Why the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work

Dallas is a beautiful town, I think. I wouldn’t know because I’ve been in a  hotel conference boardroom with a speaker client doing a 2 Day Turnaround session to clarify her business message and clear her head. We’re knee deep in “stuff” and it’s a blast getting everything organized into a plan.

Just as I thought we were finished, she looked over at me, her eyes softening and said, “Let me ask you a question. When you really want something, I mean REALLY want it, and you’ve tried everything to get it – visualization, inner work, negative beliefs, when do you know it’s just not going to happen and you give up?”

“I mean, I read your story about going to Alcatraz,” she continued. “You were in San Francisco for a very short time for a speech and you really wanted to see Alcatraz. You’d never been there.”


Alcatraz Island – San Francisco, CA.

“Yes, I remember,” I giggled, since she was telling me my own story, straight from the pages of The Accidental Millionaire.

“You only had one afternoon open so you decided to go to Alcatraz. When you got to the ticket booth, they were sold out for a week. Then, out of the blue, someone magically appeared with two tickets to Alcatraz and you got to go – that afternoon! I really, REALLY, want to make this happen for me,” she continued. “But every time I see a little bit of success, it just slips away. I know what I want, but it always seems to elude me. I’m really over the Law of Attraction – it just doesn’t work.”

“Hold on there,” I interrupted her. “The Law of Attraction works REALLY well, IF you understand one fundamentally important and very crucial distinction. Knowing what you want is only the beginning. Nothing happens until you DECIDE to have what you want.”

“Huh?” she said, cocking her head.

“Go back to Alcatraz. You see, I didn’t just want to go to Alcatraz, I DECIDED to go to Alcatraz.”

“I did the most obvious thing to make that happen – buy tickets. When they were sold out, I used the Law of Attraction to find a different way. I never would have said to myself the way to get to Alcatraz is to walk into a T-shirt shop, notice a booth selling timeshares that was giving away two free tickets to Alcatraz if I viewed the presentation. Which is exactly what I did, by the way. Because I made the DECISION, possibilities opened up to me that I would not have noticed.”


“Using the Law of Attraction to attract things to you requires that you stop waiting around.” -Stephanie Frank.

“Waiting around for the Universe to deliver what you want is a waste of time. Using the Law of Attraction to attract things to you requires that you stop waiting around and DECIDE to HAVE the thing you want. Only then do you notice all of the abundance and possibility around you that will help you to reach that objective.”

“So wait a minute,” she continued. “I really want new hardwood floors. I’ve picked them out, found someone to install them, even saved up the money. Then something happened and I spent the money on something I probably didn’t even need.  What happened?  Why don’t I have the floors. I really want them!” she exclaimed loudly.


When Stephanie’s speaker client said she wanted hardwood floors, she didn’t actually DECIDE to get them. Thus, the Law of Attraction was in her favor elsewhere.

I smiled. “Because you didn’t decide to have hardwood floors. You had fun picking out the flooring, finding the people and saving the money. But you still had never said to yourself  ‘I’m installing hardwood floors next year.’ Therefore, when something else came up and sounded good, you DECIDED to do that instead.”

“It’s like this,” I continued, her mouth now hanging open.

“If you’ve decided to lose weight and are presented with a plate of doughnuts, you’d probably choose something different. But if you hadn’t made the decision to lose weight, you might not give eating the doughnut a second thought.”

“WOW!” she exclaimed, jumping up from her seat, “I GET IT!  THIS IS HUGE!”

“Yes, it is,” I said quietly, allowing the moment to fully unfold.

“I didn’t make the decision to have the floors. I didn’t make the decision to be successful in my business. I was just waiting around for opportunities to present themselves, waiting for IT to happen and never defining IT!” she was on a roll. “From now on, I will make DECISIONS to have what I want. Thank you!.”

She hugged me tightly and it dawned on me that maybe I could revisit some decisions of my own (or maybe some non-decisions).

Always learning and growing, I’ve made some new decisions recently and almost magically, quickly and effortlessly, the object of my decision has shown up in my face.

So what decisions do you need to make to have the things you want?


