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Episode 319: Using Your Past to Transform Your Present

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"Despite whatever challenges we've faced in the past, we've gone through all of them. We're still here. So, realize that you have within you everything that you need to overcome the current challenges."

Hal Elrod

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If you’re struggling in any area of your life, right now, today’s podcast episode can help you. I’m sharing a profound breakthrough with you that I had, recently, and inviting you to apply it to your life – immediately.

A week ago, when I was recording this episode, I was struggling. I’m still dealing with the ongoing side effects of chemotherapy, and I’m still trying to work through the resulting anxiety, depression, and cognitive challenges that I’ve discussed openly with you in previous episodes of this podcast.

In the past week, I’ve made a radical shift that has taken me from feeling depressed, unmotivated, and overwhelmed to feeling genuinely happy, energized, and in control of myself, and my life.

In today’s podcast, I’m sharing the story and the strategy of how I reached this breakthrough, how to return to the tools you already have inside of you to conquer your greatest challenges, and what you can do right now to work through this incredibly trying time in human history.

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • The two major causes of depression and how you can start to address them – and the key difference between anxiety and depression.
  • How my Miracle Morning practice a month ago was a far cry from the approach that changed my life in 2008 – and how to double down on the fundamentals of your practices, whatever they are, to address the struggles you’re facing right now.
  • How to find everything you need to face your challenges – and how to reach out in this very antisocial time if you need to get help.

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View Transcript

Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers. It’s Hal Elrod and this is the intro to the episode that you’re about to hear. I’m recording this intro about a week after I recorded the episode and I just went back and listened to the episode and actually thought, “Gosh, do I want to put that out? I’m not in the same place as I was a week ago when I recorded it.” I think you’ll understand what I mean when you listen to this but I talk very openly in this episode about the depression that I’ve been enduring and anxiety and some of the things and the breakthrough that you’ll hear today, you’re going to hear about how I looked back into my past, really back into 2008 when the US economy had crashed. It was the last time in my life that I was depressed and scared and felt kind of hopeless and didn’t know what to do. I figured something out back in 2008 that turned my life around so fast, I could hardly believe it.

 

And about a week ago as I was feeling depressed and really going through some struggles, I looked back into my past. So, I’m going to invite you to do that today, to look back into your past at times when you’ve overcome a challenge. What skills, what qualities, what resources, internal resources did you utilize, did you tap into that you can bring forth now or anytime in your life, to overcome your current challenges in the way that you overcame challenges in your past? So, I’m going to invite you to explore that toward the end of the episode today, after you hear kind of my journey through this. But I was thinking about re-recording the episode because I listened to it, I go, “Man, I’m not there anymore,” which is crazy. So, what I mean by that is a week ago when I recorded this episode, I was feeling really depressed, still really depressed. I mean, it’s still really struggling through this. And I had this breakthrough which I share in the episode today and I’ve applied that breakthrough. I’ve implemented it for the last week. And in the last week, just like in 2008 I’ve had a radical shift already.

 

And so, I’m not feeling depressed. I’m not feeling afraid. I’m not feeling hopeless. And so, I thought, “Man, maybe I should re-record the episode so it’s current,” and then I thought, “No, this was me authentically one week ago and the way I’m vibrating now that how I’m showing up, how I’m feeling. You can probably sense it in my energy right now. It’s radically different from what you’re about to hear. And I think you’re going to get a lot of value from this episode. There are some parts that I was cringing at. I’m like, “Oh gosh, I sound like pathetic, whatever,” but that’s where I was a week ago and the reason I’m keeping the episode as it is, and recording this intro now is I want you to see that when you implement what I share with you during the episode today, and it may be you might implement exactly what I am doing or you might just tap into something you’ve done in the past that you can bring into your present reality.

 

Either way, I’m sharing with you how quickly you can transform your inner world so that you can transform your outer world, how quickly you can go from wherever you might be right now, wherever you’re challenged right now, to how within a week, you can turn it around or at least make a quantum leap in the direction of completely turning it around because I’ve done it myself. And so, I’m excited to share this episode with you. And I would love for you to really pay attention to the difference between the energy that I’m bringing and kind of where I’m coming from through this episode, and how I sound now. You might even come back and listen to the intro after you listened to the whole episode. So, I invite you to listen to this episode and if there are parts that are cringe-worthy because at least they were for me. I think it’s because we’re our biggest critic and I’m going, “Oh man, I sound pathetic,” but listen through that, and I think there’s a lot of wisdom there, a lot of nuggets sprinkled throughout today.

