Tag Archive: quotes

Week 13: Effects and causes

This week, Haanel talks more about causes and effects: more specifically, that each of the effects we see around us, from natural to man-made, have a particular cause. Once we find the cause, we can create the effect for ourselves whenever we want.

For example: people have observed birds flying, leaves floating, and so on, since the beginning of humanity, and for thousands of years people spent their lives trying to create the effect without understanding the cause. As far as I can tell, even the Wright brothers more or less stumbled upon the effect, and so we have airplanes. But once we learned the cause (aerodynamics) we could create the effect of flying whenever we wanted to!

I think it’s the same way with the other effects in our lives. We see how our lives are, and we spend our lives trying to create situations which we think are good, without really understanding the cause of either why we are here now or why someone who has what we want got that.

(many times, we don’t really even know what we want in the first place, but that’s another matter)

We may stumble upon it, and many often do. When we understand the cause, though, we’ll be able to create that effect whenever we like.

During the first part of the class (and some people are still struggling with the question) we asked: what do you want? That is the effect.

But what is the cause? That is what we need to figure out.

(This reminds me a bit of our battleship exercise.)

Haanel talks about belief, about the Universal Mind, about how our thoughts become the cause which creates literal effects in our existence. Not supernatural. Not mystical. Real effects from a real cause: your thoughts.

(If the thoughts you create inside your own head are not real, then what is?)

Anyone who’s tried to guide their thoughts (aka the 7 day mental diet) has learned how difficult it is at first. Just like anyone else who’s trying to create an effect, it takes some doing. Things (whether a positive mental attitude or a skyscraper) do not just jump into existence because you wish they would.

So now the task is to examine the effects we want then go back to see what the cause might be for this. Haanel gives us a clue:

The athlete may read books and lessons on physical training all his life, but unless he begins to give out strength by actual work he will never receive any strength; he will eventually get exactly what he gives; but he will have to give it first. It is exactly the same with us; we will get exactly what we give, but we shall have to give it first. It will then return to us many fold, and the giving is simply a mental process, because thoughts are causes and conditions are effects; therefore in giving thoughts of courage, inspiration, health or help of any kind we are setting causes in motion which will bring about their effect.

Or as Mark J likes to say: give more, get more.

This is more like a clue-bat: an athlete who just sat around reading books about training but never did any would be ridiculed!

But we say we want wealth yet are fearful, greedy, and stingy; say we want happiness but are mean to others, or think of unhappy things all day; say we want health but do and think things we know are unhealthy. And so we get what we think about.

You see, the law of attraction is no different from any other law. It works 100% of the time. You can’t get away from it any more than you can get away from the law of gravity. You reap what you sow.

Right now is a good time of year to think about these things, because while you may be sure of the effect you want, if you don’t understand the cause then you probably won’t get that effect.

Week 11: I hear that train a-comin’

The question I had to face this week was: if I’ve been doing all this manifesting stuff right for the past year or so, why am I still not getting everything I want? Haanel has the answer:

“… while every effect is the result of a cause, the effect in turn becomes a cause, which create other effects, which in turn create still other causes; so that when you put the law of attraction into operation you must remember that you are starting a train of causation for good or otherwise which may have endless possibilities.”

In other words, the things you are getting right now are things which you (or if you’re a baby, dog, or other creature without agency, someone else) started manifesting a LONG time ago, just as a train doesn’t just appear on the tracks but has to be created and moved to where you are, and you’re not getting a train going anywhere from a dead stop in a hurry. It usually takes at least a little time. And conversely, the things you’re manifesting now will also take some time to get going depending on what they are and whether you may have the brakes on. 🙂


I have had a problem with being addicted to scarcity. I grew up rich as a child then my parents lost everything and it took a long time for them to get back to a good place financially, and then my father died and we were poor again. Then it took a really long time to get my career going (making more than I could ever imagine), and then I had a nervous breakdown.

I feel as if my old blueprint is set up to say ‘If you become wealthy it only brings you pain, loss, stress, and illness.’

I’ve talked about this before, and yet this week here I was again with that old demon. I wanted to manifest success in my business and it has seemed as if all I get is resistance at every turn.563121_630170500357775_1390384717_n

Then this popped up in my Facebook feed. And it hit me like … like someone slapped me in the face.

