“Don't let the fear of the unknown prevent you from getting started, prevent you from taking action.”
Sometimes “How’s life?” can be one of the most challenging questions to give a straight answer to. It’s like, Uhh, which part of life are you referring to?
When life is difficult, are you able to stay on track, keep sight of your goals, and keep your priorities in order? Or do all the things that are bringing you down leave you feeling exhausted, stressed out, and discouraged?
It’s easy to feel like what used to work isn’t working anymore, or you don’t have the support you need, and that we’re constantly playing catch-up with a world that won’t stop changing. However, you can still optimize and take control of your own life—and it may just be the push you need to stay on track.
Today, I want to talk to you about how to take action when life feels challenging. You’ll learn some simple ideas to help you tune out the noise, get back to basics, and understand why it’s more important than ever to keep pursuing your goals, no matter what the future holds.
- Why it’s so important to optimize what you (and only you) can control when life sucks.
- The difference between willful and automatic thinking.
- How to get in touch with how you’re currently feeling and maximize the value of your emotions.
- How fear of the unknown and paralysis by analysis stop us from doing our best work.
- Why now’s the time to create a vision for your happy, healthy, financially secure future.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and thank you so much for joining me today. I appreciate you being here. We are going to talk about how to achieve goals when life is difficult. How do you take action when you're feeling stressed or discouraged or depressed or overwhelmed? How do you do that? Because when life is stressful, it's even more important for you to be able to take action and turn things around and create the results and the circumstances that you want for your life. So, we're going to talk today about how to do that, how to achieve goals when life is difficult.
Before we dive in, I want to take just a few minutes to thank our sponsors, Organifi and CURED Nutrition. CURED Nutrition, I discovered based on a single product that they make. I started using their product. I loved it. I had my team reach out and say, “Hey, would you like to sponsor the podcast? Because I believe in what you all are selling and I want to share it with my audience.” So, the product is called Rise, and Rise is a nootropic formulated by CURED’s very own in-house clinical herbalist, took over a year to develop, and it contains a blend of lion's mane, cordyceps, mushrooms, Rhodiola, ginseng, and broad-spectrum CBD. I take it every single morning, and it helps me with my mental clarity. It helps me to write. I write in the morning first thing. Helps me get things done, be more productive, knock out my to-do list. If you want some of those benefits of that mental clarity, being able to be more effective with your to-do list, and with no caffeine, this is a caffeine-free supplement, head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and you'll get 20% off your order. So, whether you get Rise, the product for waking up and having mental clarity, or also in the afternoon you can use it or anything else, you'll get 20% off the entire order. I highly recommend checking it out. CUREDNutrition.com/Hal.
And then last but not least, I want to thank Organifi, our long-term sponsor. I've been using their products for over five years and I also this morning took one of their products for mental clarity. I like to combine the two and it's their pure product, which also has the lion's mane and some other different supplements. The difference is CURED Nutrition, their Rise product is a capsule that I take, whereas Organifi’s Pure is a packet, a little packet that I rip open and put in some water and it has lion's mane and it tastes like lemonade essentially and you stir it up and drink it. So, different way to deliver the supplements, but still whole food-based supplements. So, Organifi, you can go over to Organifi.com/Hal and check out their variety of products as well and they complement CURED Nutrition's really well. And I take different things, different products from each CURED Nutrition and Organifi to try to optimize my physical and mental abilities on any given day. So, that's CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and Organifi.com/Hal.
All right. Without further ado, let's talk about how to achieve goals when life is difficult because let's be honest, sometimes life can be difficult but we still need to achieve our goals. Here we go.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community. Welcome to the podcast today. We are going to talk about how to achieve goals when life is difficult. You could also say, how do you take action when life is difficult or when life is stressful? I got an email from Brendon Burchard the other day, not like a personal email. He wasn't saying, “Hey, what's up, buddy?” It was an email that he sent out to everybody in his email list. And the subject line is, "What's not working?” And the headline of the email is, “Three Things Wrecking Progress Right Now.” And he talks about if there was ever a time to be high performing in your life with high clarity, high energy, high productivity, and highly effective, it's now. When we're in difficult times, it's that much more important for us to be high performing, to be at our best. And then he goes on to say, “But that's not easy. Things stuck out there, right?” He said, “Well, depends on how you look at it but I'm definitely seeing three big issues.”
