So I'm reading the Master Key System. 1 chapter per week.  I even have the audio book to listen to it in the car.  I do the exercises a few times a week. 

What's the best way to study it?  Should I read it and dissect it? to be able to answer those questions with out looking for the answer.  What is the best way?  I'm willing to put in the work for 6 months.  Also if I get behind on the exercises should I stop reading the book for a week until I'm all caught up?

I know that's alot of questions but thank you in advance.  I love this site!!

asked 06 Oct '09, 01:24

Chris%201's gravatar image

Chris 1

edited 06 Oct '09, 05:35

Barry%20Allen's gravatar image

Barry Allen ♦♦

How to Read (and Study) The Master Key System

One of the most asked questions about The Master Key System sounds silly, but it is not as silly as it sounds. The question is -

How does one read The Master Key System?

You see, it does sound silly, until you realize that the book is divided into twenty-four chapters (weeks) and each chapter ends with an exercise, which Haanel implores you to practice for a week or so.

The confusion about how to read this book comes from the fact that originally The Master Key System was a correspondence course of sorts. In his “General Instructions to Students”, Haanel wrote -

The Master Key System consists of twenty-four parts, names of students are placed on an addressing machine and one part is mailed each week. They go forward automatically, and cannot be sent more frequently nor can they be held back.

Haanel implored his students to read each part at least once per day until the next part arrived. Then write the replies to the questions in the first part, cut off and mail to me.

The completion and the sending to Haanel of the questions at the end of each chapter was necessary. These papers were returned to the student “with the correct replies for comparison.”

It should also be noted that Haanel at this time did not sell a bound volume (book) of The Master Key System. One had to complete the correspondence course before a book of all the lessons would be sent.

The bound volume is never sold to any one at any price, unless they have completed the study and made payment in full.

So, should one, when first encountering The Master Key System, approach the book as directed by Haanel?

While Haanel’s method is good, I have found that in some ways the times have changed and a somewhat different method is required.

If a person is approaching the book for the first time, I encourage them to read through it just as if they were reading a novel or any other book. I tell them to go from cover to cover and read, don’t pay too much (if any) attention to doing the exercises, and just get acclimated to the work.

Once the person has done this, then – and only then – have I found that he or she is ready to actually study the book with an emphasis on the exercises.

In my experience, far too many begin studying the book before they are ready – and within a few chapters they find themselves burned out or worse … Bored. I’ve found that when a person reads through the book and becomes familiar with Haanel’s jargon and style, then that person sees where the book is headed. They don’t get caught up in the minutiae. They’re not “excited” about what’s coming next because they already know. They’ve got the gist of it and now they are ready to truly experience the book and the exercises.

Think of it this way: It’s much like going somewhere for the first time. When you get there that very first time, you basically want to do everything at once. Your mind is running a million miles per minute and you are constantly distracted by everything because it is all new to you. Thus, you miss out on a lot – and you never really enjoy yourself.

But by the second or third time going there, you get to know your way around. You are calmer. You know what to expect and what you are going to see, so you can keep your eyes open to what truly interests you. And you can take it all in calmly and decidedly.

If this is your fist experience with The Master Key System, then read it from cover to cover. See what it is about. Then, when you are ready, take the time to study it as Haanel instructed – going week by week, reading each lesson once per day for a week, and practicing the exercises.

Most of all, when you commit to studying it, don’t quit. Finish your study. The Master Key System is the most cogent system of study for developing your mental powers of concentration and visualization ever written. The real value in the book is not necessarily what Haanel wrote regarding his philosophy and metaphysics, it is in the exercises. Take your time with them and truly work to master them as best you can.

The Master Key System is a powerful book, but it must be approached properly. Take your time with it. There is no need to hurry. As I often say, you must keep in mind that this is a race of endurance, not speed.

Or as Haanel would put it-

If a part comes before you are ready for it, put it aside until you are ready. There is no occasion for haste.

There is no occasion for haste – only understanding.

