"The key to emotional invincibility is acceptance. It's accepting all things as they are."
What if I told you that every destructive emotion you’ve ever felt, are feeling now, and will ever feel in the future is self-created by you and is completely optional?
What if I then taught you a way to immediately take complete control of your emotional well-being so that you never have to feel painful emotions again?
That’s what today’s episode is all about. If you can be in control of your emotional state from within, put yourself in a peak emotional state, and manage through the setbacks you face, you don’t just feel great about life – you become emotionally invincible.
Emotional invincibility is hugely powerful. It makes it that much easier to apply the Miracle Equation, and to truly enjoy every moment in your life. In today’s podcast – the fourth episode in my series about my upcoming book, The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable – I dive deep into why it’s so hard to be at peace with all things. We’ll explore why you are the cause of your negative emotions and how to transcend them, and I’ll share with you my three techniques to implement emotional invincibility in your world.
- How getting hit by a drunk driver when I was 20 taught me to free myself from emotional pain – and why my doctors and parents worried that I’d become delusional when in fact I’d completely accepted my new reality.
- Why you need to clear yourself of negative emotions and optimize your emotional state in order to best apply the Miracle Equation – and how to tell if an emotion serves you.
- How to work through negative emotions, such as grief and frustration, for a period of time – and how to acknowledge and process your emotions without letting negative ones consume your mindset.
- The reason resisting reality causes so much of our emotional pain – and why we spend so much time suffering over things that have already happened.
- Why acceptance is the key to emotional invincibility.
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Hal: Goal achievers, welcome to The Achieve Your Goals Podcast. Hey, guys and gals. This is Hal Elrod and I am no singer but I just felt in the mood to welcome you in the form of song. I do it with my kids every morning. That’s how I start. I wake them up just singing random off the top of my head stuff, “Good morning. I love you, blah, blah, blah.” So, anyway, I thought I would welcome you to today’s episode with a little song. All right. Now, that we got that out of the way, if you’re still listening, hopefully, you made it through that, but welcome to The Achieve Goals Podcast. I am Hal Elrod. I’m your host and if you read the PS in last week’s podcast email, you saw a picture of me looking like an overly excited child and that is because I had just received the first copies of my new book, The Miracle Equation, like the physical copies from the publisher in my hand and if you ask any author, it’s a really cool experience.
And so, also in that PS, I mentioned that The Miracle Equation is available now. You can preorder the book and why would you want to preorder the book? Why not wait? Why not wait until the book officially comes out on April 16? Because here’s why you may want to preorder it today. I would encourage, invite, ask, and thank you for that. We’re doing a special promotion where if you preorder the book today, you get over $1,200 in bonuses and these are legitimate, brand-new, relevant bonuses, not recycle room pulling old stuff out of the hat. I literally, in fact, I’m in the middle of creating these. That’s new. They’re not even done yet and the $1,200 in bonuses, you get the biggest one and I’ll just start with the biggest one is you get a live six-week course with me. It starts a week after the book comes out so April 24 and it’s for anyone that preorders the book and you just forward your receipt to [email protected].
That’s [email protected] and you’ll get a course and the course will be six weeks with me live over the Zoom via video so you will be interacting. It will come with handouts, all sorts of stuff, and it’s how to create tangible, measurable miracles. That’s the name of the course or The Miracle Equation course for short. But I’m excited. It’s actually the first live course I’ve ever done. So, that means, A, we’ll see what happens and, B, you’ll be part of the first course. So, you’ll also get a Miracle Equation guided meditation. It’s called the Limitless Potential Guided Meditation and that will enable me to program, help you program your subconscious mind to enable you to make the two decisions that make up the Miracle Equation easily, so they become part of your way of thinking, your way of living, your fundamental way of approaching every opportunity in your life so that you can create tangible, measurable miracles, and then you’ll also get a one-page Miracle Equation implementation guide. It’s a printable guide.
Actually, we try to make it one page but it ended up being one-page front and back but the point of it is you print it out and it essentially has the entire book. All of the concepts in the book are on this two-page, one-page front and back printout that you can print and then you can use it during your Miracle Morning, use it during your affirmations to really reinforce all of the concepts in the entire book within a matter of minutes. So, some people call it a cheat sheet. I like implementation guide. So, that’s it. So, if you’re up for it, please go to your favorite book retailer right now online. You can go to Amazon.com or BarnesandNoble.com or Target.com, wherever you buy books, Walmart.com and if you preorder the book today, we really appreciate it and then you forward the receipt to [email protected] You will be receiving all the bonuses. So, again, you’re going to get them today. You’re going to, B, because I’m creating the course and that’s live in a few weeks and all that.
Hal: All right. Let’s dive into the episode. Last week’s episode was the third in the Miracle Equation series and that was an interview with Dr. Sean Stephenson called Putting The Mystery Back Into Miracles. The previous week we were taking the mystery out of miracles and then last week, we put a little back in. This week, I’m going to dive in on a very specific concept that is featured in the book and this is arguably, how do I phrase this? It’s one of the most life-changing concepts in my entire life. I call it emotional invincibility and emotional invincibility is essentially the ability to be in control of your emotional state, to be in control of your emotional state. And if you think about it, our success and failure if you will begins with our ability to manage our emotions because on the front end, in order to achieve success in your life, you got to be able to put yourself in a peak emotional state so that you have the motivation and the clarity and the drive and whatever you need to move you forward toward your biggest goals and your biggest dreams.