And the three big issues he talked about are, number one, people are discouraged. There's been so much start and stop uncertainty these last few years. What used to work doesn't anymore. Just as you got some progress, something happened and you got slowed down again. Someone judged you and it hurt. People just don't believe in you and don't support you enough. The recession is right up in our grill, which we talked about last week. If you missed that episode, by the way, go back. It was Four Strategies To Thrive In The Next Recession. That was Episode 435. Number two, Brendon goes on to say, “People are exhausted.” He says, “We are flat out tired of all the drama. We had to figure out so much change so fast. We were up all hours being parents and working from home and schooling from home and trying to figure out this new world. Yes, the old things don't work and that's one kind of exhausting. But also chasing all the new things is exhausting, too. You know what I mean? Because everything has changed. There's so much new opportunity too. Also, so many people are getting like three times their normal workload. It's just busy out there.”
And then he goes on to say, number three, "People are stressed, right? They want to change their life. They want to advance but they're really, really stressed. It's that kind of stress where you're exhausted, you're often discouraged, but you're also dreaming of something better. But you can't make it happen fast enough.” So, if you can relate to this, if you can relate to this being stressed, being overwhelmed, what does he say, being discouraged, being exhausted, I just wanted to read that to you because I think that we can all on some level and on varying levels, depending on who you are and how you respond to challenging times or circumstances, you probably relate to all of those, though, on some level. And this brought up for me, I thought, okay, we're in the midst of and by the way, that email was marketing his coaching, right? He was like, “Yeah. You need a coach,” which I wouldn't disagree. I think that having a coach is not a bad deal, having someone that can help you. But that was Brendon's email was really saying, "Hey, like you can schedule a call and you can talk to one of my coaches.”
So, that's not the direction that I'm going to go with the podcast today. I'm going to be your coach essentially today as best I can and just address how do you take action when things are difficult. How do you achieve your goals when life is difficult? What goals do you even set? That's one thing that I've struggled with over the last couple of years is the future has felt so uncertain in a way it never did before. For me at least, that is like I don't know. Like, for example, I was looking, I scheduled a live event. We were doing a live Miracle Morning event in North Carolina. It got canceled, though, because of COVID stuff. So, it was like, "Do I reschedule it?” In fact, we did reschedule it and it got canceled again. And then like I told them, the Art of Living Retreat Center that was hosting the event, I said, “I don't want to reschedule a third time.”
Like, I don't want to let people down again and go, "Hey, it's like fool me once, shame on me. Fool me twice, shame on you. Fool me three times, screw you. I'm not going to talk to you anymore.” I thought I don't want to really lose trust with my community saying, "Hey, we're doing a live event,” and then it doesn't happen. Obviously, it was circumstances out of my control. But the point being, how do you set goals in a very uncertain time? And so, here's where I want to keep today really simple. In fact, I was originally going to call today's episode, Let's KISS. KISS being an acronym for Keep It Short and Simple or Keep It Simple, Stupid. It depends on the acronym. There's varying takes on that acronym but keep it simple. And so, that's the essence of today's. I want to kind of get back to the basics and just remind us of, okay, here's what matters. Here's what we need to focus on. Let's kind of don't pay attention to all the noise because it's what creates the overwhelm or at least contributes to it. Let's just keep it really simple.