I have marked myself down.

Even now, I feel emotional at writing it.

I do feel as if I’m not being treated with love and respect.

But I really have a dilemma, because this business is everything I have ever wanted. It’s smack in the middle of my DMP. It – theoretically – meets both my PPNs. It’s been a passion of mine for decades. It’s my ticket to the dream of my life. It’s one of the things I want to be remembered for.

Do I just walk away? Or do I sidestep the rock there on the beach and keep going?

Anyway, I don’t have to decide any major business things today. But what I did do is to sign up for a course about upping your game in your business, which just so happened to be in the same place and a few days after a major venue to sell my book at which I’ve been looking at going to for months.

So I’m getting the feeling that the universe is nudging me along. Maybe it’s not the business. Maybe it’s the people I put on the damn train.

I already made the decision to set up an environment where the ones who won’t behave will kick themselves out, and if they don’t, I’m fully prepared to kick them out of the train myself.

But I feel as if I need to change me as well. I need to get off that clearance rack, the kiddie track, stop discounting, stop pricing my products to feed into the scarcity mindset that the whole rest of the world has. That’s the opposite of why I started the business in the first place.

I keep thinking of this quote from Og Mandino, which I’ll just leave here:

I was not delivered into this world in defeat, nor does failure course in my veins. I am not a sheep waiting to be prodded by my shepherd. I am a lioness and I refuse to talk, to walk, to sleep with the sheep. I hear not those who weep and complain, for their disease is contagious. Let them join the sheep. The slaughterhouse of failure is not my destiny.

 

 

Are you ready to receive?

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Of course I’m ready to receive! People will say. I want lots of love, lots of money, time with my kids, to travel the world, a new car … I want it all! I’m so ready to receive that you can’t imagine it!

But are you sure?

I’ve been reading Wallace D. Wattles’ book The Science of Getting Rich during the past couple of weeks, and this quote leaped out at me:

Never look at the visible supply; look always at the limitless riches in Formless Substance, and KNOW that they are coming to you as fast as you can receive and use them.

(emphasis mine)

There are a lot of people out there talking about the Law of Attraction, but I honestly think that this point right here is what they are missing. It’s why they aren’t getting what they want, even though they claim that it’s what they really truly do want.

How do I know this? Because I have been a huge offender in this area.

What do I mean exactly?

Okay, let’s say you want people to value what you do for them. You’ve done all these affirmations around that. But then when someone thanks you, or says you did a great job, you say “oh, it was nothing,” and point out all the other people who should really get the praise. When you’re going to get recognized for what you do, you suddenly get sick, or injured, or lost on the way.

Remember, we manifest our reality. Were you really ready to receive what you claimed you wanted?

Maybe that’s not a good example for you. Maybe what you want is money. You want to be a millionaire! You want the cars, the freedom to travel, the big home. You’ve done all these affirmations around that. But when it comes time to price your products, you constantly undervalue them, or if you do price them well, you create sales so often that your customers just wait for the next sale to buy. Or somehow you just can’t find time to do what you need to do in order to move your business forward. Or maybe you’re doing okay at work, but your car’s always breaking down, or someone always needs money from you, or you just can’t resist buying that new toy. Or when someone offers you an opportunity, you say “oh, I’m not qualified enough for that,” or “I don’t know if I could do that,” or maybe you get sick, or injured, or lost on the way.

Remember, we manifest our reality. Were you really ready to receive what you claimed you wanted?

You see, we can only receive when we’re ready to: when we have the structure in place to receive, when we are ready in our hearts to receive, when we are capable of receiving.

The Universe is always giving. There’s an infinite supply. But if you can’t receive, the gifts will go to someone who can.

So how can you become ready to receive?

I think you know what I’m going to say. 🙂

What are you thinking? What are you saying? What are you doing?

If your mind is not focused on what you want then it’s focused on what you don’t want. You can’t have it both ways.

But I can’t control what I think! you might say. Yes, you can. It’s difficult, because what you’re thinking is due to a blueprint that has been engraved on you since you were born. But you can change it. You are a grown human being. If you’re able to read this, you can do it.

That’s what the Master Key experience is all about, training you how to get hold of yourself so you can do that.

