Wednesday, January 02, 2008

Going Beyond the Secret

MNCT 588 - Going Beyond the Secret


"The best way to predict the future is to create it."
-Peter Drucker

There is an old joke about three baseball umpires who are
discussing their strategies for calling balls and strikes.

The first umpire says, somewhat defensively, "I call 'em like
they are."

The second umpire shrugs his shoulders and says "Well, I call
'em like I see 'em."

The third umpire smiles knowingly at his colleagues. "You guys
have got it all wrong - they ain't nothin' until I call 'em!"

Strange as it may seem, these three approaches to judging the
accuracy of a pitched baseball correspond quite neatly to the
three main ways people approach going for what they want in
their lives...

1. Acquisition - "I call 'em like they are"

In the Acquisition model of the world, the stuff of life is out
there and your job is to go out and get it. Acquisition-based
thinkers often see life as a case of the "have's" vs. the
"have-nots", and shift between the roles of hero and victim in a
"dog eat dog" world.

2. Attraction - "I call 'em like I see 'em"

The movie (and subsequent book) "The Secret" is one of the most
popular ever presentations of the ancient principle that "like
attracts like". Attraction-based thinkers recognize that, as
Hamlet said, "There is nothing either good or bad but thinking
makes it so".

While this can lead to a considerably more positive experience
of the world, where the attraction model tends to break down is
when people attempt to control that world by controlling their

Over the past sixteen years or so, I've noticed that this
inner-directed battle for positive without negative and good
without bad has one major flaw: no one I've ever met (including
most of the teachers in "The Secret") can actually pull it off
for any length of time.

This doesn't point to a lack of sincerity on their part - it's
just that as long as you are at war within yourself, no matter
how noble the cause, it is impossible to experience peace.

(You can read more of my thoughts on the benefits and pitfalls
of "The Secret" at

3. Creation - "They ain't nothin' until I call 'em!"

A woman who wanted to hire me as her coach told me that she had
been deeply inspired by "The Secret" and had already applied
its teachings to attract herself a new job, a great apartment,
and a boyfriend who, in her words, "actually seems to really
like me".

When I asked her what she hoped to get out of our work together,
she went quiet for a few moments before somewhat shyly telling
me "I'm terrified that it will stop working and I'll go back to
being miserable and alone".

And therein lies the fundamental difference between these three
models of success:

*Acquisition-based thinking places the power outside of us in
the visible, physical world. If we want some of that power for
ourselves, we need to go out and get it. When we don't get
what we want, it's either because the world is rigged against
people like us or we just didn't try hard enough.

*Attraction-based thinking places the power outside of us in the
invisible, metaphysical world. If we want to tap into that
power, we need to align our thoughts, feelings, intentions and
desires. When we don't get what we want, it's either because
God/The Universe has a higher plan for us or we just didn't
think positive enough.

*Creation-based thinking places the power firmly inside
ourselves. We access that power through the choices we make
about how to be (our "ground of being", how to see (our
attitude, or "angle of approach"), and what to do (the words we
speak and the actions we take).

When we don't get what we want, it's either because we haven't
yet found a way or it's just taking more time than we want it
to. No blame, no fault, no shame.

I'll finish today's tip (and my writing for 2007) with my
favorite quote on Creation-based thinking as a model for success
in life, written over 100 years ago by George Bernard Shaw:

"People are always blaming circumstances for what they are. I
don't believe in circumstances. The people who get on in this
world are the people who get up and look for the circumstances
they want, and, if they can't find them, make them."

Create yourself a magical new year!

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(c) 2007 Michael Neill/All Rights Reserved

Genius Catalyst Inc.

4220 Esteban Road
Woodland Hills, CA

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