Category Archives: Master Key

Week 15 – Insight and Insights

Insight

-I love what Haanel says in lesson 15 of the Master Key about Insight;

  • It must be exercised,
  • It enables us to be prepared for the obstacles which we shall meet, and
  • It’s absolutely essential for the development of any great achievement

As my insight needs exercised, here are some insights of mine.

-I’m always a bit bemused at how profoundly the simplest common sense idea strikes me. I’m a reasonably intelligent human being. Why does, “Keep the main thing, the main thing.” sound different to me when I hear it from Mark Januszewski? Yet it does and it is. I now hear it in my brain and hear myself saying it to others. Hmmmm… Keep them coming Mark!

-It’s Week 15 of this Master Key Experience and I don’t know where the time has gone. Although I’ve developed new habits and reduced/eliminated others, I still spend a fair amount of my time doing the tasks and working to improve. It seems the more I learn, the more I want to learn.

Insight 2

-There was a time when I was up to date on all current events, the local police blotter, the political landscape, every tiny detail of what my co-workers were assigned to and many other “very important” things that were going on around me. You see I’m kind of an information hound. Through the changes brought on by the Master Key Experience I’ve learned to focus on the things that bring be closer to my Definite Major Purpose

-Happily, the changes in me are evident to me even though my old habits pop up from time-to-time. Even though I’m still working on some I still see progress. I can see that this will now be a lifelong process for me. It’s embedded into everything I do.

-I’ve become much more observant of what happens around me, my reactions, my thoughts. and my attitudes. Because of that my “gatekeeper” has become highly vigilant and rejects poisonous thoughts at the entrance. Any that linger there are dealt with using the law of substitution. I other words, a positive, pleasant or uplifting thought is substituted right away as we can’t think of two things at once.

-I’ve come a long way and have a long way to go. I admire how far my fellow travelers have come. They’ve inspired me and befriended me. There’s no doubt I’m better for the experience and I get better every day. Thank you!

-I’m thankful for all who’ve crossed my path

I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 14 – Our Thoughts of Inspiration and October Sky

October Sky – I loved this movie and watched it with my eight and eleven year olds. I really wanted them to see an example of real inspiration, persistence and commitment. This true story is about a student in a West Virginia coal town during the 1950s. His teacher sparks his imagination with thoughts of rockets and winning a science competition. Of course he meets resistance at every turn from other students, his father and even his principal. It seems he and his team were the only ones not entirely convinced they were predestined for the coal mines. Little did others know of their determination. It was a real heroes’ journey ala Joseph Campbell. Several of the characters were at different points in their own hero’s journey and persevered nonetheless. The outcomes were inspiring – especially since it’s a true story. It’s not a “perfect” story where everyone lives happily ever after as no one is exempt from the trials and tribulations of life. But it is an inspiring story of vision, determination and perseverance – all brought about by a thought.

It also demonstrated to me again that thoughts come first. Our ideas create our reality. Everything  begins with a thought and always has. From the Empire State Building to the great wall of China, each started with a thought, with a concept. Even third grade math is a concept that needs to be mastered and the connecting thread is our thoughts.

Recently I had a talk with my eight year old about how our thoughts can help us or hurt us. She was convinced at the ripe old age of eight that she’s just no good at math. The conversation was nothing revolutionary – just a father helping his daughter over a rough patch. I explained that if she thinks she’s bad at math, she will be and if she thinks she doesn’t have friends, she won’t have any. It was an “aha” moment for her and it helped me too. There’s nothing like the way an eight year old looks at dad when they realize he’s their biggest supporter. Then the coaching and practice began. She won’t always be eight but I don’t think either of us will forget that for a while.  I can’t wait to watch her hero’s journey. It’s going to be special.

It’s heartening to see the difference in her confidence as she’s realized she can be as good as she wants to be. It’s reinforces a really important lesson for me too. I too can be as good as I want to be…and I want to be great!

I’m whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious and happy.

Week 12 – The Law of Relaxation. I’m all for it!

What is The Law of Relaxation? Sounds weird right?  So there it is; when we focus on our burning desire, strive for self improvement and put in the work…we also must relax. Yes – relax! It’s like saying don’t think of chocolate fudge. In the end that’s all you can think of. I think part of the issue is in my mental approach. Didn’t I just say, “must relax” as if it’s a demand? The truth is once we find the purpose, focus on it and do the work, it really brings about the relaxation because we’re on the way to where we really want to be. By changing my perspective the relaxation became much easier for me

The Law of Relaxation says: “Mental effort defeats itself – exactly the opposite of physical effort. A relaxed, calm state of mind is the only doorway to progress mentally. Relaxation of thought is the only access to Infinite Intelligence.”

