Charles F. Haanel and the Power of Concentration

Focus is power!
Focus is power!

If you take a magnifying glass and focus the rays of the sun, then you can start a fire. When the sunlight is scattered, nothing will happen. Focus those rays and watch out!

The same goes for the mind. If you allow power to be dissipated by jumping from one thought to the next, no result will be apparent; but if you focus and concentrate on a single purpose for a length of time, then nothing is impossible.

The exercises in The Master Key System are helping you to become a thinking and focusing dynamo! Keep in mind, though, that these are just exercises and not the real thing. They are essential to do and master, though! While in and of themselves they do have practical merit (such as the exercise in Week Six, which is explained here), the real use will come when you begin to solve your own problems.

Look at it this way: these exercises are akin to the exercises one does when studying a musical instrument. You’ll learn scales, finger exercises, and such, but merely by mastering them does not mean you are playing music! They will prepare you to do so.

In Week Six, the exercise is

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.

This step is simply for the purpose of preparing the soil; next week we shall be ready to sow the seed.

It is by such exercises as these that you will finally be able to control your mental moods, your attitude, your consciousness.

That’s pretty straight forward.

The Master Key Workbook
The Master Key Workbook

In The Master Key Workbook, you will find a few tips to help you as you practice — and perfect — this exercise.

This exercise is key to strengthening our powers of concentration and also recollection. As we improve this, we enable ourselves to become more receptive to the thoughts and ideas that bombard us each and every day.

Why is it, though, that a youth has no problem memorizing the lyrics to his or her favourite song, yet they can remember a poem or historical passage only with great difficulty?

The answer lies with what we have learned earlier: relaxation. When the youth is listening to music that he enjoys, his body and mind are relaxed, thus making him receptive to the input he receives. When he is asked to memorize a poem or something of similar nature, his tension rises, making his mind hard to penetrate and then only with great effort.

We should have learned by now to relax the body and mind and to let things flow from the Universal. Thus, when doing this exercise, relax.

Get it?