I may have no right to post this article.
A few years ago, there was a huge mega best seller movie and book called “The Secret” which I never read or saw. But to this day, I have huge problems with it. As I said, I haven’t read the book or even seen the movie. But from what I gather, the idea is that if you think positive thoughts and meditate on it, that which you desire will manifest.
Believers in this idea think that when they bought “The Secret” books and tapes and worksheets and DVD’s, it was the best money they ever spent.
I do strongly believe in the power of positive thinking but something rubs me the wrong way about this particular presentation of it. As I see it, there are two big problems with this philosophy:
1. Folks become passive
If all I have to do is meditate to manifest, why work? I need to get out of debt. Forget it. I’ll just focus on it and the solution will appear. I want to pay off my mortgage. No sweat. Here… Grab a pillow and sit down.
Again, it could be that if you dig in to the materials, they deal with this problem. Their likely argument is that if someone is 100% focused on an outcome, they can’t help but take all the right action to make sure it comes to fruition.
I don’t buy it. First, I’ve been writing in the public domain for a few years now. I’ll admit that my blog hasn’t quite reached success level of “The Secret” (even thought I’ve spent plenty of time meditating on it). But I’ve had plenty of experiences where people completely misunderstood and came to the worst possible conclusion. This happens no matter what book people read or what movie they see.
In other words, even if the author tries to handle this issue, I’ll bet many readers will miss it or misunderstand. And our memory is an unreliable tool. I’ll guarantee you that over time, those same readers will forget about “the work” and just stay focused on “The Secret”.
2. The focus is all wrong
Since I haven’t read the book, maybe you’ll argue about my first point. But the focus is something I feel very strongly about.
When I was 11, my father asked me to read “Think and Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill. If there ever was a secret to making big money, that book had it. One of Hill’s most important premises was that you can be wildly successful if you help others get what they want.
Don’t spend your life focused on what you want. Spend your life helping others get what they want and you’ll be successful. That’s something I can work with.
And while I can only share my experience, I must say that most of the people I know who have been successful are those who have applied Mr. Hill’s theory. And most of the people I know who live their lives squarely focused on themselves are the ones with the biggest problems.
Is Bill Gates successful because he wanted to be? Nope.
That may have helped, of course… But the reason he’s a mega star is because he helped other people get what they want.
In fact, the reason “The Secret” was so successful was because it helped readers satisfy a need they had – to be successful without working hard. It didn’t become a mega seller just because the author wanted it badly.
You’d be hard pressed to find anyone who has done well in life without helping lots of other people get what they want. Sure, they wanted to succeed. Sure, that desire burned inside. But the action they took was to help others and that action is what led to success.
Why am I bringing this up?
We’re in the midst of a difficult economic reality. That presents tremendous opportunity for you if you focus on the right things.
People are going without these days. That means there is lots of pent up demand.
People without college degrees need jobs. Can you help them find those jobs?
Folks need more income – especially if they are retired. Can you put people to work for you in order to help them achieve their goals?
You might be struggling right now. Lots of people are. But the path to your solution isn’t just meditating on what you want. The path is to get out there and do something valuable for other people.