The harder life is, the more important it is for you to have the ability to manage your emotional state, the ability to decide how you're going to experience life even in the midst of challenges.”
When you’re experiencing stress, fear, anxiety, overwhelm, depression, or any other challenging emotional state, how can you regain control of the way you feel?
Today was supposed to be another “Ask Me Anything” episode, where I answer listener questions. However, as I began to address the first question: What do you believe about Jesus, God, and the Bible, I found myself thinking about the difficult situations and resulting emotions that many people are facing right now.
If you’ve experienced emotional distress, are concerned with the future, or are afraid of the unknown, today’s episode will provide you with some practical advice you can use to rise above your challenges and take control of your emotional state.
- Why I don’t identify with any political party or religious sect—and how to find your own truth.
- How we create layers of protection, to protect our psyche, over the course of our lives.
- Why it’s so important to get back in touch with who you really are.
- How inner freedom gives you the power to choose how to experience life in any given moment.
- What to do when your emotional state isn’t serving you—and how to double down on taking control of your emotions during challenging times.
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Hal Elrod: Hello, and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host Hal Elrod, and thank you for tuning in today. Appreciate you. Well, today was going to be a Q&A show or an Ask Me Anything show. I was going to answer your questions. And I ended up answering one question, which is, what do I believe about Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible, but it ended up being where the entire show, I just kind of, I started on a certain path and I just kept down that path and never ended up getting to the other questions, but I think that it was a valuable episode. And it really ended up, the theme of it was how do you take control of your emotional state? How do you deal with when you're feeling stress and fear and overwhelm or sadness, depression? I mean, you name the emotion. When life is difficult, it can cause us to experience significant emotional distress, which can lead to all sorts of other problems, from weight gain to health problems to people thinking about ending their life. I mean, I've been there before. I don't know if you've been to that dark of a place.
So, I really wanted to today where we ended up was really kind of asking you how you're feeling, what you're going through if you're dealing with any emotional distress, any challenges, and then talking to you about how do you deal with that? How do you gain control of your emotional state? How do you deal with difficult situations in the best way that you possibly can? And so, that's what today is about. And if you've dealt with emotional distress or if you have any now or you're worried about the future and the fear of the unknown, any of these things, I think hopefully, you'll feel heard today and you'll get some practical advice on how you can rise above the challenging times that many of us are facing.
So, before we dive into the episode, today's episode is sponsored by two of my favorite companies that are owned by personal friends of mine. The first is Organifi, owned by Drew Canole, and the other is Self-Publishing School that is founded and owned by Chandler Bolt. And first and foremost, when it comes to Organifi, your body is an amazing organic machine, right? It turns food into energy, it heals wounds, it supports your consciousness, and so much more, but it needs the right fuel and signals to function at its best. And some of those signals include adaptogens. And I've talked about this over the last few weeks. I mentioned a couple of times in the introduction that these are the compounds that balance hormones and help you deal with stress in a healthier way, which we're talking about in today's episode. So, if you're feeling tired, if you're feeling stressed, feeling overwhelmed, these compounds give you a boost of energy. And if you're stressed, they help you return to a natural state of calm. They literally help you adapt, that’s the word adaptogens to the stress of life.
And my favorite source of adaptogens is Organifi. They create these organic, delicious superfood blends that mix easily with water or in a smoothie or with your favorite nut milk. And they make it easy for me, I take them every day to get more adaptogens in my day, like ashwagandha, reishi mushroom, rhodiola, and more. So, if you're looking for an easy way to support your amazing body, I highly recommend trying Organifi. Just go to Organifi.com/Hal, that's spelled O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi with an I dotcom/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout and get 15% off your entire order.
And then, last but not least, Self-Publishing School. You've heard me say this before, that writing and self-publishing a book was the greatest thing I ever did. It created the impact that I always wanted to make in the world. It created the income that I always hoped for, for my family. And it can do the same for you. If you've ever had a dream of writing a book, whether it's to leave a legacy, to leave your children and grandchildren with your wisdom, whether it is to create a second source of income or replace your primary source of income, Self-Publishing School can help you do all of that. Head over to Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal, that’s Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal, and you'll get everything that you need to get started on making your dream of writing a book a reality.
