that are responsible just for making sure all the things that need to happen in your body happen. And this is again where it's problematic, 'cause we're talking about the MIND. We're not talking about the brain, but they're actually all linked together. So that the, the, the link between what happens in our body and what happens in our mind is, is really largely do with the brain it's also to do with the way that we breathe.

    It's the way that we - there's a bunch of things that are going on and it's, it's super interesting. There are whole areas of science dedicated to this. We have this part of our brain that's called the amygdala and the amygdala is responsible for - it's not completely understood, there's lots of things about the brain we don't completely understand - but one thing we know about the amygdala is it's responsible for emotional learning and memory and it works very, very early on.

    It's also a part of the brain that's in, in other animals. It's, it's, very, very important ,it's sometimes called like part of the "reptilian brain". It's responsible for making sure that we don't die in a lot of ways. It's like if there's something bad that happens, the amygdala will make sure that we don't even, we don't do that thing again.

    The, the hypothalamus, which is, responsible for our fight or flight response will kick into gear without us consciously even necessarily knowing why we're afraid of something. So, you know, when you just like suddenly feel like you have to get out of a situation, you don't know why that's the subconscious, part of your brain, basically, working without you consciously knowing why, and, and that can, save our lives.

    And it can also really hold us back in life from, from doing things that we want to do. So let me give you an example, if very early on in your childhood, something that you don't remember say that you, you got, punished, you got hit, you got, a negative, very negative consequences as a result of speaking up about things as a result of arguing, as a result of crying or making a sound, then without you even necessarily realising that, that has an impact on your behaviour and what you're going to do, because you've learned very, very early on in a part of your brain, that it doesn't even really like consciously remember things that this was bad.

    And so when we talk about the subconscious and the unconscious, these are the kind of things that start to happen is we can be fearful of things without even really knowing why. The conscious part of our brain is, in the prefrontal cortex, that's responsible for the decisions we make. It's responsible for when we think through things and think slowly about things.

    That part of our brain uses a lot of energy. And so we don't, our brain doesn't want to like divert to that for a lot of things that are automatic. So when we are talking about the subconscious and the, the conscious, what you need to understand is that there is a lot of things that are going on that has - aren't happening with us being aware of it.

    Bob Proctor:

    ", if paradigm is information, it's a multitude of habits, you are the product of your environment. But prior to that, you were the product of a genetic strain that goes back for generations. Now I'm going to say that the paradigm is X type energy."

    Lauren Kress:

    The, the part of this that doesn't make sense is calling it X type energy. I, I - there's nothing useful about calling it X type energy from a scientific perspective. That's the part that this is where it starts to look like logic, but it's not actually logical.

    Bob Proctor:

    " you've got the ability here on a conscious level to think, and you can think anything you want to think."

    Lauren Kress:

    So that's interesting, he said, "and you can think anything that you want to think". What research has shown is that the majority of our thoughts are actually the same as the ones that we had yesterday. And the way that we kind of break out of those thought patterns is by having, exposing ourselves to new things and also being able to unlearn some of the things that we were conditioned to learn.

    So that's why things like exposure therapy can be really, really powerful for people with PTSD, because what we are doing - or post traumatic stress disorder - what we're doing with exposure therapy is, is we're helping the person to unlearn that the, the things that they associate with the trauma say like a loud noise, isn't dangerous in of itself. And so they need to hear the loud noise without the traumatic event multiple times. And they start to disassociate those things from one another.

    Bob Proctor:

    "You can actually photograph this power leaving you, it flows to, and through you."

    Lauren Kress:

    I think it's really interesting. He chose to use the word power there, and then he doesn't explain what that power is. And then he says it moves through you. And I don't know what he's talking about there. I don't know if he's talking about like energy that we come into contact with - I don't, I don't know. It sounds very, very magic-ey.

    Bob Proctor:

    "Now, as it flows in, you will start thinking and you'll probably think X type thoughts. Therefore you're going to be in an X type vibration, and that will produce X type results.

    Lauren Kress:

    Okay. Power moves through you. You think X - I'm really struggling with this part. It doesn't mean anything to me. It's kind of made some big logical leaps there in terms of energy. I have a huge, huge problem with this from a scientific perspective, because I don't understand what he's talking about. And then now he's mentioned results. So let's just see what he has to say about that.