So, how do you achieve your goals when life is stressful? How do you take action? So, first of all, I want to bring it back to optimizing what you can control. That, to me, if I was answering, if there was one answer to that question, how do you achieve your goals when life is difficult? How do you take action when life is stressful? To me, the answer is you have to optimize what you can control. And that starts by being really clear on what you can and cannot control. I've been saying that for the last two years that when you focus on that. which is out of your control, you feel out of control and then you get stressed and anxious and depressed and worried and so on and so forth. So, optimizing what you can control, there's really three things that you can control. Number one. Well, you could answer one thing. You are the only thing you can control but there's three sub-headings to you. Okay. Number one, what you think. You have to take control of your mind. Number two, how you feel, which often is a result or at least impacted by what you think. So, number one, you can just optimize what you think. Number two, optimize how you feel. And then number three, optimize what you do. Those are the only three things you can control, how you think, how you feel, and what you do, right?
And what can't you control? Everything else. What do we focus most of our mental attention on? Everything else. Other people, current events. We're watching the news. What are our kids doing? What is our spouse doing? Right? What's the economy doing? Most of us are focusing, and I'm guilty of this too but we focus a large majority of our energy and attention on things that are out of our control. So, I've said this. I'll keep bringing this back to what we can control and focusing on optimizing that, what you think, how you feel, what you do. In terms of taking control of your mind, I am reading a book right now called Living Untethered: Beyond the Human Predicament by Michael Singer. And Michael Singer is one of my favorite authors. You may have heard of his book, The Untethered Soul, which is one of my favorite books. In fact, I think a few years ago, I read a chapter from that book called The Vow of Unconditional Happiness.
By the way, I'm getting over being sick in case I sound a little stuffy. By the way, I was sick yesterday. Not to give a shameless plug for our sponsors but I was sick yesterday. I was like, really sick. I did exactly what I tell you. I took Immunity by Organifi and I took, is it Aura? I believe it's the immunity supplement by CURED Nutrition. Took both of those and other stuff too. I made smoothies with like berries and Vitamin C powder, camu camu powder, spinach. And so, you can't just eat a crappy diet and take some vitamins and think you're going to feel better if you're sick. You've got to optimize. You’ve got to optimize your diet, your exercise, your rest, and your supplementation. So, anyway, tangent. Sorry. But it was amazing like I was like, "Oh my God, I'm so sick and this is just the beginning.” When I went to bed last night, I thought I was going to wake up this morning feeling terrible like my throat was hurting. I couldn't sleep. I was waking up in the middle of the night. I’m having trouble breathing. And I woke up feeling all better. So, it's amazing to be really sick, think it's going to get worse, and then get better within a day. So, again, that's a tangent. I apologize and I hope it's valuable for some of you that are either sick or wanting to prepare for the next time you get sick to get better as quick as you possibly can.
All right. Back to the episode. So, I'm reading this book, Living Untethered. Michael Singer wrote The Untethered Soul. This is his follow-up book to that, when that's one of my favorite books of all time. He also wrote The Surrender Experiment, which is his follow-up to the Untethered Soul, another one of my favorite books. And Living Untethered, I was so excited when I saw this book recently came out. And I want to read just a page out of the book. So, this is the first page of Chapter 18, Willful and Automatic Thoughts. And I'm reading this because it really speaks to the first thing that we can control that we need to optimize, which is what you think. Here we go. Michael says:
You're in there and you have the ability to create a thought. Right now, say hello inside your head. Do it.
If you're listening, do it. Say hello inside your head. Say it over and over again.
You clearly have the ability to willfully make your mind create thoughts. In general, there are two very distinct types of thoughts, willful and automatic. The first one will explore, as its name indicates, as a thought that you willfully create. You can willfully create thoughts in two different ways. You can create auditory thoughts through the voice inside your head, talking to you, saying hello or you can create visualizations in your mind's eye. For example, right now, visualize a boat. Do you see it in your mind? Now, visualize a bigger boat. And an even bigger one. See the Queen Mary in there? That boat would not be in there unless you purposefully willed it, purposely willed it to be. Once again, we see that you clearly have the ability to make your mind create thoughts. There's another category of thoughts besides willful thoughts, and those are automatic thoughts. These are the thoughts you did not purposefully decide.
