The Secret- Is the Law of Attraction Real or Just New Age Baloney?

The movie and book The Secret stirred up a hornet’s nest of controversy a few years ago.

In this post I’ll share my thoughts on them. The book is pretty much a transcript of the movie, so I’ll focus on the movie itself, which came first.

What Is the Law of Attraction?

Some ways to define the law of attraction:

  • Thoughts become things
  • You get what you think about
  • Like attracts like

Although The Secret is fairly new, the concept is not. The Secret is just a new name for an idea called the law of attraction, which has been around for a long time.

Napoleon Hill and the Law of Attraction

In Think and Grow Rich, Napoleon Hill says that throughout that book is a secret which is important but he will not spell out exactly what it is. The first time I read that book years ago, I got pretty frustrated about that. Just tell me what the secret is!

After seeing the movie, I was convinced that the secret Hill was talking about was the law of attraction. That makes perfect sense, considering the title of the book and the fact that the first chapter of the book is titled Thoughts Are Things.

The Debate over the Law of Attraction

People who have heard about the law of attraction seem to fit into one of two camps: those who believe in it and practice it, and those who think it is nonsense. I doubt many people from either group will be persuaded to change their mind; it would almost be like debating religion.

The law of attraction should really be called the theory of attraction, because in science, a law is something that is scientifically proven, like gravity, while a theory is an idea that some believe has merit but has not yet been proven.

By its very nature, the law of attraction is unprovable. That doesn’t mean it’s not true, just that if a person practices the law of attraction and gets their desired results, it’s impossible to prove the results were a result of the law of attraction. After all, plenty of people get what they want who have no clue about the law of attraction.

I think the law of attraction has been misinterpreted (even by some supporters) as “just wish for things and they will magically appear.” I can see where people might get that impression, but I didn’t hear anyone in the film say “do nothing.”

The Movie The Secret

The Secret is a well-produced documentary-style film, not unlike something you might see on The Discovery Channel or The History Channel. It’s mostly narration with some visuals to make an impact, intercut with snippets of interviews with experts who teach about the law of attraction. The experts include Joe Vitale, Bob Proctor, Michael Beckwith, John Assaraf, Jack Canfield, Loral Langemeier, Bob Doyle, Denis Waitly, John Hagelin, and many others.

Many of the experts have slightly different interpretations of what the law of attraction means, which is not unusual for that type of subject matter.

Regardless of your point of view on the topic, I highly recommend watching the movie.

The movie is sort of a Dummies guide to the law of attraction, and I mean that in a good way. It’s a good introduction to the subject, and there is a lot of other material out there on the subject if you want to know more.

The Law of Attraction: Real or Nonsense?

It’s hard to argue with many points made in The Secret.

For example, visualization has been proven to work in many studies done among athletes. Before those studies were done, it might have been hard to believe that just the act of imagining yourself performing a physical task well could help you do that task in real life, but that’s now accepted as fact.

Here are some other tips and teachings from The Secret:

  • Decide exactly what you want
  • Keep a positive attitude
  • Think about what you want, not what you don’t want
  • Visualize what you want in as much detail as possible
  • Express gratitude
  • You don’t have to know all the steps to where you want to go, to start heading there
  • Believe you deserve what you want
  • Feel good as much as possible
  • Set big goals

What Do I Think of The Law of Attraction?

Whenever I’ve taken a personality test, I’ve always scored in the extreme analytical / logical sector of the population, just a bit geekier than Spock. So my natural tendency is to hear an idea like the law of attraction and think it must be total bull.

But like I said above, I see a definite connection between the law of attraction and Think and Grow Rich. That’s a book everyone says you must read, even people who think the law of attraction is complete nonsense. Interesting, eh?

I’m going to throw an idea out there: Why not just pretend the law of attraction works and act like you believe it’s true? What if you followed the advice in that list above? Can you really argue with any of it?

That’s what I plan on doing, after rewatching The Secret twice in the past few days, once just to watch, and the second to take notes.

What’s the worst that could happen? You set some big goals, feel better, but don’t fully achieve them? You figure out what you want in life but don’t quite get there (yet)?

I also plan to read and listen to more material about the law of attraction and related topics, as well as reading more Napoleon Hill.

What Do You Think of The Law of Attraction?

I’d love to hear your thoughts on this. Drop me a comment in the box below and tell me what you think of the movie, the book, and/or the law of attraction. Thanks.

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