The Law of Attraction

I have said this before and I am sure I’ll say it again. The law of attraction is nonsense. I say this because I’ve seen too many bad things to believe otherwise. Really amazing, optimistic positive people get screwed over by fate all. the. time. I have met these people. They should be attracting money and power and rainbows and unicorns and sheer joy and instead they get crap. Believing that the world is in any way fair just makes you a jerk. (If you don’t like that op-ed try this widely cited journal article for backup)

That being said, I believe your attitude does matter. Does everyone remember that basketball video? In case you’ve never seen it, here you go:


So, I don’t believe in the law of attraction, but I do believe you rarely find what you’re not looking for. If you want love, you’ve got to look for love – not sex or entertainment or whatever. If you want a job, you’ve got to be looking for employment. If you want more friends, you have to be looking for friendship.

To some degree, what you’re expecting is what you’re looking for. My seven-year-old believes that everyone loves him. When he goes out in the world, he’s looking for love because he expects love. And that is largely what he finds. He barely notices the people who don’t show love to him – he’s not looking for them and he generally doesn’t perceive them.

The hard part comes in when you’re looking for bad stuff. If you’ve had your heart broken repeatedly, you’re not really expecting a happy ending any more. You’re watching for pain. You may be watching so hard it’s difficult to perceive joy.

If you think you’re a loser, you’re not looking for opportunity, because you know that opportunity doesn’t come for people like you. If it does show up, you may not even recognize it because you’re not looking.

Opportunity does not come equally to all people who deserve it, because life is not fair. But knowing what you want to look for will help you catch every opportunity that does come your way.

(I didn’t mean this to be an ad, but in a way, that’s the magic of coaching – it helps you identify what you want to look for.)