Learning to apply the law of attraction to achieve success is simply a matter of properly educating oneself, argues Samuels (Just Ask the Universe, 2011) in this personably written self-help guide.
Formal education, Samuels argues, doesn’t offer the tools needed to properly define and achieve success. Using the law of attraction—the idea that focusing on the positive will bring about positive experiences, and vice versa for negative thoughts—as the basis for his approach, he delineates several tools and techniques useful in defining what success really means on a personal level and steps to take to reach those goals. Visualization, focused lists, putting an end to gossip and other negative thought patterns, forgiveness—each of these and more are incorporated into Samuels’ four-year plan, framed much like the traditional college experience. Numerous quotes and references to pop-culture figures highlight the various concepts, giving the book a more contemporary feel than many self-help guides. However, despite this contemporary feel and Samuels’ warm authorial voice, some readers may be less inclined to accept the book’s assertions, as many of them rely on similar concepts found in Robert Collier’s The Secret of the Ages, whom Samuels cites. Skeptics of such New Age ideas may also find some of Samuels’ metaphors—particularly his portrayal of karma in terms of wireless networking—excessively simplistic and reductive. More relevantly, while the book sets out to promote spirituality, the majority of Samuels’ arguments and definitions of success revolve around material success, often exemplified by famous actors and singers, although renowned scientists and businessmen are also referenced. The slight emphasis on materialism may further distance readers disenchanted with the money-driven world. However, despite a few tonal missteps, readers who accept the law of attraction as a valid principle will find much to enjoy, particularly with Samuels’ breezy, straightforward writing style.
A direct approach and friendly tone go a long way toward making Samuels’ guide a quick, entertaining read.