Eliminate any possible tendency to complain of conditions as they have been, or as they are, because it rests with you to change them and make them what you would like them to be.Haanel
I have highlighted this quote numerous times in Haanel’s book The Master Key System.
It strikes a chord and poses a question. I often find it easy to complain about my conditions. Presuming I have the power to change them, how far does that power go and how do I determine what is mine to change?
I find the division and controversies that dominate the social landscape these days disheartening and beyond my control. Call me ‘uninvolved’ or ‘part of the problem’, but I choose to give it as little attention as possible.
Perhaps the best thing I can do — and do more of — is to hold dear the vision of a kinder, gentler world. If enough people do that instead of taking sides …
To bring the truth of Haanel into the smaller orbit in which I circulate, I’ll share an experience of its application.
Things rarely go smoothly when I have a tight agenda and the desire to move through it efficiently. This ensures the opportunity to ‘complain of conditions’.
My son has taken on a massive project to restore an old church into a residence. It’s going to be spectacular — I was honored when he asked if I would help him with irrigation and landscaping. I’ve done plenty of that sort of thing at my homes over the years.
I’m happy to be involved. Unfortunately, it didn’t work out that we made headway on this part of the project over the summer. It’s mid-October in Idaho and the clock is not our friend. A particular day ahead held promise for great achievement and I wanted to be onsite as early as possible. Every minute would count.
Just a quick errand first.
I had several small parcels to mail which required a trip to the post office. I anticipated that to be time-consuming, so I decided to go to an independent mail center instead. That proved to be ridiculously expensive. It turns out they nearly double the amount of the postage.
I walked into the post office and joined the line I expected to find, ‘along with the tendency to complain about conditions’. I wanted to leave, but heard ‘do it now!’
I’ll be honest, I started to do my mental bitching. Then, the admonition from Haanel came to mind and I observed the calm demeanor of the postal clerks. If they could be relaxed and go with ‘conditions’ as they were, couldn’t I?
My internal dialogue changed as I looked at the clerks and the people in line and wished good things for each.
Things like joy, affluence, kindness, love, and health. My payment was a greater sense of peace and relaxation.
As the day turned out, it wouldn’t be my only opportunity to exercise my new muscle.