 

And then the end of the episode especially where I really invite you to tap into your past, to transform your present and future, and whether you do it the way that I’ve been able to do it in just a week’s time, I mean, I can’t believe it’s crazy how quickly this shift has happened. And in a way, it’s not crazy because, in 2008, it was the exact same thing. It happened faster than I ever thought possible. So, I’m really wishing the same for you, as we’re all in during new sets of circumstances and challenges. My wish for you is that you, one week from today, after listening to this episode can be as energized and charged and clear and motivated and feeling genuinely happy as I am based on what I’m about to share with you during today’s podcast episode. So, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you. I will talk to you all next week and enjoy today’s episode.

 

[EPISODE]

 

Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members the Miracle Morning Community, friends, family loved ones, everybody listening, welcome. This is Hal Elrod of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. And it is April 2020 and if you are alive and around and present at this time, we are in the midst of what is I believe called a global pandemic and a lot of people are afraid, a lot of people are paralyzed. I’m actually in the camp of a little bit of both of those depending on the day. In fact, I’ve been saying this kind of in jest but really, seriously, the question, the most common question that human beings ask each other when we interact is usually, “How are you? How are you doing?” And I’ve been saying that I don’t think that’s ever been a more loaded question than it is right now. Would you agree?

 

How are you doing? It’s like, “Oh, well, you know, I woke up this morning. I played with my kids. We had some great quality time. It was awesome. But then I turned on the news and I realized that I found this out and this is going on and now how many deaths there are with COVID-19 and I started to freak out. So, I went on a run and saw how beautiful nature was and that was really nice. But then my phone beeped out a notification from my bank that a cheque was overdrawn that reminded me how stressful my finances are right now.” It’s like this is this roller coaster that we’re all kind of on right now and how are you doing is maybe the most difficult time ever to answer that question, which is a straight answer, right? It was just a straight answer. It’s like, yeah, it depends on the day and it really depends on the moment, depends on the minute, depends on the hour.

 

So, with all that said, I wanted to share today with you something that a breakthrough that I had the other day that hopefully will be beneficial to you. And the breakthrough actually, first let me give you a little bit of background and if you listened to podcasts for a while, you may have a little bit of knowledge into what I’m about to share. And that is that I wouldn’t say I was recently in during the most difficult time of my life but if I’m being honest, it’s current. I’m currently enduring the most difficult time in my life. And you may have seen or listened to my podcast, why 2019 was the worst year of my life. Well, I recorded that at the start of 2020 and I was feeling really optimistic and hopeful that 2020 would be a great year and things would turn around.

 

And it’s turned out to be just kind of more of the same, if not even more difficult than 2019, and kind of still waiting and hoping and working on trying to turn this thing around. In short, my mental health is a major struggle right now and from what I can tell, it’s the ongoing effects of chemotherapy that I did for over three years that have caused severe depression and anxiety and sleeplessness. Been averaging three to four hours a night of sleep for the last four months. And if you’ve ever slept three or four hours in one night, it messes you up, but do that two, three, four, five, 30, 60, 100 plus nights, not every night, I occasionally get some sleep but more often than not, it’s been two, three, four hours so that I think all feeds into the anxiety as well and the depression, right? So, these after-effects of chemotherapy have caused these severe mental health issues and really counter to my whole identity because I’ve spent the last 20 years creating these mental models, these paradigms and strategies and tools that have allowed me to manage and optimize my mindset in the midst of these great challenges and adversities and tragedies from car accident to cancer, all of those things.

 

And now, honestly, I feel like the cancer or really the chemotherapy radically changed me and I haven’t been able to figure out how to get back to the person that I have always been, which before and even during when I had cancer I’ve always been genuinely happy and grateful and joyful and positive and optimistic and I would even say confident. Yeah, I feel like I know that guy’s inside somewhere but I’m having real trouble connecting to all of those positive, productive mindset, all the things I just I feel like they’re out of reach and it feels a little bit out of control. So, with all of that, I’m not trying to make this a therapy session. I feel like all my conversations in the last four months and even podcast have been a little bit a therapy session because it’s hard. And this is like when you’re in it and it’s such a reality for you and if you’ve been there before you’re there now, you become self-absorbed, which I hate that. That’s like one of my greatest values is to focus on serving as much as I possibly can and always be selfless and try to think of how can I serve others, family and my community and everybody.

