on 2 February 2014
The negative reviews caused me to very nearly give this a miss. I have been on a constant journey throughout my life. Every day was a constant struggle with inadequacy and self-esteem, being caught up on the past, and believing that the past will repeat itself in the future. I have been sad and depressed, hurt and lonely more times than I can remember. Though did I even experience overly difficult hardships? No.
The truth is that I always thought that I was missing something others had. That magically other people had the tools and ability to get what they want, gain prosperity and receive love. In reality, I have everything I could ever need to do it. I have more than those who achieved more than me. How can they get so much with so little resources?
Now let me tell you that I am a very cynical, logical and most of all realistic person. I also tend to criticise everything - You could almost say I'm a killjoy. Therefore, the reviews gave me an impression that the book was completely without basis, that I'd have to roll my eyes every few lines, and that it was complete quakary. Now there are some sections or paragraphs that I consider utter dogs faeces. But there are other, very, very valuable and powerful insights scattered around that more than make up for it.
These are things that we would all say, "Oh I already knew that." or "That's so obvious." But the point is, are you aware of them every single day of your life? Do you know how to put this knowledge into action? One of Byrne's points was basically "The law of attraction", and if you think something it will be. I interpreted this to be equivalent to undertaking a self-fulfilling prophecy. And how true is this? If you think you are bad at school, you will be bad at school. Byrne want's us to think we are positive things instead, and therefore, we become those positive things. It happens with events and actions as well! If you are constantly thinking "I'm so scared I will mess up this presentation" you will most likely mess up. Also if something positive happens, you automatically become in the mindset to receive and do more positive things (or as she puts it, you are emitting that frequency now and thus attract more of it) How many times have you had one of those days where everything seems to go wrong?! Have you ever wondered why everything goes wrong at once? You wake up late, stub your toe, get toothpaste on your shirt, lose your car keys, your car breaks down, you're late, you do badly in a test....... Well this is why. These principles help you break free of this cycle. And basically in my view, Byrne is explaining concepts that already exist but is choosing to describe them in a fancier way. She does say at multiple points; we are able to chose what to call it, be it God, Quantum Physics, A Higher Power, Energy - whatever. And we also have the freedom to chose which sections to believe.
I also really like the point about living as if things are in abundance, especially with money and relationships. You'll always be able to earn more money, and there is always more fish in the sea. How nice are those thoughts? Also giving gratitude for every little thing in your life is something we should all start practising, and actually reminded me of the importance of prayer. Positive thoughts at all times is encouraged and I totally agree in order to ensure you are moving forward. Name me one time when negative thoughts and wallowing in self-pity ever did anyone any good? (It certainly didn't do me any.)
For the people arguing that no one ever got a chocolate bar by just wishing it into existence, you are correct. But did you even read the whole book? She explains that the "universe" (or whichever you want to substitute, eg. God) creates opportunities and doors and shows them to you naturally in order to lead you to that thing. Also on top of that, she explains we have to act like we already have that thing, and do all the things someone with that thing would already do. Now in the case of say earning more money, you'd have to work hard, and have dedication and determination in whatever you do. Those are traits of people who make money. And as you can see, adopting those traits ain't easy. But that's the beauty. If you truly wanted something, you would do it. It weeds out the people who simply can't be bothered.
But she does claim that sometimes you simply can "wish" something to be there. Byrne included an example of someone always expecting there to be a parking place. I was highly cynical of this. But I decided to try and be open minded as I had nothing to lose. Next time I went out, I used the principles in order to ensure a parking place near the venue. Usually on a Saturday night it is impossible to even move from the traffic, let alone for there to be free places. To my utter astonishment, when I arrived, there was a free space directly in front of the place! I went into it with ease as if it was meant for me, the traffic was horrific and it was the only space there was. I will just go ahead and say that I am just a tad creeped out right now.
There is so many things that fit in with religion for me, and that is how I chose to take most of the stuff. You could of course take and interpret it a different way that's personal to you. What really opened my eyes is when she directly asks me what I want. If I could have anything in this world without any limits, what do I want?! I sat for about 10 minutes and was completely stumped. I had no clue. Not even that, I couldn't even bring myself to think of anything! I had believed for so long that I wasn't important and I should be constantly giving to others. Like most religious people would, I felt utterly selfish thinking me me me. But this isn't the case. Because when I don't take care of myself first, I have nothing to give to others. This has completely opened my eyes and made me realise that I am in fact a worthy person. I realised that all this time I wasn't getting/feeling prosperity and love, because I simply didn't allow myself to.
All-in-all its a lot of stuff thats already out-there and common sense, but is packaged in a way to make it seem special and to sell as many copies as possible. But that doesn't detract from the fact that there are people out there for which these principles will do the world of good. Most of the negative reviewers acknowledge that the stuff in here is useful and does actually work but then say its in millions of other self-help books and don't give examples of any. This one out of all the ones I've read, makes the largest impact. I would encourage everyone to read and try it - It makes for more comfortable reading to remember you can manipulate the "rules" to your own understanding, and take whichever you want with a pinch of salt.