Perception reinforcing beliefs

I was watching a rerun of Oprah the other day and she had this guy on the show -- this guy who has a PhD in Happiness (psychology, really). And he said something really interesting -- that we all have our set of beliefs, and that our perceptions exist in order to gather evidence to reinforce our existing beliefs. That's why an optimist and a pessimist can both be right, can both claim their cases. Anyway, of course Oprah related this all back to The Secret, because, you know, Oprah loves The Secret. And it's all about the law of attraction, they were saying. So I realize that for the past four years, all I see in my future is living in a garden house/cottage in Oxford near the water and maybe a dog. And every other week or so I go on findaproperty.com or primelocation.com and check out all the new properties listed for sale in Oxford. Of course, I don't exactly have the cash right now to be buying houses abroad, but if I believe it enough, it will have to come true right? Something like that. Anyway, today is one of those online house-hunting days. The best places have two-million-pound price tags.
"Observe Everything. Always think for yourself. Never let other people make important decisions for you." — from Bad News by Edward St. Aubyn