MasterKey Experience Week 20 – Kit Kat Philosophy

Everybody knows the jingle to Kit Kat commercials, right? “Gimme a break! Gimme a break! Break me off a piece of that Kit Kat bar!!”

I decided to take that advice to heart when dealing with myself. I think, and actually it is a well established fact, that we are our harshest critic. I have decided to change that. And gimme a break!!

I realized through the happiness progression that I am a pretty great person and I do a lot right, and a small amount that needs work, each day. Why do I focus on and beat myself up over the 5 or 10% that needs work and disregard the 90%+ I do right?

We go to the gym twice but miss the third. Do we give ourselves credit for the 2 or an indictment for missing 1? I drink 7 glasses of water but I focus on failing to get the eighth. I eat 3 healthy meals……but….I had a Girl Scout Cookie!!

Excellence is my standard but GRACE shall be my new mindset.

How did I succeed today?

Keeping a mindset of success will stimulate positive feelings and raise self esteem, and studies show that this makes us 37% more effective. Therefore, we are more likely to accomplish our goal the next time around because we become addicted to the feelings of succeeding and not the disappointment of failing.

So each morning I do 2 gratitudes, 1 success, and 1 positive scenario from the day before. This reinforces my gratitude, my success/goal achieving, and my positivity mindsets every day.

Sounds like a plan.

Peace and Kindness,
Dennis

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MasterKey Experience – Week 19 My Mother Peacefully Passed at 10:06 am on February 15, 2018

Please indulge me as this week’s post is the eulogy I will read at my mother’s funeral.

Over the years I have noticed a pattern emerging. Everyone gets together for weddings, births, and finally……. funerals. This is the way it is and will always be. There is a peace to knowing that we are mortal and this journey will end in our returning to our Heavenly Father. Like a pitcher of water poured onto a flower…..the water will return to its source. We return to our source….God.

My mom knew this. And as Alzheimers and other diseases of age stole her mind and her physical abilities……she kept her faith in God and she looked forward to the day when,

as she would say, “Jesus is coming to get me.”

1Cor 13 says:

Love bears all things, believes all things, hopes all things, endures all things.

When I asked my wife, Linda, to describe what my mother meant to her she summarized this passage by saying that my mom was an angel on earth. These past 25 years as my mom’s frailties became more pronounced, her spiritual gifts emerged full force. As she lay in the hospital a few days before she passed, slipping into and out of a coma-like state, she was telling all the nurses and doctors how her daddy was a policeman in Alton, and how much God and she loved them and she would kiss their hand and thank them for taking care of her and she would tell them to come back when they get a chance. She would wave at the kids and tell them how much she and Jesus loves them. As St. Paul said, “it is not I that live, but Christ that lives through me.” Everyone that was blessed to be near her these final few days saw the living embodiment of that scripture.

My mom was always the encourager. She would send cards to everyone and anyone she thought needed one. She never missed a birthday or anniversary. I received a birthday card once…….signed Love, Jim, Ruth, Tom, and Dennis. Well, I am Dennis, Tom had passed away, and I never referred to my mom and dad as Jim and Ruth. When I asked her about it, she said she was “on a roll” sending out cards and signed this that way by mistake. So if you got a card from my mom signed Love, Mom and Dad, I’d appreciate it if you return it.

She would answer the phone most times when you call the house. I’d be over there and a wrong number or a telemarketer would call and she would hold a 5 minute conversation with them. She would tell them about what a good job they are doing and how she loves them, and God loves them, and she would ask them to pray for her and then hang up. I would ask her who it was and she would reply, “I don’t know. I think it was a wrong number.”
She used to ask you the same question repeatedly. My dad would always try to answer her accurately. Not me. She would ask where I worked and I would say,”AT&T.” Then she would ask what I do there and sometimes I would tell her that I am the CEO and we are millionaires. She would smile and ask to borrow money.

My mom had beautiful handwriting. If you were ever blessed to receive a card from her, and if you are in this room, it a pretty good chance you did. Then you know what I mean.

