It has been seven years since the publication of the movie and book called “The Secret,” where the main idea is that everything a person wants or needs can be satisfied by believing in an outcome, repeatedly thinking about the outcome, and seeking to keep the right emotions to “attract” that outcome, in other words the “Law of Attraction.” During this time I have seen a number of people and clients interact with and work with these materials and try to apply it to their lives.
First let me clarify here that I liked the movie and I see nothing wrong with believing, visualizing and affirming as tools to achieve one’s goals. However, during this time I have seen people who did nothing but the former, while never utilizing at the same time common sense tools to achieve their goals – believing that positive thinking alone, with no action to accompany it, would be enough.
Sometimes when I talk with a client about Feng Shui and what this art can do for them, they immediately relate it to the “Law of Attraction,” some going so far as to equating them. However there is a basic difference, and that difference is action. In Feng Shui we use a Thought/Emotions/Actions model. Feng Shui is based on the premise that human beings are connectors of Heaven (related to thoughts) and Earth (related to action in the physical). In the Feng Shui model, we believe that people are happiest when they can “pick up” a thought from Heaven (known as inspiration) and turn that thought into a reality in the physical (Earth). However that can only be done through action, and the way to get from thought to action is to connect them with emotions. That is what we call motivation. Humankind is related to emotions, thus humankind connects Heaven and Earth through the motivation that leads to action.
Below are some tips that can help you recognize if you or someone you know may be affected negatively by too much positive thinking (that has not been turned into action through emotions):
- The person talks constantly about how wonderful their life is, but the actual events of their life tell a completely different story, and this pattern persists for more than 6 months.
- When confronted with a setback, the person immediately switches to thinking and talking about the hidden blessings in the calamity that just befell them, without taking a moment to consider why it happened, how they might have (in reality, not in thought) contributed to it and whether there is anything they need to change in their lives. For example, the person may say: “I broke my right wrist, but it is such a blessing because I now get to use my left hand more and that is helping me develop the right side of the brain.” At the same time, the person may be avoiding to confront the fact, for example, that they were texting and driving when the accident happened.
- The person boasts about how they have gotten over something, while at the same time showing signs of being hung up with that situation. For example, a woman I know is constantly talking about how she has forgiven her very abusive, overbearing mother, but at the same time gets into arguments with people she perceives as symbols of authority – all the time.
- The person makes plans for progress, but their main plan of action is faith, and faith alone. This can also happen to groups. For example, I once saw a non-profit organization almost positive-think itself into bankruptcy, by making huge financial decisions based on great leaps of faith, engaging the whole group in “Law of Attraction” type seminars, without paying attention to good old fashioned accounting and without a proper fund-raising campaign.
REMEMBER: Use your emotions to motivate yourself to turn your dreams into realities, through the right actions. This is what every single Feng Shui cure helps you do.