The Secret of The Secret™

With all of the posts [Kyle's John's NellaLou's] (there are others out there as well, please check them out for the full story) regarding the wonderful Bill Harris, Genpo, and The Secret™, I thought I might need to clarify myself a bit, before I get lumped in with that whole group. Previously, I stated that I didn’t mind the message in The Secret™, and that I believed in the “law of attraction.” Well, I still stand by that, but with a large * at the end, which I never explained.

There’s a lot of crazy talk in The Secret™, namely about some sort of magical law that says that whatever you put out into the Universe will come back to you. All you have to do is think about something with enough conviction,  and it will come true. Sorry, I don’t buy it.

What I do buy, is that most of the successful people I have met have conviction, determination, and an unwavering sense of “yes, I can and will accomplish this”. And then they actually go out there and chase those dreams and ambitions (and for me, this = success. it’s not about the goal, but the process). To me, that’s the real “secret”. It takes more that wishing upon a star to make things happen in your life. But it also takes more than just action. It takes the right mindset to be able to not give in to failure and overcome obstacles and chase your dreams. This is something I’ve only had marginal success with in my own life. Being able to balance the mental with my actions has always been an awkward dance.

But you see, that’s not “The Secret™” that they $ell you in the DVD, is it? They make it sound like there is some mystical, magical force out there that if we just tap into, we’ll be just as successful as they are. Well, there probably isn’t. Sorry to burst your bubble.

And who are they targeting? The poor, the spiritually bankrupt, and the ex-Christians ready to embrace whatever it is Oprah is selling them this week. And this is why The Secret works for them (not to mention they are really good at smooth talking, using buzzwords and other used-car-salesmen techniques). They target those in real spiritual/financial need, and tell them that fulfillment is as easy as wishing for it. Of course, when a bunch of people called them out on their crap, they came out with the Secret part 2 (yes, I’ve watched both of them). And the groundbreaking bit of information in that one? It’s that not only do you have to wish for something, you then actually have to *gasp!* go out and act on it. And of course if it doesn’t work, you’re either not trying hard enough or the Universe has some other plan for you.

I do need to state that yes, I’ve tried manifesting things. I approached it in the sense that if I really focused my mental energy on something, and gave it my best shot, then there is no way I could be disappointed in myself for really trying. Because that’s when failure occurs. Doubt is a powerful poison that feeds upon itself until you are in ruin. Remaining focused with confidence is one way to combat this. See? No magic involved, just honest effort. But I digress.

Just the mere fact that they present it as some sort of “secret” only known to the most successful people out there is disgusting. This is a classic attempt to prey on the well-known fact that when people hear that there is a secret being held from them, it’s in their nature to find out what that secret is. It’s all marketing schtick meant to entice and get people believing that there is some magical way out of their plight. On the other hand, there is the “secret” that successful people are successful because they make their own success (obviously some people get stuff handed to them, but that’s the minority) through hard work and determination.

But didn’t someone already write a book about that? Ahh! But of course! That would be boring, and wouldn’t sell to the soccer-mom New Age crowd. You know, the ones that fork over hundreds of dollars for crystals, CDs, fill up the motivational seminars, and go out of their way to showcase whatever other crap you can buy in the back of a magazine that makes you feel spiritually evolved. I’ve already talked about how you can’t buy your way to enlightenment, so I’m not going to go there again. Instead I’ll just be left upset with the fact that it’s people like this that have stripped the New Age movement of any kind of organic, authentic identity, and instead have raped it into the multibillion dollar industry it has become. The only thing to do at this point is to single out the Snake-Oil-Salesmen of enlightenment one-by-one, until they have been shown to the world for what they are. Right now, it’s Bill Harris’ turn. Though to be honest, he brought it on himself. Hey wait, maybe The Secret™ does work!

Anyway, have a happy New Year! I promise to post something a bit more positive tomorrow.

Cheers.

4 Comments

Filed under Buddhism

4 responses to “The Secret of The Secret™

  1. Good post Adam. The points you make about success are well taken. It doesn’t just appear at one’s door like free samples of stuff in the mailbox. I think of the secret philosophy like this:

    1. The Secret=set goals
    2. The Next Secret=work toward those goals

    That’s about it.

    Malcolm Gladwell has a new book out called Outliers which examines people who are at the top of their various fields. He talks about a 10,000 hour practice period before they achieved their success. From hockey players to golfers to artists, sales people and all kinds (Bill Gates and Tiger Woods are given for examples).

    Here is a real good interview video of his findings from elephant journal

    http://www.elephantjournal.com/2009/02/malcolm-gladwell-on-how-to-achive-amazing-things-outliers-video-cbc/

    A good new year to you and yours as well.

  2. Adam

    Yeah, these guys peddle stuff in the same way as the get rich quick scammers, and the infomercial crap. Thanks for the link

  3. Lucas Hart

    As always Adam you are full of Wisdom and on the right path to finding true happiness through well deserved success. I haven’t checked out this site in a while…Gotta say really impressed, not to mention your page snows. At first I thought I rubbed my eyes too hard but I see what is really happening. Happy New Year Man.

  4. Adam

    Haha thanks Lucas. BTW – I’m still a little bit meat-hungover today.