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Too good not to pass along…
Since I imagine at some point, somebody is going to read this that is thinking of starting the MKMMA journey, I wanted to do a post about my personal struggles with the process. Now these aren’t struggles that bring me to the point of wanting to quit the journey or even have a negative thought about it, but they are real struggles. Questions, why’s, difficulties, and hard work. These type of difficulties are always in play when we are working towards a better US, a better life, and a better vision! Today specifically was hard for me. I found myself feeling that my DMP wasn’t right when I have felt it was right on and was able to read it with the utmost integrity and enthusiasm and feeling. A simple sentence that someone said nearly automatically through me into this negative arena where I wasn’t powerfully thinking and remembering only the…
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I’ll admit it – I didn’t know what to expect when I applied in August 2013 for a scholarship to the Mastermind Master Key Alliance experience, offered by Mark and Davene Januszewski.
Earlier in the year I had finished their 13-week “Go90Grow” course – by far the best money I’ve ever spent since entering the Network Marketing industry 7 years ago. I learned the most practical, sensible and effective skill-set that I’ve ever come across… and the philosophy behind it. In addition, I took advantage of the “Bonus Program,” an interactive study of Napoleon Hill’s most noted work, Think and Grow Rich, offered at no additional cost.
The Go90Grow experience convinced me of one thing: I had found a mentor in Mark J, the World’s Laziest Networker (so-deemed by a colleague earlier in Mark’s career). I wanted what he had. I wanted to be what he is. I wanted to become what he is becoming. This student was ready; the teacher had come.
Here I am six months later. I could attempt to summarize all that has happened along the way but any attempt would fall woefully short. I’ve tried to offer glimpses of my experience on this blog, but in reality what I’ve done is describe twenty-four pieces from a 1,000-piece jigsaw puzzle on which is the image of a spectacular sunrise. Through my words you may have been able to imagine something of the glow of dawn; you may have faintly heard the songbirds begin to waken; you may have even felt the warmth of that first ray of light. But to witness this breathtaking event unfold in panoramic view? No way. Not from my words at least.
I compare the MK experience to a spectacular sunrise for a reason. Many years ago, two friends and I decided, on a whim, to hike to the top of Mt Whitney – at 14,495 feet, the tallest mountain in the continental United States. We were completely unskilled, significantly under-prepared, and thankfully, too naïve to know it! The trail was grueling, 10.5 miles to the top while ascending almost 6,000 feet in elevation. Around noon on our third day, our oxygen-starving bodies reached the summit. I cannot describe it, but the view was worth every ounce of effort it took to get there.
The beginning of the MK experience was like starting a hike up the trail to Mt. Whitney – at MIDNIGHT. I didn’t know what to expect, I couldn’t see where we were going, but I trusted my guide(s). The hike was demanding, challenging. The trail, at times seemed overwhelming. But our group stayed together; though some turned back. Our guides kept reminding us that every step, every exercise, had a compounding effect. During the journey, we came to rely on each other; and somewhere along the way, I realized that I could rely on Me.
Last week we reached the summit…just in time to witness the most spectacular sunrise of my life. I looked out over the landscape to see that I am “nature’s greatest miracle.” I listened to hear a quiet voice, almost a whisper, inviting me to embark on a “Hero’s Journey.” I felt the radiance of the Spirit of God from within.
Each sunrise marks a new day. Today I am full of life. Charged with vitality. Open to new possibilities. Loving from deep within. Serving for the sheer joy of it. Giving from an endless supply. Grateful. Hopeful. Whole. Perfect. Strong. Powerful. Loving. Harmonious. Happy.
Thank you, MK Team, for all of your selfless, generous effort.
Until next week. Keep the faith.
This week in our Master Key experience we were introduced to a concept that I had never heard before. Not many ideas are completely new after 60+ years of living, so I have been mulling it over for several days now. It is the Law of Least Effort.
I’ve been curiously fascinated with “efficiency” most of my life. Efficiency first captured my attention in the book, Cheaper By the Dozen. The father in the story was an “efficiency expert” who was always looking the way to complete a task with the least effort. He put everything to the test. For instance, he experimented with the quickest way to put on a pair of shoes (I can only imagine with 12 children, this was a worthwhile experiment!) – put on both shoes and then tie? or put on one shoe, tie it and then move to the other. The method he found to be several seconds faster was…well, you’ll just have to read the book.
The Law of Least Effort is something like that, but so much more. The idea behind it is that the effort required to succeed is always less than is required to fail. At first blush, his would seem to be contrary to the common idea that success is the result of extraordinary effort, being willing to do what others are not. But as I am beginning to understand, the Law of Least Effort is not a measure of the amount of effort required to succeed; rather, it is the principle that makes success possible in the first place.
Imagine with me the skills required to be successful at the game of golf. I’ve hit a few buckets of balls at the local driving range. I had fun, but was not particularly successful. My whole body felt awkward, uncoordinated, and the blooping, curling trajectories of the golf ball were anything but “success”. Afterward, I was exhausted! By comparison, when I watch a professional, the perfect swing is a thing of beauty. The Pro feels when he has hit it just right; the perfect swing is effortless and exhilarating. At that moment he has experienced the Law of Least Effort.
How do I enable the Law of Least Effort in my life? We were introduced to its three elements: Acceptance, Responsibility, and Defenselessness. Practicing these three creates the environment wherein “hard work” and “being willing to do what others are not” meet with success. Let me briefly describe my rudimentary understanding of each element:
Acceptance: relinquishing the desire to have everything the way I want, or the way I think things should be; putting no energy into changing the minds of others.
Responsibility: accepting all conditions, circumstances, and situations that are present in my life as the manifestation of my own thinking and choices; relinquishing the desire to assign blame to others or to myself for anything undesirable; embracing the responsibility of being “cause” for any change or result that I desire.
