Author: Rhonda Byrne, London, Sydney (2010): Simon & Schuster
The Power is the sequel to the The Secret by Australian television writer and producer Rhonda Byrne. Her work can be categorised as being part of the ‘New Thoughts’ movement.
In her book, Byrne’s describes how people can live a life of happiness and wellbeing. Her central idea is the ‘law of attraction’. This means that if you think and feel negatively about your life, you will attract negative things whereas if you think and feel positively, you are going to attract the opposite. You will also attract good things by giving good things to others. Byrne’s assumption is that life follows this law and that things do not just happen to us, but that we have the power to influence in what direction our life goes. Therefore her view is that we are not responding to life but life is responding to us and that we can create our own circumstances. Byrne explains that we can change the way we look at life by changing our thoughts, feelings and language as they determine if we choose positive or negative actions.
In order to attract happiness and wellbeing, people need to talk about things they wish for and good things that happened to them rather about things that annoy them or they do not have in their lifes. According to her, this is how people with a great life do it. Byrne acknowledges that there are problems and challenges that people face but through positive thinking, they have a strategy to overcome these. After presenting her main ideas, Byrne continues to describe the process of how to create something you want or to change something you do not want. She illustrates the three steps of Imagine, Feel and Receive. This process implies that you imagine and feel as if you have already achieved what you want. She gives examples of how people received things they wanted through the creation process and goes on to illustrate this process for the areas of money, personal relationships and health.
Byrne’s book did motivate me to look at things in a different way. I did experience that the way you think and feel makes a difference on how you perceive your circumstances and how you act and make decisions in your life. My main criticism is that the actions that Byrne describes are actions of imagination, e.g. she gives an example of an unemployed woman that wrote a journal about her day at work and got up every morning as if she would go to work. This does not include that you need to take active steps in order to get a job and how positive thinking and imagination supports looking at different options and pursuing them. It seems that Byrne’s process stops at the point of imagination. In my opinion, positive thinking and imagination support taking actions that bring you closer to where you want to be, but are not the final point. From my point of view there is something missing in Byrne’s process.
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