The Secret to Activating the “Law of Attraction” (hint: it’s hidden right there in the title)

law of attraction used by happy lady with a laptop to manifest success

If you’re familiar with my work, you know I’m a huge believer in the Law of Attraction.

After all, I was featured in the ground-breaking movie, The Secret, which introduced the world to the Law of Attraction in a massive way. I’ve also written several books about it and it features prominently in The Success Principles and other programs I’ve created.

But over the years, I’ve come to realize that many people have misunderstood what the Law of Attraction is all about.

They think that all they have to do to create the life of their dreams is visualize what they want – and everything they desire will just naturally flow to them.

That’s not exactly how it works...

There’s something missing from this equation – and without it, no matter how much time and effort you put into visualizing your success, all you’ll ever be is a person with a dream.

In order to unleash the full power of the Law of Attraction and make your dreams come true, there’s one key ingredient you absolutely must integrate into your life: ACTION.

That’s right – once you have done the important inner work necessary to get clear on what you really want in life, you have to take ACTION – and take all of the steps required to make your vision a reality.

I’m not saying that all of your visualization and internal work isn’t integral to your success – in fact, Law of Attraction teachers Esther and Jerry Hicks often talk about how one hour spent on your inner journey has the same impact as seven hours of taking action in the outer world.

But that doesn’t mean you can ignore the action step altogether!

And yet I find that many people get so caught up doing the inner work, they fail to spend enough time taking the kind of action required to create the forward momentum they need to make their dreams a reality. If you want to achieve real and lasting success, creating balance between your inner and outer journey is essential.

The good news is, once you’ve done the inner work, the action work comes far more easily.

As soon as you start taking concrete steps towards your goals, you will activate the Law of Attraction – and gain more traction and go much further, much faster than if you didn’t have that clear vision in your head.

To help you on your journey, here are five concrete steps you can take to move into action – starting today:

1. Develop a strategic action plan

By creating a detailed list of every step you’ll need to take to achieve your goals, you’ll find it easier to move into action. You won’t waste time wondering what to do – because it will be clearly laid out before you. Be sure to identify the steps you’ll need to take to overcome every one of the obstacles you may encounter, as well – both inner and outer. This will help you deal with them much faster should they appear on your path.

2. Follow the trail

If you’re not sure which steps you need to take to achieve your goals, follow the breadcrumbs that others have left in their wake! After all, other people have already blazed the trail ahead of you and achieved the exact same goals that YOU want to achieve.

So if you want to shorten your learning curve, do some research and discover who these people are. Read their books and stories, watch their videos, listen to their webinars, and talk to them personally, if you can to find out what steps they took to achieve success.

Then follow their lead – it’s that simple.

3. Use the Rule of 5

When Mark Victor Hansen and I published our first Chicken Soup for the Soul book, we were so overwhelmed with possibilities for making the book a bestseller, we weren’t sure which ideas to pursue first. A wonderful teacher, Ron Scolastico, shared a powerful piece of wisdom with us: “If you would go every day to a very large tree and take five swings at it with a very sharp axe, no matter how large the tree, it would have to come down!”

That’s how we came up with the Rule of 5, which simply means that every day, you must do five specific things to move your goal toward completion. By committing to take meaningful daily actions to achieve your goals, you will accomplish more than you thought possible in a surprisingly short amount of time.

4. Involve others

If you’ve developed a habit of spending too much time on your inner journey, a great way to pull yourself back into the outer world is to enlist an accountability partner. Sharing your specific commitments with another person is a powerful way to ensure that you follow through on the actions you need to take.

You and your accountability partner can chat daily on the phone to share your commitments with each other and report on your success in achieving the previous day’s commitments. Or you can do this by email.

Or, if you feel a need for even greater accountability, you might want to enlist the services of a professional coach. A good coach can also help you explore

what might be fuelling your actions when you don’t keep your commitments, so you can overcome the limiting behaviors that are holding you back.

5. Check your beliefs

Many of us have beliefs that limit our success – including beliefs about our ability to take action, our capabilities, and what it takes to succeed. Take time to identify any negative beliefs that might be impeding your desire or ability to take action.

If you find yourself running up against limiting beliefs such as, “I’m not smart enough,” “I’m too busy,” “I don’t have the proper training,” or “It is going to take too long and be too challenging,” I encourage you to check out chapter 33 of my book, The Success Principles. It includes powerful exercises to help you shift your limiting beliefs into empowering ones.

In addition, I’ll offer you something that I use myself: A small sign on my computer that says, “So what? Do it anyway.”

