Young people turn to ‘law of attraction’ in hope for success

By Thanh Nga   June 23, 2024 | 12:32 am PT
For over a year, 24-year-old Ngoc Tram from Hanoi’s Cau Giay district says she has considered any adversity she encounters a "gift of life" for which she is grateful.

After her VND20 million (US$1,179) motorbike was stolen, Tram opted for gratitude, writing down her appreciative thoughts instead of lamenting her loss or victimizing herself with a "woe is me" attitude. She didn’t even spend a moment trying to find the perpetrator or get the vehicle back.

In her diary following the theft, she wrote: "Thank my body for being intact and having the health to earn money."

She even expressed goodwill and hopes of wellbeing towards the criminal who took her property.

"Thank the thief for teaching me a lesson about being cautious and valuing everything around me," she added. "Thank you for the theft because my bike may have helped the thief lead a better life."

Tram reports that this approach has improved her mood and attracted positive energy. She also views it as a reminder to "save money in order to recover from the theft." "I was able to buy a new bike after a few months," she stated.

Hoang Anh, a teacher that offers courses in the law of attraction, during a trip to Australia in 2023. Photo courtesy of Anh

Hoang Anh, a teacher that offers courses in the law of attraction, during a trip to Australia in 2023. Photo courtesy of Anh

The method Tram uses is commonly recognized as a practice of the "law of attraction," a philosophy that suggests positive thoughts bring positive results into a person’s life, while negative thoughts bring negative outcomes.

For example, instead of "wishing" to have a happy life, Anh’s students are taught to write down: "At 30 years old, I am happy, materially and spiritually fulfilled, owning my house and car, financially free, traveling to explore over 50 countries, healthy, and happy."

However, Anh emphasizes that these methods are merely tools, and real success comes from each individual’s persistent efforts, attempts, and relentless belief in pursuing their goals.

Psychologist Tran Huong Thao from Ho Chi Minh City attributes the popularity of such trends to the true idea that practicing gratitude can generate positive energy, which helps people identify their true goals in life. However, Thao warns that the trend can lead to ineffective outcomes if not paired with action.

"Many people wish and ‘give thanks’ every day, but speaking without action only leads to failure – it can negatively affect mood, promote a lazy lifestyle, and result in a loss of faith." she says.

Thao also warns about the proliferation of charlatan-led courses promising business success, wealth, or marriage to a wealthy spouse through the law of attraction. Most of these "classes" cost millions to tens of millions of dong (VND1 million equals US$39).

She compares those who take advantage of these ostensibly well-meaning trends to feng shui item sellers who lure potential customers by intentionally making false claims about how success will be brought via wearing energy-attracting gemstones, which they sell at scam-like prices.

After being reprimanded by her boss and feeling underappreciated by her boyfriend, 25-year-old Dieu Thuy from Hanoi immediately began watching online manifestation videos about manifesting a perfect career and love life. She believed that doing so could help her obtain a better work life and fulfillment in love.

However, after some time, she admitted to feeling only discouragement and disappointment when her wishes did not materialize, even though she focused the entirety of all her energy and time on manifestation practices.

Aiming to fulfill her dream of moving to the U.S., Phuong Mai, 26, from the capital’s Thanh Xuan district, spends over VND5 million a month on positive energy-attracting crystals, as well as a slew of courses in "the law of attraction."

She even quit her job after consulting a fortune teller who told her she would succeed if she relocated far away and started speding all of her time wholly and completely – without distraction – focusing on imagining a happy life in the U.S.. The "fortune teller" said – and Mai certainly hoped with all her heart – that this course of action would transform her dreams into reality.

"Even though I try to stay positive while manifesting to avoid emitting bad energy, I actually feel trapped and depressed amid unemployment and uncertainty about my future," Mai said.

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