Guest Article: On Giving and Receiving – Inspired by Charles Haanel

The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel

I was browsing my copy of The Master Key System by Charles F. Haanel, and found myself thinking about the idea of giving and receiving.

I sure do love to give! I get such pleasure from choosing a gift for someone.

But there is another part of the equation… I truly believe that one who enjoys giving should also enjoy receiving.

There cannot be one without another.

After all – in order to give, someone has to receive. And if you are to receive, someone has to give.

As much as I love to give, I also love to receive. If you want to give me a gift, and you are giving it with a glad heart, then bring it on! I absolutely love it!

Again, in order for there to be giving, someone must be able to receive.

In Part 4 of Charles Haanel’s The Master Key System, the idea of giving and receiving comes up in paragraph 20:

Here is the secret of power, of mastery. To overcome does not mean to go without things. Self-denial is not success. We cannot give unles we get; we cannot be helpful unless we are strong. The Infinite is not a bankrupt and we who are the representatives of Infinite power should not be bankrupts either, and if we wish to be of service to others we must have power and more power, but to get it we must give it; we must be of service.

And in the very next paragraph he states, “The more we give the more we shall get…”

Almost sounds a little like the conundrum of what came first, the chicken or the egg? That is, some might ask, “But how can I give what I don’t yet HAVE?”

I like what Mr. Haanel suggests in the passage above – he suggests that “…to get it we must give it; we must be of service.”

We can translate that to, “We must give value.”

It doesn’t necessarily mean we have to give money if we’re still working on receiving it – but we must give something. If you want your boss to write your paycheck next week, you need to do something in exchange. You need to give value.

Let’s say that there is a specific charity you really like – and they are fundraising.

Now, let’s say you have lost your job and you need to feed your family. You don’t have to send the charity a check from your food or rent budget. But you COULD do SOMETHING. You could volunteer a bit for them. You could post an appeal for them on your Facebook profile. You could Tweet their website to your Twitter followers. You could pray for them.

All those activities are giving activities. You are giving value. And you can be sure that if you give freely, and with an open heart, you WILL receive. You will receive the feeling of happiness for having helped another or for having brought joy to another.

Picture yourself giving a gift to a small child, and seeing his face when he opens it with wide eyes and eagerness.

If that in itself puts a smile on your face and in your heart, guess what? You have just received!

Now, go out there and give just for the joy of giving.

About this article’s author:

Kathy TremblayKathy Tremblay is an entrepreneur who has been on a path of self development
for more years than she can remember. She lives in New Hampshire in the
summer, and on the southeastern US coast in the winter with her husband
John. She writes personal development articles for her blog at

Rainbow > Pot of Gold

The pot of gold.

It’s what we’re all after, isn’t it? Whether it’s a literal pot of gold or something that would be worth as much as a pot of gold to us, it’s our goal, our aim.

It’s what we want.

There’s nothing wrong with that. Nothing at all.

We all have goals and aims and dreams. We all want better.

Heck! We all want the best.

But are we missing something — something perhaps more important —as we voraciously pursue those things?

And as we ceaselessly search for that pot of gold, are we perhaps dooming ourselves to always missing it?

If there is one thing I have discovered as I study the Philosophy of Success, it’s that the people who only aim for the pot of gold invariably miss the rainbow — and, more often than not, the pot of gold as well!

Most people just look for the pot of gold; successful people follow and enjoy the rainbow — and the pot of gold just reveals itself.

Whether you’re in business for yourself or working for “the man,” your devotion to service and to your customers and clients — your ability to enjoy the rainbow in and of itself — is what makes you attain or fail.

Even if you pursue personal development not for the sole purpose of making money, but rather for the purpose of attaining enlightenment or some such similar state, you’ll invariably find that it’s not the pot of gold that provides that, but the rainbow.

As one man said, “Success is a journey, not a destination.


The Master Key Way to Attain a Goal


A good way to really launch 2010 would be with a success story. So, that’s just what I have for you: a story about a person who attained a goal, a dream.

When Lena came to me last year as a Master Key Coaching client, she had one goal: to finish the work on her and her husband’s bed & breakfast.

After a year of hard work — both mental and physical — Lena is proud to open the doors to her newly remodeled and renovated bed & breakfast to the public.

Click here to visit the Nygard Manorhouse web site and see what Lena has accomplished and attained.

If you’re in Europe and you’re looking for a weekend getaway, then this is the place to go. Look at that web site! The work Lena has done is beautiful! From cozy rooms to homemade pastries to horseback riding and golfing, Lena has created for herself and her guests a literal paradise on Earth.

The Nygard Manorhouse in Sweden.

How did she do this?

How silly of you to ask! She did it just the way that Haanel describes in The Master Key System.

