Someone commented on my recent blog post about believing in magic, wanting to know about ancient warriors who wore magic vests to protect themselves from arrows or bullets. He felt they were into “magical thinking” and not into reality.

I found that odd.

For one thing, if I were really going into battle, I’d wear anything at all that promised to protect me. I’d quickly put on a “magic vest.” I’d wear spaghetti strands on my head or a necklace of rabbit pellets if I thought it would help me.

After all, I’d be going into battle.

I think you’d be a little silly not to do whatever it took to feel stronger, from praying to rituals to ornaments to you name it. I mean, come on, anything that helps you get through such a terrifying experience as war should be acceptable.

But let’s look a little deeper at my friend’s comment.

When is magical thinking a problem?

My research in placebos — defined as “A harmless pill, medicine, or procedure prescribed more for the psychological benefit to the patient than for any physiological effect” — confirms that when you believe in something, your belief tends to make it come true.

There are even shocking scientific studies that prove when many people with knee problems were led to believe they had knee surgery — but in fact did not have the surgery– they actually got better. (!) (See

There are even more recent studies that reveal a placebo will work even when you know it is a placebo. (!)  (See

This isn’t news. I’ve known about the power of belief since the 1960s, when I first read Claude Bristol’s masterpiece, The Magic of Believing. Your belief molds reality. Believe something is true about yourself or your world and you’ll tend to attract the circumstances to match it.

You Attract What You Believe

You Attract What You Believe

This works with negative beliefs, as well.

The “nocebo” is a negative expectation and will just as easily create a match to it. In other words, if you believe things will go wrong, or something will have a harmful effect, you will tend to attract that expectation. (See

This leads to an interesting predicament:

If your belief influences your reality so dramatically, then when is your belief in conflict with reality?

  • Is wearing a magic vest going into war just deluding yourself?
  • Is believing in a positive outcome despite current reality a self delusion?
  • Is believing in a negative outcome despite contrary evidence a mistake?


Yes, you may be deluding yourself when you wear a magic vest or a blessed ring. But that very “delusion” is the belief that will help you go through your life with strength, and it may even be the extra edge you need to help you survive and prosper.

Put another way, what’s your alternative?

Go into battle with nothing?

Go through life with no power?

Since your belief is the controlling element here, you are free to believe in the positive, or the negative, or “nothing” at all. (I put the word “nothing” in quotes as even believing in nothing is believing in something. It’s still belief.)

Some think the great god called Science is the be-all and end-all of what’s “real.” Yet science is always coming to conclusions that conflict previous conclusions. And the current science behind placebos proves what you believe is more important than the so-called “reality” around you.

In fact, if science were the deciding factor on reality, why don’t all scientists agree?

Why are there scientists who believe in ESP, for example, and scientists who don’t believe in it?

Gee, I thought science was the final verdict.

I quit reading popular science magazines like Psychology Today because it was apparent they simply reported recent studies. Stick around long enough and you’ll find new studies to conflict with the old studies. And so it goes.

In short, what’s real?

Ever since I released my book and audio program titled The Awakening Course, I’ve stressed that reality is an illusion. This isn’t new, either. Buddha and others, especially non-duality teachers, say the same thing. When you come from the fourth stage of awakening, you see the illusion.

As Einstein said, “Reality is merely an illusion, albeit a very persistent one.”

The goal is to awaken

The goal is to awaken

Again, you are free to wear magic amulets or vests, or do nothing of the kind. You can put your faith in “magic” or you can put your faith in “reality.”

Both reflect your beliefs.

Both, at essence, are reality.

After all, the “reality” you see is viewed through your perceptions, and those perceptions are made from your beliefs.

If you’ve met me, heard me speak, viewed my pictures, or seen me on television or in movies, you know I wear rings and beads. I personally believe some of it is for branding, some of it has some real esoteric mojo in it, and I believe it helps me.

In fact, whenever I speak in public, I wear a special gem made in part from the Gibeon meteorite. That meteorite is older than planet Earth. Estimated about four billion years old. It’s beautiful, and I can feel extra energy when I wear it. It was also a gift from Nerissa a decade ago, so it has sentimental value, too. (You can see me wearing it on the cover of my book, Instant Manifestation.)

Wearing my Magic

Wearing my Magic

What’s most important about it?

My belief in it.

That said, what’s actually real?

I’d rather believe in a magical universe and see my life blossom with miracles then walk through it fearing every turn of a leaf.

Rounding back to my friend who posted the comment about “magical thinking” possibly being bad for you, I want to remind him of the Sufi saying, “Trust in Allah, but tether your camel first.”

That means to trust in your “magical vest” but also do whatever it takes to take care of yourself.

This is what co-creating reality is all about. Yes, there’s magic, and yes, there’s your actions in the physical world. The wisest thing would be to blend the two.

The only real danger in magic is relying solely on it.

Shawn Achor, in his book The Happiness Advantage, suggests you wear rose tinted glasses as opposed to rose colored glasses. He put it this way:

“As the name implies, rose-tinted glasses let the really major problems into our field of vision, while still keeping our focus largely on the positive.”