Defenselessness: abandoning the impulse to defend my ideas, my point of view, my decisions, and my actions; being committed to inner direction and approval rather than the opinions and approval of others; relying on good judgment without being judgmental of others; being in harmony with One, ultimately accountable to God.
All of this is beautiful. Yet we have only opened the door to the treasure to be found in the Law of Least Effort. There is more, so much more, but it will have to wait until next time….
Until next week, keep the faith.
Do you remember this conversation?
Curly: Do you know what the secret of life is?
[holds up one finger] This.
Mitch: Your finger?
Curly: One thing. Just one thing. You stick to that and the rest don’t mean shee-it.
Mitch: But, what is the “one thing?”
Curly: [smiles] That’s what *you* have to find out.
Sure you do! Billy Crystal and Jack Palance teamed up to portray their characters in the movie, City Slickers. Wikipedia describes the movie as the “1991 comedy about a man dealing (poorly) with a midlife crisis upon the advent of his 39th birthday.”
I enjoyed the movie for its entertainment. I suppose that I also identified with its theme, if only by coincidence…1991 marked my 39th year. But when I listened to this conversation, I didn’t understand it. Casually, I passed it off as no more than a fabricated wisdom that was constructed for the screenplay. After all, “Curly” the cowboy doesn’t really exist, does he? I could only picture “Mitch” and his buddies spending the rest of their days on a fruitless scavenger hunt looking for the “one thing”…searching for a solution to the cowboy’s riddle. Or worse yet, to waste all of their remaining days searching for a secret, which is, “there is no secret.”
I just didn’t get it.
I have heard “you can have anything you want, you can do anything you want, you can be anything you want to be” most of my life. The statement begs the question: So, what do I want? What do I want to have, to be and to do?
I have spent long arduous hours exploring the depths of my heart for answers to these questions. I’ve made lists of all the places I would like to visit. I’ve filled the pages of journals with my thoughts on the subject. I’ve questioned my aimlessness, my fears, and my reluctance, down to the very core. Like a miner searching for that vein of gold ore in hopes of striking the “mother load,” I’ve dug and picked and burrowed deep into my soul.
Ironically, all this time I’ve been searching for the answer to the cowboy’s riddle. I’ve been doing exactly what I imagined Mitch and his friends doing, and pretending not to know it.
I received an important new piece of information a couple of weeks ago. In the course of a Master Key Experience webcast I heard these words: “You can do anything you want, you just can’t do everything you want.” Almost immediately, I identified the source of my confusion. An ounce of understanding brought a pound of relief! I only have responsibility for one thing: to decide on the “one thing” and stick to it. Nothing else matters.
I should pay more attention to cowboys.
Until next week.
Keep the faith.
I started taking pictures early in my life.
At about age 9, I received a Brownie Starflash camera as a Christmas gift, although not one of my asking; apparently my parents thought I would like it. It used roll film that had to be threaded into the camera and manually advanced. The instructions warned its user to not FORGET to advance the film after each picture…otherwise a “double exposure” would result. Flashbulbs were the source of light for indoor pictures; the process was somewhat cumbersome – insert a bulb, take the shot, eject the bulb – ouch that’s hot! – advance the film, insert another bulb.
I don’t know if I actually took any worthwhile pictures because I soon learned that picture-taking and picture-developing and printed were two completely different activities. I accumulated several roles of film that never made it to the processing lab.
But I’ve been taking pictures much of my life.
I developed a genuine interest in photography in my mid-teen years. In fact, it came about as part of my interest in Astronomy (last week’s blog). I wanted to take pictures of astronomical objects through my telescope. The best way to do that was to use a 35mm Single Lens Reflex camera. So I saved my lunch money – literally – and enough of my earnings to buy my first serious camera: the Mamiya-Sekor 1000DTL. The cost? About $165 as I recall, which was a substantial amount of money to a 1968 high school student.
With this piece of optical/mechanical hardware in hand, I began to explore the world of photographic art. My subscription to “Popular Photography” received as much of my attention every month as “Sky and Telescope.” I began to understand that photography was about capturing the image of a moment and conveying the feeling that comes with it. I began to discover that seeing and perceiving were altogether different. My mind awakened to the importance of observation and perspective. Maybe for the first time in my life I was recognizing that the world around me was vibrant and alive.
For more than four decades of my life, I’ve been striving to take pleasing pictures, to capture meaningful memories. You know the type…those pictures of the kids in their Easter outfits…or their soccer uniforms; the ones that commemorate an achievement such as a graduation ceremony or an awards banquet; and the ones from family vacations.
Only this week, however, have I become aware of another kind of photography. All of the pictures I’ve just mentioned represent my life in the “outer” world. Yet long before my ninth year, I had already taken thousands…perhaps tens of thousands of pictures with a top-of-the-line camera of another sort: my brain.
Haanel brings this to light in Part Twenty-One of The Master Key System, saying “the mental attitude is patterned after the mental pictures which have been photographed on the brain.” I’ve been snapping shots in my inner world…probably since birth. Unlike my unprocessed rolls of photographic emulsion, these pictures have been processed, sorted, evaluated and archived. In Haanel’s words, “…our lives are simply the reflection of our predominant thoughts, our mental attitude…every thought creates an impression on the brain…these impressions create mental tendencies, and these tendencies create character, ability and purpose…and the combined action of character, ability and purpose determines the experiences with which we shall meet in life.”
The truth is, I’ve been taking pictures all of my life!
I never considered a photography as a profession; my interest has always be casual, not even a hobby really. This new discovery is worthy of serious study and practice. Now that I know about the capability of the the equipment at my disposal (my brain) and the significance of what I photograph, I will use my picture-making ability more wisely and more skillfully.
Until next week. Keep the faith.