If you want to know the secret to success in life and relationships, I have not one, but TWO books to recommend that will lead you to the life you have been dreaming about… and they are both titled, The Secret!
You may have heard all the buzz from people talking about the book or the movie (yes, there’s a video too!)
I heard about the Secret many years ago at a TriState meeting (my HR Professional Association) when the outgoing President, Theresa McGlinchey, decided to reward members at the end of the year with gifts of some of her favorite books. Although I didn’t win a copy of The Secret at that Tristate meeting, it became a much sought after prize, a book I had to have in my personal library. So off in search of The Secret I went.
I couldn’t wait to order it – I had to have it NOW, so at the next opportunity, I stopped in the nearest bookstore, and there, displayed on the shelf at the front of the store, sat The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne. My daughter, Grace, was with me, and mentioned that she had heard about this book in school, and it was on Oprah’s recommended reading list. It seemed that everyone, except me, knew about “the Secret”!
Within its covers, it promised to unlock a secret that has been around for centuries, a secret that all the great minds of the past, Plato, Galileo, Beethoven, Edison and Einstein, had known. It promised to reveal how to get what you want out of life, from love and relationships to money and health.
I eagerly poured through the book, looking for the secret knowledge I had been searching for, and within a few hours, I had begun to uncover how these lessons from the greatest thinkers could be life changing, if applied by the reader. I could immediately see how the information could be useful in life and in a work setting.
Before I even finished the book, I purchased an additional three copies to keep in my personal library at work. I wanted to share this secret with people in my organization who were struggling to succeed. I wanted them to know that they were completely empowered to change their own circumstances if they worked to create an environment for success around themselves.
As readers were about to learn when beginning this journey of discovery, what we tell ourselves has a lot to do with what we achieve in life. Think of the inspirational story, “Rudy”, the football film about the young man who overcomes all odds to play with the fighting Irish Notre Dame football team. Think about how impossible putting a man on the moon seemed at the turn of the century, and yet, we are now living in that reality of traveling in space. Envisioning what you want in life sets in motion the laws of attraction to make it so!
As I continued reading and ultimately finished, Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret, I was left wondering if this was “the Secret” that had been referred to at our meeting. Indeed, it contained powerful lessons to live by and apply to achieve personal and professional success, but it also contained some unconventional ideas that I found challenging to accept - for example, by seeing yourself with money, you could attract it - checks would actually arrive in the mail. (Surprisingly, I have actually experienced this phenomenon personally, as crazy as it sounds.)
Because some of the concepts were so extreme, I even considered whether, as a human resource professional, I shouldn’t have been so quick to provide copies to struggling co-workers. (Visions of how that action could be turned around in a legal setting had me thinking about a future legal update from our favorite Tristate member and attorney, Lou Lessig, sharing the dark side of “the Secret”.)
At any rate, although I thoroughly enjoyed reading The Secret, by Rhonda Byrne, (which I continue to recommend to friends today), I wondered if there was another secret that I should be searching for. I decided to take my search online, and there I found The Secret by Ken Blanchard and Mark Miller. I was so excited waiting for my copy to arrive in the mail – I had many of Ken Blanchard’s books, Whale Done!, Leadership and the One Minute Manager, and Raving Fans. His books are easily read and they all have pearls of wisdom to apply in any situation.
This “Secret” shared a recipe for a successful leadership approach that goes beyond leading people within an organization. Based on the servant leadership model, Blanchard’s SERVE principle could truly be applied to our personal relationships, as well. This book seemed to tell a parallel story to Rhonda Byrne’s The Secret. We are all empowered with the ability to help ourselves and the people we lead to achieve great success both personally and professionally.
The timing of my reading this version of The Secret was truly serendipitous (a fortunate accidental discovery), as my organization was about to embark on a large acquisition and the human resources department was expected to undertake a major change in service delivery through a centralization effort, which would leave some staff members impacted. The SERVE model, which was aligned with our organizational values, became for me, the foundation of all actions within this change effort.
Seeing the future would be critical to our successful transition. Engaging and developing the talent within our human resources team became necessary in order to Reinvent how we perform services within the organization. Valuing the results we needed to achieve and the relationships of those who would remain, as well as with those who would be leaving us after the centralization, seemed the best course of action to ensure a successful transition. Finally, Embracing our “enduring relationships” values system provided the anchor that was keeping us grounded through the initiative.
If you are interested in greater personal and professional satisfaction, The Secret is a must read. Choose either or both versions, and you can have the life and the relationships you’ve been dreaming of.
The books are easily read in a few short hours, and the lessons contained within are indeed…priceless!