Navigating a Whackadoodle World: Episode Ten

The Power of Attraction: A Whackadoodle explanation about how the Power of Attraction has nothing to do with the Law of Attraction, along with a link to our Two Question Personality Test. If you have entered this story in the middle, click here for the table of contents.


Instead of pulling out her school books, she pulled out a book that I knew all too well. I had spent nearly ten years mulling over it, one month planning it, one week starting it, fourteen days finishing it, and three months editing it. She got right to the point, “I was reading chapter ten last night, the Power of Attraction. I wanted to be ready for our session today.”

“Cool,” I said. Not knowing what else to say, I waited for her to continue.

She screwed up her face as she considered her next words. “It’s just that you spend a bunch of time comparing the Law of Attraction to the Power of Attraction, and I don’t really see why.”

“Hum,” I smiled to myself, thinking back. “I suppose it’s because I wanted to make sure that anyone who read my chapter on the Power of Attraction would understand that it has nothing to do with the Law of Attraction. Far too many books and articles have been written about the Law of Attraction already; they don’t need me.”

“But I don’t really see the difference,” she insisted. “Attraction is attraction.”

“Oh, the difference is critical,” I assured her. “Perhaps I didn’t explain it well enough in my book. I suppose that the difference is hard to understand if you have never come across someone who believes in the Law of Attraction.”

“I guess that I haven’t,” she admitted.

“Well,” I struggled to explain. “As I understand it, the Law of Attraction is based on a belief that thoughts are actually a form of energy and that positive thoughts manifest more fulfilling relationships, more successful careers, healthier lives, and financially rewarding circumstances. Essentially, people who believe in the Law of Attraction believe the energy of your thoughts manifest your experiences. So positive thoughts manifest positive experiences and negative thoughts manifest negative experience. The author of The Secret, who is a mainstay in this particular belief system, actually states that the secret to success in all areas of your life is to simply ask, believe, and then be willing to receive.”

“Okay,” she said tentatively. “That sounds weird.”

“Well,” I laughed. “She asked Oprah to endorse her book. She believed that Oprah would love her work, and she received the endorsement, along with a primetime interview that shot her book to the best seller list and netted her several million dollars, so I guess it worked for her.” I shrugged.

She cocker her head to one side, considering. “I wonder if the Law of Attraction is the reason one of my friends is always telling us, ‘Let’s not put that out there.'”

“What friend?” I asked, somewhat confused. “Who do you mean?”

“Oh, I have this one friend at school,” she explained. “We hang out together at lunch. Anyway, whenever anybody says anything even slightly negative, even if it’s just a joke, she always tells us, ‘Let’s not put that out there.’ It’s like she’s afraid that saying anything negative is gonna make it happen.”

“That sounds a lot like she might believe in the Law of Attraction.”

“I always figured that she was just superstitious. You know, like when people knock on wood.”

“Or when people blow out birthday candles to gain a wish,” I smiled in agreement. “I don’t know why, but I always feel the need for my birthday wish.”

“Maybe it’s because even though the tradition might be wrong, it also might be right. Either way, I suppose it’s harmless,” she offered.

“So long as it stays harmless.”

“What do you mean?”

“It’s just that I know of a few people who seem to think that if they just stay positive and believe their own lies long enough, they can actually make their lies come true.”

“Like who?”

“Oh, I don’t know, but does this sound familiar?” I answered, and then began a bad imitation. “I didn’t lose that election. There is no way I could have lost that election. The election was full of fraud. I won that election.‘ Or how about,” I added, and continued with a worse imitation, “I’m not a crook. When the president does it, that means that it is not illegal.

She said nothing, so I said a bit more softly, “I also know people who believe that their cancer was caused by negative thinking, and can therefore be cured with positive thinking. I’m not sure if blaming your own negative thoughts for an illness set on killing you is especially good for your health–especially if you are fighting cancer.”

She began to nod her head silently in agreement. “Makes me think of that quote in your book.”

“Which quote?” I asked startled.

“The one you start your strategy chapter with. You know, ‘Pessimists complain about the wind. Optimists wait for the wind to change. Leaders learn to adjust their sails,'” she repeated dutifully. “I mean, staying positive does help you keep going, but positive thought alone won’t get you anywhere. You’ve got to take action. You have to follow through. You have to adjust your sails, right?”

“I’ve always thought so,” I agreed. “Thoughts may lead to actions, but it is the action that creates the change.”

“I think that I’m beginning to understand why you’re so determined to make sure people don’t confuse their idea of The Law of Attraction with your rule about the Power of Attraction. I mean, correct me if I am wrong, but your rule has nothing about thoughts manifesting stuff. It’s simply a reminder that people like to hang out with people who think like them.”

“Simply put, but basically correct,” I smiled.

“What did I leave out?”

“Only the whole section about what happens to people when they are around those who don’t think like them,” I reminded her, still smiling. “How they might start to feel uncomfortable, lonely, confused, awkward, out of place, maybe even defensive. The rule explains why people sometime reject change because they don’t want to lose their place in a world they find safe and comfortable. Perhaps the rule even contains a few words of advice as to how to handle those feelings.”

“Okay,” she admitted. “You did put in a lot about that. You even went into the different personality types with your two question personality test, and in your first book you devoted like a dozen pages on how to deal with the ten most difficult behavioral types.”

“I only knew about ten at the time,” I said, my grin widening. “I’ve come to realize that I might have missed a few.”

“I’m not one of them, am I?”

“No my friend, you are certainly not difficult. In fact, you are much less difficult than I am because you are always ready to learn.”

“So are you,” she said in my defense.

“Sure,” I agreed. “But I do have a tendency to defend my ideas rather than listening to the opinions of others. I keep breaking my own rule twelve. Bad habit. I’ve been trying to work on it.”

“Perhaps I can work on it with you.”


Click her for

Navigating a Whackadoodle World: Episode Eleven

The Power of Entropy


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  • Navigating Life in a Whackadoodle World
  • Finding Sense in a Whackadoodle World
  • Teaching Logic in a Whackadoodle World
  • Navigating Life Through Turbulent Tides
  • A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life

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