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Why the Book “The Secret” is Right for All the Wrong Reasons

By Margaret Manning June 08, 2015 Mindset

A few years ago, Rhonda Byrne’s little book, “The Secret” took the world by storm. Her message was simple: if you want good things to happen to you, start thinking positive thoughts. If you imagine yourself becoming wealthy, the universe will, eventually, shower you with riches. There is even an example in the book that talks about how to use your mind to create open parking spaces. Boy, do I wish that worked for me!

I Have Such Mixed Feelings About “The Secret”

On the one hand, the book is right; imagining your success really can help you to get more from life. On the other hand, her reasons are completely false. The universe doesn’t want to help you. No amount of positive thinking will cause good things to happen to you. I’ll get to the real reason that “The Secret” works in a second, but, first I want to talk about why this discussion is so important for people of our generation.

As we reach our 60s, it’s easy to feel like we are becoming disconnected from the bonds that used to hold us to the world. Our kids have left the house, our careers are winding down and we are dreaming about retirement.

At this time, it is far too easy to “let go of the reigns” and imagine that life is something that happens to us. Instead of continuing to look for ways to make money, many of us will come to rely on social security payments. Others will complain about their health and fitness without doing something about it. Some people will play the lottery and wish for “just one lucky break.”

This is what is so dangerous about books like “The Secret.” They encourage us to wish for fortune instead of making it.

The truth is that most of the people reading this article have at least 20-30 years to live. How we spend that time will depend entirely on us. We can become passive, wish for luck and complain when it doesn’t come. Or, we can get out into the world, get in the best shape of our lives, build meaningful friendships and make money on our own.

Imagining Your Success Helps… for Different Reasons

So, all that said, there is a germ of truth in “The Secret” that I would be remiss if I didn’t mention. Imagining your success does help. Thinking about the concrete things that you want to achieve will make you more likely to achieve them. Why? Because your brain is the most amazing tool that you could ever imagine.

When you think about your future in positive terms and write down what you want to achieve, you tell your brain what to look out for. Thoughts do become reality, but, only through our actions. - Think positive thoughts. Visualize your future. Imagine your success in tangible terms. Then, get out there and explore your passions. Find new friends. Get fit. Life after 50 can be whatever you make it.

So, by all means, think positive thoughts. Visualize your future. Imagine your success in tangible terms. Then, get out there and explore your passions. Find new friends. Join the gym. Life after 60 can be whatever you make it. So, get out there and make it what you want.

Have you read the book “The Secret?” Do you believe in the power of positive thinking? Why or why not? Do you agree that life after 60 can be anything that we make it? What is one thing that you want to accomplish this year? Please join the discussion.

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The Author

Margaret Manning is the founder of Sixty and Me. She is an entrepreneur, author and speaker. Margaret is passionate about building dynamic and engaged communities that improve lives and change perceptions. Margaret can be contacted at

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