The Blame Game

The complete guide to blaming: How to play and how to quit.

Throw Away Your Vision Board

Vision or Dream boards have achieved notoriety in the past few years with the release of the book, The Secret. An endorsement from Oprah also didn’t hurt. Read More

Vision boards

Great article Neil, I hope a lot of people take a few minutes to read it.

I have been greatly frustrated with those who sell others on dreaming without doing. I tell people...

"Positive thoughts without positive action is a positive waste of time"

Thanks for shedding some light on the truth!

Throw Away Your Vision Board

Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.

Blame the people who don't take action not the Vision Board

ASK, BELIEVE, RECEIVE was the mantra promoted in THE SECRET but that's that enough by any means, in fact it is WISHFUL OR MAGICAL THINKING.

That's why in my bestseller THE VISION BOARD; the secret to an extraordinary life from Harper Collins I tie in the ancient art and science of visioning and reveal my 5 step creative process called GRABS

Start with GRATITUDE, Be Ready to RECEIVE, Release negativity, Acknowledge and own your own power and take ACTION. Be authentic to your true self as you mover forward BELIEVING in your vision as you take the steps (or giant leap forward). SHARE your vision and your success by helping others take action toward their goals. My 150 Certified Vision Board coaches are trained in prompting people how to take action and co-create with the universe their vision (action) path. Created using our proprietary method along with expert coaching people who use visioning and vision boards discover how to harness the power of:

***picture elicitation:

***visual imagery for healing:



***mental imagery:

****mental simulation:

***word association:

***Depictive representations:

***Motor imagery

***attentional focus:
Athletic Insight - Attentional Focusing Strategies Influence Muscle

***lucid dreaming: AND

***color psychodynamics:

***mental cleansing

and immersive simulation:

Of course it's not the Vision Board that "WORKS" it's you working your vision path and the mind/body emotional response connection.

See and hear more than 30 hours of free podcasts, audios, radio interviews, videos and TV interview links and blog posts and articles in such publications as Fox News, Art & Healing News, Science Daily and more

I agree with Joyce Schwarz

Wow. I really don't know what to say about this article. Being a nurse, I can say, this article is typical of traditional medicine.
Is not willing to look outside the box. I have had amazing results with clients as they are led through visualizing exercises.

I don't see that people are "selling" people on dreams, Guru Edwards. What is your business? What do you "sell" people on? And what makes that OK, and other ideas not OK? WHO decides just what is a good idea, and what's not a good idea?

I LOVE the research that Joyce Schwarz provided. She certainly has provided more than enough information to show how effective this method is. The attitude of being GRATEFUL is huge! I try to keep an open mind, and look outside the box. This is how we grow. Joyce, I really appreciate the time you took to provide such great information.

Dr. Farber, you call yourself an international expert on blaming. I'm glad you've found a niche that depicts your dreams, purpose, and passion.

I'm glad Joyce Schwarz has allowed herself to also follow her dreams, purpose, and passion. I really haven't seen Joyce put down other people or methods. She is a positive influence. You should invest in Joyce's book, The Vision Board. Maybe you wouldn't "blame" vision boards for failed dreams anymore.

Joyce also has a book coming out soon, along with some fabulous co-authors. You may want to get this when it comes out. Heart of Success. See, there are those who really have a heart to see others succeed. She does an amazing job.

Vision Boards, Law of Attraction, etc.

I agree with Joyce and Joyce. It is interesting that those who do not spend the time understanding all of the facets of manifestation will critique it. The Vision Board is the first step of several.

Quantum physics is now supporting what metaphysicians have been saying for thousands of years. We are all interconnected via energy. There are laws re energy which science does not comprehend, let alone understand.

The people for whom the Law of Attraction is successful are those who have taken the time to go deeper than a few books (e.g. The Secret) and to understand the dynamics of higher vibrational living, that the vibration of love from the heart is the key to all, and a few other things that those who critique are not privy to because most people do not study what they do not like or resonate with. Everything in its own good time, as they say.

