The secret of “The Secret”

It has been said, “those that can see what they desire, will have their dreams.” This is called the power of intention. This idea has recently gained a new revival catching hold across our nation, through a movie called “The Secret.”

This movie and the corresponding book focus on the “Law of Attraction and Intention.” Several famous authors, such as Jack Canfield are featured in the movie talking about their beliefs on bringing into life the things wanted, dreamed about and hoped for and how to do just that. Those who think positive thoughts look for the good in others and keep in their forefront their desires, most likely will attain these things.

Now, one might ask, what does any of this have to do with insurance, let alone management?

For anyone who has taken a business planning or goal setting class, it most likely has a reference to the now famous Harvard University study. The study found that only 3 percent of Harvard’s 1953 graduating class had clear written goals with plans to achieve them. Twenty years later, the same class was surveyed again, and it was found that the same 3 percent was worth more in financial terms than the other 97 percent combined! In addition the researchers found that the 3 percent had better health, relationships and social skills.

Was this “the power of intention” or just plain old goal setting?

“The Secret” also spends a fair amount of time describing the benefits in visualizations. The movie includes several examples of people that have actual displayed pictures of their goals, or created visuals in their minds. This technique is a powerful “secret” that helped these people achieve their goals.

Many years ago there was a university study that was performed to assess the power of visualization’s affect on sports performance. There were three groups and each group was assigned the task of shooting a basketball into a hoop. Everyone’s ability was measured initially. The first group shot baskets on a regular schedule. The second group practiced shooting while visualizing each shot as successful and with as much detail as possible. Finally, the third group simply visualized a successful shot. The outcome was as follows:

  • The second group improved the most — 24 percent better — when they combined actual shooting practice and visualization.
  • The third group — that just visualized shooting baskets — followed up second, with a 23 percent improvement.
  • The first group that just shot baskets recorded no change.

This study — and the movie “The Secret” — both reveal that people’s minds don’t differentiate what they do and see, from what they imagine or visualize. The movie, and any good sales class, explains that a person can manifest almost anything into their lives if that dream or goal is clearly visualized.

“The Secret” also covers the power of affirmations and the power of positive thought.

Affirmations have been around for who knows how long. Many sales training classes recommend that a sales person repeat empowering affirmations everyday and before every sales call. Norman Vincent Peale was well known as the father of positive thinking since his 1952 book “The Power of Positive Thinking.” There is plenty of evidence that both of these “secrets” work extremely well.

“The Secret” describes that people can even bring in the “bad luck” if they focus on the negative. People have the power to manifest helpful, or not so helpful, by their thoughts and actions. Also, look for the good in people, things and events. This is just what Dale Carnegie expressed in his books and training.

Steps to success
So what is the secret behind the movie “The Secret?” Follow these steps:

1. Create written specific goals. A person needs to know what it is they want before they can get it.

2. Develop visual representations of those goals that can be placed in a goal book or on the walls of the conference room for sales meetings.

3. Repeat daily empowering affirmations.

4. Finally, focus on the positive aspects of life and of other people.

The key behind “The Secret” is to put out there what one wants in life, and it will be achieved! The same is true of business planning, and reaching corporate goals. The secret behind “The Secret” is that most people already know what they want and how to get there. They just need to focus on it!

Bill Schoeffler and Catherine Oak are partners at Oak & Associates. The firm specializes in financial and management consulting for independent insurance agents and brokers. They can be reached at 707-935-6565, by e-mail at, or visit

About Catherine Oak and Bill Schoeffler

Oak is the founder of the consulting firm, Oak & Associates, based in Northern California and Central Oregon. Schoeffler is an associate of the firm. Oak & Associates. Phone: 707-935-6565. Email: More from Catherine Oak and Bill Schoeffler

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Insurance Journal West July 2, 2007
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