Years ago I had a girlfriend who was obsessed with The Secret by Rhonda Byrne.
I don’t get offended often or easily, but I remember being offended at the idea that, basically we get what we ask for or deserve in life.
Karma really is hard to fathom. Could a baby deserve SIDS? Was it the parents lack of faith?
This book isn’t about karma, it’s about gratitude, but it strikes the same central point. The law of attraction implies that things don’t happen TO us, they happen BECAUSE of us.
This also happens to be popular in sales and personal development. The opposite of a purposeful life, backed by faith, I think, is a pessimistic atheistic life as a victim..
Without faith in something (yourself, karma, God, etc.), it would be very difficult to take Rhonda or many of the other gurus seriously, which is why I couldn’t handle it at first. But over the last several years I’ve read a lot of stuff on this side of the tracks, have gained a firm faith, and now I believe that these tactics, utilizing gratitude and the law of attraction to harness our own power, is key to life. I used to believe things “just happen”, now I don’t.
A common criticism of Rhonda and other proponents is that the actual keys to anyone’s personal success is going to be a result of their actions...But those same people will usually lament on the order of operations being desire, faith, goals, etc. before actions. Of course we need to engage in the process, but that is automatic. Opportunities come to us appropriate to our situation, we still have to seize them. This should, by my understanding, come automatically with faith anyway.
I do recommend everyone be familiar with Rhonda's work, if only because it has influenced so many. If it is too idealistic, explore the rest of the personal development world for milder versions and longer versions of the same principle. In my opinion, the earliest complete outline of this philosophy is ‘Think and Grow Rich’ by Napoleon Hill.