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Unoriginal Reading

Some (business) books lack originality. Those who know me know I’m not a big fan of The Secret by Rhonda Byrne. (Sorry, Oprah!) It’s not because I don’t like the topic or message. Rather, I love the message and agree that we naturally gravitate towards our most dominant thought. Any book that encourages readers to think more positively is important and has tremendous business implications: If you just think it, you’ll make the sale. If you just think it, you’ll find another customer. If you just think it, you’ll make a million bucks! What a wonderful idea.

But The Secret was nothing new. In fact, I liked it the first time when it was called Think and Grow Rich. And even Napoleon Hill draws upon timeless principles, some of which can be found in the Holy Bible. Remember, “As a man thinketh, so is he.” And those of you who loved Steven Covey’s 7 Habits will likely enjoy Dale Carnegie’s How to Win Friends and Influence People. The list goes on.

The point is that much of what we read, including about business and entrepreneurship, isn’t really new. It’s merely improved or simply re-worded. It’s repackaged and sold with a catchy title. So the next time you begin reading a New York Times Best Seller ask yourself if it’s really a “Bible” or if it’s just another “Secret”.


2 Responses

  1. Definitely, the Holy Bible. I could not understand initally why this was not easily understood until I realized that perhaps the Bible is not something that we read. The “as the man thinketh” quote is one I received as a child. “Giving credit to whom credit is due” is also essential for honest living. We are probably seeking to live our most honest selves daily.

  2. Thanks for the comment, Judith. I appreciate your insight. My question was really getting at the originality of what we read, particularly in the context of business books. I just used The Secret as an example. Have a merry Christmas!

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