October 25

Master Key Experience – Week 4

Do You Always Keep Your Promises?

I wanted to quit. I was already a week behind (5 days anyway) in trying to finish the scheduled work for that week in the MKE class. I didn’t see how this was going to get any easier anytime soon. This seemed too hard, and too much for me right now. What had been excitement in the beginning had now become drudgery. (I see now that the drudgery is my “old blueprint”; demons/minions coming after me, wanting me to justify the action.)

I wrote an email to the facilitator of the class announcing my intentions, respectfully. Her reply was to remind me what I had been warned about. She was going to hold me accountable.

The Value of Accountability

She wrote:
“You are teaching your subconscious something here, what do you want to teach it about you?
Will the progression of your life and the lives of those you love happen if you quit now? Will anything change?
I’m just covering myself here, I have to let you know that this is textbook ‘refusal of the call’ to the hero’s journey. Many, many people do it and continue their lives of quiet desperation, as Thoreau teaches us.
Refusal to become the hero of your own life, in the lives of the people who love you.”

This was chapter 4-12 and 4-13 from Haanel. I hadn’t even gotten around to reading this chapter yet (remember, I said I was running behind), and here it was!!

12. Unless you do this, you had better not start at all, because modern psychology tells us that when we start something and do not complete it, or make a resolution and do not keep it, we are forming the habit of failure; absolute, ignominious failure. If you do not intend to do a thing, do not start; if you do start, see it through even if the heavens fall; if you make up your mind to do something, do it; let nothing, no one, interfere; the “I” in you has determined, the thing is settled; the die is cast, there is no longer any argument.

13. If you carry out this idea, beginning with small things which you know you can control and gradually increase the effort, but never under any circumstances allowing your “I” to be overruled, you will find that you can eventually control yourself, and many men and women have found to their sorrow that it is easier to control a kingdom than to control themselves.

The Habit of Failure

Was I refusing the call, as she suggested? And if I was, why?? I sat the email down and thought for a while. I had done this before. It didn’t make me feel very good about myself.

In high school I decided to join the swim team. As a freshman, I was on the jr. varsity, and on the varsity team since a sophomore. In my senior year, I ended up quitting to save face (I thought) because all the younger guys were better than me. I went to my coach and balled! And quit.

I quit my first marriage, and my first family. I have a wonderful second wife and family now, but I still feel guilty about not trying harder then to preserve that union. These are just a few of the instances when I know that I indeed quit. There were others, believe me.

I am tired of quitting! I look back now and realize what kind of an example I have been setting, not just for myself, but for others who have been paying attention to my life: Mark Van Horn has been known not to finish what he starts. He doesn’t always keep his promises. Ouch!

If I don’t take the time to finish this course now, when will I finish it?! The time has come to replace this old, bad habit with a new one. I promise I am no longer a quitter. I finish what I start. And I always keep my promises.

Mark Van Horn

19 Oct 2018


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Posted October 25, 2018 by Mark in category "Uncategorized


  1. By Troy Van Dyke on

    Mark. You got thing brother. Keep it up. PERFECTION is not the answer. NOT QUITTING is. Thanks for your vulnerability and resolve.

  2. By Dre VanR on

    Awesome post Mark!! I am digging the renewed vigor to the process. Do the work and you will finish strong!! Have a fabulous weekend!

  3. By Alexandre Tournon on

    This was astonishingly good, this post is so open and real. Thank you for writing this. Would you allow me to share and spread this post? I believe more people need to read this.

    1. By Mark (Post author) on

      Absolutely sir, please do. And thank you for your kind words.

    1. By Mark (Post author) on

      You’re certainly welcome Brenda! And you know you’re never alone! 😉

  4. By Leann on

    Mark, WOW!!! Thank you for your open and honest share. Keep keeping those promises and watch out world, here comes Mark shining brightly!

    1. By Mark (Post author) on

      Easier said than done, Leann, right? Thanks for the encouragement.


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