Though I’ve been hearing about The Secret for a while, it was only last week that I got a copy for myself.
I am not greatly into self-help books. There are books I’ve read now and then — Who Moved My Cheese, for instance, about 4 years ago. It kind of shook me out of a stupor, to get me moving and find my own opportunities.
Then more recently Eat, Pray, Love. Good read. Funny. And basic common sense approach to dealing with problems.
Now The Secret. While in principle what the book purports is simple enough, the specifics are way too simplistic.
I am reviewing the book, though I have not completed it yet.
You are supposed to read the book, or at least finish the book without doubting its essence or truth. But for someone who can’t even read a Dilbert strip without critiquing it, that’s a tough task.
The Secret is The Law of Attraction.
You reap what you sow. You sow positive thoughts and you reap positive action. I agree.
It also talks about Gratitude. When you are grateful for all that you have, then you get more of the same. I totally agree — after all ‘thank you’ works like magic. Say Thank You to your child, and she wants to earn that gratitude again, and again. Same goes for the guy on the road who let’s you cut him, and you wave back a thank you. He is going to be equally accommodating of the next nut-in-a-hurry.
The Secret talks about giving back. Not sacrificing. But giving. And that rings true. The more you give, the richer you feel. And more comes back to you.
It talks about lists and vision boards. Very practical. Very do-able, helps you focus on the job at hand. Be it getting a promotion, bringing out a magazine or just making your marriage work.
So that sums up all that I agreed with.
But what I could not agree with, and was angered by, was what the book claimed about illness — that from cancer to paralysis, your illness is because of your negative thoughts, and the only way to be ‘cured’ was by sending out positive signals to the universe.
Which sick person doesn’t want to be ‘cured’? And how do you account for babies falling ill?
The book or the message talks about ‘focussing’ on something to get it. Ask. Believe. Receive.
So if you know how to ask and believe, you will receive? It doesn’t matter what kind of a person you are? What about Karma (I am a big believer of that).
Way too much focus is on material wealth. On acquiring unexpected million-dollar cheques, merely by wishing for it. It talks about not focussing on debts… but on wealth.
I would love to get those cheques too… and I would love for all my debts to magically disappear, merely because I am grateful to the bank for increasing my credit limit! If wishes were horses… The Secret would probably say: Wishes ARE horses and Beggars COULD fly.
It even talks about weight loss. Focus on your ideal weight, and not on losing weight, and voila, you are a perfect 10!!!!!!!!
But like all thoughts, advice or philosophies, you can only take what suits you, what strikes you as genuine.
This is where the book fails miserably (though I haven’t come to the end yet) — it’s making a promise. A careless promise (like those over the top advertisements) that it is the key to all your successes — financial, personal, emotional. And it almost at every step absolves itself of any responsibility. If this is not working for you, then you haven’t followed The Secret 100%. So if I follow it only 50%, will I get half a million instead of one in the next lottery? If I followed only 70 percent, can I lose at least 10 kgs?
Many of those who stood testimony to the Laws of Attraction, are those who have had a great fall or risen from the very depths of misery. Maybe that’s when it works.
And I would rather not plunge to that depth, to reach GREAT heights. Because, what I have now seems pretty great. A fantastic and huge family, great friends, enough money to buy me my books, even expensive ones like The Secret, health…
Of course I want more — to travel more, to not feel the NEED to work or earn, to drop my 25 excess kilos in a jiffy.
I still recommend that you read The Secret. It’s not foolproof. It’s not a magic wand, though there are some who say by merely watching the movie (that came first) their lives have changed. As Oprah said, it opens a door — which is itself a big step.
I must add, since I am a big fan of the Big O, she barely could hide her scepticism of The Secret, though she did agree in principle with The Law of Attraction. Good attracts good. And big people think alike.