The Subway Experiment

The Subway Experiment
July 18, 2013 Alan Cohen



My friend Jenny owns a Subway sandwich shop in a large city. When local teenagers began to loiter near the entrance to the shop, Jenny politely asked them to leave. When they continued to show up, Jenny contemplated how to clear the walkway for patrons. Finally she set up some speakers at the doorway and played classical music at the shop’s entrance. Within minutes the teens scattered as if a stink bomb had been dropped in their midst.

Every interaction is based on the Law of Attraction, symbolized by Velcro tape. Velcro works when two sets of fibrous hooks catch onto each other and bind together.  When one set of hooks becomes old and worn, they become flaccid and straighten out until they no longer catch and hold. End of match, end of sticking together.

The flip side of the Law of Attraction is the Law of Repulsion. Actually there is no repulsion; either things match and they stay stuck together or they do not. Repulsion is more accurately an absence of attraction.  The teenagers at the sandwich shop were attuned to one frequency, while the classical music represented another frequency.  There was no match, so the teenagers decided to go elsewhere to a place that matched their frequency.

You don’t have to get rid of people you don’t like or harmonize with. Simply strike a clear, strong keynote of the frequency you value. If the other person can match that frequency, he may shift to meet you at the frequency you broadcast. If he cannot match the frequency, he will go away.  You don’t have to struggle or manipulate to make him go away. You just have to stand firmly in your desired reality.

At a seminar I presented in Greece, a woman named Georgia reported that she had been married to a man who was emotionally abusive. “I told my husband I wanted a divorce, but he refused to give it to me,” she recounted. “So I decided that even if he didn’t love me, I would love me. I would give myself the kindness and caring I had been seeking from him. So I wrote myself a love letter telling myself how beautiful, valuable, and desirable I am. When I read the letter I felt so attractive and affirmed that I wrote another one as if from a man who was deeply in love with me. I continued to write myself passionate love letters every day for a few weeks.

“Then one day my husband found one of these letters. Since it was unsigned, he assumed it was from another man. He came to me waving the letter in his hand and told me, ‘I can’t compete with this—you can have your divorce!’”

In order for Georgia to stay in a situation that dishonored her, she had to dishonor herself. Part of her believed that she deserved emotional abuse or that a better situation was not available.  So her husband and marriage mirrored that belief. When Georgia realized, “This can’t be it” and she began to give herself the love she was missing, her frequency changed. She was now broadcasting on the wavelength of a loving relationship, no longer a match to the lifeless frequency to which her husband had been tuned.  At that point he had no choice but to meet her at the new frequency or leave. In this case he chose to leave. In other cases a partner might shift.

If you are seeking to shift a relationship or any dysfunctional situation, do not attempt to dictate or force how the other person should act. Simply establish yourself in your desired energy and let the Law of Attraction take care of the details.  Sometimes when a coaching client wants to leave a relationship, I tell her, “Just get clear on your ideal relationship and start living it. Be the person you want to be in relationship. Don’t put a name or face on your ideal partner. He might be your current partner, or someone else. The more you dwell in your ideal scenario, regardless of the other person’s behavior, the more power you have to manifest your ideal situation.”

Rewarding desired behavior will get you much farther than punishing undesirable behavior. In a college behavioral psychology class, the professor had a habit of pacing back and forth in front of the classroom while he lectured. So the students tried an experiment on him. Whenever the professor lectured from the left side of the room, the students paid attention to him, took notes, asked questions, and laughed at his jokes.  When the teacher stood at the right side of the room, they paid no attention and gave him no reward for his lecture or his jokes. It didn’t take long before the professor was lecturing exclusively from the left side of the classroom.

As we enter the new school and business season, the universe will reward you for being who you are—but you must be who you are before the universe can reward you. Establish yourself in the energy you value, and you will get more of it. Like the Subway loiterers who headed for the hills, anything not a match to you will leave of its own accord.  Then you will be left only with people and situations who are playing and listening to the music you prefer.


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About the Author:

Alan Cohen is the author of many popular inspirational books, including Enough Already: The Power of Radical Contentment. Join Alan for his acclaimed Life Coach Training to become a professional life coach or incorporate life coaching skills in your current profession and personal life. For more information about this program, Alan’s other books, free daily inspirational quotes, and his weekly radio show, visit, email [email protected], or phone (800) 568-3079 or (808) 572-0001.



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