Why is this funny?

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”

Every time I relate that line to someone, they smile and laugh.


It’s a great example of a paraprosdokian. A paraprosdokian is a sentence where the ending comes as an unexpected surprise. Another example is this –

“Going to church doesn’t make you a Christian any more than standing in a garage makes you a car.”

I love how you can structure writing to make an impact. That’s why I wrote the book, Hypnotic Writing. But that isn’t the point of this blog post. Instead, I want to explore why the first paraprosdokian is funny, as it helps explain the Law of Attraction.

Most people believe God (or Divine, Tao, Nature, Allah, etc.) won’t grant wishes. That’s the underlying reason the above line triggers a smile. You can ask God for a healing, but you can’t ask God for stuff.  God isn’t Santa Claus. Not according to popular belief, anyway.

Deeper than that belief is the one that says while God won’t grant wishes, He/She will take away sins. God’s loving and understanding, so of course He can release you of your oops.

As a result of this thinking, it’s easier to ask for forgiveness than to ask for what you want. At least, that’s how some people think.

That’s pretty messed up, isn’t it?

This is why I keep writing books, such as The Awakening Course and The Attractor Factor, to explore the programming behind what we think, feel, and do. Most of us are running on autopilot. We have no idea we are led by the nose by our mental programming or mindset. Our beliefs – mostly unconscious – filter reality.

I was reading the new book, Redirect by Timothy Wilson, and loving the idea of story editing the meaning we give events, until I realized the author was victim to programming he didn’t even see.

Read for a change

Read for a change

In his book, he blows the whistle on different causes or processes that he says don’t actually work. Early on, he takes aim at the movie The Secret.

He quotes me as saying the reason you have what you have is due to your thoughts. He apparently missed the part where I said you have what you have due to your actions. Thoughts are only part of the equation.

Glossing over facts because they don’t support your underlying message is a common way to communicate.

But it’s not real. Or accurate.

Again, it’s not the author’s fault. He’s as unconscious as the rest of us.

In the same book, the author suggests that self-help books don’t actually work, else there would be a stand out title in the field. That’s strange logic, but let’s run with it. In the same chapter, he mentions one of the all-time greatest self-help books, Norman Vincent Peale’s 1952 The Power of Positive Thinking.

How’d he miss that?

He also fails to mention such historic self-help treasures as Think and Grow Rich (been around since the 1930s), and The Magic of Believing (came out in the 1950s, still a classic today).

How’d he miss those?

On top of all that, he overlooks the fact that new cookbooks are published every week, and there are thousands of those in print, yet no one suggests “they don’t work.”

How’d he overlook that?

I’m not kicking the author’s shins, as I enjoyed his book and urge you to read it. But I am reminding us that we all have unconscious blind spots – even authors who try to help us see them. We don’t see them because they are unconscious.

The point of life is to awaken.

But how?

Paying attention to the results we get and then reverse engineering them to discover the thoughts, beliefs, feelings, and actions that created them, will help.

New book coming October!

New book coming October!

My forthcoming new book, Instant Manifestation, explores all this. It reveals that what you attracted right now is based on what you thought and did a few days ago.

When you understand that process, you can redirect your thoughts and actions right now, to attract a different reality in the near future.

What are you thinking right now?

What are you going to do next?

Your answers will attract what’s just around the corner.

Choose wisely.

Finally, to swing back to our opening example:

“I asked God for a bike, but I know God doesn’t work that way. So I stole a bike and asked for forgiveness.”

Forgiveness is a powerful tool for transformation. But you don’t need God/Divinity to forgive you. You need to forgive yourself.

Manifesting what you want is a God given birthright, though you may not have known it until recently. You don’t need to ask God/Divinity to deliver anything to you. You need to ask yourself and your connection to All That Is for what is in your highest good to receive.

Now go forth and make your life miraculous.

Ao Akua,


PS — Remember that an effective personal service to help you become more aware and attract more of what you want is Miracles Coaching. There are audio interviews and brief videos on the site to explain how it can help you, and you can register for a free consultation there, too. Go see http://www.miraclescoaching.com

Member BBB 2003 - 2011

Member BBB 2003 - 2011


  1. September 1, 2011 at 9:23 am


    Dear Joe,

    In answer to the question you posed this morning in your e-mail, human beings are the best long-distance runners in the mammalian family. Other animals may be faster, but they tire more easily. Track any animal, horse or otherwise, and eventually you will find it resting.

    Building a cerebral cortex takes a lot of fats. Getting those fats meant running down animals who had already done all the work of gathering them – so evolutionary principles and the need for a leg up on the survival game made us into the world’s greatest runners.