Purposely decide. I keep adding an F in there.
Purposely decide to create. They just pop into your mind on their own. You may pay attention to them once they're there but you did not willfully decide to create them like you did with the boat. The vast majority of your thoughts are automatically generated. You're driving down the street, enjoying your day, and your mind starts creating thoughts by itself. “Why did I have to say those things? If I hadn't said them, we still might be together. Well, that's unlikely. We're having problems before that.” You're not willfully making your mind create these thoughts. This is that voice inside your head talking on its own. And if you doubt that this is happening by itself, try stopping it for any length of time. The mind stream of thoughts will return in no time.
And then he goes on to give more and more examples of how somebody is supposed to call at 3 p.m. and they didn’t call. And during those like 30 minutes, that time's going by, you're thinking all these thoughts like, "Oh, why is this person not calling? I don't like this person.” You're not intentionally creating those thoughts. They're just coming up. Oh, sorry. I guess I'm still getting over being sick. But anyway, so here's the point. You have to optimize what you think. That's where it starts, right? And that is what I love about affirmations is affirmations are written records of thought optimization. I'll say that again. An affirmation is a written record of thought optimization. It means you have decided which thoughts best serve you. You've decided what to think and what to focus on in a way that will enhance your life, that will serve your objectives to be happy, to be healthy, to be successful, to be productive, to be loving whatever it is that you are affirming, that you are committed to being, affirmations allow you to live in alignment with your highest truth, your highest thoughts.
So, that is the first thing is you have to take control of your thoughts. And when you find yourself feeling discouraged or you find yourself feeling exhausted or you find yourself feeling stressed, a great strategy is one thing. Robin Sharma teaches optimization think. Sorry. Just off today. Opposition thinking, which is where I guess my being sick, my head's a little still cloudy but anyway, opposition thinking which is where when you find yourself thinking a thought that makes you feel bad that doesn't serve you, ask yourself what’s the opposite thought? You're thinking, what if I fail? The opposite thought might be what if I succeed? Makes you feel different, right? Very different. What we think either determines or at least influences how we feel. So, that's the starting place is optimizing what you can control begins by optimizing what you think. Nothing I share today is likely to be rocket science but it's important and it's important that you're doing it. And it answers the question, how do we achieve our goals when life is difficult?
The first thing we have to do is we have to optimize what we think, what we focus on. And like Michael Singer talked about, he calls those willful thoughts, thoughts that you are willfully creating and deciding on. And he also says automatic thoughts are the majority of our thoughts, right? They're just running through our head. Our mind is wandering. We're thinking negative things. We're responding or reacting to stimuli outside of ourselves. And that may or may not serve us. It serves us if the thoughts are positive and proactive and supportive. But if they're not, we've got to take control of our thoughts and choose the thoughts that serve us. The second thing is, how do you feel? The second thing to optimize is how you feel. How do you do that? The first thing you do is you optimize your thoughts. We just talked about that, right? That influences how you feel. But beyond that, I would actually get specific and ask yourself, "What's the optimal way for me to feel right now?” Or simply, how do I want to feel? I always want to feel happy. I want to feel good. I want to feel confident.
And so, getting clear on how you want to feel is it's like clarity in anything. That's the first step in being able to optimize how you feel is getting clear on how you want to feel. Actually, I should say the first step is getting clear on how you feel. So, that actually being honest with yourself, how do I feel right now? And I put my hand on my heart. I don't know but that really helps me. I close my eyes, my hands on my heart and I ask, how am I feeling? And really get present to the feelings that you're having. I did this the other day and I was like, "Oh, I was just feeling off.” And I went, “How do I feel?” And I was feeling fear. I was upset over things I couldn't change. There was a whole myriad of I was worried about the future. I was stressed over some of the things in my life. I was stressed over that I’ve said yes to too many things and I've got too many commitments. Like when will I learn, right? When will we learn to not say yes to so many things and be overcommitted? But when it comes to optimizing how you feel, start with getting in touch with how you feel. Before you choose how you want to feel, start with getting in touch with how you're currently feeling.
