“I define enlightenment as our ability to choose our experience of life in any given moment.”
For every single one of us, 2020 was a year unlike any other in history. For many, it was arguably the most difficult year of their lives. For some, it was a great year. My question for all of us to consider is, what determines whether a year is good or bad?
On last week’s podcast, I shared an unconventional approach to making 2021 your best year yet. I talked about why having a good year or a bad year has less to do with your results and more to do with how you choose to show up and experience each day. In other words, if you commit to show up at your best each day, regardless of your results, wouldn’t that be the recipe to creating your best year ever?
Well, this week, we’re focusing on more of the tangible side of things — the specific goals and measurable outcomes that you want to achieve in your life.
You’re going to hear how to apply the Miracle Equation to your life in 2021, in order to move your biggest goals from possible, to probable, to inevitable and to create results beyond what you’ve ever imagined possible.
Today, you’ll learn the 5-steps to Achieve Your Biggest Goals and Dreams:
- Step 1: Accept and Love Your Life Unconditionally
- Step 2: Redefine the Purpose of Your Goals
- Step 3: Maintain Unwavering Faith
- Step 4: Put Forth Extraordinary Effort
- Step 5: Maintain the Miracle Equation Until the Last Possible Moment
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to today's podcast. This is Hal Elrod, and thank you for listening today. I appreciate you. I'm grateful that you're here and your time is valuable. So, I want to make sure that you leave today with some valuable insights and strategies that you can apply immediately to improve your life, to improve this year, make this year your best year yet, and, hopefully, this will be what you need to do that. So, this is the first episode of 2021 and, literally, for every single one of us, 2020 was a year unlike any other. I think that's safe to say, by far, not even close. For a lot of us, 2020 was a difficult year. Some of us experienced adversity maybe in ways that we never had before. Some of us experienced loss and that could have been on a level of losing a loved one, it could have been losing a job or income, but there was a lot of loss experienced. I think that for some of us, it may have been the most difficult year of our lives. I want to ask you, does that make it a bad year? So, meaning 2020 was so difficult, I had so much adversity. I faced so many challenges. Does that make it a bad year? Or is it possible that your most difficult year of your life could also be the best year of your life? Is that possible? And if so, how would you measure that? How would you determine that?
Last week, that's what we talked about, essentially. Last week on the podcast, it was titled: An Unconventional Approach To Make 2021 Your Best Year Yet and the premise of that episode was to consider kind of a different paradigm than most of us are used to. And that paradigm is that your best year or your best anything, your best day, week, month, your best year, your best birthday, your best workout, your best vacation, like your best anything isn't strictly about results, circumstances, and outcomes which are often out of our control but it's how we usually measure, “Oh, this happened to me so, therefore, things went bad. I wasn't expecting this to go wrong. I didn't expect this to happen.” We often measure the quality of our life and what we would attribute as good or bad based on things that are out of our control. The paradigm that I introduced last week was that the measure of our best year or our best anything can be measured by two things. Number one is how we show up and number two is how we perceive our experience. So, in other words, if you show up every day at your best, you show up with grace and courage, and gratitude, and discipline, and joy, and love, and service, and contribution. If that's how you show up, you show up in alignment with your values. You show up at your best.
But things don't go the way you were hoping they would. Well, how do you measure how that day went? Is it how things went or is it how you decided to show up? And that's my invitation to consider that paradigm that you're actually in control of your best anything based on two things. Number one, how you show up, and number two, how you perceive our experience. It goes back to the question I asked earlier, which is if 2020 was, in fact, the most difficult year of your life and maybe some ways it was, some ways it wasn't, but does that make it a bad year? And that goes to the perception part, right? How do you perceive your year? You can look at any experience and go, "Well, it was difficult so it was bad and I hated it, and I didn't deserve it, and I'm a victim,” or you can go, “Yeah. It was the most difficult time in my life but I decided to look back at that time as an opportunity for me to learn and grow and become better than I've ever been before.” You know, for me personally, when I had my car accident and I was told I would never walk again and I was in the hospital for seven weeks, I decided that would be the best experience of my life. Not because I wanted to get into a car accident, I wanted to break 11 bones. I would have never wished for it but once it's happening and I guess we're going to talk more about this later but once an experience is happening, you can choose how you perceive that experience as this is unwanted, this is unexpected, therefore, it's bad and I'm going to feel all sorts of emotions that really, I don't enjoy.
I'm going to feel sad and scared and angry and depressed or you can go, "Man, this sucks but it's going to suck with a smile. I'm going to enjoy, I'm going to find the purpose, the meaning. I'm going to find the gratitude within me. I'm going to dig deep in the midst of this adversity and these challenges and I'm going to be the best I've ever been.” The decision I made the day I was diagnosed with cancer is I will be the happiest and the most grateful I've ever been while I endure the most difficult time in my life. So, that was my choice as to how I was going to perceive my experience. Consider this, perception can be something that you choose in hindsight, right? Like maybe during 2020, you really struggled and you struggled mentally and emotionally. So, during the year, it was difficult but now looking back and maybe if you're listening to this and you're going, "Yeah. Okay. Maybe I'll try that on, Hal. Maybe I'll actually look back at what was a really difficult year and I'll find the purpose and the meaning and the elements that I can be grateful for. I'll find the opportunities to grow and to improve that came from this year,” that maybe you didn't see them as they were happening but now in hindsight, you can choose that perception.
Also, you can choose how you perceive life as it's happening in the moment. Kind of like the cancer experience for me. With the car accident, I don't think that in the moment, I don't know that I was, well, maybe I did decide I was going to be at peace. I actually did. We'll talk more about that later but the point is you can choose. While you're experiencing difficulties and challenges, you can choose to show up at your best. You can choose to find the purpose, the meaning, the gratitude within your adversity. When you do, all of a sudden, the adversity doesn't have control over you. You're able to be mindful. You're able to elevate your consciousness to kind of rise above and look down at your situation and go, “Oh, okay, this is happening. How can I make the best of this? How can I learn from this? How can I grow from this? How can I use this experience to become a better version of myself? How can I use this experience to help others now or in the future?” So, you can choose an empowering perception and perspective in the moment while you're going through your life and that's what I would encourage you to do because they say hindsight is 2020. But why put yourself through unnecessary suffering only to look back and go, “Oh, that didn't kill me. It made me stronger. Hmm.” Like, why waste energy worrying and stressed and frustrated and angry and scared? Why live in those states while you're enduring challenges when you could, instead, choose to find an empowering meaning and purpose for life as it's happening, for adversity as you're enduring it rather than waiting until some future moment to look back and go, “Oh, okay, that was actually good for me. That actually made me better,” right? You can choose that now in the moment.
