Everyone is searching for it. That secret. The one that will solve all their problems. That magic key that will fix whatever they find lacking in their life.
The only people who seem not to be searching are the ones that tell you they are in possession of it. They know what you don't. They want you to believe the secret lies in their hot little hands. All you need do is sign up for their newsletter and you'll get the free video or PDF that gives it away. The one simple secret to earning a seven-figure income and never having to work more than three hours a day. Or buy one of those glossy magazines that still fill the walls of the store where I buy my lottery tickets. The one that promises the secret to a flatter stomach without ever doing a sit up. You might be encouraged to click on a link and find out the one fool-proof secret to making your skin never age. Or watch tonight's news at 11 p.m. and discover the secrets your airline pilot will never tell you.
We are all so hungry for that secret that we buy into it. We click, we turn on, we scroll Twitter and Facebook and Pinterest. We are so sure someone else has the answers. Someone else knows more than we do that it's hard not to be disappointed when we get to the bottom of the article and find out we knew that already. Or we try what they suggest and it doesn't work.
I googled "Top Ten Secrets" yesterday and came up with 57,900,000 results covering everything from great sex to success to mastering your brand to having a happy family. Apparently we are spending a lot of time searching for our secrets of choice.
I know that if I share advice and include the words tips, tricks or secrets in the title, my post gets more page views and/or is more likely to get picked up by an aggregate website. I openly admit I have done that and probably will again. Even though I know the real secret.
Which is this: There is no secret.
Yes, there is lots of information dancing around. That's why we call this the Information Age. Some of it is very good (my intention is to fall in that category, more often than not) and some of it is just a way to get you sign up for a newsletter or click a link so that website's impressions are increased and the owners can charge someone else more money to run an advertisement or simply get you to plunk down your credit card and buy whatever it is they are selling.
You can read every article. Pay tens of thousands of dollars in course fees. Surf the Internet while you are watching a television show that promises if you just do this, this one secret thing, and everything will shift. But nothing will unless you stop. And listen. To yourself.
If you do, you will discover that the real secret lies within. You have all the answers to whatever is lacking in your life and the direction you need to go to create your change. But only if you dare, dare, dare to get quiet enough to listen. To your heart. To the messages your body offers. To the essence of yourself.
But most of us don't. Or won't. The excuse being you just don't have time to do that. To stop. To breathe. To be. To listen. We're too busy wasting time. Searching. For that secret.
Joanne Tombrakos is a writer, coach and speaker who blogs on living and working after corporate America at http://onewomanseye.blogspot.com, where this article originally appeared. She is the author of It Takes An Egg Timer, A Guide to Creating More Time for Your Life as well as a novel, The Secrets They Kept.
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