I’ve been bombarded by Fortune 500 sales audiences all year long about the best selling book and movie, The Secret. Everyone, including celebrities, seems to have strong opinions on it. Oprah loved it, Bill Maher laughed at it. Ellen Degeneres and Larry King raved about it, Saturday Night LIVE did a parody on it. Deepak Chopra trashed it on national television while other authors promoted it. What is it about the ancient law of attraction that causes so much controversey? I’m headed to Mexico later this week to speak on a cruise ship with two stars of the movie, Bob Proctor and Michael Beckwith, so I thought it was time I weighed in on this one. I’d love to hear YOUR comments on this post. Tell us what YOU think about the most successful movie in the history of the personal development movement. ( 3:12 )

Steve Siebold
Author and Professional Speaker since 1997. Past Chairman of the National Speakers Association's Million Dollar Speakers Group. Author of 11 books with 1.4 million copies in print.

33 thoughts on “The Secret: Fact or Fantasy?”

  1. I had the wonderful opportunity to meet you on the cruise, and look forward to meeting you again.
    The Power of Positive Thinking, changed my life almost 30 years ago. The Law of attraction, you reap what you sow, whatever you want to call it, it’s as real as life itself. If you plant corn, a watermellon won’t grow. If you expect the best, that’s what will grow.

    Keep up the great work Steve

  2. Steve, I’m with you 100%!!!!
    How it works and why it works?
    Well, the science behind it makes
    perfect sense.
    But what’s MOST IMPORTANT, is that
    it works.

    Talk to you soon..

    Kevin Horne

  3. Hi Steve,
    I read all the others comments on this blog. The secret is like a religion. Some people believe in it and others don’t. I do believe that the secret is targeted for the middle class. The secret doesn’t refer to how much massive action you need to do daily to achieve what ever you want in your life. Everybody’s answers aren’t going to be in the one dvd or book. I’ve got the dvd and I didn’t even hear the word “ACTION” once, which I found amusing. You really have to check out, understand and apply lots of different pieces of material.
    Cheers Will.

  4. I enjoyed your video. I’ve had similar experiences. In my academic circles, the concepts outlined in the Secret are regarded as silliness, but my small business and individual clients love it. I say, if it’s having a positive influence on people’s lives, relationships and businesses, then what’s the harm. The outcomes outweigh the skepticism, whether someone believed in the spiritual aspects or not. With all the negativity in the world, the secret is a refresher, in the least. I have seen it work in my life, when I focus and remembered to practice it. There are just too many “coincidences” that align with practicing it or not practicing it, making it difficult to ignore or deny.

  5. Steve, I thought The Secret was very good and works. I have seen it work so many times in my life. However, there are times I forget to practice it.

  6. David,

    Your point seems to be the theme of many of the comments on the Secret. I’m planning on sharing this npoint of view in Mexico next week with Bob Proctor and Michael Beckwith. Using the Law of Attraction is a great strategy, but hard work seems to be the real answer to world class success.

    Thanks for the comment, David. I’m looking forward to seeing your new TV Show! Please let me know when it’s coming out.

    Steve Siebold, CSP

  7. Hi Steve,

    Great to see that you are video blogging!

    Steve, you mentioned a key point in your video blog. You have to work – and work hard – while the Law of Attraction is at work. As you say, if the movie helps you focus on what you want (less on the material things, and more on what lastingly make you happier, healthier, and more successful – doing what you love, having meaningful relationships, and knowing that your life’s work matters), then the movie is beneficial.

    Best to you Steve!

    David J. Pollay

  8. The corporate/entrepreneurial split in opinion is not surprising, but it is telling. I believe many corporate “worker bees” have resigned at least some control over their lives (I have been there, NEVER to go back). To believe in “The Secret” or “The Law of Attraction” would require they wrest back that control – not an easy thing to do when paychecks, raises, benefits, vacations are doled out by others. Entrepreneur’s already know they have to control their destiny, so their acceptance of “The Secret” is natural.

    “The Secret” does fall woefully short, though, in the area of ACTION. As Einstein said (and Robert Ringer repeated), “Nothing happens until something moves”.

  9. Hey Steve,

    Love the blog! Absolute abundance. Of course Law of Attraction works. But like Bob Proctor talks about in the movie, most of us don’t understand how electricity works…but we STILL get to enjoy all the benefits of using it. So, I think it makes sense to approach Law of Attraction the same way. A Course in Miracles tells us that minds are connected. Maybe this has something to do with Law of Attraction. Ester Hicks (author of Law of Attraction) tells us that she was the first to coin this phrase – who many now are using. It’s interesting to watch as more and more of “the masses” are opening their minds to these newer thought concepts.