This has been one of the most difficult ideas for me – not difficult to comprehend but difficult to implement. I feel like this is one of the really key Jedi mind tricks we need to understand, practice and perfect. The thing is my successes in life have been the result of a maximum effort kind of approach, putting in extra hours, going to night school and single parenting for example. Even Scroll III in The Greatest Salesman in the World(Og Mandini) repeats over and over, “I persist until I succeed.”

I can tell when it’s working. There are certain exercises when I really let go and feel it. In those times I get so relaxed and can feel like I’m already where I want to be. One of those cases is when I read my Press Release. That’s a real home run as far as I’m concerned. Some may not see it but when I read it I can feel it right through to my bones. Another case is closely related. It’s the exercise where we meditate on meeting our future self and gradually get to know them until we become friends.

I see glimpses, no flashes, of what’s within and I’m pleasantly taken aback that it really is relaxing. It’s like I’m trying to catch lightning in a bottle but someone has left me instructions, tools and people to help me along the way. I have full faith that I’ll get the hang of this. I’ve come too far, learned too much and seen the possibilities. This all reminds me of one of my favorite Emerson quotes.

The whole course of things goes to teach us faith. We need only obey. There is guidance for each of us, and by lowly listening we shall hear the right word…. Emerson

Week 11 – My persistence gets an upgrade.

Persistence

I’ve always said I’m nothing if not persistent and it’s true but… recently I’ve realized there’s a difference between persistence and not giving up. It’s the simple idea that hits us right between the eyes. Sometimes when we refuse to give up we’re still just waiting for something to happen, for conditions to be “just right”, for that big break or quantum leap. We figure that if we just hang in there…our ship will come in. Maybe it wasn’t meant to be.

When confronted with this difference I had to wonder, is that what  I’ve been  doing? I really had to percolate on this a little. The answer(s) aren’t horrible but they also aren’t the “hero’s journey” I hoped they would be. I realized that I have persisted and stayed the course in the past and that’s a good thing. I have many successes and memories as a result. On the other hand my persistence hasn’t always been focused, consistent and the effort lacked the urgency of a drowning man. When those ingredients were present the successes and blessings were there too. All-in-all the news is good. I know how to do it and now I recognize what to do. The truth is if I’m going to get the most out of my God-given talents I must persist with focus and purpose. For those familiar with the parable of the talents in the New Testament you know this is a responsibility.

In The Greatest Salesman in the World (by Og Mandino) there’s a sentence repeated over and over in scroll 3, “I persist until I succeed.” It sounds simple, don’t give up, right? That’s what I used to think and it’s partially true but there’s more. It’s also about the consistent effort with a real purpose, a sense of urgency, a burning desire if you will. We can all think of times in life when we had that burning desire to win, be justified or achieve something against the odds and confidants who counseled us to accept our lot in life. That purpose is what provides the focus and drive to the effort. Once I figured out my primary drivers my purpose came back into focus. It hadn’t been far off but was scattered and lurking in the shadows. Now it’s plastered all over my home.

I’m on the cusp. I’m much better at being the observer and taking a bird’s eye view of what’s going on around me. That helps me persist when my old habits and time wasters break through. It’s also why I understand my classmates when they write of backsliding, missed assignments and confusion. I understand and identify with the sentiments but won’t speak them or write them into my reality. I persist in being the observer and my gatekeeper is on guard against defeat. I persist until I succeed!

Week 10 – Time to celebrate! And Happy Birthday to me!

Lots to celebrate this week!

balloon-boy

Sunday’s MKMMA webinar is supposed to be a barn burner! I’m really looking forward to this one. That’s another thing to celebrate. In fact I know my wife was planning a small intimate birthday dinner at a restaurant(reservation for 17 please :-)) and I asked her to move it back an hour so I can attend the webinar.

My approach to the Master Key experience has really changed over the past 10 weeks and so have I. My “tasks” or exercises have become built into my daily routine and built into my thoughts. I get a real kick when I hear myself say to someone, “Do it now.” I still have hurdles to clear but my mind is focused on the compass and my definite major purpose.

I noticed change again today when giving an hour-long presentation on a pretty dry, technical topic. I’ve always been a pretty good public speaker but in the past it’s been pretty easy to drone on providing references and citations in this kind of presentation. Recently I’ve noticed a real change and even more so today. I was relaxed and confident but didn’t worry about being perfect. The audience even chuckled a few times. The coordinator made mention of the difference afterward. The change is apparent and directly attributable to the work I’ve put in with The Mater Key Mastermind Alliance. That’s deserving of a little celebration so on the way home I gave myself a virtual high five! (Didn’t want to take both hands of the wheel ;-D) Another celebration!