 

But when I’ve got the anxiety, the depression, it’s like you become self-absorbed because you’re like, “I can’t think outside of myself because I’m so challenged with my inner world and my psyche, right? It makes it really difficult.” So, I wasn’t planning on doing this in-depth today, but all right, hey, we went there. Alright. And by the way, the anxiety, just to give you a quick, I’ll go a little further, I guess. My anxiety got so bad that I regularly cancel important calls and appointments and then I mentioned this in that other podcast that I just referenced, where I put it into my annual live event and the mastermind that run for six years, canceled trips to Russia and Greece, canceled speaking engagements. I had to let go of all my team members like the other piece I didn’t mention is they would call chemo brain like that’s a big part of I think all of this is I have a real challenge right now just thinking clearly. Decisiveness is very difficult. Thinking clearly and learning new things, my memory is the worst it’s ever been. So, all these things feed into each other.

 

And again, this is not a pity party. I’m not trying to make you feel sorry for me. I just want to give you some context on what life has been like for the last four months without sleep but really a year with the anxiety and stuff. But I’m still waking up every day and I’m doing the best I can to be there, be a dad and a husband and lead my community. But by the way, if you’ve noticed that I haven’t been as present like I haven’t been as present. I’m not doing a lot of engagement like I just I’ve got some kind of paralysis if you will, due to all these mental challenges. Yeah, so I’m realizing that I need to step away and I’ve been trying to step away, but I can’t fully like I want to help. I want to serve. I want to contribute. That’s such a big part of who I am but I’m realizing that I’m doing it not at my full capacity and it’s taking a further toll on me. So, with all of that, the reason I’m sharing what I want to talk about today is the realization, the breakthrough I had the other day that is starting to help all of the things that I just shared with you.

 

So, whatever you’re struggling with right now, let me really lay the context. So, whenever you’re struggling with right now in your world, now whether you’re struggling with any of the things I just shared or none of those things, but you’ve got struggles economically, your finances, maybe your business is struggling due to all the fallout from the COVID-19 shutting down society and in a lot of ways, right? I mean, I feel so sorry for so many businesses and business owners that you drive by all these businesses. I’ve left the house a couple of times, twice actually, in the last month. I’ve driven around twice last month and you see windows boarded up and businesses are closing, and I heard AMC theater just claimed bankruptcy, right? Really, really a tough time. Well, whatever you’re dealing with, maybe your challenges are relational with your significant other and maybe this just brought quarantine. You already had some challenges in the relationship department and quarantine just amplified those and made it even more difficult.

 

So, whatever your struggles are right now, whether they’re mental, emotional, logistical, financial, relational, health, all of the above, any of the above, doesn’t matter, whatever your struggles are, what I’m going to share with you, I think, can be really helpful. And so, for me personally, what I’m struggling with right now is it’s depression. That’s the biggest thing that I’m struggling with is this depression that the chemotherapy has caused, the sleeplessness, the anxiety, all of these things. So, it’s kind of there’s like four, right? So, anxiety, depression, sleeplessness, and the chemo brain like just not being able to think which is really hard when everything involves thinking, your relationships, parenting, everything involves thinking and so that’s really challenging. So, for me, those are the biggest four that I’m dealing with. And then I’m also dealing with some economic stuff where all of my speeches canceled, obviously, because no events are happening. So, there’s been a big drop in my income so I’m dealing with some financial crisis and then all the mental and emotional crisis. So, that’s my stuff that I’m dealing with. Yours may be different.

 

Here’s what happened for me is a few days ago, I don’t remember exactly what prompted the thought but I’m thinking, okay, how do I overcome these mental health issues, the depression, how do you overcome that? And then how do I overcome the financial stuff because the problem is the depression causes you to, at least for me, it caused me to be like paralyzed, where I can’t think straight, can’t think my way out of it. And I have no motivation, no drive, no desire, which are also things that I’ve always had in kind of plentiful. They were plentiful most of my life. And so those are gone or at least I don’t have access to them right now. And so, all of these things that I’m going, what can I do? Like how am I going to solve the problems? And there’s how do I solve the mental health issues? And then how do I solve my financial issues? I need to create some streams of a new source of income because I’ve lost one of my main sources of income, which is speaking, and then book sales also have dropped off significantly. At least they did their backup, I think, but they dropped off for a couple of weeks and that was kind of scary.