    I too know for 100% certain… Law of Attraction has been working in my life. Ester Hicks says it’s more about “vibration”. She states in fact, that the word “vibration” was edited out of the Think and Grow Rich something like 31 times. (Jerry Hicks found an original copy of the manuscript and counted them. And also, that the word “vibration” was edited out of The Secret as well. I guess they just believed back then (and evidently today as well) that the general public would not by into something as esoteric as “vibration” but when you think about it… we are (on a scientific level) waves of energy and information.

    Thanks Steve. Loving your book – “177 Mental Toughness Secrets of the World Class” They say… “when the student is ready” and I believe this book of yours was brought to me by law of attraction…. It is one of the top 3 books I have ever read. Thanks for writing it. (and btw… you are World Class Steve)

    Keep up the great work and always keep that integrity of yours.

    – Bradley J.

  10. Steve,

    I’m a big believer in the essence of what has been termed the “Law of Attraction” (I quibble with calling it a “law”, but that’s mostly an issue of semantics). Most of my life I have been using it unconsciously, and in the last couple of years have I been working to become more proficient in my conscious use of it.

    I have not read the book, but I have seen the movie of “The Secret”. Frankly, I was disappointed. To me the movie was tremendously overblown and over-hyped. I felt that the true message of the movie was lost in the “new age” pixie-dust presentation. Personally, I couldn’t relate. Obviously, many people do and that’s terrific. I’m just one of those who couldn’t get past the “woo-woo”. I can empathize with your corporate clients: if my only exposure to the “Law of Attraction” was this movie, I never would have accepted it. That’s just me.

    However, if the movie producers’ purpose was to create marketing “buzz”, then I’m the first to agree they were wildly successful. Like it or disdain it, “The Secret” is pure marketing gold. It’s been out how long now? And everyone is still talking about it. The people in it are now known internationally and are seen as experts – that’s the “holy grail” of marketing! My hope is that the movie (and the people involved) doesn’t suffer the “Bee Gees Effect” – a meteoric rise to the top, followed by an extreme backlash due to market saturation.

    Again: I believe in the essence of the “Law of Attraction”, but I personally didn’t resonate with the movie “The Secret”.


  11. Bruce and Mace,

    Thanks for both of your comments on my t-shirt/baseball hat attire on the last post. I appreciate both points of view and will take them under consideration.

    Candor in the mental toughness process is essential. I see it as critical thinking vs positive thinking. I think we’ve all heard enough positive thinking platitudes. The days of Leave it to Beaver and Father Knows Best are over. It was a great time, but we’re living in a new age that’s much tougher and requires higher levels of thought.

    Please keep all comments coming!

    Thanks again!
    Steve Siebold

  12. the secret has changed my entire life; my only regret is that i didn’t possess this knowledge sooner. i believe in my dreams again!! and it’s a beautiful thing! for about six months now, i’ve been working diligently at focusing on my thoughts, weeding out the bad ones, jazzing up the good ones… and it’s tough! but, i see change. everyday. life is happy:)

  13. I loved The Secret; Still do. I liked both versions of the movie, with and without the Hickses; I liked the audio book, and I enjoyed the print book.
    There was only one thing that appeared in both the book and the audio version that went against my grain – an insensitive and unhelpful piece by Rhonda Byrnes on weight loss. She said to not look at fat people. My opinion is that is ridiculous. What if your beloved spouse is overweight? My idea of a valid segment on weight would be about someone who strugged with obesity for years and turned themselves around won the battle and kept many many pounds off for decades. That is inspiring. Rhonda Byrnes ridding herself of post-pregnancy fat is not.

  14. Steve,

    I have enjoyed your cd’s and blog. May I make a suggestion based on “perception is reality.” When appearing on your blog you might want to appear more professional in order to be taken seriously. No rip on content just a suggestion to further your quest for world class results.

  15. I read “The Secret” just one day after finishing “Law of Attraction” by Michael J. Losier and felt like I had been had. It was the same thing! At least Michael had an honest title.

    But after I got over my initial feelings, I purchased three more copies of the book and movie for friends and family. Perhaps it will open their eyes to the possibilities that are there for the asking and doing.

    So many things have happened in my life that I thought about years earlier that I have to believe this law of attraction is real. It has made me a positive person and provided a successful (but middle-class) life. Now, I am asking for and taking the steps to move to world class. I truly believe that the law of attraction, as defined in “The Secret” and so many other books and movies, will guide me to that goal.

