According to Mitch Horowitz, in his new book, One Simple Idea: How Positive Thinking Reshaped Modern Life, the phrase “Law of Attraction” was first used in 1855 by a trance medium named Andrew Jackson Davis.

A trance medium?

That was news to me.

I have an entire library of vintage New Thought, metaphysical, and spiritual books, yet never heard of Davis.

Apparently Davis went into trances and dictated metaphysical messages. His medium side channeled a large body of work, including a six-volume set of spiritual laws called, The Great Harmonia.

In volume four, Davis used the term “Law of Attraction.” But Davis meant the law to refer to the kinds of spirits you attracted to yourself after you died and went to the other side. His term had nothing to do with the cause-and-effect law we think of today.

It was in 1892 that the law as we know it began to take shape.

Prentice Mulford, an early New Thought author, mentioned it in his famous book, Your Forces, And How to Use Them.

In 1897, Ralph Waldo Trine used the term in his classic book, In Tune with the Infinite.

And Helen Wilmans used the term in her 1899 book, Conquest of Poverty.

But the biggest push in getting “Law of Attraction” into mainstream thinking came in 1902, when William Walker Atkinson devoted an entire chapter to the subject in his book, The Law of the New Thought.

As you can see, the term has been around a long time.

Of course, the core LOA (Law of Attraction) concept of “your thoughts create reality” goes all the way back to Buddha, Jesus, and ancient cultures.

Only the phrase “Law of Attraction” is relatively new – at least from 1855, if Mitch Horowitz’s research is accurate (and I believe it is.)

Reveals History of LOA

Reveals History of LOA

All of this reading and research caused me to go back and re-read some of my favorite LOA authors, to be reminded of their stories and secrets.

One of them is Brown Landone, a prolific author who lived almost 100 years and wrote such gems as The Success Process and How to Turn Your Desires and Ideals into Realities.

In my 1927 copy of The Success Process, Landone uses chapter three to explain “The ‘Doing Process’ Which Always Succeeds.”

I smiled to see how much focus he put on taking action, one of the most overlooked steps in many modern Law of Attraction groupies.

But Landone spelled out that the kind of action you need to take is what he called “idealized doing.”

For him, you began with “vivid imagining.”

That meant using all your senses to experience the end result of what you wanted to attract.

But the next step was to envision the process of getting there.

While you may not know all the steps needed to attract or achieve a specific intention, the more you could use your senses to see the ideal action to take, the easier it would be to guarantee success.

Landone wrote –

“Your ideal of the end you desire to attain is the ‘star’ to which you should hitch your wagon of attainment. But, very much depends upon the way in which you do the hitching. Idealized doing always succeed.”

I love the fact that Law of Attraction has gone mainstream, thanks to movies and books like The Secret, and my own books such as The Attractor Factor, but I’m often dismayed that people have a superficial understanding of it.

For example, too many LOA practicioners think all they have to do is sit and visualize and what they want will “just appear.”

Well, it might just appear.

The car might appear in your driveway.

The love of your life might ring your doorbell.

But more often than not, you have to help the process along with inspired action.

Go to a car dealership.

Visit a matching service.

Do something.

Another example of an LOA fallacy is believing you get what you consciously think.

In reality, you attract what you unconsciously believe.

In other words, you can consciously believe, visualize and affirm all you want, but if you unconsciously believe something different, you won’t get your intention.

I’ve said it many times —

An unconscious counter-intention will always veto a conscious intention.

You can affirm “Money is coming to me” all day but if you unconsciously believe “Money is bad,” then you will not attract more money, or if you do, you will get rid of it fast.

Your unconscious is far more powerful than your conscious. You have to work with it to clearly and quickly manifest the results you prefer.

These points are just minor examples of the depth behind the Law of Attraction that most people aren’t at all aware of yet.

What can you do to understand LOA and use it correctly?

In my opinion, nothing is more powerful than having your own Miracles Coach.

Meanwhile, if you’ve tried to harness the Law of Attraction’s power in your own life to attract money (or anything else) and feel you’ve “failed,” then you need to see this all-new video from me

Expect Miracles.