She loved animals. Living with her was like living with St Francis. She would have a sticky note ready to remind my dad to fill the bird feeder. She had multiple parakeets that she named Sonny. And dad would bring the bird out to sit with her and she would look out the picture window all day and watch the birds and “the damn squirrels”. One time we went on vacation with my dad and left our dog, buddy, with my mom for the week. All day Sonny was on the table next to her, buddy was lying on her feet, and the Sweet Gum tree outside was filled with birds. Animals know your soul. And when she would come over the cat would sit on the back of the chair behind her and purrr. The other cat would rub against her and buddy would lie next to her.

Here’s a short list of the species that graced our house…….cats, dogs, rabbits, gerbils, hamsters, a chameleon and associated meal worms as food, birds, oodles of unfortunate fish (typically because of the cats), and numerous turtles. Her love of animals has been passed to her grandchildren who have added ferrets and guinea pigs to that list.

My mom’s favorite activities were what signified her as a true Catholic……ice cream and Bingo. My kids would play horse bingo with her and use M&M’s as markers. Her and dad wouId eat the M&M’s as we played the game. We would always get a small bottle of coke when she came over and she would milk that glass of coke for hours by putting tons of ice in it all day. We finally figured out that we needed a 20 ounce coke and four ice trays for grandma. I used to tell the kids that when dad would work nights…..mom would take Tom, Grandma Eichorn, and myself to get ice cream. If we wanted scoop ice cream we would go to Grandpa Mac’s across from the Cameo theater. For soft serve, we would drive to Wood River and go to Quality Dairy. Their ice cream cones seemed to be as big as your head!! If we were short on money, we’d go to DQ and get a Dilly Bar. She didn’t like them too much, so that was rare.

She loved roses and St. Theresa, the little flower. On earth, she couldn’t have real roses because they would make her cough, but I am sure that right now her and St. Theresa are running through the rose gardens in heaven!!

Mom loved movies, especially the disaster movies like Airport, Towering Inferno, and Earthquake. She always told me, “Don’t worry, he is the main character, he can’t die”. She loved James Bond movies, and anything with Paul Newman or Robert Redford in it. We would go to the Starlight drive – in and I would fall asleep in the back seat after eating everything she has brought for snacks. Who wanted to see Dr. Zhivago anyway?!?!

My mom never had an unkind or negative word to say about any one. She would always say that they were going through a phase and that they’ll change. And you know, she was right more often than not.

My mom’s greatest contribution to my character is something that I will leave you with. As Christians, our hope rests in the death and resurrection of Our Lord, Jesus Christ……and because of this……we can celebrate today.

My parents devoted their lives to living according to God’s commandments. I hope to stand on their shoulders and follow their examples of peace, humilty, charity, commitment, and Christian love. This is my mother’s wish for her family.

Thank you all for coming today to celebrate my mother’s life and her transition to heaven.

 

 

MasterKey Experience – Week 18 Revelations

I have taken the past few weeks off from blogging and focused on developing myself spiritually.  An interesting journey, to say the least.  You see, I grew up Catholic and when I was 30 I converted to Baptist.  The Baptist faith is very biblical based, which can be good or bad….depending on how you interpret what you are reading.

I used to see God as….well…..an egomaniac.  Worship ME.  Obey ME.  Serve ME.  OR ELSE!!  Now after reading and studying the Master Key System and the MKMMA course, my thoughts have changed.  Many passages or verses have changed meaning.  I no longer look at the Bible as an ultimatum from God.  I now see it as an instruction book where God is using Himself as an example of how the natural laws He established work.

For example, I see the the goal of life is to become the highest self I can become….the best me.  Who would know what that is except the One who created me?!?!?  My Personal Pivotal Needs are the attributes of my highest self…….true health in all its forms (mental, spiritual, relationships, financial, and of course physical) and autonomy (freedom to control my own destiny).  My goals are signposts along the way.  Achievements that are outside my comfort zone so that I am forced to stretch, learn new skills, discover hidden talents, read new books……become better than I am in character.  At the point they’re achieved, then new goals will be revealed to me and the process starts over.  The goal of life is a journey to the best me.  And when I die, all the earthly possessions I have accumulated will stay behind and as Paul writes in 1Cor 3:13-15…..whatever I have become, that will I take to heaven…..my character will be my crown in eternal life.

