This week, I've been dispelling several common misconceptions. On Monday, I discussed the common myth that it's just as easy to manifest a big desire as a small one.
Today, I have another question I'd like to answer: why is it that someone can seem to be happy, and yet still not have everything they want? And, on the other hand, someone who seems to have it all can often be rather sour?
We all know it's true. We've seen those who have very little money, and yet are kind towards all. And we know wealthy people who only care about themselves.
Of course, that's not a universal truth, but it is enough so that it deserves to be covered.
My goal for this week is to show that there's a lot more to the law of attraction than you might at first suspect. It's not just about feeling good, and outer reality reflecting that, though of course that's part of it. But, there's a lot more behind the scenes, too.
If you hope to reliably use the law of attraction in your life, then you need to ground your understanding in reality. If it doesn't apply in reality, then it's just a nice theory.
Of course, it does apply, but much of the common understanding is limited, as I've said before.
As an example, whenever I've asked on discussion forums about this issue, of why someone can seem perfectly miserable and yet get what they want, the common response is, “Well, you can't really know their true vibration.” And while that's certainly true, it still doesn't satisfactorily answer the question.
I hope to give a more satisfactory explanation in this post.
Success and Happiness Do Not Always Coincide
Most LOA teachers will say, “Just feel good and your desires will come to you.” I already showed on Monday why that was false.
But, if it were true, we're sort of left with the idea that really successful people must be out-of-this-world happy, in order to achieve the amount of success they have.
And so when we see someone who seems to have made it in the world, and yet has pretty significant problems of their own, it's a bit discouraging. I've heard people say before, “If that person can be miserable and yet be successful, then why do I need to be happy in order to get what I want?”
I mean, that seems to deal a fatal blow to the law of attraction. While there are studies that correlate happiness and success, they are by no means inextricably linked.
It's for that reason that so many people are skeptical of the LOA. To many, it seems like we're just saying, “Think positively and you'll get everything you want.”
However, that's only so if you misunderstand how the law of attraction actually works. Some people stop there, and just relegate it to the pile of ideas that hasn't worked for them.
The truth is, all sorts of people are successful, from kind, generous people, to mean, selfish ones. That's simply a fact of life that must be faced.
So if we're to truly learn about how the law of attraction works, not just in theory but in practice, too, then we must take these things into consideration.
Personally, I've known several very wealthy people in my life, specifically two I can think of off the top of my head, both of whom were millionaires. They were both very close family friends.
Neither one was super happy and optimistic. One was kind in a sort of subtle way, but she also complained all the time. The other was very frugal with his money, and not the nicest guy in the world.
How can we explain their success with the law of attraction? We cannot simply give the cop-out answer of “Well, we can't really know their vibration.” Again, I've known both of these people since I was a child.
Interestingly, I cannot even apply the criterion that they were detached from money, and therefore it came to them easily. The first was pretty detached, and not at all ostentatious with her wealth, but the other was often described as greedy, and yet still had plenty of it.
This is a question that used to bother me a great deal when I was beginning with the law of attraction, but unfortunately I could not find any convincing answers. I'm pointing out these scenarios as examples of real-world cases of what I am talking about. So, let's find out what's really going on behind the scenes.
Slopes vs. Steps
I think sometimes we might see the law of attraction as a scale—you could say a scale of positivity. The higher on that scale you are, the more good things you are attracting to you. The lower on that scale you are, the more negative things you are attracting to you.
You could see this like a slope. You can go either up the slope, to more positive experiences, or down the slope, to more negative experiences. But, nothing keeps you from sliding up and down that slope all throughout your day, based on your inner focus. Often the fear is, if you slide too far down that slope, you're going to attract some pretty negative things to you.
I'd like you to see it instead as a series of steps. With steps, it takes some effort to step up to the next level, but once you have reached it, you are more or less stable at that level. You don't slide up and down that scale, but stay roughly in the same relative position, with some variation here and there.
I'll give you an example. Let's say you make $2,000 a month at your job. If you have a few days of feeling pretty negative, that doesn't cause the Universe to suddenly dock your pay. Similarly, if you're positive for a few days, you generally don't suddenly receive a large bonus.
That's the flaw in the “feel good and everything good comes to you” way of thinking.
I urge you to try this: Do your best to stay as positive as possible for a week, without any active intentions or anything. I suspect that while some positive experiences will likely come to you, nothing life changing will occur. You'll stay roughly on the same level you were at before, just on the slightly more positive end of that spectrum.
While this can be a bit frustrating, because it might appear as though you are stuck, it is also a protection.
If every time you felt negative, you had to fear becoming homeless, or suddenly losing your job, or something like that, it'd be extraordinarily hard to manifest anything positive. We'd have a few bad days, and suddenly life would turn drastically for the worse.
