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The Real Secret Behind The Secret
By Dr. Ray Angelini
May 1, 2007
As I'm sure many of you are aware, the book and the DVD The Secret have taken this country by storm. While it has been out several years, The Secret, like many other things, seemed to reach critical mass when it was featured on Oprah. Those of you who read my column regularly are very aware of my views regarding the power of our thoughts. However, I believe that books like The Secret may be telling only half the story and giving people an inaccurate and unrealistic view of how the philosophy behind it can be utilized effectively in their lives.
The foundation of The Secret lies in the law of attraction. Basically, the law of attraction says that we either attract or repel people, things or events into our lives based on the overall pattern of our thinking. Thus, our mind is like a cosmic transmitting device that sends out frequencies that attracts to you whatever you think about the most. According to the book, once you know "the secret," there are supposedly no limits and you can attract into your life whatever or whomever you desire. While this notion certainly has some validity, I believe that in and of itself it is complete.
In my experience, change is the result of both intention (the power of our thoughts) and attention (some type of concrete action or behavior). For example, if you want to lose weight, it can be tremendously helpful to have a picture or a vision of yourself as you hope to look after you reach your desired weight. However, this vision alone is not sufficient. Without proper nutrition and exercise, it is highly unlikely that you will be successful. Ideally, the intention or vision of losing weight should motivate us to take the right actions to bring about the desired result.
There is an old saying that "insanity is doing the same thing and expecting different results." I believe that to get different results, we have to both think and act differently. Different thoughts should inspire different actions, but one without the other is rarely very effective.
Even Rhonda Byrne herself, the author of The Secret, would not have been successful if she had not engaged in the hard work of writing the book, producing the film, and then marketing her product. It is very tempting to look for easy solutions to many of the seemingly never-ending challenges that we encounter every day. We all want quick, easy solutions to the problems that plague us most. Changing how we think is certainly an important a first step.
So the real secret behind The Secret is that we are what we think and what we do! Thinking loving thoughts without acting lovingly isn't enough. Thinking peaceful thoughts is wonderful, but it needs to begin by ending the violence within ourselves if it is going to be effective in the world. So to modify the words of the great Mahatma Gandhi, we must both "think and be the change we want to see in the world." It certainly begins with our thoughts, but it shouldn't end there. That's the real secret!