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I've not read the Secret, but it's something I've read about, as a result of a friend being very interested in it.
I'm part skeptical, but I think there is some evidence that the whole 'positive thinking / visualising yourself in the situation you want to be in' thing has some legs.
Sorry, sitting a bit on the fence there!
I meant to add.... I think the only way it can work is if the process actually causes the individual to change their own behaviour, which might previously have been preventing them from achieving what they want to.
But I think the effectiveness is massively over stated.
It's not only a scam to fleece gullible people, it's a very nasty idea.
So the mother in Africa, helplessly watching her last remaining child starve to death is wholly to blame?? Because she does not WANT THE CHILD TO LIVE quite hard enough? Please!
I agree with Candy. Lousie Hay spouts the same old pony.
Positive thinking is one thing, bringing bad things upon ourselves because we have a "lesson to learn" is quite another. (Hay also believes we choose our own parents).
I'd say Baby P gives the lie to both of those pretty conclusively. I doubt the poor mite chose that b*tch for a mother and whatever lessons he was supposed to get in his sad life he was dead well before he could learn them.
Irrespective of the book, I think people who think positively have a better time of it than people who are always negative. Possibly because they don't react in the same way to bad things happening - you probably can't prevent them, but you can choose how to deal with them. If you're generally more positive, you might also be more likely to take chances on opportunities that arise (i.e. believing it could be good), so as a result if you embrace more opportunities, statistically you're more likely to experience more 'good things', if that makes sense. I think that is more the premise of that book - having a positive attitude will result in a more positive life, not that great things suddenly start happening if you just think of it once.
Conversely i've got a friend who is generally a rid miserable sod, and low and behold, lots of negative things happen to her. It is like a self-fulfilling prophecy - expect everything to be bad, and a lot of it will be. So why not expect everything to be good, and a lot of it will be too
I'm with Lee and MadameO.
It is basically all about believing in yourself. That's what most self-help books come down to in the end. If you have low self esteem, and you project it, there are a lot of nasty people who will take advantage of you. Couple this with when a random act knocks you down you start to believe the whole world is against you.
Read a book that gives you strategies to deal with low self esteem and put them into practice and possibly you can change your outlook.
Have belief in yourself and you can do unbelievable things. If you start a marathon thinking you won't get to the end. That will quickly become a self fulfilling prophecy.