Simon & Schuster UK, £16.99, ISBN 978-0-85720-170-6
Self Improvement, 2010
I am not big on new age self improvement books. When I first heard of Rhonda Byrne, her book The Secret was recommended by a family member. Since he is one of the most obnoxious people I have the misfortune to be related to, and I’d rather eat shards of glass than to end up just like him, I ignored the recommendation and went on with my life. The Power is the sequel, and I only purchased it because (a) it was on sale in the bargain bin, and (b) the hardcover book is very pretty. Good job, Nic George, on the design. The content, on the other hand…
In this book I want to show you the way to an amazing life. There is so much for you to know about life, and it is all good. In fact, it is beyond good. It is phenomenal!
Lovely. And you know what the secret is? Love. That’s right, love. That word shows up on average three times on every page, so if you are doing some kind of drinking game, you will die by the time you stagger to the last page. Back to the secret – your life is not going the way it is, says the author, because you don’t give love enough. If you love generously, you will be happy. Thus, the reverse is true: if you are down in life, that’s because you have a personality defect, you loveless twat. There is no information given on how to quantify how much love should be given, which can be an issue, as it’s not like love is ice cream, and one can walk the neighborhood pushing a cart full of it and blaring through a megaphone for the neighbors to come take some.
I’ve read this book three times – if you wish to thank me, send some money my way, ahem – to make sure that I “get” this book for the purpose of reviewing it, as well as because I just can’t believe someone made so much money peddling such swill, and so far, the whole “secret” or “power” boils down to positive thinking. No. you don’t spread love by sleeping with everyone and anyone – although that may be a more practical method to achieve success, if you ask me, especially if you “love” the right people – you instead think happy thoughts and happiness will come to you. That’s right.
If you want to lose weight, then give love by imagining and feeling yourself with the body you love, instead of imagining and feeling that you’re overweight every single day.
You know, that actually makes sense, as a positive attitude makes all the difference, especially when it comes to breaking lifelong bad habits. But the author doesn’t offer anything beyond that. It’s just “Ooh, think happy! Happy! Happy! HAPPY!” as if somehow the body will automatically burn up its own excess fat just because the brain wills it. There is positive thinking, and then there is just self delusion and becoming dependent on authors like Rhonda Byrne who keep selling us books telling us to just keep wishing, it will happen one day soon, oh and buy all her books while we’re at it – and this book is pushing people towards the second camp, I feel.
And here are some examples given by the author to prove how this momentous life-changing paradigm works so well.
Oh page 70, the Byrnes’ dog went missing. As they searched, the author experienced “negative feelings of anguish”, so they called off the search, went home, and acted like the dog was never gone. Really.
We put food on his bowl as though he was there. We imagined hearing the bell around Cabbie’s neck as he walked down our hallway. We talked to him and called out his name, as though he was there. My daughter went to bed imagining that her best friend of fifteen years was sleeping next to her bed as he always did.
And the next morning, the dog was found by someone else and was returned to them. See? The power of positive thinking. Don’t do anything, just make believe, and it will happen.
And then, there is another anecdotal evidence. The evidences are always anecdotal, by the way. On page 71, a “young woman” had no job and no money, so she acted like she already had a job. She wrote imaginary work experiences in her journal, bought clothes for “work”, and generally acted all cray cray. And then, two weeks later, a friend told her of a job opening and voila, she was employed. The power of
luck positive thinking!
Page 75. Some woman has always wanted a horse but couldn’t afford one. So, she acted like she already had a horse, even buying horse blankets and such, and voila, she wins a horse in a raffle. See? Another example of the power of positive thinking! Twenty bucks that the woman most likely couldn’t afford the upkeep of a horse and it died of neglect or starvation soon after, and she spent the rest of her life acting like the horse was still alive.
An abuse survivor and single mother always wanted to visit Europe, so she acted like she was going and voila, she met a man who married her and took her to live in a beach somewhere in Europe! The power of
sleeping with rich men positive thinking!
Are you convinced by what the author is selling? If yes, go buy this book as well as the movie and seminar tickets and whatever she has to sell, and let’s pretend we never know one another.
And then there is the writing, which suggests that illegal pharmaceuticals may be harmed in the making of this book.
Remember that the law of attraction says whatever you give, you receive. If you think of the law of attraction as a mirror, an echo, a boomerang, or a copying machine, it will help make you clearer on what to imagine and feel. The law of attraction is like a mirror because a mirror reflects back exactly what is in front of it. The law of attraction is like an echo because whatever you give out is exactly the echo that comes back. The law of attraction is like a boomerang, because whatever boomerang you throw is the exact same boomerang that comes back to you. The law of attraction is like a copying machine, because whatever you give is reproduced exactly and you will receive back an exact copy.
Oh yes, this book is this long because whatever the author can say once, she will say it at least five times. Over and over.
The good news is that the more you give love, the more alert and aware you will become! Love brings complete alertness. As you make a conscientious effort to notice as many things around you that you love as you can each day, you will become more aware and alert.
Money is a tool for you to use, and you bring it to yourself through love, but if you put money ahead of love in your life, it will cause you to receive a whole bunch of negative things. You can’t give love for money and then walk around being rude and negative to people, because if you do that, you open the door for negativity to walk into your relationships, health, happiness, and finances.
The author really needs a ghostwriter. Or if she is using one, she should fire her current one and hire a new one that isn’t some college kid on holiday. The sentence construction in this book is horrendous.
Some people believe that we are very close to the tipping point now. Whether they’re right or not, more than ever, now is the time to give love and positivity. Do it for your life. Do it for your country. Do it for the world.
If the author wants to do it for the world, she should be content with the money she has already obtained from her followers and minions, retire, and stop producing horrendous crimes on the English language with soiled toilet paper like The Power. And really, people, if you love yourselves, don’t read this book except for shits and giggles, and if you do, go get the book used and give your money to charity instead.