"The more you take care of yourself and do things that are good for your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical faculties and capacities, the better you feel about yourself and the easier it is to love yourself.”
With Valentine’s Day around the corner, I wanted to talk about love, but not about romantic love. I want to talk about unconditional love—how it affects our happiness, quality of life, and relationships—and how we can amplify it to improve all three.
So many people are too hard on themselves, unhappy, quick to condemn and resent others, and upset about their lives – and I want to help change that.
In today’s episode, I show you how to wake up feeling good, to love yourself and your life, to stop living with judgment and resentments, and to embrace the freedom and power of unconditional love in three big ways.
- The two lenses I use to view every interaction I have.
- My guidelines for self-love – and why it’s not weird at all to tell you that you love yourself.
- Why focusing on your failures sets you up to live in a negative reality.
- The single perspective that allowed me to stop condemning all people.
- How to give yourself the gift of freedom from negative emotions.
- Why there’s an infinite amount of positives and negatives to focus on – and which one you focus on determines the quality of your life.
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Hal: And here we go. Goal achievers, welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast, and today’s goal we’re going to try to achieve is about love, love, love, love. We’ve got Valentine’s Day coming up in a couple weeks, which is what kind of made me think that love is a big part of my life and I’m sure it’s a big part of your life too. So, I wanted to talk about it. Let’s chat about love and Valentine’s Day is coming up but it’s not the romantic love that I’m going to talk about. In fact, I’m going to talk about unconditional love and how that shows up in a few different areas of our lives and how we can amplify it, how we can have more of it, or even just be present to the love that is already there waiting for us to experience it and feel it. So, we’re going to talk about loving yourself, loving people, and loving your life unconditionally. So, each of those elements unconditionally, how do you love yourself unconditionally, how do you love people unconditionally, and how do you love your life unconditionally, how do you love? Every day you wake up excited, you wake up feeling good, feeling in love with yourself, people around you in your life which is very different than a lot of people wake up and take on their day.
A lot of people don’t love themselves. They are very unhappy with themselves. They’re very hard on themselves and I’m guilty of that all the time. I’m pretty hard on myself. So, this is everything I’m going to share with you today. This is stuff that I am always working on but love has really become very much a foundation of my life and how I experience life. There’s really two lenses if you will. One is love and one is gratitude which is like love’s sister or brother or cousin or something but through love and gratitude. And that’s how I try to view every experience of life, every interaction with every person in my life, and what I’ve been working on for the last couple of years, ever since I was diagnosed with cancer is really self-love and really amplifying my self-love and it went from being really awkward to tell myself I love myself, which usually is for most people when they start to where now I have conversations in the mirror with myself that are really uplifting. I talk to myself like I would talk to somebody that I love, my child or my wife and I tried to talk to myself with the same empathy and compassion and love instead of being hard on myself and beating myself up.
By the way, this is Hal Elrod, in case you weren’t sure about that. I don’t think I officially introduced myself yet but welcome. Welcome to today’s podcast. I’m excited. It’s kind of a riff. It’s kind of a riff on love. I’ve got some notes here that I took and let’s talk about first and foremost loving yourself unconditionally. So, loving yourself unconditionally or also known as self-love begins as a mindset. And before I forget, I do want to mention there is one of the best shortest books, right, so I think you like both of those, right? Best and shortest, right? Those go together nicely. One of the best and shortest books on self-love is called Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. Go to Amazon or whatever your favorite retailer is and check that out. Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It. You can read it in an hour I think, maybe less and it’s a really, really good book and I read that probably two years ago. But loving yourself unconditionally begins as a mindset. It’s a mindset. It’s a decision, affirmations for everything I’m going to share with you today are very helpful because our memories are pretty short and at least mine is.
We tend to forget. We make a decision or have an awareness or realization or we hear something that can be life changing as we read something that can be life-changing, and then we go back into our everyday life and we totally forget about it. And then maybe you come across again like a year later or six months later or six years later and you go, “Oh, I totally forgot about that. I have not been living that,” and I always say, “It’s not what you learn that matters, it’s what you live,” and the way to live something is to put it in the form of an affirmation that you’re going to read every single day over and over and over and over and over again until it becomes so ingrained in your consciousness that it becomes part of who you are. So, I’d encourage you to for everything we talk about today, you can jot down a few notes or a few affirmations around this, that would be helpful. In that way, it can become ingrained in you.
