The Secret, which posits some kind of spirit-babble psychic feel-good voodoo, tells you essentially that, if you’re willing to think very very hard about something, you will magically attract it to you.

Mostly, I figure if you think very, very hard about something, you’ll probably just get hungry, or have to pee, and that will be the dramatic conclusion and about all you’ll get for the deal.

But I’m not above magical thinking. Oh, no. I like magical thinking. Each thought a pegasus, carrying my wishes into Zeus’ ear, and then he laughs and scratches his beard and throws a lightning bolt that cooks me from the inside out, and my skin gets all fried-chicken-crispy, and then my family and friends can come and pick at me, noshing on my flesh, wiping their greasy fingers on their khakis, laughing as someone makes a joke about how “it’s all dark meat,” which doesn’t make sense because I’m super-white, but they laugh anyway, and –

Shit, where was I?

Right. Magical thinking.

Here’s my theory. It sounds magical, but when you dig deep, you’ll find a trembling core of logic.

If you meet the Universe halfway, the Universe will meet you for the other half.

Part of success is about luck. It just is. Sorry. It’s about chance encounters, about noticing opportunities in strange places, about going one way and then finding that a whole other and better thing waits. Life’s just sort of fucked-up that way.

But, you can make your own luck, and that’s what my theory is about. You won’t get struck by lightning if you don’t go out into the rainstorm, and from there you can up your chances. Metal umbrella. Open field. A key and a kite. Whatever. You still need lightning to strike you. Can’t guarantee it. Lightning does whatever lightning wants. Trust me. Just last week, lightning gut-punched me and stole my cell phone, and then made a bunch of roaming calls to his lightning buddies. Lightning is a dick.

It sounds like magical thinking, but it’s really not. If you want something, you simply have to start maneuvering yourself into the right place. You still have to do work. You still have to work hard. But work alone is not the only component to success. You have to work towards luck, towards knowing the right people, being in the right place, and keeping an eye out for those randomly opened doors.

You have to stand in the field, flapping your arms, waving your umbrella.

You have to be where the lightning is maybe possibly hopefully going to strike.

There you have it. Self-help from me, a total jerk-faced nobody on the Intertoobs. Use it or lose it.


  • Absolutely. 3 cheers, and Amen.

    I’m generally not a magical thinker. Sometime after I learned about Quantum theory and saw some Hubble shots, I sorta felt the material was more than holding its own.

    But I still dig magic metaphorically and inspirationally.

    I think, I get most annoyed with magical thinking when its framed in a simplistic tarot-cards-from-Spencer-gifts kind of way. Or that you can learn a simple magic phrase to open a door.

    I always envision magic spells as a real major process. It takes time, its spiritually and physically taxing and involves some serious work. You need to find the newt, skin the newt, pluck out its eyes fresh or the whole thing doesn’t work. And most of the ingredients come from bears, or boars or things much larger and more challenging then newts.

    Although newts can be hard to catch too.

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