When we last spoke with author Rhonda Byrne, she had just released “The Magic,” her third book on what she calls the “Law of the Attraction,” and her third New York Times bestseller. Now, the author best known for “The Secret” (which, to date, has sold more than 25 million copies) has a new book, “Hero,” in which she looks at the lives of 12 successful people who have harnessed the Law of Attraction. We spoke with Byrne about the people–both real and fictional–who inspire her, how to stick to New Years resolutions, and why Neo of “The Matrix” and Luke Skywalker of “Star Wars” embody the Law of Attraction.
Bookish: What book have you read this year that has most inspired you and why?
Rhonda Byrne (RB): I’ve read lots of inspiring books this year, but the stand out for me is “Ishmael” by Daniel Quinn. Hollywood movie director Tom Shadyac said in his book “Life’s Operating Manual” that “Ishmael” changed his life completely. That was enough of a recommendation for me to get the book and read it immediately. “Ishmael” shocked me, and caused a massive change in my perspective of the world and evolution. I think any book that shakes us up and causes us to question our beliefs is amazing.
Bookish: Your new book, “Hero,” draws on inspiring stories of 12 successful people. Why did you choose those particular individuals?
RB: The “Hero” contributors were chosen for several reasons. Firstly, each person started from nothing. They had no money, no connections, no advantages whatsoever, and seemingly no possible way to achieve their dream. So much so that many of them began with more disadvantages than most of us could imagine. Secondly, once they had realized their dream and achieved success, they turned themselves toward using all they had learned and acquired on their journey to help other people and make a difference in the world.
Bookish: Which celebrities, politicians or business figures have harnessed the law of the attraction for success?
RB: I don’t follow politics that much, but I’m not sure any politician has harnessed the law of attraction–what do you think? However, if you look at the biggest entrepreneurs in the world today, whether they were consciously aware of it or not, they had to have used the principles of the law of attraction for their success. And, of course, there are many, many celebrities and famous athletes people who have said publicly that they use the principles contained “The Secret.”
Bookish: Are there any fictional characters–from books, films or TV shows–who practice the law of attraction? Who are some examples and how specifically do they harness the law?
RB: Hayley Mills as Pollyanna in the movie “Pollyanna” uses the principles contained in “The Secret” by looking for something to be glad about in every situation, and through using that principle she changes the lives of an entire town. Neo in “The Matrix” learns that all power is within his mind, as does Luke Skywalker in “Star Wars.”
Bookish: What advice do you have for people setting out to make big changes in their life in the New Year?
RB: To make big changes in your life, you have to change on the inside first, then you will definitely fulfill your New Year’s resolution. To change on the inside, and guarantee that your resolutions will happen–visualize, visualize, visualize the change you want to be or see in your life! See it on the inside of you–then you will see it in the world in 2014!
Rhonda began her journey with “The Secret” film, viewed by millions across the planet. She followed with “The Secret” book, a global bestseller, available in 50 languages and with over 25 million copies in print worldwide. “The Secret” has remained on the New York Times bestseller list for over 200 weeks and counting, and was named by USA Today as one of the top 20 best-selling books of the past 15 years. She continued her groundbreaking work with “The Power” in 2010 and “The Magic” in 2012, also New York Times bestsellers.