This week I also participated in my first real-time mastermind call with 2 other members of the MKMMA 2014 community and my first call with my guide Justin. Both were great experiences. It’s really cathartic to talk with people who are on the same page, who can really identify with the aspirational nature of this journey and who have really useful insights based on their experiences. I’m excited about continuing both.

And…oh yeah, Sunday, December 7th is a big day for me. It’s my birthday and I’ll finally qualify for some of those sweet senior discounts I’ve heard about for so long .Cha-ching, right? 😀 In reality I’m just glad to be around to celebrate one more and hope to stick around for another 30 or 40. I’m a twin so my mother always said December 7th is a day that will live in infamy!

Birthday Party Clip Art

Talk about cathartic, I wasn’t sure what I would write about this week and then it just flowed from my fingertips. I feel much better now…

I am whole, perfect, strong powerful, loving, harmonious and happy!

Week 9 – Thanksgiving!

thankfulnesss cornicopia

I am truly thankful for so many things that I never even stopped to think about before. This Thanksgiving I noticed a big change in the holiday but maybe it’s all in my head. Great thought…it’s all in my head and that is what has changed! Amen!

I’m the family cook every Thanksgiving for my wife’s mostly immigrant family. It’s their big “American” meal for the year. We feed about 16 so it’s a lot of work and usually comes with some tension and frustration. For example once a year we need three ovens rather than the one we have! We need an air traffic controller to supervise all the dishes that need to go in the oven before we can eat.

This year’s dinner couldn’t have gone smoother. Usually there’s one dish that doesn’t quite turn out perfectly. Not this year. Everything turned out phenomenally. Nothing burned or was undercooked. Everyone magically had the white/dark meat selection they wanted. Crisis averted.

Last night it occurred to me what changed…it’s me! I constantly hear “Do it now!” in my head so more things were done ahead of time. I had no tension or fear that something would go wrong somehow and it didn’t. Usually the last hour before the meal is full of anxiety and some dish doesn’t quite make it to the table on time. This year everything was ready right on time.

I’m in the flow of giving and receiving so my intensions were aligned with my definite major purpose. I was more flexible, patient and accommodating with those trying to help me, more understanding with my children when they interrupted me and much less opinionated as a result of the mental diet. (still working on that.) I may be a work in progress but I see real change and I like it.

In fact it rubbed off on those helping me. I didn’t need to give a lot of direction and now I understand why. I did a much better job of communicating the plan, timing and progress as the day went along. When possible I also helped them help me.

I was tired but not the bone-tired I’ve been in the past. I enjoyed this and was happy to serve. Dare I say it was joyous? It was really fun and I look forward to next year!

“I greet this day with love in my heart.” – The Greatest Salesman in the World by Og Mandino

And so I do. Wow!

PS. This Thanksgiving my mind has been occupied by gratitude and appreciation. Of course I’m thankful for all my blessings. I’m especially thankful for all the things that had to occur to put me in this session of the Master Key Mastermind Alliance where I’ve met Mark J, T.F. Davene, my guide Justin and all with MKMMA who have been so helpful. Mahalo!

Week 8 – Imagination Gone Wild!

imagination_einstein

 

 

 

 

 

 

Is it me or am I actually believing all the messages I’ve been pumping into my  brain for the last 8 weeks? I don’t want to say I’m surprised because that would mean I wasn’t convinced and that can’t be true…or can it?

First, a little background: There have been other times in my life when I thought I was confident, patient, understanding, happy and considerate. Every time I was shown to be lacking. There was still work to be done. I wasn’t as patient and understanding as I hoped when there was a crisis. Nor was I as calm and considerate as I expected to be under pressure.

I’ve never been a really creative guy in any artistic sort of way, never had wild dreams, heck I don’t even recall my dreams after I wake up. I can’t draw a straight line or a circle without assistance of some kind. So you can imagine my reaction when I saw the lecture notes and assignments for this week. They leaned even more heavily on the imagination than in previous weeks. In one exercise I’m to imagine a future final product and walk it backwards in time through assembly, design, concept, etc…I’m sensing a trend here. My guess is there’s more to come.

Recently I’ve noticed people reacting differently to me. Restaurant employees treat me like a long lost relative at our first meeting. Clients and customers are welcoming and cordial even when discussing a point of contention. Authority figures are patient and understanding (nuff said there!). Co-workers are generous and helpful. Is it… my imagination? Or is it because of my imagination?

Are all these people treating me differently or am I behaving differently? Is it my imagination? Or is it a product of my imagination? Could it be that reading in Scroll II where I promise to love all humanity or part 5 of my blueprint builder where I promise to seek honor in all transactions? Maybe it’s the shapes, colors, or audios? It could be in the Master Key explanation of the key role of imagination in our future. Everything begins with a thought, right? All of these things have probably been inching me down a better path for 2 months now. Whatever the reason I’m really enjoying it and that makes me buy in all the more. This is just the beginning. That’s not a guess or a hope. It’s a fact.

