Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Fiore's response to The Secret

Rhonda Byrne's book The Secret pulls together a number of forms of positive thinking that can have positive results for those in the habit of using negative self-talk and repeating negative patterns.
Self-Sabotage comes about when we use ineffective language in trying to gain the cooperation of our brain and body to achieve our goals.

[see Awaken Your Strongest Self & The Now Habit RE Overcoming Procrastination and Inner Conflict:

replace "I have to finish a big, overwhelming task and won't have time for fun." with "I choose to start on one small step for 30 minutes and have plenty of 'Guilt-Free Play' in my schedule."

- The Secret also encourages the practice of Gratitude [similar to Buddhist and Christian practices] and the use of Visual Imagery, both of which can be effective in lessening stress and giving your brain a positive image to aim for [as is done in Peak Performance training with athletes--see my "Productivity Engineering" and "Mental Toughness" CDs at ]

- The downside of The Secret is the belief called The Law of Attraction that states that all things, wanted and unwanted, are brought to you by your thoughts and emotions. For example, if you get cancer or have an accident, The Law of Attraction tells you that your thinking and feelings drew that to you. This is a reworking of the "est" movement Werner Erhart-that you cause what happens and have full responsibility for it even when it's beyond your control.
Certainly you can take responsibility for what you can control [see Serenity Prayer of Alcoholics Anonymous], but it is childlike "magical thinking" to believe you should be able to control others and evens beyond your human limits. Too many people already feel guilty for events over which they have no control. It would be better to accept yourself as human than to beat yourself up for not being a perfect god that has unlimited control.

This belief tends to blame the victim when negative things happen and makes people afraid of expressing the most powerful emotions of fear, sadness, and anger. In fact, it is the release and expression of these so-called "negative emotions" that research has shown boost our immune system and help heal our trauma.
- Regardless, of what you call it, you can be more successful in achieving your goals if you learn to communicate more effectively with your brain:
o Give yourself images of positive action such as "I will eat more apples and vegetables" rather than "Stop eating chocolate."
o Tell your brain and body When, Where, and on What [as recommended by NIH and in Step 4 of Awaken Your Strongest Self ] to start working to achieve your goals rather than just wanting or passively wishing for a goal that is in the distant future
o Let your brain know that you are in charge and are choosing to face the task by eliminating all "I have to's" from your self-talk. "I am choosing to start at 5PM." is so much more effective than, "I have to finish by next month." for Audio and Video clips of Dr. Fiore speaking at The Smithsonian

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