So, emotions on the front end, your emotional state, you want to optimize that so that you can optimize your results in your life and then on the backend and throughout the journey, it’s understanding how to manage your emotional state through the adversity and the challenges and setbacks so that you can continue moving forward. So, that’s kind of in the middle and on the very backend, it’s how do you manage your emotional state so that you feel great about your life and that you feel great about your accomplishments because we see this with so many really successful people. Celebrities are kind of an easy one to point to where they achieve everything they’ve ever wanted like they’ve been dreaming of being rich and famous, and having the house and the cars, and the Oscars, the Academy Award, all these things. They’ve dreamt about it for their lives and since they got into acting or singing or whatever it is. And then they get everything they ever wanted, but they never learned how to appreciate it. They thought that that fulfillment, that happiness was hiding, was waiting for them around the corner when they finally achieved the dream that they were working toward for so long.
And then often because happiness is not found in that, it’s not found in anything outside of us. It’s always inside of us and it’s available to us at every moment even in the midst of the most challenging circumstances of our lives, but often celebrities turn to drugs or alcohol or even suicide because they never really figured out how to optimize their emotional state. They thought that the optimization would come from something outside of them and that’s just not the case. So, emotional invincibility and another like emotional freedom almost it’s kind of another term that I sometimes will use because this is really the freedom to choose your emotions in any given moment, so think of it that way. Having the ability to choose your emotions at any given moment as in the emotions that would best serve you and that is something that is not usually easy to do.
Usually, when we encounter adversity, whether it’s a difficult circumstance or a difficult person, that tends to negatively affect our emotional state. And then when it does, then we’re thrown off track and when you’re thrown off track internally and emotionally, then you tend to get off track in your behavior. They usually affect each other, but it doesn’t have to be that way. I’m going to teach you how. You cannot let, basically, how you can prevent anything from getting to you, causing you emotional pain. In fact, that’s as far as, I mean, I would go as far as saying like this is how you can free yourself, emotional freedom there, from emotional pain. And I learned this through personal experiences. When I had my car accident, many of you probably know, if not all of you, when I was 20, hit head-on by a drunk driver, told I would never walk again, and I was so positive and so happy in the hospital that the doctors thought I was in denial.
They told my parents they thought I was in denial or I was delusional maybe because it was the brain damage, they said, and it might’ve been. I don’t know. But they said, “Hal’s not acting normal. You know, he’s 20 years old. We’re telling him he’s probably never going to walk again and he seems totally fine with it. In fact, he goes further than being just fine with it and he’s always smiling and laughing and joking with us, telling the doctors and nurses jokes and making us laugh,” and he said, “Frankly, that’s not normal.” He told my mom and dad. They had a little sit-down meeting. He said, “That’s not normal. What would be normal is Hal to be depressed or angry or angry with the drunk driver, angry with God that this happened to him that he’s going to be in a wheelchair the rest of his life. For him to be sad, to be scared, to be depressed, these are all normal emotions and we believe Hal his new reality is so painful that he can’t accept it. He simply can’t accept it and so he’s chosen to check out.”
So, they thought I had just kind of checked out and been like, “I can’t deal with this like I was going to pretend everything is okay,” until it’s not and that’s what they said is they said, “Hal’s going to have to face his reality and we want him to do that in the hospital when he’s in a controlled environment when it is safe and not out there in the “real world” where he can turn to vices like drugs or alcohol or even some sort of self-harm.” And so, my parents were really concerned and they came in and my dad sat me down and told me the doctor’s concerns and asked me how I was really feeling, “Hal, it’s okay. Are you sad? Are you scared? Are you angry? Are you depressed? These things are normal. These are normal emotions. How are you really feeling?” My dad was like tearing up and he was really concerned and I, literally, took less than 30 seconds to answer.
But I did pause. I did like stop and go, “Huh, am I covering up my emotions like am I like not even aware? Am I really deep down I’m sad, I’m scared, I’m angry?” But very quickly I came to the conclusion that, “No. Dad, it’s the opposite what the doctors think. They think that I can’t accept my reality so I’m checked out and I’m delusional. No. It’s the opposite of that. I’ve completely accepted my reality.” And I said, “Dad, if I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life, I promise you I’ve already thought about that as a possibility. I’ll be the happiest person you’ve ever seen in a wheelchair because I’m in a wheelchair either way.” And I would encourage you to stop and ask, what is your wheelchair? That’s a question I will turn to my audience if I’m sharing this lesson in a speech. I’ll say, “What’s your wheelchair?” What is the circumstance in your life either past, present, or even something maybe you’re anticipating or worrying about for the future that causes you emotional pain and realize that you can choose to be the happiest and the most grateful you’ve ever been, even in the midst of the most difficult circumstance in your life?
And fast-forward many years later when I was diagnosed with cancer it was the same decision. It was okay, “Well, I’m going through cancer. I have to do the chemo.” It’s probably going to be horrific. I mean, it’s maybe the most difficult thing I will ever go through and it was. I said but I’m going to be the happiest and most grateful while I go through the most difficult time in my life. And so, I’m living proof that we all have that choice but no one ever tells us like no one told me that. Well, I don’t know where I learned. We’ll get into that in a sec but we don’t learn that. We’re not growing up in school. It’s not part of the curriculum in formal education which is like, “Hey, here’s how you can be at peace with all things that happened to you.” And what’s normal is we tend to just abide by our human nature and human nature leads us to, typically, our emotional state is affected. I’m sure, I imagine you can probably relate to this. Can you relate to this? But our emotional state is usually affected or dictated or determined by our circumstances.
