The core philosophy that Rhonda Byrne explores in The Secret surrounds the belief that consciously thinking in the positive can fundamentally change an individual’s life. She posits that thinking positively will change an individual’s life for the better by increasing not only happiness, but health as well. An increase in these two areas can also lead to an increase of spiritual and financial wealth as well. In The Secret, the author writes about how every individual sends out frequencies into the universe. If these frequencies are negative, resulting from negative thoughts and feelings, the universe returns negative frequencies since like attracts like. However, if an individual makes a conscious effort to send out positive thoughts and feelings, then positivity will be returned. This positivity could take the form of happiness, health, wealth, and other positive circumstances.
Rhonda Byrne supports a three-step process of manifesting what an individual desires most: ask, believe, and receive. She believes if an individual follows these steps on a daily basis then he or she will be able to successfully achieve whatever it is that the person most desires. And people are not limited to merely a single desire; this process may be used again and again and again throughout a person’s entire life.
There are many anecdotal reports of people claiming to have followed The Secret to great success; thousands believe that this book helped them to manifest what they desired in life through the power of positive thinking. Some claim that they landed a dream job or found the perfect mate while others conquered a health issue.
However others, including notable critics such as Barbara Ehrenreich, have cautioned against embracing the philosophy that thinking can actually manifest things. Such belief she argues allows individuals to avoid addressing the root causes of issues that negatively affect their lives. Ehrenreich also argued that when desires failed to manifest, such failure could result in depression or self-loathing as individuals would blame themselves for not being able to think positively enough to manifest their desires. The Secret’s author, Byrne, also experienced widespread criticism when she seemed to argue that people affected by natural disasters bring such tragedy on themselves because of their negative thinking.
So, That again brings up the question does The Secret work? The honest answer is sort of. There is solid scientific evidence that negative thoughts can detrimentally affect an individual. Daily negativity can lead to depression, poor work performance, and a variety of health issues. Equally true is that positive thinking can increase a person’s happiness both personally and professionally. Therefore, there is some truth behind the power of positive thinking. And while thoughts alone cannot manifest an individual’s desires as The Secret claims, consistently thinking about what a person desires, makes such a desire forefront in the brain. This, then, may lead a person to make better decisions in the quest to obtain their desire. A visualization board may encourage a person to arrive early to work, which may result in a promotion, which may result in more money or prestige. Thoughts and actions are most definitely related; however it’s highly unlikely that thoughts alone will bring coveted desires to any doorstep without hard work. Similarly, negative thoughts are never responsible for tragedies such as earthquakes, tsunamis, or avalanches.
Ultimately, adopting some of the practices such as visualizing your desires, eliminating negativity, embracing positivity, and practicing gratitude are likely to increase your quality of life. Just don’t expect the universe to tune into your personal frequency — it’s a vast, vast place out there. Rely on yourself and you’ll do just fine.
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