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Some people are quicker at this than others. I’m sort of a slow-poke, I suppose, in that I’m just now beginning to see how my refusal and inability to receive has caused me all sorts of problems, both in relationships and finances. But as they say, seeing it is the first step in dealing with it.

Because without being ready and able to receive, all the asking in the world is going to get you nowhere.

We’re finished … so now what?

With the MKMMA class over, the question that you might be asking is: now what?

Mark and Davene wrote us an email a few weeks ago saying that a lot of people were anxious about what would happen next, but I have never felt that way (which surprised me!). I mean, this whole thing is supposed to be about SELF-directed learning and SELF-reliance and thinking for yourSELF.

Right??

So I figured once we were done, we were done.

But one thing I’ve wanted to do since about halfway through this course is to be an MKMMA certified guide, and the silence just confirmed that for me. I have several reasons I want to do this which I may share another time, but they keep saying they need more guides, so why would I not help? 😉

There’s going to be a presentation I think next week sometime to tell those of us who want to do that what is entailed in the training.

So what’s going to happen to this blog now? That’s what I wanted to talk about today.

I ran across something called My 500 Words, which is supposed to help you get writing.

Hint: I have no problem with that 😉

Anyway, you write 500 words a day on whatever you want.

This seems like a good thing to do on this blog, as I’m learning new stuff every day even though the course is officially done. We still have the Master Keys, I’m not nearly done with The Greatest Salesman, and so on.

For example, today I read the forward to the Master Key book again, and several things jumped out at me:

Why should some men realize their ambitions easily, others with difficulty, and still other not at all? The cause cannot be physical, else the most perfect men physically, would be the most successful. The difference, therefore, must be mental — must be in the mind …

The student who learns that power comes from within, that he is weak only because he has depended on help from outside, and who unhesitatingly throws himself on his own through, instantly rights himself, stands, erect, assumes a dominant attitude, and works miracles … (emphasis mine)

Mind is not only the creator, but the only creator of all there is …

Every thought brings into action certain physical tissue, part of the brain, nerve or muscle. This produces an actual physical change in the construction of the tissue. Therefore it is only necessary to have a certain number of thoughts on a given subject in order to bring about a complete change in the physical organization of a man.

… as these thoughts take root, the physical tissue is changed … (emphasis mine)

He sees opportunities of success to which he was heretofore blind. He recognizes possibilities which before had no meaning for him.

I believe that this is becoming the case in my life, and I may share more about that some other time.

So I’m not going away or anything.  I might not get to this every single day, but I’ll do my best. 🙂

See you tomorrow!

 

Week 22: mind over matter

I really enjoyed this week’s lesson, but the week seems to be going way too fast! It’s hard to believe it’s Thursday evening already.

This week, Haanel talked about our physical health, and how the mind affects the body. Literally “mind over matter”.

Unfortunately, that term has the connotation of being something either supernatural or something to do with will power.

Now, Haanel REALLY does not like the term “will power” — he went on a rant about it a couple of weeks ago, which I didn’t mention then but I’ll quote him here:

Every time you think you start a train of causation which will create a condition in strict accordance with the quality of the thought which originated it. Thought which is in harmony with the Universal Mind will result in corresponding conditions. Thought which is destructive or discordant will produce corresponding results. You may use thought constructively or destructively, but the immutable law will not allow you to plant a thought of once kind and reap the fruit of another. You are free to use this marvelous creative power as you will, but you must take the consequences.

This is the danger from what is called Will Power. There are those who seem to think that by force of will they can coerce this law; that they can sow seed of one kind and by “Will Power” make it bear fruit of another, but the fundamental principle of creative power is in the Universal, and therefore the idea of forcing a compliance with our wishes by the power of the individual will is an inverted conception which may appear to succeed for a while but is eventually doomed to failure – because it antagonizes the very power which it is seeking to use.

It is the individual attempting to coerce the Universal, the finite in conflict with the Infinite.

Or as the saying goes, “your arms are too short to box with God” 😉

But the term “mind over matter” does have some merit, because your mind really can influence your body. Haanel gives several examples: you hear something funny and your whole body shakes with laughter; you see something sad and you cry; you read something horrible and become angry, your face turning red as the blood flows to your cheeks. According to Haanel, our minds can not only affect our bodies for a short period of time like laughing, but can cause real damage or good to our bodies.

