You've probably seen it on bookshelves and bedside tables all around the world. You may have thought to yourself, 'I want to know what this secret is that everyone's harping on about!' Well folks, spoiler alert, the secret is about to be revealed.
The Secret is a self-help book that claims belief is at the core of success. By delving into the law of attraction, Rhonda Byrne explains how we can use the power of positive thinking to achieve whatever we visualize for our future.
The secret that's revealed is the so-called "law of attraction," which suggests that what we think translates into reality. The law is based on the notion, that "like attracts like," where we attract what we emit through energy. In essence, it's the boomerang effect, where what we send out comes back to us.
According to author Rhonda Byrne, the mind is our most powerful attribute. For better or worse, our thoughts don't just influence our reality; they ultimately govern it. So if you want to invite more positivity into your life, then The Secret might be just the book you're searching for. Or, perhaps, it's searching for you. Byrne explores how the law of attraction applies to money, health, relationships, as well as how we relate to the world and ourselves.
Briefly, we'll explore the law of attraction, how to use it in our lives, and some tips for the journey ahead.
The Secret Revealed
Whatever we think and feel is what we'll attract to ourselves. The law of attraction is a pseudo-scientific theory, which states that what we think and feel, determines what we'll attract in life. Thinking about good health and wealth will attract these very things, causing them to manifest in our lives. However, conversely, fretting over worst-case scenarios counter-intuitively brings these negative fears closer to realization.
According to Byrne, the law of attraction is based on quantum physics, where, "like attracts like," and the energy we attract depends on what we emit. The mind is like a magnet, emitting and receiving frequencies, to and from the universe. Each thought sends out a signal, which in turn gathers similar frequencies.
Here's how our author experienced the power of the law of attraction first hand. Byrne was at a stressful point in her life. Her father had recently died, and work and relationships were demanding. During this time, she came across a book called The Science of Getting Rich, dating back to 1910. The Science of Getting Rich unpacks this crucial notion of attraction, which piqued Byrne's interest. She linked this to the thinking of Ralph Waldo Emerson, philosophers such as Plato, and various religious references. As this started to impact her own life, she decided to travel to America. In America, she persuaded 52 teachers of this philosophy to be part of a movie, which ended up being called The Secret.
Her experience of the events that led to the movie's production felt like a magnetic pull between what she had envisaged, and how the entire process came together over seven weeks.
According to our author, 'Our mind is amazing, it generates our thoughts, and our thoughts create the world we live in. We have such a powerful tool at our disposal, which gives us the ability to make changes that we might not think possible.'
With this in mind, how do we apply "the secret" to our own lives? Well, as it turns out, It's pretty simple.
Ask, Believe, Receive
The key to manifest our dreams lies in a three-step process: ask, believe, and receive.
First, we have to define what we want clearly, and then ask for it. Vague questions get vague answers, or as Byrne puts it, 'When our request isn't specific, the signal will be confused, and the frequency attracts mixed results.' A vague wish such as 'I want to be rich,' isn't going to cut it. There's no precise measure of when you'll achieve this goal. A more explicit desire would be to set a specific amount of money that you want to make.
This sense of precise clarity worked for actor Jim Carrey. In 1995, Jim Carrey earned $10 million for his lead role in Dumb and Dumber. 'So what,' you might ask? Well, ten years before that, he wrote out a $10 million check to himself as a future payment for his acting skills, dated it for ten years later, and kept it in his wallet.
To put this first step of clear definition into practice, Byrne suggests taking a leaf out of Carrey's book and writing down what we desire. We should write it in the present tense, and from a perspective of gratitude. For example, write 'I'm grateful to have X.' Doing this emits a positive frequency. Lastly, (as most parents might empathize) don't "nag" the universe. According to Byrne, repeated asking shows that we doubt "the order" we placed, which sends mixed energy signals to the universe.
This brings us to the second step. We need to believe that the universe will give us what we ask for. However, according to our author, believing is by far the hardest step. To help us along, Byrne encourages us to tap into the power of positive visualization. She reminds us that visualization was part of the secret to success for many of the world's great inventors. She points out that the Wright brothers could imagine the airplane they wanted to build, and then brought it to life.
How do we tap into this power of visualization? Here are two methods.
Focus on "moving images." So instead of just focusing on what the kitchen of your dreams might look like, imagine yourself cooking and socializing in it. Byrne also suggests that we create a vision board. Pin images of all the things you desire onto a corkboard, and place it in an area where it's clearly visible. And it's not enough to just go through the motions. It's vital to believe our wish is on its way from the moment we ask for it. Then we should let go and allow the universe to work things out independently. Ongoing worry will only emit negative energy. Instead, faith and confidence send strong positive signals to the universe.