Ao Akua,


PS — Some say the brief video you’ll see at this link is the most eye-opening they’ve EVER seen. Others say they just love the vest I’m wearing. What do you think?

Member BBB 2003 - 2015

Member BBB 2003 - 2015


  1. Maja Iten-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 6:41 am

    Thank you for bringing this topic up, Joe.

    There is so much misunderstanding, misinformation & misconception about the LoA, and I’m so surprised that only a very few people really understand it. The LoA is only ONE of the 7 Universal Laws on which the whole Universe is built & based. The Law of Cause & Effect is another one. You can not mix these 2 laws.

    Another thing hardly anybody understands is that the process of creation is also based on 7 steps (the earth has not been built in 7 days, but in 7 steps). And the same principles have to be applied in every creation process. That wisdom has not yet been revealed to the masses. Some people use these principles unconcsciously & get the desired results without really knowing why & how. But fact is that nothing can be created without applying these 7 principles. Thank goodness! Otherwise more greed & more weired stuff would be created. The LoA is not about getting THINGS. Things come to us as gifts for our service to the world. The more we give, the more we will get – the outflow controls the inflow. Many blessings.

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:05 am


    • maverick35-Reply
      January 12, 2019 at 1:37 am

      Sorry but I think history proves otherwise. If there really was a 7 step process to creation that prevented catastrophic, “weird things” or greed from being created then there wouldn’t be the proliferation of dangerous science, actually greed,harmful products, dictatorships etc. There are plentiful examples of this in our world.

  2. February 1, 2014 at 6:55 am

    Thanks for all your inspiration and guidance, I am grateful you have cleared up a few important issues. I know how you can spend hours visualizing and saying affirmations, yet we allow our old beliefs to cause us to self sabotage and destroy all our efforts, especially the moment we have to face an obstacle..

  3. February 1, 2014 at 6:58 am

    A man shows up at the church to pray this prayer: “God, grant me a favor. I would love to win the lottery. I’m counting on you ”
    Having not won the jackpot, he returned the following week. “God is on my previous request: I was nice with my wife, I stopped drinking. I was generous. Grant me a favor Lord, let me win the lottery ”
    When suddenly …
    The heavens parted and a blinding light accompanied by heavenly music enveloped our man.
    A deep voice was heard:
    “My son, give me a favor and buy a ticket! ”
    Marie-Noël from belgium.

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

      Gonna go buy a ticket…

    • Anne-Reply
      February 2, 2014 at 12:02 am

      Heard that one before in many variations, but the essence of it is so true, a bit like the one where the person in a house about to be flooded rejects all sorts of people who offer to rescue him, drowns & asks God why. God replies “I send you a helicopter, a raft, a lifeboat and emergency services and you refused all their help, what else did you expect me to do?”

  4. John-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 7:02 am

    I find it FRUSTRATING !!! that you don’t provide a bar at the bottom of your screens that:
    – Allow me to see progress and
    – Allow me to back up and view parts of your messages again

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:04 am

      John, the “reading bar” as its called is in your browser, not on my blog. You may have it turned off, or it may be on your right side of the screen.

  5. February 1, 2014 at 7:43 am

    That was just wonderful, Joe. What I read helped alot in clarifying how the Law of Attraction works. God bless you.

  6. HANSIE-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 7:46 am

    Good information, but not easy to apply. During the past year I tried all techniques i.e. tapping, visualization, meditation, self hypnosis etc from various “gurus” claiming they have the perfect answer. It might work for some people but surely did not work for me. I am a very positive and grateful person and eliminated all limiting beliefs about money. The LOA is not working for me – I do positive affirmations every day and expecting only good things to happen but in reality only the opposite happens. I expect every day a lot of business and money – even changed my bank statement to a positive figure, all in vain and one disappointment after another. They talk of the “Secret” – I think the LOA is a secret only available to some people. Hansie. South Africa.

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:03 am

      Thanks for your open comment. You can’t really say you “eliminated all limiting beliefs” if you still have an issue. The issue is proof of more beliefs. We all have them. Our job is to clear them.