So, if something bad happens, how do you usually feel? You probably usually feel bad. If something great happens, how do you usually feel? You usually feel great. And while that’s “normal”, you might say, “Well, that’s normal,” it’s not necessary for you to feel emotional pain really ever. I know that’s a big statement to make, but the message of today’s message and, again, this is a chapter in the book. So, the Miracle Equation has a chapter called becoming emotionally invincible and that’s what we’re touching on today and I’m not reading from chapter. I’m just going off of this is something I talk about a lot when I speak so it’s very, very close to me, but that’s one of my favorite chapters in the book and it’s the idea that like, okay, if you’re going to create miracles, if you’re going to apply the Miracle Equation, but you’ve got emotional baggage in a way, if you’re always thrown off track when things go wrong, you’re going to have a real hard time applying the Miracle Equation.
So, this chapter preceded the Miracle Equation, the two decisions, and explaining how you implement those. This is like the, “Okay. Let’s clear your emotions. Let’s get clear of all the negative emotions that might be holding you back or causing you discomfort or pain and let’s figure out how to optimize your emotional state so that you can be in a peak emotional state to apply the Miracle Equation.” And then when things go wrong in your world, how do you manage your emotional state so that you can choose the emotion that best serves you in any given moment, in any given set of circumstances, regardless of what’s going on around you. It just matters what’s going on inside of you. So, just mentioning this is an in-depth chapter in the book.
So, there’s a few things I want to cover today to really help you understand and implement this concept. What we covered so far is the importance of our ability to manage our emotions for creating miracles. And just being happy but that’s what we’ve talked about so far is this is how our quality of life, our success begins and ends, and everything in between those with our emotional state. If you achieve anything you want but you don’t understand how to manage your emotions and you’re still thrown off when things go wrong, you’re not able to fully embrace the beauty of the life that you are living, the life that you are creating. So, here’s where I want to start or where I want to go next. We’ve already started. The cause of all destructive emotions and when I say destructive, see, sometimes I’ll use a word, negative emotions, but that’s not really accurate. And what I mean by that is all emotions serve us. All emotions can have a purpose or a benefit meaning let’s say, for example, grief. That could be bucketed like the negative emotions, you could bucket like anger, sadness, grief, depression, resentment like those are all what you might bucket as, this is my third air quotes, “negative emotions”, but they’re not really negative unless they are controlling you.
And this is the big distinction is grief, for example, to me that’s a positive even though it’s in the negative emotion realm, you wouldn’t associate that with the positive emotions such as happiness and joy and gratitude but if I lose someone, if I lose a loved one, I’m going to choose grief as the emotion. I’m going to sit with that. I think that it’s healthy to grieve. It’s not healthy though when you are emotionally distraught. Your grief is showing up in a form of emotional distraughtness. I don’t know if that’s a word, distraughtness, but if it consumes you, if it controls you, if your grief leads to depression or if your grief literally is, I mean, it’s depression, that’s probably not healthy. But being able to grieve for a period of time long enough, or even to choose it, you know, let’s say you ever to lose a loved one, I don’t know if it would be healthy or ideal for me to be grieving 24 hours a day for a period of time. It might be healthy to grieve for one hour a day for a period of time.
There’s not an exact formula here. It’s just thinking out loud here kind of as an example but in terms of grief, it would be, okay, when do I want to grieve? And maybe throughout the day, I’m parenting and I’m working, right? So, being like distraught with grief is not ideal so I’m going to manage my emotional state during the day and it’s not denying my emotions. It’s not pretending that I don’t feel something. And you’re going to have to listen to this entire episode to get like how this all works together and how you’re going to take control of your emotions. I’m really laying a lot of the foundation, which is important but for me, I’m able to choose and not because I’m special because of what I’m going to teach you today, I’m able to choose the emotion that serves me at any given moment so I’ll grieve when it’s healthy for me to grieve and I will turn it off like literally like a switch when it’s not necessary to grieve.
So, every emotion serves a purpose and I’ll give you another example of what you might call negative emotion that serves a purpose. There’s benefit to it which is frustration, even regret. Regret or frustration so let’s say you do something that is not in alignment with your values. Let’s say you do something that you make a mistake or not a mistake, but, yeah, it can be a mistake but you hurt someone, you wrong someone, or you just do something that is in alignment with where you’re trying to go in your life and so it could just even not being productive. So, to be frustrated with yourself, to have a little bit of regret over a decision that you made that wasn’t a decision in alignment with your highest purpose, your highest self, I think that’s healthy. It’s not healthy to be consumed by it once again, to be consumed by those emotions, but to be able to feel regret or frustration by choice so that it helps you to never make that mistake again.
If we were able to go through life where everything is just hunky-dory and you never have any regret, you never have any frustration, well, then why would you ever make a change? Because you’re like, “No, I’m fine.” If you sweep everything under the rug, then you’re not going to have the leverage that you need. So, negative emotions are often sometimes that like grief is comforting. Otherwise, they cannot be leveraged. It’s leverage over those emotions are signals that, “Oh, I don’t like feeling this way or I don’t like that I did the thing that creates this emotion so I’m not going to do that thing again. I’m not going to make that same mistake so that I…” then that is what it is signaling to your nervous system often when you feel an emotion that is unpleasant. But the point is, destructive emotions are when essentially any negative emotion, we’re calling them destructive emotions, but you can use those words interchangeably, it is what does that – does that control you? Does it get you off track?