All you need to do is DECIDE now.

More money?  DECIDE NOW to be a good money manager, salesperson, whatever.

More time?  DECIDE NOW to spend your time wisely and evaluate every action before you jump in.

Better relationships?  DECIDE NOW to have what you want in your relationship. Get real if it’s not working.

I think you get the idea.  Leave a comment and let us know what you will DECIDE to have now.

Isn’t this fun?

P.S.  Want to make the Universe give you everything you want?   See what my friend Heather has to say about it…

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51 thoughts on “Why the Law of Attraction Doesn’t Work

  1. Deciding to have or create something you really want really does make the difference. I think we’re often afraid to commit to a decision because a) we might actually get it….or b) maybe we won’t. It’s really choosing to go out on a limb and be fearless in the world.

    Saturday, I sang in two performances of our local choral group. In the first, I didn’t commit wholeheartedly to have fun, and I think my duet wasn’t quite as good as in the evening performance…when I decided that no matter what happened, I was going to have a blast. And it was a fun romp from beginning to end…we were more confident and exuberant onstage, and the audience loved it. The only difference was that I had decided I would have fun no matter what. Sure, you might say, having fun is in my control…but so are many more things than we realize.

  2. The universe is governed by cause and effect. No cause initiated; no effect generated. Making the decision to do something and keeping that idea in mind is the “cause.” With that focus, we are clearer to find options to fulfill our desire and thus get the effect we want. The power of the mind is awesome. When we use it effectively, we are in a much stronger position to get the effects we want from life to become reality.

  3. This is new age, the occult,Pharaisism,The Kabala, and Jewish self worship, all rolled in to one.

    Take all you can grab. There is no after life and therefore no accountability and final judgement.

    No wonder they hated Jesus.

  4. A smile creeps across my face as I read this article Stephanie. I have been a fan of the LOA for awhile but nothing really happened until recently. I think there was a mental shift that I did not realize had happened until today.
    You see, I have been wanting to follow my passion for photography for a while now. Earlier this year I decided I was going to make it happen. I have been learning anyway I can. Created a blog and in the last month or so have really focused on helping others with the knowledge I have gained already. I have info on my blog about my photography services, etc.
    Last week out of the blue a lady called me to inquire about my services. She found me by doing a search online. She booked an appointment. Today as I was preparing for my first paid gig, another gentleman called to book an appointment.
    I am nervous as all get out but i am just jumping in with both feet. I truly believe that the LOA is at work here.

  5. Yes, I think it does work that way. You put it very clearly.. Intention is not enough, you have to be motivated to act in order to achieve your goals.
    I’m fairly action oriented and have in the past hurt badly going after and achieving goals that were not truly mine. Now I’m in a not active phase – This is a timely reminder to me to commit and act.

  6. Didn’t know you were in Dallas…just down the road from me…would have loved to see you. 🙂

    Decisiveness is key to everything! Even just the decision of what to focus on. It determines everything. Time, money, relationships…where is my focus.

    You are so great at breaking it down and making it doable. Narrowing my focus and deciding to be decisively on point! 🙂 Thank you Stephanie!

  7. Hi Fanny,

    You always blow me off. i’m just in a crush and i had no idea what to do, but this history inspired me to do whatever i want and to clarify my toughts.

    I have this calculus teacher who doesn’t like to teach and is making a mess with everyone in class and after this history i dicide just to cast him off and after that help him to be a good teacher but somewhere else.

    i just know what i want now and i’ve decided to proced this way.

    cool story, keep working.

    Luv ya!!!

  8. This was a great post Stephanie – I always love what you write, but this one particularly resonated with me. Now I’m going to revisit a few things I thought I wanted that haven’t yet manifested…and see where I haven’t yet made the DECISION! Thanks, as always, for stepping up with a perspective that is uniquely you…and that touches me right where I need it!

  9. Great article.
    For a long time, I’ve called it “taking action” but I think “deciding” is more accurate, and more powerful. As you point out, we often take some steps but until we “decide” to accomplish that goal, we are not really committed to it.
    Thank you!