-- © Anthony R. Michalski/Master Key Coaching


answered 06 Oct '09, 17:43

1Shonta%201's gravatar image

1Shonta 1

That is great to hear. I think in how you are doing is just fine. Read it listen to it and absorb the information. Make notes on the way.Dont rush it. Then when you have finished it the first time, read it again to reabsorb the information.As you reread it new information will come and it will re-enforce positive information to you. I find it helpful to underline or note lines that stand out to me, then when you are faced with a challenging time it is good to refer back to it. All the best (-:


answered 06 Oct '09, 05:29

N20's gravatar image


I read the System through from start to finish just to get a feel for it, then began studying it in earnest, week by week. I remember taking a highlighting pen to emphasise important phrases and sentences, but quickly found that the whole page was highlighted!! Read each paragraph and study it, make notes, think about it until you really understand it. There is an awful lot of information packed into The Master Key System. Remember that when it was written, there were a lot less distractions in the world, so one week of otherwise boring empty nights was probably adequate to study each chapter thoroughly. Take two or even three weeks if necessary, but do not leave a chapter until you can thoroughly understand it and do the exercise effortlessly. You must be able to do the exercise. That is essential!! The Master Key System is freely available on the internet, yet why are so few people using it and becoming successful because of it? Because they give up. They want the shortcut, the quick and easy path to success. Twenty Four weeks of hard mental study? Hah! There has to be an easier way...but there isn't. Mr. Haanel emphasises that. There is no day's physical work harder than ten minutes real proper thinking. Its difficult, very difficult! But completing the course is the test. You must use your will power and stick with it. That is the secret - don't give up and don't lessen your effort. Don't skimp when you are getting bored, and move on to a new chapter for a breath of fresh air, as it were. Whew, I'm rambling on a bit, but I hope I got the point across!! Good Luck.


answered 18 Oct '09, 07:18

Paul%20I's gravatar image

Paul I

I am reading the Master Key System and I am not reading it the right way but its how I am going to process it. I will read it through once competely and than I will go back and read it again slowly this time and focus on certain things. To answer your question I think you are reading just right for you as they say it is suppose to be done. Just relax and take it on in an absorb it and after several repeated reading you will be doing just find.

From what I have read I am finally really getting it for he tells you steps you need to go by in order to get your mind ready to perceive the reality you want to create within your inner mind your sub-conscious. I love the way he connects and reminds us that we get this great power from God. So many people leave out the God force he is an energy of pure love and power and he gave us this power as well.

First of all love your self and don't be so quick to be the main one talking negative about your own self. That inner person will beat you up emotionally and don't be so quick to reach and grab the negativey people speak and say about you let it roll off your back like an duck let water roll off of its feathers or back.

I am finding it helpful to be open minded and try an remove those negative tetants that have been dwelling in my subscious mind for far too long like self doubt or just doubt, fear, stress, depression, doom, gloom, lack of confidence and etc. Just like he said remove the negative completely out of the way.


answered 06 Oct '09, 09:04

flowingwater's gravatar image


I have read it in weekly installments but will start going through it again, i believe its up to you so go through it at your own pace. Your mind will be open to certain influences at certain times and every time you go through the course you will learn something new.


answered 06 Oct '09, 15:08

eziospags's gravatar image


I really enjoyed reading all of these answers. I too am studying the Master-Key System and appreciate all of the insight from different perspectives. I may have been placing too much emphasis on following Haanel's instructions verbatim. I think it is also helpful to remember that this course was written almost a hundred years ago and introduced many new and previously unheard of thoughts and ideas. It must have come as a very drastic departure from the predominant religious and social thinking of the day.


answered 18 Oct '09, 04:14

richc's gravatar image


Hello Chris, i suggest it's a good idea to first read the whole book from start to finish to demystify it ... then read it again and again until you fully understand the contents of the book.

You will find that the basic ideas and practices within the book are really very simple and are completely explained on the site Inward Quest and elsewhere. However knowing all this is just the start and the real value of Charles Haanel's work is in the thorough practical training that it entails.

The lessons are progressive and a lot of work can be achieved in six months though i feel it takes a lot longer than that to become really proficient.

To resume ... read and understand the contents ... study the lessons ... visualize and perform ... all at your own pace, feel comfortable with it ... 'replay'(go back to the beginning and start again) as much as you wish ... remember that the 'secret power' unfolds from within.


answered 02 Nov '11, 06:41

blubird%20two's gravatar image

blubird two

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