The Movers and Shakers of the world are successful because the work they do obviously raises their vibrational level. What is they worked 10 or 20% less and spent 10 - 20% more time in meditation, their imagination, etc.

Many great inventor's found things by accident, from dreams, from looking at clouds or daydreaming. So actually a lot of action is not necessarily a good replacement for the imagination.

The concept of having your vibrational level match that which you want to draw into physical reality via manifestation is a concept that gets glossed over and missed. This is the action part that is far more effective that "working" harder at a job or gathering money.

Check out some free Esther Hicks videos on YouTube ... she is the expert in eloquence re The Law of Attraction. Many people have read her books for years and are still feeling their way through the process.

If getting a black belt in karate or a gold medal in speed skating was easy, everyone would be doing it. If manifesting your desires via the Law of Attraction, raising your vibrational level, and meditation was easy, everyone would be doing it.

Obviously not everyone even understands it let alone is able to do it ~


Question? Do you have a sense of REALITY at all???

Do you know why some people REALLY become a success?


Do you even realize that all of LIFE IS A METAPHOR? There is no such thing as "The Secret" or even a "Law of Attraction." Those are terms that man created to describe something in nature.

Everything is man-made. Everything from religion to money in and of itself.

Are you successful?

H K.A Brown,

Just out of interest, do you consider yourself successful? and if so why?

I'm not trying to take a stab at you, honestly. I am just interested to how this attitude has treated you (and I'm not saying that anything is wrong with it)


Success is a state-of-mind. Success means different things to different people, just like happiness.

So, to answer your question...I'M BLESSED.

As long as vision board is

As long as vision board is treated as a useful tool, there is no need to treat it like something non-working. It's just have to be use with some brains... There must be some action followed to make it work - thatsimple is it.

I see that like someone, who is complaining over non-working computer... and doesn't turn it on...need to treat it like something non

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.

visualize and no hardwork

the secret doesnt mean you keep on visualizing and dont work hard.see the video says ,to actually receive you ought to be the one who deserves it which is only possible if you work very wont BELEIVE that you are gonna get what you want if you havent worked hard enough.AS SIMPLE AS THAT ...


A sincere thanks to those taking the time to write comments on this important topic.

To Guru: I completely agree with you that vision without action is as powerful as wishing upon a star. A purely spiritual pursuit is insufficient to achieve wellness, balance, and success.

To Joyce Schwarz: Thanks for taking the time to comment and share some thoughts; you've included "Take Action" in your vision boarding process and stated that you don't think we are that far apart in our beliefs. I agree. As you've called the vision boards from The Secret, Magical Thinking, I also agree. However, this is what is typically thought of when people are creating vision boards. They are anti-action boards. In fact, the forward in your own book tells people not to worry about the how, where, and when. Just focus on the what - the outcome. I realize that this is not what you are supporting or proposing; however it is a popular visioning attitude. I, on the other hand, believe that for several reasons, we should be process-driven. This is a mindful approach which has been shown to have many health and wellness benefits, as well as a greater chance of achieving our goals. Several of the references which you provided are randomized, controlled experiments which further support the role of visioning process over outcome. In other words, do not support traditional vision boarding. The other references are from non-peer reviewed sources and express opinions rather than results of controlled research. I love that you have included Gratitude, Belief, and Action in your visioning. I hope it was obvious to you that I am a huge proponent of this mode of thinking. I hope that we can continue this dialogue. I am writing another article primarily based on this discussion - so thank you!

