Q. “The Secret.” Have you read the book or watched the video? I don’t get how thinking different thoughts can help at all! Are they off base?

A. The author of the book and presenters in the video are addressing a key component of success. An affirmation is a positive statement used to program your subconscious. When repeated aloud, especially in combination with purpose and emotion, the affirmation will influence your intent and result in altered behaviors in your life. When those thoughts are written down and then read aloud, the effect can be compounded.

Every thought you think, every word you say, and every action you take:

  • Affects every cell in your brain and body
  • Alters your brain’s neurochemistry positively or negatively
  • Creates an internal map for your brain to follow
  • Impacts electromagnetic energy that the neurons on your brain and heart release

The problem is, of course, growing up most people heard 7-9 negative comments for every positive comment, and 18-19 negatives for every positive if they came from a very dysfunctional system. Their memory banks are filled with negative pictures and pejoratives. Most people tend to develop habitual ways of thinking and talking and follow them like a bowling ball follows the gutter. You can only get out of a trap when you recognize you are in one!

Although the importance of “taking action” is alluded to in both the book and the video, it is not particularly emphasized. They are concentrating on the thinking-affirmation step, which could give you a slightly unbalanced view. When you become aware of your thoughts at a conscious level and take responsibility for thinking, writing, and speaking affirming thoughts, life can change.

The electromagnetic energy released by your neurons can be received by other neurons on the same “wave length” if you will. Some researchers describe this as a form of “attraction:” like attracts like. At the very least this may result in you becoming more aware of options that beforehand you had either not perceived, ignored, or decided were unavailable to you. When you become aware of those opportunities you need to take action. Thinking different thoughts does not necessarily create action—but it is the first step. As Oliver Wendell Holmes put it so elegantly, the ancestor of every action is a thought.