And so, self-love, let’s there. Self-love starts as a mindset and it’s about telling yourself that you love yourself. And here’s a great exercise for you to do so. So, I’ve got an affirmation specifically for self-love and it starts out with this graphic that I found on Willowing.org. I don’t know if someone sent it to me or I found it on Google images or whatever but it’s guidelines for self-love. I’m going to rattle these off for you. It says, “It’s okay to say no. You are worthy. You matter. Joy is your birthright. Let go of perfectionism. Follow your dreams. Get a good therapist. Embrace your imperfections. Your uniqueness makes you wonderful. Feel your feelings with compassion. Heal your inner critic. You are loved. You are in charge of your life. It’s okay to ask for help. It’s okay to not be okay. It’s okay to be wildly happy. You are always beautiful. Create time for just you. Sleep. Go slow. Notice. Forgive yourself.” I’ll say that one again. “Forgive yourself. Be kind and gentle with yourself. Your light is big, shine your light. Relax more. Work less. Own your strength. You are mighty.” Again, those are guidelines for self-love from Willow. org.
Here’s the exercise though. So, I have this affirmation. It’s called self-love reminders. It’s what I called it. And when I first wrote it, I wrote myself this little note. It says, “Write out an accurate/positively focused assessment of me as a person designed to highlight my strengths and reinforce healthy self-esteem.” So, that was where I started. That was the foundation. That was the intention behind this exercise. And I simply wrote, “I am…” and then I created all these affirmations kind of above the top my head. I’ve added them over the years. I’ve evolved the affirmations. It says, “I am enough just as I am. I don’t need to do anything to make myself worthy of love. I am a generous selfless spiritual being who consistently gives to and adds value for others. I donate money, I give advice, I give support, and I do so without expecting anything in return. I am and have always strived…” So, I won’t read you all of these but I went on and on and on and I went through my past like this next one says, “I am and have always strived to live my full potential and I’ve always worked hard to create extraordinary results and follow through with achieving my most important goal.” And then I list all these goals that I achieved at 15 years old and 18 years old and 19 years old and 20 years old and not just goals but adversity that I overcame.
And I went on and on and on to talk about I wrote this one, “I am in someone who lives in alignment with my values of integrity, selflessness, health, gratitude, etcetera.” So, I went on and on and on. So, here’s the point, the exercise for you is to create some “I am” affirmations and these aren’t “I am” and then followed by wishful thinking. You’re not saying, “I am a millionaire. I am a world-famous whatever blah, blah, blah.” This is “I am” and you’re reinforcing who you are based on evidence, based on how you’ve shown up, based on what you’ve overcome, based on what you’ve accomplished, and go through your life, go through it year-by-year if you want or different periods of your life and just create this positive affirmation that reinforces your self-love, all of the wonderful things about you, because here’s what we tend to focus on, right? In the Miracle Morning book, I called it gap focus. There’s this weird natural tendency. It’s unfortunate that it’s so natural, but for human beings to compare themselves with where they think they could be or should be, or other people are, don’t we do that?
We look at others we go, “Oh man, I wish I had their life. I wish I was more like them. I’m so jealous of them. Look at what they’ve got. Why don’t I have that?” Or we look at the gap between where we are and where we thought we’d be at this point in our life like, “Oh my gosh, why am I not where I thought I would be? And I’m so lazy and I let myself down,” and we beat ourselves up. And self-love, again, think about this, the perspective of if you were talking to your friend or significant other or stranger the way that you talk to yourself, how would they feel, right? They probably wouldn’t want to be around you if you talk to them if you verbally bash them for all the things they did wrong and that’s what we do to ourselves. We verbally bash ourselves in our head usually, not even out loud, just in our head over all of our mistakes and all of our screw ups. And think about it, you’ve heard this before. What you focus on expands. If you focus on all of the things that you’ve done wrong, the mistakes that you’ve made, where you feel bad or where you’ve fallen short, then that becomes your reality.
And most of us don’t feel great about ourselves. Most of us don’t look in the mirror and then smile big and say, “I love you, buddy, or I love you fill in your name.” And that’s what I started to do. I’ve done it for the last couple of years and again, at first, it’s really awkward. It feels weird like I love you. It’s almost like telling someone for the first time that you love them and you’re like, “I hope they love me back.” You’re kind of hoping that you love yourself back. It’s kind of weird but here’s the thing. Why would that be weird? Why should that be weird? It’s healthy to love yourself, in the same way, it’s healthy to love your friends, your family, your spouse, your children. That’s healthy to love them. It’s healthy to regularly express that love and it’s arguably the most healthy or the most important or the most consequential to love yourself, to express that love to yourself, and for it to be unconditional. You know, there’s nothing you need to do to be worthy of love, especially from yourself.
