The other night, I rewatched the movie, ‘The Secret.’
You may remember: back in 2006, it was a massive hit, because it reveals woo-woo techniques for getting anything in life you want. So long as you ‘put in your order with the universe’…
…it will come.
I don’t want to sound like I’m knocking The Secret, because I actually do believe there’s some truth to what they’re saying.
Although I’m not exactly Elon Musk, I have achieved a few things in life I’m proud of. And when I think back, I realise I was applying the exact principles they teach.
I spent my teenage years getting rejected by the same redhead. It got embarrassing.
“This sucks,” I said.
So I imagined someone different. Beautiful, funny and clever. “And while you’re at it, Universe, make her a brunette.” 6 months later, I met her.
It’s happened in my career too – harder though it is. As a writer, I’m always dogged with insecurity and self-doubt. Career goals don’t come easy for me. Never have.
It’s my big issue with The Secret.
The movie got millions pumped up, because it had them believing it is easy. ‘Put in your order with the universe.” What could be more effortless?
But getting what you want is not the same as ordering a BLT at Subway.
It’s NOT easy.
Thinking and visualising, and using your imagination, is the hardest work you can ever do.
It takes incredible mental discipline. Especially through those rocky periods when it feels like everything is conspiring against you.
The Secret was always more of a marketing hit than a self-help revelation.
Making things sound effortless is the magic key to moving a hungry hoard of buyers. It’s why, when writing copy, I always avoid words like ‘learn.’
Nobody wants to ‘learn.’
That sounds like hard work.
Instead, they want the magic pill that makes the problem go away. You can’t give them this, but you can imply it. Replace ‘learn’ with ‘discover.’
‘Discover’ sounds like something they stumble upon. It makes your solution sound effortless – like the ‘Secret’ that’s been eluding them.