Somewhere along the line my imagination has started to work in ways I don’t ever recall before. I’m a believer. I’m all in, not just in word but in deed. There may be turbulence ahead but I imagine my future self making lemonade…

The journey continues.

NGU!

Week 7 – My Seven Day Mental Diet – Complete With Re-Starts

Scale - Weight - Diet

Hmmmm…Seven Day Mental Diet. I knew this one would be a tall order when I first heard it. The idea comes from a booklet by the same name written by Emmet Fox. Here’s the idea in a nutshell, “For seven days I must not allow myself to dwell for a single moment on any kind of negative thought”.  The key term is “dwell” as situations, circumstances and Negative Nellies will bring many opportunities into our lives on a regular basis. When a negative thought presents itself, it must be turned out or substituted with another thought immediately.

Here’s a little chronology of my week. The timer started on Sunday, November 9, 2014 at around 6 pm. My Pittsburgh Steelers had just lost to the lowly New York Jets. I kept thinking how I don’t understand why the play “down” to their lesser opponents. That’s the second time this year they lost to a bad football team. Oops! That didn’t take long. Did I mention I have to re-start every time I fail my mental diet? My first re-start was before I even got home on Sunday evening. I soon got over my frustration and will be rooting for the Black-n-Gold again on Monday evening.

The diet, like all diets, really runs on the honor system. You can cheat but you still have to deal with The Guy in the Glass if you do…just like a regular diet. In reality there’s no lying to The Guy in the Glass(Mirror) on either kind of diet.

Closer to home those Negative Nellies, who, like Pigpen of Charlie Brown fame, travel with their cloud of negative debris ready to obscure my view of my future. My old pattern would be to respond in-kind, to defend my turf and explain to them how they were sadly misinformed, mistaken or just plain wrong.

Earlier in the week I responded according to my old blueprint and re-started several times. In fact I re-started several times on Monday and Tuesday respectively. A funny thing happened though. I started to become more aware when these circumstances were happening. Soon I was reacting a little slower, a little less viscerally. Things were slowing down a little. I was reacting in a more constructive way more and more. There were still re-starts on Wednesday and Thursday but they weren’t at every turn. I could see progress.

I was also starting to realize the wide range of negative thoughts and emotions we succumb to every day. Finding a way to deal with some of them has been tricky for me. It seems that I see the more obvious ones coming and handle them well. Others are still a work in progress!

I’m sure this was meant to be a learning experience…and it has been. But like all great learning it hasn’t been entirely painless. “Gotta Luv It!” my old high school football coach would say, and he was right then as now. I do Luv It! I see a definite increase in my awareness of what thought flies through my cranium at the speed of light. I’m also reacting well, not “dwelling” on the negative grenades others roll under my tent. Now I just stay clear and substitute another thought. I haven’t made it through seven days but will keep re-starting until I get it right. I’ll get there! NGU! (And No, those aren’t my feet in the photo. lol!)

Week 6 – The Power of Attention

There are several related concepts here; attention, focus, concentration, determination, perseverance to name a few. They’re all so closely related and intertwined, sometimes their definitions overlap. I look at them like a family; when you marry one, you marry the family – they’re a combo-pack. Our reading this week makes the point that it’s through attention “that you will finally be able to overcome obstacles of any kind…” Haanel

He’s definitely on to something here. Attention…sounds like a simple idea but why does it seem so hard? Aren’t we implicitly taught that we should be good at multitasking, at working on several things at one time, at keeping all the balls in the air? Isn’t that what our 24 hour noise machine advises? Hmmmm….attention.

Is it just me who gets distracted and loses focus sometimes? It feels like it sometimes but when I look around that’s highly doubtful. I think of my social media feeds which are chock full of the latest and greatest new discovery which comes with a ground floor opportunity. Some of the same folks who are always hawking a pre-launch start-up based on an amazing new technology which only induces whiplash upon my psyche’. Sometimes I wonder what they could really accomplish if the paid attention to a single business for any length of time. We may never know.

My brain says paying more attention is sound advice. Now, how to implement said advice may take some contemplation. I can think of several areas where I can be better at this. Right off the top of my head, I can reduce distractions, focus on a single task at a time, plan my work better, say “no” more often to some projects. It seems like the possibilities are plentiful. I’m sure with the added contemplation I can come up with more this is a great starting point.

It just occurred to my I’ve paid attention to this post about paying attention long enough to put my thoughts down in this post. Progress, no? I’ll take it for now and add in some focus, concentration, determination and perseverance. Welcome to the journey. See you at the finish line! NGU!