How “The Secret” failed

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to answer a reader’s question about where “The Secret” failed and reveal the difference between a fantasy and a dream.

First a quick update:

“The fear of commitment”
What’s behind the fear of commitment?  Why are you attracted to players?  How can you deal with the power struggle in relationships?  Read the transcript of the interview I gave to Lucia, host of The Art of Love Radio Show, here.

Now, let’s talk about the difference between a fantasy and a dream or vision.

Recently, I received an email from a reader wondering why four years after its release, “The Secret” hasn’t transformed the world as many predicted and why she along with many other people who read and adopted the principles of the book still had not realized their goals. “After all the hoopla and Oprah who went gaga over it – is The Secret just a fantasy?” Paula wrote.

I would like to answer that question and topic with an edited excerpt from my book, “Smash your hidden beliefs – make more money now!”:

Robert grew up in the Bronx, in New York. From an early age, Robert was an entrepreneur. He began by shining shoes and doing all sorts of small chores, errands and little business deals in order to make money. Very soon, Robert ended up being a great hustler, in the sense of hustling for business – always looking for another way to make some money. Through his 20s and 30s Robert had many different careers, and in his 40s ended up becoming a multimillionaire. He ended up producing something that turned into a ten-million dollar empire. That was about 25 years ago when he ended up being embezzled and losing everything.

Twenty-five years later, he still struggles the same way he did as a child, always looking for that dollar, always trying to hustle. His closest friends Albert and Samuel are two guys who also had a very similar upbringing, and like him, they became very successful in midlife to the extent of becoming multimillionaires. And like Robert, they suffered a similar fate: Albert lost all his money through drugs and Samuel lost all of his money through gambling. Now all three of them, in their later years in life, have no money and end up hustling the same way they did as children, barely getting by.

So you ask, “What’s the moral of this story?”

Stay with me and I’m going to explain it.

Stronger than the Law of Attraction

You have most likely heard of the Law of Attraction and maybe you’ve watched “The Secret”, read the book, or heard about it. And what is “The Secret?” The Secret says that the Law of Attraction is the key to getting everything you want and the key to being happy.

I am one who believes in giving you the complete message, so I’m going to tell you very clearly that the Law of Attraction on its own isn’t going to get you what you want, help you to hold on to it, nor help you to enjoy it and be happy. The Law of Attraction is only one of many of what we call Universal Laws.

What is a Universal Law?

Let’s refer to the Law of Gravity. Why is it called the Law of Gravity? It never changes. It’s a Law because it is constant…So if you stand at the edge of the balcony and you decide to jump off, the Law of Gravity is going to work no matter what mood you’re in. That’s why we call it a Law, because it’s unchangeable. The Law of Attraction is also unchangeable. If you focus on something you will attract it into your life. That’s true. However, to get it, to hold on to it, and to enjoy it or grow it and expand it require much more than just the Law of Attraction because there are other laws that will in fact neutralize or negate the Law of Attraction.

Recall the story of Robert, Albert and Samuel?  These three people are examples of people who obviously engaged the Law of Attraction because they focused on hustling and building a business. And yes, they built businesses, and they got the success, and they got the money. But they didn’t hold onto either the money, the success or the business for more than a couple of years, and then they went right back to their roots, right back to their childhood, and found themselves again struggling and hustling.

In my book “The greatest money-making secret of all time” I  share other examples of people who’ve won the lottery, and in a matter of a couple of years, they either lost the money, committed suicide, their marriage fell apart, or they ended up completely destitute, worse off than maybe before they won the lottery.

Now you might respond by saying, “Well Patrick, that’s because money is the root of all evil” or “Well Patrick that’s because they don’t know how to handle their finances. They needed someone to, you know; give them some financial advice and some investment advice.”

No, that’s not the problem.

So let me lead up to the key here.

The most powerful Law

In my book “The greatest money-making secret of all time”, I reveal another law that I call the Law of Deservedness. The Law of Deservedness says “You get only what you subconsciously believe you deserve, and no more. If you get more than you deserve, you will sabotage it or push it away.”

