This is my initial summary of the book The Law of Attraction (2006) by Esther and Jerry Hicks.
The goal is happiness. The way in which you achieve this goal is by focusing only on what makes you happy. How you feel, is the indicator of whether you’re correctly focused or not. When you feel good, it means you’re focused on the right stuff and you should keep at it. When you feel bad, it means you’re focused on the wrong stuff and should therefore change your focus to something you like, something that evokes a positive emotion. The better you feel, the better you’re doing.
To take control of your life, you’ll need to deliberately direct your thoughts, focusing only on the things you want to experience. You’ll need to disregard what you think you’re seeing, and imagine the situation you prefer. Life IS malleable and your thoughts are the tools you use to alter it.
As you’re going through life, evaluate experiences as they happen and determine what you prefer. Your work here is to decide what you want, and then focus on it. Look for the positive aspects of subjects that are important to you. Even when you seem surrounded by negativity, choose a thought that feels slightly better than the thoughts you’ve been thinking, just keep selecting better and better thoughts until you gradually change the direction of your thoughts. Or, try changing the subject. If you can see something you don’t want, you can now identify something you DO want through its opposite.
As a daily exercise, you should get yourself into a lighthearted mood and engage in a “Creative Workshop”, sitting for 15 minutes and deliberately thinking about the things you want to experience. Imagine them so purely that they evoke nothing but positive emotion. From data gathered throughout your everyday life, create a picture of yourself that satisfies and pleases. Browse the aisles of life for the things you like and add them to your cart. The world is a giant store in which you can select whatever you want off the shelves — it’s always stocked and there are no limits. The better you feel while doing this exercise, while becoming less contradicted, your world will soon be filled with these things.
Big or small makes no difference. What-can-be is not determined by what-has-been. There’s no limitation of resources, there’s no reason to explain or justify or deserve whatever it is you want. Justifying is a negative mode, you’re no longer focused on what you want. Competition is not a necessary component within this world of unlimited resources. Also, if you’re able to imagine it, it’s not “unrealistic”. If you have the desire, this world has the resources to fulfill it. There is no opposition but you. If you add a “but”, you spoil it. Avoid contradiction i.e. thinking about what you want AND its opposite. And don’t worry about the past, give your attention to something you want now.
Start with a general idea, then continue adding specifics up until they no longer feel good. Be specific enough that you feel positive emotion, but not so specific that you begin feeling negative emotion. For instance, if you can’t see how something will unfold, then that might feel bad. The means is only important if you want it to be. Another approach is to fast-forward to the happy ending — imagine already achieving whatever it is you want.
You can’t push away the things you don’t want, you’re only giving them your attention. If you’re resisting anything, you’re focused on the thing you don’t want. Don’t focus on thoughts of doubt or fear, simply think about whatever it is you want — and expect it. Feel the excitement and anticipation and the appreciation. If you’re worried or frustrated, then you’re focused on the lack or absence of the thing you want. You’ll know which you’re focused on by your feelings: are you feeling good or are you feeling bad.
Whenever you find yourself thinking about things you don’t want (signaled by negative emotion), stop and make an effort to find a better-feeling way of thinking. Find one small thing that makes you happy when you think about it — by focusing on it, you’ll find more and more of the same. In time, things will improve on ALL subjects.
When your body hurts, it’s difficult to put your thoughts on a healthy body. In these extremely negative situations, use distraction rather than trying to change the thought. Do something, a simple activity, that will change your thought. Keep in mind that some things are better than others, focus on the best of what you have right now.
When you feel negative emotion because you’ve seen something in others that you don’t want to see, it’s not their lack, it’s yours. By only focusing on what pleases you, you’ll no longer need others to behave differently.
Don’t simply tolerate others, allow them to be as they are. Don’t contribute to the problems of others by engaging in talk about what you know they don’t want. If you see someone ill, imagine them well. Don’t look at problems, look for solutions. Focusing on a solution brings positive emotion whereas focusing on a problem brings negative emotion. Nothing outside of you can mess up your experience of this world. DO put your head in the sand and focus only on what’s important to you.
How can you allow injustice? By recognizing that it’s not a part of your experience. Don’t try to control the experiences of others, simply set forth a clear image of the life you want to live. No matter what you’re doing, make your dominant intent to look for those things you want to see. You’ll soon notice that there’s very little in your experience that’s not to your liking.
If you haven’t established what you DO want, you’ll find yourself experiencing things you wouldn’t have chosen. If you don’t set deliberate intentions, you’re resigned to taking whatever comes. You’ll feel like a victim, vulnerable and not in control, you’ll feel the need to guard yourself from what might come.