That’s the question is either there is an emotion that either serves you or its destructive. If it does not serve you, then it is destructive. If an emotion serves you, it is constructive. If it does not serve you, it is destructive. So, here’s the huge foundational lesson here. What is the cause of your negative emotions? That’s what we’re going to talk about right now. I’m going to give this to you. I’m going to share this with you. The cause of every negative emotion that you have ever felt in your life or that you are feeling now, or that you could ever feel for the rest of your life, I’m going to tell you what the cause is and it’s literally it can be summed up in a single cause and the cause first and foremost, I will tell you, it is always self-created, meaning you cause all of your destructive emotions. You cause them and therefore, you can choose not to cause them. You can choose to transcend them. You can choose to manage them, to control them. But every negative emotion that you’ve ever felt or feeling now or can ever feel was self-created by you and is completely optional.
Now, what creates it? How are you creating your emotions? I’m sorry if that’s harsh. You’re like, “No, I don’t create my negative emotions. I’m upset when someone does something, of course.” And by the way, every time we feel a destructive emotion, we almost always have someone or something to point to. Think about this. Whenever you’re feeling a way that’s destructive, you’re feeling angry or you’re sad, we always have something to point to. We go, “Well, of course, I’m sad. Look at what I lost. Of course, I’m sad. Look what I lost,” or, “Yeah, I’m fricking angry. Yeah, I’m mad. Did you hear what she did? Did you hear what he said? Yes, I’m mad.” So, we always are pointing at other people and things and circumstances and situations outside of ourselves and blaming them or blaming it for our destructive emotions, but it’s never the thing. It’s never the thing that we’re pointing to and here’s proof of that. It’s a very simple perspective that proves that it’s not the thing.
The same thing can happen to two different people. Okay. You and I could go through the exact same tragedy. We can use my cancer for example. Whatever the tragedy or circumstance, it could be something minor like traffic or something major like losing a job or losing a loved one or being diagnosed with cancer. So, it can be something minor or something major. The cause of our negative emotions – sorry. I went ahead. So, the proof is, the perspective of the same thing can happen to two different people, one person they viewed it as the worst thing that ever happened, they’re upset, they’re angry, and they blame the thing for why they’re upset and angry but the exact same tragedy befalls another person and that person says, and you ask that person, “Are you also angry and distraught and upset and is this like the worst thing ever?” like person #1 and person #2 goes, “No. I mean, yeah, this is like the worst thing ever. It’s the most difficult thing I ever had to deal with, but I know that on the other side of this challenge is a better version of me and I’m committed to going through it and moving through it as gracefully as I possibly can and being the most grateful and the happiest that I can possibly be in the midst of this tragedy. And I know that on the other side of it and the more positive and proactive I am through it in the midst of it, I know that there’s a better version of me and I’m excited to become that person.”
So, think about that. Same tragedy befalls two different people. Person 1 it’s the worst thing ever and they’re emotionally distraught. Person 2, it’s the greatest opportunity for growth that they’ve ever had, and they’re going to be happy and grateful while they go through it. So, that proves that it’s not the thing that causes our emotional state. It’s our interpretation of the thing and what causes every negative emotion that you have ever felt are feeling now or could ever feel, you can sum up in one word and that word is resistance. It is resisting our reality that causes our emotional pain. In other words, it’s wishing and wanting that something were different that cannot be different and to the degree that you wish it were different determines the degree of emotional pain that you create for yourself. So, think about that.
And by the way, how do you know what you can and can’t change? Well, think about it. Every negative emotion that you typically feel, that we typically feel is over something that just happened, something that already happened whether it happened five minutes ago or five months ago or five years ago or maybe we suffer over our childhood five decades ago and we’re still suffering over something that happened years ago, or decades ago because we think it’s the thing. “Of course, I’m upset at my parents. Look at what they did to me when I was a child. That wasn’t fair. I don’t deserve that,” and I am in no way in any position to tell anybody how they should feel. I’m just telling you what is the cause of emotional pain so that you can choose whether or not basically which emotions you want to feel.
So, the moment we accept, the opposite of resistance of the cause of emotional pain is resistance. It’s resisting our reality, wishing it were different. Well, the negative emotions that we feel, the destructive emotions we feel, again, they’re almost always over something that already happened. Well, that means you can’t change anything unless you’re Marty McFly from Back to the Future with the DeLorean, you can’t go back in time and you can’t change anything. So, the thing that’s causing your emotional pain is unchangeable if it already happened. So, think about that. Every negative emotion you’ve ever felt is self-created by resisting the reality of something that is already happened. How do you transcend that? How do you fix that? How do you control your emotions? How do you not feel these destructive emotions that maybe you’ve habitually felt your entire life when things go wrong? It’s the opposite of resistance. The answer is the opposite of resistance. It’s acceptance.
You fully and unconditionally accept all the things that you can’t change which is anything that’s ever happened to you. You can’t go back in time and change it. Now, it doesn’t mean you can’t take steps now to change anything. That’s the beauty is, you can’t change anything from the past, but you can change almost everything else and there’s a lot of things that are unchangeable. You can’t change the body that you’re in. You can’t change the family you’re born into and there are things you cannot change. And so, the opposite of resistance is acceptance and that means the key to emotional invincibility is acceptance. It’s accepting all things as they are. If you think about it, look in your past. You’ve done this, by the way. You’ve done this thousands of times, thousands of times, without even being aware of it probably.
