Friday, April 27, 2007

Commentary - Does "The Secret" Really Work?

This post was once a “thought” . Now it’s a “thing”. Thoughts become things every day. Your favorite movie? It was once a thought. Now it’s a thing. That piece of music you love? Once it was a thought, now it’s a thing. Even you yourself very probably are the result of a thought (the love of your parents) which became a thing (you!).

I ask you point blank: what “things” (as in results we want in our lives) were not thoughts first?

So, why do people say “The Secret” doesn’t work, when we turn thoughts into things every hour of every day (or we wouldn’t even be able to order lunch)? I think what they are saying is “there is no spooky ‘thought wave’ that goes out into the universe and moves the pieces around and…voila, there we are in a Rolls Royce, tooling around town with our dream mate”. Or, they might mean…”oh sure thoughts turn into things, but not really cool, amazing things”.

Ok, if you say so. Now, personally, I am quite open to the proposition that there is indeed some kind of energy that does just that, but, frankly, for most dreams and aspirations, it is unnecessary to postulate such a supernatural force, since most dreams that people achieve can generally be traced backwards in time to a series of very simple actions, that eventually led to the result they were seeking. And before the first of those simple actions…was a thought.

I think “The Secret” becomes much less of a “Secret” if it is understood, in part, as a metaphor: no one is saying that thoughts become things with no intermediate step between the thought and the thing.

Let’s say you are age 9 and want to run a big company someday.

The probability that you will success increases s as we take action..

Kid, age 9 wants to be CEO (1,000,000 to 1)
Starts selling baseball cards every day after school (500,000 to 1)
Gets noticed by local merchant who hires him for odd jobs (100,000 to 1)
Scholarship to undergrad where he starts more businesses (50,000 to 1)
Scholarship to business school (40,000 to 1)
Becomes entrepreneur, tries several business, fails (30,000 to 1)
Devotes 18 hour/day building a business (15000 to 1)
Listens to input from everyone, makes his own decisions (1000 to 1)
Develops skills in sales, finance, leadership, product development (100 to1)
Becomes “overnight success” in only 45 years. (Probably a slam-dunk)

When I watch “The Secret” and think about my own life progress I think of the initial “visualization” that impels me to :

Ask others constantly on what to do and how to do it and who to do it with
Research. Buy, beg, or borrow every book, tape, article, or course that can help me
Study. Work it out. Get the concepts down.
Devote huge amounts of time. Big successes take big amounts of time.
Use the feedback from previous efforts to generate new ideas. Then try those ideas. Repeat process over and over.
Try a million possibilities. You have to enjoy the “trying” stage.
Accumulate capital. You need a firm base.
Find experts. It is the peak of hubris to believe you can invent every procedure, do every job, make every decision, know every part of the business on your own.

There is clearly a high probability that “thoughts” will become “things” when we allow the thought to inspire us through the process.

I believe that people think ”The Secret” cannot take them to bigger dreams is because:

1. They don’t realize that this dream may be associated with a long period of work (years or decades) and
2. They don’t understand that often the steps are not known, but have to be invented along the way, as an iterative process, based on incoming data from the previous step.

All along the way in this process, thoughts become things. But a lot of the “things” are mundane things: a concept, a prototype, a business plan, market research, all are “intermediate things” that were once thoughts, leading to the “big” thing…the successful outcome, the fruition of our dream. But all along the way, thoughts were becoming things.

It is particularly important to remember the tenets of the Secret in longer time-frame projects. Often, big dreams take longer. The Apollo program took the better part of a decade. Most large companies (Wal Mart, Berkshire Hathaway, Microsoft) are the results of decades of iterative “thought becoming things” with each step growing out of the last. And speaking of big companies, can you imagine a Warren Buffett, a Michael Dell, a Bill Gates not spending most of his day thinking about and acting on what he wants? If we imagine the lives of the greats in any field, it would be hard to imagine they did not spend huge amounts of time concentrating on what they wanted.

And that’s no Secret.

Related Links:

My Success with Affirmations


The Unconscious Mind Part 1

How to Attract Good Luck


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