The best thing about my first job after graduating was all of the cool things that my client gave away to staff and contractors.
From branded pens, mugs, and the usual office trinkets to old computer equipment and gadgets that my client no longer wanted – if I had a use for it, they’d let me have it.
I even drank the free coffee in the staff room while everyone else explained to me that I lacked a “complex palate” before leaving to get a real coffee at the cafe downstairs. But I swear it tasted just as good as the $5.50 lattes that they all sipped from their pretentious takeaway cups, just because it cost me nothing.
Now that we’re established that I love getting something for nothing, you won’t be surprised that I jumped on the “The Secret” bandwagon back in the day. Take a young, naive world outlook and mix in some magical freebies and I was making “orders to the universe” spreadsheets with colour-coded tabs that would make your eyes water.
You mean, I can just wish for a Lamborghini, and one will materialize in my garage?
If I visualize what it would be like to be a millionaire, a lottery ticket will flutter softly along in the ethereal breeze, and land in my lap while I am practicing my daily gratitude meditation by a waterfall, and it will just happen to have the winning numbers?
If I can be grateful for anything I don’t have, “The Universe” will kick into gear like some abstract Father Christmas, and thanks to the law of attraction and some other hocus-pocus, whatever I want will be waiting in a gift-wrapped box with a bow on it on my doorstep in the morning? Just like some Amazon overnight shipping service?
Hook. Line. Sinker.
Now, I’m not just writing this to chronicle fads that I believed in as a naive teenager. Someone asked me the other day what I think of The Secret, and the law of attraction as general principles, and I wanted to take some time to consider and formulate a proper answer. So this is, by no means, a book review – I won’t be delving deeply into the details, rather, I will be focusing on the fundamental principles that the ideology teaches.
Before we flush The Secret into the sewers of kooky, 8-minute-abs-esque life hacks for lazy people like me, it’s worth noting that it does teach some valuable principles. Think of it like the Bible (minus the genocide and burning-people-forever parts). It has some good ideas, but it also has some shitty ideas. Both books have teachings that can put you on the right path, but are both still fundamentally lacking.
The idea of methodically listing out what it is that you would like to attain over short, medium and long timeframes is something that I have endorsed on TruthInjected. Visualization of what you want, as if you already have it in the present, and feeling grateful for it can be beneficial as well, and it will certainly motivate a lot of people to pursue their dreams if they can catch a glimpse of what it would feel like to already have it.
But that’s about where the virtues of the ideology end, and the real secret about The Secret comes into play.
The Secret teaches an ideology without legs
Once you have placed your order to the universe and received your confirmation email with tracking information, all that’s left to do is get ready to receive your blessing.
If you’d like to speed up the delivery process, just imagine what it will be like to have it. Visualize receiving it, and your cosmic magnet will get stronger, and Santa’s little helpers will work harder to process your order for priority shipping.
There is no need to strive or work for anything. Don’t be silly! The universe will do all of the work for you. Of course, if you are wishing for a Ferrari, you had better make sure that you clear your garage so that it has somewhere to miraculously spawn! You can’t simply wish for a clear garage – because that would be against the rules.
That’s the abridged version, but that is the basic overview of your obligations as a recipient.
From a marketing perspective, it is pure genius. There’s certainly no shortage of people who would rather do nothing while reaping the fruits of hard work, otherwise socialism wouldn’t exist. Even better, if you can convince people that the free lunch is not only real, but their birthright, people will get sucked into it because they are desperate for it to be true.
The reality is that the idea of a personal genie makes people feel important, warm and fuzzy. Ideas that fire a rocket at the unicorn and tell you to get off your ass, do not. But this is TruthInjected, not Tumblr.
And this is my main issue with The Secret. It doesn’t really matter whether the law of attraction exists, because it certainly doesn’t work as seen on TV.
If you pair a belief in the law of attraction with hard work, it might be motivational to you, but believing in it won’t turn you into a special snowflake that gets everything delivered to them, free of charge – that’s for sure.
In the words of Napoleon Hill, the real secret is that there is no such thing as getting something for nothing.
Now here’s a picture of a puppy wearing a Santa hat to make your feel warm and fuzzy.