The Power of Attraction

Written by Martin Lucas

A mystical term, right?

Whether it is The Secret or mystical fables about The Universe or indeed the millions of self-help books that are out there, when we think about the Power of Attraction, our mind generally associates it with some kind of mysticism. Known to some as the Law of Attraction, whatever you label it makes it easy to reject because the concept seems to exist to help people sell books or coaching you don’t want to believe in.

These are all fair points. I was just as cynical, as we often are until we experience a more practical moment. We were working on a research project about trauma and how it affects the brain and how the science of recovery works. As part of this project, I was curious to understand how positive thinking occurs and if you could draw a line between trauma, which is one of the most harrowing and deepest issues a human can be faced with, and positive thinking (and thus happiness), which is one of the most cheery and beneficial ways to live.

I’ve always believed that to help people you need to look at the darkest side to find the light. What surprised me about the notion of positive thinking was the psychological components of how we think. Let me draw some context to challenge you.

Did you know that 70% of what you communicate is non-verbal?

Did you know that 92% of what you think about is not conscious?

I recently wrote about how what you perceive in life becomes your reality and how that, in turn, drives the things your brain actively seeks out (or actively rejects the things it believes you don’t want to see). That’s the math of how our brains are pre-programmed based on a set of data (i.e. our experiences), preferences and biases that make up what we each tend to see. The same is true for the signals that you give out to other people; it’s exactly the same math in the brain. The basis is the same. Here is the cycle:

Step 1: Thoughts you have.

‘I don’t believe I will get this job.’

‘I’m not sure I’m good enough to date this person.’

‘I just don’t feel I’m worthy enough to get this opportunity.’

Step 2: Repeated enough times, these thoughts become unconscious instructions.

The brain works on absolute efficiency; it wants to alleviate as much conscious thinking as possible and it does not judge good vs bad. It really doesn’t. Like a computer, the brain is not a set of ethics; it just does what it is told, and this is the symbiotic relationship between the unconscious and the conscious mind. When the brain is told something enough times, it then makes that ‘belief’ part of its pre-programming.

Step 3: Thoughts become actions.

Now, when faced with the job interview (the data - the opportunity), your brain will send signals out which create doubt in the other people you interact with. Do you doubt this? Then consider the example of sensing something is a little ‘off’ when you meet up with a friend:

Your instinct says something is up.

You ask: ‘Hey, what’s up?’

Friend: ‘Nothing’

You: ‘Come on, you can tell me, it’s ok’

Friend: ‘OK, it’s….’

How did you know?

It goes down like this. Your instinct is the unconscious analysis machine that is finely tuned to read micro-expressions and to read each other’s eyes. When we’re born, our inherent intelligence is pre-programmed to find faces and read their emotions. That is the non-verbal signalling that makes up 70% of how we communicate non-verbally: body language, expressions, pauses. The other 30% is verbal; we are more conscious of these types of behaviours as we can process a word said here or there. We also (generally) have more awareness of when we make mistakes when it comes to the verbal side of communication.

As Henry Ford (allegedly) said:

Ford-Think.jpg
Not long after Henry Ford’s prime, a dude called Napoleon Hill wrote ‘Think and Grow Rich’, which was published in the 30s. It was all about success and successful people from that time. Although Napoleon Hill didn’t know it at the time, he was to become the godfather of Positive Thinking and the book is much like a self help-book with a step-by-step method to train yourself to believe in yourself, in your ideas and in your ability to visualise what your future interactions will be (a concept now widely accepted in sports). I wrote about Sports Psychology relative to hidden talents in The Minds Eye.

Here is my point: the power of attraction is one’s ability to think that you can do something and, as with the above example I gave where a repeated belief manifests itself as unconscious belief and behaviours, off you go - you find success.

At this point let me bring in an expert, Positive Psychologist and best-selling author Niyc Pidgeon to explain more:

‘Our minds have an immense power to be able to create, and when we accept this as a fact, we are able to harness that power and use it to create our lives with intention, rather than feeling that life is running us. We know that when our brains are at positive, we are 31% more productive than at negative or even neutral, and that our tool kit of psychological resources is built up when we experience positive emotions. These positive emotions – such as joy, excitement, gratitude, and curiosity – open up our cognition, allow us to become more creative and solution focused, and help build resilience too. This means when you experience a life hassle, stressor, or deeper trauma, you are able to more effectively deal with it. We see from the study of post traumatic growth, that the human mind and spirit has the ability, to not just bounce back from traumatic experiences, but also to grow to be happier and more flourishing than before. When it comes to wanting to live your happiest life, navigate challenges and setbacks, and heal from pain, keeping your thoughts, words, and actions positive is the way to go. Remember that what you focus your energy and attention on grows – and that’s something that’s backed up by both the “woo-woo”, as well as the evidence based science of positive psychology too’.

Awesome! You can learn more from Niyc with her book ‘Now Is Your Chance: A 30‑Day Guide to Living Your Happiest Life’.

What you put in is what you get back is a great way to think about you treat yourself. How we attract positive outcomes is a practical science which is there, ready and waiting for you to become the best version of yourself.

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