And the last thing I’ll say on that so if loving yourself unconditionally a.k.a. self-love begins as a mindset. It’s carried out in your actions and when I say your actions, self-love is really carried out through self-care, right, through self-care, and looking in the mirror, by the way, or just talking positively to yourself, whether it’s looking in the mirror or you’re just reading your affirmations. That is an act of self-care that fosters self-love, exercising, eating right, taking care of your physical body, meditating, praying, taking care of your spiritual self, right? All of these components, anything that you do that is positive for your physical well-being, your mental well-being, your emotional well-being, and your spiritual well-being, that is self-care, and that amplifies your self-love. Think about it. Don’t you feel good about yourself when you do the right thing, when you go workout or when you eat right or when you go and spend some time doing an activity like one of your favorite hobbies, something that you love? Don’t you feel good about yourself? I don’t know about you but I enjoy watching Netflix, but I don’t necessarily end a Netflix series feeling really good about myself. There’s nothing wrong with that. I don’t beat myself up because I watch a Netflix series. Now, if I watch the entire series from start to finish, and it takes me like 18 hours, I might be a little bit down on myself. You’ve ever been there where you Netflix binge?
But, anyway, oh man, somebody’s blowing leaves outside my door and it’s kind of distracting but I don’t feel great necessarily after Netflix because that’s not necessarily the ideal self-care. Again, nothing wrong with it unless you do it too much. But the point is, ultimately, investing time in your self-care is how you increase self-love and as I mentioned, it’s anything that enhances your physical, mental, spiritual, and emotional well-being is self-care. When you do those things, you enhance, you amplify the self-love that you have for yourself but in the most direct way, I would create that document. That’s your assignment for today, create that document, that affirmation where you just simply remind yourself of all that you’ve overcome in your life, all that you’ve done and accomplished in your life no matter how minute or seemingly small or insignificant. Give yourself credit where credit is due. Give yourself credit where credit is due. Love yourself unconditionally.
The second element of love, of unconditional love that we’re going to talk about, is people. Love people unconditionally and in the same way that loving yourself unconditionally begins as a mindset, loving people unconditionally also begins as a mindset. The mindset for me is one of empathy and of non-judgment, and this is a topic that I’m so passionate about. I actually did an entire podcast about how we need to stop judging people. If you go to HalElrod.com/Podcast and you search “stop judging people”, I think that will bring that episode up if you want to listen to that episode but I will touch today on the general, the concept from that and it’s this idea that we, as human beings, another thing that we tend to do kind of naturally when it comes to loving ourselves unconditionally, we tend to have a hard time with it because we focus on the gap between where we are and where we want to be, who we are and who we think it could be or should be or other people are, and where they are and how they are, and we focus on that gap and we amplify that gap. We focus on our mistakes.
Well, in the same way that we do that with other people, we tend to focus on their gap. We focus on the gap between where they are and where we think they should be, the gap between how they show up and our expectations for how we think that they should show up. And we do that with everybody. We do it with strangers on the highway. That person cuts you off. That defies one of your expectations. Now you’re upset at that person. We do it more often with the people that are closest to us, with our loved ones. I mean, why do you get in arguments? Because somebody does something that defies one of your expectations and you shouldn’t have done that. Says who? So, we tend to do that. We tend to judge other people and what I found and you might find this as well is that loving people unconditionally is just a better way to live where when you can look at every, and I’m not just talking about your loved ones, I’m talking about strangers. I’m talking about your enemies. I’m talking about everyone on the planet.
If you can love all people unconditionally, and all of a sudden, any animosity that you have towards other people, it’s gone and you no longer have the experience in your life, in your being of animosity. Any resentment that you’ve held toward another person, when you shift to a perspective of unconditional love for all people, all that resentment falls away. There is nothing to resent. And for me, I mentioned that loving people unconditionally begins as a mindset of empathy and non-judgment. And here is the single perspective that allowed me to stop judging all people. And when I say judging, I mean condemning. I think that’s probably more accurate word because it’s healthy to judge people in a healthy way. Here’s what I mean. If you’re considering hiring an employee, you need to assess that employee. You need to judge them based on their merit, their work ethic, etcetera. You do need to judge or assess. I think that’s a better word. You assess other people.
