The Missing Secrets
The short answer is that it is not a book that has changed my perspective on life because for me it misses one or two key concepts, or ‘secrets’.
While I believe in some of the concepts in the book, such as the law of attraction, by the time The Secret came out I had read Ask and it is Given, which is based on the teachings of Abraham, so I felt the ideas were familiar.
One premise behind Rhonda Byrne’s book is optimism or positive thinking. She writes about changing how you see life and then your life will change, which is exactly what Wayne Dyer promises in his book The Power of Intention. From my NLP training I know that this premise works and the author’s own success is clearly evidence of it too.
The beauty about personal development is that it is personal, individual and unique, just like our fingerprints and our Doshas. There is no right or wrong way to go on the journey of life; no right or wrong book; no right or wrong teacher; and no right or wrong answer. There is no judge or exam, just the quality of an individual’s life experience as they work out for themselves what they need at that moment in time.
What I do like about The Secret, and The Celestine Prophecy before it, is the idea of a mystery that is as old as time; very Indiana Jones. What The Celestine Prophecy has, which is why it worked for me, is that it is a story, an adventure, and not just a collection of interviews as is Rhonda’s style with The Secret.
Paulo Coelho’s The Alchemist is similar; if you are not ready to see beyond the words on the page, you can still enjoy the story, which in essence is a fable about following your dream. The Secret is based on the concept that everything one wants/needs may be accomplished by wishing it and believing it will happen.
I do not claim to know if this concept is wrong or right, but from my own personal experience, I believe we are given what we need as an individual to move us towards our destiny or life or soul’s purpose.
A few years ago I watched the film of The Secret hoping that it would change my opinion on the book. As I sat there watching example after example of material wealth success stories, my post arrived with a government savings bond certificate, where there is a lottery-like payout.
Keen to try out the book’s theory, I followed the processes described and set the Intention for wealth and desired a big win. I visualised the outcome of a £1 million win and then dated that particular the certificate before pinning it to the cork board where I kept my Dreams in sight every morning with my first cup of coffee.
One day, eight or nine months later, having totally forgotten my experiment with manifestation, I received a cheque for £100. The serial number of the certificate matched the number on the cheque and I laughed.
I knew instantly that for me to follow my purpose, I had to learn about and believe in the laws of attraction, the concept of manifestation, and the process of setting an intention; but at that moment in time in my case, winning £1 million in 2006 would have taken me off track and away from my life’s purpose.
Like all clues, or pieces of a jigsaw, collect enough and you will eventually get the full picture. The order in which you find the clues simply determines how long it will take you to solve the puzzle of life.
There are short-cuts and for some The Secret, and its sister The Power, might be the perfect route to discovering the wealth that life has to offer; for others it might not work.
My main reservation with the book—which is why it is not in Library—is that it focuses too much on the material side, masking many of the spiritual concepts that make these dreams come true.
It is misleading to define the wealth of life with a materialistic benchmark and to give less weight to the spiritual concepts. The book has resulted in some readers, whose ultimate Calling might not be one of material wealth, feeling they have been short changed.
Worse still they have become disillusioned, believing they have less than they had before or are somehow failures for not being able to conjure up wealth, when in fact it is just not their time or even their route in life.
To me the missing secret in the book is the idea that we are all unique, with unique skills and unique destinies, as well as very different karmas to work out in this lifetime to achieve our unique life purpose.
I personally believe that if we ask for what will help us to get closer to that life or soul’s purpose, those requests will materialise. If, however, we ask for something that will take us further away it is unlikely to. Or we may get unwanted side-effects and not be able to see that these are actually the gift or lesson we need to move in our own true direction.
For me, the most important secret is knowing, or allowing yourself to believe, that what you do get is exactly what you need in that moment in time. It is one of The Four Principles of Spirituality.
The real secret of successful manifestation is for requests to be aligned to life purpose and once the intention is set, it is important to let go of the outcome and enjoy the journey, says Srikumar Rao, author of Are you ready to succeed. This way one is less likely to feel short changed.
We are all at different points on our own individual path, which is why there cannot be a single book that works for everyone. If a book, including The Secret, resonates with the values and beliefs we hold in that slice of time, then the book becomes the teacher or guide that is needed at that moment, irrespective of anyone else’s opinion or whether the book is a best seller and in my library or not.