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The Secret, a modern day philosophy

“The Secret”: A Guide to Happiness

Have you ever been in a bookstore and as you browse through the aisles, you find yourself surrounded by self-help books with titles like “Think and Grow Rich,” “How to Win Friends and Influence People,” or “The Magic of Thinking Big?” While all these books are probably very motivating, they’re nothing like “The Secret.”

Okay, so maybe “The Secret” is a self-guided book as well, but it’s different than the other best-selling hits that I just mentioned because of one unique factor. This book is based around one simple idea that has been rumored to drastically change people’s lives. Throughout this book, author Rhonda Byrne explores the secret to achieving happiness, which she argues is done by learning to look at absolutely every aspect of one’s life in a positive way.

Published in 2006, “The Secret,” which was based on a film (also called “The Secret”) released six months prior to the book, explores the law of attraction. This is the idea that positive thinking can change everything in your life from your financial status, to your health, to your happiness. This “like attracts like” concept basically follows the idea that your feelings are sent out into the universe and the universe responds to these emotions in the same way. For example, if you’ve had a really bad day and you’re feeling angry and stressed, you will only attract circumstances that will make you more upset. Whereas, if you remain happy and satisfied, fortunate situations and events will find there way to you.

The advice “think positively” seems to be such a basic concept, but it can be incredibly hard to do when you find yourself in certain situations. For example, when it’s pouring rain outside and you get completely soaked while walking to class without a raincoat or an umbrella. Or when you put hours of hard work into writing a paper that you ultimately receive a poor grade on. Despite cases like this, attitude is everything. While it would be easier to simply be angry and continue on with your day when situations like these arise, this isn’t the right path to take. According to Byrne, the mindset that you choose to adopt is reflected in your behavior.

Do you buy it? Do you believe this to be an amazing new way of looking at life; one that will alter the way you think forever? Or, perhaps, do you think this is simply a ploy to make money, based on an idea that has always been right underneath our noses? I have to admit, I was a little skeptical about this concept before diving into the book. I mean, what could I take away from Byrne’s advice that I didn’t already know?

Surprisingly, I began to greatly enjoy “The Secret” and rapidly made my way through its pages. I’ll tell you why I liked it so much: often times it takes someone to point out the simplest concept for you to actually understand the value of its worth. I forgot that by embracing a positive attitude, you feel better yourself, and that your good feelings are radiated off of everyone that you come into contact with. It’s essentially like a cheerful domino effect.

It may come as no surprise that over the years, several celebrities have been attracted to this simple, positive notion that’s outlined in “The Secret.” For example, Oprah Winfrey has investigated this idea on her show. She has said, “People doubt that your thoughts create reality for you. It doesn’t if you’re just sitting around and thinking about how you want something, it doesn’t. But there’s no question that if the energy and the vibrational frequency is correct, if it’s in sync with what is to come your way, that there is a space that you create that allows that to happen.”

Another Hollywood icon, Will Smith, has made multiple appearances on programs such as Ellen, Larry King Live and The Today Show to share his beliefs about how to be successful. Interestingly enough, his ideas reflect the same concept that’s depicted in “The Secret.” Smith has said, “I believe that I can create whatever I want to create. The first step before anyone else in the world believes it is that you have to believe it.” Smith has also been known to say, “Greatness is something that exists in all of us.”

Since “The Secret” has become such a phenomenon for celebrities and common citizens alike, an app has been developed, devoted to providing users with clear principles about how to positively live their lives. “The Secret,” which you can download on your smart phone, spews daily teachings that act as motivational guidance. For example, one past teaching read, “Your thoughts, feelings and beliefs are creating the motives of your life. They are invisible forces which exist within you, and together they are creating your life movie, which is screening as your life experience in the outside world.”

Some of you may scoff at this inspirational app, but I’ve found it very helpful as I go about my daily life. Since I’m the opposite of a “morning person,” the first thing I like to do when I wake up is look at this app. A simple teaching is the perfect motivator for me to get up and start my day.

“Be happy.” This advice surrounds us as we go about our daily lives-we hear it in Pharrell’s hit pop single, we read cheesy quotes about happiness via Pinterest and some of us may even tune out our parents when they’re lecturing us through the phone about smart, positive choices. I don’t mean to preach to you about how and why you should be happy; however, in a society where we’re so distracted with analyzing what we do and how we feel, being happy can be a hard task to accomplish. Maybe Byrne is on to something: it’s important to bring ourselves back to basics and simply be happy, if we want things to get better and our lives to improve overall. Give it a try.


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The Secret, a modern day philosophy