You are living the results of thoughts you had before. A point will come when you will live the results of thoughts you’re thinking now. If you allow yourself to feel lonely, you’ll become even lonelier. If you allow yourself to feel unhappy, you’ll become unhappier. Whereas if you think thoughts that encourage feelings of health and prosperity, you’ll become healthier and more prosperous. Whatever you give your attention to, is what you’ll eventually experience. Always reach for thoughts that feel better.
First you have to want something, then you have to allow it. In other words, you have to expect it, believing in its certainty while disallowing all doubt and resistance. You CAN have it — don’t push it away with contrary thoughts. This often requires looking beyond what’s happening right now and imagining what you want instead.
DO pay attention to the things you want in life. Unless you allow yourself to want things and expect to receive those things, you’ll never be in deliberate control of your experience and you won’t have a satisfying time.
In order to more clearly direct your thoughts, you can cut the day into segments. You don’t want the same thing in every segment of your life, therefore “Segment Intending” is the process of deliberate identification of what’s specifically wanted in this particular moment in time.
Instead of becoming overwhelmed and confused by considering so many available subjects at the same time, Segment Intending allows you to focus more precisely on the fewer details of this moment. If you’re considering too many things at once, and moving in no particular direction, you’ll feel frustrated. At the beginning of all segments you could essentially say: “As I’m entering this segment, it’s my intent to see what I want to see.”
Identify when you’re moving from one segment (and one set of intentions), into another. Whenever you realize you’re moving into a new segment, pause and determine what you want most. For example, entering into sleep is a new segment. “It’s my intention for my body to completely relax. It’s my intention to wake-up rested, refreshed, and eager to begin my day.” As you open your eyes in the morning, that’s a new segment. “I’m intending to become exhilarated and excited about this day”. Then in the bathroom is another. “I intend to acknowledge my wonderful body and to feel appreciation for the magnificent way it functions. I intend to be efficient in my grooming and to bring myself to looking my best.” At breakfast, “I will relax and eat it in joy, allowing my wonderful body to digest and process it perfectly”.
If you’re listless or confused then you haven’t deliberately selected what you want, or you haven’t been clear enough, or your wants might be contradictory.
Meditation is a segment in which you’re intending to quiet your conscious thinking mechanism by withdrawing your focus from it in order to sense the broader perspective that stretches beyond the physical. Try meditation for 15 minutes everyday, sit and focus on your breathing. As the mind wanders, release the thought and return focus to breathing.
The Creative Workshop process is a segment where you’re intending to give specific and precise thought to the details of what you want. You guide your thoughts in the direction of your specific desire, aligning your thoughts in this moment with the desires you’ve previously identified. You cannot have a physical experience until you create it first in thought. Therefore, the Creative Workshop is when you give deliberate thought to the things you want.
Usually, more of your time is spent thinking about a negative thing after it already happened rather than when it’s actually happening. Most negative emotion could be eliminated if you would focus on what you now want to think about. Notice what uplifts you and remember it, use it as a touchstone to your happiness. The existence of positive emotion is your greatest measure of success. Joy is the confirmation that you’ve found what you want.
For interruptions due to the lack of Segment Intending, say “This will be brief, and I won’t lose my train of thought. I won’t lose the momentum I’ve set forth. I’ll deal with this quickly and efficiently, and I’ll get on with what I was doing.”
Through deliberately directed thought, you’ll begin to feel inspiration to act. Action that comes from a feeling of inspiration is action that’ll produce good results. Whereas if you take action without deliberate thought, your action feels like hard work because you’re attempting to make more happen in this moment than your action alone can accomplish.
As you set your intent for something you want, and you’re looking expectantly for it, you’ll begin to see signs of it. You’ll see others who have achieved something similar. You’ll notice more aspects of it. You’ll find yourself thinking about it and feeling excited about it often, and feeling very good about what you want. The positive emotion you’re feeling in anticipation of your desire is also evidence of its eventual entrance into your experience.
When you’re thinking about what you want, you should be feeling exhilarated, excited — some form of positive emotion. But if you’re thinking about the lack of what you want, you’ll be feeling negative emotion such as disappointment. The bad feeling is telling you that you’re giving thought to something you don’t want. Therefore, put your thought on what you DO want, then feel the positive emotion that comes from it and let the disappointment go away.
Make a decision to feel good. “Today, no matter where I’m going, no matter what I’m doing, it’s my dominant intent to see what I want to see. Nothing is more important than feeling good.”
By following this practice, you’ll be in creative control of your experience. You’ll no longer misunderstand why things are happening to you. As you practice and become proficient at directing your own thoughts toward the things you want, your understanding will take you anywhere you want to go.