Tuesday, 9 September 2008

Why The Law Of Attraction Doesn't Work Part 2 - Positive Thinking

Yesterday's post about why the law of attraction doesn't work seems to have gotten quite a few people thinking.

Granted, there are only 4 comments on the blog (shame because there were same great posts to me personally) but there were over 200 emails received as a result of the posting so clearly, the subject is getting people really thinking.

What amazed me most is that I expected a lot more 'argument' in support of the popular view of the law of attraction yet I actually received far, far more mail telling me I'd helped people understand how it works and, interestingly, to feel less guilty or like a failure (their words) when they couldn't manifest what the law of attraction had been promising them.

What they DID ask, however, was if the law of attraction had a fatal flaw in it, did that hold true for the other success 'laws'?

Good question, let's find out shall we?

Part Two

I've given over 80 talks about mindset and goal achievement in the last 12 months to groups ranging from 20 to 2000 coming from all walks of life and practically every nation on the planet.

Whenever I begin one of my talks I always lay out the three 'big myths' about achieving your goals and why falling for them can cost you not only your goals but your passion and your happiness too.

Yesterday I covered myths 1 and 2 so today I wanted to cover the myth of positive thinking as I believe that this is probably the most pervasive and negatively impactful myth around achievement and success that most people fall for.

Now, don't get me wrong; I'm a big positive thinker myself focusing upon the possible rather than the impossible, on the can rather than the can't and on the power, possibility and promise of a situation rather than the drain, strain and lack of gain that most people seem to focus on.

But that doesn't mean that I believe positive thinking creates positive results in and of itself.

You see, depite what most people think, positive thinking has very little power to create the end-result you're most looking for whether that's earning more money, getting a better job or living the lifestyle of your dreams. Or anything else for that matter.

Now, if you've read around success literature very much then you'll probably disagree with me on this. I don't blame you, this is how we've been trained to think. This is what we've been told is true by practically every success coach and goal guru for the last 150 years.

But lets think on this a little...

Imagine you're sitting on the road in the middle of the highway.

You've a massive smile on your face and you're thinking happy, positive thoughts as the traffic whizzes by you at 70 miles an hour. You feel pretty good!

You're confident and positive that no harm will befall you.

Question: How long do you think your positive thinking will keep you from harms way?

Another example from Tony Robbins own collection of thoughts on the subject....

You walk out in to your garden and smile and say over and over "There's no weeds, there's no weeds, there's no weeds"

You follow this little ritual on a daily basis for six months or even a year, maintaining a positive attitude to your garden.

What do you think will happen?

Weeds right?

So look, positive thinking isn't the be all and end all of getting what you want.

Yes, it's an important part (after all, negativity certainly doesn't help ANYTHING) but positivity by itself only creates what I call 'Happy Fool Syndrome' where you maintain a smile despite whatever else is going on in your life. Sure, it's a better approach than going through life with a frown but it definitely won't guarantee your success in anything.

You see, positivity is only valuable to the degree that it gets you to take positive ACTION.

If you maintain a smile but don't DO the things that are PROVEN to create success then success simply won't come. It can't!

Only action changes anything, positive thinking doesn't.

So here's the test.

Stop judging your probability for success based upon how positive you're thinking, start judging it only on the actions you took toward making the goal happen; no matter how small.

Eating right and drinking right are far more likely to give you the body and the health you desire than thinking positive about your health alone.

Studying for a new skillset, starting your own business or getting a promotion at work are more likely to help you get the big house on the hill than just thinking positive about your lifestyle.

Thinking positively, on the other hand changes nothing unless it gets you to take action, action, action.

By all means, maintain a sunny, cheery disposition and a 'can do' attitude to life. I'm not knocking it, but make EVERY day a day where you took action on that positivity and things will change more than you'd ever believe.

Truth, joy and love

Dax Moy

P.S - If you're still not convinced about what I'm saying here, try this experiment.

Trial 1 -

1. Get a stopwatch and press start.
2. Think about making a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Get your mind to the place where you REALLY want that drink.
4. Think positively about getting your coffee.
5. Wait for the coffee to come and keep the timer running.

Trial 2 -
1. Get a stopwatch and press start.
2. Think about making a cup of tea or coffee.
3. Turn on the kettle and prepare the cups with coffee.
4. When kettle boils, pour water into cup.
5. Drink first sip then hit Stop on stopwatch.

Which was faster?

Action wins, right!

Look, think positive all you want, I highly recommend it, but measure the effectiveness of that positivity only by what you DO as a result of it,


Matt Murphy said...

Good job I don't drink Coffee.

Action wins every time. I find being positive and thinking about what I want shows me the opportunities to achieve what I desire. Ultimately though I have to take the steps to see those goals become reality.

I feel law of attraction can help change the mindset and make you more aware of the steps you will have to take.

You still gotta take em though!

Stag said...

Absolutely, action is the barometer where achievement can be measured against.

Positive thinking helps (or at least should), primes you into taking the necessary steps. I think many have problems because they over think or try and map out exactly (or how on earth), how to achieve their goals and become dogged down & frustrated.

You can make anything complicated, but taking that small piece of action starts you on the road. Dont worry how your gonna get there, just go with the flow and view it as a fun adventure. You might just surprised oneself...

