by: Dave Osh
In 2006, a film named The Secret was distributed virally through the internet followed subsequently by a book. In no-time The Secret became a cultural and social phenomenon attracting interest from media figures such as Oprah Winfrey, Ellen DeGeneres and Larry King and criticism from the mainstream press.
The Secret consists of a series of interviews related to the idea of optimist thinking. It states that everything you want may be accomplished by wishing for it. This is called the Law of Attraction. As described in the film, the “Law of Attraction” principle states that feelings and thoughts can attract events, from the workings of the cosmos and interactions among individuals in their physical, emotional, and professional affairs.
The Secret lists three required steps — “ask, believe and receive” — as the essence of the Law of Attraction:
Know what you want and ask the universe for it. This is where you need to get clear about what it is you want to create and visualize what you want as being as ‘real’ as possible.
Feel and behave as if the object of your desire is on its way. Focus your thoughts and your words on what it is you want to attract even if you have to trick yourself into believing it.
Be open to receiving it. Pay attention to your intuitive messages and signs from the Universe to help you along the way as assurance you are on the ‘right’ path. As you align yourself with the Universe and open yourself up to receiving, the very thing you want to manifest will show up.
New Thought and the Law of Attraction
Essentially, The Secret is … touting the principles of the New Thought movement that began in the late 19th century as the historical basis for their ideas.
The idea stated in the Law of Attraction was used widely by New Thought writers. They referred to the idea that thoughts influence chance. The Law of Attraction argues that thoughts (both conscious and unconscious) can affect things outside the head, not just through motivation, but by other means.
Various scientists have stated that many of the Law’s claims are impossible, violating scientific principles and a scientific understanding of the universe. Instead, the Law may be explained as an illusion created by the connection between self-confidence and success or by one’s own perception, like the placebo effect.
I watched The Secret with my family after it was released in 2007. Even my 9 year old daughter was fascinated with the film and glued to the screen. The idea that my kids will believe that they just have to ask, believe and receive what they want, scared me. If this is true all of us would be healthy, wealthy and successful. But this is not the case.
It is a dangerous belief, and unfortunately a popular one based on the success of The Secret, that you just have to think about what you want to get it.
I have no doubt that positive thinking, optimism and creative visualization are important. But an important foundation for success in life was not mentioned in The Secret.
Rhonda Byrne, The Secret creator, told a Newsweek interviewer that her inspiration for creating The Secret was her exposure to Wallace Wattles’s book The Science of Getting Rich. Reading The Science of Getting Rich will no doubt leave you feeling that the most important foundations of success were neglected in The Secret.
The first foundation is Effective Action.
Wattles writes that thought is the force that causes the creative power to work for us but we must not rely upon thought alone, ignoring action. This is where thought and action meet. Wattless suggests that action will be taken a in certain way. We must act effectively now!
We have to act decisively, effectively and efficiently. We don’t want to procrastinate with our decisions and actions resulting from our thoughts.
There is no other time than now. The past is history and the future does not exist yet. We even don’t have any guarantees that we will make it to the future. Every thought should be converted to action at the current moment. How many times we told ourselves “we’ll start it tomorrow, next week, next month, next year…and we never started”. When tomorrow, next week, next month or next year arrived…we were busy with something else that consumes our attention, focus and priority.
The second foundation is Enhancement.
As leaders, or just human beings, our main goal is to enhance, advance and enrich every person we come in touch with. We inspire, encourage and motivate everybody around us. Everybody wants to enhance life. Everybody wants more of his or her life. We have something to give to somebody else that is just looking for that something. We just have to make a conscience decision to act on it. Teachers, physicians, psychologists are professions that enhance other people lives. But it doesn’t mean that each of us in our own roles of profession, family and community cannot find a way to enhance other peoples’ lives.
Sure we can!
Whether you work as an accountant, customer support, salesperson, administrative assistant or clerk, you have something unique that can enhance, enrich and advance other peoples’ lives. If we find it, we will redefine our purpose and start a new journey toward our true life mission, success and leadership.
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