So what if you’re afraid? So what if it’s expensive? So what if you’ve never done it before? So what if you don’t have all the information? Do it anyway, because once you take action, you’ll get feedback, and feedback tells you how to do it better.

Remember, the last six letters in the word “attraction” are “action.”

If you want to achieve results, you cannot only work on your internal world. You must also take action!

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What actions have YOU taken this week to achieve your goals and dreams? Share them below in the comments!

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 The best possible action you can take is to get the support and training you need to become the person who is capable of taking all the actions necessary to making your most ambitious goals a reality. 

If you have big dreams but have stuff to deal with before you can fully step into action, you may benefit from reading my book, The Success Principles, or investing in my audio program, The Success Principles 30-Day Journey.

Or, if you’re prepared to take a really BIG action this year, join me at Breakthrough to Success in February or August – and work with me in person!

Together we can overcome the obstacles that have been holding you back – and create an achievable step-by-step plan that’s aligned with your deepest passions and will help you create the life of your dreams. 


You can, as long as you include this complete statement with it: Jack Canfield, America's #1 Success Coach, is founder of the billion-dollar book brand Chicken Soup for the Soul® and a leading authority on Peak Performance and Life Success. If you're ready to jump-start your life, make more money, and have more fun and joy in all that you do, get FREE success tips from Jack Canfield now at:

  • Brendan Clemente

    Thanks Jack, great reminder and my key aspiration this year - to take massive action. Ever since picking up your book "The Success Principles" and taking the accompanying course, I have received three promotions, nearly doubled my income and found myself planning dreams I may otherwise never have pursued... and that's just the start. To answer your question though, this week specifically I re-watched module 1 of your and Steve Harrison's "Bestseller Blueprint" course, worked on my book concept, wrote every morning for an hour, nearly finished the rough draft of my book and am ready to begin having people read chapters and give me feedback.

    In the spirit of taking action, you'll find my book on your desk soon, ready to thank you for changing the direction of my entire life!

  • Kosa Ely

    Thank you Jack—great tips, reminders, and inspiration. I'm mapping out marketing and alliances for my next book, so this came at a perfect time. Now I have an index card on my desk"So what? Do it anyway!"

  • Cris Cruz

    Mr. Canfield, this is going to be a long read, and I apologize, but I really want you to know the
    affect you have...even on the unaffectable.

    I am raising and homeschooling my 17 year-old grandson, Lee, who has been diagnosed with ADHD, PDD, OCD, ODD, and probably another D in there someplace. As I'm sure you know, ODD is Oppositional Defiant Disorder, and Lee's defiance is constantly working
    in high gear. EVERYTHING I ask him to do requires a LOT of pushing, pulling, pleading,
    and sometimes arguing. He's a very sweet boy and has a desire to be compliant, but this Disorder usually wins.

    When I found your YouTube video of The Success Principles, I began listening to it at bedtime. I'm ashamed to admit, I was falling asleep every night within 20 have a very soothing voice. It didn't take long to realize that Lee could greatly benefit from this video. However, getting him to listen to anything for six and a half hours, just wasn't gonna happen. But, 30 minutes a day might be doable.

    I took advantage of the fact that he had already read and enjoyed two Chicken Soup books and thought you were cool in The Secret, in order to introduce him to my plan. Still, 30
    minutes a day, put him high on his defiant horse and he almost rode off into the sunset.

    The first day of our journey was disastrous and took us more than two hours to get through. Lee complained so much, I had to continually start over...each time explaining that he can't
    hear the video over his complaints, and that I truly wanted him to understand the message.

    The second day began with some complaining of having to listen to the video again. But, in about 10 minutes, he said, "I really like this guy. He speaks well and makes a lot of sense." On the third day, Lee sat down to listen to the video with NO complaints.

    Day four found us running some early morning errands, at one stop Lee said, "Granny, what time do you think we'll get home? I want to know more about what Mr. Canfield called
    'mind mapping' yesterday."

    Who knew he would be paying such close attention? Thank you, THANK YOU! I'll let you know the results when we're done.

  • Beth Ellen Nash

    My most important action this week has actually been listening to my body's very low energy and taking a break and resting when it asked for it which has been a lot this week.

  • Put the action into attraction. Amen! When I look back over difficult periods of my life that's how I pulled myself out of it every time. More importantly action with a purpose of building better relationships. Like Macmurray said: "All meaningful knowledge is for the sake of action, and all meaningful action for the sake of friendship."

  • Kristur

    Great article Jack, that's a very good foundation for an action plan. I'm curious, what about visualization of goals? F.e.

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