The Master Key System is a book written by Charles Haanel in the early part of the twentieth century. It is seen as one of the foundational books in the modern self-help movement. The movie "The Secret", which posits that our thoughts become our reality, is said to be based (on a very superficial level) on The Master Key System. It is frequently said that Bill Gates used The Master Key System to become the billionaire that he is today. Apparently, commitment to and use of this system will help you to discipline your mind so that you can be happier, healthier, and more successful.

The book is divided into twenty-four chapters. It was originally intended to be a correspondence course, with each chapter as a weekly lesson. Ideally, anyone using The Master Key System should read one chapter a week and master it before going on to the next. Every chapter contains an exercise for the reader to practice. At this rate, getting through the entire book takes about six months.

I'm trying out The Master Key System because I'm curious to see what my results might be. I have been interested in meditating and disciplining my mind for a while, but it's been difficult for me and I thought using a system might be helpful and provide me some structure.

My first week using this system yielded some interesting results. The author advises you to sit still for fifteen to thirty minutes while letting your mind wander if you like. This sounds much easier to do than it was. That I could allow my mind to wander was nice, but I found it hard to keep perfectly still. I set my alarm for fifteen minutes, sat on my bed in the half-lotus position, closed my eyes, and allowed my thoughts to go where they would. But I kept feeling different parts in my body itch. I took a deep breath when I had these sensations and tried to keep still and take my mind off of them, but after a few minutes I just had to scratch! I kept going, however, and eventually I was able to zone out and lose myself in my thoughts. Before I knew it fifteen minutes had passed.

I kept up with this exercise nearly every day for the first week. Though I still struggled against those itchy sensations, I experienced fewer and fewer every time I practiced and I was able to be completely still for a longer and longer period of time. After a while it became fun to see how long I could sit without moving.

Even though I'm only beginning with The Master Key System, so far I would recommend it to anyone who wants to challenge themselves using gradual steps. Since some people might find the language of the original version archaic, you might want to try getting the updated version, which includes the original text written by Haanel and the updated version.

I'll keep posting my experiences each week with The Master Key System. Hopefully I will have some good results!