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Book Review: The Secret by Rhonda Byrne

The Secret often gets a bad rap these days. It seems to be fashionable to say that it doesn’t go into enough details about the law of attraction and that this gives the impression that all you have to do is ask for something, do a few visualisations and you will get whatever you want. So I thought I’d read it and see if that was the case!


I was introduced to The Secret through the movie which came out at around the same time. For most people, it’s the first time they learn about the law of attraction. It wasn’t for me though. I was 6 months into my spiritual awakening and already knew about many of the things that are discussed. So it was nothing drastically new or mind-blowing. It merely cemented in place everything I’d been learning; that our reality is our own creation and that the power to have what we want lies in our own thoughts, perceptions, beliefs and actions.

The Secret was released over 10 years ago. As such, it does look a little dated and cheesy. The movie in particular, has some pretty lame acted sequences and schmalzy music. To me, the whole thing came across as twee, which doesn’t help when trying to get across what is a serious concept that can and does change people’s lives. This is really what should be taught in schools, not watched as entertainment in a light-hearted setting. The book though, is shorn of most of the things that made the movie slightly puke-inducing. Even some of the people that speak in the film (such as Bob Proctor and Esther Hicks) come across a bit OTT – like they are trying too hard for the camera, hamming it up a bit. The cartoon feel of the film isn’t there in the book. What you are left with is a series of quotes from the foremost practitioners of the law of attraction and a bunch of real life anecdotes. So I recommend the book over the movie. Also, you’ll have more time to digest some of the concepts, which let’s face it, are pretty out there if all this is new to you!



The basic idea is that there is a higher power (some call it god, others a natural law of physics, some simply as the universe or consciousness) that we can connect to using our own inner power – thought. This law (one of many spiritual or universal laws of the universe which have been largely lost to us in the Western world down the centuries) states that whatever you focus your attention on most, you will draw back to you.

Put simply, if you think mostly negative thoughts, you will attract mostly negative people and experiences into your life. Vice-versa if you mostly think positive thoughts.

This places the responsibility for your life squarely in your own hands because it means that everything in your external reality was brought to you or created by, your own thoughts. Many people instantly dislike the idea because they believe the law places blame on them, for not thinking correctly and attracting all the shit they have in their lives. But actually, we should be happy because it means that we all have the ability to change our lives, simply by starting to think more positively. And the law is totally neutral – it can’t “blame” anyone. It doesn’t pick sides. It just is! Negative thinking doesn’t make you a bad person. Some of the nicest people you will meet think very negatively; mostly about themselves. Low self esteem and confidence unfortunately are breeding grounds for external unhappiness.



Another criticism the book often gets is that the law doesn’t work because they have tried it and didn’t get what they wanted. But The Secret states that the law is completely neutral and is ALWAYS working. It doesn’t switch on only when you decide to give it a go. It’s working whether you know it or not. Like gravity. So you need to work out how to get it to work in your favour, rather than against you. The Secret does a good job of explaining how to do that in my opinion but as many people have noted, it perhaps does oversimplify the process. Whilst it’s true that there isn’t much in the book about taking action (which is REALLY crucial in the manifestation steps outlined) it is definitely in there, briefly:

“Action is a word that can imply “work” to some people, but inspired action will not feel like work at all. The difference between inspired action and action is this: Inspired action is when you are acting to receive. If you are in action to try and make it happen, you have slipped backward. Inspired action is effortless, and it feels wonderful because you are on the frequency of receiving.”

For me, this isn’t substantial enough, as for most people, we are going to have to do a lot of work and take a lot of action in order to manifest! That’s because we have limiting beliefs in our subconscious mind which create negative thought processes which will attract only negativity. This isn’t really touched upon in the book. So most of us will have to do some serious self development work to rid ourselves of those bad habits (such as low self esteem) which are blocking the receiving of that good shit! But if that social programming wasn’t there, according to the book, we’d be able to manifest very quickly. I’m not doubting The Secret but I am still a tad sceptical when it comes to things like being able to create your entire day before it happens or pick out a parking space every time. But maybe that’s my problem – the scepticism is blocking those things from happening!

What I do know is this; whilst I’m unsure about the specifics of manifesting, I am 100% sure that this law exists. I’ve heard enough stories from people I know and trust, enough quotes from great minds, and experienced enough in my own life to prove that there is a higher force that responds to our thoughts. The Secret is one of the best introductions to this that you will find. But don’t watch the movie, read the book. And follow it up with further research. It’s not quite as easy as it may suggest. After all, we are humans, and humans have an uncanny knack of overcomplicating everything and buggering it up! Damn us!


  1. I was given this book when I was at school and still dip it into it regularly. Everyone should own a copy!

    1. Totally agree Heather! Thanks for your comments, always appreciated 🙂

  2. monica banjo says:

    I remember watching this years ago, didn’t really get it back then but was so ready for it the second time, which was last year. Thoughts are things. That’s it. The power is already within us to change our lives.

    1. As with so many things on this journey, you have to be ready for them in your life, in order to appreciate the message. Thanks for your comment Monica, keep ’em coming 🙂

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