“Man alone has the power to transform his thoughts into physical reality; man alone can dream and make his dreams come true.”
Napoleon Hill, author of Think and Grow Rich
We all have heard of or experienced one of the most profound of the spiritual laws – the Law of Attraction (LOA). In its bare essence, the LOA says that we attract whatever we think about, most of the times. So, if we have positive thoughts we attract positivity; if we have negative thoughts, we attract negativity; if we radiate love towards someone, we are rewarded with reciprocal love; if we dislike someone, rest assured the dislike will be reciprocal. It doesn’t end in intangible things but tangible outcomes too. So, if we desire a new car, and focus our thoughts towards acquiring that car, finally, the car will manifest in our lives. The catch is to have your thoughts consistently and resolutely focused on what you want; mere feeble wishes don’t count towards the LOA.
It gets even more bizarre than this, people have claimed to have defied medical science and have walked or run after accidents which had crippled them – all due to their positive thoughts and LOA. I have always been intrigued by the concept of LOA and have read a lot about it – is it just positive psychology jargon or is it based on spiritual and scientific laws? In the series of articles that follow, I will take you through all the theories and evidence on LOA and leave you to make your own decision. After all, to benefit from any concept you first have to believe in it because “Whether you believe you can or you can’t, either way, you are right.” There are several celebrities and successful people who attribute their success to the LOA. Let’s meet a few of them.
Will Smith, the famous Hollywood actor – “Our thoughts, our feelings, our dreams, our ideas, are physical in the Universe.”
Jim Carrey, another legendary Hollywood actor – “As far as I can tell, it’s just about letting the universe know what you want and then working towards it while letting go of how it comes to pass.” Jim was born into a very average family which was financially challenged to the extent that he had to drop out of his studies after High School. To make matters worse, he had mild dyslexia, and his mother suffered from chronic depression. He kept doing sundry jobs to make ends meet while pursuing his passion – acting.
Jim migrated to Los Angeles in 1987 to chase his dreams and soon found himself virtually penniless and on the streets. Things were gloomy, and the situation was apt for him to throw in the towel and reconcile to a life of mediocrity and poverty. But Jim did not give up and continued to tell himself that he was just one movie away from becoming the next superstar of Hollywood. He would spend hours just visualizing his Life after he achieved success and to prove this point to himself, in 1992, he wrote himself a cheque of 10 million dollars. Jim dated the cheque for Thanksgiving Day in 1995, three years hence. He carried this cheque in his wallet all the time to maintain his focus on what exactly he wanted to manifest in his life. Thanksgiving Day in 1995 arrived and with it came an actual cheque for 10 million dollars from the producers of his major hit movie, “Dumb and Dumber”.
Oprah Winfrey, the superstar host and celebrity – “The way you think creates reality for yourself.”
Lady Gaga, the American singer and songwriter – “It’s a sort of like a mantra. You repeat it to yourself every day – Music is my life, music is my life. The fame is inside of me, I am going to make a number one record with number one hits. And it’s not yet, it’s a lie. You are saying a lie over and over and over again, and then, one day, the lie is true.”
Arnold Schwarzenegger, the legendary actor, bodybuilder and politician – “When I was very young, I visualised myself being and having what I wanted. Mentally I never had any doubts about it.”
Denzel Washington, American actor and producer – “Positively and negatively, you attract what you feel, you attract who you are, you attract what you attract.”
Andrew Carnegie, American steel magnate in the late 19th century and the person who challenged Hill to research for discovering the traits of successful and wealthy people – “You are what you think. So, just think big, believe big, act big, work big, give big, forgive big, laugh big and love big.”
In case you are wondering as to why this list contains all American names, there are many Indian celebrities too who vouch for the LOA. I am giving the link of a small clip of the Bollywood actor, Akshay Kumar, where he narrates his experience of the LOA below:
I have always maintained that books, which are the result of years of research of the author, are the best ways to learn and internalise something new. So, let’s talk of the three most famous books on the subject of LOA and their authors – Napoleon Hill, Wallace D. Wattles and Rhonda Byrne. I am positive that you have read their books or at least heard about them – Think and Grow Rich, The Science of Getting Rich and The Secret.
Think and Grow Rich was written by Napoleon Hill way back in 1937 and has been a smashing bestseller till date, having sold more than 200 million copies. It is the top-selling book, under its genre, of the twentieth century and has been translated into more than 100 languages. Hill took 20 years to write this book and interviewed more than 500 entrepreneurs, including Andrew Carnegie, Henry Ford, Thomas Edison, Graham Bell and Charles Schwab, to distil the common traits of these successful people. He then converted these “success traits” into 13 principles following which, anyone could achieve success and wealth. As the events of the last 83 years have proved, these principles remain as timeless as they were back in 1937 as millions have vouched to have achieved success and wealth following these principles.
