MKE Week 22a: Where’s Waldo?


Time Capsule: I'm an ongoing student of the universe, adventurer, internet entrepreneur, creative photographer, skilled woodworker, loving husband and dad, Paul Simon fan... and 'Still Crazy After All These Years'.

The phrase ‘Where’s Waldo’ wove its way through our breakfast conversation today. I was musing to my wife about the abundance of gold nuggets I’d uncovered wading thru Waldo Emerson’s essay on Self-Reliance. I mentioned to Nicolette the challenge I had staying focused on Emerson’s style of writing. It’s hard work mining for gold! 

I wasn’t questioning the immense value of his works – simply frustrated from the multitude of words he seemed to feel necessary to express himself.

Maybe it’s ‘cuz I like simple solutions for everything.

I love reading conversational “straight to the point” wisdom without the formal complexity many of the “scholars” of Emerson’s era used to communicate… for whatever their reasons.  Complex as he is, Haanel is much easier to read and understand.

A former teacher and librarian,  Nicolette is a passionate reader of many genres including fantasy, science fiction, historical novels, and is particularly fond of children’s books.  Upon hearing my comments about Ralph Waldo Emerson, she asked if gleaning gold from Emerson was like finding Waldo in the ‘Where’s Waldo’ series of children’s books by Martin Hanford.

An idea for my post was hatched…

Always looking for the lighter side of life, I knew the topic for this post had to be about the two Waldos and how they both added value to my experience with the Master Key Experience.  

Emerson’s comment on success applies to Martin Hanford’s life too!

To laugh often and much; to win the respect of intelligent people and the affection of children…to leave the world a better place…to know even one life has breathed easier because you have lived. This is to have succeeded…

Ralph Waldo Emerson

Wheres Waldo? Another Hero’s Journey?

Hanford was an talented artist / illustrator specializing in crowd scenes. He created Waldo as an afterthought to tie together the scenes in his books to appease his editors. 

For over 25 years he has won the hearts of his fans, worldwide, with the travels of Waldo. 

Waldo’s worldwide journey with his striped garments and beanie gathered momentum as he hits the beaches, the zoo, ski slopes and other more exotic places.  His introductory postcard on each page outlines his travel and invites us to find him in the crowd.  No easy task! 

Was this another Hero’s Journey?  Did Hanford know Joseph Campbell?

Waldo embarks on his adventure of self-discovery, sent by his mentor Wizard Whiteboard.  His faithful mutt, woof, tags along and more travel companions (mastermind) are added and the stories unfolds across the planet.  Wow – sounds familiar! 

Our hero is challenged along the way by a thieving nemesis attempting to thwart his success. Hanford named him Odlaw, reversing the spelling and the roles… brilliant simplicity.

We all have dragons to slay along the way to our new life. Once we get past the dragons (fear and silliness) we get to the elixir – the real treasure and our new life reveals itself.

In the Finding Joe, Joseph Campbell tells us:

” We must let go of the life we have planned, so as to accept the one that is
waiting for us…”

To discover the power within, I create a new blueprint to live my life on purpose by being true to my self. Chipping off the tons concrete conditioning of the past to reveal the golden boy I know exists beneath. That would be the true me.  

Following my heart, not defending my ego, trusting my true self to live on purpose, in service to all humanity. It’s expanding to become the person I was intended to be.


In the stories… finding Waldo in the midst of a crowd of thousands of illustrative distractions is tough!  Once you find him – it’s always easy to keep him in focus. Isn’t it similiar to…

Finding my true self amid the crowd of countless distractions, thoughts, emotions, people, daily activity?  How do I recognize the real me? How do I stay focused on who I intend to become?  Once done – it’s a lasting effect caused by my hard mental labour.

The answer lies waiting in the Silence…

Silence is Golden

How many times have you heard the term, Silence is Golden?  Hundreds, thousands, more?  I always thought it meant tell the kids to be quiet and turn off distractions, grab a good book, glass of Cabernet, light the fireplace and settle in for a few hours.  

WRONG!  Not even close. Nice try tho’.