    • September 1, 2011 at 9:28 am

      For those who are scratching their head right now, Tennyson is referring to an email I sent to my list this morning that had the headline, “How You Can Outrun a Horse.”

  2. September 1, 2011 at 10:09 am

    Thank you for this enlightening post. As a “recovering Catholic” I find myself really challenging stringent old beliefs during my awakening process. Things like suffering is noble, God will test your strength by taking away everything you love, God is “up there” watching your every move (and laughing while you screw up), you must do without and struggle to prove your love to God, you are never worthy enough to receive His love… no wonder I’ve been manifesting lack, scarcity and abuse for so many years!

    As I am learning the Divine is within me I am making powerful new choices that honor both Spirit and my physical self, I concentrate on bringing them into alignment rather than the separation of the two. This alignment helps me inspire those around me to be their true selves, and a ripple effect is born.

    Thank you for your great work, I always learn from your wisdom.

    In light,

    • September 1, 2011 at 10:11 am

      Thank you, Debi. I appreciate the comment and compliment.

  3. Jerry McGrellis-Reply
    September 1, 2011 at 11:25 am

    Hi Joe

    Thanks for clarifying “He quotes me as saying the reason you have what you have is due to your thoughts. He apparently missed the part where I said you have what you have due to your actions. Thoughts are only part of the equation.” Many people think the money will fall out of the sky. What I have learned from reading your books is that you have to state what you want then take guided action for it to manifest. All parts are equally important.


    • September 1, 2011 at 12:14 pm

      Jerry, it’s good to see you get the complete picture. Enjoy the process.

  4. Mark J. Gordon-Reply
    September 1, 2011 at 2:01 pm

    Joe Vitale,

    I had an idea fro the “Attract Money Now” group. I heard a few years ago about a family or family and friend loan group. I think they called it a “chit” group. The idea is as follows. If 1000 people each put in a dollar a week. Then each week a random drawing gives one of the members $1,000. The good part is you just keep doing this . A dollar in every week. So when you get the $1,000 you send in a dollar just like always. No big heavy “payback.” Think about this idea. And let me know if you think the group could do this.

    Mark J. Gordon

    • September 6, 2011 at 5:22 am

      Hi Mark. I think you should run it by the group.

  5. September 2, 2011 at 8:39 am

    I’m looking forward to reading your new book. I have to admit I don’t read all of your posts but I was inspired to open and read this one. I’m having the most incredible ride of my life and I think I finally get how when thoughts, feelings and emotions line up, manifestation (aka miracles?) occurs. You were a key mentor in my spiritual journey that started around 2006 and I always keep one eye on your posts. Thanks for all the great reads and inspiration. Love from Toronto.

  6. September 2, 2011 at 2:17 pm

    Thank you for your great work and vision, I always learn something from you

  7. September 3, 2011 at 8:50 am

    Dear Joe Vitale, I have written to you many times, but you have not answered me yet. I don’t know why we can’t contact because I wrote to you by e-mail, by fax and I telephoned you, but there was no one to answer my call. I hope this time you will answer my message and I will know can I publish your book? I am a psychologist and I translated your book titled “Life’s Missing Instruction Manual” with great pleasure. I need your permission as the author of the book to publish it. Dear Joe Vitale I like your books very much. Thank you for them.

    • September 6, 2011 at 5:20 am

      You would need the permission of the publisher, who is Wiley in NJ.

  8. Arvin-Reply
    September 3, 2011 at 12:31 pm

    Hi JOE,

    Just wanted to thank you for making possible to obtained “The book of EST”…Truly an amazing book.

  9. September 4, 2011 at 10:27 am

    Dearest Joe,

    Thank you for inspiring books and articles you are writing for us to change our lives over years.

    I learned everything I know and apply from you. EFT, 5 Steps Formula, Self Healing, cleansing, Hooponopono etc. I realized that when I decided to study N.Hill’s books and put the others away – because I was only reading and gathering information but not taking action… Unlike the other people – my guide was you and I actually had to study your books instead. Because when I put the Think & Grow Rich aside and take The Attractor Factor in my hands, the ideas of creating some new products came to me instantly.

    I discovered the “passive income” concept on the same very book. Imagine if you never published it I might never discover it. Or if I keep my self limited with Hill’s work and never buy any other book – I might never heard about that there are people who really have passive income while they enjoying their lives. I also learned many many authors which you quoted on your books. One of them is Bob Doyle which is super cool guy who likes my 3D work and photography! And sometimes we have correspondence on Facebook! 😀

    Energy, hopes and ideas I got from your books sped up my healing when I was sick. And Zero Limits helped me to get over my grandmother’s passing away.

