The Secret and the 2 Systems of Success

Eskeptic on The Secret:

The deeply offensive racial overtones are hard to ignore, as are the sexist slurs — for instance, during the delivery of the above quotation, the visual is of a boardroom full of white, cigar-smoking male executives. Evidently social inequality and injustice, a lack of resources, several thousand years of patriarchy, oppression and inequality between the sexes — all the usual explanations as to why people don’t have money are incorrect.

Thank you! The complete lack of historical and socio-economic context of the haves and have more and have nots makes me ill.

The Secret is actually proposing two completely different systems for achieving one’s goals and then blurring the line between those systems — in effect, selling the system that works on the back of the one that doesn’t. On the one hand, we are told that all that is required to get what we desire is to ask, believe, and receive. On the other hand, we are told that we can’t merely ask, believe, receive. “… In the first scenario, the supernatural is required. In the second scenario, a paper-route is required. The second scenario is the one that most of us recognize as the only one that will actually work, in which a person has an “idea,â€? then acts on that idea, and then gets the desired results. The second system renders irrelevant the first system. The testimonial of the editor of the Chicken Soup for the Soulbooks, Jack Canfield, provides an excellent example of the first system (ask-believe-receive) getting the credit for the second system (idea-action-results).

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About Andy Wibbels

Andy is an award-winning blogger and author of the book Blogwild! A Guide for Small Business Blogging. His work has been featured in The Wall Street Journal, USA Today, Entrepreneur, Wired, Business Week, Forbes, and other national and international media. He was worked at several San Francisco startups including Get Satisfaction, SAY Media, InMobi, Keas, and Mindjet. Currently, Andy is Director of Marketing at Lucidworks. Tw · Fb · G+ · Li

3 thoughts on “The Secret and the 2 Systems of Success

  1. Sarah Zeldman

    I noticed the discrepancy between the two systems too, but it doesn’t bother me much. It wasn’t totally clear in the movie, but if you look closely, You will see that you receive what you want in one of three ways:
    a) What you want will automatically show up;
    OR
    b) You will have an inspired idea about an action you can take to get what you want.;
    OR
    c) You will be shown the way to get what you want through an opportunity you may have otherwise missed if you hadn’t done the first step of getting crystal clear about what you want. Example: The story of how Jack Canfield saw an opportunity while in a supermarket that he totally would have missed if he hadn’t been using The Secret.
    There are those who criticize The Secret as promoting simple, positive thinking without the need for action. I knew that The Secret did require action but it is hard to see where it fits in because they do focus a lot on magically attracting BMWs and the like.
    I think the makers of the movie would agree that action is often (but not always) a required step to “receive�. I think the language is a bit tricky here because we think of receiving as a passive act. Indeed, sometimes you will receive what you ask for without taking action, like when you think of an old friend and they call you the next day. However, the other two methods of “receiving� DO require you to take action.
    It makes sense. When you actively achieving a goal by getting crystal clear about what you want and believing that you can achieve it; then you prepare yourself mentally to follow through on ideas or opportunities to get what you want. Sometimes that thing just falls in your lap because you are ready to see them in the environment around you. Most of the time you have to take action. Regardless, using the steps in The Secret, you can begin to take control of your life by “training your brain� for success. There doesn’t have to be anything mystical or scientific about it. It makes sense to me.
    I wish that instead of using the words “Ask. Believe. Recieve.” They had used the words that James Arthur Ray uses to describe the steps “Think, Feel, Act” — but that would have killed the whole genie in the lamp image. lol! (Don’t get me started on that one. Yuk)
    Yeah, The Secret isn’t perfect. I’m not going to make it my new religion (I have one already– that’s enough!) but I don’t want to ‘throw the baby out with the bathwater’ and totally dismiss it too. On the whole, I think it’s a very positive work of art and inspiration.

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