Happiness requires hard work

By Anita Doberman: Columnist

Apparently there is a secret being revealed to the world through a book,
appropriately titled “The Secret.” In it, philosophers, Reiki masters, speakers and authors describe how they got all the great things they wanted, such as wealth, good health, great jobs and perfect relationships, by simply wishing for them.

The book is based on the premise that according to the law of attraction if we think positively, we’ll only attract positive things in our lives. I read parts of the book and to give this idea a chance, I concentrated on receiving large sums of money in the mail. I also wished for the house to be cleaned and the weather to turn sunny.

After 10 minutes, not only did nothing happen, but I also received several bills in the mail. Perhaps, I didn’t apply the secret appropriately, or thought about it hard enough, because someone in the book claims to receive a necklace just by thinking about it intensely.

I wonder how many times people who are sick or deployed military members and their families wish for things to be different — and yet, nothing happens. Shall I deduce that they too are not thinking hard or positively enough?

Of course not. Wishing for something good to happen or for a change is only a stepping stone. Accepting the things we can’t change and working toward what we can modify are really what will help us in the long run.

For instance, I previously did not get along with my parents-in-law. Before we saw each other, there would be tension and fights between my husband and me. When they came to our home, I kept wishing (obsessively) and wanting (all the time) things to be different — mostly for them to disappear. Luckily, this never happened.

We both worked hard at changing some of our ways around each other, holding our tongues, having compassion for our shortcomings and practicing patience. It’s true that we wanted things to change, but we didn’t just sit in a room and wish for it to happen. We talked, discussed our issues, and even got angry. With effort and perseverance we are finally getting along well.

There was no secret to this — just hard work and our desire to make things better.
I dislike “The Secret” because it feeds our desire to be happy, but doesn’t mention working hard. It also omits anything related to God, and our human nature that includes disease, sickness and death. I guess I should deduce that if we are really positive we will never die.

So, am I saying don’t read the book? Nope. If this book can help you react more positively to the things that happen in your life and work toward your goals, then by all means buy it. But if this book is a way to sit on your behind and hope for things to change or a way to think our lives will turn out just the way we want it, save your money.

There are many great books out there. I can think of a really good one that has been a best seller for many more years than “The Secret,” and it will remain so for many more years to come.