BrainTrust Query: Can ‘The Secret’ Help your Business?
If you’re asking “What secret?” you’ve been away on a safari far too long. The book is outselling Harry Potter. Oprah is absolutely fawning over both the book and the DVD and Larry King has had the ‘stars’ of the movie on repeatedly. On the other hand I’ve received about a dozen blogs in the last few weeks brutally denouncing the premise of The Secret as absolute drivel. To be honest “drivel” wasn’t the word; they used a more agricultural term.
The fundamental concept is that we attract what we have in our lives through what we think and feel. It’s called The Law of Attraction. If you’re ‘dumb, sick and broke’, you attracted that condition because you think ‘dumb, sick and broke.’Likewise if your life is overflowing with abundance and joy, you attracted that abundance and joy again because of the thoughts you constantly entertain.
Since everything around you began as thought, as an idea–including your business, it’s pretty hard to argue against that foundational premise of The Secret. Your level of business success matches the level of thinking in your mind and the minds of your employees. If you want to change your results; change how people think. Of course that’s not so easy to do.
Your future is literally waiting for your instructions and you give those instructions by how you think. I’ve seen retailers interviewed about business on television and they go on about how tough it is, how people aren’t buying and other tales of woe. They create the very circumstances they fear! Viewers won’t go to that store for sure because clearly the guy’s a pathetic loser and his products probably suck too. Up to this point I think the movie is right on the money.
One shortcoming of The Secret, however, is its failure to clarify that you can’t realize your dreams just by going ‘ohmmm’ and sitting on your butt. When the universe brings circumstances to you in line with your thoughts you’ve got to take action! If you don’t, the universe stops bringing opportunities to you. Success isn’t just about dreaming big; it’s about doing big.
Finally–and this is the most important point of all–is the fact that while you always reap what you sow–sometimes you reap what you didn’t sow. The fact is other people can sow weeds in your garden.
Critics of The Secret always bring up the holocaust example or that of a baby born with HIV AIDS. The purpose of these difficult examples is to show that we do not always create our own circumstances as The Secret implies. This is where it falls sadly short of being truly helpful in lifting people out of negative circumstances.
Those who died in that tragic way did not manifest their death by how they thought. But others had evil thoughts resulting in that tragedy. A baby born with HIV AIDS did NOT manifest that condition–her mother or father or goodness knows who else did. In both examples innocent people had to reap what they didn’t sow. Unfortunately The Secret (and the gurus who keep being interview on Oprah, etc.) says absolutely nothing about this.
Here’s the thing–we each individually do need to look at how we use the power of our minds and thoughts to create and attract the world we long for. And when we see signals in that direction, we’ve got to act on them. “I” am responsible. True personally; true in business. The Secret will teach you that.
Here’s the other thing–as Martin Luther King said “We’re all tied in a single garment of destiny” and we’ve got to recognize that no decision we make is an isolated decision. We constantly influence the experience of others for good or ill. All of the wounds we’re experiencing as human society from debilitating bureaucracy to global warming to oil dependency to corporate fraud are self-inflicted wounds that the collective “we” is responsible for. Being human is an inter-dependent condition. The Secret doesn’t teach you that.
Discussion Questions: Do you think a business would do itself a favor by learning from quantum thinkers and movies/books like “The Secret” or are such things just a bunch of new-age ramblings meant to prey on the helpless? (In discussion please be clear about whether or not you’ve actually read the book/seen the movie or if you are simply reacting to this post. Both perspectives are welcomed.)