To Joyce Harrell, RN: What can I say? I obviously did not do a great job getting my point across to you. It is interesting that Joyce Schwarz, whom you are defending, has written to me that she feels we are on the same side of the fence - she gets it. Your claim of "Oh no, traditional medicine!" is disheartening and is the cry of someone who sells fish oil and wants to be able to describe their benefits without having to worry about any solid research to back it up. As you obviously are unaware, I do believe in alternative medicine. I also believe in the power of randomized, placebo-controlled, double-blind, peer-reviewed research studies. I am glad that "going with your gut" and "anecdotal evidence" is enough to convince you - I do not have that kind of faith when it comes to ignoring solid evidence. I am also curious as to why you choose to sell essential oils and give medical advice to your clients. Your website describes actions that people can take to improve their health and wellness. It seems that you and I are actually saying the exact same thing, even though you may not want to see it that way. There is nothing on your website about just visioning yourself at a lower weight or eating healthier or having a fully functioning gastric emptying system. It seems that you were advising people to try alternative medicine therapies and essential oils. These are action steps, not vision steps. Why not just make up a vision board about a healthy you without GERD?

To Gordana: If using it with some brains means using it as a guide and not completely relying on it to achieve your goals - I agree. Thank you

Vision board

Dr. Farber well done! Positive thoughts are important. Although, I agree with you, one must walk the walk not just think the thought. Looking forward to reading your next article.

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

Hello Celia, just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.

vision board

A great way to put it, IE, walk the walk. Dreams are just that: dreams. What I got from "The Secret" is not only put out good thoughts but do good deeds and put forth the effort and action needed to make your vision board reality. I have seen "The Secret" make a friend of mine lazy as all get go. Well, she Does is visualize but that's all she does. When I Told her that's fine and dandy to see your fists full of cash but what are you going to do to obtain that fistfull of cash? She wasn't too happy with that but if a reality bite I'm the butt.

This book is not a happy version of "The Monkeys Paw." You still have to work to achieve your goals, or visions. Its not rocket science, but it's not magic either. Its also not easy. If it were we'd be the result of John Lennon's song "Imagine."

Just Face Reality

There are absolutely, positively, no SECRETS in life. Please stop thinking that there is some MAGICAL substance in The Universe that conspires on your behalf.

But there is responsibility, hard work, determination, and perseverance.

I cannot fathom how so many folks fell prey to this so-called Secret. I saw right through what they were doing. They used psychology, in the same manner advertisers do each and every day; to sell suckers on their IDEA. Basically, getting people to buy their product.

People, there is nothing called, "The Secret or Law of Attraction." It's just not real.

Either you step up to the plate, take responsibility for your life or you will not achieve your goals.

Whose Reality?

The information in 'The Secret' is only a simplified version of what is possible for us. However it was aimed at waking up the masses and it has certainly done that.

The reason the information in 'The Secret' was termed such, you have elegantly demonstrated in your message...

It shouldn't be a secret - but it is.

Mainly because most people subscribe to the idea that they 'will believe it when they see it', instead of 'I will see it when I believe it'..

You will never ever see anything else except what you believe unless you open your mind to the possibility that maybe you are not always right. However, judging by the emotional attachment you have to telling everyone it's all rubbish this is unlikely to happen.

If you actually take the time to research the information you are attacking you will find that responsibility, hard work and perseverance are needed as well as visioning your goals and using any kind of aid that helps to inspire you and keep you on track, such as a vision board. Each to his own.

Dose of Reality

You may want to go back and re-read my posts. And then after you re-read my posts ACTUALLY comprehend MY WORDS.

I truly believe that MOST people, who live on this planet, know that there is more to LIFE than meets the eye. Over the years, I have had hundreds of experiences that simply cannot be explained.

However, what I refuse to believe is that I can just AFFIRM, BE POSITIVE, AND VISUALIZE the life of my dreams. If I want to see my DREAMS turned into REALITY I must WORK, remain DETERMINED, stay MOTIVATED and AMBITIOUS.

We are all spiritual beings having a human experience. I believe in a HIGHER POWER, whom I call GOD. I believe that I can do all things through Christ who strengthens me.

But what I will NEVER believe in is some so-called SECRET OR LAW OF ATTRACTION.