    Bob Proctor:

    "Now it's the results you want to change and to change the results you're going to have to change what you attract. You see the thoughts that you think, control the vibration that you're in. Vibration is nothing but an idea. It's a law of the universe. Everything vibrates, nothing rests. We live in an ocean of motion.

    Lauren Kress:

    It's interesting that he is saying like "everything vibrates", but then he's talking about thinking: Most things that vibrate, most things in the universe that vibrate, don't think. So I, I don't know how the vibration thing really comes into this.

    The other thing is, is this is unnecessarily complicated. So, the results we want in our lives, if you think back to what I was saying before about, you know, the amygdala and you know, what we call like fear conditioning. If we're not getting the things that we want in our life, there could be a number of reasons for that.

    But one thing we definitely need to be aware of is what's salient to us. So what can happen is like, if we don't believe that we deserve certain opportunities, if we don't believe we're good enough for certain things in our lives, we can not seek out certain opportunities, not even necessarily through like seeing the opportunity and going, "I don't want to go for that" - to the point where we don't even see the opportunity in the first place.

    Every second there's 11 million bits of data or so that flood our brain. Our brain is, has got way, way too much information to process. It can only consciously process about 40 to 120 bits.

    So not kilobits, bits. So this tiny, tiny, narrow fraction of what we're actually receiving. So if you think about like, when you look, when you go for a walk, how much you actually see, right? Do you notice what colour the rosebush in the corner of a garden that's right in your field of vision is. Do you notice... we, we, we can't process all of these things.

    So salience is about where our attention gets directed, and we need that. We need that to operate and and function. If we don't have that ability to direct attention, we can end up having problems. And that, that exists, right?

    If we've got attention deficit disorder (ADHD), where we have problems focusing our attention, it can, it can be really problematic and stressful. So we need to be able to direct our attention to certain things. And what our brain will do is it's always scanning the environment, looking for things that it knows will reward us and things that it will, it knows will also be a danger to us.

    Now it can only know that through what it's learned, it's a pattern recognition machine. So if it's learnt all these things, if we've learned all these things in our lives that say like "the ocean is dangerous", the ocean is dangerous because you went for a swim a couple of times when you were little and you nearly drowned, so the ocean is a dangerous place. Uh, when you see the ocean, you might like recoil. You might, you know, you're not going to go, go for a swim.

    It's gonna be really salient to you when there's water of around. Especially if you had kids, you might be like - I don't want my kids to go near the water because the water's really dangerous. So it's, it's obvious to you where other people might be like, "Oh yeah, there's, there's a pool over there. Okay. Whatever." Or "there's the ocean over there, whatever."

    It's not, it's not salient to them in the same way that your brain's going "alert, alert, alert. This is dangerous." Same with good things, right? If you know that, oh, okay, like you're a smoker and you see someone else smoking, that's going to trigger your brain to go, "oh, I want a cigarette, 'cause that's going to reward me. I know that reward path. That's going to reward me."

    These are the things that we look at in psychology and neuroscience. There again, there are whole disciplines like dedicated to understanding attention and memory and why we make certain decisions. Why we do things the way we do them, but it's got nothing to do with attraction.

    Bob Proctor:

    "And it's the thoughts that you're thinking that you impress upon your subconscious mind that control the vibration, the body's in. And that dictates how you act. But it also dictates what you attract. You attract energy. That's in harmony with you. You attract people that are in harmony with you. You see everything operates on frequencies. There's an infinite number of frequencies, but you and I operate on a frequency, just like a radio station does. And the only music you can attract is the music that is tuned into the vibration you're in."

    Lauren Kress:

    We don't attract certain things into our lives. It's not like, oh look, suddenly I, you know, I've decided I want to buy this like amazing, car. Let's say you really wanna get, like, I don't know, trying to think of an example, a Golf Volkswagen. That's the first thing that pops into my head. Let's say you want to get that right? And suddenly you start seeing that car everywhere or say, you want to, you decide, you want to start a family.

    You start noticing all these, these women that are pregnant, or, or families with kids, right? Like that's salient now to you, that's obvious to you because that's something that you're seeking out. And it's the same with things like business opportunities.