  7. Athande Sunday-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 8:01 am

    I read the post, nice work, but I couldn’t relate well with this fact “In reality, YOU ATTRACT what you UNCONSCIOUSLY BELIEVES.” …really? am a bit puzzled.

  8. February 1, 2014 at 8:49 am

    I was expecting a really great list or step process to help attract my desires but it is still a link to your system that you have to buy!

    The email was a bit deceiving
    “I just posted an article on my blog
    revealing how the Law of Attraction
    *really* works.

    It’s pretty eye-opening to discover
    the truth.”

    Unless you buy it you will never know it!
    Now that’s a belief I need to change!

    • February 1, 2014 at 9:01 am

      Simon, there are numerous posts on my bog offering steps. I’ve also written numerous books, all free, offering details. (One is at Also, the blog you just read offers enough insight, again for free, to get you going. You don’t have to buy anything (unless you believe you do). 🙂

  9. Marie-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 9:26 am

    Dear Mr Vitale, thank you for sharing your vision with the world. Yes, the law of attraction is ancient wisdom. Recently, I went to a one-day kundalini yoga retreat for “creativity and prosperity”. I was so suprised – or rather: shocked – that the purely yogic techniques they taught were all about tuning yourself in to abundance and success – including abundance of money! I have been practising different types of yoga and to me, yoga has always been associated with love, compassion, humility and letting go of cravings and ego. Was this really ok? To wish for money and success? Was this really “true” yoga? Or was it just som western-adapted style? Turns out it was not, everything was directly from the scriptures. We were also, of course, doing all sorts of relevant physical yogic exercises. But mentally, it was all about affirmations and mantras designed to reprogramme the mind into a more positive state and to open up and receive GOOD THINGS.

    “Prosperity is a gift that comes with every soul.
    We already have prosperity as the heavens have the Sun.
    If we turn toward the light, we will be warmed and filled with energy.
    If we know the art to sense the whispers of our inner direction,
    we can ask the world for what we need”

    “Your supply is equal to your demand. There is no lack of supply, only lack of demand.”

    – Yogi Bhajan

  10. Marie-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 9:31 am

    …not that I don’t need a LOT of practice to master this… 🙂

  11. February 1, 2014 at 9:42 am

    I am so grateful for your contribution to a better world, Joe. Your collection of all those pioneers in human growth and development is miraculous! Thank you.

    My recent discovery is to listen to the words I speak, revealing the flow of my thoughts, which gives me a clue to my unconscious beliefs. Also, I am rigorously using Ho’oponopono every day. Funny how the outside world reflects the flow of my inner world!

    Once again, thank you for being yourself to the maximum!

    Love, Marj

  12. Tony Lotven-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 10:12 am

    Once again Joe, you have reinforced an essential message with great clarity. Simple ho’oponopono has been a daily habit for me for quite some time, and I can do it as I fall asleep or in the middle of a meeting. It has been immensely effective for clearing and cleaning my unconscious beliefs. Not all at once, but it chips away daily. And I can feel tipping points internally as the old weakens. Interestingly, as it happens, taking action accelerates because I have fewer moments of doubt or hesitation from my unconscious beliefs sabotaging inspired thought, which in turn inhibits action.

    I also want to mention what you have termed “Nevillizing”. That is the total sensing of the end result after it has happened. I have married that practice with backward planning. Backward planning brings enormous energy to taking action. It brings so much more intensity and clarity to action than forward planning, thereby helping me get more done and consistently send messages to the universe in line with my nevillized meditations.

    I never know in what form the universe will present my desires. It may be totally different than where my action is aimed. What I do know is that there is a very real process going on here, and it is palpable down to my core. And very exciting and loving.

    And thank you for pointing me to some some “new” old writings that I was unaware of before you post today.


    • February 1, 2014 at 11:15 am

      Thank you, Tony. You are doing great things.

