Paul Pearsall, author of The Heart's Code and many other books, writes: "One reason wishing has received much less attention than such concepts as prayer, positive thinking, willing, and other mind-over-matter ideas is that wishing is seen as no big deal." However, the author's extensive research on the subject indicates that for most people it is the most ritualistic, secretive, mythological, personal, and common of the ways we try to influence our destiny.

"Wishing," states Pearsall, "falls somewhere between our capacity to reason our way through the secular and our power to pray our way through to the sacred. It's one of our innate faculties for dealing with problems and forces that still remain beyond the reach of rigorous logic and blind faith." Pearsall has created a "Wish Propensity Test" for readers to take along with other self-help quizzes. He links this faculty to intuition, which also has the potential to influence our future. He believes that wishes are "sixth sense suggestions."

Making a wish can have beneficial side effects including joy, altruism, forgiveness, and relief of frustration. It also can turn toxic if our wishes for others carry too much negative energy. When wishes backfire on us, the result is self-hexing. Pearsall also comments on the "wishing wars" at sporting events.

In his interviews with people around the world regarding their wishes, the five main arenas were peace, joy, direction, faith, and love. My favorite quotes on the subject are the following: "Wishing well is being spiritually polite" and "Wishing well results in a loving echo that can resound through the universe."

An extra bonus for readers is a CD-Rom that is sewn into the book, described as an "easy-to-use wish training device that demonstrates that wishing works." Designed to be used by both children and adults, it puts the principles of the book into action on your computer screen.