Monday, July 30, 2007

How Not to Create an Attraction Magnet

I recently received a mass e-mail message inviting me to “help in a really big experiment.” The “experiment” — actually an advertising campaign — is an attempt to create world peace by having many people focus on a short movie (at that argues that world peace is a real possibility. If enough people watch the movie and send it along, chain-letter style, to one friend every day, then surely, its authors imagine, world peace will result.

Now, the authors of this movie have seen The Secret, so they, more than the rest of us, should know that this approach won’t work. For those who aren’t up on all this, The Secret movie and book focus mostly on the Law of Attraction, which says that your thoughts and energy attract results that are in line with what you are thinking and feeling. Putting the Law of Attraction to work at the most basic level means that you can get what you want more easily if you stop fighting against the things you don’t want. Move your focus from what you don’t want to what you do want, The Secret tells us, and you will start getting more of the things you want. The perfect example from the movie: instead of being anti-war, be pro-peace.

According to the Law of Attraction, it doesn’t work so well to argue for what you want, because when you argue, you are focusing on the obstacles that would seem to keep you from getting it. Focus on obstacles, and what you get is more obstacles. You also aren’t supposed to worry about how you will create something, because there are likely many ways to do anything you might want to do, and concentrating on one particular approach tends to make you think about the obstacles you may find when you take that approach.

So here’s a so-called attraction magnet being sent around that is not only an argument and a how-to, but that actually shows anti-war protesters carrying banners and signs that say “War No More,” “Stop War,” “Mobilization Against War,” and so on, basically saying “war, war, war,” as far as the Law of Attraction is concerned.

Also problematically, the movie features a series of quotes about the importance of peace — quotes from U.S. presidents who attracted controversy because of their support for war. Including politicians in an attraction magnet is a dubious move because politicians are magnets for controversy and their implied presence is likely to interfere with many viewers’ attempts to feel good. Feeling good is no mere luxury in the process of attraction. Feeling good is essential. Among other things, it is much easier to focus consistently on the good things you want if you are feeling good.

And there is one more major problem with the movie as an attraction magnet. It contains nothing to represent what peace feels like at the individual level. Seeing results at the individual level is absolutely essential in attraction, because any attracting you do comes from your individual power to attract things specifically to you. Think of it this way. If you hold a magnet in your hand, you can’t use it to attract things to a building across town or to people you have never met. It will only attract things to you. So to attract peace, you have to focus on your experience of peace, or what peace looks like where you are.

Anyone can make an attraction magnet using commonly available web movie tools, or you can make a simpler one by cutting and pasting pictures from magazines. If you decide to make one, be careful that you don’t include any of the things we commonly think of that would prevent an attraction magnet from working. Don’t include even a shred of how-to. Don’t hint at anything that in any way shows “both sides of the story” — no obstacles, no mistakes, no arguments, no rationales, no compromises, no common ground, no “positive thinking.” Don’t include anything that feels bad, raises doubts, or distracts from the end result you are looking for. All these things are important in life, but when you really want to attract something, you set them all aside.

Instead, when you make your attraction magnet movie:

  • Focus predominantly on one specific result you want.
  • Make it so clear and specific that when you watch it, there is no doubt in your mind about what the result will look and feel like. Depict the result in a simple, obvious, and compelling way.
  • Make it a feel-good experience. Attraction magnet movies, like entertainment movies, usually use music and beautiful images to create the right kind of mood.
  • Keep it simple. Take out everything that doesn’t add to the effect.
  • Keep it short, usually 2–5 minutes, so you can watch it over and over again.

Popular attraction magnets focus on general ideas of success. You might see one that focuses on prosperity, another for health, another for love, and so on. When you make an attraction magnet for yourself, you can make it more powerful by making it much more specific. For example, an attraction magnet for your new job can depict specifically the kind of job you are seeking and what you will look like doing your new work. It’s like advertising to yourself — the more specific you can make it, the more meaningful it becomes.