Think about when you were in junior high or elementary school or high school, if you had a boyfriend or girlfriend back then. Let’s say you had a boyfriend or a girlfriend, if you ever had your heart broken, I mean, raise your hand if you haven’t had your heart broken. I think most people’s hands are down because most of us had a heartbreak at some point growing up. And if you have not, if you didn’t have a boyfriend or girlfriend, and when you are in grade school, that’s okay. You’ll still get this lesson but let’s say you have a breakup and like the world is over and you’re resisting it. You’re going, “No, no, no, no, no, I can’t believe he broke up with me. We were going to go to prom. We were going to get married. No, I can’t believe.” And you’re resisting it, “I wish that didn’t happen.” You’re telling your friends like, “I want to be with him so bad.”
Remember, to the degree that we want or wish something were different than it can be determines the degree of emotional pain that we create for ourselves. So, in that moment in those moments for those days, those weeks, those months, however long it is, you’re resisting reality in the form of wishing and wanting that you were still with that person who broke up with you and broke your heart and you imagine being with him and it killed you that you couldn’t be with him. You’re resisting reality into the degree that you resist reality. It was low-level like, “Oh shucks, gosh, darn it. I really wanted us to be together.” That’s a low-level resistance and you have a low level of pain, but if you’re like resisting with every fiber of your being like we often do, “God, no, no, please. I want to be with him so bad,” then you create intense destructive emotional pain and think about this. The moment that you finally accepted it, and often it may be because you met someone else. Maybe you met a new boyfriend, a new girlfriend, a new significant other, and then you went, “This person’s even better than the other person that broke my heart like I’m done with him.”
And then it’s funny how it changes like as soon as you accept it, you’re able to choose your emotional state or it just chooses you and unconsciously you go, “I don’t even like. They were a jerk. They’re not nearly as good as my new boyfriend or girlfriend. This new person is fricking awesome. I’m excited.” So, think about it. As soon as you accept the unchangeable circumstance, you give yourself the gift of emotional invincibility. You are now free from the emotional pain that was caused not by the thing that happened but by your resistance to the thing that happened, your resistance to the thing that happened. So, the key is acceptance. One word causes emotional pain and that is resistance. One word cures and frees you from emotional pain and that is acceptance. It’s making a conscious decision to accept all things you can’t change and I’m going to give you right now we’re going to wrap up with three strategies, three techniques for you to implement emotional invincibility in your world. And, of course, if you want to go deeper when you read your copy of the Miracle Equation, you’re going to get a full chapter on this exact topic.
Here are the three strategies to implement emotional invincibility. Number one is what I call The Five-Minute Rule and I’ve mentioned this before in podcasts. I haven’t done a podcast on The Five-Minute Rule. I’m not sure. But The Five-Minute Rule and this is what I first learned that opened the door for me to this way of thinking, this way of living, this being able to be at peace with every challenging circumstance, as it came my way. I learned this in my sales training and The Five-Minute Rule says that when something goes wrong and I can do air quotes on the wrong because wrong is relative for me. How often does something gone wrong and then, in hindsight, you realize, “Oh, that’s the best thing that ever happened to me.” Like, my car accident was the best thing that ever happened to me because it gave birth to my life’s work. It enabled me to become the person that I became by overcoming that challenge and moving through it as gracefully and in proactively as I possibly could.
So, my greatest growth came from my greatest adversity in the car accident. So, anyway, so wrong is a relative term. But the point is The Five-Minute Rule states that whenever something goes wrong, set your timer on your phone for five minutes and you have five minutes to b**ch, moan, complain, cry, punch a wall, punch a pillow, punch a friend, whatever. You five minutes to be upset to resist like literally you have permission like resist the heck out of that circumstance for five minutes and for five minutes you get to feel every emotion and this is an important transition into living with acceptance because think about this. You’ve been reacting and responding to your challenges, adversities, negative experiences, difficult people, or whatever. The way you responded pretty much for much of your life, not your entire life, and often we learned it from our parents if your mom or dad got angry every time something went wrong, there’s a good chance you might get angry when something goes wrong. You’ve modeled that behavior.
So, when you have a lifetime of emotional programming and responding the way things like when you hit traffic, if you ever get to traffic, it frustrates you, well, then you’ve got to reprogram that. And by the way, traffic’s a great everyday example of how we create emotional pain at varying levels based on our resistance. When you hit traffic, how do you respond? Are you smiling? Are you focusing? Are you being grateful while you’re in the car? Kind of like if I can be that most happiest grateful person in a wheelchair, well, shoot, you can be the happiest, the most grateful person in traffic. I do the same thing in traffic. Traffic’s my wheelchair while I’m in traffic. But for me, instead of getting upset at traffic which is so silly like you can’t change the traffic. Why spend 30 minutes in the car tense and frustrated? No, just turn up the music and be grateful. Even if you’re late, you’re going to get in trouble by your boss or whatever, it is what it is. You can’t change it. So, the only intelligent choice we have as human beings unless we enjoy being angry and frustrated and stressed out, which I don’t think most of us do, the only intelligent choice we have as human beings is to accept our circumstances as they’re happening and give ourselves the gift of being completely at peace and emotionally invincible.
