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Book/Movie Review: The Secret

By now, everyone has heard about the popular book/movie "The Secret".  But what is "The Secret"?  The Secret is basically a gimmicky word for "The Law of Attraction". 

Still confused?  What if I told you that you can have anything you want by just thinking about it?  That's what "The Secret" wants you to believe.  

The movie/book includes a bunch of snippets from "experts" on the subject of the "law of attraction".  I liked most of the guest speakers/writers, except later I find out that one of them is a suspected con artist (the parking space guy).  After I read about that, the credibility of "The Secret" was reduced in my eyes.

Main points made by the book/movie:

  • You can manifest anything you desire by thinking about it.
  • Providing that you "feel good" while thinking about the object of desire, you can manifest it.

What I liked?

  • I like the idea of positive thinking bringing about positive events as I try to live my own life this way.
  • I enjoyed the technique of regularly showing gratitude for the things that you have in your life as it evokes positive emotions.

What I didn’t like?

  • They commercialized a very simple concept that has been taught for years.
  • The movie isn't clear on what "exactly" you have to do to manifest your desires.  It seems a bit choppy where you have to watch it a couple times to piece it all together.
  • I don't believe that your desires will materialize without action. 

Final Thoughts:

  • When I first watched/read "The Secret", I had to watch it a second time to try to get what they were saying.  I wouldn't recommend this book as a source for the "law of attraction" as it has a gimmicky feel and doesn't provide concrete steps on how to maximize the technique.
  • A better way to learn about the law of attraction is with the older books, "The Science of Getting Rich" (free), "As a Man Thinketh" (free), or even "Think and Grow Rich" (not free).

Did you see the movie or read the book?  What did you think?

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FT About the author: FT is the founder and editor of Million Dollar Journey (est. 2006). Through various financial strategies outlined on this site, he grew his net worth from $200,000 in 2006 to $1,000,000 by 2014. You can read more about him here.

{ 15 comments… add one }
  • Joe November 7, 2007, 11:11 am

    Good Morning, where did you find a free copy of “The Science of Getting Rich” and “As a Man Thinketh”?

  • Steve Winters November 7, 2007, 11:14 am

    I watched the movie many times and I have to say each time I watch it I gain a more insight into both the movies teachings and myself. It was a year ago I first watched it. I “thought” of something, posted images/items on my board and gave myself a year to achieve it. 8 months later my “thought” became reality. The entire concept is basically, you have to put your thoughts to action, then your action becomes a way of life and you reach your goal. Seems very simplistic but they stress about maintaining a positive attitude throughout, as you will come across many stumbling blocks. Take from this movie what you will, but I know it has changed my way of thinking/life.

    I leave you with this quote:

    “You simply will not be the same person two months from now after consciously giving thanks each day for the abundance that exists in your life. And you will have set in motion an ancient spiritual law: the more you have and are grateful for, the more will be given you”.
    Sarah Ban Breathnach

  • FrugalTrader November 7, 2007, 11:29 am

    Joe:

    Here is a link to “As a Man Thinketh”
    http://www.gutenberg.org/dirs/etext03/mntkh10.txt

    The Science of Getting Rich:
    http://en.wikisource.org/wiki/The_Science_of_Getting_Rich

    Steve,

    Thanks for posting your insights. I too am a big fan of positive thinking. Perhaps the whole secret is setting a goal and working towards achieving it.

  • moneygardener November 7, 2007, 2:14 pm

    I thought the movie was terrible and I actually almost shut if off. It was too repetitive and they presented the ideas in a very unoriginal way.

    The concept is good, but ‘The Secret’ takes the concept to far, into a very literal place, in my opinion.

  • telly November 7, 2007, 3:58 pm

    Like mg, I also thought the movie was terrible but I actually did shut it off. About 10 minutes in.

  • Sasha November 7, 2007, 5:52 pm

    I agree with your review; the movie is gimmicky. I found the production style to be very “post Da Vinci Code” if you know what I mean. My only difference is that I find it is pretty easy to understand and as such can be a good introduction to the subject; on the other hand the production style can be a turnoff for many people, so that they never end up learning more and associate “the law of attraction” with that style of suspiciously excessive marketing.

    However the popularity of “The Secret” indirectly connected me to Abraham-Hicks, a teacher of the law of attraction since the 80s. A-H is on the unconventionally spiritual side, which will suit some people and not others, yet I find them very direct, philosophical, and brilliantly consistent. There is a great source of information in their newsletters: http://www.abraham-hicks.com/journal.php?journal_category=4 Personally I prefer the workshop recordings over the books, generally.

  • Gates VP November 7, 2007, 5:59 pm

    I think that you’ve got it here FT, “What’s new”?

    How does “The Secret” differ at all from “What the Bleep do we know?”?

    The concept that we are manifestly creating our reality is far from new or original. The concept that this manifestation is rarely instant, but takes time is also not new.

    It’s really no different from
    1. Pick a goal
    2. Make a plan
    3. Stick with it!

    One of the top ways of harnessing #3 is to keep the goal front and center (i.e.: attract it). All of these little mental exercises are just effective ways of implementing #3. So what is the “law of attraction” other than another exercise in “we create our reality”?

    I suspect that at a deeper level, lots of people don’t really understand success. They don’t understand what it means, they don’t understand what they want, they don’t set goals and achieve them, they just kind of spent life floating.

    Concepts like The Secret are for these people who don’t understand success. People see the video and go “Wow, I never thought that way before!.

    So if you’ve seen the thing and thought new thoughts, then good for you. Heck, welcome to the club.

    Part of me wishes that we had more of these “thinking in new ways” exercises to help raise people from the daily haze. But I just don’t know that it does enough to “enlighten”. That type of stuff needs spiritual leaders and day-to-day community and I don’t really trust our current spiritual leaders. Watching a video like this may just be the breakthrough moment on your path to living a happier life or it could just be more knowledge that doesn’t get you anywhere.

    Maybe we all need life coaches instead… *shrug*

  • FrugalTrader November 7, 2007, 6:14 pm

    Gates, long time, where have you been? I’m glad that we agree that the movie/book was sub par. What it did do though was make people excited about the “law of attraction”.

    Sasha, Yes I agree with you that even though the Abraham Hicks books are a little “out there”, they still come across as more believable than “The Secret”. My wife is all about spirituality and she loves the Abraham Hicks series.

  • tom November 7, 2007, 10:09 pm

    I’ve heard of this countless times and I’ve heard people that have liked and hated it. I think I’ll check it out after reading your review. Good post!

  • Stockkevin November 8, 2007, 6:27 pm

    Ive seen the movie. I also agree with you on the fact that its positive in the sense that the Secret tells you to live your life with a positive mindset.

    I know Steve Pavlina,a personal development “specialist”, has said some good things about the Secret.

  • john spencer ellis August 2, 2008, 5:51 am

    Hi

    Yoga Master Erich Schiffmann is starring in a new movie called “The Compass”. It also has many cast members from “The Secret”. The new movie (and book) is called “The Compass”.

    The Compass will pick up where The Secret left off. Prepare to be thrilled. http://www.thecompass.tv

    Cast members include Erich Schiffmann, John Spencer Ellis, John Demartini, Bruce Lipton, Joe Vitale, John Assaraf, Marie Diamond, Brian Tracy, Les Brown,and so many more. The story is incredible.

    There is also a book which is sure to become a best seller.

    Check it out.

    http://www.thecompass.tv

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