  13. hemali-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 11:20 am

    Dear Joe I just come across some few thought about LOA I am believe it it gives me whatever I planned but still some times I feel it it not work especially for love pl guide me thanks honey from india

  14. Marie-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 11:23 am

    I have a question about the necsessity of clearing unconcious beliefs. According to both yoga and modern brain research, the human brain is extremely plastic (shapeable) which is why repeated reprogramming of the mind with positive thinking (or any thinking) immediately will start creating new paths in the brain, influence the brain activity and literally recreate the brain and thus change our old, “automatic” reactions and thinking patterns. Thus, there should be no need to actively clear out the old beleifs/neuro paths as they will naturally fade away the less they are used?

    • February 1, 2014 at 6:27 pm

      What you mention is just another clearing method; you override old beliefs with new ones. But that’s a slow, tedious process. It doesn’t have to be that difficult.

  15. February 1, 2014 at 11:34 am

    Good work Joe, keep it up…I now know we can’t just hold a thought and sit down and fold our hands waiting for it to manifest without putting feeling and Action.

    Natty Bruce Idigbogu

  16. February 1, 2014 at 12:08 pm

    Hi Joe,

    First, gotta get this out of my system: you’re one of my most favorite LOA teachers in modern times, and you better believe your name is on my “bucket list” of transformational leaders I’d love to do JV with one day soon.

    I absolutely admire and respect your wisdom, your humor and your vast knowledge about human potentiality. I’ve read some of your books, used some of your techniques (my favorite is of course the Ho’Oponopono), and studied some of your programs (Abundance Paradigm & Clearing to Attract Money).

    I now got a good grasp of how my unconscious mind is running the show and why I’m not getting the results I want. But my challenge is still HOW to keep the faith AND expectancy flowing positively at all times, despite the current turmoils in my life? I know your response will most likely be “to keep cleaning and clearing”…and I’m doing that, but somehow the loud negative voice in my head is still talking over my small inner voice of wisdom, and as a result of that, I’m not seeing the results I want in my physical reality. What are your thoughts? I love you. I’m sorry. Please forgive me. Thank you :-).

    • February 1, 2014 at 6:26 pm

      Old habits die, but usually not overnight. Hang in there. The sun is rising.

  17. February 1, 2014 at 1:40 pm

    I believe in addition to your discoveries regarding LOA there is one thing missing. I heard Donald Trump say; his success was due to his extraordinary energy. After years of study, I call it his ESSENCE. Feeling “extraordinarily” good has a direct affect on our mood and thoughts that in turn affect our ability to manifest. A new science that I am just now experimenting with seems to be the missing link – because I manifested like crazy when I was younger. Then I lost a great amount of my essence and my income followed. Now, with the only known solution to restoring and enhancing essence, my ability to manifest is sure to follow.

    • February 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      What you call energy, I call passion. Just do what you love. The energy will follow.

  18. Bob Nesbitt-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 2:31 pm

    After viewing your video, let me see if I understand.. You left information out of previous material that I purchased from you that you feel like you should have put in but if I give you more money you will tell me what is.

    • February 1, 2014 at 6:25 pm

      You’re close. I didn’t know the material, so obviously I couldn’t put it in. I’m still growing and learning. Aren’t you, too? 🙂

  19. Shinji Chijiiwa-Reply
    February 1, 2014 at 3:46 pm

    I found I do not understand LOA. I am shocked. What I want came near , But It go from me. When I am going to have image that I want, I feel joyful to have image. When I enjoy having image,it come near. I want to accept what I want.Please show me how to accept it.

  20. February 1, 2014 at 5:08 pm

    Joe man I love your article.

    You speak genuine psychology Joe, but I challenge your statement, “in reality you attract what you unconsciously believe”

    If you unconsciously believe something, that’s like your surface conscience is already aware of what you unconsciously believe. I find it quite interesting and challenging what you’re saying. How can we unconsciously believe in something Joe? I need you to further explain this.

    I just love to talk philosophically with philosophical people like yourself Joe man. I just love how people love you, you are the perfect example of The Law of Attraction. I see everyone individually, I have a unique gift of seeing wonderful things in people.

    This is my concept of The Law of Attraction and by the way–Thanks for a fabulous article on this subject–I love to be educated.

