Understanding the Law of Attraction—What It Is, How It Works

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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You may have heard about the Law of Attraction. But how well do you understand the Law of Attraction and what do you know about using the Law of Attraction?

The Law of Attraction says you can achieve anything you want by sending out the right energy into the universe. Part of understanding the Law of Attraction is utilizing the core principles to change your mindset and harness your power.

Understanding the Law of Attraction Can Increase Your Power

You now know the Creative Process and how it works to harness the power of your thoughts. But your thoughts are likely not always connected to wanting something. In those moments between asking, believing, and receiving, you can still put your thoughts to work to benefit your life. By strengthening the following mindsets and understanding the Law of Attraction, you can make the most of your thoughts to strengthen the Law of Attraction.


If your thoughts are power, then being aware of your thoughts gives you control over your power. When you control your power, you can wield it to your advantage. Understanding the Law of Attraction relies on your awareness.

When you are purposefully aware, you are present in your consciousness. From this position, you can choose to think or feel however you want. However, when you’re unaware of your thoughts, you relinquish your power.

  • Your mind can get away from you at times. All your thoughts seem to be caught in a tornado. If all you focus on is the wind and your inability to calm your mind, you will continue to be swept away. 
  • When your thoughts are stuck in a whirlwind, stop and ask, “What am I thinking now? What am I feeling now?”
  • The moment you ask, you become aware because you have brought your mind back to the present moment. 
  • Meditation can help you gain control over your thoughts. If you need to quiet your mind, try meditating for 3 to 10 minutes a day.

Answers Are Everywhere

Understanding the Law of Attraction means that you always have to look for answers. Awareness is necessary not just to claim your power, but to see the answers to your questions when they come. Be aware of everything around you, because you are receiving the answers to your questions every moment of the day

The universe has been answering you all your life, but you may not have received the answers because you were unaware. You weren’t paying attention to your thoughts and questions being asked. Therefore, you couldn’t know what answers to receive. 

The channels that answers can come through are unlimited. Answers can come in the form of a song you hear while shopping, something you overhear in line at the movies, or something you see on TV. Understanding the Law of Attraction can help you see the answers.

(Shortform note: You’ve heard the phrase, “The universe works in mysterious ways.” Being aware of life around you emulates that sentiment. You never know where answers will come from. Even something in this summary can be an answer to a question you’ve been asking. If that’s the case, take a second to feel how amazing it feels to have your questions answered. Also, you’re welcome!)


Expectation is the feeling of believing something is likely to happen. Expectation is a powerful state of mind because of its ability to pull what you’re thinking to you.

As we expect what we’ve asked for to occur, the Law of Attraction sets in motion the necessary components to make it so. Understanding the Law of Attraction helps us be patient and see our outcomes when they come to us.

  • If you expect to be promoted, that thought likely doesn’t come from nowhere. You likely heard of an opening in management and thought, “Oh, I want that job.” You daydreamed what your co-workers would say or how your new office would look. You felt the pride of sitting in your new office. 
  • If you expect not to be promoted, your thoughts were likely, “They won’t give that job to me” or “Jennifer is more qualified than I am.” If you don’t expect to get something, your thoughts are creating the reality of not getting it. 

Planning for the day ahead is a good example of setting expectations. If you wake up and expect the day to be brutal, it will be. Your thoughts have sent out signals about how brutal the day will likely be. Understanding the Law of Attraction means knowing that the power of your thoughts can both help and hurt you.

A good habit to get into is thinking about the day you had before bed. 

  • If things happened that went awry or turned out differently than you’d wanted, reimagine them in your mind, seeing them as you had wanted them to go.
  • As you rewrite or reimagine these alternative scenarios in your mind, you are erasing the negative frequency of the day. You are emitting a new positive frequency for the following day, setting good expectations for your next day.

The forces of attraction stay with your last thoughts before you fall asleep. Be clear about what you expect when you wake up. Be intentional about what you think before drifting off when you’re using the Law of Attraction.


Abundance means believing there is more than enough for everyone. When you have more than you need, you feel joy and fortune. If you focus on radiating that kind of joy and happiness to the universe, you are acknowledging abundance in your life. 

  • When you radiate abundance, the Law of Attraction will begin to adjust the world to reflect abundance back to you
  • That reflection becomes your life experiences. 

Acknowledging abundance may be hard if your surroundings beg to differ. But believing in abundance isn’t about how much you have today. It’s about what you believe you are able to accumulate. Understanding the Law of Attraction abundance means believing in an unlimited universe.  

The opposite of believing in abundance is believing in lack. But believing in lack is self-defeating.

  • When you believe what is already in existence is all there is, you are seeing the world through the lens of limitation.
  • If you believe that there is only so much success to go around, and you are not one of the lucky ones, you will not be. Your thoughts will be about how there’s no room for you at the top, so there won’t be. 
  • If you believe that the world is open and waiting for you, it will be. 

Change in your life doesn’t come from the outside world. Using the Law of Attraction, you know that everything first comes from inside. Through your internal thoughts and feelings, you communicate with the universe. 

  • Your ability to generate thoughts is unlimited, so the number of things or amount of something you are able to attract into being is unlimited.
  • There is no limitation in life, only in the mind.

When you open yourself to your creative power and the Creative Process, you will attract abundance and live in a new abundant world.

Understanding the Law of Attraction takes time and patience. When you apply the principles above, you can learn to change your mindset and start consistently using the Law of Attraction.

Understanding the Law of Attraction—What It Is, How It Works

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  • How to visualize the future you want to increase your success
  • Why visualization works, according to the laws of the universe
  • Why thinking about negative things sabotages your success

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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