I am sure you must be wanting to know the thirteen principles of Think and Grow Rich, especially if you have not read the book. Here they are:
- Desire: a burning and consistent desire to achieve the object of your attraction.
- Faith: A deep faith that you have already achieved what is your object of attraction.
- Autosuggestions: Hill believed that it is our subconscious mind which is the real powerhouse and manifests whatever we wish but the trick lies to convince the subconscious mind. Hill recommended the technique of autosuggestions to convince the subconscious mind. We will delve into this topic in the later posts.
- Specialised Knowledge: Hill believed that one should endeavour to be the master of the field in which success is sought. Since we have finite time and resources, no time should be wasted in acquiring general knowledge which is not relevant to our pursuits.
- Imagination: Hill believed that whatever we can see clearly in our imagination and hold in our thoughts, will manifest in our life. The adage, “what you can conceive and believe, you can achieve” is true even today.
- Organised Planning: Hill believed that your desire and imagination have to be concretised through a clear plan. He believed in writing down the plan clearly so that the brain gets “hooked” to this plan and finds out ways and means to achieve the goal(s).
- Decisions: Hill found out that all the successful people he researched had the quality to make deliberate decisions and then following through them. They took time to make their decisions but once taken, they followed their decision resolutely.
- Persistence: Successful and wealthy people tended to persevere towards their goals and visions. Initial failures had no material effect on them. The failures were used to learn lessons and correct the path to the goal.
- Power of the Mastermind Group: Hill found that all the successful people had a “Mastermind Alliance.” It was a group of people who were focused towards the common cause and together created an “additional mind” by harnessing their mind powers. The selection of this Mastermind Group was a delicate process as any dissonant thought vibration had the power to derail entire progress to the goal.
- Transmutation: Hill believed that the virility of a person or his sex drive had tremendous power and should be effectively channelised to positive outcomes in life. He found out that most of the people he studied became rich and famous after a particular age when their passions had subsided and they could look at the world with a different point of view. Hill very strongly believed that a woman had a great role to play in the success and failure of a man and emphasised the power of love. Since the book was written in the early twentieth century, the then-existing worldview, of men dominating the workforce, is on display here. The concept though is equally applicable to the fairer sex.
- The Subconscious Mind: This principle is related to the principle of autosuggestion. For achieving great success and innovative and disruptive ideas, the conscious mind is not enough. It is the coordinated efforts of the conscious and subconscious minds that has the power to propel one towards ultimate success and wealth.
- The Brain: The brain has to be kept vibrating at high vibrations through creative visualisation and passion. This aids in the germination of ideas by the alliance of both the minds – conscious and subconscious. We will revisit this principle in subsequent posts with its scientific proof.
- The Sixth Sense: This final principle is indeed very profound and will be debated at length in later posts. Hill believed that once the Conscious mind gave clear directions to the subconscious mind, the subconscious mind attuned itself to the “Universal Mind.” The Universal Mind or the Infinite Intelligence is a repository of all the ideas, hunches, gut-feelings and the sixth sense. One single idea was all which is required for ultimate success and wealth.
Wallace D. Wattles wrote his masterpiece, The Science of Getting Rich, way back in 1910. The book remains in print even today. In many ways, this book was the first of its kind and propagated harnessing the power of the LOA to attain riches. Wattles believed that everyone has the potential to be the best and make the most of his potential. He reckoned that opportunities to make money existed in abundance and one had to just think big and have an unwavering desire to be rich. Wattles also advised against feeling jealous of someone else’s success and believe in the abundance in the Universe. Giving one’s best, and more, in the job in which one aspired to achieve success was one of his mantras. Wattles also advised that once you have your vision in mind, don’t bother about how will it be achieved? If you are not in a hurry to get what you have set out to achieve and maintain a positive attitude, the success is sure to be yours.
Now, coming to the third most famous book on the LOA, here is some trivia about The Secret. In 2004, the daughter of the author, Rhonda Byrne, gave her the book, The Science of Getting Rich to read. This was a time of personal trauma and grief for Rhonda and she was looking for help to ground her mentally. As Rhonda read this book, she felt possessed by a power much higher than human perceptions. She says, “Something inside of me had me turn the pages one by one, and I can still remember my tears hitting the pages as I was reading it. It gave me a glimpse of The Secret and it was like a flame inside of my heart.” This revelation led Rhonda on her research of the ancient literature on the LOA which resulted in the book and the movie – The Secret. The Secret soon transformed into a brand with a multitude of books like The Greatest Secret, The Hero and The Magic which became runaway bestsellers.
I will stop the primer on the LOA here so that you could mull over it. One thing which has clearly emerged is that the power of the LOA is undeniable but I know you need further proof. In the next post, we will get on with providing more concrete evidence of the LOA.
Read more from Anand here: