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Teleseminar – The Master Key Mentor
47 minutes | Apr 28, 2012
The Exercise in Week Ten of “The Master Key System” Explained
Here is the exercise for Week 10 of The Master Key System explained. Enjoy!
58 minutes | Apr 11, 2012
The Exercise in Week Nine of “The Master Key System” Explained
The exercise for Week 9 of The Master Key System is here! The article will be posted soon.
47 minutes | Mar 23, 2012
The Exercise in Week Eight of “The Master Key System” Explained
The exercise for Week 8 of The Master Key System is one of the most important in the book. This teleseminar will explain why — and also how you can use it to accomplish anything you wish to accomplish. Listen now. More importantly, use it! The article will be posted soon.
49 minutes | Mar 16, 2012
The Exercise in Week Seven of “The Master Key System” Explained
Here is the recording for the teleseminar held March 5, 2012 in which we discussed and explained the exercise for Week 7 of The Master Key System. The article will be posted shortly.
48 minutes | Dec 15, 2011
The Exercise in Week Six of “The Master Key System” Explained
With this, Week Six of The Master Key System, we are now one-quarter of the way through the book. It is beginning to get good now. If you’ve been following us, the first four exercises trained us to get into the “state” of relaxation and receptivity. We now know how to keep ourselves still, how to relax, how to quell our thoughts, and how to “let go” of discordant feelings. With Week Five, we began our studies into visualizing, a most important aspect of personal development. Hopefully, you’ve mastered Week Five’s exercise — and had some fun with it! If so, let’s progress to Week Six… The Exercise in Week Six of The Master Key System 24. In order to cultivate the power of attention, bring a photograph with you to the same seat in the same room in the same position as heretofore. Examine it closely at least ten minutes: Note the expression of the eyes, the form of the features, the clothing, the way the hair is arranged — in fact, note every detail shown on the photograph carefully. Now cover it and close your eyes and try to see it mentally. If you can see every detail perfectly and can form a good mental image of the photograph, you are to be congratulated; if not repeat the process until you can. 25. This step is simply for the purpose of preparing the soil; next week we shall be ready to sow the seed. 26. It is by such exercises as these that you will finally be able to control your mental moods, your attitude, your consciousness. The Exercise for Week Six Explained This exercise will be building within you two important skills: attention to detail and the power to recall. In doing so, we will be building our ability to visualize. With a photograph in hand, take your seat in your usual place. (On the call, I explain the importance of having a place that you do these exercises.) Once you are there, get into the “state” as you learned in the first four exercises. Next, study the photograph. COver it and then recall it from memory. That’s about it! Mr. Haanel‘s instructions are pretty easy and clear. The Benefits of the Exercise for Week Six As Haanel wrote, you will be cultivating your “power of attention.” This is huge! It’s your ability to look at something and notice details that not many other people do. By mastering this exercise, you will be learning a technique that could turn you into the next Sherlock Holmes. Along with that, you are training yourself to keep yourself in the “Now” rather than running on autopilot playing with the shibboleths in your mind. How many times have you met someone who just “wasn’t there” with you? Thus, they didn’t notice much — if anything — of what was occurring about them. How many times was that person you? Yes, we all get preoccupied at times. Sometimes we have a pressing concern on our mind. For too many people, though, this is a normal state of being. Even worse, they really have nothing on their mind! They’re trapped with their shadows, never noticing anything around them. By taking the time to make note of the things around us, we begin to pay attention to all the things around us. Digging even deeper, as we develop this power of attention, as we study a problem or research something in which we’re interested, we will see those details that others miss. Those details can then become the basis for our fortune! The examples of this happening are practically limitless. This exercise — and skill — is very important. Master it! Tips for the Best Practice of Week Six’s Exercise The best tip for mastering this exercise is to follow Haanel’s instructions exactly: Use a photograph of a person. Do your best to use your same seat and place as you usually do. Notice every detail. Take your time with it. Practice until you get it right. That’s it. Nothing fancy. It’s funny how sometimes the more important exercises are the simplest ones. This is one of those times. It’s simple, but oh so powerful. Until next week, please get for yourself the best of everything…
49 minutes | Dec 5, 2011
The Exercise in Week Five of “The Master Key System” Explained
We made it! In reviewing the exercise for Week Five of The Master Key System — “The Creative Mind” — we’ve reached the fiftieth episode of these teleseminars. Exciting stuff! With this exercise, we move beyond the “foundation” laid out in the first four exercises. Now, we have our first “taste” of visualization. While it is not visualization proper, it is an exercise in focusing, concentrating, and creating mental pictures. I have found — and my Master Key Coaching clients have found — this exercise to be fun and helpful. I think you will, too. So, let’s get on with it! The Exercise in Week Five of The Master Key System 29. Now, go to your room, take the same seat, the same position as heretofore, and mentally select a place which has pleasant associations. Make a complete mental picture of it — see the buildings, the grounds, the trees, friends, associations, everything complete. At first, you will find yourself thinking of everything under the sun, except the ideal upon which you desire to concentrate. But do not let that discourage you. Persistence will win, but persistence requires that you practice these exercises every day without fail. The Exercise for Week Five Explained Charles F. Haanel organised the exercises in The Master Key System perfectly. You will come to realize that as you explore them. The first four are what we have come to call the “foundation” exercises. They built the foundation upon which all of the subsequent exercises will be laid. These exercises are essential for getting you into the “state” so that you can easily do the remaining exercises and so that you will be receptive to the results that you are seeking. So, with the first four exercises mastered, we have this exercise for Week Five. As usual, you are to take your regular seat and assume the position that you have been mastering since Week One: sitting with your feet on the floor, your hands on your thighs, your back erect, your eyes closed. Once you are there, you are now to make a “complete mental picture” of a “place that has pleasant associations.” That “place” can be anything you wish! Your childhood home. A farm you visited. A beach. A city. An office. Any place! The key is to make your mental picture “complete.” You want the picture to be very detailed, very lush, and very realistic. You are aiming to such a detailed picture that it is almost a “virtual reality.” Within this exercises, Haanel anticipates that it may be difficult for some people. Those people may not be very “visual” people. He does ask that we persevere, though. And we should! Haanel is building within you the ability to picture anything you wish in your mind. As we’ll see, those pictures will be very important. That’s why for this exercise, Haanel is starting us with something simple: visualizing a place that we enjoy. That makes it an exercise that we will want to do! After all, it is fun to reminisce or fantasize about a pleasant place. The difference is that we are not doing either: we are visualizing and aiming to make the picture complete and detailed, to “see the buildings, the grounds, the trees, friends, associations, everything complete.” Do your best and make your vision as complete as you can. With practice, you will be able to see it perfectly! The Benefits of the Exercise for Week Five Much like going to a gym will increase your ability to run longer or lift heavier items, this exercise will begin to awaken or it will strengthen your ability to create mental pictures. You will be able to almost lose yourself in the details of your mental images. That can be and will be a very powerful tool for you. This exercise will also begin to fire parts of your brain you may not have been “using” prior to this. Also, this exercise, when fully perfected, will just make you feel good. Seriously. I have heard time and time again from folks who do this exercises and actually feel themselves at the beach or on the farm. It’s amazing! They often state that afterwards it’s like they had a small vacation. Tips for the Best Practice of Week Five’s Exercise You can practice this exercise anywhere. To really get this exercise mastered, the key is to select just one place and continue to return to it. The people who don’t perfect this exercise generally have one thing in common: one day they “go” to the beach; the next they “go” to their favorite city; and so on. They never just select that one place! And that is the key here. By selecting just one place and for one week continual revisiting it, you will access those details that your brain is storing and activate them. With each pass, you will be adding details after detail, until your picture is “complete.” So, select just one place! Just one! And run with it. Until next week, please get for yourself the best of everything…
64 minutes | Nov 20, 2011
The Exercise in Week Four of “The Master Key System” Explained
Week Four of The Master Key System — “Reversing the Process — From Cause to Effect” — is the last exercise that builds the “foundation” upon which all the following exercises will be built. In this exercise, you will effectively master your ability to relax physically as well as mentally. You will master the control of you body and your emotions. You will learn to allow yourself to attain the “state” of physical and emotional control and well-being that will set you apart from the masses. In short, you will learn to be a master of yourself rather than a plaything of circumstances. You will see your intellect rule and over-ride your emotions, thus allowing you to cast aside feelings of fear, anxiety, anger, and any other emotion that serves no useful purpose. The Exercise in Week Four of The Master Key System 29. Last week I asked you to relax, to let go physically. This week, I am going to ask you to let go mentally. If you practiced the exercise given you last week fifteen or twenty minutes a day in accordance with the instructions, you can no doubt relax physically; and anyone who cannot consciously do this quickly and completely is not a master of himself. He has not obtained freedom; he is still a slave to conditions. But I shall assume that you have mastered the exercise and are ready to take the next step, which is mental freedom. 30. This week, after taking your usual position, remove all tension by completely relaxing, then mentally let go of all adverse conditions, such as hatred, anger, worry, jealousy, envy, sorrow, trouble, or disappointment of any kind. 31. You may say that you cannot “let go” of these things, but you can. You can do so by mentally determining to do so by voluntary intention and persistence. 32. The reason that some cannot do this is because they allow themselves to be controlled by the emotions instead of by their intellect. But the will guided by the intellect will gain the victory. You will not succeed the first time you try, but practice makes perfect, in this as in everything else, and you must succeed in dismissing, eliminating, and completely destroying these negative and destructive thoughts because they are the seed which is constantly germinating into discordant conditions of every conceivable kind and description. The Exercise for Week Four Explained The exercise for Week One was to keep your body still. That allowed you to gain control of your physical being. The exercise for Week Two was to inhibit your thoughts. That allowed you to gain control of your thoughts. The exercise for Week Three was to relax your physical body. That allowed you to achieve a physical state in which you can lose your tension at will. The exercise in Week Four brings all of those ideas into one grand exercise in which you will learn to achieve a state of physical and mental well-being — a state that is necessary for one to achieve if you wish to not only get great benefits from the rest of the exercises in The Master Key System, but from any other technique in personal development that you may wish to explore. Why is this so important? Haanel explains why in point #32: “…you must succeed in dismissing, eliminating, and completely destroying these negative and destructive thoughts because they are the seed which is constantly germinating into discordant conditions of every conceivable kind and description.” You must learn to master “letting go” of the feeling and emotions that damage you more than you imagine. Remember that one of the main points of studying The Master Key System is to learn how to think, how to really and truly use your brain. Most people don’t. They allow their emotions to sway them, to rule them. Fear rules people. Anger moves people. Jealousy sways people. We see these in operation every day in others. And generally, the result of these operations are not very good. In fact, they are destructive. Worse than that, those emotions enslave people in a web of shadows. Thus, Haanel writes that this exercise — this next step — will secure for you “mental freedom.” The Benefits of the Exercise for Week Four The benefits of this exercise are multitudinous. As already stated, it is necessary to master this exercise — to be able to achieve this “state” — so as to gain the benefits of the subsequent exercises in The Master Key System as well as any other personal development tools you wish to explore. If you cannot rule your body and mind, then you are a still enslaved by perceptions and shadows — the shibboleths of your mind. Thus, pursuing any tools for your advancement would be like exercising in a gym only to return home and eating bad foods and indulging in bad habits such as smoking or excessive drinking. You gain nothing once all is said and done. Your good works are for nought. Thus, the benefits of mastering this exercise is, to put it simply, just about everything! Your ability to “let go” frees you from the “world without” and puts you in command of the “world within.” It severs you from the world of circumstances and places you in the seat of ownership. Master this exercise. The consequences of doing so are far-reaching. Tips for the Best Practice of Week Four’s Exercise The great thing about these first four exercises is that they can be practiced almost anywhere. Waiting in a doctor’s office? Do the exercise. Sitting on a bus? Relax and do the exercise. Have a break at work? Do the exercise. You should have a “place” that you can do the exercises, though, Especially Week Four’s exercise. Here’s why. Many people will find it difficult to “let go.” You may find it difficult to do so. You can do it — and you will do it — because you will relate it to something you do almost every day. Let me ask you this: Do you work during the week? Do you have the trials and tribulations that most of us have during the week? A yelling boss? Indifferent co-workers? Tough commute? Impatient customers? Repetitive work? Now, do you look forward to the weekend? Of course you do! That’s when you can leave that world behind and get on with your life. On Friday evening (or afternoon), you leave work and feel as if you unburdened yourself of the yolk that you must bear during the week and you look forward to enjoying life without the hassles of the office. That’s exactly how you should view doing this exercise and why you should have a place where you can sequester yourself. Your place is going to be your “safe zone” — the place where you can get away from it all. And when you enter that place, you can feel exactly as you do on a Friday afternoon: as if you were relieving yourself of all the troubles and worries of your work week. The only difference is that you will be allowing yourself to drop (“let go”) your negative emotions — “hatred, anger, worry, jealousy, envy, sorrow, trouble, or disappointment of any kind” — and enter a state of relaxation, placidity, and perhaps even bliss. Over time and with practice, you will be able to do this anywhere. Are you getting annoyed because you’re stuck in traffic? With mastery, you will be able to lose those feelings and become at peace with the situation. Did someone anger you with something they did? You will be able to drop that baggage and tend to the situation with tact and calmness. And that will make you something that most people are not: a person to be admired and followed. A person of dignity, tact, and thought. Mastering this exercise will change you — for the better. Until next week, please get for yourself the best of everything…
64 minutes | Nov 14, 2011
The Exercise in Week Three of “The Master Key System” Explained
The first four exercises in The Master Key System are the ones that will build for us the foundation upon which the remaining twenty exercises — and by extension, the results we will obtain with them — will be built. The exercise for Week Three is very important — more important than many people realize. You must master this exercise to not only take advantage of all of the exercises in The Master Key System, but also to take advantage of just about any other personal development techniques you may wish to explore. It is my hope that this teleseminar and article will make it clear why that is so. The Exercise 29. For your exercise this week, I will ask you to go one step further. I want you to not only be perfectly still, and inhibit all thought as far as possible, but relax. Let go. Let the muscles take their normal condition; this will remove all pressure from the nerves and eliminate that tension which so frequently produces physical exhaustion. 30. Physical relaxation is a voluntary exercise of the will and the exercise will be found to be of great value, as it enables the blood to circulate freely to and from the brain and body. 31. Tension leads to mental unrest and abnormal mental activity of the mind; it produces worry, care, fear, and anxiety. Relaxation is therefore an absolute necessity in order to allow the mental faculties to exercise the greatest freedom. 32. Make this exercise as thorough and complete as possible. Mentally determine that you will relax every muscle and nerve until you feel quiet and restful and at peace with yourself and the world. 33. The Solar Plexus will then be ready to function and you will be surprised at the result. The Exercise for Week Three Explained The exercise for Week Three of The Master Key System seems simple — deceptively so. Mr. Haanel wrote that this week you are to “not only be perfectly still, and inhibit all thought as far as possible, but relax.” Relax. In many of my responses to questions about The Master Key System, I type that word a lot. You see, it’s the foundation of everything that we will be doing from this point onward. That’s why this exercise is very important. Haanel explains why: “Tension leads to mental unrest and abnormal mental activity of the mind; it produces worry, care, fear, and anxiety. Relaxation is therefore an absolute necessity in order to allow the mental faculties to exercise the greatest freedom.” In order for you to be able to benefit from the exercises in The Master Key System, in order for you to effectively use techniques from the personal development field, in order for you to truly acquire the mental fitness that you so desire, relaxation is the key. Being relaxed allows you to think clearly, to see truly, and to cogitate efficiently and purposely. It allows “things” to happen fluidly and easily. It brings to bear your entire mental arsenal and provides an alacrity that cannot be had otherwise. Mental tension leads to physical tension. Mental tension begets constricted thoughts, much like a zipper that is stuck: it may wiggle and perhaps move a space or two, but it doesn’t flow and do what it is supposed to do. That’s why this exercise is key. As Haanel states, physical relaxation is a “voluntary exercise of the will.” It is something that we allow ourselves to be. No matter the surroundings or the situation, we either choose to be relaxed or we choose to not be relaxed. Thus, choose to allow yourself to fall into a state of relaxation. Allow yourself to become relaxed physically. Lose the tension that you may feel in your muscles, in your joints, on the surface of your skin. Allow it to drip from you. Relax. The Benefits of the Exercise for Week Three As one masters becoming relaxed, Haanel wrote that “The Solar Plexus will then be ready to function and you will be surprised at the result.” Haanel explains the function of the Solar Plexus in The Master Key System, so I won’t delve into that here. I will deal with the latter part of that statement. I have found, both with myself and many Master Key Coaching clients, that the surprising result is a feeling of placidity, almost a euphoria, that may sweep over you. As you lose the physical tension, you’ll feel light, calm, at ease. This result is surprising because you have so much tension within you, much of it barely perceptible because it is like background noise, that only when you release it do you realize just how much there was! That benefit, as great as it is, leads to other benefits that you can take advantage of in your daily life. These benefits will also highlight what Haanel means by having everything working fully. How many times have you been talking with someone and a movie gets mentioned, but for the life of you you cannot recall the name of the star, even though the name is “on the tip of your tongue”? Yup, that’s your body’s tension constricting your thoughts. When you learn to relax, you’ll be able to improve your recall in situations such as these. Here’s another situation: have you ever been engaged in a game such as billiards or baseball or golf and you just can’t seem to “find your groove”? Thus, you miss shots, perhaps some easy ones. Now, to be clear, it’s not because you’re necessarily a novice at the games. You may actually be fairly decent at them. Your tension, though, is preventing you from performing at your peak. As you can see, the tangible benefits of learning how to volitionally achieving a state of physical relaxation are massive. You’ll see many more benefits of this as we delve deeper into the exercises in The Master Key System. Tips for the Best Practice of Week Three’s Exercise Week Three’s exercise is one that some people will find very easy. Others, perhaps not so much. To that end, it may help in the beginning to treat this exercise almost as if you would being hypnotized. As you may know, a hypnotist does his job by placing his client in a state of hypnosis. That state is achieved by relaxing the client. That same technique can be used here, if you so desire. Now, to be clear, you are not hypnotizing yourself here! You are merely relaxing yourself. You are not going into a “deep sleep” or a “trance.” You are merely using the techniques that work so effectively for hypnotists on yourself to achieve an as complete as possible physical relaxation. So, start at your head and volitionally will yourself to release the tension. Then continue to move downward. You neck. Your chest. Your stomach. Your waist. Your legs. Your ankles. Your feet. Your toes. Let go of all the tension. Allow it to fall from you. If you would like some help with a self-hypnosis technique, please see Tom Nicoli’s book Thinking Thin. Yes, it’s a weight-loss book, but the techniques are the same and there is no better teacher that I know of than Mr. Nicoli. Until next week, please get for yourself the best of everything…
66 minutes | Nov 6, 2011
The Exercise in Week Two of “The Master Key System” Explained
