Just a day or two late on posting this review… the kids and I took a little vacation this weekend, to visit my husband (who’s a Marine away at training) in Maryland. There was a few inches of snow on the ground, and we got the opportunity to stay with some wonderful friends we haven’t seen in four years, so it was a really exciting weekend. My computer, which I brought with me, never made it’s way out of my car – we were just so busy!
So, again… a day or two late in posting this review, but here it is!
This week, in keeping with our “New” theme for January, we tackled a new book, and a New Age book, Hero by Rhonda Byrne.
This book is the fourth in The Secret series. The first book, The Secret, was a huge success, inspiring audiences to use positive thinking and affirmations to change their lives. It even inspired a documentary (which can be found on Netflix, for anyone interested).
In Hero, Byrne uses interviews and stories from successful people around the world who have used positive thinking and affirmations to become the hero in their own epic. Byrne outlines the idea that we are each a hero in our own story, and we need to live the “heroic” life to be successful. She suggests that we each have the ability to be that hero, we just need to know how – and then proposes to tell us how.
Basically, the process of becoming our own hero includes visualizing yourself as successful in something, and not doubting that positive outcome. While I am naturally skeptical about this, I have actually seen it in play. A friend of mine was inspired by The Secret, and began making vision boards. She puts up pictures of things she wants to achieve, and the idea is that, by looking at these images multiple times a day, you are sending positive energy out into the Universe (and into your own subconscious) to help these things come true. I watched her husband’s career advance, a rocky relationship with her stepson’s mother get smoothed over, and (after a long bout of trying), she finally got pregnant. While all of these things might just seem coincidental, it has been interesting to see her have positive change after positive change after positive change in her life, right after she started visualization.
This book came along in a really important time in my life. In the next six months, I will be graduating from college, looking for a job, and – oh yea – moving directly across the United States to California. With all of these things happening at the same time, my natural skeptic has taken over, and I’ve been having a rather negative attitude about the whole thing. I’ll be far away from my family. I’ll never get a job. We’ll never sell or rent our house. The drive across country is going to be miserable. No one will want to hire a “recent grad” despite my experience. But opening Hero has enabled me to realize that I cannot control the situation, but I can control how I think about it.
So I’ve started picturing myself as a working professional at some undisclosed sunny San Diego location. I’ve started picturing someone moving into our house. I’ve started picturing how beautiful and exciting our road trip is going to be. And while I haven’t seen a change in my situation (we’re still a few months away from any of this actually happening), I have seen pieces falling into place. By changing my attitude, and using visualization and positive affirmation, I now have a totally positive attitude about the next 6 months – and I know that will encourage things to work out for me.
Before reading Hero, I always felt that the “successful” people of the world either had luck, or money. The people in this story had neither – all they had was a “can do” attitude, and the ability to see a better future for themselves. It seems that our biggest road block on the way to being our own hero is our self doubt – maybe not in our abilities or knowledge, but in what we feel that we deserve. And it doesn’t have to be about material things. It doesn’t have to be about the bigger house, or the paycheck, or the job… it can be about deserving love, deserving appreciation, deserving opportunities. Once we all understand what we deserve, we will open ourselves up to that opportunity.
Okay, while I was clearly inspired by Hero, I do have a few negative criticisms. First, it was too closely related to The Secret (and presumably all the other The Secret books). It seemed to be using the exact same ideas, with different words behind it. While I’m all for “driving home” a message, are four books about the same thing really necessary? Secondly, the book seems to have been written to be an easy translation to a documentary. There’s a format that would make that easy transition – introduction to an idea, quotes from people who have been successful using that idea, and then encouragement to try that idea. This format is exactly how The Secret documentary is laid out. I haven’t read the other The Secret books, but I think it is safe to assume they are using the same format. It’s a little distracting, and, in my opinion, takes away from the point trying to be made in each chapter. I keep flipping back to the beginning of the book to remember who all these people were (the successful people from different parts of the world, and different industries).
That being said, Hero is a good book. It is a good book for anyone undergoing a major change in their life – I would recommend getting it for someone going away to college, looking for a new job, or anyone you see struggling with making a major decision. Sometimes, we all need a little reminder at how we have all the tools necessary to make ourselves successful, right inside of us! We just have to find them, and use them!
So – have you read Hero? Have you read any of The Secret books? Do you use, or have you ever used, visualization to help you? Any positive outcomes to share?? Or does it all sound like hocus pocus?