I’ll end by quoting Bruce Barton, the subject of my book, The Seven Lost Secrets of Success. Barton wrote the following in 1927 in his own book, What Can a Man Believe:

“Faith in business, faith in the country, faith in one’s self, faith in other people – this is the power that moves the world. And why is it unreasonable to believe that this power, which is so much stronger than any other, is merely a fragment of the Great Power which operates the universe.”

In short, if I were going into battle, I’d definitely put on a magic vest and I’d do everything else possible to stay safe.

The magic vest may or may not have power in and of itself, but my believing in it will have power.

Said another way, a placebo isn’t actually real, but the placebo effect is.

Have faith and tether your camel.

Ao Akua,


PS — If you want help in understanding and applying this thinking, consider Miracles Coaching.

Member BBB 2003 - 2012

Member BBB 2003 - 2012



  1. bric-Reply
    April 18, 2012 at 11:59 am

    Hi Joe. thanks for this post. If you would like to answer I have a question may be not directly related to the post. Since the big secret to attract all we want is to appreciate and live in the now – and saying “I Love You” and doing ho’oponopono help us to stay in the positive flow, what is the best way to help our conscious/subconscious mind to keep repeating that powerful mantra and making it our self talk as you said in the awakening course. I usually get distracted by all the “illusions” of day to day live, forgetting to ho’oponopono all the time. Do you have a little trick that can help us do this 24h a day or most of the time?

    • April 19, 2012 at 6:30 am

      What I did in the beginning is consciously choose to say the phrases. Over time, it became second nature. now I don’t even think about it, yet they occur in my consciousness as my new “self talk.”

  2. Koorosh-Reply
    April 19, 2012 at 1:02 am

    Dear Dr Joe

    Hope you are doing well.

    The Sufi saying that you mentioned is actually a Muslim one. This is the complete version.

    One day Prophet Muhammad (peace be upon him) noticed a Bedouin leaving his camel without tying it and he asked the Bedouin, “Why don’t you tie down your camel?” The Bedouin answered, “I put my trust in Allah.” The Prophet then said, “Tie your camel first, then put your trust in Allah”

    You have mentioned many times the concept of the Divine……A being that created us and is Infinite and has Power over All things

    • April 19, 2012 at 6:29 am

      Excellent. yes, the Divine animates it all.

  3. Christina-Reply
    April 19, 2012 at 3:03 am

    What a great post! I myself believe in magic, there are just too many things that happen in life to be a coincidence. Are they manifestations of expectations or beliefs that I have brought into my own reality? Probably, but to me when great things happen it is pure magic. Even more so when things happen within hours or a few days. Magic of the mind, magic of the external, and magic of matter how you look at it there is magic all around us, how we choose to use it or if we choose to believe is up to us. I don’t think it is delusional to believe in magic. The thought of magic and tokens of magic are the ‘secret little kick’ we need to push us into action (yup, we need to take action as well) to make our dreams reality.

    Take care and lots of love,

    • April 19, 2012 at 6:28 am

      I love the idea of magic giving “the secret little kick”. cool. Thank you. 🙂

  4. Tim-Reply
    April 19, 2012 at 1:47 pm

    Nice explanation to follow the comments in the previous blog. Who is to say NOT to believe in magic especially in the situations you have referenced. The only time you can be hurt by the “magic” vest would be the time you wore it instead of your kevlar vest when going to battle.

    I have really been enjoying Kevin Trudeau’s law of attraction. I have been trying to put some of the things I’ve read in his book into practice, obviously using his methods and the Law of Attraction isn’t the end all be all of attracting desirable outcomes, but even as a skeptic as long as I am wearing my kevlar, my magic vest won’t be too heavy to carry.

    I have had varying degrees of success using Trudeau’s cds and Law of attraction, but I think this blog really nailed it. Can I prove that my positive thinking attracted positive things? No, can anyone prove they didn’t? Did I hurt anyone by being positive? I don’t think so. Since consciously using the info in those cds I have had some odd good luck and have gotten ripped off by people I’ve tried to be positive about. I like to think that by using these methods I am increasing the chance of positive outcomes while decreasing the negative. Thanks again.

  5. Rex-Reply
    April 19, 2012 at 1:54 pm

    Thanks for your reply Joe.

    April 20, 2012 at 12:23 am

    Dear Joe,

    Since we are mentioning the inter-cultural concept of ‘magic aligned with action’, let me offer an Ancient Greek one:

    “Syn Athina ke hira kinei”…

    It referes to the Ancient Greek 12God system and literally translates to:

    “Goddess Athina will help you provided you will offer a helping hand.”

    Bless you for your inspiring posts!


  7. April 20, 2012 at 5:58 pm

    If we only thought ‘realistically’ so to speak and only looked at what was right in front of us. Nobody would have achieved anything!

    Having this belief of new things, and things outside our conscious awareness is good, as we have all had things happen outside of that, it just seems alot of people won’t admit it.

    Having a belief in something that gives you power is a positive thing, but i’d prefer to have that belief in myself, getting it from inside myself instead of an external thing.


