The Secret and the Law of Attraction have been circulating the airwaves. A basic summary of the Law of Attraction is that “like attracts like.” The law works by attracting similar forces to each other. If we focus on the positive, we will manifest abundance from the universe and positive things will be attracted to us. If we think negatively, we will attract negative experiences and results. There are mystical elements wrapped up in the Law of Attraction. As if we have a magical power to bring good things in our direction. It is extremely alluring. Is it true?

Yes and no – both! Yes, the truth beneath the mysticism is based in cognitive psychology which has a firm research footing. What people think will drive how they feel and what they do. If a person focuses on the negative it will impact their mood, their expectations and their actions. If an individual chooses to be optimistic and look for opportunity, they will be more positive, open and confident. As a result, they seize opportunity when it arises. In fact, a British researcher found that “lucky” people actually behave differently than “unlucky” people. Those who are “lucky” are more optimistic, open and skilled at seizing opportunities. Lucky people do not have exceptional fortune or magic power; they behave differently and thus get different results. I believe that the Law of Attraction is similar to the idea of luck. If we focus on the positive and seek opportunity we will get better results.

If this is true, then is Law of Attraction real? Can we attract all good things by thinking the universe towards our wishes? Much to our deep dismay we are not able to wish things into reality. There are endless examples of hopes dashed by painful disappointment. We all know people who have bravely fought illness with great optimism and succumbed. Great positive hope did not stop the force of the disease. Even more, as a group we are completely incapable of stopping natural forces that regularly wreak havoc. If people could truly wish hopes into existence, we could use our will to chase away a hurricane, a tornado or a flood. This never happens! When considered on this scale the overreaching myth of the Law of Attraction is evident. If we live at such a high level of expectation, we are going to be disappointed!

What to do? Top Performer’s are anchored in optimism and realism. They know the power of their perceptions and will choose beliefs that are positive and productive. They also know that they must correctly manage the realities on the ground. They strategize and adjust to events as they unfold. Top performers continually work for themselves with both optimism and realism. So go ahead, use the Law of Attraction ideas to create positive energy for yourself and use that energy to strategize, plan and build success!

Reprint permission granted to Sorrell Associates, LLC by Barbara A. Kay, MA, LPC, RCC Co-Author, The Top Performer’s Guide to Change