The Barnum Effect

The Attraction Principle Palooka

The last few years have seen a growth in what has come to be called Attraction and there are numerous books, videos and training courses that tell you how to use the power of attraction in your life. The idea behind the principle is simple “if you build it, they will come” (thank you Kevin Costner and Field of Dreams) with the ‘universe’ supporting you in achieving your goal.

At its basic level It comes down to a form of wish fulfillment; if you believe in it hard enough and open yourself to the possibility then it will happen. No effort required.

This is often put forward as a useful concept by quite successful personal development gurus as a way of getting what you want, often they will comment on how it has affected their lives. They are doing themselves and their public a disservice with this advice and really not being honest.

If you look at the pasts of the people who tout this nonsense it is filled with hard work and effort. The blood, sweat and tears of people who set a goal and actually do something about it – no wish fulfillment required.

Anthony Robbins, Jack Canfield et al. spent hundreds if not thousands of hours studying, travelling on the road, doing seminars and workshops and writing heft tomes to grab their chance of success. No magical formula, no ‘universal’ help just a lot of hard work, dedication and commitment.

The Attraction Principal is a nice idea but very few people have been successful through waiting for the world to give them what they want.

Can It Work?

Rather than just completely dismiss the idea, there is one way in which the Attraction Principal may operate and that is through the activity of attention. Your brain is a goal seeking device which has been finely honed to look for food, shelter, warmth etc. it has evolved over millions of years to go after and get what you need for survival; the idea behind Attraction may be nothing more than putting yourself on ‘high alert’ for opportunity.

If you’ve ever bought something that no-one else has and then 10-minutes later it seems like everyone’s got one, this is your survival instinct kicking in, you are thinking of it (probably quite deeply) and so your mind will find every occurrence of it.

The same is likely true with the Attraction process; by putting your mind firmly on something you want, it automatically looks for opportunities to excel and thus success seems to ‘magically’ appear. A purely physiological activity gets shrouded in mystery because it probably sound better.

Would you rather have success because the ‘universe’ believes you are worthy or because your hunting instinct thinks you need it to survive. Magic or method? Your choice.

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