…The classic example is women who end up in the same pattern of relationships with men that treat them like crap. The men cheat on them, betray them, abuse them, etc, and the pattern repeats again and again…

Three keys missing from the Secret

There are a couple of elements – critical elements that are missing from “The Secret.”

“The Secret” says visualize it; Focus on it and you will get it. Accordingly, the book and DVD talk about a Vision Board…Incidentally, more than thirty years ago, what they have termed as a Vision Board was known as “Treasure Mapping.”


Jack Canfield, author of “Chicken Soup for the Soul” was one of the featured speakers in the movie of “The Secret.” I wrote to Jack and said, “Jack, you forgot something really important. What about the Law of Action?  You have to take action. Action’s in the word attraction, and if you don’t take action, nothing’s going to happen.”

For example, if I just sit on the beach dreaming everyday about being successful, or about having the perfect ideal relationship, about having more love in my life, or having my own three-story house on a mountain, will it come to me?  No, it won’t if I keep sitting on the beach. You might say, “But isn’t the Law of Attraction all that’s required to make it happen? Don’t I just need to visualize it to make it a reality?”

No, because it then just becomes a fantasy versus a vision or a dream. To go from a fantasy to a vision and a dream involves action. You have to take action and as I explain in my book, “Get What You Want!”, you have to emotionalize what you visualize.

Give back

The other element that’s missing from “The Secret” relates to giving back. We often view life as simply about how much we can take from the world. Giving back is about how much value you can bring to the marketplace. What value are you bringing? How are you contributing to others? Read my Success Newsletter “The Secret part II”, where I explain how Bruce Lee created his success by giving back.

How much are you worth?

The third and I believe the single most important element that’s missing from “The Secret, the key to understanding the whole concept of how we create our success and reality, is the Law of Deservedness.

What do you feel and believe about yourself, about your self-worth?  How much are you worth?  How valuable are you?

What matters here is not what you respond consciously, but what you feel in your heart.

Which emotions and beliefs tell you that there is something wrong with you or that you are not good enough? Is it ok to be more successful or even happier than your mother, father, brother or sister?

Truly, what are you afraid would happen if you could do, be and have all that you want? What emotions do you bring to your dreams and goals? Again, take time to ponder and answer this question from your heart and not your logical mind…

You can comment on this newsletter by visiting my blog. If you have received this newsletter as a forward and would like to receive all of my newsletters please enter your email address on the home page.

I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.

Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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6 replies
  1. Avatar
    karan patil says:

    i used the secret but it failed i dont know why and i am almost lost everything can someone help me and tell y i failed and how to get back everything

  2. Avatar
    Karen says:

    The Secret is a GREAT start…especially for people like myself that had never heard of it. Lynne Grubhorn’s expansion and more realistic book is even better. It’s called….”Excuse me…your Life is Waiting”. This book truly changed my life. My motto that I share with my whole team is: Belief + Action + Passion = Success. There is also information on your Money Blueprint available that is interesting and that you touch on Patrick.
    Thank you!

  3. Avatar
    Lynn says:

    I totally agree with you regarding “The Secret”. It left off so much information that it was ridiculous! You cannot simply sit around and attract things without taking and making actions to get them. Though it was a start into the realm of “universal laws” for most, I have always known that there are many “universal laws” in which all must be abided by and used in conjuction with one another. Everyone knows the laws because they are within each of us. It is hard for most to locate them within us though. Until all of the universal laws are realized, the majority of people will just keep fishing for the next law dangled in front of them. Just as “The Secret” did!

  4. Avatar
    Bob says:

    Money is the root of all GOOD. Money puts food on the family table, money buys education, pays doctors, pays the minister or priest, keeps a roof over our heads. It’s not how much money you make. It’s how much money you KEEP that counts.

  5. Avatar
    Leta Calvert says:

    I whole heartedly agree with your perspective on the Secret. The authors just made millions off of people that not only were decieved into thinking that they could visualize their hearts desire and shabang there it is. If it was truly that easy the world would not be in the state it is in. When I first heard it I laughed because what they shared was no secret at all. One lady was on the Oprah show talking about visualizing the type of man you want however her knight and shining armour had not come into fruition. Wishful thinking will have you throwing pennies continuosly in the penny pond for a lifetime if actions are not put to your vision.

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