    I look forward to hearing you in Mexico, Steve.

    Hugh Curley

  16. Steve I attended your Bill Gove speakers workshop in London a few years back and I’m glad you still keep in touch with me in sunny Malaysia, especially with your latest positive thoughts on the “Law of Attraction” great stuff. Your video blog was really fantastic didn’t stream at all, just kept on going, great technology your using.

    I have always believed anything is possible, never doubted it for a minute and the Law of Attraction just confirmed it for me. The detractors are just a drop in the ocean and actually help prove to the rest of us believers how genuine and guaranteed the Law of attraction is when put to work in our lives. I just love waking up everyday feeling good inside myself and wanting this feeling to infect everyone around me. God gave us all a free will……..what do you what to attract, positivity or negativity, happiness or misery. I’d rather attract the good not the bad…..the decision’s all ours…..just look at the world we live in…….shouldn’t everyone have the right to be happy, positive and know there is a better way to think that will improve our energy and the energy of those around us………isn’t this a better thing for mankind…..Give me law of attraction anyday…….

    Paulene Tunku Mu’tamir

  17. This is a law that has been stated and used by man for centuries. “The Secret” is a modern day version of an eternal law, you are what you think about. Nothing is unless it is first a thought.

  18. The secret works, I move ahead when focused. I fall way behind without the direction of the secret. I am in the process of rebuilding and will give much thank fullness to direction and refocus through use of law of attraction.

  19. Thank you so much, Steve, for all your TSTN programming. My wife and I love spending time with you and discussing your ideas and the ideas you stimulate in our minds.

    In my humble opinion Rhonda Byrne, creator of The Secret movie, is the real deal of the secret. Listen to the interview with her on the disc and you’ll hear a depth of understanding far beyond any of the people who are in the movie. Actually, maybe you won’t hear it, but that is what I heard when I listened. I got more value and understanding from her interview than the whole of the movie. All of the others, your friends included, Steve, are “selling” but Rohnda is expressing and truly, genuinely “being” in the truth of the secret. There is a major difference which not everyone will get. I’d be interested in hearing your thought on this.

    Incidentally, I have CEO and other top level coaching clients who hunger for the truth about the secret and as they learn to use the principles they rise head and shoulders above the others. Truly the Secret inspires World Class results.

    Thanks for all you do. You are a light in my life.

    With Synergy,

    Don Gutridge II – CEO Synergy Coach

  20. I thought “The Secret” was great, but then again I’m a very strong Personal Development type of guy.

    One thing that I haven’t heard too many people say, but is immediately apparent to me because I studied the book, is that “The Secret” is in many places verbatim from the excellent “The Science of Getting Rich” by Wallace Wattles (27 years before Think and Grow Rich). I look at SOGR as being the basis for most Personal Development today….the sad fact is that it’s not as popular as TAGR and a lot of people are missing out because they don’t know about it. I would challenge anybody to read “Science of Getting Rich” and try to NOT see the parallels between it and “The Secret”. You can download a pdf version from many places on the net….a simple Google Search will lead you in the right direction.

    Please don’t misunderstand me…I think The Secret is great because if nothing else, it opens peoples minds to what is possible. Make fun of it if you want, but the proof is in the pudding….study as many “successful” people as you want and you’ll find similar traits. These traits are detailed in “The Secret”, “Think and Grow Rich”, “The Science of Getting Rich”, etc, etc.

  21. The Secret – What Secret? The information in the Secret has been around for centuries and it’s just been repackaged for the middle class. I do agree that the Law of Attraction is powerful but alone it’s not enough. In my opinion it’s great starting point for those who are unaware but it’s like one ingredient in the recipe – you can’t make soup with it alone but you still need it for the soup to taste right! Now add some understanding about the rest of The Laws, a dash of Mental Toughness and lookout world!

  22. I think that the Secret does work. It works on the mind. If you train behaviors only once the stimulus is removed then you go back to old behaviors i.e. problems follow people, yo-yo-dieting, re-occuring debt. But I think this hits more on retraining a belief system and getting you into an attitude of gratitude so that you are more aware of the things you want…not the things you dont want. What the Secret does is have you program your subconscious to be aware of the things you desire. Think about sitting in a bookstore reading and then someone in a different converstaion says something and suddenly you are listening to it. It is because your subconscious picked up on that phrase or word that you find interesting and your mind has been trained to peak your interest if you hear it and now you are paying attention toa new conversation. Its like if this….I am going to talk to you but first I want you to not think about pink elephants. Dont think about pink elephants. What are you thinking about? It all has to do with retraining your mind to be aware of the things you want in your life. You arent attracting them to you so much as you are attracting you to them by retraining what your mind is aware of.