 

So, those were the two challenges that the mental health stuff and then the economic stuff, the finances. And here’s what I realized. I thought, “Oh, wait a minute. The last time I was dealing with these exact two same issues, really the only other time in my life that I can remember really being depressed and feeling kind of scared and hopeless and paralyzed was 2008. And it was because the US economy had crashed and I crashed. I lost over half of my clients half of my income and I’ll probably do a full-on episode on this at some point in the near future, how I utilized the Miracle Morning to turn all of that around, which is there’s a little foreshadowing as to where we’re going with this. So, I was really depressed during that time and I was depressed because my finances were out of control. I was in debt. I lost my house. I couldn’t pay the bills. I didn’t have a lot of hope. I didn’t have any certainty, really similar to what’s going on right now for not only me but for millions and millions of people around the world.

 

And it occurred to me, well, that’s why I created the Miracle Morning in 2008 was a series of events that led me to realize that, wow, if I want to improve my life, I’ve got to improve myself, I’ve got to improve my inner world, so I can improve my outer world. And so, a series of events led me to the conclusion that arguably the single most important thing that I can improve in my life is I need to create a morning ritual that enables me to start every day in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state to start each day learning things that I need to learn that I can implement into my life, into my business to improve those things. So, that was the epiphany for me, and I created this morning ritual. You probably know the rest of the story but in short, I put together the six most timeless personal development practices in the history of humanity. I decided to do all of them in one hour, 10 minutes each. Eventually, that was adjusted/modified a little bit where some became five, some became 15 or 20 but it started out with 10 minutes for each of the six practices, 10 times 6 is 60 minutes, one hour.

 

And within two months of doing this morning ritual, not only was my depression was gone literally in a couple of days. Not exaggerating. In a couple of days, my depression was gone and here’s why I believe that was, and I’m starting to see that again now. It was because depression, there’s a lot of different people analyze what causes depression. One of my coaches says that depression is caused when you fill your day with things that you don’t want to do. That kind of makes a lot of sense. It’s depressing to look at your calendar and your schedule, you go, “Oh, my God, I have to do all these things. I got to show up to this meeting. I got to do this project. I have to work on this. I got to talk to this person. I don’t want to do any of these things. I’m doing them because I feel like I should do them. I’m supposed to meet with this person. This guy’s my boss. I have to talk to him or her.” So, that’s one theory or one thing that can cause depression is you fill your schedule with things that you don’t want to do. Totally make sense and I feel depressed when I’ve got to schedule for things I don’t want to do.

 

Another thing that can cause depression is when you lose hope, when you’re you start spiraling in the wrong direction and then when you look, when that happens too long. When you start to maybe spiral downward, you go, “Uh-oh, this isn’t good. Okay. It’s all right. We’ll figure it out. We’ll turn it around.” And then days go by and it’s not getting better. Weeks go by and you’re going, “Uh-oh. Okay.” And every day that goes by and every week that goes by, you’re creating new neural pathways in your brain by focusing on your problems and they become bigger and bigger and bigger in terms of being a bigger part of your reality and thus dictate your emotional state, your overall mindset, your mental and emotional well-being. The longer that a problem persists, the longer you focus on something that is out of your control or at least it feels out of your control, the more you start to go from being hopeful that you can turn this thing around to feeling hopeless.

 

And I thought about back in 2008, that’s what happened. Before the Miracle Morning, before I started it, it was six months of a downward spiral, where financially, I just kept losing money, losing money, living on credit cards, accumulating more and more debt to pay my bills, to pay for groceries. I went from being debt-free before the economy crashed or started crashing before the recession began. I went from being debt-free to within six months I had $52,000 on my personal credit card. So, that wasn’t $52,000 in investing. I was just trying to pay the bills, put gas in the car, pay my mortgage, buy food, pay utilities like that was it. I was in debt. My credit score plummeted. My house was taken away from me. So, this was a real kind of financial rock bottom and then that’s where the hopelessness started to really take hold. The longer something goes on that has negative consequences, at least viewed negatively by you, the more you start to shift from being hopeful to feeling hopeless, and that’s another theory or reality as to what causes depression, is when you lose hope.

