If one is a person of faith, I believe it is not hard to believe this statement at all. If we believe in God and in the scriptures that say first that He loves us, and second, that we need only to ask and we will receive, I can't help but believe that all things are possible. Having faith that God will do what he promises lets me believe. The "universe" that is "conspiring" is God. And He wants us to achieve great things.
There is also an argument that being positive gives people a distinct advantage. Though it does not happen with everyone, doctors note that people who have cancer—and have a positive attitude about beating it—do better during treatment.
Believing in the potential for success often becomes a self-fulfilling prophecy.
As a person of faith, I believe "... all things work together for good to them that love God, to them who are the called according to his purpose." Romans 8:28. That's just my response to Coelho's quote.
Perhaps someone could call this the "Power of Positive Thinking". If you truly want something, and you focus all your energy in that direction, then the energy of the universe responds to that positive will. It sounds a little hippie-ish, sure, but there are certainly people who believe in this idea, and have even written books about living your life around this concept.
Seems like there's a big piece left out of the middle. How about changing it to read, "When you want something AND WORK WITH ALL YOUR MIGHT TO ACHIEVE IT, all the universe conspires to help you." Still not sure if I completely buy it, but I can accept it a lot easier than the original.
The sentiment in this quote is total bull. It belongs in an age in which people still believed rain was a gift from god(s) and drought was a punishment. The human need to live by mottos and nice, concrete cliches is great, but this one is even more ignorant than most.
Interesting quote, and the premise of much motivational rhetoric such as is espoused by Lou Tice, for example, or in books such as The Secret. Essentially, the basic concept is that if you think positively, you will motivate yourself toward those goals. If you visualize yourself as already being successful, you will be less likely to undermine your success subconsciously. For instance, many people try to diet, but they see themselves as "fat" and therefore only lose a certain amount of weight because they sabotage themselves even if they do not realize they are doing it. However, if you can visualize yourself reaching a goal (weight loss, a new job, a degree) and fully believe that you are their, your visualization is more likely to become an actualization because you turn off that little voice that tells you that you aren't smart enough/talented enough to get there. Many people attribute this to the "universe" conspiring to assist them in your goals. Others ascribe it to a deity aiding them along the way. I, personally, believe that hard work and belief in yourself is the primary factor in success, ascribing more to Stephen Crane's (1899) poem, "A Man Said to the Universe"A man said to the universe:
"Sir I exist!"
"However," replied the universe,
"The fact has not created in me
A sense of obligation."
The idea that if you want something, all you have to do is put it out there for the universe is simply nonsense. The universe is a bunch of stars and planets and other astral bodies. How can they conspire to do anything? If you want something badly enough, you do what it takes to achieve it for yourself. As a Christian, I believe that God's will has a hand in whether you actually do achieve it.
I really think you could just as easily argue the opposite. It is not at all unusual for someone to want something and not get it. So I really have a hard time finding any truth to this statement.
My own personal response to this quote is that I am not sure I fully embrace or accept it. I think that there is a fundamental premise that suggests that individual desires which covet or desire something can be assisted with outside intervention or luck based factors, but I am not sure I am comfortable with the term of "conspires." It does not seem extremely logical to me. If the universe conspired for everyone's wishes to be recognized, then both sides of the same coin would be accomplished and either everyone wins or loses. It seems a bit artificial in my mind. This does not mean that there is no room for luck or other elements which can help to drive individual wishes into reality, but rather understands these forces in a proper context and not one where there is the outward element of conspiracy.