She visualized what she wanted. (She set her goal.)

When you set definite goals, it becomes easier to hit a "hole in one."

She made plans to make it happen. (She used inductive reasoning to create action steps for the attainment of her goal.)

When you think correctly, you create beautiful "rooms" in your mind, just like Lena created beautiful rooms in her bed & breakfast. "As within, so without."

She took action! (She worked hard because, as Haanel wrote, the law of success is service.)

You can take possession of that which you deem to be yours. You must take action to make it happen!

She solved problems. (When she hit a bump in the road, she didn’t panic; she allowed the Law of Attraction to guide her to a solution.)

Success comes to those who solve problems. After all, a goal is nothing more than a problem.

The results speak for themselves.

In 2010, make it your mission to select a goal — a big, lofty, worthy, and juicy goal! — and work toward its attainment.

It may not be easy, but the good things in life seldom are easy. You’ll work harder than you ever have before, but all that work is good for the soul. You may have to leave the old behind you, but what’s beyond the horizon may be better than you imagined.

It just may be your little piece of Heaven on Earth.

When you’re in Sweden, pay Lena a visit at Nygard Manorhouse. See what a dream, some right thinking, and some hard work can attain for you.

You’ll be glad that you did.

The One Thing You Need to Recession-Proof Yourself: Hard Work

I’ve been publishing, coaching, and writing about The Master Key System and Haanel’s philosophy of success for quite a while now. I’ve been reading and researching much, much longer. One thing I’ve noticed  is that when I say the words ‘hard work’, a veritable shit storm ensues. People fight me (and those words) with all of their being. Here are a few examples that you may have heard once or twice in the past.

“If you’re doing it right,” they say, “then you won’t need to work hard.” (In the meantime, this rocket scientist doesn’t have two nickels to rub together. I guess he’s not “doing it right”, whatever “it” is.)

“The only thing hard work ever got for my father was a sore back!” (And his pension. And the money for your college education. It probably got you and your family an annual vacation and a new car every few years. It put clothes on your back and an allowance into your pocket. In other words, if YOU would just STFU, then maybe – just maybe! – you’ll become half as successful as your father.)

“I don’t work hard … I work smart!” (So says the people who generally don’t work hard ever. And they really aren’t all that smart either.)

Now, when I say ‘hard work’, I’m not necessarily talking about digging ditches. (Although, if you need a ditch dug, then I guess it would apply.) I’m talking about the work and effort needed when accomplishing anything worth getting, such as starting a business, attaining a high degree of education, raising a family, learning a new skill, and other such tasks. 

In The Master Key System, Haanel asked a successful business man of his generation named James J. Hill what the ‘secret’ to his success was. Hill’s response was

“Work. Hard work. And more work.”

He is talking about all of the time, effort, thought, and skill he used to create his empire. Not to mention the physical aspect as well.

Even today, when you research the successful of whatever field, you will find that every one of them credits their success to hard work. 

Now, why do so many who read Haanel and other personal development books recoil from those words? 

Haanel’s philosophy in an nutshell is that all things come from first a thought of an individual, which when imbued with feeling compels the individual to action that manifests that thought (idea) into reality. I use the word ‘manifest’ here not in the bastardized sense it is used today by many gurus, the sense of something falling into reality through some sort of spontaneous genesis. I use it the way Haanel and other like minds use it: to bring one’s thoughts and ideas into reality – a form of expression much like if a person loves someone they might bring them flowers to show their feelings. 

In Haanel’s philosophy, though, there is a call to action – to take the plunge and perform hard work. In Week 23, Haanel asks

What is the first law of success?

His answer


Service is an action and usually entails hard work, whether that be mental or physical. Haanel makes the point that it’s the man who thinks the most and biggest and grandest thoughts and who takes the biggest and most onerous responsibilities that will reap the biggest rewards. You can read into that that the business of thinking is indeed hard work. 

So now I ask you, if you are one who recoils from those words ‘hard work’, then why is that? What leads you to believe that you can get what you desire by doing nothing other than reciting affirmations or something of the kind?

Having a positive mental attitude and a good mindset are important to have. What is more important, though, is your ability – your motivation – to get up and get the job done.

Now, I don’t know if we’re heading into tough economic times. I don’t pay much mind to things like that. I do what I gotta do – and it really is as simple as that. What I do know is that whether the times are tough or the living is easy, three things have never failed to make fortunes:

  1. Hard work done intelligently
  2. Getting the job done well
  3. Serving the greatest number in whatever you do

By living those three basic tenets every day, you can for all intents and purposes recession-proof your life. The world always has room for people who aren’t afraid of rolling up their shirt sleeves and putting in a solid eight. And in every economy, good or bad, those people not only survive – they thrive!