A totally irreverent view of prosperity programs
As a denizen of cyberspace, I have become familiar with several
programs promising "prosperity." I've also read
a number of prosperity-oriented books and experimented with
manifesting on my own. Here's what I've concluded.
(1) Most lives move in cycles: for a while things go well,
then not so well. You feel great, then not great, then great
again. So if you're going through a bad bump, if you've been
successful before the odds are you will be successful again.
You've already developed a success mindset.
A prosperity program that lasts over a period of weeks or
months will have happy clients simply because of these cyclical
effects. Statisticians talk about "regression to the
mean," but if you have no interest in statistics, that's
(2) Some of these programs charge pretty hefty fees. Anyone
who can afford to spend $300-$1500 for a group program has
probably generated money in the past and will do so again.
(3) Prosperity is not the same as abundance. Abundance has
to do with a feeling. Rick Jarow's book, Creating
the Work You Love, describes a millionaire who didn't
want to buy an ice cream cone -- a perfect example of prosperity
You can have abundance without prosperity, too. In his wonderful
Fear, Thom Rutledge warns about feelings of abundance
that are not backed by a bank account.
(4) Prosperity programs can tweak definitions to enhance
their success rates. On one sample "prosperity"
class, the leader said, "Let's say you want a trip around
the world. You don't want the trip -- you want the feelings
that go with taking the trip." Well, if I buy a promise
of prosperity, I'm afraid I want the trip!
Leaders also tweak expectations: "It can take years
to manifest your dream..." See #1.
(5) Feeling prosperous, happy and/or abundant can attract
money. Clients and employers respond to a display of confidence
and warmth -- and it's hard to fake. People who act confident
on the job can expect to be rewarded and promoted (for an
extreme example, rent the video Office Space). People who
are afraid to spend money often under-invest in themselves
and their businesses, with less than optimal results.
(6) There are no secrets in the self-help world. If you want
to try your own manifesting, spend a few bucks and buy Lynn
Me Your Life Is Waiting. Get a copy of Shakti Gawain's
Creative Visualization -- yes, it's old, and people sometimes
joke about it, but I see her ideas recycled with new labels
In my own experience, creating
your own ritual can be far more powerful than working
through exercises in a class or book. Your own involvement
will speed the process.
I've identified more good books on my
own amazon.com store, with a special section for "beyond
(7) Don't discount the long arm of coincidence -- and the
power of awareness.
Once I thought about signing up for a prosperity class. However,
my intuition screamed NO.
Within the next few weeks, I had all kinds of unexpected wealth.
I found a twenty-dollar bill on the ground, discovered unclaimed
funds in a state where I lived many years ago, got an offer
to teach a class out of the blue, and more. If I'd taken that
class, I'd have said, "Wow! This stuff really works!"
If I hadn't heard of the class, I wouldn't have added up my
Bottom Line: When people have issues with money and debt.
I encourage them to work with a financial advisor, coach and/or
counselor, depending on what they need. Have fun with manifestation
exercises -- with or without a program. In her Advanced
Energy Anatomy tapes, Carolyn Myss includes some great
tips for dealing with debt -- a wonderful blend of "spirituality"
|Cathy Goodwin, Ph.D. is an author, career coach, and
speaker. She works with mid-career professionals who want to make a fast
move to career freedom. Visit her site http://www.movinglady.com
or call 505-534-4294.