The first job I landed, straight out of school, was as a copywriter for a small advertising agency. Although it didn't pay much, I was thrilled to be earning my own money. One of our clients was a car company. Even as I wrote copy for the various car ads I was poignantly aware that I could not afford even the cheapest model. At the time, the thought of driving my own car seemed an impossibly unreal dream. Yet a few years later, I became the proud co-owner of a pre-loved red hatchback. I can't say that I set out to buy my dream car. I did, however, hope to improve my life and the steps I took along the way delivered a cherished set of wheels.
Beyond The Secret is rather like that. It has a heavy emphasis on taking action steps, even baby steps, to achieve results. While The Secret DVD was phenomenally successful in widely disseminating the teachings of the law of attraction, some have found it too ephemeral. They question whether daily affirmations and creating vision boards could really deliver the dream house or the loving relationship. Isn't it all just wishful thinking? What do you actually do and how do you do it?
After hitting rock bottom in an abusive relationship and having to fight for custody of her three children, Holli Walker, the creator of this DVD, turned her life around. She had the courage to ask tough questions of herself, enlist the support of a life coach and take the requisite steps. She acknowledges that there were bad days; nor did it happen in a month or even a year. She is now herself a life coach, guiding other people towards a better future and co-host of a TV show called 180 Degrees.
In Beyond The Secret Holli Walker interviews a cast of nine motivational speakers and teachers, including Bob Proctor from the original Secret, about, well, the secret to successfully achieving your goals in life.
Proctor says, "It's the little things you do that can make a big difference. What are you attempting to accomplish? What little thing can you do today that will make you more effective?"
Others in this compelling cast are Les Brown, Marcia Weider, Christian Simpson, Paul Martinelli, Mark Moffit, Steve Siebold, Ricki Byers Beckwith and Mary Morrissey. Their advice is rich and thought provoking. I found Les Brown to be humorous and charming; Mary Morrissey, engaging and articulate.
The style of delivery, however, is rather intense. The series of interviews run consecutively rather like an infomercial, interspersed with some true life stories from people who have used the tools to achieve their desires. The producers have given pride of place to the messages, so at times the viewer feels rather bombarded. There is a lot to digest. This makes me think Beyond The Secret will appeal to those who are seriously looking for change and willing to watch this DVD several times, taking notes as they do so.
What do we really want in life? This is the big question that comes out of this DVD. Often we dream our dreams during our youth and forget to revise them in later years once the house with the white picket fence has become a reality.
There is a school of thought that such programs can be rather materialistic as they often portray people pursuing higher-paying jobs or luxury cars. Of course, this isn't necessarily so. A universal principle like the law of attraction must apply equally, whether one is building a thriving local community or a shapely body.
Nicola Silva is a journalist and writer based in Sydney