Does the Law of Attraction Really Work?

In this engaging excerpt from an “In Conversation with the Mystic” event, Rakul Preet Singh, the popular film actress quizzes Sadhguru about the “the law of attraction,” how to design one’s destiny, and how to stop complicating life and start experiencing its beauty.
Does the Law of Attraction Really Work?

Rakul Preet Singh: I am curious about things like the law of attraction, where they say that anything that you ask, believe, and send out to the universe in a constant direction, will happen. Because they say that you design your destiny, you design your life. I mean you are sending out a positive signal…

Sadhguru: To whom?

Rakul Preet Singh: To the universe.

Sadhguru: Which direction? Up or down?

Rakul Preet Singh: That is what I’m asking. How does the law of attraction really work?

Sadhguru: It does not work.

Rakul Preet Singh: So what works? How do you design your destiny?

Sadhguru: Whether it is two magnets, male and female, North Pole and South Pole, the law of attraction happens between opposites. Now you are talking about the universe – so that means you are an alien to this universe?

Rakul Preet Singh: Part of the universe.

Sadhguru: If you are part of the universe, what is there to be attracted about?

Rakul Preet Singh: Well, why do they say that you can design your own destiny?

Sadhguru: You can determine your destiny and you should – that is what being human means. If you had come here like any other creature on this planet, they have compulsive cycles they live by. It is okay for them because that is all they are capable of.

Actually, if you look at your life, you are not doing anything greatly different from what the other creatures are doing. They are born – you are born. You grow up – they grow up. They reproduce – you reproduce. They die – you die. Nothing very different, but we can conduct these same simple things consciously. That is the significant thing about being human.

Let us say you conduct your hand consciously; now this hand will do what you want. Suppose you conduct your thought consciously; now your thought will do what you want. If your thought was doing what you want, how would you keep yourself – blissful or miserable?

Rakul Preet Singh: Blissful.

Sadhguru: If you are blissful, would you go in search of happiness?

Rakul Preet Singh: No, if you are blissful, you are just satisfied.

Sadhguru: If you are blissful, your life would not be in pursuit of happiness. These things that people think are the greatest things in their life – to be peaceful, joyful, nonsense – would not mean a thing to you when you are blissful. If your thought and emotion were taking instruction from you, would you keep yourself in the highest level of pleasantness, whatever that is?

Rakul Preet Singh: Correct.

Sadhguru: Yes. If that happens, your entire life process will come to a total ease. Right now, you are like a crouching tiger – you always have to get something. There is nothing to get. If you sit here, your life is complete – now it is at total ease. When it is in this kind of ease, it will become perceptive. Just pursuing a profession, making money, or even being joyful or being loving or falling in love, nothing means anything to you, because just sitting here, the highest level of pleasantness is happening to you.

So, what would you do with that life? Naturally, you would explore something that is not in your perception right now. This is how spiritual process begins; this is how you take charge of your life.

Now you wish for something…. I want you to know this, for most people, at least fifty percent of what they wish happens. It is just that they are focusing on a few things that did not happen. In a reasonably well-settled society, even ninety percent of what you wish happens – it is the ten percent you are complaining about. You never enjoy the ninety percent because this ten percent did not happen the way you wanted.

A little is going off, but that little can bother you. This is because not all situations will ever happen the way we want it, because a situation is not just you – so many people and forces are involved. All of them need not happen my way. But if I am happening my way, I am blissful. Whether the golf ball flies straight or goes into the mountains, I am still blissful.

Rakul Preet Singh: As long as you are playing golf.

Sadhguru: Even if I am not playing.

Rakul Preet Singh: So as long as things happen your way, and you are on your own path and you are blissful and…

Sadhguru: No, no, no. I am not saying as long as things happen your way, you will be blissful. If you are blissful, it does not matter which way it happens. Whichever way it happens, you are blissful.

Essentially, the world has put the cart before the horse. Right now, you are sitting here. Is it easier to take charge of yourself or to take charge of all these people?

Rakul Preet Singh: Myself.

Sadhguru: Yourself. You must first do that which is simple and easy. If you take charge of yourself, let us see how much cooperation you can get from these people. When you are in pursuit of happiness, what it means is that you want all of them to function the way you want. When we say, “If this happens, I will be happy. If that happens, I will be happy,” it means the world, the universe should respond your way.

Rakul Preet Singh: That is not what I am saying, no. I do not believe in that because that is trying to put conditionality into everything that you know. What I was saying was, to give a very basic example of what you are going to do in life, let us say someone wants to be an actor, or someone wants to be a cricketer.

Sadhguru: Let us say it did not happen. “It did not happen” means what? People did not like your acting; the selectors did not like your cricket – something like this. What you wanted did not happen. Can you still sit here blissfully? That is the question.

Rakul Preet Singh: Not a lot of people.

Sadhguru: That is why I am saying, when you expect everyone should like what you are doing, in some way, you have to take charge of their minds. In some way, through your movies or whatever, you are taking charge of their minds. You are doing what appeals to them, and that is why it is working. So, which is easier, taking charge of yourself or taking charge of others? Yourself. If you take charge of yourself, now you are not in pursuit of your happiness; you are not tensed about anything; there is no sword hanging over your head. You will do everything to the fullest, to the hilt.

Whatever happens, you will still be fine – this much you know. Now you will naturally do everything wonderfully well because there is absolutely no concern, since you are not a vested interest anymore. You will do what is needed, without any effort. What someone else thinks is a great circus and a feat, you will do joyfully, playfully.

Rakul Preet Singh: Well, you just completely negated the fact that there is a law of attraction. There is nothing like that, where the universe gives you what you want.

Sadhguru: Where is the universe, I am asking!

Rakul Preet Singh: Right, we are a part of the universe.

Sadhguru: When the seven sages, who are today known as the Saptarishis, asked Adiyogi, “Where does the universe begin? Where does it end? How big is it? What is it?” Adiyogi laughed and said, “I can pack your entire cosmos into a mustard seed.” That is a very efficient packing. What you think is time and space is based on the nature of your mind. If you transcend the limitations of your logical mind, what is there is here; what is here is there; what is then is now; what is now is then; everything, time and space, get mixed up in your perception. When this happens, you will not be talking to the universe. Those who are not on talking terms with their neighbors talk to the universe.


A version of this article was originally published in Isha Forest Flower, March 2018.