“What you think you create, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you become.”

What you think you create, what you feel you attract“What you think you create, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you become.”

This one is commonly attributed to the Buddha, although it’s very modern and law-of-attraction-y. It’s also found as “What you think you become, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you create.”

I haven’t been able to definitively find a source, but I believe it to have been written by Adele Basheer, who designs greetings cards for her company, Intrinsic.

According to her website, “While her personal mantra is the “what you think you create” message, Adele also feels that all it takes is believing…”

The Buddha, on the other hand, pointed out in the Ittha Sutta that if we want qualities like long life, beauty, happiness, status, or a good rebirth, there’s no point simply wishing for those things. Wishing positive things is fine, but we must also engage with the path of practice that leads to them.

He certainly wouldn’t agree with a statement like “all it takes is believing,” and in fact that’s a notion that he roundly ridiculed:

Suppose a man were to throw a large boulder into a deep lake of water, and a great crowd of people, gathering and congregating, would pray, praise, and circumambulate with their hands palm-to-palm over the heart [saying,] ‘Rise up, O boulder! Come floating up, O boulder! Come float to the shore, O boulder!’ What do you think: would that boulder — because of the prayers, praise, and circumambulation of that great crowd of people — rise up, come floating up, or come float to the shore?

I can imagine that discourse raising a few chuckles from the bhikkhus!

7 thoughts on ““What you think you create, what you feel you attract, what you imagine you become.””

  1. So Buddha did say that that it was possible to “get” positive things in your life by “doing” something? What do you mean by “the path of practice that leads to them”?

    1. I was actually citing the Ittha Sutta (which the article links to) in talking about the “path of practice” that leads to beauty, health, happiness, etc. In general this would be the entire path of Buddhist practice, but the Buddha often emphasized being ethical, and especially the act of giving, as creating health, happiness, and beauty.

      Generally I find this to be the case. People who are kind and compassionate have a beauty that isn’t dependent on the genetic lottery that creates symmetrical features, high cheekbones, full lips, etc. Those purely physical attributes can create an impression of beauty up to a certain point in life, but our emotional life soon takes over. As Orwell said, “At fifty, everyone has the face he deserves.” Personally I’d put the cutoff date a bit earlier.

  2. Your article delivers your ignorance on the subject of the power of thinking. Your article has no substance or point. If you believe in what you are writing to the world, you would have put your name on the end of the article.

    1. Benjamin, the point of the article is to point out that the quote is not actually attributable to Buddha. The substance is that there actually is a path to manifest positive change in one’s life, but it is not simply wishing for it.

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