Hello hello! Do I need to apologise again for my absence? This whole juggling real life and being a self-help disciple is challenging. Not in a bad way – I’m very, very happy – just busy.
Turns out I’m a very bad multi-tasker. I might do a productivity book one month but I’m not sure how exciting it would be for you to read my to-do lists.
Anyway I’m back and my next book is… drumroll please…. and a big welcome to…. The Secretby Rhonda Byrne.
Now I’ve got to be honest, this book has brought out my cynical, scoffing, critical, miserable side.
First of all it’s brown and ugly. The pages look like they’ve had coffee spilt on them and they have this stupid scrolly font that’s trying to make everything look old and scholarly but in my humble opinion makes everything look naff and crap. Sorry if that sounds snooty. This book is also bringing out my snooty side.
Secondly, it costs £14.99 for a very small book. The Secret to getting rich indeed.
For anyone who doesn’t know, The Secret is one of the fastest selling self-help books of all time. Since it was published in 2006 it has sold 19 million copies and been raved about by Oprah, Will Smith and Nicole Kidman.
The book promises you can get anything you want – the man of your dreams, the house of your dreams, the job of your dreams, millions of pounds – just by positive thinking.
It’s all down to something called The Law of Attraction apparently, which says that thinking about something is the way to get it. If you want to be rich, imagine yourself rich. Every day visualise your fabulous life. What do you do? Where do you shop? How do you feel?
If you want a Mercedes, close your eyes and picture those hands wrapped around the steering wheel. Imagine how it feels to own that beautiful car.
If you are yearning for George Clooney to knock on your door, imagine it every day, clear a space for his designer suits in your wardrobe and make sure you don’t sleep in the middle of the bed. You have to sleep on one side to leave room for him. (I kid you not, this is the kind of stuff it stays)
Now don’t just imagine it but BELIEVE it’s already happened. You are a gazillionaire! You have a Mercedes! Now give thanks to the world for your untold riches.
Joe Vitale, an ‘ecumenical healer’, quoted in the book describes it like this: ‘You are the Michelangelo of your own life. The David that you are sculpting is you.’ Byrne says: ‘It is exactly like placing an order from a catalogue. … You must know that what you want is yours the moment you ask.’
It all sounds ridiculous and over the top but so many people swear by it. I have a friend who says The Secret helped her conceive her twins after years of trying. She thought every day about having a family, what it felt like to be a mother. She believed it had already happened and then it actually did.
Another friend decided at the start of 2012 that she was going to be engaged by the end of the year. She was single at the time. She not only got engaged that year but married the next and is now pregnant. She puts this all down to The Secret.
Australian TV producer Rhonda Byrne ‘discovered’ the Law of Attraction when she was going through a mid-life crisis. Her daughter gave her a book called The Science of Getting Rich, which stated that actually you could have anything you want with positive thinking.
There are other books based on the same premise – The Power of Positive Thinking by Norman Vincent Peale, The Law of Attraction by Esther and Jerry Hicks, Think and Grow Rich by Napoleon Hill – and according to Byrne this unlocks the secret to having everything you want in life. She has certainly created a thriving career with several follow-up books which have all sold in their millions.
But of course there are just as many people who say that it’s rubbish at best and dangerous at worst. The idea that we can bring positive things into our life by thinking positively also means the opposite can be true. The book implies that people who get sick and are the victims of natural disasters or even wars, probably attracted themselves to the event by being on the ‘same frequency’ as it. According to Byrne: ‘Imperfect thoughts are the cause of all humanity’s ills, including disease, poverty, and unhappiness.’
It also has some decidedly nutty advice such as this:
- If you want money write yourself a cheque for the amount you want and it will come your way
- If you want a man clear out space for his clothes in your wardrobe and sleep on one side of the bed
- If you want to be thin – think ‘thin thoughts’ because ‘A person cannot think ‘thin thoughts’ and be fat. It completely defies the law of attraction.’
What can I say? It’s all pretty out there stuff. And yet, I want so much for it to be true. How wonderful if you could have anything you want in life? And why not? You could argue that anything we have now is because at one point we set out to go and get it. And anyone who has massive success, started by visualising a life that was bigger and better than the one they were born to and they went out and got it.
So does it work? Follow me to find out.
I plan to be in possession of a hot car, a hot man, a hot bod and a hot cheque by the end of the month.