  23. Hi Steve.

    I was introduced to the movie the Secret in the spring of this year. It was great because it answered so many questions that I had about my life. I have been practicing the Law of Attraction most of my life, I just didn’t realize there was a name for it.

    I always knew I could accomplish anything that I truly wanted to and always have. The things that I ‘truly’ wanted I obtained. I have always had a keen sense of positive and negative energies around things and people, this sense particularly was useful in my career in Law Enforcement and I feel it even saved myself from being harmed a couple of times.

    There was awhile even when I was starting to feel a little crazy about thinking about it and discussed it with our staff psychologist who felt perhaps that I was having some spiritual struggles with religion. I knew though that it had nothing to do with God as far as a religious God goes. I have always felt that it has been organized religions that have swayed us from really connecting with the spiritual God by implimenting so many rules and regulations around belief. I am not against organized religion & am not ‘dissing’ it. Just not my cup of tea.

    When I first watched the Secret, I was relieved to find so many others who felt the way I did and these are all professional sane people! What I find funny about the people who scoff about it, is that they cannot explain how it wouldn’t work. Then once you start to get them to really think about thier life they start to realize what happend to themselves and that they were indeed also practicing the law of attraction and just didn’t realize it as well.

    Many of us are quick to condemn things we don’t understand or can’t see, remember Marconi’s friends tried to have him committed because he felt he could communicate wirelessly. He knew there was an invisible energy that could be tapped into. If we could only see all the energy and vibration going on around us at all times we probably wouldn’t be able to see our hand in front of our faces from it’s density.

    Those in the corporate world who denounce it are likely those who advanced on a compettitive field other then a creative one and they will be the same who in times of change who will falter. Yes the Secret has the same core principles as Think and Grow Rich, as well as The Science of Getting Rich by Wallace D. Wattles, which was written about 30 years before Hill’s classic. These core principles are timeless.

    Whenever I give someone the Secret to watch, I always tell them to watch it twice, keep an open mind and remember, it is not about just sitting and dreaming, it’s about doing and taking action, once you start, a path will open up for you and you will move toward your goal and it toward you.

    I saw a book recently questioning the Secret and where was God in it? I started to leaf through it and it was like the authors had not done any research on the people involved with the movie and were not listening to the people involved. Had they done thier research they would have realized that many of the people are quite religious and talk about God and quote not only from Christian Scriptures but also have a great general knowledge of many other religions as well. They see the similarities in cores of these faiths as well.

    I feel that in the next 10 years we are going to finally start to realize that it really is one God, one energy, one call it what you want! Let’s get past the differences we have with the ‘religions’ and get on with the commonalities we all share and truly start moving forward as human beings in general.

    I look at it this way, I am 42 years old, I took an early retirement from being a police constable, I have my own company I love to run, as well as do some contract coaching and have started my own coaching company which I look forward to growing as well. I have a beautiful loving wife who is achieving her goals as well, a great family, I’m happy & healthy and extremely grateful for everything I have. I designed my life to date, it wasn’t chance or fluke. I have a great relationship with ‘God’ & know that abundance is all around us and ‘God’ wants us to have an abundant life.

    The only thing that I am not……….yet. Is a millionaire. Simply because it had never been a goal before. It is now and I am moving towards it and I know it is moving towards me.

    Sorry to be so long winded, have a great time on the Bob Proctor cruise Steve. I would have liked to have been there but it won’t be in the cards this time. I actually had the extreme pleasure of meeting Bob on this last Saturday in Winnipeg at the Convention Centre where he was appearing. I knew I would meet him because I wanted deeply to meet the man, he has inspired me greatly. Low and behold, as I went to walk down the stairs, he was coming up on the escalator. I shook his hand and he asked me some questions about myself, as famous as he is, he took a couple of minutes out of his time to talk to me and allowed my wife to take a picture of us together with our camera phone. It was indeed a thrill. It’s hard to believe the man is 74. If that’s what being happy and positive does to you at 74, then I’m in!

    If you remember, tell him I said Hi, maybe he’ll even remember me!

    Take care and good night from Manitoba Canada

  24. Hi Steve,
    Thanks for the invite and everything you do for the field.
    This is a great Blog and I love your personal video!

    The Secret has worked in my life as well. But people need to keep in mind that it works both ways.

