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September 20, 2010 – That Ol’ Attitude of Gratitude – Master Key Coaching Teleseminars

This is our ninth (Ninth!) episode of the Master Key Coaching Teleseminars — and I think it was one of the best ones yet. I think it was so great because of the Question & Answer session in which a regular listener and participant, “John in Orlando,” posed a most excellent question regarding what is commonly referred to as the “attitude of gratitude.” It’s toward the end of the episode, so please listen all the way through as I think you’ll get a lot from it.

We completed Week Five of Charles F. Haanel‘s The Master Key System this week after beginning it last week. There was quite a bit to cover, but it was well worth it. You see, in this Week, Haanel in just one sentence summarized the entire philosophy and how it should — and will! — work.

Yes, there is a lot in this section of the book, but by listening to this episode and carefully reading (and re-reading, if needed) this Week, you’ll come to a very clear understanding of how you’re “made” and how things — such as “life, the universe, and everything” — work.

When all is said and done, Week Five and Haanel’s entire philosophy can be summarized by point 28.

28. All possession is the result of the accumulative attitude of mind, or the money consciousness; this is the magic wand which will enable you to receive the idea and it will formulate plans for you to execute, and you will find as much pleasure in the execution as in the satisfaction of attainment and achievement.

Read that. Learn it. Understand it. That single sentence is the reason why this wonderful book is not, as far too many people say, about the “Law of Attraction” and “manifesting.” This sentence makes clear that this book is about what we’ve been discussing from Day One of these teleseminars: brain change and learning to think correctly.

The “money consciousness” to which Haanel refers is the way we look at the world. You can substitute here just about anything depending on your goal. If you’re main goal deals with health, then you’d want to cultivate your “health consciousness”; if love, then you’d want to work on your “relationship consciousness.” You get the idea.

This consciousness refers to a mental shift that you’ll undergo, just as we’ve been discussing. You’ll “see” things differently. After that, you’ll approach things differently. And, if you continue, you’ll achieve different — better — results.

In this sentence, Haanel also described the process thought which these changes will happen. Is it the “Ask-Believe-Recieve” line we’ve all been sold? No, it is not; rather, it is that we will get new ideas, we will formulate plans, we will take action, we will work hard, and eventually we will attain our goals.

It’s powerful stuff — and it all begins with thinking. Thinking properly and clearly.

Th exercise for Week Five is where things begin to get very interesting. In the first four weeks of The Master Key System, the exercises have been quite unexciting, to put it mildly. Yes, we’ve cleared the air about them in the past teleseminars and I think we’ve come to terms with their usefulness. This week though is when we begin our journey into visualizing and training our brains to think clearly.

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.

This exercise is pretty straight forward and easy to do. There is no guesswork to it like a couple of the previous weeks. It is mighty important, though.

Here are a couple of points about it that I’ve had to make clear with some Master Key Coaching clients.

The first is that the place you select to envision should be a place with which you are familiar. Now, it does not have to be, but selecting a real place makes it easier. With a known place, you have a point of reference for your visualizations. You can, if you like, also visit that place or look at pictures of it to make sure that you are imagining all of the details. You want to make your imaginings as vivid and as real as you can. You want to feel yourself there.

The other point is that it is important to perfect this as much as possible. As Haanel wrote, don’t let the times you fail discourage you. Keep at it and you will get it.

There. That’s easy, isn’t it?

During the Question & Answer session, a frequent participant in the Teleseminars, “John in Orlando,” asked an excellent question regarding what is commonly referred to as the “attitude of gratitude.” He asked if it was important to have this and if it helped to foster a positive state of mind.

In the past, I’ve called the “attitude of gratitude,” at least the way it has often been taught, kind of silly. In some ways it is. What I mean by that is that there are a couple of things that made it somewhat unpalatable for me.

On the one hand, a lot of people have been lead to believe that simply by being continually thankful for everything in their life it will somehow “attract” to them the life that they truly want. As you know, I don’t see that happening — and, more poignantly, I’ve never seen it happen. The idea of gratitude has been packaged and bundled as a “magic bullet” cure, which it isn’t.

So, that has left a bad taste in my mouth.

On the other hand, because of that first point, people have a tendency to be so fake about having that “gratitude attitude.” Yes, sometimes faking it until it becomes real does happen, but not all that often. More than likely, people put on the false smiles and offer their “gratitude” in a plastic and smarmy way. While I do believe that generally it is “better to say thank you and not mean it than to mean it and not say it” (I got that from a placemat in an Amish restaurant), some people are so over-the-top with it that it becomes saccharin.

Like many things in life, though, I see it a little bit differently now. When used properly, we can all benefit from looking at the things in our lives and being grateful for them, especially when placed in perspective.

On the call, I spoke about how many people literally give themselves some sort of psychic damage because of the things they experience in life — things that when put into perspective make their discomfort seem silly. For example, you have people who become depressed (in the literal definition of the word) because they didn’t receive a promotion or they don’t have a new car like their neighbor.

Think about that. Then look at it this way: In some parts of the world, people are living in hell, for lack of a better word. We live in a world where we have access to food twenty-four-seven. We have houses that are heated and air conditioned. We have television, computers, cars, clothes … Things that a mere fifty years ago were meant only for the elites of society.

Not only that, but we live in a society in which we have seemingly unlimited opportunities.

And here we are, getting bent out of shape because of what are actually ridiculous things.

That’s where that notion of feeling gratitude comes into play. That’s where it can be used effectively. By looking at the things that we have or, at the very least, the things to which we have access, we can assuage a lot of that mental anguish that is caused by those shibboleths in our mind.

This attitude of gratitude does serve the purpose of putting things into perspective — and sometimes that’s all we need.

Play with it. I don’t think it’s necessary to wander around being thankful for every single thing in your life. Quite frankly, there are instances where it’s OK to get angry. In general, though, when we feel ourselves down about the things we don’t have or the things we haven’t accomplished, by looking at the things and people we do have and feeling a certain amount of gratitude for them, we’ll find ourselves on stronger ground and in a better state of mind.

Thank you for joining me this week. I look forward to the next time. Until then, I wish you and yours all the best!

Have fun … Tony.

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