The final step is to receive. Receiving involves acting as if we have that which we've asked for. So if it's a car you want, act as if you've already bought it. Make plans for where you'll want to go or where you'll park it. These actions send out positive energy to the universe. Visualize what it'll be like, and use mantras such as, 'I'm receiving all the good in my life now.' Imagine how you'll feel once you have your heart's desire or once you've accomplished your goal.
Now that you're in on "the secret," and how to use it, let's look at some tips for the journey ahead. Remember that the law of attraction only works, if we work.
The Law of Attraction Only Works When You Think in Positives, Not Negatives
How often do your thoughts start with, 'I don't'? As in, 'I don't want to be late, I don't want to fail, or I don't want x to happen.' It's easy to spend our days preoccupied with the thoughts of what we don't want to happen, as opposed to what we hope for.
According to Byrne, here's the problem: the universe doesn't comprehend don'ts. It only responds to quantum physics. When we dissect the universe, we get right down to the most fundamental level, which is energy. Energy vibrates at specific frequencies, and when things vibrate on the same frequency, they're drawn to each other through natural attraction. So our dominant frequency is where we spend the most mental time.
If we're busy thinking about how we don't want to fail, all this does is keep our focus and energy on failing, and draws the possibility of failure closer to us. However, if we change how we think about things, we change the vibrational frequency of our thoughts.
So the key takeaway here is to attract the good instead of the bad. Byrne says, 'When people start focusing on what they want, what they don't want falls away, and what they want expands, and the other part disappears.' The message we send to the universe needs to be positive. Perhaps it's 'I want to pass,' or 'I want to be debt-free.' However, it also needs to be specific, like 'I want to be debt-free by the end of the year.' If you find this hard, Byrne suggests we can distill what we don't want, and then focus on the opposite. This can be personal; for example, when it comes to health, rather than dwell on health problems, we can focus on good aspects of our health. And the same can be applied to larger phenomena around the world, so instead of focusing on being anti-war, we focus on promoting peace.
Keep Your Vibration High
Byrne suggests using activities, or "secret shifters," to brighten our spirits, so we don't dwell on the negative.
How do we know when we might be too focused on the negative? Tune into how you're feeling.
Emotions indicate thoughts. If we're finding it hard to identify what type of thoughts we're having, we can always use our emotions to guide us to what we're thinking. It's impossible to have negative emotions and positive thoughts at the same time. Byrne says that 'Our emotions can serve as an early warning system to tell us when our thoughts are too negative.' So, If we feel like we're falling into a negative rabbit hole, this is when our author cautions, 'Warning, change thinking now. Negative frequency recording. Change frequency. Warning.' And to change our vibe, we can use secret shifters.
Secret shifters are anything that puts us in a good mood. Whether it's music, thinking of a loved one, or reminiscing about one of our favorite places. Whenever we catch ourselves in a negative downward thought spiral, we can use our secret shifters to help improve our mood and bring our positive thoughts back. Make your list of what can shift your mood in times of distress.
Clear Your Resistance
It often feels as if we're fighting against the universe, and we create a sense that we need to fight for our place within it. But, as the famous psychoanalyst Carl Jung said, 'What you resist, persists.' We hold onto bad things that have happened in our past, which keeps us trapped in the wrong frequency. To move away from this, we need to hold onto what we want, loosen the control of our negative thoughts, and open up the future we desire, by remembering what the secret holds out for us.
If we shift our perspective to see ourselves as being at one with the universe, and that our energy is in a complementary flow with that of the universe, we can start to shift. We're an energy field that fits comfortably within a larger supportive energy field. We can begin to feel more connected, and less alone and fearful.
This connection lowers our need to feel that we're operating with limited resources or competing with others for finite supplies.
Positive thoughts might not have magical powers, but edging over to the optimistic side of things can lead to more productive behavior. If we draw inaccurate conclusions of who we are and what we're capable of, we limit our potential. Once we draw conclusions about ourselves, we're likely to do two things; look for evidence that reinforces that belief, and discount anything that runs contrary to that belief. Psychologists call this confirmation bias. Confirmation bias is our tendency to search for, interpret, favor, and recall information in a way that confirms or supports our beliefs. It makes sense that if we start to shift incrementally to more positive thoughts, we will also seek out small things that reinforce these thoughts. This moves us along the path towards achieving what we hope and desire for ourselves.
So for the esoterically minded, perhaps the "thoughts as vibrations" theory "resonates." For the skeptics, maybe the secret is nothing more than leveraging confirmation bias. Regardless of what we believe, perhaps the pertinent question is:' What will you choose to focus on?'