    Whatever you focus on, good or bad, you attract more of it. If you focus your thoughts on eating, you will be eating if you can. If you believe the Secret is silly and a waste of time, it will be silly and a waste of time for you because that is just how the Secret works.

    Whatever you believe, you see, because that is just how the law works.
    It does not matter to the law if you believe it works or not……. It simply does!

    As your 177 MTS book states in the “Level of Awareness’, 70% of the population falls into middle-Class consciousness. So that means that the Law of Attraction IS a secret to as many as 70% of the population!

    If they really Knew the Secret, they would no longer be in the “Middle Class.” In fact, most would move into the Upper Class and some into the World Class if that was what they saw for their life.

    The point is, if they knew it and used it, they would be much better off than where they are now, either not knowing about it or refusing to believe it. As far as I am concerned, it’s a no brainer!

    I have used the secret all my life as well as you and everyone else whoever lived. There is no way one cannot use it because it continues to work in everyone’s’ lives.

    It’s how you use it that really matters. This was the main difference for me to discover about it, as well as for many others who I coach.

    When you discover that you can control your future with your thoughts, and then you do, it becomes very powerful! That’s when it came as a surprise to me and why it has changed so many lives, including my own, over all these years!

    When I looked back into my life, I could see how the secret was always there! Just wish it were taught to me back then. No telling where I would be today.

    However, ever since my discovery of how to use the secret in 2003, I beat stage 4 Cancer, Built 3 successful companies, Started a Personal Coaching business as well as wrote a Home Business Personal Coaching Training Manual called the “Red White Blue Process” or “RWB” for short.

    So I’m a Believer!

    I give all thanks to God
    And to Jesus Christ,
    My Savior

    Thanks again,
    Bob Andolina

  25. Steve,
    I absolutely loved the Secret BUT, as you pointed out, you’ve got to put in the work. Yes the law of attraction brings you opportunities but, the shortcoming of the movie is that it doesn’t spend much time on taking those opportunities and making them pay off through working them. Now, I personally didn’t have a problem with it because I understand that. My concern is for someone who doesn’t have a complete understanding of the law of attraction. That person may think all there is to it is to visualize what you want and then magically it happens. I think the corporate audience would have been more accepting of the movie if it had given a more complete picture of how the law of attraction works from visualization to realization.

    The mental side of success is extremely important, but not giving the hard work side its due is what gives some people in the personal development industry a bad name. That is why I loved Bill Gove’s speech, “The Power of Positive Doing”. Bill got it, and for me it was a breath of fresh air.


  26. The law of attraction has worked in my life so much that when The Secret came out, I felt I had been living the content since childhood. This personal development success is a positive way to teach people, but I believe it’s only a part of the entire equation.

    In the beginning a person decides, visualizes and let’s go of that vision to the “higher source,” “God,” “universal energies…” The real work happens with the action part. I’m a huge proponent of achieving any sort of great accomplishment requires lots of practice, discipline, structure and passion.

    Anything I achieve in my own life (two bachelors degree and one masters, all my trophies in my former competitive figure skating, my track-n-field medals from my races, my entire training and development career, my self-reliance on having my own place since age 17 and putting myself through school and being a mentor for my younger siblings along the way). Everything took action with the law of attraction together. If there is one thing to make The Secret even better, is to focus on the action part.

    Just another doer…Thanks Steve, Michelle

  27. The movie was good. The bok is almost the script of the movie with one critical exception. The book has brief biographical vingettes of the people in the movie. Why is this so powerful? You can get on the Internet and research these people and how they used the secret.

    I think the secret works but even if you think it is sillines I would recommend Esther and Jerry Hicks Teaching of Abraham bok “The Law of Attraction” The first thing a sceptic will have to do is ignore or suspend disbelief of the source of the “laws” of attraction and look at the process. When you look at the process there is a lot of good methods to improve your life and performance and by “improve” I mean have a happier experience in your life generally.

    Have an open mind and find the things in the many writings about the secret that resonate with you and use them to make yourself feel better. Feeling better about life will improve your outlook.

  28. Steve..love your blog. Thanks for all you do…

    My comments regarding the secret are that the same concepts are revealed in Napoeon Hill’s “Think and Grow Rich”. Its just presented in a different way and re-delivered in a new format with a new cast of characters. The one thing people seem to not get about “The Secret” is like you said in your video, “It aint gonna just happen” without action backed intent. Those that challenge the secret somehow miss this point, I have found.
    Keep doing what you are doing! JP

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