I’m reminded of people who “died of fright” or got terrible news and had a heart attack and died. Now this could be coincidence, or it could be something “real”.

Both seeing this as a former physician and from personal experience, I can tell you that your mind can have a big impact on your body. Not in the “will power” way, but as in holding particular thoughts for long periods of time. People who should have died and are fine, or who should not have died who predicted the day they ended up dying (in one case, I had a patient who seemed fairly well who died exactly one year after her husband did, and she told me that’s when she wanted to go — in another, a woman 20 years ago who had “terminal” brain cancer yet went into complete remission and as far as I know is fine to this day).

And I was labeled as “100% disabled” 15 years ago: I had severe psychiatric problems, fibromyalgia, and arthritis — and one day long ago I decided that my goal in life (my DMP, if you will) was to get well. Every day I thought about this: I want to get well. And other than some lingering memory issues due to the psychiatric problem and a bit of creakiness in the joints, I’m pretty much there.

So I found this statement interesting:

… when perfect images are placed before the subjective, the creative energies will build a perfect body.

In other words, think of what you want, and you’ll get what you want!

Now, this seems worth doing. I’m 52 and have had three children, and my body wouldn’t be considered “perfect” by any means. But this would be a great experiment!

Actually, I began this experiment several months ago, back in week 9, when Haanel said:

It used to be said that man is completely built over every seven years, but some scientists now declare that we build ourselves over entirely every eleven months; so we are really only eleven moths old. If we build the defects back in to our bodies year after year, we nave no one to blame but ourselves.

Wow! That statement hit me like a ton of bricks the first time I read it.

So far all I’ve done for sure is break through a weight loss plateau which had plagued me for the past 2 years, but I have some other changes I’d like to build in as well, if I can, not by “will power”, but by getting my subconscious mind to do it for me. I’ll keep you posted. 😉

 

Week 20: just breathe

Overall this has been a good week.

I liked this week’s lesson quite a bit, and I found it really inspiring.

Here are just a few quotes from the lesson:

Thinking is the true business of life, power is the result…. What results can you expect so long as you remain oblivious to the power which has been placed within your control?

So long as you do this you limit yourself to superficial conditions, and make of yourself a beast of burden for those who think; those who recognize their power; those who know that unless we are willing to think we shall have to work, and the less we think the more we shall have to work, and the less we shall get for our work….

When you begin to perceive that the essence of the Universal is within yourself — is you — you begin to do things; you begin to feel your power ….

This power of thought, if understood and correctly used, is the greatest labor-saving device ever dreamed of ….

Inspiration is the art of receiving and makes for all that is best in life; your business in life is to understand and command these invisible forces instead of letting them command and rule you. Power implies service; inspiration implies power; to understand and apply the method of inspiration is to become a superman. We can live more abundantly every time we breathe, if we consciously breathe with that intention ….

He then talks about something I had never heard of called Pranic Energy (or Pranic Ether). According to Wikipedia, Prana means “life force”, analogous to the Chinese medicine concept of qi, and is “the sum total of all energy that is manifest in the universe”.

Every time we breathe we fill our lungs with air and at the same time vitalize our body with this Pranic Ether which is Life itself, so that we have the opportunity of making a conscious connection with All Life, All Intelligence and All Substance.

The idea is to consciously think about this each time we think about breathing, to associate breathing with our connection to the Universe, as Haanel reminds us yet again:

Each time you think, you start a train of causation which will create a condition in strict accordance with the quality of the thought which originated it.

So it’s best to think, as Haanel puts it, “constructively”, letting go of the negative stuff and focusing on the positive, the things you can do something about, the things which are what you really want, what you’re meant to do in this world.

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Week 18: the only hierarchy that matters

I feel like this week I’m finally starting to understand what’s going on in the course.

I laugh just a bit as I write this because it sound so silly to take a course and in week 18 understand what the hell you’re doing. But it’s true … as we have already discussed, there is a huge difference between knowing facts and understanding them.


Haanel talks about the Universal Mind in part 18, and how each living thing is marked by the degree of its intelligence that they manifest:

It is greater intelligence that places the animal in a higher scale of being that the plant, the man higher than the animal, and we find that this increased intelligence is a gain indicated by the power of the individual to control modes of action and thus to consciously adjust himself to his environment.

