6 weeks ago I started studying Charles Haanel’s Masterkey System. My object in studying was to make dramatic progress towards achieving the potential I felt within me. Locked within me, it seemed. I had read Haanel’s work a year ago, but the words seemed to bounce off my mind like ping pong balls off a table.
This time, the words seemed to come alive. My heart was ready for the message.
And yet, progress lagged. And lagged, and lagged.
In week 3, I perceived that progress would be the natural consequence of faithfully performing simple exercises, sometimes deceptively simple. And some progress did manifest in the form of inspiration, shedding light on previously perplexing problems, showing the way to proceed.
And still, the progress I thought needed seemed yet far away. The perceived delay invited discouragement, though now I know I just lacked understanding. Even so, I continued the exercises out of a sense of obedience to the hope of progress, rather than acting with the vibrant enthusiasm of faith and vision.
People say it’s not what you don’t know that gets you; it’s what you know that ain’t so. So it was with me.
English is an interestingly facile language; words carry meaning and connotation that is often flexible and even ambiguous. And I natively love to live in Literalville. My life, up ’til now, has run by default on the meanings I ascribe to the words I encounter rather than being run on the truths underlying the words.
An aware person knows sometimes the truth is exactly counter to the plain meaning of the words. (Yeah, right!) At other times, our assumptions, experience and perceptions (i.e., subconscious programming) assign meaning to words that wasn’t intended by the author nor is connoted by the underlying truth.
So it was with me.
Think about the word, “need.” My experience led me to define that word in terms of the 1st level of Maslow’s hierarchy. If it wasn’t necessary to sustain life and provide safety, it was a want, not a need.
The truth, no disrespect to Maslow intended, is exactly opposite. That is a need which we decide is a need. We get to pick what is a need and what isn’t. And it matters not a trice what needs another may select, so long as what we choose, in its full context, contributes to the greatest good for the greatest number.
Anguish! Tragedy! Remorse! For an unnecessarily long time, my decision about the definition of “need” deprived me of the energy required to manifest the life I declared I wanted.
Now I know the truth. As long as I only “want” a thing, I will never have it. After all, life can only bring me “my own.” And I can never “own” something I don’t really need.
The good news is I now get to pick what I need, knowing that I will pay full price for that item or situation. That remittance is often in the form of service to others free of emotional attachment to a particular reward. My need manifests as I pay whatever price is required.
It works like this. As I define my sincere, positive goals as needs, I get to demand from my subconscious practical means and easily available tools with which to manifest my need. Through this method I take ownership of the estate or circumstance I have envisioned. And until I do take ownership, not much will happen. I remain in status quo ante, a victim of my unchanged inertia.
Thus we see that Napoleon Hill’s “definite major purpose” means the same thing as having a “burning desire,” which really translates to identifying a definite need and articulating that need via auto-suggestion. The need manifests in the physical world when we take ownership, “demand” of our subconscious that it produce the means and the methods necessary to such manifestation, and pay the attendant price.
With today’s new light, I can see that my subconscious only responds to necessaries and never to wants or casual desires. Necessity really is the mother of invention. Go figure. 🙂by