Not the last book I read but the last book that I read.

A few years back, I received a gift certificate from Coles book store from a friend of the family. I intended on using it during a visit to the city but when I went there was nothing that really caught my eye. Time passed and I either forgot it at home or, when I went, there was nothing that grabbed me. So, a few weeks ago while at meetings, I went book shopping taking the tattered certificate with me.

I had a pretty good list of books that I was interested in buying, gathered from the many blogs I’ve read and the various conversations I’ve overheard on Twitter. So, can you guess what I might have purchased? What might have been discussed that would get me to part with this certificate?

I bet none of you guessed The Secret edited by Rhonda Byrne . That’s right. Now, I heard about it from Alec Couros on Twitter and he mentioned a url that I checked out. It was definitely a well done website but it didn’t catch me. In fact, I think Alec referred to it as being rather cultish in nature and I kind of thought so myself. So, as I strolling through Coles’, I came across it on one of the shelves. Now, I did resist looking at it for a few passes. Finally, however, I gave in and began to puruse the book. Now to say it’s deeply intellectual would be a stretch. In fact, it’s very easy to read which is a great thing after going through some of the other books on my summer reading list. The message was simple and, really, it seemed to simple at first.

Now, I’m not sure that I’m suppose to give away the secret but it isn’t beyond the reach of every single person. I think that it is incredibly easy to do and, in a way, makes sense if you think about it. Do I believe it? Kinda. Am I joining the group? No. Am I dismissing it? Not really.  I think that it will help you improve yourself in some ways because it does make you look at things in a different light and reevaluate how you approach your life. I haven’t seen enough evidence to suggest that it is truly “The Secret” but it sure has affected how I look at things around me.

School started yesterday and from the start I knew it was going to be an awesome day. The day was like this – teachers did not get any of their photocopying done because the copier has been down for 2 weeks with no tech person showing up. Our computer system was down. We just gained access to the lab that afternoon. Our gym floor, that was replaced and was suppose to be finished last month is still not finished. Our new handicap access doors don’t work right because the motorized mechanism was too much for our old frame and the door is now a bit off center so it needs help opening and closing and it won’t be fixed for a few weeks. We have been invaded by crickets. Jimmy is driving all of crazy. But, despite all these things, it was a great day and I was eager to get back today. Not because I ignored the problems or because I was medicated but because I looked for solutions and then accepted what needed to be accepted. Nothing magical and nothing truly outlandish. Sometimes we need to be reminded that being positive is a state of being. It isn’t that you see the world through coloured glasses or ignore things. Instead, it’s an attitude that allows you to face challenges in a positive mindset which has proven to be very helpful these last few days.

If you want to know what “The Secret” really is, then you will have to buy the book or at least go to a store and read until you find it. It isn’t amazing or even “wow”ing. It’s rather a let down to think that it could really be that easy. For many of us in academia, we will be skeptical because it can really be done by anyone. And maybe that’s the point. Much of what is truly wonderful in life is accessible by anyone and the “other things” with which we surround ourselves just distract us from those things that are great. Looking at things from a different vantage point is refreshing and, I’m finding, reinvigorating. As I left school today, I thought “It’s been a great two days!” And it has, even my older daughters have mentioned it. There is something different and it’s good.

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