I first learned about affirmations from Scott Adams’ book The Dilbert Future. Basically, the idea is that you write down whatever you want to achieve 15 times every day, and eventually you’ll get it. For example:

“I, John Smith, will become a millionaire.”  (x 15)

Assuming, of course, that your name is John Smith and you want to be a millionaire. If John did this enough, the thinking goes, he should become a millionaire eventually. In his book, Scott Adams recounts numerous instances in which this process worked for him. If what he says in the book is true, it’s pretty eerie. But I didn’t believe him when I read it, and I’m not sure I do now.

What really interests me isn’t even whether it works–though that would be useful, of course. But first, what I really want to understand is: how it could work; in other words, is it even theoretically possible? I realize that’s a strange thing to say, but it’s not as odd a concept as you might think–for example, some physicists believe that it’s theoretically possible to travel through time by entering a black hole–it’s just that there is nothing in the Universe that could survive the trip.

Scott Adams does have some theories on the nature of reality that could explain how affirmations work, but I am skeptical. I hate to try something out when I have no reason to think it will work other than anecdotal evidence.

What's your stake in this, cowboy?