    So if you don't, if you don't want to start a family, you're not necessarily going to notice the, the people that have kids or are pregnant, you might notice it sometimes, but you, if you want that, if you want to fall pregnant and you're finding it hard to fall pregnant and suddenly you start going like, "oh, there's all these pregnant women around, like, there's lots of pregnant women around.

    Why are there so many pregnant - why am I seeing this all sudden?" You're seeing it because that's what your brain is paying attention to. That's what's happening subconsciously. It's not 'cause the universe has suddenly decided to put a bunch of pregnant women in front of you. It's not like - it's not like where this sort of special thing for the universe to go like "aw, For this person, 'cause they've, they're vibrating at the right frequency. I'm going to put these things in front pf them."

    Like that's, that's basically what the law of attraction is saying. Like there's some sort of, if we're vibrating at a certain frequency, then these things around us externally are going to CHANGE, we're going to ACTUALLY ATTRACT things to us. And that's what I have the problem with. We're not attracting. We're just seeing our external worlds differently because what's happened in our brain - we've changed the way that our brain thinks we've changed our goals and our brain is now going "Right, this is what I've got to pay attention to. Now, this is what I'm going to see in the environment."

    Bob Proctor:

    "But it's the thoughts that you think that control the vibration you're in and that dictates what you attract. So if you keep attracting what you don't want, understand this, it's the paradigm that's causing the problem. You can think a Y type thought, which is totally different than the X type conditioning. It isn't going to go anywhere because when you go to get emotionally involved, and this is the emotional mind, when you go to get emotionally involved with that, Y type thought, the paradigm will kick it out. You know why? It's so uncomfortable, that's stepping out of the box. That's..."

    Lauren Kress:

    So we don't need X and Y thoughts to have this conversation. That, that doesn't mean anything. What he's talking about, there is sort of what I was saying before, which is like consciously - at a conscious level, you can rationalise why you shouldn't be afraid of the loud noise, right? But at a subconscious level, you're still going to have the physiological response, because it's, it's in the, what often people call the reptilian brain.

    So in the amygdala where it's been like, so honed in like, like "this is dangerous" - it sends you into fight or flight response puts you on edge to like get ready to help you survive. That can't be, addressed at the cognitive level. There's some truth to what he's saying in that you do need to be able to unlearn things that you might not even be, conscious of.

    And that can be quite difficult. It doesn't have anything to do with attracting something externally from you, it has nothing to do with the universe. There's there's no proof of that. And if there was, it would this, again, this would be like something that would be huge. It should be in Nature journals.

    It should be in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. It should be in peer review journal articles that go, "wow, we've just found this new way of, of thinking about, life and how the brain works." None of that exists. This is all stuff that this person is just saying.

    Bob Proctor:

    "...doing things different. And we don't like to do things different cuz it causes a lot of discomfort, but understand this, the paradigm and the thinking control, the vibration you're in and the vibration you're in is going to dictate what you attract. People that are in a poverty consciousness will continue to attract lack and limitation."

    Lauren Kress:

    I just noticed he keeps saying this like statement, which is, "But understand this". It's very authoritative. The language he's using is actually sort of programming us to think like, "oh, this guy has authority." Also, even with like the music that's being used in this video, it's very like, "and now there's an insight". "And now you understand something at a deeper level."

    Like if you listen to the music it's designed to make you feel a certain way. And then the words are used. And then there's a bit of science in there. And lots of words that we don't really understand what they mean. And actually don't really mean anything and just complete belief presented as fact.

    Bob Proctor:

    "People that are in a poverty consciousness will continue to attract lack and limitation. It has nothing to do with this. What's going on here. This is your educated mind and you could gather all kinds of information. Have you ever wondered why some people have such an educated mind? They have degrees coming right off the end of their business card, but it doesn't show up in their results. Why? Paradigm. The law of attraction."

    Lauren Kress:

    There are certain things that if we go through and we're conditioned to believe when we're young, will really hold us back. And regardless of degrees and things like that, it can, can actually really cause problems in our lives.

    I'm a big believer in therapy. I did five years of psychotherapy myself. I'm a really big believer in making sure that things that are going on at a subconscious and an unconscious level are not things that are holding you back from really doing what you want with your life. And that's going to look different from - for different people. So we have, we do have these barriers. We all have them.

