Can You Use ‘The Secret’ To Affirm/Visualize Your Way To Success?
Just a few days ago, I shared and discussed my opinion of the 2007 movie sensation, ‘The Secret’ (remember to whisper it for impact!) A casual reader might make the assumption that I’ve got a bad attitude about a good idea, and that I’m keeping away the goodies in life through the power of my own thought. Well, if that’s what you thought, then think again!
Because in spite of my opinion about any magical powers that exist inside of belief, I still get lots of goodies in life. In fact, I’ve been profoundly lucky, fortunate, blessed, charmed, and lucky (yes, I know I’m repeating it, but I’ve decided that repeating it makes me TWICE as lucky!)
And along the way, I’ve visualized my success and affirmed it. I happen to be a big believer in the value of affirmations. In like manner, I wholeheartedly embrace the use of visualization as a tool. Like the good book says, “Where there is no vision, the people perish!”
In this blog post, I’m going to discuss and discharge any dissonance caused by the seeming mixed messages contained in these preceding paragraphs.
Affirm = To Fix or Make Firm In Your Mind
I am, as I said, a big believer in the value of affirmations. So how can that be? I don’t believe in the magical power of affirmations, as a new agey tool that gives you access to the catalog of goodies in the sky, delivered by a genie, a stork or Santa to the good little boys and girls who say the magic words. But I recognize affirmation as a valuable way of focusing the mind, strengthening one’s vision and clarity of purpose, and navigating forward in the presence of static, backlash and gorilla dust! Affirmations can play a big role in keeping your focus strong. But it’s doing the work that sets the resources in place.
Of course, affirmations are not inherently positive. So what’s the result? Well, it turns out that people affirm all kinds of things. “I’m not smart” and “I’m too fat” and “I’m not pretty enough” and “I’ll never learn this” are common affirmations that have predictably limiting results. Not results in the real world sense, but results in how the mind pays attention and what kind of proof is accrued.
If You’re Going To Affirm Something…
I figure, if I’m going to affirm something, if I’m going to tell myself a story about which I will look for proof in order to be right, I might as well affirm something I want to be right about! So, I choose to affirm my good. I affirm that I’m the right person, in the right place, at the right time, with access to the right resources.
I don’t do this because I hope that what I affirm will magically come true. I affirm myself and my direction in this way because it helps me to find the evidence I need to keep going when the going gets tough.
It’s no secret that affirmations provide the verbal constructs, and visualizations provide the visual constructs, that we use to convert our mental and emotional judgments about what is inevitable or possible into the foundation of what we unfold into our lives. That’s a mouthful, I know, and affirming that my multiphrased sentence makes sense doesn’t make it so. And yet, my sentence does make sense. (Ok, maybe you had to read it a few times…but still, it will eventually make sense!) It’s like this. What we affirm becomes real only because what we affirm is what we then notice and base our actions on. Affirm what you want and you just may increase your confidence about it enough to keep going until you get what you affirmed. Affirm what you don’t want and you will notice that and get more of that by way of your attention.
Here’s The Real Secret
Let me tell you what the real secret is, and you don’t have to whisper it or pretend that it’s something BIG when it’s not. The real secret is the dynamic duo of HARD WORK and GOOD LUCK! The way i learned it, fortune favors the prepared. Do the work, be in a state of readiness to respond, and if you’re lucky enough to have good luck knocking on your door, you will be able to answer it and respond with the systems and ideas you’ve worked on and developed.
But wait, you may ask, isn’t the secret of ‘The Secret’ (hey, whisper it!) that if you wish for luck it will come to you? HAH! Yeah, right, wishing for luck is what luck is all about. NOT. Countless millions, maybe billions, pray wish and hope for luck every single day of their lives, and still it does not arrive. And if it did, they would not be in a position to act on it. Not ready for it. We know that lottery winners, and I’m not talking about the $5 variety, but more like the $5 million variety, have a bad habit of squandering their money at which point they return to the conditions from which they began. I have personally known people who inherited money and somehow managed to spend it or give it away until it was all gone.
Can You Attract Luck To Yourself?
Luck, also known as fortune, is a chance happening, or that which happens beyond a person’s control. Keywords: CHANCE HAPPENING and BEYOND YOUR CONTROL. Read all about it here in an excellent Wikipedia entry. Usually, when we use the term lucky, we’re referring to good luck, though most good luck is interpreted as a consequence of our doing and deserving, when in fact it is not. But when things go badly, we tend to ascribe it to bad luck, even when it is the consequence of our own doing. And that is basic attribution theory…take credit when things work out, blame luck when the don’t.
Getting lucky does happen. People gamble it all on the roll of the dice, the luck of the draw, the lottery ticket instead of the meal, and every once in a while (and the odds are incredibly small) somebody somewhere gets lucky! But getting REALLY lucky is when opportunity arrives in a meaningful way, and what makes it meaningful is the fact that you are prepared to act on it. Being prepared is unlikely if you’ve been sitting around reading ‘The Secret’ (tell me you’ve learned to whisper it by now so it sounds truly profoundly powerful!) and wishing for luck.
Luck happens. And unlucky happens too. If wishing could attract luck, based on the number of wishful thinkers I’ve come across in my work and travels, I would expect far more people to have what they want out of life than actually do. But it doesn’t. I’d surely have been given the Smallville DVD series by now. But I haven’t. So to my thinking, so much for the so called law of attraction.
It’s this stark fact of life that is at the root of my disgruntlement with the makers and purveyors of ‘The Secret,’ (are you whispering powerfully? Are you? I can’t hear you! Oh wait, maybe that’s because you’re successfully whispering…sorry!)
Some of my favorite sendups of ‘The Secret’ can be found here.
In my next blog post, last in this series and final for the week, I’ll talk about the law of the universe that comes closest to the so-called law of attraction. And then next week, I’ll take another swing at the persuasive marketers and Internet marketers who are making a killing at everyone else’s expense in a post called ‘How To Get Rich On The Internet.’ Sound like fun? I may even name names and provide links, for any readers who happen to be a little irony-challenged. And who knows? Might even attract some blog traffic when Google picks up these powerful phrases, ‘How To Get Rich’ and ‘On The Internet.’ Now, that’s the law of attraction at work!
Your comments are the gas in my tank, the lift in my shoe, the spring in my step! When you leave your comments, I find you attractive!
One last item: If you haven’t done so yet, swing by LearnToPersuade.com’ and pick up on a limited time offer to listen for free to my $49 audio program on Dealing With People You Can’t Stand. You’ll find this fun filled audio to be loaded with useful ideas to deal with the pushy people, negative people, distracting and disruptive people, the, er, DIFFICULT people in your life.
Rick is a best selling author and the founder of the Art of Change Skills for Life. His book titles include, Dealing with People You Can’t Stand: How to bring out the best in people at their worst, Life by Design and Influence and the Art of Persuasion. These days he is spending quality time away from the spotlight enjoying the company of his wife and practicing his electric guitar.