The Silence referred to by Haanel, Chopra and Mark J and the Fab Devene is sort of an extended meditation. The real meaning is to totally disconnect – period. No working at a job or working at home, no watching TV, no movies, no phones, no books, no computers, no listening to audios or other people, no talking to others.

Can you get this?  Is it a stretch?  I’ve never done this before!  No excuses either.  Excuses are simply fear preventing us from finding the gold in the Silence – finding my gifts to the world.

Reality Check: I take a vow of silence for a set period of time so I can be alone with my thoughts and feelings and finally uncover of the gifts I have to offer the world. So what can I do for 2-3 days (or more)?  Reconnect with nature, walk in the woods or by the ocean, sit still and meditate.

Be at one with myself without the insane buzz of everyday life. 

Deepak Chopra in his Seven Spiritual Laws of Success reveals getting into the gap between our thoughts is the only way to connect with our source, universal mind, God, or however you want to relate. And the only way to do that is in the Silence. 

So whether it’s Finding Joe, Finding Waldo or Finding Dennis – no one can do it for us. It’s an inside job. We have to use the Silence to find our unique gifts and then our purpose is to share them with the world by being of service to others in our own unique way.

Stay tuned for next week’s post.

’till then…


CategoriesMy MKE Journal
  • Dennis, absolutely brilliant! Connecting on so many levels with this post. You are a thoughtful guy and are developing a panoramic view of life. You are really BEING the Observer! You and Nicolette have an awesome Mastermind going.

  • hey there 🙂
    loved the quote about ‘having made it easier to breath for one soul’ (OK, my translation here 😉 )
    and you sure are well on your way to realize that you already Found Dennis …. 😉 ….
    indeed, go in and listen, he’s talking to you…. really really REALLY curious to find out more, next…..
    (and oh, do me a favor pleazzzzeeee…… tell me how you managed to follow my hosted blog? since I don’t see a button or whatever else for that use on it? So I thought it was not possible, have been asking already many times, to the Digitals, but still didn’t ‘get’ it….. you would help me a LOT by helping me Finding How to Follow my Blog …. so I finally understand….. 😀 )

  • aw gee thanks Terry – love you bro! And love what you say! The real power is I find is I have a mastermind with both YOU and Nicolette. Double Whammy! Practicing being the observer everyday – making progress, I think…

  • Hi Dominica – thanks for your encouragement! You can bet I’ll be listening closely in the Silence. First time for everything. I’ll have a look at your blog again to see what’s cookin’… and get get back to you.

  • Great Post and reflection. I love the addition of Finding Waldo. Its a great book I used with my kids. You opened my eyes to more clues .

  • Julia – great to see you here again! Glad you liked the second Waldo – me too! Perspective is everything eh? Don’t be a stranger… cheers!

  • Hi Dennis, thank you for the two Waldos!! I love that. I have also a hard time reading Emerson, as english is my third language…but I persevere!! My son like this finding Waldo a lot. So nice the explanation you give here. I will meditate on it.

  • Hi Chira – You’re welcome. Thank you for your comments! Happy to have given you a smile or two with this post. haha – English is my only language and I find Emerson a challenge to read. Wow – 3 languages. Learning more languages in my earlier years was never an interest of mine. Now I think it would have been a huge advantage to know Spanish at least and who know – maybe even Mandarin now.

  • Love reading your blogs! …and very well put together too. I would love to know how you got the Waldo theme in the background! (that’s my white coming out) I enjoyed the Waldo connection too- like the fewer words as well…

  • Thank you Marj! Glad you enjoyed my posts. Trying to keep the light side of an intense study in perspective. Several free background manager plugins are available for WordPress websites. The one here is now discontinued and I haven’t researched others yet. A general indication of the efficiency would be the number of downloads and check the most recent update. The best plugins are updated often. The file size of the background should be 1920 x 1200 and keep the file small so the pages load quickly. If you would like some help – send me a message on my contact page.

  • Dennis, i really enjoy your blog! At times, for me it is like reading Emerson 🙂 Had to pick up a dictionary couple of times 🙂
    Silence IS golden! Enjoy it!

  • Hi Izanna – Well, thank you for visiting today and I appreciate your comments. Agree, Emerson is a challenge but worthy wisdom. Cheers!

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