 

When you lose hope that the future can be better, you feel depressed, and I think that for me, that’s what’s happened personally over the last six months or really four months of not sleeping is the anxiety started over a year ago but when I stopped sleeping, it got really bad. And then the anxiety, kind of anxiety feeds sleeplessness. Sleeplessness feeds anxiety. You wake up feeling more anxious. As bedtime approaches, you feel anxiety because you’re afraid you’re not going to sleep again. I don’t know about you if you’ve ever been there before, it’s torture to lay awake. There are certain nights where I didn’t sleep at all. I’ll just lay awake all night staring at the ceiling. That’s a microcosm for hopelessness, right? At first, I’m like, “Okay, I’m going to sleep. I’m going to sleep. Tonight, it’ll be good,” and an hour goes by I’m like, “Okay, it’s only 10,” like I’ve still got time. I can sleep. And there’s hope and then an hour goes by, and now it’s 11 and hope starts to wane. Now it’s midnight and now it’s 1 AM and now it’s 2 AM and hope is replaced with complete hopelessness, anxiety, depression, fear like they take hold.

 

And so, this has been the last four months and what happened? I think, at first, I was very hopeful. I started to reach out to people. I was reading books on how to do that. I was googling articles. I was like, “I’ll figure this out.” Weeks go by, a month goes by. I’m like, “Alright. It’s okay. I’m going to figure it out.” And so, I wasn’t depressed. I want to make this distinction because I think that there’s some really, I’ve had some clarity in this area and if you or anyone you know who suffers from anxiety, depression or sleeplessness kind of understanding the difference between the two. Anxiety usually is a fear of something, some level of fear that you have for something but depression is a lack of hope. It’s a lack of power. It’s feeling powerless, hopeless like you have no control over your life. That’s what causes depression. And anxiety and depression, they’re absolutely intertwined and they can feed each other.

 

But for me, it didn’t start with depression. It started with anxiety and after the anxiety for about nine months, then I stopped sleeping. And that was four months ago. By the way, good news, there’s a happy ending. I’ve been sleeping the last couple of weeks for the first time. I’m working with Dr. Michael Bruce, who I’ll probably bring on the podcast at some point. He is known worldwide as the sleep doctor and pretty hard to get. I think it’s hard to, you know, it’s not easy to work with this guy. He happens to be – we interviewed him for the Miracle Morning movie. So, I was able to text him and be like, “Hey, can you jump on a call? I need your help.” And working with him for the last couple of weeks, things are starting to turn around. So, there’s light at the end of that tunnel, but the point is I want to just mention this. So, started out with anxiety and then after nine months of anxiety, I stopped sleeping and that went on for about three months.

 

And then about a month ago, but I wasn’t depressed during that time. I was totally hopeful. I was like I’ll figure this out. And then about a month or so ago, kind of lost track of time. It’s all blurring together when you don’t sleep but I started to feel a little bit depressed. And I would literally, like rate it every day. I would do this daily journal like, “Where’s my anxiety on a scale of one to 10 today? How many hours of sleep did I get today?” And then when depression started, I wouldn’t even rate it because it was like, “I’m not really depressed, like maybe like one on a scale of one to 10,” but anxiety at one point was like nine out of 10 and then I’m sleeping two or three hours a night. And so finally, depression started to ramp up as it wouldn’t get better and I lost hope. When I look back to 2008, it was a six-month period where I was hopeful. And then as time went on, and I lost client after client and my finances went away, I became less and less and less and less hopeful.

 

When I started doing my morning ritual, which I call it my morning ritual because it didn’t start as the Miracle Morning. There wasn’t a name for it. It wasn’t a book. It was not a book idea. It was this is a morning personal development practice, and I’m going to try and it was these six practices, meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and journaling. Now they are known as the SAVERS which meditation became silence, journaling became scribing. So, silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Those six practices are the acronym, SAVERS, but that’s not how it started out. It was my morning ritual so I’ll make that clear. But within a couple of days, my depression I would have rated it the day before I started the Miracle Morning, that day I would have rated it probably a nine out of 10. It was where I was literally thinking about suicide. And I could have never, you know, at least at that point, what kept me alive was people that loved me. I go, “I can’t end my life because it would devastate my mom and dad,” and it would devastate my fiancé at that time, who now I’m married to.

 

And that literally was it. I mean, that was my life and that’s what kept me going is I’m like I can’t. It would devastate these people who I love. I could never do that to them. If I didn’t have a mom and dad that were alive and a fiancé and I think actually we weren’t even engaged yet. We’re just boyfriend and girlfriend at the time we’re dating. But if it wasn’t for having those people in my life, I don’t know what would happen. I don’t know if I would have found something else to keep from doing that but it has gotten really, really bad. And within a couple of my first Miracle Morning, I had hope. I went, “Wow.” I woke up an hour earlier. I did all six of the practices that I just went over. I did them poorly like I didn’t know how to meditate. I was terrible. I don’t meditate. Affirmations were goofy. I was just reading them like the way they’ve been taught for years like, “I’m amazing. I’m, I’m a champion. I’m, I’m a good person.” They felt kind of funky but still after that first day of that morning ritual, I felt like 10 times better than I did the day before. And I felt hopeful. That was the big thing.

 

See, depression started to go away at day one because I went, “Wait a minute. If I start every day like this, it’s only a matter of time.” Like I feel amazing. I feel energized. I feel like I’ve clarity. I read a book today that helped me in the area of finances. And I’ll get to that. I’ll probably do an episode on that here in maybe next week, but a little bit specifically on the financial component. But I started reading books on growing my business space. I mean, that’s the short of it. And I hope, I’m like, “Ooh, if I do the things I’m learning in this book with the level of energy and confidence and clarity that I have from the rest of this morning ritual that I just did, it’s only a matter of time before I get back to my old, confident, happy, energized, motivated self. And I have these strategies that I’m learning I could implement, and I can turn my life around.” And I was hopeful. So, depression went away, sort of going away at day one. Once it was gone, but it started going away and every day that I did my Miracle Morning, it started to go away.

 

It wasn’t called the Miracle Morning until two months later. I had more than doubled my income. I was a coach. I lost over half my clients when the economy crashed, and then went to my wife and you may have heard this part of the story before, I don’t know if you have, but I said, “Sweetheart, it feels like a miracle. This morning ritual has changed everything. You know, it changed our finances, everything for us. I’m happy. I’m healthy. I’m training for an ultra-marathon. I feel great,” and I said it feels like a miracle how this has changed my life. And she said, “It’s your Miracle Morning.” I went, “Yeah, I love that, Miracle Morning.” And so, the rest is history as they say. I started sharing with other people, it became a book, and so on and so forth. Millions of people are practicing it. You may be one.

 

Well, here’s the breakthrough I had the other day is I went, “Oh, that being the Miracle Morning back in 2008, that is what turned my life around. It’s what handled, overcame, cured my depression, and it’s what enabled me to radically transform my financial situation, doubling my income in a matter of two months. And it hit me the other day, I go, “Oh, that’s what I need to do.” And you might be thinking, “Well, Hal, I’m sure you still do the Miracle Morning.” I do but that day, I really examined my Miracle Morning and I went, “Okay, let me go through my SAVERS. Let me see, what is my Miracle Morning looks like now compared to what it looked like in 2008?” I could say my Miracle Morning has become kind of mediocre, like my meditation, the alarm in the morning, I will often set my alarm, but I’ll lay in bed to meditate. So, I’ll lay there in silence for 10 minutes. I’ll set the alarm for 10 minutes, a timer for 10 minutes, and I’ll lay there in silence for 10 minutes. And I’ll think positive thoughts and I’ll feel grateful but I realized the other day I’m not sitting up, I’m not doing proper diaphragm breathing, therefore, I’m not really getting the benefits that are available through meditating if you could say the right way.

 

And then I went into affirmations so this is probably the biggest one because affirmations you’ve heard me talk about many times. I think it’s my favorite of all the SAVERS of all the Miracle Morning practices when done the right way. Here’s the problem. In 2008, I just was learning about affirmations. I was learning about all of these practices and my affirmations in 2008 were one page. And it was a page that really clarified what I needed to think, what I needed to feel, what I needed to focus on, what I needed to do in the key areas of my life that I wanted to improve. And it was one page and I read them over and over and over and over again every single day. And if you’ve read the Miracle Morning book, I talked about the value of repetition, and how you’re essentially reprogramming your subconscious mind when you affirm statements that are true, and with emotion, with energy. And the problem is now I have so many affirmations, and they’re all kept on an app.

 

Actually, they were printed out back in 2008 but they’re on an app and right now what I do is I’ve got dozens and dozens of affirmations and I will often scroll through them on any given morning during the Miracle Morning, and I’ll just pick one to read. And what I realized the other day is I am missing out, similar to I’m missing out on the real benefits of meditating with a real focused, disciplined meditation practice, I’m also missing out on the benefits of affirmations because the idea of an affirmation where you’re reading the same thing over and over and over again and through that repetition, you’re reprogramming your subconscious mind, you’re refocusing your conscious mind. But if you’re reading a different affirmation every day, which is what I do now, you’re not doing that. You’re just entertaining yourself. You’re like, “Oh, yeah, this affirmation makes me feel kind of good,” and maybe it helps you that day but if the next day you read a different affirmation, well, you’re missing out on the benefits of that repetition.