The exercise for Week Two of The Master Key System is the one exercise for which I receive the most emails. It is also the one that frustrates the most people — and, unfortunately, causes many people to give up. I am happy to tell you that this exercise is much easier than you think it is. Also, the goal of the exercise is quite different than what you probably think it is. It is my hope that this explanation will assuage any frustrations that you’ve had and set you on the right track to mastering this exercise and getting the full benefits from it. The Exercise 30. Last week I gave you an exercise for the purpose of securing control of the physical body. If you have accomplished this you are ready to advance. This time you will begin to control your thought. Always take the same room, the same chair, and the same position, if possible. In some cases it is not convenient to take the same room. In this case simply make the best use of such conditions as may be available. Now be perfectly still as before, but inhibit all thought. This will give you control over all thoughts of care, worry, and fear, and will enable you to entertain only the kind of thoughts you desire. Continue this exercise until you gain complete mastery. 31. You will not be able to do this for more than a few moments at a time, but the exercise is valuable because it will be a very practical demonstration of the great number of thoughts which are constantly trying to gain access to your mental world. 32. Next week you will receive instructions for an exercise which may be a little more interesting, but it is necessary that you master this one first. The Exercise Explained Before I explain this exercise, I want you to read what the exercise is again. Now, here’s what most people get wrong: Most people believe that the goal of this exercise is to “inhibit all thought.” They think that they have to become some sort of super-yogi Zen master and have no thoughts for minutes, hours, days, weeks. It’s not. Inhibiting your thoughts is not the goal of the exercise for Week Two. The goal for this exercise is stated by Mr. Haanel in point number 31: You will not be able to do this for more than a few moments at a time, but the exercise is valuable because it will be a very practical demonstration of the great number of thoughts which are constantly trying to gain access to your mental world. Most people go into this exercise trying to do their best to inhibit their thoughts for minutes. When they can barely do a couple of seconds, they get very frustrated. In that same point, though, Haanel explicitly states that you “will not be able to do this [inhibit thoughts] for more than a few moments at a time.” Moments. Not seconds. Not minutes. Moments. One of the definitions of “moment” is “A brief, indefinite interval of time.” It’s a very short amount of time. Very short. It’s, as the perhaps clichéd phrase goes, fleeting. Moments are here and then gone. Does that make sense? Does that now make the exercise doable? Easier? It should. Haanel in that same point tells us what the real goal of this exercise is: “[I]t will be a very practical demonstration of the great number of thoughts which are constantly trying to gain access to your mental world.” This exercise is made to showcase just how much mental chatter is constantly bombarding us. That’s it. Concurrent with that, it will also allow us to develop ways to stop those thoughts as they occur. When you do this exercise, you will inhibit your thoughts. You will only be able to do that for a moment or two before a thought creeps into your consciousness. “Hey! I think I got it … Doh!” Then you stop that thought and return to inhibiting your thoughts again. That will once again last for a couple of moments. And then … It goes on and on. So, your aim with this exercise is not to be Mr. or Ms. Zen Master. You don’t have to worry about inhibiting your thoughts for minutes. Heck, you don’t even have to quell your thoughts for seconds! The chief aim of the exercise for Week Two is to just notice how many thoughts are constantly happening in your head and then to stop them at will. Doesn’t that make more sense? I hope it does. Now, go and do this exercise properly. You should feel no frustration at all and you should be able to master it with ease. The Benefits of This Exercise The tangible benefits of this exercise are manifold. The chief one is this: Have you ever set yourself to do a task and then, all of a sudden, you start hearing that “little voice” that says things like “Isn’t it time for lunch?” or “How about that other thing you have to do?” or even “It looks like a nice day outside.” Those are those thoughts that come to us — unbidden and unwanted. As you master this exercise, you’ll be able to notice those thoughts quickly and then cast them out just as quickly, thereby allowing you to focus solely on your task. Here’s another benefit: Do you ever denigrate yourself with negative self-talk? Of course you do. We all do. As you perfect this exercise, you will be able to notice yourself doing that quicker and then stopping it quicker. You will find yourself to be a happier person. This is a form of mental mastery that is much more important than inhibiting thoughts. Tips for the Best Practice of Week Two’s Exercise There are no specific tips for mastering the exercise from Week Two other than what is written here. Go to your place. Take your seat. Keep your body still. Inhibit your thoughts. As you see, hear, or feel thoughts coming into your consciousness, shut them down and inhibit your thoughts again. Don’t worry about how long you can inhibit your thoughts. The person who can, for whatever reasons, inhibit their thoughts for a minute is no better than the person who can only do it for a second or two. It just doesn’t matter! Do your best with what he exercise is really about: noticing those thoughts that come and then stopping them. That’s it for this week. Stick with the exercises and remember that they are all building toward something. Until next week, please get for yourself the best of everything…
