Wednesday, June 18, 2008

The Real Secrets of The Secret

Most of you have heard about The Secret. Haven’t you? You know. That slickly produced and marketed, ‘Raiders of the Lost Ark’/History Channel looking, prosperity promising book and DVD that was all the rage a year or two ago?

Don’t get me wrong. While I sound a little disdainful, it’s only because I’m jealous that Rhonda Byrne made a bazillion dollars re-packaging a concept that can be found in no fewer than 257 (I made that number up) self-help books and seminars. It’s the Law of Attraction which says that you attract to yourself people, situations and experiences that match how you think and what you think about.

I used to teach critical thinking in a university and I will tell you that once you understand how humans’ perceptions form, and how those perceptions then determine their choices and decisions, the Law of Attraction makes a lot of sense. Human beings see what they expect to see, we have filters that screen out what doesn’t fit our beliefs. We take actions (this is important) that tend to reinforce what we believe and see. That means you often get what you expect to see. If you expect a certain outcome, it’s more likely to happen.

Therefore, I believe this principle even while I think Ms. Byrne’s product takes such a superficial and overly materialistic view of it that it does it a real disservice.

Regardless of my cynicism around her take on it, I must tell you that I have had, and several friends have had, this last year astounding experiences with this concept.

Really astounding.

The latest is a friend who about a year ago decided she was going to get a great job for a certain state agency, and she was going to have that job by the end of June this year. She set a salary figure she wanted and wrote it on a piece of paper that she put on her nightstand.

Then the heavy lifting began which incidentally is where the Secret falls short in my humble opinion.

This friend, myself and a few other friends have all set intentions around certain things we wanted to accomplish, visualized them in great detail, we journal about them, and focus all our attention and energies on them…and then have consistently made decisions, sacrifices, and taken action that 'fit' what we wanted to see. The Secret makes it sound like you sit in your easy chair, just visualize and think about it and voila! No, no, no, Glasshoppah! You have to take focused and consistent action toward it.

Despite fears, discouragement, and other obstacles, we have kept our focus and attention on our goal. And, in the course of our line of action, each of us has numerous examples of asking the Universe for the next step, or the next contact, or the person with the answer we needed…and gotten it, sometimes almost immediately. It has been downright spooky at times.

That isn’t to say the next step or person or whatever always look the way I expect, but without fail what has come up has been one more helpful step towards my goal. And, most of the examples I have in mind are not about money although money is part of the outcome we’ve envisioned. It’s been more about stretching ourselves professionally or personally.

Back to my friend, after a number of interviews and offers of several jobs at this agency that didn’t seem like the right fit to her, she got an offer yesterday for a job that is a perfect fit…and the initial salary offer was $10 less than that figure she had written so many months ago. And, with 2 weeks notice, she should start right at the end of June.

I’m tellin’ ya….


Midlife Crisis Queen said...

Hi Allison:

I like your blog and thanks for linking to me. I'm the Midlife Crisis Queen, Laura Lee.

My problem with "The Secret" is when BAD things happen. Are we responsible for those, or only good things? Do we deserve everything we draw to us? I think not...see my post about being pathologically optimistic!

Allison said...

Laura Lee,

Thanks, I like yours too!

Yes, I have struggled with that one too. I think some bad things that happen by all means are of our own creation. The thing is, we are always creating our own reality, either consciously or unconsciously. If my spouse divorces me because I'm a workaholic and don't make him a priority, a lot of that is on me.

In the case of tragedies, or serious illness etc., that I think is different. Hard core Law of Attraction believers might take issue, but I think life does throw out some random, major bad stuff. I think in that case, we create what comes out of them...what we believe in general dictates how we will respond to something like that.

You being pathologically optimistic :) (good for you I say!) means you would make choices and decisions out of optimism most likely. You'd be looking for the pony in the pile of manure. That perspective would create a very different outcome than someone who acted out of bitterness for example.

That's a tough question for sure, I'd love to hear what others thoughts are on it.

Thanks for visiting!

Samsara said...

Hi Allison.. Want some synchronicity?

I don't know if you noticed the trackback but I had to use your comment in my article.

The Synchronicity: I had been trying to get this lousy article out for two weeks now but have been having some life challenges. So in EC dropping I read your article here. [To go against the popular version of thought that *The Secret* is the end all, be all, is not common I do not think...] So, there is the synchronicity.

I am also working on a small post in which I found yet ANOTHER person's similar feeling while looking for something UNRELATED. I'll be posting HER words later in that post.

It really makes me happy to see women of such caliber knowing that The Secret was not the first and is certainly not necessarily *the best.*

~ Samsara

PS> So enjoy the inbound link. Your site deserves it!

Jenz Iggo said...

Hey allison, like your post as well as the bass guitar pose.

To dampen your jealousy towards Ms Bryne, why dont you write some sort of sequel?

"The Secret: stripped down" or is there already such a book?