And here's why. It allows you to be in touch with your feelings, with your emotions, and you can then process them. And that's something that too often we don't process our emotions. At least I'm speaking from experience. I just go straight to the, “I want to feel good,” and then I try to figure that out. How do I feel good? But what I'm not doing is I'm not actually dealing with, “Whoa, whoa, whoa. Like, did you actually process? Did you feel what you were feeling? Did you feel your feelings or did you just suppress them because you don't like them or you weren't conscious of them?” Unconsciously, you were feeling fearful, stressed, discouraged. But if you don't make the unconscious conscious, then you don't process it. And I learned this through therapy after I had suppressed negative emotions for most of my life. You know, my sister died when I was, I think, eight years old and I was there the morning that she died, just me, my mom, and her. And that day, I didn't like the way I was starting to feel because she died. It was weird. Like, it was uncomfortable.
And so, I suppressed it and I immediately went to positive emotions. I, actually, made a joke about it. I said, “Hey, guys. Guess where Amery is.” My sister's name was Amery. She was 18 months old. “Guess where Amery is. She's in heaven. Isn't that great? Heaven's great. I've heard that's like the best place ever, right?” So, I didn't process the painful emotions that were starting to surface. I shoved them down. Not a healthy thing but I was eight, and nobody told me otherwise. And I immediately went to something that made me feel good, which was to laugh. I made it. I was light-hearted about it. Now, there may be some benefit to that once you've processed the emotions, once you've grieved, once you've felt, once you've allowed whatever painful emotions are rising up, once you've named them, once you've felt them, and once you've decided, “Okay. I've been feeling these emotions. I'm aware of why I'm feeling them. They've served a purpose. I'm letting them go now.”
And very often people do one of two things, one of two not ideal responses to emotional pain. Either, number one, we suppress it, which is what I've always done or, number two, we dwell on it for extended periods of time that become very unhealthy. In fact, it can be your entire life. You can carry emotions from your childhood, being angry about something that someone did to you that a parent did or somebody that wronged you. And then you still carry that anger with you like it's not happening anymore. That thing that happened when you were younger or last week or last month or last year is not happening anymore. And yet on the opposite spectrum of suppressing emotions, you're indulging in them indefinitely in an unhealthy way. All emotions serve a purpose until they don't. Meaning when you feel anger or jealousy or whatever, whatever emotion that you feel, you can ask yourself, “Oh, what can I learn from this? What's the value in this emotion? What is this trying to tell me? Oh. It's reminding me I shouldn't do that again. This anger, I'm angry at myself for doing this. Okay. So, the value is to not do it again, to make a commitment that I will not do that again so that I don't, you know, that's what the anger that's the message that's giving me.”
But all emotions serve you until they don't, which is, okay, you've extracted the value. Now, let the anger go. Consciously decide to let the anger go or whatever painful emotion you're indulging in. So, that is a step that I used to skip over. I used to never process my emotions until about two years ago when I started, I experienced post-traumatic stress disorder. It was horrible. It was also beautiful because it got me in touch with my emotions in a way where I never had been before. But I got in such a dark place and I asked, "Why is this happening?” And I went, “Oh, this is happening because most people go through really difficult emotional experiences and I've never allowed myself to feel real pain.” And by not feeling pain, I'm missing half of the human experience. And I'm also losing out on the ability to help other people by being able to meet them where they are, by having empathy going, “Yeah. I know what that's like. I've been there before. I've been in such a dark place where I didn't want to live anymore like I've been there.” So, that for me was how I processed it is I’m like, “Oh, that’s the value.” And until I got that lesson, I continued to be depressed and scared and had post-traumatic stress disorder and anxiety until I finally extracted the value and was able to go, “Oh, that's why I'm experiencing this.”
