Critical Thinking Skills vs. 'The Secret' methods

7 replies
First off, I'm a big fan of self-help books.

Some of favorites classics include Psycho-cybernetics, The Success Principles, The Science of Getting Rich, Think and Grow Rich, and so on...

At the same time, I'm also a fan of books like "The Scourge of our times: The Demise of Critical Thinking in the Age of “The Secret”, "Bright Sided by Barbara Ehrenreich, and any books that challenges the so-called "secret" or "self-help" fad...

I try to exercise my critical thinking skills and healthy skepticism whenever possible everytime I read all these "You can manifest it...", "You attract what you are..." type of psychological pseudo-science statements.

However, does it seems that many of those who are into the secret seem to be the 'get rich quick' type of crowd? It's more easier to repeat positive affirmations and visualize (or perhaps daydream) about your future lifestyle than to take action and work hard the traditional way, right?

I remember reading about how the ancient Chinese and Indian believe that wisdom and spirituality should be free for all. Even Native Americans did not believe a monetary price or compensation should be associated with a sweat lodge or spirituality. Such concepts of trademark, copyrighted, infringement, etc, did not exist during the time, yet many great human discoveries and great inventions came during those time. All discoveries and natural beliefs did not belong to anyone and is free for all.

Fast-forward in a capitalistic society, ancient wisdom seem to be packaged now as "New Age" or self-help for a fee. Is it the commercialization of spirituality for a high-fee? Would you pay thousands just to raise your consciousness level? Do you think it's fair since many just need to make a living?

So I'm a bit skeptic about lot of these self-help products/systems these days - are they motivated by money or genuinely want to help?

The Secrets Methods/Self-help techniques
Carrying 3x5 index cards of your goals, daily visualization/dream boards, affirmations, following New Age beliefs and self-help guru advice by paying a fee, monthly subscription for "success", unregulated industry, etc

Critical Thinking Skills
Utilizing the scientific method, unbiased critical analysis, correlation vs. causation, case-by-case deduction/reasoning skills, Occam's razor, free thinker, following qualified credential therapist, joining non-profit organizations, wisdom should be free for all, etc.

How do you guys balance the two or do you just care about the results regardless of how you arrive there?
#critical #methods #secret #skills #thinking
  • Profile picture of the author TrueLifeWealth
    I think that a lot of people misunderstand key ideas behind 'The Secret', 'The Science of Getting Rich', etc. The biggest thing one can get from these sources, in my opinion, is changing the way they think. Most of us are raised with very very negative ways of thinking about hard work, success, money, life, and happiness in general.

    People read this kind of material and become inspired and empowered and for many (including myself) it can have a very very positive affect on their life. Even if it isn't financially, changing the way they think in order to handle the stresses of everyday life can really help people to improve the quality of their life.

    While I think some of the teachings in this field are a bit far fetched, I do believe very much that this type of information can be tremendously helpful to people in achieving financial and personal success.

    My website is for spreading this kind of information and trying to reach those who can benefit from it. While it is still a very new website of mine and I do have revenue generation in mind, the main goal is certainly to help others.

    I think in this field there are plenty out there who would really like to help others and also plenty just trying to prey on others for quick cash.
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  • Profile picture of the author ryanbiddulph
    When I focused on mental science, life became easier.

    I do some thinking these days, much more listening though. The less I think, the more I listen the more successful I become.

    A blend of the 2 may be healthy but I prefer to use my mindpower combined with inspired action on daily basis. So far, so good

    Ryan
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  • My personal view is that critical thought, and inspired thinking should go hand in hand.

    Inspirational words will life you up, motivate you to get through the day, and return joy to those difficult times in your life.

    Critical Thought, however, will allow you to analyse what you are being taught with a clear mind. It will allow you to distinguish the good...

    Be clear about the amount of money you want to receive. State it and intend it! Plan for it and don’t think about how much you can earn, but how much you want to receive.

    From the dumb...

    Being overweight has nothing to do with how much you eat. You can simply 'think yourself thin' using the law of attraction.


    Andrea, The English Webmistress
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    The-English-Webmistress is really Andrea, who went backpacking the world, accidentally landed in Panama, Central America, and never left. (Beaches! Mountains! Hot latin music! Piña Coladas!) She doesn't miss the London commute AT ALL...
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  • Profile picture of the author Halffull
    There's a process here. When I'm first looking to start my goal, I'm trying to make a congruent decision. That means aligning my logic, emotions, and values around that decision, and making sure everything is in line with reality. That includes many "self help" methods and many "critical thinking" methods. There doesn't have to be an either/or situation.
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  • Profile picture of the author USGTMauthor
    Products like the Secret which do not promote self responsibility and promote mystical type powers do a dis-service to people who truly need to learn the lessons of personal responsibility and action in order to make their lives better. I participate in a SOGR forum and quite frankly since the Secret came out, the people have lost the message of the SOGR and focus on manifesting and attraction and now believe action is not required to make progress. If people disagree, they now jump on them and say negativity attracts negativity and they have evolved and moved on. There is nothing wrong with visualization, positive attitudes and gratitude, in fact they are great, but personal action is a must in my book. Great discussion
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    • Profile picture of the author Dan Axelrod
      I think it's important to avoid mischaracterizing any school of thought, as well as overgeneralizing. The whole "Pay a guru a monthly fee" definitely puts an unfair spin on the idea of manifestation. Most people who use the Law of Attraction don't belong to any subscription service on it. They just have a couple books on the idea.

      Here's the deal with the Secret. It works in 3 ways, and 2 of them are valid no matter what you believe in.

      1. Thinking and believing positivity helps you with opportunity recognition, and the inspiration to take advantage of those opportunities.

      2. Thinking and believing positively influences other people to treat you better and give you better opportunities.

      3. The universe "pitches in" to make life easier for you.

      If you think the third part is invalid, then toss it. The first two still hold.

      I would just make sure you're honest with yourself about what you're able to do. Where New Age people often fall short is assuming they're manifesting when they're not. I once was at a retreat where I met an obsese girl, and we started talking about diets. She said "You don't need to eat right if you have the right vibration," as she stuffed butter soaked pancakes down her throat.

      You have to keep accountability for your results and "meet the universe half-way" when you're not getting the results you meditate on or whatever.

      Also, don't be afraid to go too far in either direction for a short period of time. If you go over-new aged and mess up a few things, you'll make it back. If you get over critical and end up stressing out too much, then you'll make it back as well.

      --Dan
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