    • April 21, 2012 at 6:06 am

      Good point, Ben. All belief is within you.

  8. April 22, 2012 at 1:22 pm

    Well said, Joe!

    Whether it’s a magic vest or a cursed necklace, something will only help or hinder us if we believe it will. As long as we remember that it is our beliefs that give them the power, we will always be able to access the real power within us that can move mountains.

  9. Max-Reply
    April 25, 2012 at 5:51 am

    Dearest Joe, I must say I really admire what you do, that is absolutely amazing, it changed my life and have me hope, that future would be bright…

    Now I am in the moment of my life, when I am looking for someone to be with, loneliness is not easy. Could you tell me how to attract someone? I am not sure, because you have said we can not attract exact person and we should focus on the features of our future person. Could you explain, how to nevillize it or just simply attract in the best way?

  10. April 25, 2012 at 7:13 am

    Dear Mr. Fire!

    Please support my research, published this on my site 🙂
    The website is in Hungarian language
    Yours sincerely Laszlo Somogyi

  11. Анастасия-Reply
    April 25, 2012 at 8:05 am

    Hello, dear Joe! My name is Anastasia, I’m from Russia, the city of Norilsk.
    I do not know why, after reading the book “The Secret”, I began to study exactly your work. But it is you give me the strength to move onward and upward. You inspire me. And you invariably help me. So even though I want to express my gratitude to you both and say “Thanks!”
    Thank you!
    P.S. I’m sorry that I am writing to you here. Can not send e-mail…

  12. April 26, 2012 at 2:01 am

    I hope you like the humor, would have great hope in the skills required tinkered about my website. I’m in enough trouble as well: (

    I read a lot of your books in Hungarian. All I wanted to connect with you.

  13. Ejassal-Reply
    April 27, 2012 at 1:49 am

    Yes physical reality is all an illusion .. Not in the sense that it doesnot exist .. But in the sense that it is constantly shaped by consciousness.consciousness gives shape to the patterns it into form. But a question may be asked if that’s the case then why do those solid things like my car ..donot just turn into liquid when I want them .. A probable answer may be that the stuff that makes the car ,it’s atoms for example, have a consciousness of their own .. They know that they have to remain bonded to other atoms nd act as a solid …or
    another answer may be .. certain programmes like “a solid have to
    behave this way and that way ” might be embedded deep into our unconscious self from the very starting of history that we are giving
    shape to it even when we ain’t aware .. Either way we can change it by
    going into the right state of mind .. Accessing the right consciousness. Theory doesnot matter because it is not set in stones .. What matters is how far can we go and liberate ourselves to more joy and happiness. BE CREATIVE AND CREATE YOUR WORLD 🙂

  14. Ovidiu-Reply
    April 29, 2012 at 1:42 pm

    Hi Joe,

    I am a HUGE fan. After following some of your programs (and I have quite a few to help me in my personal growth) an idea came to me. I think you should meet an absolutely fantastic person. I know you like to partner up with all kinds of special people and the result is always a hit. This person I am talking about is HUGE on following intuition and making a LOT of money. So he masters both of these qualities. In fact, he is a banker, but a special kind of banker. I would like to tell you more about this guy, so can I write you in a more private setting? Please let me know. I know how determined you are in spreading around good in the world, so getting in touch with others that do the same could be very helpful.

    Thank you for taking the time to read my post and God Bless You for all you do!


  15. Angela-Reply
    April 30, 2012 at 4:46 pm

    I had this huge question today and thought I would go to your blog & ask your advice. As it turns out, the answer is here without having to ask. The main theme of it is,
    Would you focus on one main “method” or incorporate many into your life? Ex. Ho’oponopono, with energy work, etc…. I just feel I call upon what is needed at the time, but then thought I wasn’t focusing on anything in particular, almost ADD with it. Energy work this day, listening to your guides that day. While holding the belief that what was coming up, was what was needed.
    What I am getting from your blog is- The belief- of it, is what is needed. I do my best to keep Ho’oponopono in the background, it seems to be an unnecessary, necessary. Does that make sense?
    Anyway, thank you for answering my question.

  16. Nicole-Reply
    May 10, 2012 at 1:10 pm

    I have been enjoying some of your works for a few weeks now, i.e. Zéro Limite and the film The Secret, as well as your free book on line Attract Money Now that I am still reading, and finally many mails I received from you. All of it, and more especially your book Zéro Limite (in French, because I am French and I live in France) are a wonderful “opening” for me, it’s great !

    Today I have a question, very important for me, even if I am not convinced that you will be able to anwer it :

    Mr. Ihaleakala Hew Len cured mad and dangerous people in a psychiatric hospital without having even been directly into contact with them. Don’t you think that some people can as well make some other people fall into madness, or illness, or poverty, or lack of love, or solitude ? I mean, through their bad intentions, bad thoughts, bad actions, through BLACK MAGIC, witchcraft, they can destroy other people.

    Is there any remedy ? A way to be cleaned ?

    Thank you for trying an answer.
    With my loving thoughts,

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