 

And so, I went through all of the SAVERS and essentially realized my Miracle Morning now is a far cry from my Miracle Morning in 2008, when this was all new to me, and I was really, really going deep with each of the practices. And it’s like a lot of things in life. You can probably relate to different areas of your life where when you do something for a long enough period of time, you often stray away from the fundamentals. I remember when I was in sales, I went through a period where I wasn’t selling like I couldn’t sell anything for weeks. I wasn’t making sales and I went to my manager. And I’m like, “I am ready to quit, I’m ready to go find another career, man. I don’t know what is wrong.” And I was talking to my manager, my mentor, Jesse Levine, I said, “I don’t know what to do.” And he said, “Are you following the approach?” Because when you start in sales, they literally give you like word for word. Here’s what you say and when you’re new, you just practice it over and over and over and you say the same thing over and over and over again, that repetition, and it’s a proven approach to build value in the product and make sales. And he said, “Are you following your approach, the original approach?” And I said, “Not really. Jesse, I’ve been doing this for two years. I’ve got my own kind of thing.” And he goes, “Okay. Well, it’s obviously not working.” Alright. Touché.

 

He said, “So, Hal, I’m telling you, you’ve strayed too far from the basics. You’ve strayed too far from the fundamentals,” and he said, “I would bet you anything, that’s why you’re not making sales. You’re missing something that’s crucial or you’re adding something that is having a negative effect or multiple things in either of those areas,” and he said, “I’ll bet you that’s why you’re not making sales.” He said, “Go out for the next week. Go back to the original approach. Read it word for word. Go back to the basics, back to the fundamentals. Don’t add anything,” and he said, “I bet you you’ll see a change in results.” And I was reluctant. I’m like, “This is stupid.” I thought I was better. I’m going, “I know what I’m doing. I’ve been doing this for years.” And I went back. I left the office, I drove my next appointment, I read it word for word. I recited the original approach and sure enough, I sold the largest set that you can possibly sell and that next week, I was back in business. I was back to a great sales week that week. And it was because I went back to the fundamentals.

 

That’s something that we often do is we get to a certain level of success, if you will, in any area of life and then we stopped doing the things that got us there. You see this often in relationships, especially like marriage, where when you’re dating somebody, you do all these romantic things and these sweet gestures, these thoughtful gestures and you do all these wonderful things that create this attraction and this infatuation and love and these wonderful feelings of connection. But the longer the time goes on in a relationship, I think most of us have been guilty of this, you fall off. You stopped doing those things. And then what happens? Romance starts to die and your connection starts to fade and so on and so forth. There are so many different examples. You could look at this any area of life, but the fundamentals to generate results in any area of life, whether it was my sales career, whether it’s your relationship, your marriage, or whether it’s your Miracle Morning, the fundamentals, the basics are crucial. And what works is what works and if you stray too far away from that, then you’re not going to get the same result.

 

So, if you’re listening to this, and you’re like, “Hal, I’m new to the Miracle Morning,” keep doing what you’re doing. You have nothing to worry about. And even if you’ve been doing Miracle Morning for years, but you still have those fundamentals down, awesome. For me, the breakthrough the other day, the unexpected breakthrough was, “Oh.” There was two parts. Number one, what got me through the difficult time before in 2008, the depression, the economy crashing, and how I turned both of those things around faster than I ever thought possible, was following the Miracle Morning, the SAVERS, those six practices with a beginner’s mindset. And now, I realized if it worked, then it will work now. And so, this is almost funny for me to say but also that day, I’m like, “I’m going to read the book, my own book. I’m going to reread the Miracle Morning. I haven’t read it in, I don’t know, since I wrote it.” I haven’t read it in seven, eight years.

 

So, yeah, I started reading it again. I’m only on chapter two, I think, but I decided I’m going to read it with a beginner’s mindset. By the way, some of you might do. If you’ve read the Miracle Morning, go read it again. I’ve seen hundreds of people that have said that the second time they read it and this is true for any book. I mean, for me, when I read a book again, I usually get more value out of it the second time, because I’m not discovering things that are unknown to me but I’m actually revisiting things that I’m remembering. I’m getting present to things I’m aware of already but I may have forgotten, or at least I may have forgotten to implement or maybe failed to never implement. So, often reading a book a second time is, you know, that’ll be when I get the most value out of it. So, that’s what I’m doing. I am rereading the Miracle Morning.