And then when I’m in traffic instead of going, “All right. Now, that I accepted that I’m in traffic and I’m going to be late and I can’t change it, I don’t need to be frustrated or upset or stressed. I’m in the car for the next 30 minutes. What emotion would best serve me right now?” And often it’s gratitude or sometimes it’s just focus like, you know what, focus is kind of an emotion and focus is a broad word, but I’m going to focus on my goals right now. I’m going to brainstorm. I’m going to think how can I apply these things in my life. So, I’ll choose the emotion that best serves me. So, The Five-Minute Rule is you set your timer for five minutes when something goes wrong and it gives you five minutes to feel your emotional pain and feel it fully, resist fully knowing that you only got five minutes to do it and then you’re going to shift your level of consciousness to a place of acceptance, but this five minutes is kind of a buffer time where as you’re training yourself to become emotionally invincible, the five minutes gives you that buffer to ease your way in.
It’s kind of like if you’re quitting smoking, rather than quitting cold turkey which anytime we try to do a 180 in our life, usually it’s much more challenging. And there are varying strategies. I get it. In fact, the best book if you want to quit smoking is The Easy Way To Stop Smoking or The Easy Way To Quit Smoking. Check that over at Amazon. I don’t know why. I don’t know why that thought came up for me but it’s the most effective book and I believe that he has you do it in a gradual progression down. When I quit taking Adderall years ago, it was a gradual progression down. It wasn’t that you go from taking 30 milligrams a day to zero. Otherwise, you go through withdrawals and then now your brain is saying, “Oh my God, quitting this bad habit, this unhealthy thing is horrific. It’s like I feel terrible.” And then now you associate quitting with this horrible, these physical, mental, emotional, painful feelings. So, the gradual progression is I am a much bigger fan of that way of making changes in our world.
When I started running, it was run a mile and then run two, and then gradually progressed. So, the same thing. The five-minute rule gives you five minutes to feel your emotions and then when the timer goes off, you move into strategy number 2, three very powerful words and they’re really a mantra. The three words are can’t change it, can’t change it. And if you want to go deeper you can go to CantChangeIt.com without the apostrophe. Just C-A-N-T Change It.com. You can watch a ten-minute video of me going in-depth on this Can’t Change It idea from speech but here’s the general idea. It’s the idea that you’re just simply reminding yourself with this mantra to go, “Wait, can’t change it.” So, let’s say you’re in traffic. You hit traffic. You want to use a five-minute timer, you can. You go five minutes, “Oh, this is BS. You get out,” and look at the people around you and get mad at them and, “Ah, it’s your fault.” And then when the timer goes off, you go, deep breath, “Can’t change it,” and smile. Literally, take a deep breath, say can’t change it and smile.
Because you are an intelligent human being and those three words remind you that as an intelligent human being, there’s no value right now in being upset, angry, depressed, you know, whatever, feeling these destructive emotions. Those aren’t optimum for me right. Now, if they are, great. Feel them for a little bit, whatever, but give yourself five minutes to feel them. So, there you go. And after five minutes, it’s not constructive to dwell on your negative emotions and extend the negative effect that they have on you. So, the Can’t Change It mantra is simply can’t change it, I can’t change it. Therefore, I’m going to be at peace, I’m going to be happy, I’m going to accept it. I’m going to spend this time in traffic not frustrated or upset or angry or worried. No, I’m just going to enjoy every moment, every moment, and that’s the opportunity that we all have is to enjoy every moment of our lives no matter what’s going on around us, because all that matters is what’s going on inside of us. So, can’t change it is that mantra that reminds you.
And, by the way, the evolution of this is eventually you don’t need the five-minute rule. If you’re listening and you’re like, “Hal, dude, five minutes is not long enough. I need five like days to be upset or five hours at least, right? I thought when I learned the five-minute rule from my mentor when I was 19, my first thought was the same as yours like five minutes is not long enough. I need more than five minutes and then what happened is I set the timer and after five minutes went up, the first time and I’m like, “Argh, I’m still upset.” I was resistant. It’s funny. I was resistant to stopping resisting like I was resistant to saying can’t change it kind of because I’m still upset and then I went. I just I’m like, “All right. I committed. I’ll play along. Deep breath, smile, can’t change it. I can’t change what just happened so I don’t need to be upset about it. It was this radical shift in consciousness. It felt weird. I was kind of teetering between resistance and acceptance. But here’s what happened and this is a miracle like this will happen for you too.
I thought five minutes is not ever to be long enough. After a few weeks, probably a few days. I don’t remember the exact timeframe, but it happened very quickly where I took the five-minute timer and the timer, I set it and I go, “Gosh, dang it. This is such BS. I’m so upset.” I’d be upset and I would like stew for a little bit and then I’d pick up my phone and look at the timer, and it would say, you know, I still had 4 minutes and 12 seconds left and I put the phone back down I’d piggyback up and go, “Well, wait a minute. What’s the point in resisting this reality for another like it’s not going to change it? What’s the point of being upset for another four minutes and six seconds? Like, I might as well just accept it now,” and then I would go deep breath, smile, can’t change it. Can’t change it. And I would have this all the weight of those destructive emotions, that emotional pain, it would just float away and I was at peace.