    My area of expertise is not on Self Development. I’m a 3D artist and living in Turkey. Makes everything harder. But I’ve discovered the idea of creating and selling 3D models online through a website based on your country while reading The Attractor Factor. Too many rivalry on our area and creating a good portfolio to sell models requires a LOT of work! But I am on it – and no intention to give up. I have other products like calendars and wall art, but since 3D models are helping other artists to finish their projects quickly, it sells more than calendars and art posters.

    Am I comparing you with one of the biggest founder of self development, N. Hill ?! (for some this might a sort of sin :)). Well yes and no… Actually his books are not firing me like yours! – that’s my experience. So that comparing is just a personal thing.

    I believe we are now in a very different era. I’m not on steelwork and we are on “information and internet era”. We are not finding our connections on streets of New York or meeting rooms of steel factories, but as you clearly stated on “My Nightingale-Contant Miracle” part on The Attractor Factor – we connect together through internet which is a miracle of itself. I might never able to say these to you if there’s no internet!

    And the experience and stories you are sharing on your books relate to me much more since my work is also runs with the internet.

    I’d like to thank you also that you used the name Allah. I’m a Muslim, not religious but spiritual. I’m a partisan of the caliph Ali & follow Mevlana Celaleddin Rumi’s work. The name Allah related with hate and death so much, unfortunately because of fanatic terror activities. I remember my beloved Grandmother were praying while I was a little kid and I listen to her, I think that’s because that name always gives peace and reminds my dreamy childhood days. So I feel warm to see that name on your article.

    I’m so grateful to know you, thanks to The Secret and to the day I’ve found it on a book store – or it found me?! :)) – and When I saw you on the movie I remember that I really inspired by your spirituality while you also attracting money, health and riches of life. I’ve realized that they are all the same parts of a whole – because of you. Thanks for being You! 🙂


  10. September 4, 2011 at 11:07 am

    Hi Joe,
    I like how you mentioned that the Author is as unconscious as the rest of us.

    Even with all of the learning, reading, and experiencing of life I still have times during the day where I am completely unconscious.

    Thank God my awareness kicks me in the pants to wake me up when I need it most. If not I would have the walking Zombie syndrome.

  11. September 6, 2011 at 4:01 pm

    HI Dr. Joe,
    I appreciate that you continue to help people understand the law of attraction and addressing the reasons why “it doesn’t work”.
    Thank you for your thoughtful post:)

  12. September 6, 2011 at 4:29 pm

    Do you have Chinese version for your book? I do borrow some your Chinese book in the library, could we read the Chinese version on your web-site? If you need people translate your book to Chinese, maybe I can help!! God Bless!!

  13. September 8, 2011 at 12:44 pm

    Nice post Joe, it reminds me many things. But I think you did not complete a thorough homework before making this post. Especially where you said “you don’t need to ask God anything”.
    “Ask and it shall be given unto you… Matthew 7:7”
    In life, it’s not everything you achieve by share strenght, intelligence or ability. Well, “a fool says there is no God, but he’s a bigger fool that thinks “to hell with God”. I might not be the wisest around but I ve heard, observed and seen that sometimes ability, intelligence and strenght will fail.
    For many other things you said, I agree but for this one.

  14. October 7, 2011 at 1:53 pm

    I have read your book The Attractor Factor and I listen to The Clearing Audio and The Clearing Mind Blast daily. I cannot wait for Instant Manifestation to come out. October 11th can’t get here soon enough.

  15. Andy Infante-Reply
    October 17, 2011 at 1:25 pm


    I’ve been following you a few years, and actually just read your book the Attractor Factor. I’ve always been in favor of self-help; knowing that individually we are in control of our lives, internalizing that idea, etc. I always key-in on the notion that viewing/reading/being exposed to negative energy pulls us in that direction, so I’ve tried to avoid the mainstream news sources and looked towards alternative views to see how the non-corporate personhood really views the direction(s) of this world. In that regard, I’d like to know what your opinion is (not that it matters, just for information’s sake) on the burgeoning #occupy movement that is attracting followers all over the world. I think to say “no comment” or “I have no opinion” is a cop-out (not that you would do that! :-).

    • October 18, 2011 at 7:05 am

      Never heard of any occupy movement.

  16. October 24, 2011 at 5:29 pm

    Deseo adquirir el libro cero limites; ¿como lo obtengo? Muchas gracias.

Leave A Comment