Thoughts and the ability to MANIFEST REALITY IS REAL. It's something that I do ALL of the time. We ALL do it. We are all HUMAN MANIFESTATIONS OF GOD. But the people who created "The Secret" are LIARS. Unfortunately, you have SUCKERS who are IGNORANT to the Laws of the Universe/Nature who are buying into this so-called SECRET or LAW OF ATTRACTION. You cannot ATTRACT something that is already a part of YOU. YOU can only MANIFEST/CREATE. Hence, the BIBLICAL CREATION story in GENESIS.

Vision board

Dr. Farber well done! Positive thoughts are important. Although, I agree with you, one must walk the walk not just think the thought. I vote "YES" for the action board. Looking forward to reading your next article.

We have misunderstood each other

Dr. Farber,
You have misunderstood me, and obviously I have misunderstood you. No where on my websites do I give medical advice, or anctedotal advice.On one site I have my disclaimer, that I am not giving medical advice. If it is not on the one you reviewed, it is just that I haven't gotten to it yet. For me to give medical advice would be out of my scope of practice. My sites are not finished, so you have entered things under construction. I am actually at this time reviewing studies done with essential oils. I'm not sure what you are referring to that I am wanting to ignore medical research.

So I suppose I jumped the gun to assume you were meaning something you are saying you did not portray.

I have not completed or even started on the Vision portion of my sites. Quite possibly my response is a knee jerk reaction to contantly having to justify my integrative leanings. No where do I advise against gold standard medical advice. I do not promote alternative medicine in place of medical advice. My website actually deals more with stress and burnout in nurses.

So, that is about all I have to say about this. Our vision boards, are action boards.

Last comment from Joyce Schwarz, bestsellng author THE VISION BOARD book , 100,000 sold #1 mystical bestseller Amazon 26 weeks

joyceschwarz(at) responds with:

LET ME OPEN by saying this is my last comment in this string. I'm busy putting the finishing touches on our newest book and media series HEART OFSUCCESS when Life and work is a labor of love and tweeting @visoinboard and @heartofsuccess And I'll "blame" Steve Jobs for inspiring me and my coaches and readers to stay true to their own VISIONS.

JOBS said, "Our time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life. Don’t be trapped by dogma – which is living with the results of other people’s thinking. Don’t let the noise of other’s opinions drown out your own inner voice. And most important, have the courage to follow your heart and intuition."

THE VISION BOARD BOOK Clarification a) I did not call the Vision Boards in THE SECRET "magical thinking" I said ASK BELIEVE AND RECEIVE which is the motto mentioned in THE SECRET might be interpreted as 'magical thinking' since I prefer my GRABS success realization 'recipe".

YOUR COMMENT ON TYPICAL VISION BOARDS: I don't think that what is typically thought of when creating vision boards is "magical thinking" . First of all more than 6 million people have been influenced to create their Vision Board using the GRABS formula. My book has sold 100,000 copies in English and Dutch. I've trained 150 Certified Vision Board Coaches who on average train at least 100 other people how to do a vision board.BACK UP STATISTICS: My mailing list and social media is more than 75,000 so just through the influence of my book and my keynote talks to such firms as Boeing, Avon, Nortel etc on Visioning and Vision Boards we've reached more than 1/4 million people directly. In the first month of The Vision Board book's release we reached more than 2 million people via TV, Radio and Blogs. Fox News, E! Entertainment TV, PBS,NPR etc - -so that's about 3-4 million people alone who know and follow our GRABS method and our formula for goal realization.

MISQUOTE AND MISLEADING STATEMENT BY YOU IN YOUR RESPONSE: YOU SAY: "In fact, the forward(SIC) in your own book tells people not to worry about the how, where, and when. Just focus on
the what - the outcome."

