The other day during my walk I was thinking of a better way to explain the problems I have found with ‘The Secret.’ I think I have come up with a clearer way of explaining its flaws than my last journal entry on the subject.
The best way I can think to say it is this: ‘The Secret’ tells you to make a decision as to what you want from life, and envision it in your mind, but then tells you to stop making decisions afterwards. It panders to fear, and promotes an agenda of lack of confidence in your own decision making whenever you do not know what to do. Let me explain.
Say you are a man who has just watched ‘The Secret’ DVD. It tells you to envision what you want in your mind, and it will come to you. He gets done watching the film and is very excited. The man sits down and thinks to himself, “This is great! I can have ANYTHING I want. Hmmm. I would like a significant other.” So he decides he wants a woman.
Now he comes to the next hurdle. Which woman? Uh oh. Now the fear sets in. Let’s say this man has not dated many women, and does not know how to handle himself well around them. He’s socially awkward. He says to himself, “Uh oh, this is what has kept me from dating women in the past! I’m such a bad decision maker when it comes to women. Look at my last girlfriend, and all the troubles we’ve had. But thank God I’ve watched the Secret! It will lead me to the right woman!”
In ‘The Secret’ DVD you may recall a scene with this very example. We see a young woman seeking a relationship with a man, and it tells a person to follow ‘hunches’, and their feelings. It says these ‘omens’, these ‘hunches’, these ‘intuitions’, will guide you. This genie (or God) that runs the world will just happen to pull you toward one another, and if you’ll be open to these almost spiritual hunches, you’ll be pulled into the perfect mr or mrs right.
If I recall correctly the woman is in her house, sitting alone, depressed. She puts a magazine picture of a cute guy on her wall, and pictures herself with that special someone every morning in her mind.
A short while later she gets a phone call from her friend wanting her to go out and do something. She doesn’t feel like it, but she gets this “inner hunch” that she should go along. She follows the hunch and then after a while out with her friends they end up on the beach playing volleyball.
During the game her friend’s boyfriend shows up, and he’s brought his friends. After the game they end up leaving, heading out to eat. They ask her if she wants to come along. Initially she doesn’t want to come but then gets another “hunch” and decides to follow the leading.
They show this magic eye contact between the girl and one of the guys who was there, and then they played this sort of mystical, magical sound. The genie was at work. Follow the leading!
What really happened has nothing to do with magic, or the genie. Hunches come when a person is looking for something, and that something can be anything. One of my friends, who has a rather unorthodox look to him (long long beard, straggly looking sometimes), gets these stares from people. Greg and I do not even notice these people looking at him, even though we’re right there with him. He notices it though, and is self-conscious about it.
He’ll hear someone talking in the distance and think, “They’re talking about me!” We tell him he’s imagining things. He doesn’t think so though. We’ll walk by a group of people and we’ll all get a short glance from the crowd there. He’ll say, “Why are people always staring at me!” We’ll tell him, “They’re not looking at you. I’m sure they take a short glance at near everyone that walks by. It’s nothing.”
Following hunches will lead you to pandering to your fears (in my friend’s case), or putting your faith in things without any evidence(the girl in the Secret).
When it comes to confidence in a person’s decision making, you’ll find people are confident when they understand the subject in which they are making decisions about. Whenever they do not know how to accomplish something, however, they become fearful, and these hunches now have an open door to come in and terrorize a person’s decision making.
In this girl’s case, she has done well to choose to desire a boyfriend, as opposed to desire to stay single. She’s on the right track. Where she is going wrong is she has stopped making futhur decisions. She has chosen to want a boyfriend, and now it is time to choose the guy! But, she is fearful to do that, thinking she may not choose the ‘right’ person, so she clings to the genie in fear. Only God, or the genie, is smart enough to choose a person they will be happy with. This is fear of making a decision, and a lack of confidence in yourself.
Every man of wisdom tells you to make your decisions on a firm footing. What does this mean? It means to make all of your decisions with reason. Rational thought out decisions. It is very unwise to base your decisions on your feelings, ‘hunches’, or emotions. Emotions and feelings go up and down like a rollercoaster, sometimes even based on things such as what you ate. You don’t want the burrito you had for lunch to determine what girl you end up with! Or worse, which great person you pass by simply because you weren’t feeling the greatest that day.
The wise thing for this girl to do is not to follow hunches, but to furthur think out what type of guy she desires. Lay out a set of criteria. If you don’t feel confident enough to do this, you need to study men and read books on the subject.
If she’s wanting a relationship that will turn into a lifelong happy marriage, she needs to read books written by couples that have had lifelong happy marriages. Look for the characteristics both in the woman AND the man. Keyword is BOTH. NOT JUST THE MAN. Sometimes you’ll have to change to get what you’re desiring. (Note: I know ‘The Secret’ says it’ll draw the perfect so and so to you, who will tolerate your quirks, and love you just how you are, and you won’t have to change, but beware! That’s horrible advice!)
If you don’t have rational criteria you’re looking for before you’ll get involved in a relationship with someone, you’re just a ship in the middle of the ocean with no navigation, floating about at random. Your sails will be set in the directions of your own emotions, and you’ll constantly spin around in circles.
I myself don’t desire a relationship with a woman, at least, not very much. But I do have a set of criteria I look for, so I’m not swayed by much more shallow criteria, especially sexual attraction. I wrote an article on this very subject a while back. I gave three characteristics I found important. 1) Listening, 2) Love of Life, and 3) Intelligence.
Each of those three points would need furthur qualified, and I will shortly do so.
Criteria 1. Listening
I don’t care how good looking a girl is, how “fun” she is, or what kind of feelings she may generate in me. If she’s stuck on herself, I know that things aren’t going in the right direction, and that the feelings will wear off. She has to be a listener. The relationship has to be double-sided. It can’t be just all about her.
Criteria 2: Love Of Life
If she’s continually depressed, and does not love life, that gets really old. Manic depressives can drive you nuts.
Criteria 3: Intelligence
Lastly, regardless of all else, if a person lacks intelligence, they normally have nothing to talk about. There’s never anything new, and it’s typically the same old same old. In order to try to make themselves seem interesting, they always cling to a set of random objects that they seem to base all of their happiness upon. It’s always something small, and easy to attain. I already know these things cannot be fulfilling them because fulfillment comes in resistance and pursuit, not in the attainment of the objects themselves. Though there’s nothing intrinsically wrong with the random objects they seem to be obsessed with, I know firsthand that there has to be “meat”, depth, and substance to a person for them to be interesting. A lifelong learner. A person who continually improves.
I gave that set of criteria to show how diametrically opposed this is to ‘The Secret.’ The Secret just sends you out there following hunches. I’m telling you to study, read, and make rational decisions. Lay out rational criteria to base your decisions upon, and keep improving your criteria as life goes on.
Improve, overcome, and do not run from your own freedom. There is no solution to a lack of knowledge. Confidence to make decisions will come with knowledge, so seek out knowledge!