Master Key Week 17 – The Hidden Value of Work

Short post today.  Want to share two highlights of this week’s work, hopefully something substantial you can take away and begin using in your life right now.

This Benjamin Franklin exercise, where we focus our attention on finding as many instances of one of his virtues each week, has confirmed to me with no uncertainty that we truly live in a world of abundance.  Week one I focused on witnessing acts of courage and “catching” myself committing them myself.  I saw dozens of them..everywhere..from all kinds of people..big acts and little acts..but all courageous.  I even found a few times where I acted courageously.

Next up was kindness in week two…it’s all I saw everywhere I went.  Now I am looking for decisiveness.  It is all over the place, everywhere.  On YouTube videos I watch..people I prospect members..articles on the Internet..everywhere.

I once read about something called the RAC (reticular activating cortex)..or something like that.  It is the part of our brains that focuses our attention on whatever we are thinking about really deeply with emotion.  Example: 10,000 years ago..we walk out of our cave..we have not eaten in 4 days..we go looking for food..we see a bird 1/4 mile away..we hear a mouse in the leaves 300 yards away..we are so focused on finding food that our RAC triggers our brain to allow us to see all “food opportunities” available to us.

Same thing with wood floors.  I never cared about wood floors..never knew where to buy them..what they to install them.  Until we decided to put wood floors in our house.  I saw every billboard advertising them.  Wood floor installation vans would pull up next to me at red lights.  I opened up the Sunday paper right to the wood floor inserts.

Conclusion: when we focus on “looking for something” along with “doing that something” ourselves..we see that it exists in absolute abundance.  Conclusion #2: everything…I mean everything..exists in absolute abundance.  It is is unbounded abundance, replicating, duplicating, growing…everything.  This is good news..whatever you want, all you need to do is give a little of it to get the ball rolling, and then start focusing on it..keep it on your mind..think about it with passion and emotion..then you’ll see it.

The Hidden Value of Work

Master Key Chapter 17, passage #19:  Many of the sturdy and substantial virtues are developed in commercial employment; the mind is steadied and directed; it becomes efficient.  The principal necessity is the strengthening of the mind so that it rises superior to the distractions and wayward impulses of instinctive life and thus successfully overcomes in the conflict between the higher and lower self.

Working makes us money.  Doing great work makes us great money.  Perhaps the greatest value of work are the unseen benefits of who we become as a result of showing up everyday and doing our work.  Objectives to keep us focused..challenges to keep us thinking and being creative..successes that encourage us to celebrate and be joyful and grateful..impacting others with our work to humble us.

Doing good work with a positive attitude can allow us to tap into..rather step into and assume the role of our higher selves.  All good reasons to jump out of bed when we open our eyes, hit the ground running..and use allow our work to help us rise to our full potential.

~ Sean


Master Key Week 16 – Two Rooms

The act of focused yet relaxed concentration, which Haanel calls “the sit” produces some remarkable results.  During previous sits I have found the answers to questions I had been mulling over for weeks; remembered people I had been meaning to reach out to; thought of creative ways to grow my business; and I always finish the sit feeling renewed both mentally and physically.

In my line of work we find ways to take concepts that might be difficult to grasp and put them into stories and work pictures that are immediately understood.  So as I have made my way through the MKMMA I have sought to create a mental picture for each of the chapters, sort of a cheat sheet/Cliff Notes, so I can easily remember and apply its principles.

During a sit this week passages 15 and 33 came to mind and the image of two rooms came to mind.  We live our lives in one room, the objective world where we can think of things and see the effects.  For most, the dreams and aspirations we think of are left at that..unfulfilled dreams.  These folks are not aware of the second room or what goes on in there.

This is the spiritual world and it is a whole lot more than just fancy words and thoughts of a lifetime of paradise.

Passage 33: We can only see what already exists in the objective world, but what we visualize, already exists in the spiritual world, and this visualization is a substantial token of what will one day appear in the object world, if we are faithful to our ideal.  The reason for this is not difficult; visualization is a form of imagination; this process of thinking forms impressions on the mind, and these impressions in turn form concepts and ideals, and they in turn are the plans from which the Master architect will weave the future.

So the image I now have emblazoned in my mind’s eye is that of two rooms: the one I am living in where I can create the visualization of ANYTHING I desire and the “workshop” where the Master architect takes my plans and begins work immediately to create my vision.  The thought is created in the objective world and infinite resources are orchestrated to bring it to life.  My role at that point is to act as if it already exists for as long as it takes, staying faithful and ACTING in a persistent manner…doing the work…and at some point it is as if the Master architect sends me a text reading, “your work is done, please come and pick up.”  As I walk to the door connecting the two rooms, I open it, take possession of my desire, and bring it back into the objective world…dream idealized, visualize, and materialized.

And that is the power of a daily sit.  I recommend trying it yourself, you may be surprised at what you discover.


Master Key Week 15 – Message to my 3 year old son

Courage is the first-born of gratitude. ~ SPG


Benjamin Franklin created a discipline for himself in order to rid his personality of every negative quality so that he might live a more perfect, useful life.  He made a list of personal virtues he endeavored to integrate, created what might be the world’s first spreadsheet, and focused on one virtue per week.  He would look for that trait in others everywhere he went and make a mark on his spreadsheet each time he saw someone displaying the virtue.  He would notate each time he personally “did not” use the virtue when the situation dictated him to do so.

