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Friday, April 13, 2007


Oprah chooses a book and it becomes a best seller! What power she has. I’ve enjoyed many of the Oprah picks, so when Michael called and said he’d heard about Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret and that I might be interested, I decided to take a chance. I’m not sorry I did.

Are you skeptical about self-help books? Generally I am, yet the two fallbacks are Dr. Norman Vincent Peale’s The Power of Positive Thinking and Spencer Johnson’s Who Moved My Cheese. These two books are life-altering, but I cannot say the same about The Secret despite its cachet.

On the other hand, sifting through the pop-psychology, I came back to the basic idea that thinking positively is the only way to approach life and that many of our defeats are caused by our own negative attitudes. Both Byrnes and Peale begin with the idea that you must believe in your goal and you must believe in your capability of making that goal happen. Without those feelings, you are doomed to defeat. Hard to argue. If you think you can’t, you can’t. Then there is The Little Engine that Could. This basic philosophy is hard to dispute; you may not achieve all your goals, but you have no chance without the knowledge that you can. Even the lottery says, You’ve gotta be in it to win it!

The point of The Secret is the law of attraction. Think. Believe. These positive thoughts attract like thoughts; the result is success. Where I begin to have problems is that those successes are not always coming from you. The law of attraction brings outsiders into your world as well; the right outsiders are drawn to you by your thoughts. I don’t know….

There are some really good ideas in The Secret. Sometimes it’s just good to read something to remind you how to look at the world and that reminder is enough to get you back on track. Down in Florida, I spent several days getting buffeted and knocked down by the waves and undertow each time I came out of the ocean. I kept insisting that I could not walk out of the water, and I pointed to others who were in a similar position to mine. I finished reading The Secret on the beach, and I went in to the ocean with an entirely different outlook. I walked out. To prove to myself that it wasn’t an anomaly, I went in a second time, and I walked out a second time. Don’t think the ocean had changed; others were still struggling.

The Secret is a quick and easy read; cull from it what you will. For me, it was worthwhile, and perhaps it will be for you too.
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