Perhaps you did not mean to misquote or mislead but the FOREWORD to THE VISION BOARD BOOK: Bob Proctor bestselling author and LIFE SUCCESS PRODUCTIONS actually says: "Make a firm decision to hold on to that vision, and positive ways to improve everything and g will begin to flow into your mind. ...Don't worry about how you will do it or where the resources will come from" His foreword quote says NOTHING about the WHEN....

and if you read further in my book which includes more than 100 color vision boards AND quotes from 90 VIP Speakers, Coaches, Athletes and Leaders -- you'd see that I talk about the WHO OF THE HOW (that person who will open a door for you or show you a better way or reveal a path for you).

IN FACT WHAT PROCTOR DOES SAY IN SUMMARY IS : "....freeze-frame your vision with INTENTION and ACTIVATE it with decision."

And regarding your comment about vision board and competitive races -- yes, even in the Olympics someone finishes first. But go ahead and ask Olympian Gymnast about her Vision Board:

WHERE IS YOUR ACTION BOARD primary research? I've researched your name in connection with Action Board(s) and see no references at all. I do not see any reference to an "action board" in your book. Compared to the millions using my goal realization methods; how many people are using your ACTION BOARD.

*THE VISION BOARD #1 Mystical bestseller Amazon: Quite frankly I was surprised to see in your bio info inside your book that you say you have taught MYSTICISM and MEDITATION. Did u know that THE VISION BOARD book was the #1 Mysticism bestseller on Amazon USA for 26 weeks and was even #1 in that category and other areas of success and spirituality on AMAZON UK this year too?

THE VISION IN VISION BOARD: STEVEN COVEY says start with the end in mind and is a proponent of a clear vision: : Habit 2 is based on imagination--the ability to envision in your mind what you cannot at present see with your eyes. It is based on the principle that all things are created twice. There is a mental (first) creation, and a physical (second) creation. The physical creation follows the mental, just as a building follows a blueprint. If you don't make a conscious effort to visualize who you are and what you want in life, then you empower other people and circumstances to shape you and your life by default. YET you seem more concerned about the PROCESS then the VISION. All the activity in the world will not help a person follow their heart.


Dr. Schwarz, Congratulations on your impressive successes. You have obviously done a remarkable job and have created a popular product.

I appreciate the time that you've taken to comment (and advertise) on this blog. I have seen several of your TV appearances and videos. You are truly a master of marketing.

I apologize for misquoting the forward to your book. I should not have included the word "when".

As you have correctly pointed out, I do value the process more than the outcome. I am a believer in the power of mindfulness. However, it is not correct that I do not value the vision. As I've also heard you state, be open to new possibilities. I concur. If you're totally focused exclusively on a specific vision, you may not be open to other possibilities. I also believe in the power of having a vision and setting a goal. However, as I've heard you state, the power of the vision board is in the Reticular Activating System (I've actually done scientific research on the RAS). That is not mystical! That means that we each possess the power - I agree. Our visions motivate us, drive us and keep us focused. However, this is made much easier when we add the "why" what is my life purpose? Why is this goal important? This is what keeps us going when things get tough. This is based on our values, not our goals.

As you are well aware, your view of vision boards is not the type of VIsion Board proposed in the Secret. Your concept of GRABS, is adaptive and incorporates other techniques such as Gratitude, Belief, and Action. In so doing, it addresses the deficiency issues that are found in other versions of Vision Boards.

You refer to Steven Covey. The concept of an action board is, in part, based on several writings from Steven Covey who wrote the forward to my book. Again, like you, I believe in a two stage creation. I believe that deeds and actions need to be incorporated into the thought, ideas, and visions. I volunteer a lot of my time to helping children on medical missions. Obviously, dreaming about helping and creating a board, without taking the steps to get there would not be beneficial to those in need. This does not take anything away from creating a vision board about volunteering, but, as I believe you would agree, if I create the board and don't get off my couch, it won't help me or anyone else.

As you have correctly pointed out, there are no research studies specifically on the benefits of an action board. In fact, I have not published anything yet on the specific contents of an action board. Therefore, I would never claim that my version of an action board will help anyone other than myself. However, the action board concept is evidence-based on well-controlled positive psychology studies. You yourself must be a believer since 1) you have developed a system based on the combination of vision and action and
2) you are a person of both vision and action.