    We all have things that we've been conditioned to believe that aren't necessarily true. Brene brown talks about this in terms of the stories that we tell ourselves. We tell ourselves these stories based on things that we've experienced based on fear, and they might have nothing to do with reality.

    Being educated does really help in a lot of ways to start to, change our perspective about the things that we might have learnt when we were young. Education is hugely hugely important and it also can break some of those patterns, but it may not always be enough.

    So it's a bit misleading of Bob Proctor to say this, as in like, you could have all these degrees and you're not getting the results you want in your life and therefore it's the law of attraction.

    No, it's more like if you had a really big trauma and you were really educated and that trauma caused you to not trust people and to not sort of want to network with people - and social capital is so important for success - and, and you know, you are, you are, you're kind of not putting yourself out there looking for opportunities or finding ways to connect with people as an example. Yeah. That, that can have an effect on where your, where your life goes. That is why things like psychotherapy is so important. But the law of attraction has nothing to do with that. And it's presented like: "This is the answer."

    Bob Proctor:

    "You've gotta change this. You've gotta change the vibration you're in. And your whole world changes. Listen, in 1961, a man gave me this book and he said "do exactly what I tell you" he was giving me Y type ideas. It caused an enormous amount of discomfort, but I did exactly what he, he said and you know something? My income went from $4,000 to $175,000 in a year. And then I took it to over a million

    Lauren Kress:

    So that's really interesting. He just completely contradicted his point. So he just said, "you could have the Y thoughts, but if you don't change the frequencies, then: problem." And then he's like, "then I got this book and it gave me these Y type ideas and it caused all this discomfort." And that's exactly what education does.

    Education, new knowledge, new ways of thinking about things, new perspectives they cause this tension and that tension is what is called cognitive dissonance. It's basically where suddenly our beliefs and our values and our behaviors don't line up anymore. Our beliefs change therefore our values change. And it's like, "hang on, what I'm doing out in the world, my actions aren't aligned with that anymore." It causes us a lot of discomfort.

    Cognitive dissonance causes a lot of discomfort. It's such an important thing, 'cause that's what pushes us forward. That's what keeps us moving and growing. And it's, it's an incredibly powerful tool, but it can almost be incredibly painful. And so that's what he is talking about there, but he's just said before that you can have Y thoughts and the X frequencies don't match up. And then he's like, so I have these Y thoughts, but I have these X frequencies. And now he's telling us about how that resulted in some great thing for him.

    Bob Proctor:

    "It took me nine and a half years to understand what happened. This is what I'm showing you. Watch this over and over and over again, there's a number of lessons in here. And another lesson I'm going to show you is how to change the paradigm.

    When you change the paradigm, the change in results is automatic. You know why? You start to attract something new, something different. And what we want to do is program in positive information and eliminate the negative. I'm going to show you how to do that.

    The law of attraction - you attract according to the vibration you're in, this thing we live in is a molecular structure. Your body is a mass of energy. You know, if you put your body in front of an infrared television camera and it's completely dark, your whole being would be nothing but a glistening radiating gleaming form. Feeling is conscious awareness of the vibration we're in.

    When we don't feel good, we're in a negative vibration. We want to feel good, move into a positive vibration. Stop and think of what you're grateful for, but understand this. You will never attract to you wealth, happiness, health until you get the paradigm and get you on that frequency. This is Bob Proctor. Thank you."

    Lauren Kress:'s so troubling the way this is presented. So let's just break that down a little bit. If you have negative thoughts, you're going to attract negative things in your life. That can happen. That has, again, this is nothing to do with the universe. It has nothing to do with, and it's not necessarily true.

    I know lots of people who have very negative thoughts who are very successful, but they're not necessarily happy. They're successful in terms of they might be doctors or lawyers or making lots of money and they're not necessarily happy. And so those are, those are different things, but, negative thoughts are definitely not helpful. And there's a whole field of psychology that's dedicated to this. So existential, um, psychology and positive psychology look at, you know, how positive thinking and optimism and stuff can, can have an impact.

    There's lots of problems with it as well. So what we know in psychology is actually that once people achieve happiness, it's kind of, you know, well, we're what they think their version of success is or happiness is it sort of becomes like baseline.

