THE SECRET — WITH A TWIST by Michael Jordan Segal, MSW

There is a book and movie called “The Secret” which describes how to find happiness, wealth, good health.. It was, and still is, a phenomenal success. The book describes many well known individuals throughout the ages, documenting their ability to “know the secret.”

What is “the secret”? According to the book (as well as to myself) the “secret” is what is referred to as “the Law of Attraction.” More simply put, “the way one thinks has a direct relationship to what happens to the individual.” If one thinks the situation will be good, it will. If one thinks things will go badly, they will. It does not matter what subject you think about. According to “The Law of Attraction” if you truly think and believe there will be a parking spot up close at the mall, there will be one. If you truly think and believe your life will be terrible, it will be. It is more than “the power of positive thinking,” but that’s a very good beginning.

I often tell the story of when I was hurt. My attitude was very negative. I thought: “Before I was injured I could do 500 things really well; now, because of my physical limitations, I can only do 200 things well.” I was constantly dwelling on the 300 things I had lost. However, with time I learned to refocus my thoughts to the 200 things I could still do. That thinking, and my new positive attitude, were so vital for me, as well as vital for everyone else.

Am I saying, “If one believes and thinks positively everything will be great”? Of course not. To borrow a portion of a title from Harold Kushner’s best selling book, “.Bad Things Happen to Good People.” I realize that sometimes life is not fair: babies unfortunately pass away; innocent people are murdered; hurricanes and earthquakes often devastate cities and kill many people..I could go on and on.

I love the quote: “What happens to you in life is 90%; but how you react to it is an important 10%!” What that means is that one’s attitude plays a huge difference.

In my opinion, that’s the “twist” of “The Secret.” Sure, one’s thinking is a huge part of life and finding happiness. However, I did not need Harold Kushner to make me realize “bad things happen to good people,” (but thanks). The Holocaust was one of the worst events of history; the Viet Nam War brought pain to so many; the destruction of the WorldTradeCenter brought anguish and pain to countless millions..All of these eventswere terrible. But typhoons and hurricanes occur with regularity; tsunamis and cyclones also cause unbelievable pain and wreckage; wars are with us in every generation and result in so much misery; people who do not smoke get lung cancer..All of these things are terrible experiences. There are terribleevents of the pastAND the present,AND they surely will again be part of our future. Unfortunately, they have been and will be part of our lives — the bad and the good in our lives.

I believe with the right attitude and thinking a person can not only survive, but also thrive, if not here on earth, than in many people’s wonderful memories.

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