Lately, much has been made of of the runaway success of The Secret. It’s been pretty popular and pretty controversial. Me? I take it with a grain of salt. I do believe in the Law of Attraction, that we tend to attract the things we most often think about. (Ever notice how positive and optimistic people seem to always have things go their way, while the Debbie Downer in your office always seem to be inundated with an endless array of tragedies?)
I am a little put off by the hype, however. The DaVinci Code-style trailer asserts that this “Secret” has been covered up for centuries (no, not quite), and I am always skeptical whenever anyone claims that you can be, do, or have ANYTHING you ever want. Anything that seems to imply that we can be our own little gods and don’t really have a need for the Big Guy Upstairs tends to raise my eyebrows.
My ultimate take is this: glean the truth from it and ditch the rest. Underneath it all, however, does lie a very profound truth that children understand quite well: imagination and visualization go a long way towards achieving your dreams. As important as it is to dream big, it’s just as important to be really specific when it comes to what you’re dreaming about. An article I found written by someone known as Rocque spells this out quite well:
Remember when you wrote out your Christmas wish list? When you made that list you wrote down what you wanted. Did you include your wish for World Peace (humor here)? When you wrote down what you wanted were you specific?
If you wanted a Red Bike, did you ask for just a Bike? I bet you put down the details or described them so that Santa would know exactly what you wanted. Either that or Santa’s helpers knew exactly what make and model and color of bike you wanted. Think of the television commercials that children memorize when watching their favorite shows. Do they know the difference between the sugar coated fruity oats and plain Cheerios? Which to they want, the colorful fruity cereal or the plain yellow box?
Once a child makes up his or her mind that they want something, they have a fierce determination to get it. They will point it out to their parents when they see it. They will have their parents and friends look at the pictures in the magazine, or the ad on television or the person they see with it as you go for a walk or a ride in your car with them. When they shut their eyes they can see what they want and imagine what it is like to own it.
Hmmm…once again, the children teach us. Apparently, the “Secret” hasn’t been banned from childhood circles.
Unfortunately, society, schools, and even parents do a pretty nice job of suppressing it. Seeds of doubt are planted within all of us: Maybe I’m not as smart or pretty or athletic as that other kid. How could I possibly succeed at something if my parents never did? Maybe I need to be more realistic. Maybe instead of wishing for a shiny red dirt bike with silver tassels on the handle bars, I should be happy with that 50¢ garage sale jalopy.
Am I saying that we should all strive for the best material things we can get our mitts on? No. Anyone who has half a brain knows that stuff, in and of itself, can never make you happy. What I am saying is that when we think about the things we want out of life, and make our list of life goals, we should be specific. Very, very specific.
Do you want to lose weight? How much? If you lose half a pound, do you get to check that off your list, because technically, you DID lose weight. Want a different job? What kind of job? Where? What will you be paid? Because I can get you a job at McDonald’s tomorrow that’s probably different from the job you have today.
What kids know, and what they have always known, is that the more specific you are about your dreams, the more likely you are to achieve them. Whether it’s a secret or not, I can’t say. But I do know that it’s true.
[Tags]self-help, law of attraction, The Secret, DaVinci Code, Debbie Downer[/tags]
Thanks for expressing very well the itchy parts of The Secret (I hated the trailer so much I refused to watch the movie). I have to admit that I had a very visceral and negative reaction to The Secret when the hype aired on Oprah. I’ve calmed down a bit but the part the really gets to me most is the idea that people are at fault somehow for the bad things that happen to them. Nonetheless, there are some very positive things about expecting good things to happen (because it works, for one thing). Thanks again for your thoughtful, well stated post (as usual!).
Peace be with you,
Yeah, some of the stuff seems a little goofy, but hey, that doesn’t mean there’s not some good stuff in there. I know that packaging is important, but the trailer did seem a little too over the top.
David Zinger says
Oh sure. go ahead and give away the “attractive” part of the secret.
The whole things just smacks of far too much hype and hyperbole in an effort to try and get people’s attention.
If it really was a secret to Rhonda I think she really doesn’t read much because over the centuries all the writers I have seen have been going on and on about this and not one of them has ever kept it as a secret that you must buy books, videos and other items from the Secret Superstore. I must be an amazing sleuth to uncovered this Secret Superstore to spend lots of money.
I just can’t wait for the sequel to the Secret: The Secret II. In this amazing revelation it will be found that the secret was not a secret and what you really need to know is…(sorry can’t reveal that information unless you pay big bucks!)
I’m waiting for the PREquel to the Secret, “A Secret Look at The People Who Died Trying to Bring this Secret to You”
Wow, this is a nice blog!
I really enjoyed reading this post. I work with a Debbie Downer…uggh. That is why I am doing what I need to do to escape to my adult world that I am creating. That sounds like I am really some sort of “nut case” to some perhaps.
Well my goal was always to be my own boss, until somehow I had to sell out to the corporate life.
Now I am working to get back to my original plan.
I believe The Secret is a lot of Napolean Hill’s Think and Grow Richrevised for a New Age.
Thanks for finding my article and quoting it.
In the year that I have been saying, “I believe I am attracting the people I need to succeed.” each day, and even more on a “bad day”, I have seen some really great changes in my life.
Keep working on your blog. It is great.
I’m glad you found your way to my blog. Welcome! You had a very insightful article that I was happy to share with my readers. And kudos to you for having the courage to redirect your career path. It ain’t easy, but it’s worth it!