    So it's like, often a lot of this stuff will be in pursuit of things. Like you'll hear people talk about money. Like Bob Proctor just did or cars or, you know, I wanted this thing and then I put on my vision board and then I got it, right? And that's all things, that's all, it's all very hedonistic and actual going after those things and chasing that kind of stuff, is usually the result of conditioning because we've been conditioned to believe that those things are meaningful. Like having a good car, like suddenly that's, that's a, that's a status as symbol.

    That's something we've been conditioned to think is important to have. I'm not saying there's anything wrong with wanting to have a car or a nice car, but it's important that we're aware that like positive thinking has its limitations.

    Being a business consultant myself, I hear people talking about the law of attraction all the time. One of the things that is often quoted is that, well, there's two things. One is like, "oh no, no, no, but a lot of people think you just have to think it and then you have it, but you have to take action." And I'm like, "yeah, that's, that's consistent with psychology." Like, that that's fine. You, you know, you can't just think something, you, you need to behave a certain way. And the reason that we will be driven to behave a certain way is when we change the way we think about things is because of cognitive dissonance.

    Say, you used to believe in God, then you become an atheist.You decide morally and ethically that it's okay for you to have premarital sex. Where before you didn't believe that, then obviously the, the behaviour's going to change. You're not going to be saving yourself marriage anymore because you don't have those beliefs and values anymore. If you kept acting that way, it would be inconsistent with your beliefs and thoughts - same vice versa.

    If you suddenly believe that having sex before marriage is bad, but you're still doing it, that's, that's really stressful for the brain. 'Cause it's like, "hang on, I'm saying I value one thing, but I'm actually doing something else." And that cognitive dissonance is what pushes us to grow. It's again, it's not to do with frequency. So if people are saying, okay, you change your thoughts, you change your actions, things in your life change. Yes. But there does doesn't need to be a magical force behind that.

    That is something that we can explain with science. So the other thing that people do is they say that, "oh, but once I thought about making a million dollars, then I did make a million dollars." "When I thought about having this brand new car, I got the brand new car." "When I thought about this and I got this" I'm like, "yeah, 'cause you put it in your head. That that was a, that you, you had, you have this goal."

    Now you've got a vision board with goals. What happens with goals is our brain starts going well, that's a goal. Okay. Now I've got to keep an eye out for opportunities that are going to get me towards that goal. I'm going to start seeing things in my environment that get me towards that goal. Those things are going to become salient. So goal-setting is huge, hugely, hugely important for actually starting to communicate to our, our brain to say, "Hey, pay attention to stuff that relates back to this."

    It becomes salient. We start paying attention. We start remembering those things. We'll start connecting those things together. That's how our brain works. 'Cause that little fraction of attention span that we have, will focus in on those things. So goal-setting is important.

    Vision boards can be hugely, hugely helpful for remembering, "oh this is actually what I want out of my life." It can result in you achieving those goals. That's not surprising, but also let's think about the times that this doesn't work.

    It doesn't matter how positively you think about something. There will be bad things that happen. Tragedy and suffering is a, is just something that happens in our lives. And a lot of the time, these things are out of our control. One of the big problems that I have with this belief in this idea that like attracts like is that it it's basically implying that if bad things happen in your life, it's 'cause you're not vibrating at the right frequency.

    If bad things happen in your life and you're suffering, it's because of you. It's because of something you've done because everything is in your control with the law of attraction. COVID-19 - was that because all of us, weren't thinking positively about that changing? You know, there's all these tragedies that are happening all the time and what the law of attraction focuses on is individual success.

    It also promotes the idea of hedonistic happiness by chasing after things that actually won't necessarily give us meaning in our lives, things that are superficial. And it, it focuses on telling anecdotes to prove the theory when there's other mechanisms that we know exist, that help us understand why when we change our thoughts and we change our actions, the results change. And it doesn't have anything to do with frequencies.

    If you don't agree with me, feel free to comment. I love a good chat.

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    In the spirit of reconciliation I would acknowledge the Traditional Custodians of country throughout Australia and their connections to land, sea and community. I pay my respect to their Elders past and present and extend that respect to all Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander peoples living and working on the land today - the land that always was and always will be, Aboriginal land.

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