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.
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….