One of my friends is a writer. We’ve always talked about wanting to make it, not necessarily together, not that it wouldn’t be cool to both make it together, but writing can be a pretty solitary exercise, and so while neither one of us would object to the idea of both of us making it, together, the both of us making it as writers, it’s just that, realistically, it’s probably more than likely than neither of us will make it, that’s just odds, and so, rather than talk of any potential shared success, there’s just always been talk, about some success, any success. I’d obviously like that success to be for me, but if he were to find that success for him, I wouldn’t be upset. Of course, it’s easy to say something like that, something like, “I wouldn’t be upset at my friend’s success,” when there’s no real success to speak of.
But a while back, my friend, like I said, we’d always talk, about writing, about what we’re writing, about other stuff having to do with writing, one day he says to me, “Hey Rob, did you hear about The Secret?”
And you’re reading this, you see it in italics and capital letters, but when he said it to me, I couldn’t pick that out, and so I said, “What secret?” and he said, “You know, that book, The Secret?”
And I was like, “Oh yeah, I’ve heard of it.”
And then I thought about what I was going to say, because of course I had something to say. Everybody’s heard of The Secret. It came out like ten years ago, and it’s already made its way through the various layers of pop culture. I didn’t think there was anybody left who hadn’t heard of The Secret, just like I didn’t think there was anybody left who still took The Secret seriously.
Still, something told me to hold back from saying what I was about to say, which would have been something sarcastic, something dismissive.
“Rob, you should really check out The Secret,” my friend said, and I said, “Oh really? I don’t know. That’s something to do with like a vision board or something?”
OK, so maybe I was a little sarcastic and dismissive, but only a little bit, it was only the leakage of a vast pool of the sarcasm and dismissiveness that I thought I was doing a pretty good job of holding back.
But it was enough sarcasm that he got it, he said, “OK, OK, I know what you’re thinking, but just, you know, if you ever want to try it out, just keep an open mind, that’s all I’m saying.”
And I said, “OK,” and then he dropped it, like he said he would, and I didn’t make any more sarcastic comments, not even a subtle dig, even though I wanted to, even though for the rest of the time we were talking, I kept wanting to wave my hands in the air, I kept wanting to say stuff about the vision board, more stuff about the vision board. I tried to think of other The Secret jokes I could come up with in my head (and then commend myself later for having held back) that didn’t have anything to do with vision boards, and that’s when I realized that I guess I didn’t really know anything about The Secret, except for vision boards, and for maybe a moment or two I thought, wow, I’m really judgmental, maybe I shouldn’t be so quick to judge things I don’t know anything about.
But then the conversation changed, I eventually stopped thinking about The Secret, and that was the last I thought about it for a while.
But here’s the thing: it totally worked. The Secret, it totally worked for my friend.
“It worked! Everything I wished for came true!” my friend told me the next time we caught up.
“Everything?” I couldn’t believe it.
“Yes! Everything!” he was so happy.
Everything he wanted became reality:
First he got a regular column on a really high-trafficked web site. His column attracted millions of followers overnight, and within a week, one of the leading print magazines offered him an even more popular column, in addition to his already successful Internet column. From there, someone set him up with a famous YouTube celebrity, and my friend started his own YouTube channel, and all of his videos started raking in hits, again, hits by the million, and he made sure that everyone had to watch a fifteen second commercial before each view, which didn’t even stop anybody from clicking away, and so he made a ton of money on advertising. Almost immediately after that, he started getting bombarded by calls from agents: book agents, movie agents, comedy agents, all-purpose agents that did everything. He wound up going with one of the all-purpose agents, and his new agent got him this ridiculous book/TV/sketch comedy/spoken word contract.
“Wow, everything …” I said. I couldn’t believe it.
It’s true, The Secret works. It worked for my friend. He’s proof that it works. And I’m going to do it too. I’m going to do The Secret also. Now that I know it works, there’s no reason for me not to do it. I haven’t done it yet though. I keep meaning to order it on Amazon, but I recently boycotted Amazon, ever since that article came out about how everyone at Amazon is miserable because Jeff Bezos makes everyone work until they drop, and then he fires them. Also, there was that story about the people working at the Amazon fulfillment center, and about how it was so hot inside the warehouse, but there were no ACs, and instead of installing ACs, Jeff Bezos hired a bunch of ambulances to wait outside until workers collapsed from heat exhaustion, and then he fired them.
So I was going to just go to the bookstore and pick up a copy, but it’s just one of those things that I keep putting off. It’s not like I’m deliberately putting it off. I just need to get around to actually doing it. I say I’m going to do it, and then I don’t do it, and then I think about why I haven’t done it yet. I should probably just make it a point to do it, to leave the house, to go to the bookstore. The way I have it in my head right now, it’s more like, well, whenever I happen to find myself out, and whenever I happen to come across a bookstore, maybe I’ll just find myself by chance walking down the self-help aisle, then I’ll do it, that’s when I’ll get myself a copy.
I haven’t done it yet, but I’m going to. Because it works. The Secret works. It worked for my friend. It’ll work for me. And it can work for you too.