Tuesday, April 08, 2008

Is it The Secret?

Hump Day Hmm

I'm finally back with a Hump Day Hmm hosted by Julie Pippert: Using My Words. I've always felt that I determine the course of my life and it is not predestined as fate. It is a function of my own hard work, choices and decisions. Control control control, logic logic logic. But then, there are coincidences that are too good to be true and unexplained fortunes. Is it God at work? Is it karma? Is it the universe answering my call?

Last year, a life coach come by work and give a seminar on achieving your full potential and attaining all that you desire. It sounded intriguing, so I went even though I have it all smile (I'm kidding of course, there's always room from improvement, especially in the child behavior department). The woman looked wacky and wild and said breathlessly "I'm going to stop talking and put on the video." We sat mesmerized for 20 minutes. She turned it off before it finished and said that you too can learn how to attain everything you desire if you fork over $30. Now, I'm not one to fall for this new age bull crap, but there were things in this video that rang true in my life. So I ordered the video. And what was this answer to everyone's desires? It was The Secret. This was long before it was famous and readily available at BJ's or Amazon.

The premise of The Secret is the Law of Attraction. Ask the universe for what you want, live your life as though you have it, and you shall receive it. Could it be so simple? Let's examine some of the events in my life:
  • I'm in a dead end job in Connecticut and I really want to move back to Massachusetts. Wouldn't it be cool to work for a company that was close to MIT and founded by MIT alumni? I get a copy of the Boston Globe. On the front page of the help wanted section, there is full page ad for a startup company in Cambridge, MA. I interview and end up getting my dream job.
  • I am married and we are trying to have children. We both agree that we would like to have a boy first and then a girl. We imagine this so hard that we start expecting it. We are very pleased when we find out that our first baby is going to be a boy. By the second, we knew from the start that it will be a girl and find it hard to erase this expectation going into the ultrasound. All went as planned. (OK, stand down the daggers from the eyes of parents who didn't get their preferred sexes!).
  • I'm looking for a daycare provider while I am pregnant with my first child. We go from family to family daycare and can't find one that we are happy with (from feeding kids french fries, to favoring their own kids, to utter filthiness, the list goes on and on). I believe that I will breastfeed my child and think, why don't I look for one near my work so I can nurse him at lunchtime? The first family daycare I found was within a five minute walk from work and it was the best place that we saw. I nursed both children for an extended time thanks to this daycare.
  • I'm commuting an hour each way to work and even though this is my dream job, I would rather work closer to home. The kids will be entering school soon and it would be nice to be nearby. There is no industry near my suburban town, so I don't even try looking. A friend was unemployed and found a job that is 15 minutes from my house, but they do not need software engineers. A year or so later to my shock, I get laid off from my job. By this point, the company near my house is working on a project that needs a lead software engineer. I interview and get the job that is 15 minutes from my house with our schools located halfway between home and work.
So are all these coincidences a result of hard work, choices and decisions? Not exactly. It's almost as though they materialized through my imagination. I will say that I am extremely grateful when things go my way. And I'm starting to believe that if you express gratitude for the things in your life, more will come your way. Now I'll just have to ask for better behaved children and a new pair of skis. wink


Bigqueue said...

I think there is some sort of connection between our approach, desire and appreciation.....that is, positive thinking, thankful appreciation of what we have and then the willingness to give to others beyond our own selfish desires....I think that perhaps this holds some sort of key that unlocks opportunity.

It might simply be that we all have such wealth and gifts in our life, and a simple matter of appreciating them makes all the difference....I'm not sure....but there certainly is a power to positive thinking.

But all that is way above my pay grade....as the saying goes.

Julie Pippert said...

My daughter is on a huge rolie polie kick right now. It all started with the ladybugs. Don't ask. Anyway, on the way to school, because we are looking and aware of them, it's amazing how many rolie polies we see. Or...is it? Is it because of both the time of year for them and the fact we pay attention? Perhaps, yes.

We could be on this kick in December and be SOL. It's not rolie polie season then.

I believe you can be looking and find, or not. There are no promises. I do think you need to be open. True.

But the rolie polies are why I am not a fan of The Secret. Among others, largely situated in the 1970s. And a really challenging time in my life between 1998 and 2001 and another between 2004 and 2007.

Melissa said...

I have to admit I'm not a big Secret fan either. But I do believe that you won't find the opportunity if you aren't looking for it.

The posts today are all so different, yet I can agree with all of them.

Robert said...

I fall very much in line with Melissa's thinking. I don't tend to like The Secret because it deludes some people into thinking "If I just buy what I want, I'll be able to afford it" and then I get to hear them explain to Dave Ramsey why they're having to sell the BMW, the Harley, and the house because they were in WAY over their heads. Yes, there is great power in positive thinking, and there is great power in seeking after that which you desire, but like Julie, I've spent plenty of time in my life wanting something to materialize that simply didn't. Quite ironically, in fact - and perhaps I should amend this into the story of meeting my wife - it was only after I gave up dating (I literally broke off dating a girl two weeks before I met her with plans not to date for seven months) that I met my perfect mate. So sometimes it is in seeking that you find, and sometimes it is in letting it come to you that it does. Great post, though, and I can see a great sense of things coming to you when you sought them.

Angela said...

Just to be clear, I'm not a Secret follower or fanatic, but I do find its concepts interesting. I think people twist the meaning to justify their lifestyle and in no way does the Secret say to live outside your means.

I simply found it interesting that all these "coincidences" in my life followed all the rules of the Secret.