  10. Along time ago in a far distant galaxy, I decided to be a non-smoker. It has been over 30 years since I smoked, and I tried and tried to quit.

    About 20 years ago, I wanted to complete an MBA degree. Nothing was happening until I decided to just do it, no matter how much it cost. I started, and my former employer paid the whole shot for me.

    Almost a year ago I wanted to get an online business going. I went around and around in circles, doing this, doing that, but I wasn’t any closer. I decided I would be online by the end of 2009. I’m 98% of the way there now.

    I can go on, but… The Law of Attraction works, if you decide and take action. How? I don’t know, but it does work.


  11. Okay, okay, I am the woman in the hotel conference boardroom from Dallas that Stephanie was talking about . It’s amazing how 2 days, one word and one very phenominal person, Stephanie Frank changed my life!! If you are confused, frustrated, overwhelmed or just looking to improve or transform your business and life, then do the 2 DAY TURNAROUND WITH WITH STEPHANIE! She is absolutely brilliant and magical, the consumate professional, extremely likeable, easy to work with and be around. She was able to take what might have taken me 1 – 2 years and put it all together in 2 DAYS! Plus she did a much better job than I would have ever been able to do. I not only walked out of there with a complete speaking, coaching, writing career, business model and an easy to implement plan of action, but it changed me inside as a person. And there’s more – She doesn’t just turn you loose after those 2 days to fin for yourself, she is there for you long afterwards with with a tremendous amount of follow up help, guidance and support. Stephanie is an extraordonary individual with a unique talent and gift, the knowledge, experience and vision to be able to take all the pieces of the puzzle and put them together with such clarity, turning your vision and goals into reality. She gives you so much value and it truly was the best money I ever spent. I wish I had met her long ago because she would have saved me so much time, money and mistakes. I also highly recommend any of her CD’s, training materials and book – I have them all and have learned so many things from her that I have never learned from anyone else, including the best in this industry. She really is a shortcut to your success. Stephanie, you have greatly influenced and changed my life and I thank you from the bottom of my heart. I owe a great deal of my success to you. Love, Taylor

  12. I used this in a relationship that was a bit stagnant. I “decided” I wanted it to work and to hear from him, and I swear, just a few moments went by and I received a text, a subsequent lengthy phone call, and things are dandy! I live in Phoenix, Stephanie, so let me know when and where! I’d love to work with you!!


  13. Yes thanks for the great article really enjoyed reading, and as always good advice. It is true I have been using the law and recently bought a new car and our home will sell after Christmas so we can get started on building a new home. The multitude of work that comes my way is astounding I recently had to hire three more people to take care of all the additional work.

  14. YES! Stephanie, you have such a terrifc way of talking about concepts I’ve known, but keep losing sight of. Thanks so much for this. I am making decisions for 2010, not resolutions!

  15. The new year is a perfect time for change and self improvement. Make 2010 the year that you attract the life you deserve. Let positive thoughts lead to productive actions and then to the perfect life!

  16. I think this is the best explanation of the law of attraction that I have seen yet.

    Lots of people are not aware that they simply need to make more decisions (and act on them) in order to make LOA work.

  17. Great Stephanie
    Such a great way to explain the true essens of law of attraction, i will implement this today like every day, today I will Decide to find a partner in the us to open a us branch in my field.
    have great day,
    and make decisions.

  18. I love this story because I have a friend who is always telling me he is waiting for millions of dollars to come his way so that he can use the money for not only his projects but perhaps give it to some people he knows to fulfill their dreams. The money never comes to him, or if it does, only in small amounts and not enough to realize his dreams. Every time we have events at his house, he mentions how he is waiting for the Universe to bring forth his abundance. It seems clear to me now, that he is just waiting and has not really decided to have it fully. Also, I don’t feel that deep down he believes he will have the money so perhaps he has also decided on some level not to fully believe the money will come. You have a very good point here and next time I see him, I am going to ask him when he will decide to make his dream happen. He has never really said “Yes” to himself. He has gone through all the motions like a rehearsal for a play that never manifests itself.