If somebody is in your life that’s maybe a friend or somebody you spend time with, if they have wronged you, if they detract value from your life instead of adding it, if they cause you a lot of pain or stress, you need to make some judgments about that. You need to assess whether that person is someone you want to have in your life, or at least to the degree that you want to spend time with that person. So, there is a healthy judgment and I would call it assessment, assessing people in your life but in the unhealthy side of judgment is condemnation. It’s condemning other people. And the way we do that is there’s a lot of ways it shows up, but one is that person is bad. What they did is bad. It is wrong and we usually look at our own frame of reference based on our life experience and go, “Pft, I would never do that. That’s horrible.” Well, based on your life experience and your influences in your life, you would never do that because your value system is that it’s wrong but so I’m kind of going off or I guess I’m setting the context here.
But here’s, though, I mentioned earlier, there is one perspective that changed it all for me and allowed me to stop judging/condemning people and to truly sincerely love all people unconditionally was transform my life because I let go of all my resentment, all of any hatred I had, any negative feelings at all toward other people. They just disappeared and here was that one perspective. If I had lived another person’s life, there’s a very good chance I’d be exactly the same as that person. Think about that. Someone else that you judge that you condemn as being wrong, you think I can imagine they’re a terrible person. You can take someone even from afar like someone famous like a political figure or your enemy or whatever and it’s easy to judge, but if you had lived their life, there’s a very good chance you’d be exactly the same. You’d make the exact same decision. If you had grown up with their parents and their friends and their influences, and I’ll use kind of an extreme example but imagine let’s say a gang member or even a murderer so we’ll go pretty extreme.
Now, in my frame of reference is murder is it’s very black and white. That’s terrible. It’s horrific. It’s something that I would never do and I think is wrong. Taking someone’s life it’s terrible. However, imagine if you had grown up as that person that that murdered someone else and I know I’m extreme and there might be some people’s skin crawling a little bit here so I apologize if that’s the case, but if you had grown up around violence, especially when using the gang example, right, if all of your friends killed other people and I know not all gangs kill people but I’m using that as the example here, there’s a very good chance that you might. If you had become numb to it, if also you had grown up in a way where it was normal, it was something you had that it was basically kill or be killed. If you grew up in that environment, then there is a very good chance that you might have taken similar actions or the same actions as someone else, and if you grew up with great parents and a healthy environment and you didn’t see killing or violence around you, yeah, of course that wouldn’t even cross your mind. You would never do that but if you had lived that person’s life, you might’ve made the exact same decision.
And so, for me, that perspective, that if we had lived the person’s life who we are judging, who we are condemning, we might’ve made the exact same decisions as them, lived the same life, taken the same actions, follow the same path, that was the perspective that allowed me to stop judging or condemning all people and to love all people unconditionally. And now if someone does something that I think is terrible or horrific or I couldn’t imagine doing, I don’t condemn that person anymore. I love that person. I’ve traded in judgment and condemnation for empathy and unconditional love so I’d encourage you to consider that. And like I said, what’s in it for you is that it allows you to release all of the negative feelings that you have for other people. And here’s the deal, so many of us hold resentment toward other people that have wronged us. And guess who suffers from that resentment? It’s not the person that wronged you, it’s you. The person that wronged you, now they may have their own feelings of guilt or for doing what they did to you. We don’t know. So, they may be suffering too.
But if you are condemning them, if you are resenting them, you are suffering because the emotion of resentment, of hatred, of condemnation, those are not positive, healthy, productive, constructive emotions like those are destructive emotions. Those are painful emotions. Those cause stress and so realize that by forgiving everyone that’s ever wronged you, by coming from a place of unconditional love, forgiveness, and non-judgment, you’re giving yourself the gift of freedom from those negative painful emotions. And if you want to go as far as to reach out to that person and let them know, “Hey, I have…” you can let them know whatever as much as or little as you want, you can say, “Hey, I want you to know that I forgive you over this thing,” or you could tell him as far as, “Hey, I’ve held on to this resentment and I realized in your situation…” in fact, try to be yourself in their shoes. That’s part of this whole if I lived their life, I might’ve been the same thing. Put yourself in their shoes. And one example of this for my own life is the drunk driver that hit me.
