SATC Talk: Unoriginal Sin: Does Self help really help?

Episode 2 of season 5 finds Carrie in one of her most cynical moments. She side eyes Samantha for taking her ex back and begrudgingly goes to a self help seminar on positivity (The Secret?) with Charlotte. Charlotte, having divorced her husband Trey, is in a fragile state. She’d been reading her self help guides, practicing her daily affirmations and still wasn’t in the positive spirits with hope of finding love. So she goes to this seminar and tells the speaker that she’s trying but this positivity thing isn’t working. The speaker insists that she just really isn’t giving it her all. This upsets Carrie who stands up and says Charlotte is doing everything she can (“oh she’s out there”).


I do believe in the power of positive thinking (if you’ve followed my blog I did a mini series on my takeaway from The Secret). However I also understand how things are easier said than done. I’ve read many a guidebook and been to a few seminars and tried every bit of advice I’ve been given. But there comes a point when you hit the cynic wall. I come from a generation that wants results sooner rather than later. I work out and I want to see ripped abs immediately. I take a dose of my cold medicine and I want to be able to breath right after I swallow that pill. I read The Secret and I want instant happiness and goal achievement. Nothing is worse than that feeling of giving something your all and getting nothing out of it.

And to add to that pain is being told that you really aren’t doing all you can do. Sure these speakers, coaches and writers want to prove that they are offering a fail proof solution on finding happiness so why would they admit that their logic isn’t all the way sound. I can run holes in some of the logic of The Secret no matter how lovely the idea of the Law of Attraction may be. Sometimes bad things happen to good people.  And even more, sometimes the things we desire the most just don’t happen for us. There is a singer who can sing laps around Beyoncé and perform even better who may never get her fanfare. The next MLK in the works won’t get the following because his twitter page isn’t popular or he doesn’t have a program on CNN.

Now I don’t advocate giving up or hopelessness. But I’m starting to come to the realization that just because I put my thoughts and energy into something doesn’t mean it will happen. The better advice is to help people accept the things they can not change  (at least for the time being) and truly be at peace with where their life is after they have made all efforts to reach their happiness. No one person has all the answers and there is no guide or fool proof plan to having the perfect life but patience (and being open to receive good) is gold.

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