 

And so, here’s what I would share with you. Whether it’s the Miracle Morning or any practice in your life, consider this. Whatever you’re going through right now, whatever your struggles are, have you had those struggles before or similar struggles or any struggles that you can kind of relate them to? So, as a human being, the internal struggles are usually universal despite the external struggles. Meaning, whether you’re going through a health challenge or a financial challenge, or a relational challenge, typically the inner world that you’re experiencing, and the effects of those challenges are kind of universal, right? You’re experiencing different emotions such as fear or anxiety, or uncertainty, or it’s a lack of clarity, which I guess is uncertainty. So, the inner world is often the same. So, even if you’ve never experienced the same challenges in your outer world, in the past that you’re experiencing now and, I mean, for all of us, I don’t know about you, but I’ve never experienced a global pandemic. I think that’s true for most of us that we’ve never experienced the same challenges in our outer world.

 

But when in your past, have you been resilient, have you overcome a challenge that you felt like you couldn’t overcome? Because that was a big part of this breakthrough for me is right now, this whole depression, it’s feeling like I can’t figure out how to overcome it. Nothing’s working. And when you’re in it, like I said, it’s hard to imagine, and we can’t figure out how to get out of it. It creates almost like a second layer of the challenge of like, if you’re feeling anxious, and then you feel guilty for feeling anxious or you’re anxious that you’re anxious or the fact that you’re depressed makes you feel scared, which creates more so there are often layers of the internal challenges that keeps stacking on top of each other. So, for you, whatever you’re dealing with right now, think back to a time in your life when you’ve had those challenges internally, when you experienced moments of uncertainty or fear, or depression or anxiety or when you’re experiencing something that you had never overcome before, but you overcame it, right? You’re still here.

 

You have a 100% track record, we all do, of still being here. Despite whatever challenges we’ve faced in the past, we’ve gone through all of them. We’re still here. And so, realize that you have within you everything that you need to overcome the current challenges. And what I’d encourage you to do, similar to what I did is to look into your past. And again, whether it’s the Miracle Morning or it’s exercising, which is, of course, part of the Miracle Morning, but whatever it is, maybe it was reaching out being vulnerable, right? That’s an example. If right now, you’re not reaching out for help and you need it, that might be the thing that you need to do. Maybe you need to get help from somebody else. Often when I’m in a funk, when I’m not feeling good, it’s normal for us to like just kind of hide and feel antisocial. I’ve been feeling really antisocial lately, but that we need to do the opposite of that. You need to reach out for help. So, maybe it’s that for you.

 

Whatever it is for you, look into your past, look at the last time or the most significant time that you were experiencing similar inner challenges as a result of whatever outer challenges they may have been. And how did you overcome your challenges in the past? Were there practices? Were there people? Were there habits? Was it a mindset? What did you do then that you can bring from your past into your present that can help you? So, for me, it’s the Miracle Morning. And I don’t know why, I smile. It makes me laugh like to think that, I don’t know, it’s like it’s right there in front of me. The other day I’m like, “Wait a minute. It’s my own medicine. I need to take my own medicine.” It’s the Miracle Morning. I’ve shared this with millions of people around the world. It’s helped them and now I needed it again to help me get through this time.

 

So, anyway, I’m in this with you. We’re in this together. Thank you for listening to my message today and I hope you got some value out of it. And I’m probably moving forward. I’m going to keep this theme since the Miracle Morning is really, I’m bringing it back into my life. It’s never left. I’ve never stopped doing the Miracle Morning but it’s definitely different than it was when I first started it like anything we do long enough. And so, I’m really getting back to the beginning, getting back to the foundation, the fundamentals of how the Miracle Morning changed my life in 2008. And bringing that mindset, that beginner’s mindset, that curiosity to the present moment. And so, I hope you will do the same with whatever it is in your past that you can bring forward to implement now to improve your life, overcome your challenges, and end up better on the other side of this challenge, on the other side of your challenge, better than you’ve ever been before.

 

Goal achievers, I love you. I appreciate you. I will see you in the Miracle Morning Community and I will chat with you next week. Take care!

[END]

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