And then I was able to be at peace with the pain, be at peace with the pain because there was a purpose, right? Peace with the pain because of purpose. Sorry. I like the literation. Anyways, so that's the second step is to in terms of optimizing how you feel, number one, you've got to get in touch with how you're currently feeling, extract value from any painful emotions you're experiencing, and then allow those emotions just let them go, consciously let them go. And I realize that it's not as easy necessarily as snapping your fingers. You might go, “Okay. I'm willing to let the anger go, but it might still be there. But that's where it starts as a conscious awareness of what you're feeling and then a conscious decision to let it go. And then you can use tools like the five-minute rule where you give yourself 5 minutes to feel your emotions fully or use those three words, can't change it, which is an acknowledgment, “I can't change what happened. Oh, so there's no value in wishing that I could. There's no value in dwelling on this and continuing to be upset, sad, angry, depressed about it. I can't change it. So, I'm going to let it go. I'm going to be at peace with it. I'm going to give myself that gift of being at peace with the things I can't change.”
And then there's a second part to that, second step, right, in optimizing how you feel, which is, okay, what would be the optimal emotional state for me to be in right now? Asking yourself, how do I want to feel? What would be the optimal emotional state? And then focusing on that, getting into that state. What do I need to do to feel that? What do I need to think about? What do I need to focus on? What do I need to remind myself of? And then you can even engage in optimal, I'm sorry, emotional optimization meditation, which I've taught many times on the podcast. Here's a quick 32nd reminder. You identify what this optimal emotional state that you want to be in is. You then remember the last time you felt that state so that you can have a reference point, you can go, “Oh yeah, that's what it feels like to be confident. I remember that last experience,” and then you set a timer, you get into that state, you set a timer and you marinate and/or meditate, whatever you want to call it. I don't know. I marinate, for me, actually resonates as like I marinate. I’m just going to sit in that state. I'm going to go deeper into it. I'm going to affirm it. I'm going to visualize it, I'm going to feel it.
And the point is you're reprogramming your nervous system to be able to feel those emotions or that emotional state. And the more you do that, it's like exercising your physical muscles but you're exercising your emotional muscles. And that emotional state gets stronger and stronger and stronger and more readily available to you at any given moment. I don’t know if you hear my dogs barking but I've got two dogs that won't shut up right now. Anyway, alright, so that's the second step is optimizing how you feel. When it comes to optimizing what you can control, number one, you optimize what you think and that's why I love affirmations because they're in writing, right? In writing, you are what did I say earlier? You're articulating your thought. I forgot what I said, but you heard it. And then number two, optimizing how you feel. And then number three is optimizing what you do, right? That's all you can control is what you think, how you feel, and what you do. Try to come up in another category. I can't. I don’t know. What else can you totally control?
Now, you might say like, “I can control another person with force.” Like, okay, that is just controlling what you do. You're controlling what you do. So, how do you optimize what you do? Well, this is where it really right now I was going to do - the entire episode was actually going to be on this. So, as I was deciding on today's episode, part of it was like, how do you get yourself to take action when you don't feel like it, right? How do you get yourself to do what you need to do when you don't feel like it? And when it comes to achieving goals when life is difficult and optimizing what you do, you've got to back up to creating a vision first. And this is where one thing that I've really gone back and forth on over the last year or so and I mentioned, right, it's hard to plan for the future when the future feels like it's changing so rapidly, it's uncertain. You know, with access to things are taken away and given back and then taken away again, right? It feels like it's challenging. And what I've realized is that we have to act as if the future is how do I put this? How do I put this?
Basically, you've got to create a vision for the future. You have to set goals and work towards them anyway. Like, you never know if a goal is 100% certain in any time in life, right? Ten years ago, five years ago, three years ago, a year from now, nothing is completely certain. You can set a goal and then unexpected challenges and obstacles present themselves. So, if we live that way, though, I think there's that analogy that if you wait for every light to be green before you go, you're never going to get started because all the lights are never green. I don't know if that's the right analogy or the correct metaphor, but I think that's it. So, something along those lines. The point being that if you are only going to set goals when you know for sure that there is a clear path and that your outcome is guaranteed, then you would really never set goals. The problem is right now it just feels and maybe it is more uncertain than it has been in the past, whether it is, as Brendon mentioned, the recession, or whatever it is that is out of our control, I think it feels a little bit more like the future feels a little bit more uncertain than it has in the past and then that prevents us from being bold, setting bold goals, taking bold action.
