Master Key System

by Charles F. Haanel

It is a psychological fact that ninety per cent. of our mental power is never or seldom used. Therefore, most men have the power to achieve ten times as much as they ever accomplish.

This chart will tell you exactly where you stand, what you are accomplishing and what you can accomplish if you make the necessary effort.

Copy the following table out and fill it in as instructed below .

The first test is your Mental product. What is it worth? Are you getting full value for it? What you get for your mental product depends entirely upon your ability to sell it to the best advantage. The chances are that many men with no more ability than yourself are being paid ten, twenty or fifty times more than you are, for a product no better than yours. If so, there is a reason, and this chart will explain it.

Estimate the value of what you have to sell, your knowledge, your experience, your loyalty, your energy, and if you are marketing it at its full rate value give yourself 100 per cent.; if you are only getting one-half of what it is worth give yourself fifty per cent., but be fair; do not underestimate the value of what you have to offer; remember that loss leads to greater loss and most loss comes from self-depreciation. Cause and effect do not operate somewhere, sometimes, but everywhere, always. This is an invariable law, so that whatever we receive, good or bad, is the result of a definite cause and reaches us either as a penalty or a reward.

And remember this, your ability to sell your mental product as the rate of 5 per cent. annually, on $100,000, does not depend upon ability or knowledge either; you may be selling your product for $400 a year, and it may be more valuable than that of many who are being paid at the rate of $5,000 a year. The reason is plain. Knowledge does not apply itself; you are allowing it to remain in static form; you must convert it into dynamic form by applying creative power and concentration. The lack of concentrated, intelligent, charted effort may be costing you $4,000 a year.

Next, take Health. If you eat well, sleep well, take a reasonable amount of recreation, and can attend to your business, profession or household duties without any consideration for or thought of the state of your health, give yourself 100 per cent.; but if your body needs constant attention, if you have to be continually worried about what to eat or what not to eat, if you cannot sleep, or if you have aches or pains of any description, deduct from the 100 per cent.; if you think your health is 90 per cent. of what it should be, give yourself 90 per cent., or if you are only 50 per cent. efficient, put it down--be absolutely fair.

Remember that your physical body is maintained through a process of continuous destruction and reconstruction. Life is simply an exchange of the old for the new, and health is only the equilibrium which nature maintains during the process of creating new tissue and eliminating the old or waste tissue.

Birth and death are constantly taking place in our body, new cells are constantly being formed by the process of converting food, water and air into living tissue. Every action of the brain, every movement of a muscle means the destruction and consequent death of some of these cells and the accumulation of these dead, unused and waste cells is what causes pain, suffering and disease. The symptoms depend upon what organs are being taxed in their effort to eliminate the waste matter.

An understanding of these laws and a consequent knowledge as to how to preserve an equilibrium between the new cells which are being created and the old cells which are being eliminated is the secret of perfect health.

Next in importance comes Time Efficiency because time is all that we have, and what we accomplish depends entirely upon what use we make of our time. If you work eight hours, sleep eight hours, and use eight hours for recreation, study and self-improvement and all the time is fully utilized, give yourself 100 per cent.

But if any part of the eight hours which should be sold at a profit is spent in idleness, or gossip, or any form of mental dissipation; if any part of this time is wasted, or worse than wasted by allowing your thought to rest on critical, discordant or inharmonious subjects of any kind, cut down your percentage accordingly. If you fall asleep the minute your head touches the pillow, all right, but if you spend from fifteen minutes to an hour trying to get to sleep, cut your percentage down again: if your sleep is disturbed by dreams or fear or worry of any kind, cut your percentage down again.

If you jump up early and feel refreshed and vigorous, if you bathe and make your toilet without the loss of any unnecessary time, well and good, but if you idle or dream or fritter away from fifteen minutes to a half-hour needlessly, cut your percentage down again. If you spend the rest of your time in good healthy recreation, which benefits you, both physically and mentally, well and good; you are acquiring capital which will have a cash value, but if you let the time get away from you with nothing to show for it, you are not better physically, mentally or morally; if the time has gone and left nothing of value, then it has been lost for it may leave something detrimental, something which will prove a handicap in your race for success. Here again you must be fair with yourself and give yourself exactly the percentage to which you are entitled.

