By Mitadru Dey
On a lazy Sunday afternoon, I was facing the modern-day dilemma of choice of plenty as I wanted to watch a show on Netflix. While browsing through the hundreds of shows I found an intrigued one named “The Secret“. The trailer was very interesting as some of the celebrities mentioned how “The Secret” changed their lives.
The secret is nothing but a law. It’s the “The Law of Attraction”. The fundamental principle behind this law is how we should think. It essentially tells if you always think positive, you will witness great things happening in your life. On the other hand, if your thought process is pessimistic you will attract negative things in your life. We will look at arguments for and against this law today.
Let’s start with the positives. Will Smith, Jim Carrey, Oprah Winfrey endorse this theory. Their success tells us it’s applicable in our personal lives. This world is full of known and unknown hurdles and if one gives you a tool that will make you cross these hurdles with a smiling face what else you want in life. If we follow a structured approach like using a vision board to think about an object/goal which we want desperately, the world will create circumstances for us to achieve it.
This can be material things like a Lamborghini, a penthouse next to the Hudson river, winning the super lotto, and an iPhone XI. It also can be emotional things like charming the love of your life, getting cured of a deadly disease, or winning an argument over your spouse. In today’s world where we see so much hatred among us, if followed by everyone, this would solve a lot of social, political, and religious issues that are taking human lives daily.
Let’s look at the other side of the story. I am going to present three arguments against this law.
Firstly, this theory highlights we only need to think about positive things and stay away from pain. This means we should not think about underprivileged people in society. We would not talk to people who are having critical diseases because we may end up having that. This theory negates professions like medicine, law, a non-profit organization, etc. I am sure most of you, if not all, are involved in a lot of challenging situations locally/globally due to pandemic. Does this law help??
Secondly, if we believe in this law, it will be difficult to explain certain scenarios. Let’s say tomorrow all of us start thinking about winning the Super Lotto, does that mean we all will win? Absolutely no. This law exploits our “herd” mentality. If we see 20 celebrities endorsing this, we tend to believe this must be true without properly examining the underlying logic. The proponents of this law only propagate things that have been realized, not the failures. One day I may think about 5 of my friends and get a call from one friend. This law focuses only on 20% success and carefully ignores 80% failure.
Finally, this law undermines the action which is vital in life. How one can just visualize a goal without having a plan and necessary action to back it up. Let’s say I want to lose 10 pounds. As per this law, if I think about losing 10 pounds every day in an organized manner, it will happen just like that. If it were true, fitness professionals need to find other jobs.
In conclusion, I must say all the arguments against the law outweigh the positive factors. If this law is universal there would not be any unhappy soul in the world. Then why millions of people follow this practice?
The answer lies in Josh Billings’ words: “The trouble with most folks isn’t their ignorance. It’s knowing’ so many things that ain’t so”.
Mitadru is a Financial Services Executive in a multinational investment bank with 15 years of experience. He writes about simple yet profound career strategies helping individuals across industries and experience levels. He provides pro bono guidance to professionals. To access his guidance, connect with him on LinkedIn.
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