  19. LOA is definately a huge waste of time.The harder you try to bring something to you the worse your life gets.
    It’s easier to just decide what you’re going to have and then make the steps you need to take to get there.And if no steps can be taken,then in the meantime keeping busy and occupying your mind..and it’ll all work out

  20. How smug and arrogant. Tell that to all the stupid ignorant people who suffer excrutiating pain and misery. How about starvation and the holocaust. You don’t know the circumstances in other peoples lives. Stop the evil arrogance and judgement

  21. This is a little off discussion, which I apologize for, but would you and your readers mind voicing your thoughts about the recent oil spill, you’re opinion seriously helps and I can’t thank you enough for taking a few seconds to give it. I left the URL in the appropriate field, thanks!

  22. Deciding is a crucial step in the co-creative process. It helps direct intent and action. As you put it Stephanie, deciding to have more money involves the responsibility of sound money management and successful relationships the gumption to stand for healthy and loving interactions. We are constantly co-creating in the midst of our circumstances through Choice.
    And we have a choice how we personally experience ANY circumstance, even difficult ones.

    Thank you for this post.

  23. All I could say is WOW! It resonated in my spirit. Just make a DECISION. I will add, and watch it unfold, not necessarily the way you may envision the process . . .but the manifestation of the results! I am excited!

  24. Hmm have to try this, after all I tried everything else and it didn’t work so far.
    So have wrote it al down what I decide and see if it works.
    I have decided that everything I have done so far now brings successful results.
    And I have decided that SHE is going to contact me in a positive way.
    I have decided that money now comes to me from different ways and not only my boss!
    I have decided that everything I always wanted, now has permission to come into my life.

  25. The law of attraction does NOT work for us…as soon as we accept that there is a “law”. Yes, it sounds strange, but if you would look at all of the”gurus” who sell this secret, you will notice that they all came into their successes BEFORE they even knew what they were using! Since the release of Rhonda Byrne’s “The Secret” there have been millions of disappointed law of attraction followers. All because someone promised them it would work for them. It has not. What would you tell an African American, Native American, or Jewish descendant practitioner of the law of attraction? Their history is their fault?

  26. However you do it, if you take the time to watch for opportunities to help you get what you really, really want you will soon find it easier and easier to “discover” new and exciting results and live a more fulfilling life and it will all come about without fate, luck, chance, or some mystical law of attraction. You do not “attract” you purposefully set a goal and then look for opportunities to make it so!

  27. With thanks, this timely story, finds me in week three of having a yard sale and between my son Jon and I, we topped all sales this week, with Jon first. Our yard sale and this week now the garage sale too, We will finish August in our best financial shape all year, on the home front.

    The next decision is to have my moving/empty nester/ downsizing party and too invite all of you to the lovely town of Historic Milan, INdiana, home of the ” HOOSIERS” and Milan54.org. Wednesday, 29 August 2012. ( many hands make light work. unk.)

    May you have a sunrise to start your day, a hug to warm your heart, and a candle to light your way, with my thanks again .

  28. “The law of attraction is the name given to the belief that “like attracts like” and that by focusing on positive or negative thoughts, one can bring about positive or negative results.[1][2][3][4] This belief is based upon the idea that people and their thoughts are both made from pure energy, and the belief that like energy attracts like energy.[citation needed] One example used by a proponent of the law of attraction is that if a person opened an envelope expecting to see a bill, then the law of attraction would “confirm” those thoughts and contain a bill when opened. A person who decided to instead expect a check might, under the same law, find a check instead of a bill.[5]
    Although there are some cases where positive or negative attitudes can produce corresponding results (principally the placebo and nocebo effects), there is no scientific basis to the law of attraction.[6]”

  29. Awesome post!
    Dont you just love it how most people state that the law of attraction doesnt or has not worked for them…
    WELL… Everything you have in your life uptil this point is due to this law of attraction.. you attracted everything..
    good and bad. I would have to say that we are all experts at attraction… but not in the way we all would like.
    The important part of this law is to become conscious of our actions and direct them to positive things that help
    up achieve what we want instead of unconcisous reactions to things that we dont want!