Book Review: The Secret

Book Review: The Secret 1I remember hearing all about "the Secret" back in 2006 when the book first premiered. It seemed like everyone was talking about it. Oprah even had Rhonda Byrne and the rest of The Secret "dream team" on her show in February 2007.

I finally decided to cave and read the book for myself. Essentially, the book's premise is that "The Secret is the Law of Attraction" and the book's promise is that "The Secret can give you whatever you want."

In a nutshell, the Law of Attraction preaches that, "Everything that's coming into your life you are attracting into your life. And it's attracted to you by virtue of the images you're holding in your mind. It's what you're thinking. Whatever is going on in your mind you are attracting to you."

The concept seems reasonable enough. I actually agree in many ways. If you're positive, you'll attract positivity in your life. If you're loving, you will attract love. If you think about happiness, you'll probably be very happy. Etc. I appreciated that "no blame" approach to life. For the most part, I agree: Your attitude, your actions, indeed your thoughts do...create your life.

The beauty and simplicity of that concept was somewhat lost, however, in the jumbled new-age and humanistic jargon. The idea that any illness can be cured and any goal can be achieved (whether you want to become a billionaire or lose 30 pounds or fly to the moon) simply by using your thoughts is a bit bogus. "All you require is You," the book quips. "You can think your way to the perfect state of health, the perfect body, the perfect weight, and eternal youth." Yes, the book actually says that.

While I agree that many great and "impossible" things can be accomplished with motivation, dedication, and optimism, I don't think that's all it takes.

The book also had a very creepy ending. Here is one of the paragraphs in the concluding chapter, "You are God in a physical body. You are Spirit in the flesh. You are Eternal Life expressing itself as You. You are a cosmic being. You are all power. You are all wisdom. You are all intelligence. You are perfection. You are magnificence. You are the creator..." That is just plain spooky.

For me, that was the book's fatal flaw. It failed to acknowledge God and, instead, placed the reader in God's shoes.

All that said, I appreciated many of the concepts in the book and many of the thoughts resonated with me. The emphasis on gratitude, generosity, hope, and intentionality inspired me. I did walk away with some good things and the thoughts behind the book have challenged me to think about the power of choice.

Rarely is a book or movie "all bad" or "all good." I don't like to think in such black-and-white perimeters. Instead, I like to think in terms of pulling the useful items and using them - and pondering the items that are controversial or incorrect.

If you want to pick up some good tips for having a positive outlook (and join the controversy), you can enter to win a copy of your own (below).

P.S. Maybe this shouldn't be a part of my review, but I have to mention that I love the book's small size, the glossy pages, the quotes spattered throughout, and the alluring cover. Whoever was responsible for the "packaging" of this book is to be congratulated.

Book Review: The Secret 2WIN IT! One winner will receive a copy of the book and one winner will receive a copy of the DVD. To enter, simply leave a comment stating your preference (book or DVD) and your e-mail address prior to Sunday, December 23rd, at midnight. The winner will be announced and contacted on Monday, December 24th. * Winner must provide a U.S mailing address.

* UPDATED * The winner of the book is #45 wired wilsons and the winner of the DVD is #24 Stacey Moore.

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46 comments on “Book Review: The Secret”

  1. Like you I have looked at the book many times when it first came out and thought. "naaaah". But now I'm curious so I will mentally try to 'attract' the book!

  2. I'd love to read the book! They were just talking about parts of it on the radio station I listen to on my way to work.

  3. Either would be fun. I don't know if I agree with the buzz that this book created, but I'd like to give it a read (or watch it).

  4. The Secret is the latest and by far the worst example of a HIGHLY profitable trend where self-help gurus with fabricated new age titles and little relevant education, credentials or legitimate expertise brainwash us into believing that they know what is best for us, our marriages and our families.

    Often their only contribution to society is introducing some exotic sounding, new age philosophy. However, they often cleverly form an incestuous group of like-minded “experts” who cross-promote each other by swearing their success is due to following the beliefs of another member of their “cult!” All the while, they ply the airwaves jockeying for an ever-larger audience by appearing in the national media to garner third-party endorsements.

    The Self-Help Movement has become the Self-Destruct Movement by diminishing or destroying our critical thinking skills to choose and evolve on our own. We have given up the freedom to build healthy lives, marriages and families based on our unique history and life experience. Instead many victims, blinded to the value of their own life experiences, are attracted to the latest secret in self-help, in an attempt to find out what they should think, feel and how they should act... this is the definition of a cult.

    The solution is a return to our (common) senses! The best way out of this learned “self-helplessness” is to go cold turkey. Stop following ALL self-help gurus now. Begin, instead, to reclaim your natural, God-given ability to think for yourself. The common sense that was once readily available to all of us is still there free of charge and waiting to be applied to just about any challenge we might face in life… all you have to do is use it.

    Please, let's all work together to stop the flock of "sheepeople" who blindly move from one UNPROVEN concept to the next, looking for the answers to life's challenges that you already possess and that is the OBVIOUS!

  5. Im honestly a bit confused about this book from all Ive heard and read about it. I'd rather have the DVD as I rarely have time to sit down and really read these days.. but there is always time for a DVD as I can fold laundry and do other stuff at the same time.

    I blogged you too :)
    http://www.prizeatron.com

  6. Evening, I have only heard bits and pieces about the book and its'
    concepts. Thanks for helping me out.
    Please enter me in your drawing for either the prize. Thanks,Cindi
    jchoppes[at]hotmail[dot'com

  7. I'd love either, but I'll pick the DVD since its hard to find time to read a book with a rambunctious 4 yr old and a newborn! :)
    dansan826 at yahoo dot com

  8. Sign me up for the book. Although I must admit, I am intrigued by the idea of a DVD. Is it just "film" of the author (or someone else) reading the book?

  9. I would love to have the dvd. I remember watching Oprah about this and it was so interesting. I have been meaning to read the book, but didn't ever get to finding it. The dvd would be great since I have three little ones.
    Thanks!
    meloti2@aol.com

  10. Okay, so far all requests for the book so I'd like the DVD please. With two young kids I don't have much time to read anyway!

  11. I would love to read the book!

    I tend to look at the glass as half full, and I've heard from several people that I tend to be a little pessimistic. I just say I'm being "real," but what are semantics, anyway, if it's just plain negative thought? I could use an uplifting message.

    Lis Garrett
    http://www.MelissaGarrett.wordpress.com

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