I was introduced to the law of attraction at an early age. When my brothers and I were young, our parents made us watch a video called The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, on our drive down to Hilton Head, SC. At our ages, we weren't exactly thrilled to swap this video out for Space Jam or The Sandlot, but after watching just a few minutes, we were very intrigued. Here were some of the most successful people in the world telling us that the secret to success and happiness is based on the law of attraction, that you can have or achieve anything you want if you attract those things to you with your thoughts. The law of attraction is the philosophy that "like attracts like", which encompasses the idea that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts a person brings positive or negative experiences into their life.
I am not saying that I am some prodigy that fully understood this concept right away at a young age. But what I did take away after watching The Secret my first time was the desire to make a vision board. A vision board is a visual representation of your greatest goals, dreams, and aspirations through images, quotes, and trigger words. I have been making vision boards ever since I first watched The Secret, and what I started to realize was that I was achieving goals on my vision board, even some of the more challenging goals. And they were not even goals I was consciously thinking about on a daily basis.
I do not believe, nor have I ever believed, that getting into your favorite school, owning a nice home, buying a luxury car, or meeting a significant other will magically appear out of nowhere just because you are thinking about wealth, love, and happiness. However I do believe, without a doubt, that we can attract these things to us by completing the following steps:
- Unshakeable Vision: There is a humongous difference between (a) thinking about something you want to have or achieve, and (b) being able to see yourself in your mind owning or achieving what you want with 100% certainty. Try it right now: think about something you want badly. Try to picture with 100% conviction the moment you own or achieve what you want, while telling yourself that this will happen and I am going to make this happen (not this is what it would look like if this happened). This is not very easy the first few times you try it, and it might take awhile to get to 100% conviction. Many people struggle with developing unshakeable vision, but you have to get to there first before the law of attraction will start to become real for you.
- Take Action: The second step, which is not talked about as much in the documentary, is taking action in line with your vision from step 1. As I mentioned above, I do not believe the things you want will appear for you out of thin air, but if you pursue a goal you have with unshakeable vision and take purposeful action towards that goal, you will be amazed at what you are capable of achieving. An unshakeable vision can actually inspire this purposeful action almost on its own, which includes an outstanding work ethic, a positive attitude, and relentless perseverance. These skills are not easy to practice which is why most people struggle to achieve their most challenging goals. How do you make sure your actions are consistent with your vision? You need to take control of your actions in two different ways:
- Consciously: You will find that there are times when your thoughts or your actions do not align with your vision. In this case, you will have to recognize, either yourself or with the help of others, that your thoughts/actions are not consistent with your ultimate goal and then actually make the necessary adjustment to get back on track. A vision board is an excellent tool to help with your conscious actions by serving as a daily reminder of your goals and the motivation behind each of them.
- Unconsciously: If you can fully commit to your unshakeable vision, you can access one of the most powerful and underused tools at your disposal: your subconscious. If you can activate your subconscious to work towards your goal, combined with your conscious actions, then almost everything you do will be in line with your vision. This is where "the magic" happens- where the law of attraction kicks in to "bring you" what you want. What is actually happening is that your actions are bringing you the things you want, all initiated by your unshakeable vision.
Sound too good to be true? It's not. I have a few personal examples to prove it.
- Starting a Company: For almost as long as I have been making vision boards, I have included images and quotes related to entrepreneurship and starting a company around youth leadership development. I even had this on my vision board when I started my career in banking. Now, Joseph and I are waking up every day working for a company that we started that is based on our passions for leadership and working with students.
- Running a Full Marathon: I decided that a bucket list goal of mine was to run the Chicago Marathon at a time when I had never run over five miles at a time in my life. I picked a goal time (3:30:00) and achieved that milestone, which was a huge personal accomplishment for me. I firmly believe that this happened because I not only trained hard, but I fully committed through my vision and actions to that finishing time.
- Featured in Publications: When Joseph and I started this company, we decided that 220 Youth Leadership was going to be featured in publications. Way sooner than anticipated, we were featured in the EdTech Times Founder Interview Series (check out our interview here).
- International Company: We also decided that 220 Youth Leadership was going to be an international company helping students all over the world access their Second-to-None leadership potential. We are currently in discussions to be a part of an international youth program, and were offered the opportunity to speak at an international life skills conference in Goa, India.
The law of attraction works. A lot of people do not believe in it, but that is because making it work for you is not easy and like most great things, it does not happen immediately. You have to practice patience, develop your unshakeable vision, and take consistent action towards your goal. In other words, you have to really want it!
Stick with it, and the law of attraction can work for you.
For the rest of the week, take the last 10 minutes before you fall asleep to practice unshakeable vision. Select one of your greatest life goals, and then close your eyes. Imagine yourself accomplishing that goal, and imagine the feelings and senses associated with that accomplishment (the feeling in your stomach, what you see, what you smell, who is around you, etc.). There will likely be a negative voice inside your head giving you reasons why this cannot happen. Do not get discouraged by this voice because everyone has it. You just have to recognize when that negative voice kicks in, and suppress it with your positive attitude and vision. Tell yourself, "why not you?" Then, picture yourself taking the action necessary to achieve that goal using the same techniques above.
This may take a few times to get it right, so do not get discouraged if by the end of the week you do not feel like this exercise is working yet. Try again next week and stick with it, because if you can get to this point, you should fall asleep feeling fantastic and hopefully dreaming sweet dreams of achievement. Just be careful- this sensation can be addicting.=)