This is an excerpt from Chapter 3: The Ripken Perspective.
The craze referred to as The Law of Attraction has been widely promoted in popular books like The Secret (Rhonda Byrne) and The Key to Living the Law of Attraction (Jack Canfield and D. D. Watkins). It has captured the imagination of many celebrities and entrepreneurs. The premise is simple: Everybody has the ability to attract to themselves whatever they focus their attention on. If we focus on positive things, positive things will be drawn to us. Accordingly, being concerned with potentially harmful aspects of our circumstances brings bad things to our lives.
The only reason people don’t live the life they envision for themselves, per this theory, is that they aren’t taking advantage of their power to manipulate the universe to give them what they want. The universe has no option but to return to everyone in greater measure the vibes they send to it via their thoughts. Canfield and Watkins put it this way: “Basically, the universe will respond abundantly to the vibrations of whatever you are passionate about, focused upon, committed to and to that which you truly believe is possible.”[i]
I wonder what people eliminated from the first round of American Idol think about this. My wife and I like to watch the initial round of auditions. Occasionally, a would-be idol would have a very nice voice that would please the judges and provide the feel-good story that makes the show so popular. Often, though, we are even more entertained by those who, until the filming of the show, had been grossly misinformed about their star-studded potential.
Sorry to be a killjoy, but I can’t help but feel sorry for them. The entertainment value of their performances has been greatly diminished for me (though admittedly, not eliminated). Not only are their dreams shattered, they’ve been made the laughingstock of a nation – if only for a few moments. The infamy can last much longer for the exceptionally untalented.
Many of these people desired the opportunity for musical success every bit as much as those with talent. The shock and negative feedback by rejected participants to the judges’ comments is proof that their passion for their dream is as intense as that of their successful counterparts. Why didn’t the universe reward their positive vibes?
As glaring as this flaw in the Law of Attraction is, there’s more. The most damaging thing about the Law of Attraction is the perspective it promotes to those who follow it: You know what true happiness is for you. You design your own spiritual journey and you define its ultimate destination.
Instead, God wants us to trust him, our Maker, to tell us who he designed us to be. For that to happen, we have to learn to believe him more instead of continuing to follow our unrefined instincts.
[i] Jack Canfield and D. D. Watkins, Key to Living the Law of Attraction, (Deerfield Beach, FL:Health Communications, Inc., 2008), 39.