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At last, the final category in Time’s list of The People Who Shape Our World: “Builders & Titans.” These are primarily businessmen, and I won’t quibble about their selection.
Except for one. This person’s inclusion on this list is simply laughable.
Rhonda Byrne is the author of a “self-help” book called The Secret. (I’ve included a link to Amazon for this book on the principle of “anything for a buck.”) This book purports to tell you how to do anything. Anything at all: lose weight, make a billion dollars, or stay eternally young.
Here are some excerpts so you can judge its worth for yourself:
Whether people have been told they have a slow thyroid, a slow metabolism, or their body size is hereditary, these are all disguises for thinking “fat thoughts.” If you accept any of those conditions as applicable to you, and you believe it, it must become your experience, and you will continue to attract being overweight.
The first thing to know is that if you focus on losing weight, you will attract back having to lose more weight, so get “having to lose weight” out of your mind. It’s the very reason why diets don’t work. Because you are focused on losing weight, you must attract back continually having to lose weight.
Attracting the perfect weight is the same as placing an order with the catalogue of the Universe. You look through the catalogue, choose the perfect weight, place your order, and then it is delivered to you.
Make it your intention to look for, admire, and inwardly praise people with your idea of perfect-weight bodies. Seek them out and as you admire them and feel the feelings of that-you are summoning it to you. If you see people who are overweight, do not observe them, but immediately switch your mind to the picture of you in your perfect body and feel it.
And this is just the nonsense on weight loss. Worse than simply muddled thinking; this is muddled thinking expressed in muddled prose. “…you must attract back continually having to lose weight,” is not a thought clearly expressed. She should envision herself as a writer.
I wouldn’t have minded so much if Byrne had been included on the “Artists & Entertainers” list, because you expect empty-headed nonsense from that sort. For a full dissection of this book, check out Jason Lee Steorts on National Review Online, here. Or read Time magazine’s own article on the video companion to the book, published several months ago:
The Secret — created by Australian reality show producer Rhonda Byrne — is so hokey at times you have to roll your eyes.
The Secret “is like having the universe as your catalog,” says Joe Vitale, who is called a “metaphysician” in the film but whose website bills him as “Mr. Fire” — a marketing consultant with the power to sway consumers with a “hypno-buying trance.”
Wait a second. Universe… catalog(ue)… Did Rhonda Byrne plagiarize Mr. Fire? Or the other way around? Who do you think would be more embarrassed to admit it?
Hey, what do I know? The book is selling millions of copies. Maybe there’s something to that “hypno-buying trance.”
Now the next man really is a titan.
This is Shigeru Miyamoto. Oddly, Time’s profile doesn’t mention any of his accomplishments, other than that he led the Nintendo Wii design team. He’s done far more than that. He created Donkey Kong, the Mario Brothers games, and the Legend of Zelda Games. Of the hundred people Time magazine profiled, he has had the most influence on my life.
I suppose I should be ashamed of myself.