    The Law of Attraction is like what you sow is what you reap. If I become angry because others ignore my requests, I will portray that foolish anger through unfavorable words which would become my detriment and will result in my not receiving what I rightfully deserve, so anger will not be a solution I will use, instead I will use friendly persuasive high sales pitch to gain your worthy attention to me. The Law of Attraction works for any intelligent person who knows how to converse well and be convincing. The words you speak must prove themselves worthy to a listener or you’ll lose them. The Law of Attraction has been working for me for years. High energy people attract high energy people to them. Tracy Repchuk’s genius attracted my genius to her back years ago when she owned and operated The Canadian Federation of Poets, I wandered in and after a few years of profound writings she made me Manager. She published me in her Poetry Canada magazine, and awoke a sleeping giant.

    I feel privileged to have the great fortune of speaking to great giants who go before me, people like yourself Joe, and Jack Canfield. Louise Hay, Reid Tracy, Steve Harrison, Deepak Chopra, Dr. Wayne Dyer, and of course Tracy Repchuk, I love all you guys/gals for your unique talents and abilities.

    It was all of you people who kept going on and on and on with your encouraging me, you guys/gals just wouldn’t quit and leave me alone, I was becoming bugged by it all, but then a miracle like God moves in mysterious ways happened. Everything all you guys/gals were saying to me encouragingly suddenly like a light bulb went on in my head, I absorbed it all like a sponge and the result is seen in my ACTION.

    You all know what I want, I expect to get what I want and I will. If you guys/gals don’t give me what I want and expect, then if you have any good conscience you’ll give me what I want, because I’m putting my book The Compilations of Foresta Gump out for everyone else other than myself. There’s no real reason or logic as to why you shouldn’t give me your permission to use your good name in my book. I want you all included in, you’ll all make this book fabulous. I will make it fabulous by writing an awesome individual poem for each and everyone of you Joe man. All I need from you is a photo. Tracy Repchuk gave me permission to use her great name, she believes in my work. Let this book happen Joe man with you included in. You already told me you were game, so I can go ahead and start writing an awesome poem about you right?

    God I didn’t mean to sound so long-winded today, I seriously only meant to write a paragraph or two.

    Joe man, please be a good sport and email me with the word YES so I know for certain that you’re in. You guys and gals are holding me back from signing the contract with the publisher and rights agent I’m working with. I don’t want to move forward without all you people agreeing to be included in. All of you will be listed as CONTRIBUTORS of encouragement to me. If none of you wish to be included in, well there goes a good book, however, I will still make it a good book without any of you. I think it would be a better book with all of you included in. It will be a best seller with you big names in it.

    This is the last letter to you in regards to my request of your name being included in The Compilations of Foresta Gump.

    I can’t allow myself to continue begging any of you, but just know it was all of you who encouraged me to movement. I already have a big portion of my book complete.

    This is not the only book that will be coming out, I have many books residing in me. One of them will be a best seller, mark my words Joe man.

    • February 1, 2014 at 6:28 pm

      Your surface conscious, as you describe it, doesn’t have a clue what’s in the unconscious. That’s the grand deception: thinking the conscious knows.

  21. katayoun-Reply
    February 2, 2014 at 7:21 am

    Thank you, I enjoy it, and i want to realise all my dreams to come true.

  22. Shannon-Reply
    February 2, 2014 at 9:12 am

    I am a new student to you. I have been practicing the LOA for a few months with limited success. I bought the secret mirror and a two of your books I am in the middle of one now. Everything you say resonates with me except one thing. I have no idea how I feel about money or why I have negative thoughts and feelings about it. Until yesterday I would have said it’s just money and I have no where near enough. So I am learning thank you for all you do.