The most significant revelation has been Proverbs 3:5-6.  You see I viewed God as reward and punishment when in reality, He is more of a counselor and mentor.  To paraphrase the verse in an easier to understand form, I went to the dictionary and here’s the verse with key words defined……

“Believe in the reliability and strength of God with all your heart.  Depend not upon your own perceptions.  Accept and recognize the importance of God in all you ways.  And He will make your paths straight, simple, and straightforward.”

God isn’t punishing you for not following Him.  He is simply saying that, “I know the best and shortest way to your goals, if you ask, I will show you the way.  Now it may seem a little odd to you but trust Me…..it is the best and shortest way.”

The great thing about free will is that you can be as stubborn as you wish and God will recalculate your route each time from where you are to where you want to go……so you can wander in the desert all you like.

I moved from St. Louis to Davenport, Iowa to go to chiropractic college.  Linda stayed in St Louis and we drove back and forth to visit each other on alternate weekends.  The first trip to Iowa, I went up Hwy 61.  A 6 hour ordeal through every 1 horse town on the Missouri side of the Mississippi River.  The next time I drove up Hwy 67.  A 4 hour ordeal through every 1 horse town on the Illinois side of the river.  I continued to drive 67 every month.  Linda, being much smarter decided that 2 lane roads were too slow.  She planned an all interstate route.  It went 100 miles into the center of Illinois to Springfield!!!!  Way way way-out of the way.  Then it went up to Peoria, Illinois and took I74 to I80 back across Illinois into Davenport. This seemed ridiculously out of the way…..remember that this is 1989…..no google maps.  In the end it was only 20 miles longer but 1 1/2 hours shorter!!!!!  Even after she told me, I still drove 67 for 2 more months……what a dummy!  In the end, this is the route we drove for the next 3 years.

God is much like that.  Sometimes the route we think makes sense is the slow way and the way God wants us to go is the scary unfamiliar way.  Trust God.  He knows.

I gotta go now and return my soapbox to the people on Facebook who are busy posting social commentary.

And then go take my own advice.

Peace and Kindness,

Dennis

MasterKey Experience Week 17 – Play Doh is the Real Secret

I love Play-Doh. No one really knows what this stuff is or how it’s made, and no one really cares…….because it’s awesome. All I know for sure is that it is non-toxic, has a unique smell that reminds me of my childhood, and it tastes awful!!!

My brother and I would badger (I prefer persistently fellowship) my mom until she would break loose the few dollars to buy us a 6 pack of Play-Doh. We would take it out one color at a time and smell it, and then my mom would yell at us to put down wax paper so we didn’t get it on the table.

I suck at Play-Doh. I can make a ball. Roll it into a pseudo-snake. Flatten it out and use cookie cutters. And mix the colors together to make other colors like green. But that’s the extent of my talents. My brother wasn’t much better. His talent consisted of watching me and then smushing my masterpiece seconds before the Louvre was going to contact me to negotiate for the rights to my creation.

Needless to say, but I will say it anyway, I was in awe of the Play- Doh Fun Factory when I saw the commercials for it. Finally a machine that would extrude Play-Doh in recognizable shapes!!!! The concept is relatively simple. There’s a hopper you fill with the PD. A handle that you apply downward pressure on. And a sliding rail in the front that the PD is forced through to create the shapes. There are 10 shapes, such as stars, circles, and various pasta looking things.

Now for the reason I am the way I am……….my mom would never buy it for me. She said it was silly, and even for Christmas, I was unable to sway her. So like all emotionally scarred adults, I bought one at Toys-R-Us when I was 50!!!