And so, the five-minute rule quickly became the five-second rule. You get that? It became the five-second rule where I would go that I would have something bad happen, “bad”, it’s all relative, but something went wrong. I did not meet my expectations. That’s the most accurate way to say it, rather than wrong or bad. You just didn’t meet your expectations. It wasn’t what you’re shooting for or hoping for or wanting but then what happened and I would go, “Oh.” I would get upset for five seconds, I go, “Dang, son of a gun. Argh. All right. Can’t change it,” and then I would just move on like after five seconds and that leads us to the third strategy which is the final piece of this puzzle to the evolution of emotional invincibility and that is accept life before it happens, accept life before it happens. You know the phrase, hindsight is 20/20. Hindsight is 20/20 and it often takes us weeks or months or years to look back over a challenge in our lives, a difficult time, an adversity, and see the meaning in it, the purpose in it, the benefit of it.
You go, “Oh, you know what, I’m glad that person broke my heart and broke up with me because then I found my true love,” or, “I’m glad I lost that job because then I found, yeah, it was the hardest time but it led to the career that I now have, the mission-driven work that I do and if I wouldn’t have gotten fired, it wouldn’t happen.” So, hindsight they say is 20/20, but why suffer for weeks or months or years and delay clarity and delay being at peace waiting for this hindsight thing? No. Why not see the benefit in your challenge, in your adversity, while you’re going through it? So, accepting life before it happens means that after this episode, not after this episode, but after this episode, start with the five. Write these three things down. Put these in your Miracle Morning and your affirmations and your reminders. Put them in your phone, whatever. Live by the five-minute rule. Set your timer for five minutes. Give yourself five minutes to be upset, angry, whatever.
And after five minutes, number two, the can’t change it mantra, take a deep breath, smile and repeat yourself three powerful words: can’t change it. And finally, once you’ve applied the five-minute rule and the can’t change it mantra for a few days or weeks or whatever it takes for your reasonable different, a few days or a few weeks, then you’ll realize, “Wow. I didn’t know that emotional pain was self-created like I didn’t know that I have control, like almost complete control over my emotions. This is cool.” Instead of needing five minutes or even five seconds, I’m going to accept life before it happens. That means I’m making a conscious decision. Since every negative emotion that I could ever feel in the future would be self-created by my resistance, I’m just making a conscious decision that I’m not going to resist anything anymore. I’m going to accept life before it happens.”
And here’s how that showed up for me and you can imagine like how powerful this can be if something like this would happen, God forbid that this ever happens, but adversity is inevitable. I mean, we’re going to all face challenges in different forms, but when I was diagnosed with cancer, I’m given a 30% chance of surviving, I felt no emotional pain. I mean, now granted, I did go through emotional pain throughout the journey for sure, the physical pain. When you’re in an extraordinary amount of physical pain, I will be very, very clear. Applying this is a lot more difficult. Right? When you’re physically in and I went through this thing with where they punctured my spine with a needle. They went in the wrong space and I had the most horrific migraines for six days, 24 hours a day and nothing, not morphine, not anything they gave me cure these migraines. I was in so much pain. I couldn’t sleep and I couldn’t eat.
That was when I dropped, I’m 6 feet tall. I dropped from 167 pounds down to 127 pounds during that time because I couldn’t eat because the migraines were so bad. I couldn’t open my eyes. I couldn’t handle sound. Nothing. And so, the point is when that’s happening, it’s hard to be fully emotionally invincible, at peace, etcetera. So, I’ll be you just that – when you’re in physical pain, it does make it easier, of course, because I wasn’t resisting, but it was still hard. I mean, physical pain is physical pain but emotional pain, outside physical pain is within our control. It is within our control and we have the power to control it. It’s not really controlling it. It’s just allowing it to just move through us like, “Oh, here comes the circumstance or here’s the circumstance that would cause me pain but I’m going to let that emotion, I’m going to acknowledge it, and just let it move right through me and let it go because I can’t change it, can’t change what happened. It already happened.
So, the only intelligent choice that we have as human beings when things happen that aren’t nice or comfortable or desirable or they are painful is to accept them fully and be at peace with them so that we can be in an optimal emotional state to, A, enjoy life but, B, to improve our circumstances, the ones that aren’t going well to fix. Something’s if you lose a loved one, you can’t change that. You can’t improve that but if you lose a job, being in an emotional state will allow you to get back on the horse and go find a new job. When you’re in traffic, being in an optimal emotional state will allow you to enjoy that traffic and arrive to your destination feeling good and refreshed and positive and integrate states so that whomever you’re encountering that day, or whatever you’re doing that day, you show up at a peak. You show up at your best and then you create your best for the world. So, there you go. The five-minute rule, the three strategies to implement emotional invincibility: the Five-Minute Rule, the Can’t Change It mantra, and ultimately, accepting life before it happens. And these strategies it will blow your mind. If you apply these, put them in writing, and it will blow your mind how quickly you will, I mean, it’ll transform your life.
And I want to wrap up with this quick story that I tell in all of my keynote speeches and I show a picture, I show a slide of this. That is, in fact, I can put the slide in the show notes. So, if you go to HalElrod.com/Podcast and you search for, well, if you search for emotional invincibility or just scroll down for this episode in the show notes, I will put the picture that I’m about to tell you about. A gal emailed me a picture of her wrist after I spoke at her company’s event about three weeks later and it had a picture of the words “Can’t Change It” permanently tattooed into her wrist. And I will paraphrase what she said but she said, “Hal, I’m 27 years old and my dad died when I was 17. In fact, the 10-year anniversary of his death was just a few days ago and normally, every year on his death, I’m deeply depressed. It’s just a very hard day for me. And I thought I’ve been depressed.”
