Just got done watching the faux-documentary, The Secret, on Netflix. I say "faux-documentary" as it's shot in the style of so many of the documentary-style shows on the documentary-focused channels on cable, like Discovery or The History Channel. It's not quite a sales pitch, and they're not making fun of anything (ala, the mock-documentary This Is Spinal Tap.
Maybe it's more documentary than I'm giving it credit for, but since it's hard to accept as a concrete subject, and since some of the things they say, some of the people that say them, or some of the ways they're said are a little flaky. It's not so much of a real secret; it's mostly about positive thinking.
It's a discussion of the metaphysic theory of the Law of Attraction; essentially, you get what you ask for. It's a bit of a motivational blather, but as I watch it I find myself conflicted because it's kind of how I operate. The movie's a little quirky. If you watch it skeptically, you'll probably feel like someone's trying to push some hokey crap on you. But if you watch it as a thought-provoker, not a brain-washer, it's not so bad.I don't expressly believe in the Law of Attraction; I don't believe if you just have happy thoughts, you'll just have happy things happen. A simple example is one consistant theme presented throughout the film: "visualize to make it materialize." It's not fair to the film, or the ideology, to try to wrap it with such a concise motto, but it is representative of a really simple explanation of the Law of Attraction.
What it seems I do that they're discussing is to focus on the goals, not the obstacles. Again, an over-simplification. Sure, you can't ignore the obstacles, and you can't get away with just acknowledging them, but I try to focus on finding and working the solution, and not to focus on the problem. Going to school taught me that: problems are meant to be solved. I also think some of this lends itself to your perception. Another of the quotes they shot on the screen is "energy flows where attention goes."
The half-empty or half-full discussion comes in here, and neither has to be wrong--it all depends on your goals. If you see problems everywhere, you'll probably be overwhelmed with the number of problems. But if you instead see the solutions, and especially if you act on them, then the problems go away. When the problems are gone, then calm or ease or whatever successful state can come from that will follow.
Of course, part of the problem of this kind of ideology, and a big piece missing from The Secret, is the inherent problem of "seeing but not doing." It does take action to make success. This is where I think the "visualize to materialize" fails; too many people want things, but few do things to make that happen. It does help to set and pursue goals, but it's most important to act to allow them to happen. This includes doing what you can to achieve the goal, like saving or arranging a schedule or anything else active we can do. It also means avoiding things that add obstacles to the goal, like eating cookies on a diet or buying luxuries instead of saving.
A great key is to become an optimist; sure, be cautious, but if you look for the positive you'll probably see it. Recognize obstacles and avoid or solve them. Establish goals, and act to make them happen.
Be positive, think positive, do positive. Works for me.
Maybe there is a little something to the Law of Attraction, as nut-baggy as it sounds. They aren't selling anything. Really. Well, unless you visit the website
A friend brought that movie over and had us watch it about three years ago. Yes…I approached it with a bit too much cynicism, but I really love your discussion of it. I felt it went too far in implying how much you should trust people while “expecting the best": it meandered into the stupid, in my opinion, with the implication that you shouldn’t lock up your bike as that sends off “steal me” vibes. Mmmmmmyeah.
But I admire and strive to emulate your attitude (and I have since we met a few years back). You are a positive person and you taught me much about priorities. You have a knack for stepping back from the situation and giving it the old “what will it matter a week from now?” treatment, which you didn’t mention in this post, but I think it is an important part to your approach to life and your ability to be positive. You don’t get trapped in the weeds much; you’re a “bigger picture” kinda guy. And I like that.
I agree that the movie falls short in that it emphasizes attitude and thought but sacrifices practical advice, like work.
Comment from: maharathi sahu Visitor
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