When I was 20 years old, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver. I died for six minutes. You probably know this story, right, in a coma for six days, broke 11 bones, woke up and was told I would never walk again. And I took my first step, learned to walk and then I went to the trial for the drunk driver. I had a cane and I made my way in and my parents were with me and my parents asked me because they were going to speak on my behalf because of my brain damage. I had trouble just formulating sentences at that point. It was right after the car accident, just a couple months later and my parents asked me, “We can speak on your behalf, Hal. What do you want us to say?” and I said, “Look, I hold no resentment toward the drunk driver. He didn’t try to hurt me. He made a poor decision. He drank alcohol and he drove, but I don’t hate him. I don’t condemn him. He made a bad decision and, yeah, I almost lost my life as a result, but again that wasn’t his intention,” at least I don’t think it was. I don’t know. But had I lived his life, I might’ve done the same thing.
If I had lived his life with his parents, his influences, I might’ve gone to the bar that night, had a couple beers, and then jump on the road to drive home to my family which he did. I might’ve been the exact same thing. So, who am I to judge him? Who am I to judge him? Because my life experience, I wouldn’t have done that. Because of my life experience, I wouldn’t have done that, but he didn’t have my life experience. He had his. And so, so I had completely forgiven him and we asked for a sentence that was much lighter than the judge wanted to give him and the judge gave him the maximum sentence anyway, but that’s an example of I know someone who was also in an accident, hit by a drunk driver, and she hates that person, and she is like she has so much animosity and anger toward that person and it happened, I’m not even sure how many years ago but it was like many years ago and the memory of that person that hit her car, that causes her to feel so much anger and hatred toward that person and I’ve literally seen her post on Facebook on her anniversary of the drunk driving accident that I’ve literally heard her say, “I hope you burn in hell.” And again, he’s not suffering because of her resentment. She’s suffering.
And so, I encourage you to consider how that applies to your life, what people in your life you hold resentment toward, and it could even be just on the freeway, again, when you see a stranger and they cut you off. Don’t get angry. Just go, “You know what, if I was living their life, they might be having a really tough day not be running late for the most important meeting in their life. They might have not noticed that I was here and they cut me,” whatever, right? Whatever. There’s no need to condemn or resent that person. So, and the last thing I’ll say on this is loving people unconditionally is also carried out through your actions. And for me, it’s about actively adding value and selflessly adding value to the lives of every person in my life and so I’d encourage you that approach your life and your relationships through the lens of the question, how can I add value to this person’s life or how can I help to bring out the best version of this person? And one simple way to do that is simply to speak life into people, realize that as powerful as affirmations are for ourselves, what you say to other people, that is an affirmation.
And so, for me, I really try to be the most positive person I possibly can. Not and no blowing smoke. No lying to people but I try to, I look hard into people to see the best in them, to see the best in them, and then I speak the best to them. I express how much I appreciate them. I’m not trying toot my own horn here or anything but I would invite you and encourage you and if you need an affirmation to remind you to do this, but to speak life into people and it’s with all people. This is unconditional, right? So, with my wife, I’m always praising her for all the amazing things that she does and if she does something that isn’t amazing, I tried not to condemn her for it. I simply have a really, I try to see where she’s coming from and then have a conversation based on empathy and based on unconditional love versus based on being annoyed or not having my expectation met or whatever. So, loving people unconditionally starts with the mindset of non-judgment because you realize that if you had lived in another person’s life, you might be exactly the same and then carried out even further by looking at how can I bring out the best in every person in my life? How can I add value to every person in my life?
And to me, unconditional love it’s not just a mindset. The action is really important because otherwise the unconditional love that you have just stays bottled up and people don’t get to experience, they don’t get to benefit it but express it. Let people know you love them and you may know that. If you listen to the podcast, I end every episode by letting you know how much I love and appreciate you and that comes from a place of unconditional love. The fact that you’re taking time to listen to this podcast to my voice really, I don’t take that for granted. That’s huge. Your time is so valuable. You could be doing anything right now listening to another podcast. There’s a million things you can do. The fact that you take the time to listen to me like that’s a huge honor. I don’t take that lightly. I love you. I appreciate you and I’ll probably tell you again at the end of the episode.
