A River Worth Riding: Lesson Ten
How Does the Law of Attraction Work?

I came upon a girl whose boat had gone aground. She was waiting for someone to come along and dig her out. I suggested that she remove a few items from her load, so that her boat would ride higher in the water and float. But she kept arguing that each item was necessary.

“Do you want to move on?” I asked.

“I have to move on, I can’t stand it here,” she said.

“Okay. Maybe if we both push together, we could get your boat out far enough for the currents to take you.”

“Look at all the mud. Poisonous snakes hide in mud. Besides, I don’t want my feet to get dirty.”

“Well, I saw a wharf up the river a few miles. Perhaps you could walk there and hire another boat.”

“Where will I find the money to hire a boat?”

“I saw a help-wanted sign at the dock.”

“I don’t know how to work on a dock. Besides, I can’t leave my belongings. Someone might steal them.”

“So are you going to stay here and do nothing?”

“What else can I do? I’ve tried everything.”

Eventually, I got bored and left her sitting there, waiting for someone willing to take on her load. Her last words as I pulled away were, “Where are you going? I need your help. Why can’t I find someone to help me?”

The truth is that only a complainer can stand a complainer for long. Birds of a feather flock together. So if you want to attract problem-solvers, you’ll need to learn how to problem-solve.

The power of attractions states that your thoughts and behavior inevitably attract people and events in harmony with them. In other words, if you want to attract successful people, you’ll have to become the type of person with whom successful people like to talk. Successful people like to spend time with successful people. They like people who view life the same way that they do and who approach problems with the same ingenuity that they have.

You will never attract those who have mastered the river, unless you are ready to master the river. You will never attract a good relationship, if you don’t know how to maintain a good relationship. You will never be able to attract growth, unless you learn to encourage growth. And you will never be able to attract more, unless you learn to become more.

Attraction says that we attract what we are.

Let’s face it, the more we hang out with people, the more we become like those people. Humans are social animals. We need companionship. So rather than be alone, we often imitate the people around us in order to fit in. Children become like their peers. Brilliant people learn to play dumb. Girls become what they think boys want. Boys become what they think girls want. After all, if you want blue jays to accept you, you learn to paint yourself blue. Individual thought can be threatening. Individual thought doesn’t always fit. So people twist up their thoughts in amazing ways just to fit in and belong. Generally, we like to hang out with people who agree with us, affirm us, go at our speed, laugh at our jokes and think the same way we think. We like to be comfortable. So, it’s natural for us to try fitting-in with people by becoming like them. It’s also natural for us to seek out people who are similar to ourselves for sharing our days.

But have you ever been part of a group, and then suddenly started to feel discontented with the group? Bored? Awkward? Lonely even?

Whenever you feel irritated by the people with whom you once felt a bond, you are just changing and growing as you were meant to do. Whenever you change, what you attract into your life changes. More importantly, whenever you change, what you find attractive changes as well.

I have a friend who tends to worry, “What did I do to drive so-and-so away?” Yet, the power of attraction suggests that it’s not necessarily what we do; more often than not, it’s who we are.

Like attracts like.

If you no longer enjoy complaining with your friends, then you’re probably starting to take responsibility for your life and their constant complaining is beginning to bore you. When you suddenly feel bored by, rather than a part of your peer group, you are just experiencing one of the many aspects of the power of attraction.

Attraction says that whenever you feel like you don’t fit in, it is because you are growing and your new thoughts no longer do fit in. You are no longer attracted to what you once were because you are now attracted to what you are.

At this point, your friends will often say things like: “What’s your problem?” “Do you think that you’re better than us?” or “Why are you are acting so weird?” If you listen to your friends, you are in danger of being dragged back to what you were and being sabotaged by your well-meaning friends. The power of attractions says that you don’t have a problem. Your present friends just don’t attract you anymore, and you haven’t stepped out into the world to attract new friends yet.

What does that mean to you?

It means that at any critical change or juncture in your life, you will often feel alone and out of place, even while surrounded by friends. This feeling is natural and to be expected. One of the reasons that we fear change is because change usually signals a period of loneliness, or discomfort that we may not like. People naturally avoid discomfort. People find it easier to stay on a sinking ship rather than risk riding the river alone. Why else do you think people stay in unhealthy relationships and mind-numbing jobs? They have gotten comfortable with their misery, and they are afraid that any change will only make a bad situation worse.

To overcome this uncertainty, it is even more essential that you develop an accurate map, a full sail, a self-disciplined rudder, a steady anchor, a loyal crew, a moral compass, a clear destination and a written commission. These tools will carry you through your period of growth.

If you are feeling awkward around your friends, you might need to get off the river and rethink your destination. You might need to practice spending time alone so that you can learn to feel comfortable with yourself. I’m not advocating divorce, or abandoning friends mind you. I’m just suggesting long reflective walks on the shore so that you can get your boat in order. Your own wisdom and strength might surprise you.

Once you begin to move in a new direction and take action in the world, you will begin to attract new friends—friends who are attracted to your new thoughts. Moreover, your finest friends will usually respect your new design and come aboard to explore. But be careful, some of your friends might be drowning in a sea of confusion, and the only way they know to save themselves involves pulling you under with them. If that’s the case, you may need to toss them a life raft and let them go. They won’t like you for it, but it could be the only way to keep yourself from drowning along side them…

The principles of attraction, personality, and learned behavior are examined further in our companion book A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life. Click here for ordering information.

 What’s the bottom line on attraction? Fish swim in schools for a reason. Once you understand what attracts you to your school, you’ll be able to graduate and swim wherever you like.

A River Worth Riding: Fourteen Rules for Navigating Life
Copyright: Lynn Marie Sager 2005

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