It is this adjustment that occupies the attention of the greatest minds, and this adjustment consists in nothing else than the recognition of an existing order in the universal mind, for it is well known that this mind will obey us precisely in proportion as we first obey it.

It is the recognition of Natural Laws that has enabled us to annihilate time and space, to soar in the air and to make iron float, and the greater the degree of intelligence the greater will be our recognition of these Natural Laws and the greater will be the power we can possess.

What I get out of this is: recognition of these laws (and tho the universal mind) leads to obedience to them, which leads to power.

At first this struck me as the only hierarchy which makes any sense: the universal mind is clearly greater than we are, so as we recognize that and obey it then we can access the power that it gives us.

Then I thought of an analogy: in every hierarchy, you only have power according to your obedience to the hierarchy itself. If for example you’re a soldier, by yourself you don’t have much power (the US Army’s ads notwithstanding). But if you put yourself into that hierarchy then you have tremendous power at your disposal. Or if you work at McDonald’s, by yourself you aren’t doing much, but you are part of a group feeding more people every day than live in a good-sized country.

For some reason (or perhaps because I wrote about Star Wars last week) I then thought again of good old Luke Skywalker.

Luke was told that if he wanted to be a Jedi, he needs to go to a planet called Dagobah to meet Yoda, who was described as a “great Jedi Master”.

But when he got there, Luke obviously assumed that this “great master” would be tall, big, with strong muscles, and probably human.061

Instead he is accosted by the alien version of a crazy bag lady (flip the gender but that’s basically how Yoda acts).

It’s brilliant on Yoda’s part, because then he gets to see exactly what Luke is like.

Luke almost shoots Yoda, insults him, and then after Yoda invites him to his house and gives him dinner, does nothing but complain.

And ohhhhh the backtracking Luke does when he realizes the person he’s done all this to is the only one who can give him what he’s always wanted in life!

It makes me laugh every time I see that movie.

Luke at first did not recognize this great opportunity he had been given, so instead of honoring and obeying Yoda, he insults and despises him. Until Luke recognized the tremendous power Yoda had access to, and began to obey him instead of insisting on doing everything his own way, Luke couldn’t do anything. But when he did, everything began to change.

But honestly, it wasn’t Yoda who had the power, and he told Luke that. “My power is in the Force,” he said, and it’s a very good analogy.

Haanel goes on to write:

Thought is creative and the principle on which the law is based is sound and legitimate and is inherent in the nature of things; but this creative power does not originate in the individual, but in the universal, which is the source and foundation of all energy and substance; the individual is simply the channel for the distribution of this energy.

Each of us – you, me, everyone – is the individual channel for bringing our thoughts into existence, using the power of the universal mind. What you think about will eventually happen, or something similar.

Do you see now how important your thoughts are?

Do you see that you might need someone to show you how to change them from negative to positive?

What I used was the 7 day mental diet. You can sign up for it at the end of this post.

It has taken me way longer than 7 days to see it, but I can honestly say things have drastically changed between my ears. 🙂

Week 15: growth and decay

This has been an emotional week for me. I haven’t yet figured out why. But the things we’ve been learning have affected me profoundly over the past few days. This quote affected me most of all:

Difficulties, inharmonies, and obstacles, indicate that we are either refusing to give out what we no longer need, or refusing to accept what we require.

I’ve come to the conclusion that in my case it’s been a little of both.


 

This week’s reading focuses quite a bit on the idea of exchanging old ways for new ones. The New Year has a lot of people trying to exchange old ways of doing things for new, mostly through the use of resolutions. I’ve never found resolutions to be very useful, mainly because you’re working on changing the outside (the effect) rather than the inside (the cause). The problem seems to be that people try to get new things without letting go of the old way of thinking, but:

We cannot obtain what we lack if we tenaciously cling to what we have.

Sounds a bit like the mental version of Hoarders: people bursting with limiting and negative thoughts, unwilling to let go of them so they have room for the good things that they claim they want so desperately. But:

All conditions and experiences that come to us do so for our benefit. Difficulties and obstacles will continue to come until we absorb their wisdom and gather from them the essentials of further growth.

That we reap what we sow is mathematically exact. We gain permanent strength exactly to the extent of the effort required to overcome difficulties.

This was a bit daunting at first, but at the same time makes a lot of sense.