58 minutes | Oct 27, 2011
The Exercise in Week One of “The Master Key System” Explained
As we explore the exercise for Week One of The Master Key System, this marks the first in what will be a series for the next twenty-four weeks as we explore and explain each and every exercise in the book. While in the previous “cycle” we explicated thoroughly the body of the book with only glances at the exercises, for this cycle we will focus solely on the exercises. As you may know, I’ve often referred to the exercises in The Master Key System as the “meat and potatoes” of the book. Friedrich Nietzsche once remarked that all books could be reduced to one paragraph without losing any meaning. While I think that might be tough with The Master Key System, I’ve opined that it could be reduced to maybe five or six pages. That’s because the ideas in the book are presented in many ways. You have the various “laws” (attraction, love, growth), the concepts of the “world without” and the “world within,” the ideas of “cause and effect,” and other such notions — and each is presented in different forms throughout the work. The real power of the book resides in the exercises. As Haanel often writes, it is “in the application alone that the value consists.” By that he means that we should practice the exercises. Or, as I often say, it’s not good enough to read the book and know the information, one must truly understand the material in order to experience the wonderful effects of this philosophy. So, for those reasons, for the next twenty-four weeks we will explore, explain, and make clear each and every exercise that Haanel gave us in The Master Key System. I am highly confident that you will benefit greatly from these teleseminars. If what I receive in my email is any indication, the vast amount of questions I receive all revolve around how to master an exercise. So, I hope that I help a lot of people — including you. To obtain the full benefit from these articles, teleseminars and exercises, I highly recommend that you get for yourself Charles F. Haanel’s Complete Master Key Course. You’ll not only get the best version of The Master Key System available anywhere, you’ll get the entire philosophy of success — plus a whole lot more. Have a look; you’ll be glad that you did. The Exercise 44. Now make the application: Select a room where you can be alone and undisturbed. Sit erect, comfortably, but do not lounge. Let your thoughts roam where they will but be perfectly still for fifteen minutes to half an hour. Continue this for three or four days or for a week until you secure full control of your physical being. 45. Many will find this extremely difficult; others will conquer with ease, but it is absolutely essential to secure complete control of the body before you are ready to progress. Next week you will receive instructions for the next step. In the meantime, you must have mastered this one. The Exercise Explained The first exercise that Haanel gives us and that we encounter is a seemingly easy one. It’s one not to be taken lightly, though. As you’ll see as we progress through the exercises week by week, each new exercise builds upon the one prior to it. In other words, by the time we reach Week Twenty-four, we will see a cumulative effect with the exercises. So, take each exercise seriously — and do master them as best you can, especially with the information you garner from these teleseminars and articles. For Week One, Haanel instructs us to sit comfortably and be “perfectly still” for fifteen minutes to half an hour. What’s the purpose of this? As Haanel wrote, it’s to “secure complete control of the body.” This is very important. As we progress through the exercises, we’ll be dealing mainly with the mental aspect of ourselves. In order to get to that point, we must first control our body, which may be a distraction from our mental pursuits. Now, this is a bit of a difference in thought from what we will come to know of Haanel’s philosophy. You see, Haanel — and The Master Key System as well as the entire philosophy — is about cause and effect: our mental is the cause and the world around us is the effect, thus we must work with the cause (our mind) should we want to remedy the effect. With this exercise, though, we are seemingly working