Category Archives: Law Of Attraction

Success Needs Luck

Anyone who is reading this is incredibly, amazingly lucky.

You are one of the select group of people who reads English, and has access to the internet.

The odds are that if you were randomly born again onto this planet you would not be able to read this, and most of us would not be wishing for the life we would end up with instead.

It’s easy to talk about success, Law of Attraction, and so much more, but by golly I think luck has a lot to do with it.

I mean the sort of luck Bill Gates talks about when he jokes with Warren Buffet that both of them would have been tiger snacks or worse if they had been born any way other than males in a Western country in the twentieth century.

Success requires luck. You can rely on it.

I like the quote of Samuel Goldwyn, “The harder I work, the luckier I get

I also like “The opportunity of a lifetime happens about once a week.”

But best of all I like the thoughts of Ricardo Semler, the “gainfully unemployed” head of Brazilian company Semco and author of the best-seller “Maverick”. Semco has grown 40 time it’s original size in the past 20 years, and has become an MBA talking-point because of it’s radical use of full-on democracy and openness inside the company.

Ricardo is a very successful man in many ways and says in his book “The Seven-Day Weekend: A Better Way To Work In The 21st Century”,

“Luck does not strike all of us equally. Yet it’s a most necessary component of success. To ‘accuse’ people of being lucky is usually unfair. Luck is an add-on to effort – it crowns a compulsion to succeed.

Success has a long-term measurement in the form of sustainability. Luck rarely has such longevity. It’s like lightening – it may strike, but then it’s fast, furious and rare. What you make of that stroke of luck is a result of the diligence you apply after it strikes.”

When you define your own success are you planning on luck or sustainability, or both?

-Dr Martin Russell

Funny Compliment

Compliments can be really interesting things.

Here’s one I got sent that made me stop and think…

“I enjoy your insights on your blog and have been inspired several times to keep striving for what I am capable of attaining.”

I think this sentence is incredibly funny. This type of comment happens to me so often in my counseling work. I love these compliments, and yet I still scratch my head about them.

Let me explain…

If anyone can find a more downbeat, irritated, question-all-right-answers, and sometimes just downright negative blog about self-help and success, then let me know. I haven’t found one yet, but if there is I’d love to visit it.

Self help seems to come in 2 main forms.

One is the positivity type. You know the stuff. Affirmations, Law of Attraction, Unlimited Success, and on and on. Life is wonderful, and you’ve just got to believe it enough and it will be so.

I don’t buy it. It doesn’t make sense to me. To me this approach reeks of Western, democratic,  human-centered arrogance, and it sets more people on a path of disappointment than success.

The other main form of self help seems to be the “get real” type.

Now this one makes more sense to me. In fact a few years back I spent about a month watching Dr Phil episodes until I was doing him in my sleep, and I get this. I also recognize that AA is a successful model for a proportion of people.

The problem is the lack of uniform results with this “get real” version. If all it took was to honestly face the problems and then get started on fixing them then more people would do it. The results would be obvious once someone got started and although they might ‘relapse’ on occasion, they would learn to get back to what worked soon enough. But they don’t.

Both approaches, “being positive” and “getting real”, do work for certain people at certain times. But success is not certain with either method.

And if you don’t succeed, well you didn’t believe enough, you didn’t trust enough, or you weren’t really being honest enough with yourself.

There is a third type of self help which seems to be much less common because it doesn’t really seem to be self help at all. How can it be helpful to be negative? How can it be sensible to believe in things that are irrational? How can believing that you are more often wrong than right actually create any success at all?

Well these paradoxes are what my work is about, and I think it taps into something important. Important enough that people give me back comments like the one above.

If you’ve not found the success you want in your life, you’ve probably been trying the 2 approaches I mentioned above.


You may have come to the right place.

Sign up to this blog on the boxes on the side of the home page to discover more.

-Dr Martin W. Russell

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Laws, Theories, Beliefs Or Rules-Of-Thumb

I don’t think the “Law of Attraction” would be so popular if it was called the “Theory of Attraction”?

I don’t think it would have become famous from a book titled “My Belief About Attraction”?

Does calling something a Law make it similar in reality and significance to the “Law of Gravity”?

I don’t think so.

I can toss an apple up into the air and have it come down.

Watching an apple fall to the ground may seem to confirm the idea that what goes up must come down, but that statement is known to be false. You can throw a Voyager spacecraft up into the sky and never expect it to come back down.

Gravity still applies even though you’ve found an exception to the “what goes up must come down” rule-of-thumb.

This is what I suggest the “Law of Attraction” really is all about. It’s not a law – it’s a rule-of-thumb.

Attraction doesn’t work in all circumstances. In fact it is sometimes totally 180 degrees wrong. But it’s a better starting point than many others, as long as you recognize that this is all it is. A start.

One of the few outright jokes I tell to distract people in therapy goes something like this…

A preacher was giving his usual sermon when all of a sudden there was a cloud burst and rain began pouring down. It was so heavy that after a while the whole church began flooding and people were evacuating the church, but the preacher just stood there preaching in the ankle-deep water.

A man drove by in a car and shouted through the church doors, “Preacher, the rivers are overflowing their banks. You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

The man then drove away.

The water was now knee-deep and a man in a raft floated over to the church and said to the preacher, “You better get in here before you drown!”

The preacher just stood there and replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

The man then rowed away.

The water was now waist-deep and a man in a power boat came to the preacher and said, “You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher stayed right where he was and replied “Don’t worry. God will save me.”  With that the man jetted away.

The water was now neck-deep and a man in a helicopter came by and yelled to the preacher, “You better get out of there before you drown!”

The preacher refused to move and replied, “Don’t worry. God will save me.”

With that the man flew away.

The water then got so deep that the preacher was sucked under and died. When he opened his eyes he noticed that he was in heaven.

He then saw God and asked, “Oh God!  Why didn’t you save me from that horrible flood?”

God replied, “I sent you a car, a raft, a power boat, and a helicopter!  What else do you want from me?”

-Dr Martin W. Russell

“Law of Attraction” Is Good?

I continue to be amazed that the term “Law Of Attraction” has become the catch-cry of the first decade of this new millenium.

A movie like “The Secret” fits a certain era.

I think LoA’s preeminence could only come about from long periods of strong economic growth, just like we have had over the past couple of decades or generations.

A similar boomtime happened in the 1980’s. The signature movie then was “Wall Street”.

It is a very different movie, but it too has a catchy phrase that summed up the era. It was from the movies’ main protagonist, Gordon Gekko.

His actual speech was…

“The point is, ladies and gentlemen, that greed—for lack of a better word—is good. Greed is right. Greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms—greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge—has marked the upward surge of mankind. And greed—you mark my words—will not only save Teldar Paper, but that other malfunctioning corporation called the USA. ”

Otherwise known as, “Greed Is Good”.

I think “Law of Attraction” is a eerily similar catch-cry, even though it is supposedly totally opposite.

The bottom line is that in a decade from now it is my bet that people will cringe whenever LoA is mentioned. That is except for those of us who are already cringing at it.

-Dr Martin W. Russell