I have it in my room as a metaphor for success. Let me explain. Everyone would agree that there is something mysterious in the universe that causes you to get what you think about. Call it what you will but we all know it’s there. But most of us do a hit or miss job of operating it. It’s actually very simple.

If you envision the Play-Doh as the invisible substance that becomes what you think about. And the sliding shape as your results. When you push the handle with your actions then your results ooooooze out. For example, you want a new car. You see the car in your mind, speak about it as if it will be yours, and take action…….and poof it’s yours.

Let use an example closer to home, especially during FLU SEASON. You want to be heathy this year, but you keep watching commercials about the flu, you watch the news about the flu, you engage in conversations at work about germs and the flu. That’s the shape you choose on the slider. You want the healthy shape…..let’s say it is represented by stars, but your words and thoughts pick the flu shape (circles). You apply action…..poor diet, no supplements, and stress………guess what???? You gonna get sick!!

I could pick finances, weight, career, or any goal you want. The point is…..your words and thoughts pick the shape…..not your 10 minutes of thought about your goals, but the hours of casual conversations, tv, music, and other inputs. You must control what you say and what goes into your mind through your senses either actively (especially self talk) or passively (such as TV). Are your words getting you where you want to go? Maybe you need to buy a Play-Doh Fun Factory and think about it.

People say that what they watch on TV and the music they play or the instasnaptwittface they are glued to for an average of 6 hours a day has no affect on them. But in Naziz German and in Communist Russia…….how did they distribute the propaganda to brainwash the citizenry into compliance??? Remember, your brain doesn’t have a delete button……what goes in stays in and becomes the slide on the PD Fun Factory.

I don’t have a snappy line or witty anectdote here at the end……I just want to end with this. This is a well established and understood psychological law. You never break a natural law you only confirm it.

Peace and Kindness,
Dennis

 

MasterKey Experience Week 16 – Am I Stupid or Stubborn?!?

Four million one hundred forty thousand!!…………..4,140,000!

That’s a lot.  But how much?

If you want to play around with taking a one-in-a-million shot at something, pick a number between 1 and 1,000,000, say it out loud, and then click Generate below and try to hit it.

https://www.random.org/widgets/integers/iframe.php?title=True+Random+Number+Generator&buttontxt=Generate&width=160&height=200&border=on&bgcolor=%23FFFFFF&txtcolor=%23777777&altbgcolor=%23CCCCFF&alttxtcolor=%23000000&defaultmin=1&defaultmax=1000000&fixed=off

Now imagine 4x’s that.  Pretty incredible.

If you google “repeating life lessons till we learn them”….you get 4,140,00 hits in 1/2 a second.

And I thought that I was the only one reliving the same crap over and over again.  Guess not 😉

All philosophy and religion.  All sacred texts.  All modern pop psychology.  All have in some form or another this idea that things keep coming back until we deal with them.

Here’s my theory (and of course, it is the right one)…….we as a collective are lazy, stubborn, and selfish.  We want things our way…..yesterday.  Forget that BS about work and delayed gratification!  Unfortunately, success only comes before work in the dictionary.

I, personally, am sick of this and when I get my own universe…..I am so changing this to getting whatever you want with no effort at all.

Everyday for the past 16 weeks, this is my routine…..get up at 5a…..meditate in silence for 20 minutes……read 3 pages of The Greatest Salesman to myself…..read the 1 page 7 Laws of the Mind aloud…..Read my 1 page Goal Statement aloud……read my written plan of action index card aloud……read the 1 page 3 laws of detachment aloud…..read the 1 page 4 laws of giving aloud…..read 4 pages out of The Master Key System to myself…..write out 3 gratitude cards……write out one 3 sentence personal journal card.  At lunch……read Greatest Salesman again…..read written plan of action again……and if I have time read my index cards for each of detachment and giving.   At night……read The Greatest Salesman aloud……the 7 Laws of the Mind aloud…..my index cards for WPOA, DMP, and my 1 page Blueprint builder aloud.  Throughout the day, I flip through my gratitude and accomplishment index cards when I have time (there’s about 200 or so and they grow everyday as I add new things I am thankful for.  And while I drive either I listen to Earl Nightingale’s The Greatest Secret or a recording of my affirmations.  And I listen to one of those while I work out.

