Monday, August 9, 2010

Why Isn't The Law of Attraction Working for You?

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This is a confronting and provocative question. It presumes there’s a gap in your life and that you are in some way failing, falling short of your own expectations.

If The Law of Attraction does indeed work, how then do we explain how bad things happen to good people? How can we explain how the worst of criminals can win the Lottery? Indeed we can question whether this much-quoted Law is in fact a myth.

The point of this article is not to ponder the riddle of this apparent phenomenon or get bogged down in the mire of attempting to define the intangible. Rather I would like to posit the following commentary.

Let’s twist the above question. Imagine that despite your initial reaction to the topic, that you are indeed living the dream, but have failed to realize this fact. Perhaps your appreciation lens is clouded. 
Perhaps you are with your ideal life partner but are blinded to this fact by virtue of your incessant fantasizing of some parallel universe where some Goddess or God is attentive to your every need.
Imagine a world in which some serious health defect was to consume your life. Would you spend your waking hours longing for a dream life that was manifested simply by good health?
The dream car that you drool about and crave, how important to you is it really in comparison to the love and respect of friends?
I prefer the less sexy ‘Law’ that I’ll call The Law of Tendencies.

Perhaps it’s pedantic, and probably ludicrous to call a label such as tendency a law. However bear with me for a moment longer. Imagine a belief system where all meaning was contextual. Imagine that happiness, sadness, joy, wealth and indeed any emotion was a manifestation based on nothing more than a sequence of neurons following a scripted pattern.

People have a tendency to think in a certain way, which then creates their beliefs and certainties. Our tendencies lead us toward repetitive patterns of behavior. We tend to hang around certain people. We tend to gravitate towards certain situations. We tend to surf certain web sites. We tend to communicate with a certain style.

Not surprisingly I would suggest;

our tendencies set us on a path of intersection and collision with others of similar tendencies. 

It’s not so much that mere meditation and visualization guarantees the object of our longing will manifest itself, but rather that in the midst of an infinite universe our patterns of thought and action more often than not propel us on to the same route as other like minded individuals.

Is there a message here? I hope so!

To achieve landmark goals, try hanging around those with similar aspirations. Spend time with those that you admire and whose apparent life experiences you would like to mirror. Network with those you aspire to be like and persist until your new tendencies become ingrained.

You may still walk under a truck, but there’s a more than reasonable chance that one day you’ll wake up and marvel at how your tendencies to all intent and purposes have become a facsimile of that elusive phenomenon called the Law of Attraction!

In the words of Desiderata-perhaps the universe really is unfolding as it should.

Sunday, August 1, 2010

The Power of Negative Thinking!

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This a reworking of an older Post with the slightly torturous title "Doomsayers, Geniuses and the Nonsense of Scarcity Economics"

Despite the long winded title, there are a few morsels of insight that encompass the importance of mindset and perspective in determining the direction of our passions. Passion, focus and determination may bring accolades in the short term but they are often in hindsight proven to be utterly wrong!

Hope you enjoy'

You may never have heard of Paul Ehlrich or Thomas Malthus unless you have an interest in the economic principles of scarcity. That being the case I'm surprised to find you here reading this irreverent scribble!  In fact Malhus died back in 1834. His Principle the Malthusian Catastrophe however lives on. 

Mr Ehlrich published a couple of best selling books between 1968 and 1971, including ‘Population Explosion”, ‘Eco-Catastrophe-, (that word again!), and ‘the End of Affluence’. At the time they were the best selling environmental books to date, selling millions of copies.

So well regarded was his work that he received the ‘prestigious’ Macarthur Foundation Genius Award in acknowledgment of his ‘wisdom’. Why the parentheses you ask?

Well, remember the aforementioned Malthus? He was the 'genius' that declared in volumes of scientific rhetoric, that the price of societal improvement and welfare was impending doom, manifested as epidemic, pestilence, plague and starvation.

You see the principle of scarcity states that in a world of limited resources there can be no place for aspiration to achieve. Presumably we should live in huts and embrace a life of privation and subsistence. Happy times!

Paul Ehlrich inhabits the same doomsday world as Malthus. His best selling books that garnered him his reputation including his ‘genius’ award, predicted apocalyptic disasters on a scale never before seen.

Hundreds of millions would starve to death. Famine, plague and societal disintegration would become the norm. Indeed the world as we know it would collapse like a house of cards. When will this happen, you might ask? Ehlrich was remarkably specific. During the 1970’s!

I must admit to being perplexed as to the predictions his vanquished competitors came up with in the ‘genius’ award, if he won!

In a previous article I asked ‘Does Truth Exist?’ and facetiously postulated that truth is entirely contextual and biased by our subconscious belief and value systems, which are largely a factor of our cultural up-bringing.

Hindsight is a great ally when predicting and forecasting outcomes. 

At the other end of the Truth spectrum is Julian Simon, who won a famous bet with Ehlrich, that resources actually drop in price over time and therefore are not scarce, and by predicting that contrary to the assertion that we live in a world of scarcity, we actually live in a world of untold abundance. The air is cleaner. We use less land to produce more food, thanks to the ubiquitous Corn Economy that accounts for so much of our food and packaging. 

However despite the aclaim garnered by the two aforementioned geniuses, the real hero of the 20th century may be another unheralded character: Fritz Haber. It was he who managed to extract Nitrogen from the air in the form of Ammonia, the consequences of which form the basis for the abundance most Western countries enjoy today. That one innovation allowed mass fertilization to occur and the evolution of the Corn Economy.

The point is not to gloat over the misguided predictions of past scholars, but it is interesting that negative doom and gloom catastrophe and impending apocalypse is easier to sell than the more likely script, which is that the power of innovation to replace and refine our technologies is inevitably more likely.

All innovation starts with the seed of a ‘what can we improve’ question. 

Doomsayers prefer to build their audience on the Principles of Malthus and Ehlrich.

All thoughts appreciated-Cheers Kiaran