Next comes your Creative Power. If most persons whom you meet do what you want them to do; if they feel toward you as you wish them to feel; if they think what you want them to think, give yourself 100 per cent., because everything we get must come from others; there is no other channel by which success can reach us. This creative power must be unconsciously exercised, it must be your personality; if, however, you have to make a tremendous effort when you wish to accomplish something, if you have to exert will power, if you must fret and worry and stew over the result of an important interview, cut your percentage down to 50 per cent. or 40 per cent. or even less, because you do not understand the principle involved.

When you understand there will be no cause for anxiety; you will know, because in the first place you will never want or expect anyone to do anything except what is best for them; you will understand that every transaction must benefit both parties. When you understand these laws, when the principles become a vital part of your life, when they are involved in your mental attitude, you will have found the Master Key and all doors will be open to you, because you will understand that every event, every condition, every thing was first an idea, and that just to the extent that you grew quiet, and focused your attention on that idea, stilling all the activities of the mind, and eliminating all other thoughts from your consciousness, will the various phases and possibilities of the idea develop; and just in accordance with the definiteness with which you picture that idea, and the extent with which the idea takes possession of you will the creative power do its work, and the creative power will eventually take control and direct every activity of both mind and body and will begin to shape every condition related to the idea, so that sooner or later the idea will come forth in definite tangible form. If you understand this thoroughly, and have demonstrated it time and time again, so that you can mould and shape and determine conditions, I say again, give yourself 100 per cent.

Next comes Concentration. Can you concentrate? Do you know what it means to concentrate? Can you direct the thought to any problem which may arise, for five minutes, ten minutes or fifteen minutes, to the absolute exclusion of everything else? Can you unravel, disintegrate, take the problem apart, see every phase of it, see the cause which brought it about, see the solution, see it definitely, conclusively, and finally, and know that your solution is correct? Can you then dismiss the matter and turn your attention to something else without ever recurring to the matter again? If you can do this, give yourself 100 per cent. If, however, you are haunted by fears, troubles, anxieties. If, when you have no problem to solve, you make one for yourself, by drawing on your imagination; if you are afraid of what this one says, or the other one thinks, or someone else does, then cut down your percentage, because if you knew how to concentrate you would not be afraid of anyone or anything; you would be in possession of a power which would make every other known power sink into insignificance. Be careful to give yourself exactly the percentage to which you feel you are entitled.

Now strike an average. See where you stand. If you are a little above the average, your chart will be something like this

Assuming that you are earning $1,000 a year and that you feel that your mental product should be worth $2,000 a year, which is the basis for your calculation, then any method which would assist you to increase your earning power to $2,000 a year would be worth $1,000 a year to you.

Again, any method which would bring you health, efficiency in your time, efficiency in your creative power, or increase your ability to concentrate, would be worth at least $1,000 a year. Many have found that the Master Key teaching does all of this and much more.


Fully to understand grand and beautiful thought requires, perhaps, as much time as to conceive it.

If you wish to enjoy the utmost practical benefit from "The Master Key"--go slowly.

Transfuse into your mind the contents of one part only, each week for twenty-four weeks.

Realize the meaning of every phrase.

Consult "The Master Key" constantly, as your perpetual help and stimulus.

Each time you read the work you will get a better understanding of the eternal cosmic principles.

Tell others of "The Master Key" so that more and more people may reciprocate with you, as conscious adepts in harmony.

The Publishers

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THE MASTER KEY SYSTEM IN TWENTY-FOUR PARTS WITH QUESTIONNAIRE AND GLOSSARY By CHARLES F.HAANEL Saint Louis, MO: Inland Printery [1919]. This text has been reformatted for the web at by Jayaram V. This text is not an exact reproduction of the original edition  published in 1919. The title pages, page numbers, contents and index pages of the book are not included in this electronic version. Those who are interested in the entire version of the text may refer the original copy. This text is in the public domain in the US as it was published before 1923.