Now I have reached the usual impasse.  Go out and talk to strangers and promote myself and my business or let my dreams die…..again.  You wanna know what is driving me to go out and actually make little bits of progress…..like yesterday at the grocery store…..I complimented complete strangers on how well their kids were behaving.  I have 5 kids with in 10 years so I know what taking 3 little kids to the grocery store can turn into.  What kind of a sadist put the candy opposite the baby food!?!?!?  I know giving a stranger a compliment may not seem like much to some of you but for me it was like summiting Everest!!  Go me!!

Why is this time different?  Two reasons.  First, I am now more enlightened and I am personally sick of not living my dreams and every time I go after them getting stopped by the same things.  My self image has improved through that routine I outlined above and now I BELIEVE I deserve more.  In all likelihood, some people are gonna say no, but goodness, I sell more time, more money, and a better work-life balance!! How hard can that be after you get the conversation going?  So the trick is to get conversations going with strangers and that is what I am working on now.  The second reason is all the work I have put in during the past 16 weeks.  The reading, the blogging, the masterminding, the goal setting…..at times it has been a little exhausting but I see light at the end of the tunnel.

Will I hit $20,000/mo by 12/31/18?  I don’t know. I hope so and I am working my butt off to turn that hope into a definite belief and a knowing.  But right now I’d be happy with bringing my wife home and double what we make now.

What’s the point of all this?  I once heard of an inner city teacher who would give a test.  She would check the test and give it back but she notated the number the kids got right.  She made them retake the test until they got 100% correct and she record that score.  Her philosophy wasn’t to plow thought the material…..it was to teach it to the children until they knew it and move on. She never covered as much material as the other teachers but her students learned and retained the material better.  So in the end they all made A+’s and long term….better progress.

Do you have a lesson that you’re gonna be taught again this year?  Sit and pray.  Ask for guidance.  And then act on faith.  Sounds simple but 4,140,000 of us are having a little trouble with it too.

Peace and Kindness,

Dennis

MasterKey Experience Week 15 – The Wisdom of Fire

Recently I have been lead to think about uncertainty. This is something no one likes. I never hear people praying for more uncertainty in life. People, including me, associate it with pain and loss. But as I meditate on it, I am finding that my failure to embrace uncertainty and move forward was the actual cause of pain and loss.

Clinging to the familiar is the leading cause of loss. How many times have we lost a job, had a health crisis, or ended a relationship? The funny thing is, if we are honest with ourselves, we knew that the company was gonna lay us off, we knew that Twinkies are not a health food, and we knew that this relationship was toxic and should be ended……..but we were at some level comfortable and afraid of the uncertainty that comes with taking action.

Now here is the really interesting part……..every great thing in my life resulted from a leap into the unknown and away from the safe and familiar. Like a child learning to walk, who tries to hold on to the couch and reach the coffe table, sometimes we just can’t reach it and we are gonna have to let go to move on.

So, where does fire come in? Well, my dad hated that the guy who owned the field next to us never mowed it because the seeds from the weeds in the field would blow into our yard and take root. This drove my dad nuts. One hot dry August day, when the weeds in the field were knee high (too high to mow), my dad had enough. He went to the middle of the field and set it on fire. Everyone thought he was crazy, but my dad is pretty sharp. The fire spread pretty rapidly outward from the center but what it left behind was cleared, albeit charred, ground. Once it got to the treeline, there wasn’t sufficient under brush to sustain it and it died out.

How does this apply to life? Well, all the action in this fire was on the outer rim where the fire met the grass. The new meeting the old and secure, if you will. It was hot. It was scary. It was transformational. It was extremely uncomfortable for my brother and I who did not want to be know around town as the sons of the man who burnt the subdivision down!!!