  23. Adam Bazile-Reply
    February 2, 2014 at 9:36 am

    Hi I’m a big fan and thanks for all of your wisdom. That’s the most profound way I’ve heard your statement put about attracting what you unconsciously believe which is so true. The unconscious is the computer that controls what we want and will only allow us to do what will help us not hurt us so if we unconsciously believe that something will make us feel bad or harm us then it won’t allow it no matter how much we consciously tell ourselves it will help us, the unconscious has to know the feeling will be pleasure and not pain. People don’t realize how powerful our mind and subconscious is to think that I have no idea what muscles in my body I would need to move in order to pick up a glass of water but my subconscious knows exactly all I have to do I DECIDE that I want to pick it up and it takes care of everything else or how if we have a strong urge to relieve our waste system that unless we are actually ready to do it it will suppress our body to prevent it from happening on ourselves but the closer we get to the bathroom our bodies begin the process of letting it happen just amazing. In my experience the most success I’ve had in attraction which I had been doing without knowing what I was doing was in the area of attracting the opposite sex. It was only when I TOTALLY experienced in my imagination the experience that I physically wanted to experience meaning I raised my feelings or vibration level so high and then released it that eventually it manifested. One experience took 12 years but it happened. As Napoleon Hill stated by using the law of sex transmutation we can raise our vibration level in order to attract the thing we want on that frequency. This is what I’ve been working at doing more of lately concerning other things I want to attract. Please clarify any of my opinions Joe.

    • February 2, 2014 at 9:53 am

      Sounds like you are on the right track, Adam.

  24. February 2, 2014 at 10:50 am

    After the visualisation and the doing, there has to be letting go. If we keep a tight hold on what we want, how can we release it out into the Universe? How can the Universe receive the request for what we ask for, and give it to us (or something even better)?

    This was brought home to me a few days ago. I moved from Switzerland to the UK just over a year ago, bringing with me my Subaru (Alcyone) SVX sports car. I tried and tried to find headlights and a speedometer to comply with UK requirements. Nothing came of it.

    About 7 months ago, someone rang our doorbell and asked if I was interested in selling the car. As I was about to go on vacation, I told him I’d think about it and get back to him. I finally got through to him after months of trying. Unfortunately, the price I was asking (very reasonable, I thought, in comparison to the current market value) was too much for him.

    I then made one last try to find what I wanted on the Internet. Within an hour, I found a supplier in Japan who could sell me a full set of headlights. Another supplier, this time in the USA, popped up out of nowhere who sold me a speedometer. Once they’re delivered, a local garage will fit them and check the car for compliance.

    I think I was holding on to my car too much, and thus getting in my own way. Once I let go (i.e., I was prepared to sell the car), the Universe responded by showing me how I could keep it.

    So, letting go is just as important as knowing what you want to achieve and taking action to achieve it!

    • February 2, 2014 at 11:18 am

      Thank you, Stephen. My clairification in this area is that we need to let go for us, not for the Universe. The Universe knows what we want. But if we haven’t let go, then we are illustrating a limiting belief on our part. The letting go is for you.

      • February 3, 2014 at 8:31 am

        Agreed. It’s just that I sometimes have the feeling that, when I don’t let go, the Universe acts as though I don’t want it yet. That was the point I was trying to make. It seems that we’re thinking in a similar direction after all.

  25. February 4, 2014 at 6:03 am

    I am very grateful to you and Rhonda Byrne for the fact that once again I could discover the secret again. I am writing to you from Poland ( beautiful sunny in the middle of winter -today ) .
    I got here for you because after reading the secret reached for your book ( The Key : The Missing Secret … ) and currently I am on the side where you enter it in your blog address .
    I am filled with joy, thankful for the fact that I have the opportunity to read it.
    Soon I assume my own company ( so far I had no idea of ​​the name ) .
    I wanted to go to your blog , but mistakenly typed a different address. I saw the entered name , and I felt a wave of heat, immediately came to my mind that this will be called my company !

    I feel happiness , joy, gratitude. All the beautiful emotions.

    I could write and write , and the words would not end. I am very grateful to you for being open my eyes and soul to the beauty of life.

    I’m going back to reading your book .

    Thank you again 🙂

    Greetings from Poland


  26. May 13, 2014 at 1:23 am

    Enjoyed the bit of history at the beginning of the blog. I’m a big believer/user of affirmations and positive thinking as a motivational resource – to get yourself in the right frame of mind to do and to achieve. I just discovered your blog. Look forward to reading all your posts.

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