Opinion | The law of attraction for students

Monday, February 22, 2021 - 6:29pm

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Graphic by Madison Grosvenor

You may have heard about the law of attraction from one of the many spiritual self-help “gurus” on social media. Maybe you’ve even read Rhonda Byrne’s well-known book, “The Secret,” or my favorite, “The Law of Attraction: Have the Abundant Life you were Meant to Have (The Awakened Life)” by Diane Ahlquist. 

Though it’s often labeled as just another New Age delusion, others see the law of attraction as a practical tool that can be used in our daily lives to manifest ideal outcomes.

Recently, a University of Michigan “First Year Experience Community Meet Up” defined the law of attraction as, “an idea that suggests positive thoughts can bring positive results into one's life.” But how does that work exactly? While there is always more to learn and no one way to use the law of attraction, it generally depends on your personal relationships with gratitude, the universe and intentionality. To see positive results, focus a little on these three things every day.

Start with gratitude. If you have an extra three to five minutes to spare in your morning routine, take the time to write down what you’re grateful for. This could be as simple as being thankful for family and friends or as specific as writing an intention that says, “Dear Universe, thank you for sending me a 93.00% on my midterm via the Psych 440 grades tab on Canvas at 12 p.m. on March 8.” By expressing gratitude for specific events in the future, you send a message to the universe that this is a reality you believe in and you are ready to receive it. 

If you’re ever stuck, stick with the basics: clean air, clean water and access to food. You can even write things that seem negative at first but turn out to be important life lessons, like failure or heartbreak. The more gratitude you express, the more abundance will flow into your life.

Keeping gratitude in mind, when you step outside each day, notice how you are interacting with the universe. Allow your conscious awareness to expand beyond your personal bubble to the people you pass on the street. What impact are you having on one another? Through physics or chemistry, imagine that each breath you take causes a chain reaction. As you become aware of how you are connected to the bigger picture, you can begin to set intentions that are grounded in reality.

While intent does not equal impact, setting an intention is not a bad place to start. With gratitude and the universe in mind, set an intention that aligns with the future you want to create. As a part of your night-time routine, write down your intentions on a piece of paper and place them under your pillow. Keep them there for as long as you want and rewrite them as needed. 

If you don’t know where to start, keep it simple. After reading don Miguel Ruiz’s “The Four Agreements,” these are four intentions I’d recommend: 

1. Be impeccable with your word.

2. Don’t take anything personally.

3. Don’t make assumptions.

4. Always do your best.

To be honest, I fail a little at each of these every day. But it’s the daily practice, noticing when you’ve missed the mark, and constant striving to do your best that counts. Like Ruiz says in his book, “Always do your best. And soon it will be easy for you. Today is the beginning of a new dream.”

As college students, we have our whole lives ahead of us. Take the time to envision the life you are dreaming of living. Let your mind drift into infinite possibility as if there were no limits to what you could create. One of my favorite questions is, “If you could do anything and not fail, what would you do?”

Too often as students, we are guided by the voice of our inner critic –– so obsessed with grades and the fear of failure that we shoot down our ideas before even giving them a chance.

Cheers to the rest of the semester! If you have a chance, try out the law of attraction. Here are a few resources to get you started: Shonnetta’s video on manifesting using scripting, Diane Ahlquist’s book, “The Law of Attraction” and Rhonda Byrne’s book, “The Secret.” One could also follow #manifestation or #lawofattraction on social media platforms. 

Lily Cesario can be reached at lcesario@umich.edu


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