In life, the safest place to be is not always the safest place to be. We all have that still small voice inside us, and like the animals in that field, when you see fire…….run!!!! Don’t wait for it to get right up on you, or God forbid, overtake you. The grass couldn’t move but the animals had an inner wisdom and left.

Do you have inside you a voice that is telling you to take an action but you’re afraid of the unknown? How will it turn out? Remember, God let that fire be set so that you will feel the heat and get moving. You can trust that it is the right thing and that it will be better. Just like my dad, God knows what He is doing (I can’t blieve I just compared my dad to God!!). People only act for one of two reasons…..inspiration or desperation…and it is hardly ever the first because we have not learned the Wisdom of Uncertainty.

If there is a fire under you, get moving. God knows something you don’t yet….take the hint!

I am learning along with everyone else to rely on and trust God. But after meditating on the great things I have in my life now and on the tragedies that have occurred in the past, I can see that I knew the tragedies were coming and I hesitated out of fear. Every time I took a leap of faith because I felt that stirring inside me….well it became one of my miracles.

My life changing plan for this year is to be more courageous and embrace the uncertain.

How bout you?

 

Peace and Kindness,

Dennis

MasterKey Experience Week 14 – Dumpster of Dreams

I work for a very large multinational communication company (that shall remain nameless), and every year in the store we do a reset for the holidays. I have been there for 8 years now and I have noticed a trend toward a more, shall we say, more secular decor. I find it somewhat hypocritical that a company has no problem with making money off promoting the holiday but refuses to actually acknowlede the reason behind it. Regardless of your religious bent, Christmas is the celebration of the birth of Jesus Christ.

Let me step off my soap box and get to the point. The decorations this year consisted only of wooden stands appoximately 2 foot high and covered with a silver paper with the words joy, peace, cheer, hope, or believe on it.

On December 27, my store manager said that they looked tacky and took them all to the backroom. I took the stands and put them on the cart and wheeled them down to be emptied into the dumpster in the back of the parking lot. As I am walking, I am looking at these signs with these positive messages and I am finding ironic that I am going to be pitching these into the trash with the grease and liquor bottles from the sports bar downstairs.

As I looked at these positive words lying in the dirty rusted smelly dumpster, I was shocked at the similarities to people’s minds.

In The Master Key System, the author writes, “you cannot take one step forward and two steps backward, neither can you spend twenty or thirty years of your life building up negative conditions as the result of negative thoughts, and then expect to see them all melt away as the result of fifteen or twenty minutes of right thinking.” (Haanel, Charles F.. The Master Key System (p. 70))

The genesis of this revelation was a conversation I had with a couple of young people regarding how women are treated like objects, not respected, not paid equally to men, and subjected to sexual innuendo and harassment in the workplace. I pointed out the lyrics in a song they were playing that referred to women as “ho’s” “bitches” and a few other more vulgar references I will not write here. They decried me as being old and senile (it is somehow acceptable to refer to anyone over 50 as old and use derogatory age references because we of advancing age are not a recognized group that deserves respect)

I tried to explain to them how the lyrics and the trend of women sending and posting degrading sexualized photos over the internet is galvanizing the public and creating a double standard that says “I want you to respect me but I will put up with these lyrics etc.” I said that you can’t have it both ways.

Needless to say, I got nowhere. And as I look at the picture I post below, I pray that Mark and Davene hit 300,000 MKMA’ers because it is the only way there will ever be lasting change. I don’t care how many of those signs you throw into the dumpster…….it still stinks. The only way there will be lasting change will be to clean it out and paint it up nice and pretty and stop throwing trash in it.

IMG_5059

How’s your mind?

WHAT DO YOU READ?
WHAT SHOWS DO YOU WATCH?
WHAT MUSIC DO YOU LISTEN TO?

I heard a preacher say that if Jesus was coming to visit your house tomorrow, would you have to throw out your DVD’s, CD’s, and magazines before he got there? Well, bad news……he’s already there.

I gotta go throw some stuff out and change how I treat people this coming year. What about you?

Peace and Kindness,

Dennis