Book teaches teens 'what you think about, you bring about'

Magnets: a physics teacher's favorite tool.

They have a magnetic force field known for attracting everything they can in their path, even things that they necessarily shouldn't. During good times or bad times, magnets still attract the things around them.

According to Paul Harrington and his book, "The Secret to Teen Power," teenagers can learn to better their lives and achieve their dreams by being just that: a human magnet.

"The secret" (as it's referred to in the book), ostensibly gives teenagers the power to have, do or be anything they choose.

In chapter one, "the secret to teen power" is stated simply as the law of attraction, or "what you think about, you bring about."

Harrington believes that if a person thinks about bad things, that person attracts bad things to them, which he states as "your thoughts becoming things." Even though a teenager doesn't want to attract negativity (like a magnet attracting things that don't need to be attracted), they do so anyway.

Although the law of attraction seems to be a somewhat simple definition to understand, Harrington uses so many comparisons to define "the secret" that it's difficult to sum up its definition in a single phrase, which makes it harder for readers to understand.

Harrington goes into detail of how "the secret" affects different parts of a person's life, such as money, relationships, health and the world in general. Within each chapter are actual testimonies from teenagers everywhere from Australia to South Africa, who speak to how the principle has worked for them. Some of the testimonials come from gold-winning Olympic medalists. There is even one from Walt Disney and another from Daniel Johns, the frontman of the grunge band Silverchair.

In addition, Harrington provides insightful advice on why teenagers shouldn't think so negatively.

For instance, he claims that when someone goes through a breakup, he or she shouldn't mope about it. They're already sad about the situation, and they're just making themselves even more so by wallowing in their own sorrow. Harrington says that's like "eating a whole box of Krispy Kremes when you know you're already fat."

Harrington offers useful techniques to help teenagers figure out their passion in life. Within the first three chapters of the book, the author tells readers to make a list of hobbies or activities that are interesting to them, from athletics and dancing to music and art. Then, readers are told to choose their three most important activities, which translates into each reader's passion.

"These three things are your purpose, your passion and your motivation towards life," Harrington says.

Although the book offers some solid advice and insightful examples, sometimes it seems to be so overwhelmingly positive that a reader is left feeling "The Secret to Teen Power" is awash in generic platitudes.

So even though "The Secret" can be an enlightening read at times, in reality, the "secret" it champions isn't always much of a secret at all.