Haanel then goes on to talk about thought, how emotion brings life to thought and enables it to manifest into form, first by creating words (reproducing the thought to others “in the form of sound”) then eventually with action:

… whatever the action, it is simply the thought attempting to express itself in visible form. It is evident, therefore, that if we wish desirable conditions, we can afford to entertain only desirable thoughts.

This leads to the inevitable conclusion that if we wish to express abundance in our lives, we can afford to think abundance only, and as words are only thoughts taking form, we must be especially careful to use nothing but constructive and harmonious language, which when finally crystallized into objective forms, will prove to our advantage.

He goes on to talk more about words and the value of crafting your words exactly, which leads, of course, back to our old friend the Mental Diet, which helps us to craft our thoughts more exactly. He says something which I found interesting, and at first, baffling:

There is a principle of Mathematics, but none of error; there is a principle of health, but none of disease; there is a principle of truth, but none of dishonesty; there is a principle of light, but none of darkness, and there is a principle of abundance, but none of poverty.

How shall we know that this is true? Because if we apply the principle of Mathematics correctly we shall be certain of our results. Where there is health there will be no disease. If we know the Truth we cannot be deceived by error. If we let in light there can be no darkness, and where there is abundance there can be no poverty.

These are self-evident facts, but the all-important truth that a thought containing principle is vital and therefore contains life and consequently takes root, and eventually but surely and certainly displaces the negative thoughts, which by their very nature can contain no vitality, is one which seems to have been over looked.

This section puzzled me for quite some time, especially the last bit. It seemed to me that the whole course so far had been making the case that negative thoughts were quite vital, seeing as we put a great deal of emotion into them.

But then it dawned on me that what he’s talking about is growth and decay, energy and entropy. The “principle” he is talking about is another way to say that math works one way, but there are a zillion ways to make a math mistake. Health looks a certain way, where disease has all sorts of manifestations. You tell the truth one way, but you could be dishonest any number of ways, and so on. Something in the “Q & A” section really helped me with this:

We do not have to laboriously shovel the darkness out; all that is necessary is to turn on the light.

In other words, things with “principle”, as he puts it, lead to growth, energy, constructive action. Things without lead to decay, entropy, destruction.

This week, we have been thinking about insight, and beginning to apply the things we have learned to the problems that lie before us, which I find really exciting. 🙂

Week 14: knowledge vs understanding

It finally dawned on me that ever since we got the affirmation “I am whole, perfect, strong, powerful, loving, harmonious, and happy” that Haanel has been trying to get us to really not only know this but understand it. For example, last week, we pondered the power that we had as the channels of the Universal Mind, this week we were asked to concentrate on harmony.

Now, these two terms (knowledge and understanding) are very similar in meaning:

Knowledge
1. acquaintance with facts, truths, or principles, as from study or investigation; general erudition: knowledge of many things.
2. familiarity or conversance, as with a particular subject or branch of learning:
A knowledge of accounting was necessary for the job.
Understanding.
1. to perceive the meaning of; grasp the idea of; comprehend: to understand Spanish; I didn’t understand your question.
2. to be thoroughly familiar with; apprehend clearly the character, nature, or subtleties of: to understand a trade.

 

It seems to me that although the two words are used as synonyms, they are different in degree: you might know some fact, but not really understand the ramifications or usage of that fact, to the point where your knowledge is actually useless, like those people with all sorts of book knowledge but no ability to use their knowledge in real life situations.

This is where I find myself in this week, because although I’ve been reading all this for 14 weeks now (and know the facts of the matter), this week I realized that I didn’t understand it at all.

Haanel says:

We get results in exact accordance with our understanding of the law and our ability to make the proper application.

So there you have it.

I really want to understand all of this; right now I’m feeling more like “the more I learn the less I understand”. But I will persist until I succeed, I always do. 🙂

 

Week 13: knowledge vs certainty (part 2)

I feel as though I sort of left yesterday’s post unfinished, now that I think about it more, and while I was doing my readings I kept mentally adding enough edits that it seemed best to just write a second part and be done with it. 😉

Today I’ve been thinking about how our current situations came to be, whether good or bad, prosperous or impoverished, in turmoil or at peace. And one thing which jumped out at me was that we didn’t have to do exercises or say affirmations or make a blueprint or exert any sort of effort in order to get where we are now.