So, last week, we talked in-depth about how you show up and how you perceive your year in order to make this your best year ever. So, that was the approach to 2021. Instead of just setting goals and measuring your success based on how far you come from your goals or which goals you achieve. It was, why don't you change it where you're in control of how you show up and how you perceive everything that happens to you throughout the year and that becomes the measure of your best year ever? And then it's not something that you measure at the end of the year. It's something you measure in the moment. I'll say that again. When you live in the paradigm of your best year ever will be measured by how you show up and how you perceive your experiences, then your best year ever isn't something that you measure at the end of the year. It's something that you measure in the moment because every moment you choose how you show up and you choose how you perceive your life, your challenges, etcetera. If you want to go back and listen to that episode, by the way, it is at HalElrod.com/357. It was our 357th episode of The Achieve Your Goals Podcast. Now, following up on the premise of last week's episode, today we're going to talk about how to apply The Miracle Equation to your life in 2021. So, today's episode is more about the specific goals, measurable outcomes that you want to achieve in your life because both are important.
If all you do is focus on the internal of life, well, there are two sides to the coin of life. There's your internal experience and there's the actual tangible real-world around you. For example, if you're naked outside and it’s zero degrees, all the mental and emotional strength in the world it'll serve you to a point until you get hypothermia and you die, right? That's kind of a random example I just thought of but the point being, we also, not only do we want to feel good. We want to create circumstances that make it easier to feel good. If you're in that zero degrees cold outside, it takes a lot more challenging to be able to be at peace and happy when you're just trying to focus on surviving, staying warm. And so, you can apply that to every area of life, of course. If you have no money to pay your bills, that's a challenge. That's a real, tangible struggle that you have to deal with and address. And so, while working on the inner world and how you're showing up and how you're perceiving your circumstances, that's where everything begins and ends. But in the middle, there is you want to set your life up in the way that you want to set your life up. That's probably why you started listening to The Achieve Your Goals Podcast because you had goals that you wanted to achieve.
Hal Elrod: So, that's what we're going to talk about today, how to apply the miracle equation to your life in 2021. Now, in case you're not familiar, you might go, "What is the miracle equation?” If you've listened for a long time, you definitely know the title of my recent book, The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable. So, that's the miracle equation. It’s the two fundamental decisions that the world's most accomplished people in all walks of life have consistently made over time to create those accomplishments, to achieve those goals, to achieve those dreams. If you study the world's most accomplished people, you'll find that these are the two fundamental decisions that they've made repeatedly. It's not a one-time thing where you make these decisions and then you let it ride. This is kind of going back to the two measures for your best year ever or your best anything ever, how you show up, and how you perceive your experience. In the same way, these two decisions, you make these, they're a way of life. It's a way of approaching everything you do every single day.
So, the miracle equation, I'll tell you personally, I've used this to overcome every major challenge I've faced including the two that I mentioned a few minutes ago from when I was hit head-on by a drunk driver and told I would never walk again, I broke 11 bones, I use the miracle equation to defy the logic of doctors and the temptation is to be a victim and took my first step three weeks after I was found dead at the scene. Then when I had cancer and I was given a 20% to 30% chance of surviving, I used the miracle equation to beat the cancer and to stay alive and to be here with you today. So, first, I've used the miracle equation to overcome every major challenge I've faced but I've also used the miracle equation to reach all of my biggest goals, create the life of my dreams, and everything from impacting millions of people with my little self-published book, The Miracle Morning, that I wrote and self-published myself with no audience when I launched it and then to most recently releasing the Miracle Morning Movie. And really every goal I've accomplished personally or professionally, running an ultra-marathon, like every goal I've accomplished this, these are the two decisions. It's the simplest formula that I can break down for you on how to achieve your goals and your dreams.
I mentioned, most recently, I use this for the movie, what you may not know about the movie is that it took us six years to make the Miracle Morning Movie and we faced so many challenges, both internal, right, just human, my fear. I had tons of fear and self-doubt and insecurity. There were all sorts of logistical challenges trying to work together with a team to make a film and then the external challenges with me getting cancer. Our producer, Theresa Laurico, was hit by a bus and they brought up the body bag like she spent - her and I were both in the hospital. I was fighting cancer. She was recovering with broken bones and brain damage from being hit by a bus on Easter Sunday. Then our director, Nick Conedera, was out there still making the movie happen. Not to mention the pandemic hit. We had a 250 theater release planned, May of 2020, and the pandemic hit and we had to call it off. The point is there was tons of adversity and that movie just released and the goal was to reach 10,000 people and we had 9,200 people watch it, which we're going to talk today about why the purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal, right? There's a bigger purpose than that. And so, I didn't quite hit the goal. I was short of it by 800 people, but doesn't matter, right? That's inconsequential. The goal just becomes a target for you to align how you show up.
See, that's the purpose of a goal. It aligns. It gives you a target. You then measure, okay, how do I have to show up every day? What's the mindset and the behaviors that I need to embody every day to reach that goal? That's the purpose of a goal. It's to inform your behavior and to inform your mindset. Sometimes you exceed the goal. Sometimes you fall short. Very rarely do you hit right on the nose but informing how you show up is the most important part. We'll talk more about that in a few minutes. Most importantly, though, when it comes to the miracle equation, I have seen countless people apply this to their lives, to create tangible, measurable miracles, meaning results that are so far beyond what they thought was possible for them, that when they accomplished it, it felt like a miracle, and that is what I want for you this year. At the end of this podcast today, even if you heard the miracle equation before, you're going to get new insights today, for sure. I'm going to give you five steps to apply the miracle equation to your life but that's what I want to see for you and that's what I know is possible is that you can create tangible, measurable miracles in any area of your life that you apply these two decisions to, your health, your fitness, your finances, your relationships, your happiness, you name it. These two decisions are universal and fundamental.