If he was focusing on “patience” during a given week, each time he saw someone displaying patience, he made a mark.  He made a mark each time he lost his own patience. In this way he began embodying all of the virtues he desired.  We have begun this exercise in the MKMMA this week, and I chose “courage” as my first virtue.

The exercise has an astounding effect: when recognizing a trait in others, we see it and draw it out of ourselves.  Both Franklin and Hannel knew that we each possess all of these traits and qualities, and it takes the simple process of drawing them out to embody, embrace, and display them. 

Courage:  the ability to do something that frightens one

My belief is that of Cicero’s, namely, “gratitude is not only the greatest of virtues, but the parent of all the others.”  If this is so, then courage is its first born.  To me courage forms the foundation for developing each of the other virtues.  With courage we are able and willing to recognize personal character flaws and go to work on replacing them.  We are able to risk intimacy with the possibility of it going unreturned.  We provide “tough love” for friends and family when it may meet with resistance.  Courage has the ear of Faith.  With courage we act faithfully in spite of the circumstances.

Our son is turning three in March.  He is busy with trains, trucks, and Mighty Machines, but when he is older and entering the world as we know it, if I were to have a face-to-face with him on courage, I might offer this:

“Son, we live in a magnificent world of infinite possibilities.  Beauty, kindness, nature, love, amazing things..if you keep your eyes and mind open you will always have something new to explore.  This world, however, is a learning place and as such, will present countless opportunities for growth.  Many times growth comes about from overcoming obstacles, and most of these will originate with people.

The opposite of courage, son, is conformity.  The masses will exert undo pressure on you to be like them, hide your unique abilities, and fit in.  Don’t do it.  Be yourself and let your uniqueness shine.  There will be times that try your soul in which the world will give you challenges that seem unwillable.  Stay focused and stay in the game.  Look for courage in others, in nature, in the world…every little place you can see courage…see it and know that you have an infinite supply of it already inside of you.

Should the world try and convince you otherwise, please remember that you are whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, happy, and courageous.  And if sometimes you have difficulty in remembering and mom will be there to help remind you.”

Love, Dad

Master Key Week 14 – Pink Unicorns

The opposite of courage is conformity.  So says Earl Nightengale in his landmark audio, The Strangest Secret (  He makes note that a tragedy in life is that most people go to great lengths to fit in with the masses and hide their uniqueness.  I accepted Mr. Nightengale’s challenge to listen to his audio for a straight thirty days, and as is the usual result of repeating something continuously, I am picking something new up during each listen.

This week also marked the New Year and moving to the next chapter in The Greatest Salesman in the World, Chapter 4, “I am Nature’s Greatest Miracle.”  Mandino echos Nightengale by writing “Since the beginning of time never has there been another with my mind, my heart, my eyes, my ears, my hands..” and “Vain attempts to imitate others no longer will I make.  Instead I will place my uniqueness on display in the market place.  I will proclaim it, yea, I will sell it.  I will begin now to accent my differences; hide my similarities.  So too will I apply this principle to the goods I sell.  Salesman and goods, different from all others, and proud of the differences.”

In my experiences, most people are average in most areas of their lives: personal, work, athletics, financial…in all areas.  Most people have well-above average potential.  Why the discrepancy in potential and reality?  Addressing it from a just a couple of perspectives, I believe that Nightengale was correct, that most people conform to the masses and therefore act like the masses.  What I have learned from MKMMA and how the human mind works, it is all a result of peptides in the brain; we are our thoughts.  When fearing to stand out, we begin to think, talk, believe, and act like the masses and then, become one of the masses.

I saw this phenomenon present in every experience of my life to date: there were a few exceptional students at every level of schooling, and there was the mass of average students.  There were a handful of dominant racquetball players, and there were the masses of very good players.  There is approximately 2-5% (depending on who you speak with) of the people in my profession making full-time income, rock-star money and the masses making part-time money or just hanging around until they get bored.  Nightengale was right, and Mandino had the solution – determine your unique qualities and promote them.

I share the following example with business owners and sales professionals as a way of helping them understand the power of standing out in a crowded marketplace.  If I showed you ten ponies, one after the other, for 2 seconds each and then asked you to describe in detail “number 3” or “number 8”, could you do it?  Probably not, unless you were an equestrian, because, to be frank, ponies all look the same to the untrained eye.  Now what if I replaced pony number 5 with a pink unicorn and did the same exercise.  Could you tell me what number was the unicorn?  Of course you could.  It is so unique and special, it stands out right away and stays with us.  Now relate this example to yourself and your professional it better to be unique or to look like the masses?

If you ever get to feeling low or discouraged, try remembering what Mandino writes on uniqueness: “I am rare, and there is value in all rarity; therefore, I am valuable.  I am the end product of thousands of years of evolution; therefore, I am better equipped in both mind and body than all the emperors and wise men who preceded me.”  Life is hard enough, and pinks have more fun.  Be a pink unicorn.