And by the way, she said, “For the last ten years, I’ve been deeply depressed. I’ve been in and out of psychologist, psychiatrist. I’ve been on every antidepressant you could imagine, and nothing has ever worked for me which is why I’ve continued to try to go to figure things out, go to counselors and therapists, and nothing has ever worked for me. I’m still been habitually depressed.” And she said, “When I heard your message,” and it was essentially, a lot of the message that I gave you guys today. She said, “You opened my eyes to a new way of thinking that maybe I wasn’t depressed because my dad died. Maybe I wasn’t distraught because my dad died. Maybe losing my dad wasn’t what has caused the last 10 years my life to be really miserable,” and she said in a lot of ways, a lot of it has been.
She said, “Your message and the philosophy on resistance and acceptance, and can’t change it, and five-minute rule and all this,” she said, “It made me think that maybe I’ve been depressed because I didn’t know that I could choose to accept that my dad was gone physically from the world that he had passed away that he was never coming back and I thought I couldn’t accept it. It was just unacceptable to me but now knowing that I was the one causing my emotional pain by my resistance to my dad’s death.” She said, “I got your little can’t change it,” these little can’t change it wristbands that people got at events that I eventually spoke at. And by the way, you can get one of those at CantChangeIt.com and like $5, all the profits go to Front Row Foundation, but those are still available. Actually, I hope they are. I would look at that site. I haven’t been there in a long time. I think they are. I hope they are. If they’re not, send me an email, let me know, and we’ll figure that out. But, anyway, so she said, “I got your little wristband and I wore it every day and every time I just think of my dad which happens at least once a day and I feel these negative, destructive emotions,” she said, “I’d look at my wrist band and I would take a deep breath and I would smile and I would say, can’t change it. I remind myself that I can’t change that my dad’s gone, but I can choose to be the happiest and most grateful I’ve ever been, even though he’s not here. That is my choice.”
And she said, “For the first time in 10 years I’ve been happy, not only the happiest, the most grateful I’ve been,” she goes, “Just the fact that I’ve been any kind of happy or grateful, especially around the memory of my dad has been radically transformative,” and she said, “The other day was the 10-year anniversary of his death, and I wanted a permanent reminder that the memory of his death will never again cause me to feel depressed, it will never cause me to be angry with God, or sad.” She said, “I decided the memory of my dad will only cause me to feel happy and grateful and I wanted a permanent reminder of that so I got the words, can’t change it, tattooed into my wrist.”
And, guys and gals, goal achievers, think about that. Think about how powerful this strategy of emotional invincibility and those three words, the can’t change it mantra, if this gal, imagine, depressed for 10 years, reinforcing the negative feelings toward the memory, the thought of her dad being gone for 10 years like how deeply ingrained that must’ve been for her. Just like for you and I, our emotional patterns are deeply ingrained and she tried everything from medication to therapy to overcome that depression and change the way she felt about her dad’s death. And three words in about three weeks’ time, I mean, it happened faster for her even than that in a matter of days. She transcended her depression. So, think about that. If she could transcend 10 years of depression over losing her dad at a volatile young age, how can you apply this to become emotionally invincible in your life and in your world? How can you become emotionally invincible with the five-minute rule, the can’t change it philosophy, and ultimately, accepting life before it happens so that you never have to feel negative emotions, destructive emotions?
In fact, the negative or destructive emotions are only constructive emotions when you choose when you’re feeling them not because of something happening to you, but because something happens and then you choose the emotion that would best serve you and it might be on that list of negative emotions for a period of time but it becomes constructive when you’re choosing it and it’s not choosing you. You have that power. You have that ability. And this is one of the most transformative lessons in my own life and I really hope that you’ve written these down and that you’ll apply it in your own life, and if you want to go deeper on this lesson, please feel free to go over to MiracleEquationBook.com and you can preorder the Miracle Equation. As I mentioned, forward your receipt to [email protected] and you will get over $1,200 in bonuses and including me and you doing a live course together, you can ask questions and we can see each other. It’s going to be awesome coming up soon. So, again, you can go to MiracleEquationBook.com or just go to wherever you like to buy books. Do it online, that’s better. So, go preorder today online and Amazon is where I get all my books if you want to get it there. That’s where the MiracleEquationBook.com, that’s where that website redirects to, that URL redirects to.
Hal: Yeah. And I’m really, really, really, really feeling purposeful about this book, The Miracle Equation, and how it can help anyone who reads it and who applies the two decisions that will move your biggest goals from possible to probable to inevitable. This has been Episode 4 in the Miracle Equation series of podcast episodes. We’ve got two or three more to come in the next few weeks. Hope you’ll join me for those and thank you for being a listener of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. Thank you for being a member of the Miracle Morning Community. Together, we are truly elevating the consciousness of humanity one person at a time and the Miracle Equation for me it’s the next step, the evolution, a follow-up to Miracle Morning to further that mission and I’m so grateful that you are a part of this and that I could share a bit of my life with you and thank you. Thank you so much. I love you. I will talk to you next week, everybody. Take care.
"The cause of every negative emotion that you have ever felt in your life or that you are feeling now, or that you could ever feel for the rest of your life, is always self-created.”
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