Unless you’ve been living under a rock or have just awakened from a coma, It’s a safe bet you’ve heard about The Secret. Or read the bestseller. Or watched the DVD. Or all of the above.
Having some of the contributors on the Oprah show to plug the book ensured its bestselling future. Critics have pointed out that the secret is no secret at all, just a repackaging, regurgitation, and rebranding of an old truth. In other words, a brilliant marketing coup.
After many chapters in the book and many vignettes on the DVD we are eventually told that the secret is in fact the law of attraction.
A couple of decades ago success guru Brian Tracy defined it: “You are a living magnet; you invariably attract into your life the people, situations and circumstances that are in harmony with your dominant thoughts” (1). He also explained that the law of attraction springs from the law of cause and effect, “the granddaddy law, the ?Iron Law? of Western thought” (1).
The law of attraction has also been called the Law of Sowing and Reaping, the Law of Action and Reaction, the Law of Compensation, and the Socratic Law.
This law is just one of 151 laws revealed in a tape program called The Universal Laws of Success and Achievement. Tracy didn’t invent this stuff. He just pulled together and sorted the laws into 12 different categories: success, achievement, happiness, love and relationships, economics, negotiating, money, wealth creation, selling, business, luck, and self-fulfillment.
Anyone who has ever read a self-help book or heard a personal coach speak or spent one minute trying to become a self-actualized human being knows that none of this is new. Oh sure, every so often people find a new spin or a new way to explain things, but essentially a truth is a truth is a truth. Most mortals need to be reminded, reinvigorated, re-engaged. Bestsellers and media hype bring the message to new audiences and remind those of us who’ve heard it before.
don’t get me wrong, I’m no genius. It’s just that I’ve invested in myself by buying books, tapes, and seminars. Without exception all the experts suggest turning your car into a university on wheels. Drop a tape into the player and soak up all that good, empowering, soul-renewing info. And it beats road rage by a country mile. In our multi-tasking world it makes sense. It’s especially effective for auditory learners. When my kids were still at home I nearly drove them crazy by playing Jim Rohn tapes whenever they were captive in my vehicle for longer trips. At the time they felt they’d be permanently scarred by the experience. I wonder what they’d say now.
The bottom line is this: we are surrounded by riches of books, tapes, DVDs, world-class speakers, research, and history. We can reach for classics written before many of us were even born because a truth is a truth is a truth. We can use today’s technology to help integrate the messages into our lives. We can invest in ourselves and actually use the materials. After all, there’s more than one secret, from where I sit.
1 Leadershipnow, excerpted from Brian Tracy. The 100 Absolutely Unbreakable Laws of Business Success. Retrieved May 2, 2007, from http://www.leadershipnow.com/leadershop/5107-4excerpt.html