Or did we? What goes running through your brain all day? I submit that those are your affirmations. What do you read about, watch, and talk about? What do you focus on? Those are your exercises. What are you certain of, in times of either stress or celebration? That is your blueprint.

The problem is that we have had this blueprint put on us since we were born by other people: parents, teachers, the TV, movies, songs, the news, and so on. These tell you who you are, what you should be, what you deserve, how much money it’s okay to have, where you can go, what you can do, what you can believe, how you can act, when/where/how it’s okay to eat/have sex/take care of your children, what you should look like — every single inch of your life has been dictated to you by someone else, programmed and conditioned to the point where most people don’t even know who they are anymore.

That is what this course is about: finding out who you are and creating a blueprint that fits you, not one that was put on you by others, who had theirs put on them by others, who had theirs put on them by others, and so on.

And this blueprint of yours (and mine) is so strong that it takes no effort on your part to create huge effects. Just look around you right now — you made what you see! While you might not have physically made it, you (like the architect of the battleship I talked about earlier), set events in motion which brought it to wherever you are right now, either by you physically moving to it (if, for example, you’re sitting in a park or a restaurant right now), or you bought it and took it home. The way you feel when you look at what you’re seeing, the way you view your surroundings and the people around you, everything in your life is made up of what you have been certain of.

Here’s what I see as the problem with the usual way people go about “changing their life”: they make a resolution, or set a goal, and go through all this mental effort to force themselves to do something, but since every effect (even the thing they want to change, say, being overweight, or smoking) has a definite cause, working to change the effect without changing the cause is doomed to fail. They haven’t even done a thing to change the blueprint which says “oh what a big boy Johnny is!” or “smoking makes you cool” or whatever the blueprint is, that jolt of pleasure you get for doing what you do which you know you shouldn’t.

And there’s something else which is even more important, that I have known about for many weeks, but just now really became certain of today:

Mental effort defeats itself — exactly the opposite of physical effort. A relaxed, calm state of mind is the only doorway to progress mentally. Relaxation of thought is the only access to Infinite Intelligence.

This is otherwise known as the Law of Relaxation, and has been stuck up on my wall since … I don’t know, week 3 or so? It makes me laugh to think of how it has been there the whole time.

So everyone all over the world is making “resolutions” right now: using the wrong tools (mental effort) to change effects (not causes), then after a few months, failing, repeatedly training their subby to fail, then next year either giving up (because they are certain they aren’t good enough) or vowing to do even more of this next year, because they are certain that this will work. I mean, that’s what everyone else does!

Not only that, but they are doing something else which Haanel warns against, and which was my problem the other day:

Are we to inform the Omniscient as to the proper channel to be used to materialize our demand? Can the finite advise the Infinite? This is the cause of failure …

As Albert Einstein said, insanity: doing the same thing over and over and expecting different results.

So what is the answer?

The main thing is to create a new blueprint which is stronger and better than the old one ever was, which it will be because it will be in alignment with who you really are. Once this new blueprint is made, doing what you want and getting what you want will be as easy and effortless as doing and getting what you have at present.

Creating and associating pleasure from doing the things which correspond with the life you want (and conversely, pain from doing the things you don’t want) is a big step, and one thing which we’ve learned how to do this week. But of course, Haanel once again emphasizes that “we must put our knowledge into practice” — just as an athlete will never become stronger by reading about lifting weights or running or whatever he or she wants to do, we aren’t going to change our blueprints by reading about how to do it. Not gonna happen.

But must use the right tools. Using woodworking tools to mix concrete, or concrete tools to work with wood, results in destroyed tools and ruined materials both. So how can we make sure we’re going to succeed?

Haanel writes:

We can best conserve our interests by recognizing the Infinite Power and Infinite Wisdom of the Universal Mind, and in this way become a channel whereby the Infinite can bring about the realization of our desire.

In other words, prioritize: put those 2000 connections of your conscious mind to work on figuring out what you want out of life. Exactly what, down to the smallest detail. Let the 4 billion connections of your subby and the infinite power of the Universal Mind work on the how. Spending your 2000 connections worrying about how this is all going to happen just manifests anxiety and fear when you can’t get it to work. This week, I learned this the hard way.

Use the right tools for the job and it becomes much easier. 🙂