Obviously it's not that way. We have relative stability.
But, one function of that stability is that it takes effort to disrupt it, to move up to the next step. We have reached a sort of homeostasis, and it's easier to maintain that homeostasis than to try to move up to the next level.
The Subconscious Mind Is the Key
The stabilizing factor here is the subconscious mind.
I've mentioned many times in the past that the subconscious mind seeks what is familiar. It seeks to habituate behavior and ways of thinking.
To seriously alter the subconscious mind's chosen set point is difficult, to say the least. It goes against everything the subconscious mind was made for. It's job is to make it hard to easily change its programming.
As I said, this works in our favor most of the time. If you like the amount of money you receive now, or the relationships you have, or anything else good in your life, it is due to the subconscious mind's ability to automate that you have held on to these things.
It's like the current level goals vs. next level goals that I've been discussing. Your subconscious mind was made to make your current level goals easy.
If you're a millionaire, your next million isn't going to be nearly as hard as your first. The reason? Because your subconscious mind now knows how to generate a million dollars. And the third will be even easier.
Even if you have days, weeks, or months of negative thinking, unless it is far out of the range of your average state of being, it's not going to seriously alter your financial situation, or likely anything else. You might have minor frustrations in everyday reality, as a result of being on the lower end of that spectrum of your current step. But unless your negative thinking becomes a habit that shifts your subconscious beliefs in the long term, then very little is likely to be affected.
But similarly, if you want to step up to the next level, it's going to take far more than a bit of positive thinking here and there. That'll net you some slightly more positive experiences, more alignment in your life, etc, but your overall situation is going to remain generally static.
I think this is where a lot of people run into frustration with the law of attraction. They start feeling good and thinking positively, and they do indeed experience some more positive events in their life. But, they're almost invariably minor events: a kind word from a stranger, finding $20 on the sidewalk, an unexpected discount, etc.
We learn to hang our hopes on these small manifestations. They are “signs” that what we want is on the way. But when very little changes after a few months or even years of this, then we're left wondering what gives.
But as I discussed on Monday, manifesting something big, i.e., stepping up to the next level, is a totally different process than simply having a more generally positive life. It takes a totally different skill set to permanently step to that next level.
It's not the fault of the law of attraction. It's simply that most people don't realize that these are two different processes, with two different outcomes. One will make life a bit easier on your current level, while the other will generate the momentum necessary to reach that next step.
Why You Might Be Happy But Still Not Have What You Want
So, you find that you're generally rather positive overall. You don't complain, at least too much, and you are kind to others.
But yet, your manifestation is still not here. You struggle to pay the bills, or to go on that dream vacation, or to find the perfect partner for you.
To summarize what was stated above, the issue is not that you're not feeling good enough. You've likely tried that already, and it hasn't worked.
The issue is that you're not generating momentum. There's nothing driving you to that next level.
There are two modes in the law of attraction, which I'll discuss in greater detail after the new year. These are contraction and relaxation.
Without contraction, there is no movement. You cannot reach the next level. Contraction is the same as the structural tension I've been discussing.
When you are just relaxing into your goal, which means just trying to feel good about it, there's no contraction. There's no drive. There's no momentum.
Relaxation is great for reaching the upper limits of your current level, but it cannot generate the force necessary to push you to the next level.
Most people think that total relaxation or surrender would bring you to the topmost step. But, in reality, it just makes your current step more comfortable.
To generate the contraction needed, you need to add the other two elements of magic: will, and focus.
You need to use your will to choose your goal, and use your focus to single-mindedly pursue that goal to completion.
The emotion is also needed, but emotion (i.e., relaxation or “feeling good”) is not enough on its own.
Those who are successful are successful because they've practiced being successful. It does not take work to maintain their level of success.
But it took work to get there. And by work, I primarily mean the inner work of aligning with that goal, and generating the momentum to reach it.
Therefore, if you have your vision set on the next level, you need to convince your subconscious mind that it's worth it. You need to use the force of contraction, or structural tension, to hold a vision in opposition to your subconscious mind. You need to instill that new vision within the subconscious, with daily focus on and embodiment of that goal.
If you do this, then the subconscious mind will gradually take on that new consciousness, and your goal will become easy to maintain.
Happiness has little to do with it. It helps to keep you on course, and is invaluable when added to the other necessary elements. But on its own, it can do very little.
If you're a happy person, continue being a happy person. But add to that the determination and persistence to hold the vision of what you want to create. Then, you will easily step up to the next level, and your innate positivity will help you to remain there.
How About You?
Now it's your turn. Have you felt stuck at your current level for a while? What could you do to generate the momentum needed to reach the next step? Let me know your thoughts in the comments.