“Read it!” She said. “I think it will help you.”
Annoyed at her interruption during my pathetic attempt to master logic games, I grabbed the brown bag and tore it open. Inside was a thin, single book with two words plastered in red across the cover. “The Secret.”
I had heard about this book and considered it farfetched, astrological, mumbo-jumbo. It was the exact opposite of logic. No concrete answers but all theory. Not exactly my current thought-process.
“Gee Thanks,” I mumbled under my breath, the comment lined with annoyance. I threw the book aside and got back to studying.
Weeks later I took the LSAT for the first time and bombed it. I remember the day the scores were mailed to my house. I asked my dad to open the letter because I was too afraid to look.
“Dad, if I scored in the 160s I’m going to be ecstatic. That means I can apply anywhere. If I scored in the 150s, I’ll be okay and I could still probably get into good schools because I have my GPA to back it up. If I scored in the 140s I’m jumping out the window.”
I was thinking outland and my 140s comment was dripping in sarcasm. My dad laughed while he opened the stark white envelope.
His eyes scanned the sheet as he searched to make sense of the results page. I watched his eyes settle on the bottom corner. He didn’t look up.
“Well…” I asked in anticipation.
My father, who is one of most sarcastic people I know, looked at me with sincerity in his eyes and said,
“You better close the window.”
At first I thought he was joking. It had to be a joke, I put in the time, I was very conscientious about studying. I did everything the prep-books told me to do, even down to eating scrambled eggs and toast with peanut butter for breakfast the morning of the test.
“I’m so sorry Lana, I know how hard you worked.” With that, he passed the paper to me so I could see for myself he wasn’t kidding. There is was, in black and white, the numbers “141”.
I was so worried I wouldn’t do well and my worst nightmare came true. The score was too low to get into any reputable schools and if I wanted to pursue law school, I’d have to take the 7-hour hellish test again. I literally cried myself to sleep that night.
When I woke up, I rubbed my eyes and wiped the remnants of mascara away. As my red eyes focused, I noticed that there on my floor was the mumbo-jumbo book, “The Secret” starring up at me. I picked it up and started reading. At that point, anything was better than logic games, legal studies or frightening low scores.
In about an hour, I read the book from cover to cover. If I wasn’t in a state of despair, I don’t know if I would have taken the contents seriously. The ideas were progressive. Luckily, I was looking for anything to hold onto and thought that maybe, if I took the book serious, I could conquer the LSAT.
That night I made what was called a “Vision Board.” A piece of poster board covered with positive affirmations and pictures that would keep my mind thinking in the direction I wanted to go—Law School. I looked at that silly board every day while I studied. I tried to be positive and apply what the book called “The Laws of Attraction.” A metaphysical new school of thought that suggests "like attracts like.” That positive and negative thinking bring about positive and negative physical results.
When I did sit for the LSAT the second time, I brought my score up 10 points to a “151.”
I guess you could argue that I just naturally did better or I was just plain lucky. But I don’t think so. I think that because I focused on the “good” and remained positive, rather than harboring worry and doubt, that I actually performed better on the test.
I think too often we give our minds too little credit. The catch phrase “mind over matter” is a powerful truth, not a silly cliché. If we set our minds to something, we can achieve it. We just have to know how to set it.
We have to realize that working hard isn’t “setting your mind.” Instead we literally have to re-train our brain how to think. We have to re-set the old school of thought and think in a new way. This new thought process can bring about new results.
I’m sharing all of this because a very smart man recently reminded me of Isaac Newton’s Universal Law of Gravity. Although many of us cannot recite the scientific equation, we can vaguely recall the story of Newton sitting under a tree and getting hit in the head with an apple.
So I’ll give you a refresher; Gravity can arguably be defined as this: A force of attraction that exists between any two objects that have mass. In layman’s terms: The pull of gravity is all about the attraction.
So what if we think about attraction in relation to people. No scientific formulas but “everyday” attractions we have come to understand and accept: Yin and Yang.
This and That. Hot and Cold. Work and Play. We know that batteries only work when the (+) and (-) are lined up. We know that we can physically feel the force of attraction in the simple magnets that adorn our kitchen refrigerator.
We get it...opposites attract. One extreme, attracted by some unknown force, to another extreme.
But just because opposites attract doesn’t mean they match-up or work. Just because we are drawn to one certain; person, job, task, or place, doesn’t mean that’s where we’re supposed to be.
It’s true…think of that poor bug attracted, by some unknown force, to the glaring, warm yellow light only to find itself shocked by a bug zapper. You see, blindly following an unknown driving force isn’t always the best idea.
So if we want to avoid being theoretically zapped, we need to gain some control on the unknown force. Maybe combine “The Secret” and The Law of Attraction with Newton and The Law of Gravity. We may be pulled in a certain direction, but it is up to us how we deal with the pull.
My interest in law was an unknown attraction. I embraced the attraction and pursued law school. To master the LSAT I controlled my thoughts to make them positive and achieved an acceptable score. But I eventually found that law school wasn’t the place for me. My attraction to law didn’t fade though; I just worked it in a different direction and now write for a legal magazine.
So the attraction didn’t fade away, I just made it fit.
Thinking and technology have come a long way since Newton and the 1600s. So, maybe instead of following a blind attraction, we should be looking for a balance and rhythm. A way to make the attraction positive or so it’s the “right” for us.
SHORT AND SWEET…AKA…MORAL OF THE BLOG
To get a handle on the gravity, pull or attraction…we need to start recognizing its presence and steer it in the right direction.
Combine the old school of thought with the new. Why not? Think outside the box and be progressive. It’s how Newton made his marvelous discoveries and maybe it will help up with our own personal discovery. ½ Newton and ½ The Secret to produce our own happy medium or middle ground.
“We are like magnets - like attract like. You become AND attract what you think” –The Secret
This article originally appeared on the blog 20 Something- Straight Up, On The Rocks, or With a Twist
About the Author
Lana Morelli is the Editor of St. Joseph's University's Literary Journal The Avenue. She is also a full-time reporter for a California based Legal Magazine, Courthouse News. Her freelance work has appeared in various publications, including Philadelphia Magazine, Delaware Today Magazine, The Garnet Valley Press, SJU Athletic Media Guides, Gimme This & That Magazine, Examiner.com and more. Finally, Lana operates her own website/blog, www.lanamorelli.com.