I do truly appreciate your time and positive energy which is apparent in your endeavors.
I have learned and benefited from the discussion.
Thank you

Visual Trajectory

I've been thinking about vision boards for a while but never created one. Something like a visual trajectory seems like it would be way more helpful than a vision board. I saw an example at about 4 minutes into Season 4, Episode 1 of Heroes when Claire goes to college and meets her roommate, Annie. That whole scene where they were talking about creating life's plan was awesome. Here's a photo of what I'm talking about:

Anyone with access to the episode on Netflix or DVD should watch that scene.

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.

There are so many gurus out

There are so many gurus out there, who make a lot of money out of telling us "secrets" they have acquired out of some ancient text or obscure source that we may learn if we buy their book. They are not creating anything new - all they have done is latched onto a way of making money out of gullible or vulnerable people.

The secret is a a re-write of George Hannel's "the master key" - a strange and difficult book, but of far more value than the secret could ever be. It gives you steps on how to visualize: Not by seeing the end result, but learning how to see the process. Some of the sentiments expressed in Dr.Farber's articles are also expressed very clearly in this esoteric, slightly odd ball work by Hannel.

l have read the secret and other literature on the laws of attraction: It was interesting and gave me ideas about how to improve the way l see things and improve my life. That is all. The one and only really valuable lesson l learned was to cultivate an attitude of gratitude - once you work on this you begin to feel less self pity, take things less for granted and look at life in a more positive way.

l think half of these people writing all these books and guides and self help etc.. are a bunch of charlatans. They are best sellers, because there are a lot of people out there (including myself to a degree), who are foolish enough to believe it. The true educators never ask for money! Socrates was one of these people - didn't charge a penny. Neither did Jesus.

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.


It is clear that noone has ever achieved anything by simply dreaming about it. On the other hand, without having a big dream one will never find enough motivation, strength and perseverance to make it come true. Coz bigger the dream, harder it is to achieve it. And if one works so hard without having a strong enough reason, he is bound to give up sooner or later and succumb to the comfort of reality!!! So I say YES to a Dream board with a "TO DO" list on the other side of it !!!

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

I appreciate your input and viewpoint. Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.

I love vision boads, but I see their usefulness very differently.

I love Vision Boards, both doing them and helping my clients create them. But I don't see them as a means to an end at all - I use them to help my clients crystallize what they want, and help them form some objective goals. Rather than "I want to live somewhere nice," or "I want to be healthier," vision boards help the client figure out what that actually looks like. They help them get more concrete about what they want more of in their lives.

Of course, creating the vision board is only the first step. The next step is obviously the plan, because a goal without a plan is just a wish. I also agree with you that if you use visualization, it's much more useful to use it imagining yourself overcoming obstacles or engaging in the process you've committed to. Imagining yourself already having reached the goal is nice, but it's more of a daydream than an intervention.

Do you really use such a thing as an action board? I looked for a link but didn't find it.

Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2

I appreciate your input and viewpoint. Just published a follow-up article on the law of attraction - Throw Away Your Vision Board - Part 2. Hope you are able to join in again for the discussion.
There is a new link to website which has some more information on The Action Board.

Post new comment

The content of this field is kept private and will not be shown publicly.
  • Web page addresses and e-mail addresses turn into links automatically.
  • Allowed HTML tags: <a> <em> <strong> <cite> <code> <ul> <ol> <li> <dl> <dt> <dd>
  • Lines and paragraphs break automatically.
  • You may quote other posts using [quote] tags.

More information about formatting options

Neil Farber, M.D., Ph.D., an Associate Professor at the Medical College of Wisconsin, is a member of the IPPA and the author of The Blame Game.


Subscribe to The Blame Game

Current Issue

Just Say It

When and how should we open up to loved ones?