You might have read a lot about the Law of Attraction recently (commonly referred to as LOA), made popular by the movie The Secret. But what is it, really, and is it just so much gobble-ly gook?

In fact, LOA has been around forever, as have its proponents. People through the years have called it by other names, but it is the same thing. Norman Vincent Peale talked about it in his wildly popular book, The Power of Positive Thinking, for example. But why is it so hard to figure out, and more importantly, how do you harness the power of the Law of Attraction?

To “use” it effectively, you first have to understand it.

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Most advocates of the LOA believe that you absolutely attract everything that happens to you, good and “bad” (although if you’ve seen even discussions on The Secret, even the LOA experts differ in their opinions on that to some extent, which I’ll discuss later).

Now, wait. I can just see you saying, “Hey! You’re nuts if you think I want to be broke (or sick, etc.)!” And of course, you’re right. I’d be crazy to think you would want anything bad to happen to you. That’s where the confusion comes in, and where I can help clear it up. If you’re attracting something to you, it doesn’t necessarily mean you want it.

Let me say that again. If you’re attracting something to you, it doesn’t mean you want it. It simply means that you somehow have somehow ingrained in you that it’s what you expect to happen. It’s your reality.

Let’s take money (or lack of money) as an example. Let’s say you struggle to pay your rent and basic bills every month, even though you’re working really hard. So, let’s assume for a moment that the Law of Attraction is activated and that you’re attracting this lack of money. Does that mean you want no money? Of course not. But it probably does mean that somewhere, somehow, you have embedded within your thoughts the message of “lack” or “not enough” when it comes to money. Maybe your parents were hardworking people who continually told you, “Money doesn’t grow on trees,” or, “There’s never enough money to make ends meet,” etc. If you grew up with these or similar messages about money and you have them implanted in your reality, then somehow, for you, money is supposed to be scarce and precious, or difficult to come by. So that’s what you attract in your reality. Money is indeed “scarce” and “precious,” and you never have enough. You lack abundance in your life.

Now, just recognizing this fact goes a long way towards changing your “vibration,” which you hear a lot about when someone’s talking about LOA. Your vibration is just basically the “signal” you send out to the universe, and that signal attracts what it matches back to you. So if you’re always worried about and struggling with money, guess what you attract? Yep, more worry and struggle with money.

If you instead focus on what is abundant in your life. Tell yourself how much you deserve to have money flowing to you from many different sources, for example. Keep worry about money away from your thoughts.

So then, does this mean you can just say, “So, I’ll just quit worrying about money, then, and things will be fine!”? It’s important to analyze what thoughts are keeping you in a state of lack, and then work on correcting them. And, this works in all aspects of your life, from prosperity, to health and wellness and relationships. You can have it all!