Why “The Secret” Fails

Many have read the book or saw the movie “The Secret”.  It basically outlines the “Law of attraction”.  In essence, this law can pretty much be summed up by saying that we attract either positive or negative experiences in our lives by focusing on either positive or negative thoughts.

It works like this:   if you focus on positive thoughts, the “universe” will bless you with those positive experiences.  If you focus on negative thoughts, it in turn gives you negative things.

While there is truth and insights that can be gleamed from the book /movie, there are a few vital things left out.

If you haven’t read or saw the movie, I highly recommend you read it.  The truths outlined in it are vital in understanding how to master your reality. …  But again, the law of attraction alone isn’t.  Let me explain.



Many new age/self help/hypnosis books like to divide the mind into two categories.  The conscious and the subconscious.  They like to say that the conscious mind is the thinking mind.  It’s the awareness aspect of the mind.  The subconscious is the part that is non thinking.  It automatically regulates body functions like the heartbeat.  It also stores all of your memories and beliefs.  Some new age books go so far as to liken the subconscious mind to “God” or the “universal mind”.

The “law of attraction” proponents say that thought creates brain waves which, once sent out, causes the universe to act in order to fulfill that thought.  It’s as if the universe is some sort of cosmic genie in a bottle which grants your every thought.    Unfortunately, it can also work against you.

Personally, through a lot of experience and effort, I’ve found moderate success at consciously applying the principle, but not nearly enough to convince me that this is the whole story.

Where it falls short I think is that it oversimplifies the thought process.  The model of dividing the mind into conscious and subconscious doesn’t serve to accurately portray what’s going on here.

It seems to be more accurate to divide it into three categories:  The conscious, the unconscious, and the subconscious.

Let’s define the terms so we can be on the same page and hopefully you can see how this model may be more useful.

1)The Conscious Mind.


The conscious mind is as often described, the part that we are in control of.   It takes up a tiny slither of your entire mind.  It can be more accurately described as your ‘awareness’.  At any given moment, you can instantly move your awareness any area of your experience.

A great experiment to  try and get this is to relax, close your eyes, and imagine that you feel the life in your body.    First imagine you can feel it flowing through your whole body.  Next, narrow it down to your left hand. Next just focus on feeling it in the right ankle.

As you may notice, you can feel it anywhere, at any given time.  But notice that after you focus on a specific area, the other areas are no longer in your awareness.  Although you can instantantly move to any part of the body at any given time, you are only aware of the areas you are focusing on.

What’s of significance is that you can shrink or expand your area of awareness on the fly instantly.  The smaller your area of focus, the larger area moves outside of your area of awareness.

Hopefully this illustration helps you understand how the conscious aspect works.  For cases of this discussion, we can call the conscious, your awareness.

2)The Unconscious Mind. 

For the purposes of this discussion, the unconscious mind the  aspect of the mind that runs on autopilot.  It is the part that regulates breathing, heartbeat, blood pressure, or pretty much the biological machinery called the body.  It also allows you to do things like drive a car, catch a ball, or even walk without consciously thinking about it.  It automatically handles the logistics on how we do things once the conscious mind decides what needs to be done.

A perfect illustration of the unconscious mind in action is driving somewhere.  After you’ve been used to driving a car, you no longer have to think about how much pressure to apply to steering wheel or to the gas pedal.  You don’t have to consciously think about when to apply the brake.  The car becomes an extension of your body.  If you’ve travelled to a destination enough times, you don’t even really have to think about how to get there.

If you’ve ever driven a car somewhere while engaged in a conversation or lost in thought,  you’ve seen an perfect example of the unconscious mind works.  Many times, we don’t remember what we saw on the way, how many red or green lights we made or got stopped at or anything else.

A useful and interesting feature of this is how it interfaces with the conscious mind.  If you’ve ever bought a new car, it’s amazing how many times you see other people driving that car.  Before buying it, you probably never even noticed.    We can talk about how this can be leveraged in creation later.  But i’d imagine that you can already see how powerful this can be.

 3)The Subconscious Mind. 

The final layer is the subconscious mind.  This part of the mind is the sum of all of your beliefs, learning, and experiences.  It is all there is (as far as your individual self goes).  It is the collection of everything you’ve experienced, everything you know and believe, and everything you can imagine.  It is the library of our references.  The unconscious mind interfaces with this when it needs to get things done.


To illustrate, imagine writing a paper or essay.  While you no longer have to think about how to write, your unconscious mind looks into the subconscious for your lexicon of words.  A person cannot write a paper using words they don’t know.  (we sometimes use them incorrectly), but the point is that we cannot use words we’ve never heard of before.  They are not a part of our experience.

  So what is missing?

The problem with “The Secret” and other law of attraction based books is that it places all the emphasis on the conscious mind.  There is so much running in the background, that the power of positive thinking is subverted by unconscious and subconscious thinking.

Ideally we could create a positive feedback loop which would accelerate the creation process.  Unfortunately, there are often contradictory processes outside of your awareness that than weaken your intention.

For example, imagine repeating the idea “I am rich” over and over again consciously. Society has taught us that you must work hard to be rich or either that money is evil.  So even though your intention is positive, those underlying beliefs could either weaken or even cancel them out…. especially if you don’t think you’re working hard enough.

Mindfulness vs. Mindlessness


The automatic nature of our unconscious mind often makes it unnecessary to have to consciously think about things.  It’s easy to get into a routine and once this happens, we can often go long periods of times without having to consciously think about things.  Our awareness becomes more and more limited as these daily routines become ingrained through repetition.

The conscious mind can begin to atrophy (just as a unworked muscle) and we fall into a rut.  It’s even worse if we work long hours at jobs that don’t require much thinking.  The hectic schedule makes it hard for some people to break the pattern.  They in essence become automatons.

Practices such and mindfulness and meditation can help keep our minds sharp.  It is important to remember that manifesting our desires begins with conscious thought.

Mindlessness has its useful application and without it, life would be much harder. In fact, it’s important in the creation process. But it is important to use it correctly or else it will work against you.

In the next article, I’ll discuss how we can use it in conjunction with the “law of attraction” and sigils to manifest your desired reality.