The exercises in The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel are what I refer to as “the meat and potatoes” of the book. They’re the really important part. Beyond understanding what Haanel wrote, you should avail yourself to practice and master as well as you can all of the exersises.
These exercises, when all twenty-four of them are taken together, aim toward one overarching goal, which I listed in our here).
Each individual, weekly exercise has its own tangible benefits that will help you in life.
Let’s take the exercise from Week 1 first, which is
44. Now make the application: Select a room where you can be alone and undisturbed. Sit erect, comfortably, but do not lounge. Let your thoughts roam where they will but be perfectly still for fifteen minutes to half an hour. Continue this for three or four days or for a week until you secure full control of your physical being.
45. Many will find this extremely difficult; others will conquer with ease, but it is absolutely essential to secure complete control of the body before you are ready to progress. Next week you will receive instructions for the next step. In the meantime, you must have mastered this one.
For this first exercise, the major (and obvious) benefit is that you will gain self-control over your body. You won’t fidget or appear to others to be a “mess” as you bounce your knees and twirl your hair. Instead, you will be the picture of physical composure. Of calmness. You’ll be “cool.”
Imagine how that will benefit you.
Instead of being the “nervous wreck” in, say, a job interview, you’ll display an outward calmness that most people do not have. You won’t be tapping your pen or playing with your nails. You’ll be composed. While you may be roiling internally, you will give the appearance of placidity. And that means a lot.
Another benefit of gaining control of yourself and keeping still is that you will find it easier to calm down should you get heated or riled or anxious. Your physical body does in many ways control your mental aspect. Forcing yourself to smile when you’re sad or angry often times does bring about a true happiness. At the very least, it improves your mood. Thus, learning to keep yourself still will assuage your nerves should you be beset by them.
Practice this seemingly simple exercise exactly as Haanel prescribed.
This exercise is the base-point. With each exercise in the book, you will always begin here. Even when you reach Week Twenty-four, you’ll find that to effectively do the exercise, you will first keep yourself still.
Look at this exercise as the basic move, like the “box step” in dancing. It’s the foundation. It’s the base upon which everything else will rise. It’s that important.
Be still. Then be not still and click here.