The Laws of Success, often called the 'Laws of the Mind', are used to explain how the subconscious mind works and how to predict and control behavior. The Laws of Success were developed out of thousands of therapy sessions. Tests have shown that the Laws of Success such as the Law of Reversed Effect and the Law of Expectation are reliable and permanent. Understanding the Laws of Success helps when formulating Affirmations and hypnotic suggestions.
The Laws of Success, like the 'Power of positive thinking' are based on the way the subconscious mind works and follows from the Law of Expectations. In the subconscious mind everything happens for a reason and that reason is explained by one or more of the Laws of Success. By using the Laws of Success subconscious behavior, habits and reactions can be understood.
Everything happens for a reason
The world is not random, everything happens because something else happened. There is cause and effect. Everything happens for a reason. Your actions have consequences. Whatever state you are in now is a result of choices you made in the past. Whatever you get in the future will be the result of choices you make now. Sitting and waiting will not get you anything. Only by deciding what you want, and taking action, can you get what you want. The outcomes you get are directly determined by what you do, or what you don't do, not by chance or luck, or other people's actions. You determine your own future: the future is predictable, and under your control.
The harder you try, the less you will succeed
The Law of Reverse Effect (also known as the Law of Reversed Effort) states that when dealing with the power of the subconscious mind, the greater the conscious effort, the smaller the subconscious response. The subconscious mind is there to protect you. That is its primary function. It learns and remembers rules of behavior that prevent you from getting hurt. These rules and behaviors are created in response to some emotional event, usually in childhood. Every situation that is similar to the childhood event gets treated according to the rule that was made up then. If the rule works it gets reinforced and becomes a habit and becomes your standard, immediate, subconscious response.
The Law of Reverse effect means that any attempt to change the habit, the automatic behavior, gets fiercely resisted because that would mean abandoning the rule. And the unconscious knows that if the rule is not followed then you will get hurt. And it will do anything to prevent that. So when you try to change the habitual response, it is regarded as an attack by the unconscious mind, and is resisted. The more pressure you apply the more resistance is generated. (The correct way to attain change is use the mind's own change processes: creative visualization and emotional association, which was the way the rule was put there in the first place).
Every thought creates a measurable effect in your body
It is obvious that if you think about something that scares you, your heart rate will increase and your palms will sweat. If you deliberately think about relaxing in a hammock with a cool drink your blood pressure will gradually decrease. In fact every thought lies somewhere between these extremes and one of the Laws of Success says that every thought causes some sort of measurable physical reaction, even if you are not consciously aware of it. This is what causes panic attacks. This is also how the Power of Positive Thinking works.
How you think affects your health.
An emotionally induced state tends to cause organic change if it goes on long enough. Chronic emotional states such as prolonged anxiety or anger causes raised levels of stress hormones and these in turn cause permanent physical damage to your health. On the other hand a persistent optimistic outlook produces different hormones and can extend life by several years. This law of success means that since the way you think is a personal choice, you can think yourself healthy.
What you think is what you get
When dealing with the mind, imagination is more powerful than knowledge. The subconscious mind does not work on strict logic. The subconscious mind is the domain of feelings, images and imaginings. The law of success says that to influence the subconscious it is necessary to use the tools that the mind responds to naturally. For most people that is visualization and guided imagery. The mind cannot tell the difference between something vividly imagined and something real. Therefore visualizing an outcome will be more effective than saying it or wishing it.
What you think is what you see
Vision is in the mind, not the eyes. The Law of Expectations states that what is expected is what appears in your world. If you are convinced the world is full of opportunities your mind will recognize opportunities everywhere and bring them to your conscious attention. If you believe that the world is full of failure then your mind will not recognize an opportunity when it finds one. If you can't see the opportunity then you can't act on it and therefore your world will become full of failures, and your expectations will be realized. The Law of Expectation law of success means "Whether you think you can, or you think you can't, you're right".
A strong idea can change your truth
Two opposing ideas cannot be held in the mind at the same time. This is similar to the Law of Reverse Effect. The mind will not allow two opposite ideas to co-exist since they would cause endless conflict. The mind gets round this problem by inventing reasons justifying why one of them is a special exception. Smokers for example know they are killing themselves but keep smoking. The mind invents justifications to get round this conflict by defining smoking as 'helpful' - "It helps me relax", "It helps me think" etc., all of which are nonsense but which allow the mind to reconcile the two opposing beliefs "smoking will kill me" and "I choose to smoke". Not only that, if one of your beliefs is later shown to be wrong, you are more likely to defend it, and this can actually cause people to strengthen their beliefs in the face of conflicting evidence.
The longer you hold a belief, the stronger it gets
Once an idea has been accepted by the subconscious mind, it remains there until it is replaced by another idea. This law of success is the basis of the saying "You can"t teach an old dog new tricks". The subconscious mind exists to let you survive in your environment. If you had to think about what to do every time you encountered a door or a smile you would be unable to function. The subconscious learns one response to a situation and after it works OK a few times it stops thinking about any other responses. This saves a huge amount of time and effort, but of course applying the same response to slightly different situations can lead to problems.
The more you use an idea, the stronger it becomes
The longer the idea remains, the more opposition there is to replacing it with a new idea. The more times a response is used in a given situation and seems to give a satisfactory outcome the more embedded that response becomes. The longer it is used the more reinforcement the idea gets and more certain the belief that it is the correct way to respond. Due to reinforcement the mind creates fixed neural pathways which are very difficult to dislodge.
Repeating a suggestion makes it more powerful
Each suggestion acted upon creates less opposition to successive suggestions. A reinforced idea creates strong neural pathways in the brain, but these are not totally fixed. As soon as the mind accepts the idea that it needs to re-evaluate the standard response to a situation then it starts to build new pathways. At first these are like temporary road diversions, and can get pushed aside, but as the new response is used again and again the pathways get more firmly established. Eventually the old pathways wither away because they are no longer being reinforced.
This not actually one of the Laws of Success, but many people think it is so it is included here. The Law of Attraction is associated with Affirmations. Affirmations work because what you unconsciously believe about yourself is signaled in your body language and your speech patterns. Other people will notice this and they will begin to treat you differently.
So, what you tell yourself becomes what you believe and what you believe influences others and becomes real. The influence on others includes being offered opportunities and being treated more favorably. This is known as the Law of Attraction.
At first reading the Laws of Success might seem mysterious or be hinting at some greater power that rules our behavior, but in fact they are simple observations of ordinary people's ordinary behavior.
A close analysis of the 'Laws of Success' shows that they are true, because each of the Laws of Success is in fact supported by scientific research. Most of the Laws of Success are just restatements of the principles of Classical Conditioning in psychology. Pavl ov proved that the more an animal is rewarded after a behavior, the more likely it is to repeat that behavior. Even after the reward is withdrawn the animal tends to continue with the behavior. Humans are no different. Other findings are that if a behavior is not reinforced it tends to go into extinction, especially if a different reinforcer is used for the same behavior. This is how bad habits are replaced. Physiological studies have shown that stress does indeed cause illness, and that visualizing a sunny day can improve your mood.
So although various writers give their own explanations for the laws of the mind, or use them to prove their own particular brand of therapy, the 'laws of success' such as the Law of Expectations are actually universal and due to the natural power of the subconscious mind. You do not have to believe in any of them for them to be true. The Laws of Success are just a natural outcome of the way the human brain works.