Thursday, January 31, 2008
Law of Attraction
“When you want something in life very genuinely, the whole universe conspires to help you achieve it.”
That was Paulo Coelho in Alchemist.
I mention that because the subject of this writing reminds me so much of it.
One of the modern theories gaining popularity of late is the law of attraction. (I do not know if it really is modern. For all you know, it could be one of those reinventions of the wheel.)
The following is the law of attraction in a nutshell.
Our thoughts decide what we are. We are today, whatever we are because of the thoughts we had yesterday. Our thoughts of today determine what we will be tomorrow.
Everyone in this universe can get what they want. All they have to do is want it earnestly. And it will eventually come to them.
That said, one should always think positive.
Think about what you want and be sure that you will get it. And it will come to you.
Think about the situation you want to be in; not as if it were future state but think about it as if it were happening at present. Close your eyes. Savour it. Do this exercise for a few minutes every few days and live all your dreams. They will eventually turn to reality.
If you want to become the CEO of a company, conduct yourself in all situations the way a CEO would conduct himself. If you want to go to Switzerland, put up pictures of Switzerland and the alps on the walls of your room, look at them and imagine you are already there, enjoying the beauty of the place.
“So what’s the catch?” asked Nagaraj, one of my friends. “If it were as simple as that then everyone in this world should have what they want. Why are there so many unhappy, dissatisfied people in this world?”
There are several reasons. Most of the people do not know what they really want. Try asking 10 people (chosen randomly) what they want from life at that present and you will know.
They will either give you generic answers like “I want happiness, peace of mind” or complain about their problems and miseries. They will not be able to tell you what exactly they want because they don’t know what they want.
Most of them will actually tell you what they don’t want.
A few months ago during my stay in California, I was disturbed because of the cold, distant and political behaviour of some unsavoury characters that had come with me from India. A friend who noticed my unhappy state asked me, “Why are you unhappy? What do you want from this assignment and from your stay in the US in general?
I said, “I don’t want these people to behave the way they do”.
“I want this roomie to stop banging the door each time she walks in and out of the house.”
“I want these managers to stop their micromanagement and policing”
“I want these non vegetarians to stop being so insensitive about the sentiments of vegetarians”.
He said” These are things you DO NOT want. WHAT DO YOU WANT??”
After much contemplation I said,
”I want to acquire some domain knowledge from this project”
“I want to travel extensively”
“I want to make friends”
He said, “You will get it”.
That I believe is the key. The moment you know specifically what you want, you will get it (supposedly).
Another catch is this. Most of the people who know what they want are not happy when they get it. How many of us are grateful today for getting what we wanted from life yesterday? How many of us even remember what we wanted yesterday?
Today, I am a software professional. I have enough money. I have the best of food, clothes and accessories. I am independent. I have a mobile phone. I have a 30 GB iPod and a lovely collection of music among other things.
But how often do I think that these were the very stuff my dreams used to be made of once upon a time? How often do I jump in the air and shout “Yeah, my dreams have come true! My wishes have been granted!”? Not very often. Most of us take for granted what we have today.
To say more about the law, I am told it works. How? Vibrations attract like vibrations. Happiness attracts more happiness just as sorrow attracts more sorrow. If you are cheerful and believe that what you want is coming to you very soon, then it will come to you.
If you doubt, it will take a long time to come.
If you hope, then it will come to you, but slowly.
And if you know it will come, then, it will come in no time.
If you crib and complain all the time about your miseries, you will only bring more misery into your life.
While practicing this however, one must concentrate only on the final result, not on the strategy. Think about what you want, not about how it should materialize. The universe will take care of the how.
On our way home from office, my friend asked, “What do you want now?”
I said, “I want people to stop driving one man cars in Bangalore”.
“Why? What do you want to achieve by that?”
“Because of so many vehicles, roads and flyovers are being constructed. To make room for construction, more and more trees are being cut down. I don’t want trees to be cut down”
“So what you WANT is a GREEN BANGALORE!”
The point is, focus on the end result not on intermediate strategy.
And remember, two negatives don’t make a positive.
I stumbled upon this cartoon in which one guy says “I am anti-war, anti-drugs, anti-pollution, anti-commercialism, anti-deforestation”. The other guy says “Hmmm… Quite positive!”
When Mother Teresa was asked to join the anti war rally, she responded by saying “I will not join the anti war rally. But if there is a peace rally, I will surely join it”!
Don’t strive against what you don’t want.
Strive for what you want.
There is a difference. Your mind should not dwell even for a moment on the negative. It should be filled with positive thoughts only.
Whether or not you believe in the law of attraction, it acts upon you all the time. It is like gravity. Even if you don’t believe in gravity, it will still act upon you.
To my rational mind, this theory appears to be in conflict with the theory of Karma somewhat. A person who has done evil deserves doom. If an evil doer knows about the law of attraction and practices it to attain happiness in life, will he succeed in bringing happiness into his life which he does not deserve??
For now, I shall put away all skepticism and try to believe in this law.
One; it does not hurt. Two; there are friends who vouch for the effectiveness of this theory.
And then, all it takes to practice it is incorrigible optimism which is a good thing indeed!