What Is the Secret to Living a Happy Life?

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform summary of "The Secret" by Rhonda Byrne. Shortform has the world's best summaries of books you should be reading.

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Have you heard of the law of attraction, and that it’s the secret to getting the life you want? Do you know how to use the secret?

The Secret, a book by Rhonda Byrne, outlines a process where you can use the law of attraction to harness your thoughts and feelings into real-life change. Sounds great, right? You must be wondering how to use the secret- keep reading to find out.

Understanding the Law of Attraction

At the heart of The Secret is the concept of the Law of Attraction—use your thoughts to attract the things you want. Every person alive is a creator within the universe. What you create in your life traces back to what you think about. If you focus on thoughts about who you want to be or what you want in life, you will attract those ideas and things back as your life experience. But this begs the question of how to use the secret to really change your life.

Understanding this relationship is the key to changing your life, one thought at a time. To see the result of this relationship, trace the current state of your life back to your previous thoughts. Every action, every event started with a thought.

How Law of Attraction Works

Just because you may not fully understand or believe in the Law of Attraction doesn’t mean it isn’t working. Understanding how to use the secret means first understanding that it’s always working, even if you’re not. The Law of Attraction is at play at all times, with or without your consent or knowledge. You are always thinking; therefore, you are always signaling the universe. 

  • When you toss a rock in the air and it comes back down, you understand that gravity is the cause. Whether or not you understand how gravity works doesn’t stop it from existing everywhere at all times. 
  • Likewise, you may not understand how the Law of Attraction works, but it doesn’t mean your thoughts are not creating your life. 
  • There is no switch to turn off the Law of Attraction. The law is inclusive, and it never fails. Just like cars will not suddenly float from the ground, your thoughts will never not trigger the universe to respond.

Think of the Law of Attraction as a genie in a bottle. You know about genies from childhood stories and Disney cartoons. When you rub the bottle, the genie comes out and announces, “Your wish is my command.” 

  • If you accidentally say, “I wish I had more time to choose my wishes,” the genie grants you more time. You’re also down to two wishes.
  • The genie is always listening and never questions your wishes. If you say, “I wish my hair was longer,” the genie won’t question whether long hair will look good on you. It will simply make your hair longer. 
  • Likewise, the Law of Attraction is always in tune with how you think, speak, and act. The second you think something, you create a thought message sent into the world, and the Law of Attraction begins to leverage the universe, through people, scenarios, and events, to fulfill your thought.

You don’t have to believe in the Law of Attraction for it to work in your life. Keep your thoughts positive, and it won’t matter. Positive thinking will always lead to a more enjoyable life, whether or not you understand why. When you learn how to apply the secret, you’ll take control over your life.

How to Practice the Secret

When you learn how to use the secret, law of attraction is extremely important. But in addition to law of attraction, there are practices you have to take into consideration in order to fully harness your power.

Love Yourself First

You must love yourself before you can bring good things to your life and understand how to apply the secret. If you don’t love yourself or your life, you will be stuck at a negative baseline. Nothing good can come into an unloved life. Once you learn to find self-love, you will be ready to harness the power of the Law of Attraction to its fullest benefit.

Showing love to everyone and everything is essential, but the most important feeling of love you can have is for yourself. You can’t feel good when you don’t love you.

Remember the Golden Rule to treat others the way you want to be treated? Self-love is the reverse of that. When you don’t treat yourself the way you want others to treat you, you are creating a powerful message: “I am not worthy. I am not deserving.”

By beginning to treat yourself better and loving who you are, you are shifting to a frequency of feeling worthy of love, and shifting your understanding of how to use the secret. The Law of Attraction will move the entire universe to create experiences where you are loved and respected.

To truly love yourself, you must focus on the powerful presence inside you. 

Harness Your Power

The process of bringing what you want to your life is called the Creative Process, and is an important part of learning how to apply the secret. The Creative Process is a three-step guideline for using your thoughts to create the life you want. Think of the Creative Process as super-sizing your ability to harness the Law of Attraction. Although the law is always working, following these steps will make sure it’s working exactly how you want it to.

The act of asking for what you want helps you become clear about what you want. Being clear in your own mind is required for the universe to get a clear signal. If you are not clear, you will send out mixed frequencies. If the universe picks up mixed frequencies, you will attract mixed results. Being specific and clear about your desires sends specific and clear signals into the universe.

Use Your Feelings

Another important part of knowing how to use the secret is understanding the power of your thoughts and feelings. Your thoughts create your signal frequency, and your feelings tell you which frequency you are on. If you feel angry, you know you are thinking negative thoughts. By its nature, the Law of Attraction can only attract back pictures with the same frequency. So, what you are calling back to your life with your thoughts is more anger. 

If you don’t know what you’re feeling, ask “How am I feeling?” When you become aware of your feelings, you are aware of your thoughts. And if you become aware of your thoughts, and they are negative, change your thoughts until you feel better. Not changing your thoughts is like saying, “I love being angry. Pile on more anger.” Not changing your thoughts also sets you up for the feelings trap. 

Adopt the Right Mindset

You now know the Creative Process and how it works to harness the power of your thoughts. But another part of knowing how to use the secret is knowing how to adopt a positive mindset, even when you’re not actively tying to get something. But your thoughts are likely not always connected to wanting something. In those moments between asking, believing, and receiving, you can still put your thoughts to work to benefit your life. By strengthening the following mindsets, you can make the most of your thoughts to strengthen the Law of Attraction.

Awareness: If your thoughts are power, then being aware of your thoughts gives you control over your power. When you control your power, you can wield it to your advantage.

Expectation: Expectation is the feeling of believing something is likely to happen. Expectation is a powerful state of mind because of its ability to pull what you’re thinking to you.

Abundance: Abundance means believing there is more than enough for everyone. When you have more than you need, you feel joy and fortune. If you focus on radiating that kind of joy and happiness to the universe, you are acknowledging abundance in your life.

Change Your Behavior

Your behavior is a huge part of learning how to use the secret, and why it works. Positive behavior leads to positive outcomes.

Show gratitude: Show gratitude for each day as it begins, as though everything you want to happen already has. Gratitude is the cousin of expectation. Showing gratitude for what is to come is linked to setting your expectations.

Act as if: Any action you take is guided by thought. When you take action, you are fulfilling the thought that inspired us to act. When you want to create something in your life, your actions should support what you’re trying to attract.

Visualize: Visualization is mentally picturing what you want. It’s a way of saying to the Universe, “Look at me with what I want. It’s a pretty picture, no? I’m so happy to have received this gift.” The state of mind—the plane on which we visualize—is as real as the physical world.

Now- hopefully- you know how to use the secret! The secret can take a long time to master, but with your knowledge, you can dive deeper into the law of attraction, and start changing your life.

How to Use The Secret: Unlock Your Power, Get Results

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  • How to visualize the future you want to increase your success
  • Why visualization works, according to the laws of the universe
  • Why thinking about negative things sabotages your success

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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