And then last but not least, love your life unconditionally. So, again, love yourself, love people, and love your life unconditionally. Now, loving your life begins once again as a mindset and here’s the way that I like to look at this. In life, we have two pages to focus on. So, this is like my visual. So, imagine, in fact, you can use your hands like hold both of your hands up about 20 inches away from your face and face your palms towards you and imagine that each of you, you’re kind of your holding a page in each. It’s whatever you want. It could be a scroll. It could be imagine that the writings on your hand or imagine you’re holding two iPads like in each hand and you have a modern twist on this, but imagine that in the palm of your hands, you got both hands in the air facing you, imagine that you have two pages to focus on. One page will say it’s in your left hand, look at your left hand. One-page list everything that you have to love about yourself, about your life, everything positive, everything you feel good about when it comes to life. That’s all in your left hand.
And then to your right hand, look over at your right hand, there’s a list of everything negative in your life, right, that gap that we talked about earlier, all the people that have wronged you, all of the mistakes that you’ve made like that’s like a long list. You’ve screwed up a ton. We all have. There’s all sorts of things we don’t like about ourselves. It could be physical flaws which by the way goes back to unconditional love. In fact, without getting too weird, here’s a quick tangent. I’m going to circle back to unconditional love. I started looking at myself in the mirror, taking my shirt off. In fact, I’m actually doing it naked, getting out of the shower. We’re going there. Okay. We’re going there, everybody, but look at myself naked and this was part of my self-love like practice that as I got more comfortable with just like telling myself I love myself and telling myself like I literally have these conversations in the mirror where I go, “Dude, you’re doing great, buddy, like you’re working hard. You’re trying your best, even though you’re making mistakes and you’re struggling in some areas, you’re trying your best.”
Isn’t that how you would talk to someone that you love? Like talking to my daughter and my son. That’s how we talk to my daughter, my son, I would. That’s how we talk to them, “Hey, you’re trying your best. Don’t be so hard on yourself. Nobody’s perfect. You’re doing your best.” So, talk to yourself that way. But anyway, I wanted this. Here’s the tangent that it’s a little weird. I get out of the shower and I looked at my body and normally like here’s what I realized. I’ve worked out like exercise, lifting weights, for how old am I? 39. So, I probably started lifting pretty seriously when I was 19 or 20, so almost 20 years I’ve worked out consistently and I realized I’ve never been happy with my body. There were a few times where I was really like in shape but for the most part, I’m always like, “Why isn’t my chest bigger? Why can’t I get that definition in my abs?” Why do I have this weird thing on my arm?” And I realized how crazy that is and I’m sure many of you are nodding your head right now going, “Yeah. I exercise all the time and I’m also not happy with my body,” like that’s crazy.
Stop the madness, everybody, like so I started getting out of the shower and looking at myself and looking at my body and go, “Hal, you’ve worked really hard to be physically fit. You look great,” like I love my body, right, and I would say this and at first thing it felt weird and I’m like looking at myself in the mirror naked and I’m telling myself I love myself, but it was a beautiful expression of self-love and it took it from just like this mental thing I was trying to grab onto, to a physical, like physical self-love. So, anyway, there’s a little bonus tip I encourage you in terms of yourself love practice to look at your body and love your body because guess what, and here’s by the way, if you’re like, “Hal, there’s no way I can love my body,” like I’m 30 pounds overweight and I have been working out like I got no reason to love my body.” What’s the word I’m looking for. Anyway, stop that. Here’s a different perspective. Love your body for the fact that it houses everything else like love your body, for it serves you. It allows you to move through this world.
I like Wayne Dyer’s perspective that, “We’re not human beings having a spiritual experience. We’re spiritual beings having a human experience.” So, however you want to look at it, your body, your human body is what carries you through this life. So, at the very least, even if you don’t love the way you look aesthetically or whatever, you can love your body for simply all that it served you for your entire life. Think about if you didn’t have it, that would suck. If you didn’t have your body, I don’t know what you’d do. You’d float around. I don’t know what you do. So, the fact that you have a body, that it deserves your love no matter how it looks. I understand that. Back to loving your life unconditionally, it begins as a mindset. So, we have two pages to focus on. Sorry. I totally got off on a tangent, but hopefully, that was valuable for you and hopefully many of you will be standing in front of the mirror naked, telling yourself how much you love your body so hopefully that did not go by the wayside, did not go to waste.
