The Secret – Rhonda Byrne

“The Secret,” by Rhonda Byrne is an influential book that deserves both one star and several stars.  It deserves one star for being simplistic and weak on pedagogy.  You won’t get much of a real message by reading the book.

It deserves several stars for popularizing a an important aspect of human life:  What we focus on, especially with an open, receptive, adaptive mind, tends to come true, a little bit.


Most of this effect is clearly the feedback between our thoughts and actions.  We act with some consistency and alignment with our thoughts, so therefore thoughts lead to results.  While obvious, this doesn’t capture the whole story.

It is interesting to believe that at some level, call it divine, spiritual, quantum multiverse selection, the universe may help us get what we intend, expect, and are prepared for.  Our readiness may be enhanced by prayer, meditation, openness, or some other practice, but it seems we need to be open to receive these effects.  —

Notwithstanding the above, I firmly believe our choices and actions, and how we view the world, are by far the greatest determinants in life. Most of the rest is randomness.


In several disciplines, we see disparate evidence suggesting influences outside our behavior are drawing results, in a small way, into our lives.  In scenario planning, research has lead to general acceptance that pondering and planning for rare outcomes increases their likelihood, even when the planners have no apparent influence on the outcome.Recent tests in quantum physics suggest that the intention to perform tests in the future, in carefully controlled experiments, can influence results before those tests are performed.

Even many who are very skeptical of psychic phenomenon, accept the evidence that some form of weak, but detectable, ‘micro-telekinesis’ exists.  A person’s intention influences dice rolls, if only by a very, very tiny amount.

The bottom line is these influences, though small, will compound, like interest in a savings account.  The universe does ever so slightly load the dice in favor of those who prepare and work on it.

If you read “The Secret,” look for this message.  This has all been obvious to me since I was 10, so it seemed obvious in the 6 minute reading.

All this said, the simple think-act-results cycle most likely has a much greater effect in our lives.  Any subtle openness-to-the-universe effect is very small by comparison to your choices, actions, and behaviors.