And I've decided I'm going to keep moving forward towards my goals, towards my vision. And if things happen that throw me off track, well, then I'll just adjust. But I'm not going to not move forward because I'm afraid it might not go the way I was planning or hoping or expecting or needing it to go. And so, the same goes for you is that I would encourage you to set goals, to continue setting goals, or revisit the goals that you had set. And I would work towards them with boldness, with consistency, right? Every day, wake up, optimize your mindset, what you think, optimize how you feel, and then optimize what you do. Take action every day to optimize your mental, physical, emotional, spiritual health, to work towards your career goals, your financial goals, your family goals, etcetera. Keep moving forward. Do so with energy and enthusiasm and vision. And if you get thrown off track then deal with it then. But don't let the fear of the unknown prevent you from getting started, prevent you from taking action. Don't let, what is it, paralysis by analysis overtake you.
And to be fair, I have done that over the last year or so. I have absolutely done that. I have felt paralyzed like it at times where I'm like, "Oh, I don't know what to do. Should I write this thing? Should I?” It's been a mix of lack of clarity and uncertainty about the future and all sorts of different things. But the point is, what I'm sharing with you, I'm sharing from a place of this is something I have personally struggled with and had to work through over the last year to get back on track to working towards goals. There was a period or various periods of time where I felt paralyzed and wasn't taking action, wasn't pursuing my goals. It's like I was in this period of like this waiting. They’re just in the void like, “I'm waiting for all the lights to turn green. No, they're not green today. Maybe tomorrow. No, they're still not green today. I don't know. I don't know what I should do.” And I realize that is no way to live. That is no way to live.
We've got to wake up every day with a vision for the future that is compelling with specific, measurable goals, not too many, just a few, and then with daily actions, optimizing what you do, daily actions that move you in the direction of a happy, healthy, financially secure life. And it's never guaranteed, right? Nothing is ever guaranteed. And remember, all you can control is you unless you have a good argument against why optimizing what you can control every day, unless you have a good argument against that. Right? Like, “No, Hal, it's not smart to optimize what you can control and only focus on what you can control.” Now, focusing on what you can't control, yeah, you want to be aware of things that are going on that are maybe out of your control but that might affect you for sure. But don't dwell there. Don't live there. Don't allow your emotional well-being to be determined by outside forces. That's giving away your power. That's giving away your life. Think about that. You have one life. You're living it. And if you're allowing outside forces to determine how you feel inside, your quality of life, your emotional well-being. You're giving your life away to somebody else. Don't do that.
Let's take control of our life by optimizing what we can control and what you can control what you think, how you feel, and what you do. And I believe you owe it to yourself, you owe it to those you love, and you owe it to those you lead. And I shouldn't say “you”. We owe it to those we love, we owe it to those we lead, and we owe it to ourselves to optimize how we show up every single day. So, how do you achieve goals when life is difficult? You optimize what you can control. You allow yourself to be at peace with that which you can't control. You create your entire reality every day by focusing on the things that you have control over and not the things that are outside of that.
Hal Elrod: All right. Goal achievers, I hope this is helpful today. I realize it's kind of like I said, I want to keep it simple. It's also kind of high level in terms of these are themes and concepts for you to apply to your own life in your own way but if Brendon is right that people are discouraged, people are exhausted, and people are stressed, I would imagine that’s because people are allowing too much of their focus and energy and attention to be pulled away from what they can control. All right. I will talk to you all next week. I love you so much. And let's keep doing the best that we can with what we have and helping others to do the same.