But back to these two pages, so put your hands back up. If you’re driving, don’t put your hands up. You can look at the back of your hands on the steering wheel and pretend that you have two pages. You got the page on your left that lists all the things you have to feel bad about and the page on the right was all the things that you have to feel good about. You can do whatever page you do. It doesn’t matter, right, left, doesn’t matter. But here’s the deal. People that are unhappy with life or that are negative, complaining all the time, they often justify their complaining by saying, “I’m not negative. I’m just realistic.” I’m not negative. I’m just realistic and I say, “Yes, that’s not true,” because think about it. How is it any more realistic to think about, focus on, dwell on all of the things on that page on that left-hand that you have to feel bad about? How is that any more realistic than to shift your focus over to your right hand, over to that page that has all the things in your life that you feel good about and dwell over there? It doesn’t mean that you’re in denial about the page on the left that you ignore those things. No, no, no. You acknowledge them and in fact, you learn from them so that you don’t make mistakes over and over and over.
Like there’s value to we’ll call it the negative page, all the things that you don’t feel good about, about yourself or your life or other people in your life or whatever. That’s all listed on that negative page on your left-hand, the page on your right hand list all the things you have to feel grateful for, that you feel good about, all of your accomplishments, all the things you like about yourself easily and naturally, all the people in your life, all the opportunities, all of your accomplishments, on and on and on. Both pages, by the way, are equal in length, for the most part. Like there’s an infinite amount of positive things in your life you can focus on both past, present, and future and there’s an infinite amount of negative things that you can focus on in your life both past, present, and future. Which you focus on determines the quality of your life, at least, the way you feel about your life. You focus on the negative page, you feel negative. You see, man, I’ve made so many mistakes and I got so many things going wrong and I’m not where I want to be. Yeah. Acknowledge that, but don’t dwell over there.
Don’t spend your time thinking about and focusing on and feeling bad about all the things in your life that you feel bad about. Learn from them so you don’t make the same mistakes twice. But then shift your focus over the right hand. By the way, I’m literally, if you were seeing me right now, I’ve got my left hand up in here, my right hand up in here. In fact, they’re even tired. They’ve been up for so long. But look at the right hand, all the things that you have to feel good about and live over there. Dwell over there. Love your life unconditionally over there and when I say love your life unconditionally, by the way, again we have two pages to focus on, all the positive, all the negative. That means loving your adversity unconditionally. How do you do that? Well, I think it was John Reese who said, “Every experience in life is an asset if you choose to see it that way. Every experience in life, both good and bad is an asset if you choose to see it that way.” And I’ll give one more personal example from my life but my car accident, the doctors thought I was in denial because I was so happy. You know, they thought, well, this is not normal a 20-year-old young man is being told he’s never going to walk again and he’s like, “Nope, no big deal. I’m happy go lucky.”
They thought I was delusional or in denial and what they didn’t realize is, I just went, “No, well, I can’t change that I was in this car accident so I’m going to be the happiest and most grateful person to focus on, basically, all the positive things in my life. I’m still alive. My future is limitless. I have people around me that love me like these are all things that I can feel good about. Now, I also had broken bones, was being told I would never walk again. I had permanent brain damage. My life as I knew it was never to be the same. I was living in a hospital. Now, if I focused on all of that and I focused on it enough to accept it and be at peace with it. That’s what you do with the page on the left hand. All the negative you focus on it, you accept, you let go of any negative feelings and you’re at peace with it but you live on the right hand. You will live focused on all the positive things in life and when I got cancer when I was dying of cancer, the day I was diagnosed, they told me I had a 30% chance of surviving and I told my wife. She was scared and reasonably so and I was scared too but I said, “Sweetheart, I have unwavering faith that this cancer will be the best thing that ever happened to me.”
My car accident was one of the best things that ever happened to me because it allowed me, it became my life’s work. I learned a ton from it. I grew a ton from it. I became the person that I am today. That was a big part of it and it became my life’s work. It allowed me to help millions of people and if it wasn’t for the car accident, none of that would happen. So, I’m grateful for the car accident and I said, “You know, this cancer. I don’t know, I’ll be sick. I couldn’t predict the future. I didn’t know if I was going to die. I just decided I chose to accept all the things on the left page with cancer, right, all the negative and I chose to dwell on and focus on it and put my intention on all of the positive,” and I just decided this will be the best thing that the new and improved best thing that ever happened to me and it has been. A, I’m alive which knock on wood and thank you, God, and I’m very grateful for that but also, I learned more from that journey, I became a better father. I became a better husband. I feel like I’m a better leader. I’m a better me because of that adversity but not just because of the adversity.