I want to share a story with you of someone in the Miracle Morning Community who apply the miracle equation, and there are many, many of these stories. In fact, if you go to Amazon, you can see just the reviews you can read on The Miracle Equation book, you can see people sharing how this has radically impacted their life. I do want to mention, by the way, I almost forgot I should have said this earlier but the reason I chose the timing for today is not only is it the new year but the paperback version of The Miracle Equation was just released on Amazon, actually, where all books are sold, Barnes and Noble, Amazon wherever you buy books, and the paperback edition, it's less expensive than the hardcover. That's one benefit, I guess. But the other one is, my publisher had me write a bonus chapter called Maximizing Your Miracle Mornings. And so, it's how do you maximize your Miracle Morning to be able to implement the Miracle Equation. So, it's kind of a chapter on how to tie the two of them together. So, again, that is available on where books are sold. There's a lot of stories in that book, of course, of people who've applied the miracle equation to achieve extraordinary results. This is one of my favorite stories and this came after I wrote the book.
In fact, Miranda Martin read The Miracle Equation. She is a member of the Miracle Morning Community. She used to attend our live events. She read the book and then she'd been applying it to a health condition that she was suffering from that was supposedly chronic. The doctors told her that there was no cure, and this is something she would have for the rest of her life, and she called me. I remember I can picture myself at the Delta terminal at the Austin airport. I think I was heading to New York and Miranda called me on my cell phone, and she said, “Hal, I have to tell you the story. The Miracle Equation, it changed my life. It worked. It saved my life if you will.” I'm going to read you, I asked her to email me her story so that I could share it and I'm going to read this word for word. This is Miranda Martin's miracle if you will in her words:
“October 2018, I was diagnosed with an incurable, hereditary lifelong illness that would get better with time but never go away. In my worst of times, I had four people on payroll to help me run my house plus a homecare nurse. At the worst. I had hired help to cook all meals, make my juices, and even take my kids to and from school. I had taken so many ambulance rides, I lost count. It was so bad, they knew me at the hospital I preferred but I knew incredible influences like Rachel Grossman, Sarah Bailey, Hal Elrod that had stage three or four cancer. So, I knew I could beat this too someday. I knew my kids deserved me to be a fully healthy mom and I would work nonstop until I accomplished it. I continued on with this Hal Elrod says ‘unwavering faith and extraordinary effort’ reading and doing the Miracle Morning close to two hours a day to change my mind and learn what I wanted to commit to, got on the right medicine that took four months of nonstop determination to get the insurance and the doctors aligned. Thanks, Mom. Prayers, doctor's visits, organic strict diet, juicing, supplements, doctor's visits, prayers, rinse, and repeat.”
By the way, that's her extraordinary effort.
“Let me say I'm not a doctor. My addition to conventional medicine was from my nonstop studies of nutrition and holistic practices.”
Again, let me insert that is an extraordinary effort. Most people just go to the doctor, do what the doctor says, and that is it. Miranda went on to study, nonstop study she said of holistic practices. All right. Back to the letter.
“I kept doing all this for close to a full year straight. Unwavering faith plus extraordinary effort for six to nine months, I was feeling like nothing was happening while doctors and everyone reminding me it's incurable but I kept going and daily reading my one affirmation from The Miracle Equation. My affirmation stated, ‘I am healthy every day. I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will become 100% healthy, disease-free, and will put extraordinary effort until I do no matter what. There is no other option.’ I read that affirmation every single day. I used to have multiple affirmations but right now, I just needed to focus 100% on this one thing to get my life and my health back. Yesterday, I got a colonoscopy done and the impossible happened. It is 100% gone. What?!”
That's what she said.
“I'm still in disbelief, completely humbled, and filled with gratitude. This is a combination of a miracle and a lot of nonstop discipline and hard work with the right thoughts. Let it be known. God is definitely in the miracle business. My life changed so significantly with the Miracle Morning but I never thought that would just be the small beginning. Wow. I am forever grateful for the example of discipline and positivity that Hal lives out on a daily basis. I've gotten to know him on a smaller scale this year and the one thing I can promise you is he is extremely disciplined and lives his life non-negotiably in alignment with his goals and his values. He knows exactly what he wants and makes it happen through The Miracle Equation. If he can do it, we can do it too. I can assure you. I wasn't as disciplined as him, definitely tried to be close, but it still worked. I love you so much, Hal. I'm not sure what you're struggling with in your life but know that it is possible to prevail. It may not happen in a day, week, month, or maybe even a year but if you keep at it, the impossible is possible in due time. Belief, commitment, then action equals unwavering faith and extraordinary effort. You can create miracles in your life.”
Wow. That's just one story and there are countless stories of people who have applied the miracle equation since reading the book, not to mention those throughout history that have lived by these two decisions. But I read Miranda’s story for you because it's so inspiring. Because literally, it's not just, “Oh, she achieved the goal.” It's she somehow using unwavering faith which is the mindset, and extraordinary effort which is the tangible actions that you take, utilizing those two decisions every day for approximately one year and she said for six to nine months she saw no results. Nothing got better. But she continued to maintain unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, until - and that's one of the most important lessons that we'll talk about today - until for as long as it took for her to achieve the outcome.
Because when you finally achieve the outcome, you don't care how long it took. The timing is always perfect. You look back, you go, “Oh, it was worth it. It was always worth it.” Most people give up the faith that they can achieve the things they want in their life and they don't put forth the necessary effort and therefore their life doesn't get significantly better. Things just stay the same. Or they start out with the faith and they start out with the effort but they only do it for so long. They eventually get discouraged, they get tired, they lose motivation, and they give up, and when you give up, you give up, right? You're not going to get to your goals. But when you maintain unwavering faith and extraordinary effort like Miranda did, for as long as it takes, you wake up one day and you go, “Oh, my God, I did it. We did it. I'm here. I maintained faith this day was possible but still, as a human being, we all doubt ourselves. Every day that goes by when we're not where we want to be, when things aren't going where we want them to go, we let self-doubt creep in and that's where unwavering faith comes in. You override the self-doubt with wavering faith.
So, now we're going to dive in. I'm going to share five steps to apply the miracle equation in 2021 and I'm going to share two steps before we get to the two decisions and then we'll have a few more steps. All right. But there's a little bit of pre-work that needs to be done. So, step number one is to accept and love your life unconditionally. So, if you're taking notes, and this is worth taking notes, I would write these five steps down. So, step number one, so if you need to pause this and grab a pen or open your computer to take notes, I'd encourage you to do that. Step number one, accept and love your life, unconditionally. This morning, well, I'll get to that in a second. So, what does this mean, accept and love your life unconditionally? Well, accepting and loving your life unconditionally, you only have one life, and here's the thing. Everyone's life has problems. People that are happy aren't happy because their life never had any problems. They're happy because they choose to be happy. One of the most fundamental values that when I was 19 years old and I don't know if my mentor, Jesse Devine, taught me this or if I read it or I just thought of it, I don't know where it came from, I don't remember, but I remember I wrote it down. It's in my first affirmations that I ever wrote when I was 19. They weren't even affirmations but now looking back, that's what they were. I didn't know the word affirmations but that's what they were.
I was affirming values that I wanted to live in alignment with. One of the first ones I still have the… it's this green journal, where I wrote down like how to be my best self or something like that. One of the first, if not the first, principle was, "Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy.” Happiness is a choice. I choose to be happy. It was an unconditional choice that no matter what happens to me, I will never let my circumstances determine my emotional well-being. I will be happy in the midst of things going great, things going not so great, or things going terrible. I will do it all with a smile. I will do it all with gratitude. I will do it all with joy. See, it goes back to that was my choice of that's how I will show up. I will show up unconditionally happy in the midst of every experience I encounter in life because that's my vow, my vow, if you will, of unconditional happiness. And where was I going with that? Oh, so the point is we're all living life and you get to choose your experience of life. A few weeks ago, I talked about enlightenment and that's how I define enlightenment. It's our ability to choose our experience of life in any given moment. Our ability to choose our experience of life, so things are going bad. Well, yeah, these circumstances suck but that's not going to change how I experience life. I'm going to experience it with gratitude and acceptance and peace of mind, and happiness and joy, no matter what's going on.
So, this morning I was listening to an audio course from Michael Singer. Michael Singer is the author of one of my favorite books of all time, The Untethered Soul, and one of my other favorite books of all time, The Surrender Experiment. And this particular course was titled: Living from a Place of Surrender and actually it's on Audible. I recommend it. I recommend all of his work. He's phenomenal. Michael shared a perspective about personal development that I found extremely valuable. The essence of what he said was that it's not enough just to add a bunch of strategies and goodness to your life without first examining and removing the things that are causing you stress or insecurity or fear or whatever negative, painful suffering that's going on inside of you. So, ideally, you want to first clear out any mental and emotional baggage, if you will, so that you can create a neutral place inside of you so that the good isn't competing with the bad. You know, he used the analogy of having a home that's a mess inside filled with garbage and pizza boxes and banana peels and trash and old furniture, kind of like that show, Hoarders. That show, Hoarders, have you ever seen that where like people's houses are just stacked? I mean it's like you can't walk. Literally, a lot of these houses, you cannot walk. It's covered in magazines and papers and trash and newspapers and DVDs and old furniture and you name it, like food and all sorts of garbage. So, it's like that show, Hoarders.
But the analogy he gave us would be like having a home that was absolutely a mess and you decided that you wanted to improve it. So, you went on a shopping spree and just bought a bunch of nice furniture and then brought it home and added it on top of the filth. You'd still have a filthy, disorganized home. So, the analogy is that that's what we do often is we have all these wounds inside. We have all this emotional pain, this inner turmoil, this trauma from our childhood, things that we have not resolved in our psyche that we haven't made peace with and then we go try to add a bunch of positive stuff. But the other stuff is still there underneath the positive stuff and until we make peace with it and resolve it and work through it, we're still going to have to deal with it. Another great analogy is if you ate a bunch of junk food every day, if you ate McDonald's every day and you ate junk food every day and then in order to improve your diet, you started eating a bunch of healthy stuff on top of the junk food. So, if you are eating a bunch of junk food and you then eat healthy food in addition to the junk food, yes, you're getting that extra nutrition but you're not eliminating all of the toxins and the consequences of eating that junk food. You get the idea.
So, the point is, when it comes to our mind, using this analogy, our mind is like our home or our mind is like our body. We need to clear out the things that are causing us problems internally, things like fear and limiting beliefs, and grudges, and our insecurities and our judgments or condemnation of ourselves and other people. We've got to clear all of that out so that we are at peace within and then we can start adding in all the positive, all of the new insights and strategies from a healthy psyche so that they're not competing, so you're not trying to cover up all the pain with positivity. You've actually made peace with the pain and now the positivity can really take root and grow within you so that it becomes who you are. It's not like I'm trying to be positive but I'm really angry and scared and depressed and insecure and anxious. By the way, I'm all of those things, just to be clear. Like, this isn't about perfection. This is about progress. I experienced fear and insecurity and everyone does. If you're a human, it's part of the human experience. The difference is you can move in the direction of enlightenment, where you get to choose how you experience your life in any given moment. And if you had that choice, what would you choose? Would you choose to live in fear? I'm seriously asking you, like consider this for a second. If you had the choice of how you experienced life in any given moment, what would your choice be? Would you choose fear or would you choose courage?
Would you choose insecurity or would you choose confidence? Would you choose hate or would you choose love? Would you choose to see yourself based on all of your flaws and your faults or would you choose to see yourself based on all of your strengths and your gifts? If you could choose how you experience when I say life that includes yourself, your life, the most fundamental part of your life is yourself. So, if you get to choose how you experience yourself and your life, how would you choose to experience your life? For me, I choose to experience my life, or I would choose because, again, I'm not perfect at this but I'm working on progress, getting better and better and better and better and better. I choose to live at peace with all things I can't change and that's what we're going to dive into. That's what we're diving into in this, accepting and loving your life unconditionally. It starts with being at peace with everything exactly as it is. Now, being at peace with it doesn't mean that you're indifferent. It doesn't mean that you resign yourself to not changing things. It means that you're at peace with life exactly as it is so that you don't create emotional turmoil so that you don't get frustrated because it's not the way you wish it were. No, you’re at peace with it.
