What’s Wrong In Self-Help and Law of Attraction

I have been thinking a lot about self-help and most notably the infamous “Law of Attraction”.  As a firm believer of the concept of creating your reality, I think the Law of Attraction has been sold to us as snake out.  And before you start telling me how I’m wrong, let me explain.

I know people who have money under the glass of glass top tables.  They tell me that having the money there will create a mindset in them to attract more money.  This may not be entirely untrue, however, when someone stares at money all day hoping that it’ll just start flowing in, then we have a problem.  I’ve watched videos where there is an overweight, middle-aged man in a cheap suit telling a group of friends that they need to put together a vision board and think about money 24 hours a day.  Nothing against middle-aged guys in cheap suits, I’m 38 and don’t even own a suit but clearly these guys with folding chairs set up in their garage with a cheap chalk board aren’t really manifesting abundance at an alarming rate.

Alan Watts used to propose the question to college students, “What would you like to do if money were no object?”  This would be an incredible question by itself but Watts goes one step deeper by asking “How would you really enjoy spending your life?”  Ok, mind blown until panic sets in.  There are people who actually do what they enjoy doing and don’t worry about the money.  Many end up making the money later.  Ok, so stay with me a moment while I talk about myself.

In 2002 I moved to Florida to study Film and Video production.  I had some of my best friends in life laugh at me and say “What do you think you’re going to do with that education?”.  I wasn’t completely sure.  I knew I loved writing and creating things but I also just like pushing buttons and using expensive equipment.  There’s also a part of me who likes being part of something that millions of people see and enjoy on a daily basis…. entertainment.  I moved, worked very hard in school and started working in television after graduation.  I couldn’t be happier with my choice.  I don’t make a large amount of money doing it.  I sometimes have to borrow money from my parents for things but eventually they get paid back.  I recently decided against pursuing a promotion that would take me in a direction that doesn’t suit me.  After telling my boss that I had decided against taking this position I felt liberated.

I know so many people who feel stuck in their jobs.  I say to them, “but you make so much money!”  They still aren’t happy.  They feel as if they aren’t doing what they love.  I have other friends who are doing what they love and do make plenty of money.  I’m not poor, don’t get me wrong.  The most important thing, however, is that I’m happy.  I spend quality time with my family and they are happy.  Why do I need anything else besides happiness?

So the problem seems to be that many self-help and Law of Attraction teachers are selling you on the idea of material object that cannot make you happy instead of selling you on the idea of happiness first. I will say, however, that most of them do teach gratitude for what you already have.  This is a power mindset which can lead to happiness.

So, if you are not happy with your situation in life, stop pursuing money.  Start pursuing happiness.

Be well. Be positive.

PS – Here is a link to a video where Alan Watts talks about this.

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3 thoughts on “What’s Wrong In Self-Help and Law of Attraction

  1. thanks for the Alan Watts kicker, he’s said a lot over his years, and I always find him interesting. 1. I think the bigger key is as Dr. Rao puts it- Don’t be tied to the outcome, for happiness. and 2. I can’t wait for job, friends, money, politics etc to be as I like – to be happy. My persuit of happiness has to be present, even when other “unfavorable” factors ARE present- because they always will. thanks for the cause to stop and think today, appreciate that! mikey

    • Thank you for the reply. I’m not familiar with Dr. Rao but I’ve already found some of his videos to watch. I heard Dr. Wayne Dyer talk about a meditation he uses for manifesting. He said people come up to him and ask if it can make them win the lottery. His response is one of my favorite things he’s ever said. He first asks them what kind of feeling they would feel if they won. Of course, they say things like “happiness, security…”. He then goes on to explain that he can’t guarantee they’ll win but if they use the meditation then they will feel off of those feelings. And if you feel those feelings anyway, what does it matter if you win the lottery?

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