This is what’s important. It’s that lens of loving your life unconditionally. You’ve got to apply that to adversity, and only then can it become the best thing that ever happened to you or even just a positive because just don’t call it the best thing that ever happens to you. I like to speak in extremes, I guess, but the point is that you’ve got to approach your adversity through the lens of unconditional love for your life in order for your adversity become an asset because if you go into your adversity and you go, “Oh, this sucks. This is terrible. This is the worst thing that ever happened to me.” Well, then guess what? It’s a self-fulfilling prophecy and you’re right. It will be terrible and horrible and the worst thing ever happened to you. If I would’ve gone into my cancer journey going, “Oh my God, this is the worst thing that ever happened. I can’t believe this. This is terrible,” and I would’ve lived every day in fear. I would’ve lived every day feeling sorry for myself. That’s just to me no way to live. Adversity sucks.
A lot of times adversity sucks so you might as well approach it through that lens of unconditional love for life and approach it by focusing on the right hand, all the positive things around the adversity and then guess what? What you focus on is amplified so when you focus on all the positive aspects of your adversity, those aspects are amplified and those aspects, those positive aspects of your adversity even when it’s life and death that becomes your reality. That becomes your reality.
So, I think that brings us about to the conclusion of the podcast. Let me wrap these three components around unconditional love. Number one, love yourself unconditionally. That begins as a mindset, self-love, right and it also should be carried out through your actions which is self-care. The more you take care of yourself and do things that are good for your mental, emotional, spiritual, and physical faculties and capacities, the better you feel about yourself and the easier it is to love yourself and you might as well it easy, right? And of course, the bonus tip was stand in the mirror naked, in front of the mirror naked and tell yourself you love your body and looking at the mirror, tell yourself you love yourself, and then create that self-love affirmation, which is simply “I am” statements and just reaffirm everything you’ve done in your life, everything you’ve overcome, everything you feel good about, just that right-handed page. List all the things that are right about you.
Number two, love people unconditionally. It begins as a mindset of empathy and non-judgment because remember, if you had lived their life a good chance you would’ve done the exact same things, made the exact same choices, treated people exactly as they have. So, you don’t need to judge them, you don’t need to condemn them. Just love them. And then also, loving people unconditionally is carried up through your actions and for me, and I encourage you to add as much value as you possibly can to every person you come in contact with and that is true and bring out the best in them and speak the best into them. That to me is how you unconditionally love and actively unconditionally love people. And then last but not least, love your life. Every aspect, every adversity, everything. Just go through life, loving life unconditionally, and it begins as a mindset, right, because in life, we have those two pages to focus on and they focus on all the positive in your life. Dwell on the positive.
Amplify the positive and it becomes, that becomes your default way of thinking and living is to love your life because you’re focused on all the things that you love about your life when no matter who you are, we have all have things that we don’t love, things that we’re not happy about, things that mistakes we’ve made. But if you focus on the positive, you focus on the things that you love, that becomes your reality. It is a self-fulfilling prophecy, and the last thing I’ll say on loving your life unconditionally is keep pursuing your dreams. Loving your life is amplified by constantly improving your life by taking active progress, making active progress toward your vision for a life that you could love even more than the one that you are living now.
Hal: I think that’s about it. Goal achievers, we’ve got some exciting episodes coming up. I’ve already done some interviews with Brandy and Lance Salazar, co-authors of our new book, The Miracle Morning For Couples. That’ll come out actually I think on Valentine’s Day because that’s the day the book comes out so look out for that episode. It’s very cool, Miracle Morning For Couples: Create Legendary Connection One Morning At A Time, and then I just interviewed Todd Herman, author of The Alter Ego Effect, which I can’t even tell you. There’s almost no one I’ve ever been as excited to interview than Todd because of that topic and how powerful it is and that’s all I’ll say. It’ll be out here in the next few weeks. Actually, I think next week. Anyway, until next time, goal achievers, I love you. You already know that but I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for tuning in to the Achieve Your Goals podcast again. It means a lot to me and I hope you get a lot of value out of today’s episode and I will connect with you and love on you next week. Take care, everybody.
"If I had lived another person's life, there's a very good chance I’d be exactly the same as that person.”
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