And then from that place of peace, you can proactively make new decisions, take new actions, to change your circumstances to improve your life but you're not doing it out of fear, you're not doing it out of stress, you're not doing it out of anger, you're not doing it out of insecurity. You're doing it from a place of peace and courage, and confidence, and resilience, and love, and joy. Doesn't that sound like a better mental and emotional space to be in to change your life? And not just to change your life, to live your life. So, that's what I personally enjoy being happy more than I enjoy being depressed or sad, or angry or whatever, right? So, this first step, accepting, love your life unconditionally is about how you unlock the door to inner freedom, to be able to experience your life in that enlightened state where you get to consciously choose how you want to experience your life. So, we need to clear out things like fears and limiting beliefs as I said, grudges, all of those things, and the fastest way that I've found to do that, the simplest way and the fastest way is to understand that the root cause of all of our internal suffering is the opposite of acceptance. It's non-acceptance or what you would call resistance. It's our non-acceptance of our reality, our resistance of our reality, wishing and wanting things were different than they are in this moment. In every moment, life is exactly as it is.
You cannot change life as it is in this moment. You can do something in this moment to start making changes but you either accept the moment exactly as it is, you either accept yourself exactly as you are, you either accept life exactly as it is and give yourself that gift of peace. “I'm overweight in this moment. I'm at peace with it.” No. You know what, no, I don't love it. I love it because it's a reality. You know, Byron Katie, one of my other favorite books, I'd say like two of my favorite books side by side are what I mentioned earlier, Michael Singer’s The Untethered Soul and then Byron Katie’s Loving What Is. Those two together like amazing. It's a total shift in how you live your life if you live those books. I'm reading Michael Singer’s book, The Untethered Soul, right now for the third time, I think. It's phenomenal. Byron Katie, I've taught for decades to accept life exactly as it is and give yourself that gift of inner freedom, that gift of peace, to stop resisting and just accept life as it is. Byron Katie went further though and she says, "Don't just accept life as it is.” That’s like step one but go further. Love everything exactly as it is because it is as it is. So, you can either love it or you can hate it. You can love it or you can resist it. You can love it or you can condemn it. So, it goes back to how do you want to experience life? Do you want to love your body exactly as it is while you make it even better or do you want to hate it as it is while you make it better? Think about that.
It's okay to want. Of course, we all want to improve. I think that's part of being a human being is we all have this innate desire and drive to improve, that you can improve from a place of scarcity and fear and, “I'm not enough,” or you can improve from a place of, “I love myself and I love my life, and I love the world exactly as it is.” I also simultaneously want myself and my life and the world to be better but that doesn't mean I'm going to live in this state of angst where, "It's not the way I want it so I'm going to resist it and wish it were different.” No. I'm going to be at peace. I'm going to be at peace with everything. I'm going to love everything and everyone. “What about that person? They're annoying. They're frustrating. They don't meet my expectations so I don't love the way they are.” Okay. You can choose to experience that person with all of those nuances of judgment and condemnation and frustration and anger toward that person or you go, "You know what, that person is imperfect just like me. What a coincidence. Wow. We have something in common. We're both not perfect.” In some ways, you could say we're perfect in our imperfections. So, that person that used to annoy me, that person that up until the moment you listen to this podcast, that person that annoyed you, that bothered you, that didn't meet your expectations, that didn't do what you wanted them to do and be the way you wanted them to be, maybe they're a spouse, maybe they're a child, maybe they're an employee or an employer, maybe they're a friend, maybe their neighbor.
You can choose to experience them in this unenlightened way where you are reacting to your reactions. Your reaction is annoyance or anger or frustration. Those are your reactions, your unconscious reactions, or you can consciously choose an enlightened perspective and go, “You know what, yeah, they're imperfect. I'm going to love them exactly as they are. I'm going to love them exactly as they are, while I also desire for them to possibly change or get better. They may or they may not but that doesn't change how I'm going to show up. That doesn't change that I'm going to love them. When I say I, I’m talking about you. I, you, right? You, we, how we experience life, how we experience ourselves, how we experience other people. Usually, we're not conscious of it. It's usually based on this subconscious programming from our life experiences, often things from our childhood and beyond that have determined how we experience life. I'm inviting you to consider that you can choose to experience life exactly as you want it to be. And so, this first step to accept and love your life unconditionally, in order to clear out all of the negativity, all of the inner turmoil, and the psychological maybe traumas that you've experienced over your lifetime and that repeat themselves in your daily life in the form of various emotional states, mental and emotional states, that you don't enjoy that if you were consciously choosing.
If you were rubbing a magic lamp and being like, "Hey, Genie,” you wouldn't be like, "Hey, Genie, I want to be sad, scared, angry, depressed like can you make that happen?” The genie is like, “Ah, you already did that. You already granted that wish,” and you go, “Oh, okay. Well, I guess I really want to be at peace and happy and easygoing. Instead of being stressed out, I want to be blissed out. Is that possible, genie?” You are that genie. You have that lamp. It's called choice. You have the choice as to how you experience life, every aspect of your life and it starts by accepting the things that you cannot change in this moment, exactly as they are, and loving them exactly as they are. Not because they're exactly as you want them to be but because they are as they are and you get to choose how you experience everything as it is, how do you show up. So, I'm inviting you to accept things as they are exactly as they are unconditionally, to love them exactly as they are, while you actively make things the way you want them to be, but to love them and love yourself and love other people every moment of every day while you're on this journey called life.
Step number two, redefine the purpose of your goals. So, if you read The Miracle Equation, I shared this lesson that I learned from my mentor, Dan Casetta, who learned it from Jim Rohn and the way that I teach it or interpret it is that the purpose of a goal, we've been conditioned to think that the purpose of a goal is to hit the goal and if we don't hit the goal, we perceive that we have failed. Man, I tried to reach that goal, I didn't reach that goal, therefore, I failed. Usually, we attach something negative to the possibility of failing in the way we define it. I didn't reach the goal so I'm a failure, so I feel bad about myself or I'm embarrassed. And the problem, the biggest problem with this fear of failure because of the way we perceive the purpose of a goal, the biggest problem with the fear of failure is that it stops us. It affects how we approach our goals, which ones we’ll even attempt. We usually only attempt the ones that we feel certain we can accomplish and it also affects how we proceed along the journey toward achieving the goal. Meaning if we're not on track, we feel discouraged, we get scared, and we often give up. We throw in the towel because we think that failing, according to our definition of failing meaning not reaching the goal, we think that's worse. To try and fail, we think that's worse. We, being most of us, most people, think that trying to reach the goal and failing is worse than not trying at all.
