As I understand it (from listening to "The Secret" DVD, commentaries section,) the inspiration that triggered the author to write the book and make the movie began with the book "The Science of Getting Rich" by Wallace Wattles. I've begun reading this book. Despite being almost 100 years old, it has a very compelling beginning.
"Whatever may be said in praise of poverty, the fact remains that it is not possible to live a really complete or successful life unless one is rich. No one can rise to his greatest possible height in talent or soul development unless he has plenty of money, for to unfold the soul and to develop talent he must have many things to use, and he cannot have these things unless he has money to buy them with.
A person developes in mind, soul, and body by making use of things, and society is so organized that man must have money in order to become the possessor of things. Therefore, the basis of all advancement must be the science of getting rich".
To a large degree, I have to agree with this. One must attain to some level of financial success to experience the good things of this earth, which are many. That is why it truly pays to invest in education, personal development, budgeting and living frugally so you can afford these advantages in life.
Is it possible to be truly successful in poverty?