in reverse. Instead of working on our mind to keep our body still, we are keeping our body still in order to learn to control ourselves as we aim to quell (or gain control over) those subconscious yearnings of our mind to move or fidget. It’s a strange juxtaposition — and the only time we’ll see something like this in all of Haanel’s philosophy. This exercise is the base-point. With every exercise in the book, we will always begin here. Even when we reach Week Twenty-four, you’ll find that to effectively do the exercise, you will first keep yourself still. Look at this exercise as the basic move, like the “box step” in dancing. The Benefits of This Exercise I have found that while the exercises in The Master Key System aim toward an overall goal (those being what you should be learning as you explore the book, which I listed in our very first teleseminar), each exercise has its own tangible benefits that will help you in real life. For this first exercise, the major (and obvious) benefit is that you will gain self-control over your body. No more will you fidget or appear to others to be a “mess” with bouncing knees and twirling your hair. Instead, you will be the picture of physical composure. Calmness. You’ll be “cool.” Think of how that will benefit you. Instead of being the “nervous wreck” in, say, a job interview, you’ll display an outward calmness that most people do not have. You won’t be tapping your pen or playing with your nails. You’ll be composed. While at this point you may be roiling internally, you will give the appearance of placidity. And that means a lot. Another benefit that you’ll find is that when you master gaining control of yourself and keeping still, you’ll find it easier to calm down should you get heated or riled or anxious. Our physical body does in some ways control our mental aspect. Forcing yourself to smile when you’re sad or angry often times does bring about a true happiness. At the very least, it improves your mood. Thus, learning to keep yourself still will assuage your nerves should you be beset by them. Tips for the Best Practice of Week One’s Exercise For such a seemingly easy exercise, I’ve received countless emails asking questions about it. Here are some tips that may answer questions you may be asking yourself. First, while you don’t need a “perfect” room or location, try to find a place that provides as much solitude as possible. I know that’s not possible for some people. Thus, sometimes you have to make-do with what you have or what you can find. Technically, this exercise can be practiced just about anywhere. Sitting in a waiting room, on a bus, at work, on a plane. Anywhere you have a place to sit and no one is bothering you. It is best, though, if you have a place where you can return to regularly, especially as we get into the later exercises. You want the place to be comfortable to you. So, if you have a little office space for yourself, that would be best. If not, as noted, please make-do with what you have at your disposal. This exercise (and all the following ones) are made to be done while you’re sitting! Please don’t make the mistake of lying in bed or on a couch. Sit as Haanel describes. The goal is not to fall asleep! At the same time, you’re not to sit rigidly erect. Sit as you would if you were driving a car: back straight as if it were supported by a lumbar support and your feet firmly on the floor. You will close your eyes as you practice this exercise. (Hence, the no lying in bed!) This will prevent you from blinking. Major movements are to be avoided or refused! These include scratching your nose, shifting your weight, unclasping your hands. Anything like that. Minor, uncontrollable movements are OK: breathing, small tics, perhaps a nose twitch. Please don’t condemn yourself because your chest is moving with your breathing. It’s OK. Lastly, I have found that keeping my hands palm-down on my thighs as I sit is best. I have found that intertwining my fingers leads to them eventually falling asleep and then producing some pain. It’s best just to keep your hands on your thighs. Believe me, you’ll thank me later. At this point I’d just like to say to you to not over-think this exercise (or any of the exercises, for that matter). They are all pretty straight forward. I’d like to note one significant thing: These exercises aren’t magical. They’re not meditation. You won’t see God or transmute lead into gold if you perfect them just right. Approach them as you did math homework problems that you had in grammar school. You did them so that you could increase your skill in math. Well, we’re doing these exercises to increase our skills in thinking, in focusing, in cutting through the noise of the world. Approach them with that in mind and you’ll see true and impressive results. Until next week when we probe the depths of the exercise from Week Two of The Master Key System. Be well and get for yourself the best of everything!
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