Well, I don't think I'm going to reach it so I'm just not even going to try, then I won't set myself up for disappointment. I won't set myself up for embarrassment. So, if you consider what I just said, it's like, "Well, that doesn't seem like the optimal way to approach goals,” because it's going to stop us from attempting goals that are outside our comfort zone that are outside the realm of what we know we can accomplish and those are the goals where we really find out what we're capable of accomplishing. When we set a goal that is so far outside the realm of what we've ever done before that it scares the heck out of us but then like Miranda Martin, to give it everything you have for as long as it takes. She did it for a year and didn't see any improvements for six to nine months and then suddenly, this incurable disease went away. It was cured. The impossible became possible. If it was possible for Miranda, if it's possible for me and so many others, it's possible for you too. So, here's the new definition of the purpose of a goal. The purpose of a goal is to, well, I said this earlier. I'll give you a couple of nuances to this. Earlier, I said the purpose of a goal is to inform your behavior. I think that was actually talked about in the book, The ONE Thing, but it's to inform your behavior.
Essentially, we talked about measuring your best year ever based on how you show up. That's the first part of it. The second part, how you perceive your experience. But in terms of how you show up, that's what the goal is designed to do. I'm going to set a goal then I'm going to work backward on what do I need to do every day to be in alignment with what will get me to that goal whether or not I hit it? How do I need to show up every day in terms of my attitude, my mindset, and my behaviors, or my actions? That's what the goal does for you is it informs how you show up. Whether or not you hit the goal is less, far less consequential in most cases. I'm sure you could debate this. You can go, "But, Hal, if my goal is to make enough money to feed my family and I don't do that then my family starves.” Yeah. Okay, got it. Yes, it's important to reach certain goals but for the most part, whether or not you reach the goal is far less important than how you show up and therefore who you become. Because if you show up every day at your best and you do that consistently, more often than not for 2021, you show up and you eat foods that add to your energy that make you healthier that are going to keep disease away.
You know, I drink a smoothie every morning. You can get the recipe at MyMiracleMorning.com but I have a smoothie now that has organic garlic, organic ginger, organic orange, organic flax seeds, organic lemon juice, and then it's got like Organifi Vanilla Protein Powder. So, it's got some other stuff to make it taste really good. You might be going, "That sounds terrible.” I love it and I've been doing it for about six months or so and I haven't gotten sick once. I haven't gotten sick once. I've been around other people and my kids have been sick. In fact, my son was like so sick and he kissed me on the lips, and it was a big, wet sloppy kiss and I realized, "Oh, why did I kiss him? He's sick.” You might have heard me say this a few weeks ago but I didn't get sick. I couldn't believe it. Everybody got sick from my son. I didn't get sick. And so, I don't mean to go into all the detail on this but the point is it's how I show up every day, showing up in a way where I'm showing up and eating foods that support my highest good in terms of energy, in terms of health, in terms of immunity, right? It's just one example. Do you wake up every day, like let's say you want to lose 20 pounds, and every day, you determine that you need to show up and go for a walk every day or do 20 minutes of cardio, whatever it is.
And let's say you do 20 minutes of cardio every day or five days a week, whatever you set out to do, and you show up the way you committed to show up but you only lose 12 pounds. What's more important? That you showed up every day and did the exercise or the number on the scale at the end of the year? Now, I can't tell you what's more important. That's for you to decide. You might say, “Hal, all I care about is the weight.” Okay. But I would argue that you showing up and exercising every day and giving your body that gift, I think that's more important than the number on the scale. So, step number two is to redefine the purpose of your goals, that the purpose of the goal is not to reach the goal. It is to inform how you show up every day so that you do the things that are in alignment with reaching the goal and then you become the person that you need to be who has the habits and the mindset, and the discipline and the skills to achieve your goals. Whether or not you achieve each and every goal, inconsequential for the most part. Who you become is the most important piece because only the growth lasts forever.
Step number three. Now, we're getting into the miracle equation. Maintain unwavering faith. This is the first decision of the miracle equation, maintain unwavering faith. It's simple in its explanation but it is very rare in its execution. Most of us, our faith is dependent on our results. Our faith is dependent on our results past, present, and future. Meaning if you've accomplished something in the past, you have faith that you can accomplish it again. If you've never accomplished that thing in the past, then your faith is kind of up in the air. It's like, “Well, I don't really know. I've never done this before. Maybe I can. I hope I can.” So, maintaining unwavering faith it's a decision that you make. The decision is I want to create this outcome in my life. I want to achieve this goal. I want to manifest this miracle if you will. So, I know that in order to create the outcome or achieve the goal or manifest the miracle, I'm going to need to maintain faith that I can do it because as soon as your faith wavers, as soon as your faith wavers, then you give up more often than not. You go, "Well, what's the point of trying? I don't really believe I can do it anymore.” So, you have to establish the faith that you can do things you've never done before, and then you have to maintain that faith.
How do you do that? It's very simple. It's almost too simple. You do it in writing. You write an affirmation, a statement that affirms your commitment to maintaining unwavering faith. I'm going to read you Miranda Martin's affirmation again. It's short but this is literally, this statement is how she maintained unwavering faith even though she wasn't seeing results for the first six to nine months. She was seeing no results. Now, I want you to think about that for a second. What would you do if you were working towards something and seeing no results? I'm not trying to put you on the spot. It's human nature for most of us. It's human nature unless you commit to this unwavering faith piece or unwavering belief, call it whatever you want but it's human nature that your faith be dependent on your results. So, if you're not seeing results, your faith usually starts to waver. So, this is how you maintain unwavering faith. You create an affirmation like Miranda did. “I am healing every day. I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will become 100% healthy, disease-free, and will put forth extraordinary effort until I do no matter what. There is no other option.” So, in short, I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will _____. What is your _____? That is your outcome. You can have an affirmation like this for every single one of your goals.