A book I have recently finished reading is the Answer, by John Assaraf and Murry Smith. This book is one heck of great companion to what Dax reveals in this ebook. They refer to it as a follow on from the secret, and how goals can be achieved just like Dax's magic100 - Its tailored towards business, but I really can recommend this book more.


Andy said...

Whilst I agree with what you've said regarding action over thinking, I think it's important not to disregard the power of positive thinking. In a recent study (I'm afraid I cant remember where I read this) researchers measured the health and fitness levels of cleaners in several large hotels and asked them to rate their exercise levels. Most of them rated their exercise levels as very low. One half of the group then attended a lecture where it was explained to them that their cleaning job was actually quite active and would be the equivalent of 30 minutes or more of exercise daily. After a certain time (3 months I think) all cleaners were retested both for health and fitness and also percieved exercise levels. Not suprisingly the cleaners who attended the lecture rated their exercise levels as higher but interestingly they also scored better on all the health and fitness measurements.

They weren't measured for any other exercise or dietary changes between the tests so after the lecture they may have eaten better and exercised more but it would seem unlikely that a talk given by researches on how cleaning counts as exercise would motivate them to go out and do more exercise and change their diets. So the conclusion was that positive thought had a physical effect on the cleaners health.

So if your goal is to increase health and fitness then positive thought may be very useful. I still agree with you that actions is what allows you to achieve you goals but I think positive thinking shouldn't be ignored
(although I don't think that is what you are suggesting)

DaxMoy said...


I think positive thinking is VITAL in that, when we feel negative we tend to not take any action toward our goals.

Positive thinking DOES create numerou benefit without a doubt, but it's rarely the magic ingredient we've been told it is... unless, of course, it makes us feel powered to act.

Good comments though... and interesting study : )


Anonymous said...

Dear Dax, you really are a breath of fresh air. I think you probably upset a lot of people and darn tootin'.

I have turned my life upside down, and redefined the way I want things to happen, tried some things I didn't think I would, and discovered that some of the old and tired things were actually working for me.

This wasn't the LoA but it got me on the road. To stay on that road has been something else. This is where the LoA stopped working for me and a more pragmatic approach has taken over: break goals down into smaller, manageable chunks and chip away at them, like the proverbial woodpecker.

I kept thinking I was doing things wrong as I'm not where I thought I would be but this is my reality. I'm doing the same things but have better visibility over my choices now.



P.S. I have found that your Magic 100 has been stressing me. I've probably been doing it wrong, but it just reminds me of everything I haven't done and not what I've done. Any advice?

DaxMoy said...

you can't do it 'wrong' Sarah, but you're probably taking it a little too seriously.

I've always found my best achievements come when I treat it as a big, fun game. When I relax.

The Law of Attraction does actually work on thoughts and feelings even if it doesn't work on things.

If you take the program too seriously, you get serious thoughts and serious feelings making it less fun.

Think fun thoughts, develop fun feelings and you get a fun experience.

Make sense?

Kate said...

"I tried that whole positive thinking thing, but I knew it wouldn't work, and I was right!"

I can't remember where that quote is from but I thought of it while reading your post. I just had to comment and say thank you for not posting the same tired bullsh*t about the "power of positive thinking", and disregarding the "scientific evidence" presented by some other more, um, "secret" programs. There are days when getting up early to work out sucks, lifting one more heavy weight sucks, and no amount of blowing sunshine up your own tailpipe will change that. Rather than berate yourself for a poor attitude, you should be congratulating yourself that you did it anyway.

LISA said...

I would love to have read this but, as I have mentioned previously, white text on black is reeeeaallly hard to read and even harder to read quickly which is really important for me as I have lots of other emails to read each day.

Anonymous said...

Cheers Dax.

I talked about a similar point with an amazing lady who lives on Aitu, many years ago. (She's an amazing textile artist, Andrea, and her husband Juergen, who runs the island's coffee plantation, made their home there, with a few hundred inhabitants). We were talking one day about synchronicity/serendipity and she asked me when I experienced these moments, and things seemingly 'happening' with no effort on my part. I said at the point when I feel no stress or pressure. She said then wasn't that the key? to try to live life in a way that allows for these moments.

Need to get back to this state of mind! Another island would help...

Spida Hunter said...

Kia ora Dax, NO argument from me Dax with LOA, I feel at some stage we all go down the road of Positive thinking is the "key" until we reach a developmental stage that's a notch up from "thinking" alone!

You can't jump the stages when it comes to developmental stages, it's like walking into a gym first time and expecting to do 100kg Squat! NOT happening!!

I would like to add, (for those that care), some insight into HOW we receive info and then action it.

You "hear/read/see/taste/touch/smell" some 'new' info.

From that you;

Filter it (belief's, values, memories, decisions, sort-store-retrieve info, attitude etc..)

From the filters you have, you are left with very little of what you received.

Then you will create a
"representation" of what is left.

From what internal representation you have made you will have an emotional state and then you will "action" it (or not) i.e. behavior.

Whether you "take action" or not, you are getting the results you want!

The "secret" here is to do it "consciously"!!

If done at a conscious level then you can "choose" how you create your outcomes by altering how you process info to meet the outcome you want!

Hopefully someone gets what I'm trying to explain?!

Jennie said...

Thank You!

DaxMoy said...

I sure do Spida!

Great points all!