“I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will earn X amount of dollars this year, that I will put on 10 pounds this year or lose 10 pounds this year, that I will be the happiest I've ever been.” Right? I mean, it can be any outcome that you're committed to. Of course, the more measurable it is, the more you can actually measure whether or not you're achieving that outcome. So, I'm committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will _____ and I will put forth extraordinary effort until I do no matter what. There is no other option. That is the miracle equation affirmation in its fullness. Sometimes I do a shorter one where I just say I am committed to _____ no matter what. There is no other option. Meaning I'm committed to the outcome but this is the full miracle equation affirmation, “I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will _____ and I will put forth extraordinary effort until I do no matter what. There is no other option.” And that last part of the sentence, that's the gut check. That's the reminder that now I’m committed no matter what. There is no other option. I am fully committed. Remember when I had cancer, my affirmation said, “I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will beat cancer and live to be 100 plus years old, alongside Ursula, Sophie, and Helston, my family, and I will put forth extraordinary effort until I do no matter what. There is no other option.
Now, let me real quickly, I just want to mention something. I've done a lot of reading on epigenetics and kind of the mind-body connection if you will. I'm terrible at quoting it because my brain doesn't think scientifically. It doesn't remember all the details but here's my layman's explanation of the phenomenon that the miracle equation helps physically meaning when I was told I would never walk again and I maintained unwavering faith that I would walk again, and three weeks after I broke my femur in half, literally, it broke in two pieces. One half came out the side of my thigh. Sorry for the graphic visual. I broke my pelvis in three separate places. It fractured three times. It was crushed between the center console of my car and the door, the car that crashed into my driver side door. I came out of a coma six days later after the crash and two weeks after that, the doctors came in with routine X-rays and they said, "We don't know how to explain this, Hal, but your body is healing so quickly, we're going to let you take your first step today.” So, the same way that I took my first step and that Miranda using this affirmation cured an incurable disease, and by the way, I probably should have like a disclaimer. Of course, I can't promise any results but I'm just telling you real-life examples.
Here's my layman's explanation. I believe we have somewhere around 40 trillion cells in our body and there has been a lot of studies and science that shows that our thoughts and our emotions affect their cells, which is why stress is a major cause of disease. It causes our cells to break down. So, here's the simple explanation is that your cells do what you tell them to through your thoughts and even more so through your emotions but your thoughts dictate your emotions. If you think about something that causes you fear, you feel afraid. If you think about something that causes you to feel optimistic and hopeful, you feel optimistic and hopeful. So, your thoughts determine your emotions or affect your emotions, which affects your biology. So, think of it this way. We have 40 trillion cells that do what we tell them to do through our thoughts and emotions. When you are in fear or in doubt, your cells are responding to that emotional state. When someone gets cancer, if they're afraid that the cancer is going to kill them, and by the way, I was afraid of that to be clear. It's what do you dwell in. What state do you dwell in? If you dwell in the fear, your cells are impartial. They go, “Oh, okay. I guess that's what we're doing. We're dying,” because that's the message that you're communicating to us through your thoughts and your emotions.
If on the other hand, you do what Miranda did, your body goes, “Oh,” your cells go, “I guess we're healing,” because that's what your thoughts and your emotions are communicating to your cells. They're like an impartial army that takes orders from the master general, which is you, and the orders are communicated via thoughts and emotions. Again, I know this is my layman's explanation but I've seen it happen with me walking again and the doctors couldn't explain it. I've seen it happen with me beating cancer. I was in remission within the first month or two and the doctors couldn't believe it. Although they kept me on chemo. Hindsight is 2020. I wish I would have got off the chemo sooner, but it is what it is. But it's that communication of this is what's going to happen. It's the state that you dwell in. So, whenever I experienced fear, I would pull out my miracle equation affirmation and I would recite, “I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will beat cancer and live to be 100 plus years old, alongside Ursula and the kids, no matter what. There is no other option. Oh, and I will put forth extraordinary effort until I do, no matter what. There is no other option.” And my extraordinary effort was coffee enemas, juicing, supplements, chemotherapy, which was something that was the hardest thing to do and my least favorite thing to do, but I came to the conclusion that it needed to be done because no holistic doctor would treat me because of how rare my cancer was. So, I did everything in my power. And just like Miranda, I read book after book after book and watch videos on every holistic practice that I could do to support the traditional Western medicine that I was doing as well. So, maintain unwavering faith and it's very simple. You write out that miracle equation affirmation, and you read it, and you feel it, and you believe it, and you embody it every single day until it becomes your default way of thinking.
Step number four is extraordinary effort. Extraordinary effort is not exactly as it sounds. To me, it sounds like working hard. It's really about consistency. It's about doing something every day that moves you closer to the direction of your predetermined goals, dreams, miracles, whatever you want to call them. Doing something every day, showing up every day in a way that moves you in the direction. If you do that, your success is inevitable unless you're moving in the wrong direction but if you're moving in the direction of a predetermined goal, it may take you a lot longer than you hoped but you eventually get there. My goal with the Miracle Morning was to change 1 million lives one morning at a time, the first year the book came out. That year, instead of reaching a million people, the book reached 13,000 people, which meant I was 987,000 copies short of the goal. 98.7% short of my goal. Now, if I was measuring success based on whether or not I reached the goal, I would have been a dismal failure. Dismal. Just right around 1% of the goal, right? Yeah, 98.7%, something like that. Anyway, that would have been a failure but for me, I was living the miracle equation, unwavering faith that I could change 1 million lives with the Miracle Morning and I was willing to put forth extraordinary effort for as long as it took until I achieved the goal. No matter what. There was no other option.
I affirm the miracle equation every day and I kept living it. In year 2, I sold like 27,000 copies and it took six years to reach over a million people, six years. Six years. That's a long time. Think about that, a one-year goal that took six years. But like I said earlier, just like with Miranda when she finally when she reached that goal, that doctor said it was impossible, she had an incurable disease that went away. Do you realize how powerful that is? When she finally got there even though it felt that year, it took her a year, and for six to nine months, she saw no progress. When you finally get to the point that you've been working so hard for so long, the timing is always perfect. You look back and you go, “Oh, okay, I got it. I needed to go through all of that. I needed to go through the ups and the downs and the setbacks. I needed all of that. The timing is perfect. I'm here now. God, it feels good. It feels so good.” In fact, the longer it takes sometimes, the better it feels. None of us wanted to take a long time but sometimes the longer it takes to get to the point to reach a goal, the better it feels because you go, “Oh, my gosh, I did it. I did it.” So, extraordinary effort, let me break this down for you. This is what I call predetermining your process, your daily process, aka how you show up. So, every goal that you want to achieve is preceded by a process and the process is required to achieving the goal. If you want to lose weight, the process required is typically modifying your diet, lowering your caloric intake, typically. I'm not a health expert but in simple terms, lowering your caloric intake so you're not overeating. You're eating less calories or you're eating just what you need, and then exercising so that you're burning any unwanted fat. So, real simple. That's the process that predetermines the outcome.
So, the key to extraordinary effort is to get clear on what is your process. What are the actions, the rituals, the routines, the habits? What are the things you need to do? And on what days of the week? Is it seven days a week? Is it Monday, Wednesday, Friday? Is it four days a week? What is it? What are the things that you need to do and when will you commit to doing them? That is your extraordinary effort. It's simply predetermining your process that is required to create the results and outcomes that you want in your life. When I was in sales, it was the number of phone calls I was going to make. I committed to make 20 phone calls a day, five days a week minimum at specific times, and I did that. The secret to success with this is to be committed to your process without being emotionally attached to your results. Stay committed to your process without being emotionally attached to your results. That's counterintuitive because most of us are emotionally attached to our results. Like I said earlier, our faith wavers when our results don't go according to plan. But if you understand, you're in this for the long haul. You're in this for as long as it takes. Your one-year goal might take you six. Your one-year goal, you might achieve it in a year but it doesn't start coming together until the last few months of the year or weeks of the year. I've had that happen, right?
With the Miracle Morning Movie, I'm telling you. Not only did it take six years to make but once we started to release it and promote it and launch it, our goal was 10,000 people to watch it. That was my goal. That was my miracle if you will. Going into it, I think we were a few weeks away and we had only sold 2,000 tickets with like a week or two to go and I was discouraged. I was like, “Oh, we’re so far away,” but I was like, “Hey, that was also a piece.” Everything I'm teaching you, I live this all the time. So, I'm like, “I cannot change it. Two thousand people are going to have their life blessed by the Miracle Morning Movie,” which you can watch on Amazon, by the way, right now. It is on Amazon and if you're not on Amazon, it's at Vimeo. Just go to MiracleMorningMovie.com. If you haven't seen the movie yet, how people, gosh, the reviews on Amazon had me in tears the other day. It was so cool. Anyway, it’d be at MiracleMorningMovie.com if you want to see the movie but we were a week or two away, and we only sold 2,000 tickets. So, I was at peace with it. I couldn't change it at that time but I was still maintaining unwavering faith and putting forth extraordinary effort to reach the goal. And here's the point, after six years of working on the movie and months of promoting it, and being only 20% to my goal, by maintaining unwavering faith and putting forth extraordinary effort, we had more people buy their movie ticket to the world premiere in the last two days than in the two months leading up to it. And we ended up at 9,200 people.
So, in the first two months or three months, I think, we sold 2,000 tickets, and then in the last two days, we sold 7,000 tickets. Think about that. So, the point is if you give up the faith or you stop putting forth the effort too soon, you cut off your ability, you cut off your opportunity to achieve your goals. So, that's why it's extraordinary effort because most people's effort is based on their results and usually the results don't go perfectly according to plan. So, once your faith wavers, the effort follows right behind it. It's like, "Well, things aren't going according to plan. I've lost my motivation and my drive because I don't think it's going to happen,” and then the effort goes right out the window because you're like, "Why even try?” And it often happens unconsciously. You don't have that conversation with yourself but that's what happens inside of you emotionally. Then all of a sudden, you've stopped giving it your all, and, yeah, you're not going to reach your goal. So, those are the two decisions of The Miracle Equation, unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, and maintain those two decisions every day for as long as it takes.
And then step five is simply to maintain the miracle equation until the last possible moment. Write that down. It's really what I just talked about but it's that you maintain these two decisions, The Miracle Equation, maintain it for as long as it takes, regardless of your results along the way. Give yourself the opportunity to achieve your goals and know that if you maintain unwavering faith and put forth extraordinary effort, your success is inevitable. It's only a matter of time. It might take you longer than you thought it would. In fact, it usually does but the timing is always perfect. So, it's all good. Know that while you're approaching it. So, again, those five steps just in review, number one, accept and love your life unconditionally; number two, redefine the purpose of your goals; step three, maintain unwavering faith; step four, put forth extraordinary effort; and step five, maintain both decisions until the last possible moment. Look, 2020 is behind us and it's time to move into 2021 and beyond. Whatever your goals are for 2021, as long as you maintain unwavering faith, do it in writing with that affirmation and you put forth extraordinary effort by predetermining your process and showing up every day at your best.
If you do those two things, you make those two decisions every day until the last possible moment, you can accomplish more than you have ever done before, and more than you possibly or that you believe is possible. And when you live by these two decisions and you filter them through the paradigms that the purpose of your goals is simply becoming the best version of yourself, determining how you're going to show up every day and that your best year ever is measured by how you show up, and it's measured by how you choose to experience your life, what you choose to experience or how you choose to experience your life. When you approach it with those, you can't fail. Between that paradigm, those paradigms and those two decisions, you can literally create tangible, measurable miracles, and I simply define that miracle as it's any result, any meaningful outcome that's beyond the realm of what you currently believe is probable for you. Since you're in charge of how you show up, you get to decide in the moment if you're making this your best year ever. So, wake up every day and make every day your best day ever because you deserve nothing less and there's no good reason not to.
Hal Elrod: So, goal achievers, that is how you apply the miracle equation to 2021. I will be with you on this journey this year every step of the way, at least once a week. Yeah, I'm so grateful that you're part of my world and my life and that you allow me to be part of your life and that you're a member of our global Miracle Morning Community because our mission and this year it's more important, arguably than ever, our mission is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning and one person at a time and that person begins with you and me every single day. I love you, I appreciate you, and I will talk to you all next week. Take care.