So, without further ado, today we're going to talk about how do you manage emotional distress? How do you gain control of your emotional state? I hope this is helpful for you.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, friends, new listeners, listeners that have been listening a long time to the podcast, hey, it's Hal Elrod, and thank you for tuning in today. Thanks for listening. I really, really appreciate it. Let's start out with an update. So, for those of you that have been following the podcast for a while, or if I guess if you're new either way, you may or may not know, but we recently, we being my family and I moved on to some land. We decided we wanted to be a little more self-sufficient and be able to grow our own food and just enjoy being outside of the city, away from the hustle and bustle. And so, bustle, what is bustle? Actually, I just realized, as I said, that hustle and bustle, I have no idea what bustle is. I got to Google that after the show. Bustle, what is bustle?
Anyway, get away from the hustle and bustle of the city, and we're loving it out here. And I encourage you, this last weekend, we went to a two-day workshop on essentially how to start your own garden using what's called the Mittleider method, M-I-T-T-L-E-I-D-E-R. I encourage all of you to check that out. And it's one of the kind of fastest, most efficient ways to produce food, regardless of the quality of your soil and some other obstacles sometimes that can stand in the way. So Mittleider method, if you Google it, you'll find a ton of different gardening sites that talk about it, but we're going to start growing our own food and we're going get some chickens and eventually maybe some goats and just really try to live off the land. I realized how reliant we are, how far away most of us have gotten away, and why I say most of us really our society, how far away we've gotten from our roots and living on the land and being in nature. And for me personally, I really crave that. I have for a while to really get back to what our ancestors did, which is they lived off the land and they provided for their family.
And so, I'll tell you, my wife, it's funny, if you know me, by the way, well, or if you knew me, I used to not like to get dirty at all, didn't like to be sweaty or sticky unless I was, like, playing a sport, didn't like bugs, didn't like animals. Like I was anti-nature for most of my life. And in the last year or so, I've changed. I ground every day. I go stand on the bare grass for at least 15 minutes, if not longer, and now, I get my hands dirty. I'm loving working on the land, so on and so forth.
And the other day, my wife and I, there's this big area where we're going to start planting her garden. And so, she got out at 7:30 in the morning. I was doing my Miracle Morning. And she goes, “Sweetheart, get dressed, put on some working clothes. We're going to go work the land.” I go, “Alright.” And so, we went out and we were pulling weeds and we're prepping this area and we're cleaning it up. And I'm telling you like I live in Texas. So, it's hot. It's humid. I don't know what the weeds are, but my arms are sticky, I'm sweaty, and we keep pulling up red anthills. I got red ants crawling up my legs, bite me. I'm getting bit, hot, sweaty, itchy, just relatively uncomfortable.
And we're out there for probably about an hour at this point. We were out there for a total of about an hour and a half, and an hour into it or so. I look at my wife, and we're both pulling giant, huge, big weeds. And I said, “Sweetheart, there is nowhere I'd rather be. I am so happy right now.” And she looked at me and just kind of smiled, and I said, in my entire life, if you would ever say, hey, would you ever be happy pulling weeds in 90-degree humid weather, sweating, whatever, like a pig, whatever you want to call it, and being bit by red ants, itchy, uncomfortable, would that make you happy? I would have said, “Hell no, that sounds like a nightmare,” but there was something about that moment being with my wife, doing something to take care of our family and provide for ourselves and just doing something together. Normally, we've always been so separate for the last, I don't know, we’ve been together for 15 years, and usually, I'm working in the office all day, and she's taking care of the house and the kids. And we don't do much other than, like a date night here or there, but I've always told her I want to do stuff. I want to live life with you. I want us to be doing stuff together. And so, being on this land, it's really fun to do stuff together.
So, just kind of an update for you, but I'm sharing that with you really to invite you to consider what comes up for you when you hear that and just to consider getting back to nature, getting back to our roots a little bit, and maybe that just means planting a garden or spending time in nature. I'm not exactly sure what it means for you, but it's been really fulfilling for me. In fact, I was telling that story that I just told you. I was telling it to Jon Vroman, my good friend, the other day and telling Jon. And he's always really good at acknowledging you and reflecting back in a really positive way and kind of creating a perspective that really enriches you when you hear him share it. And he essentially said, “Hal,” he said, “that's beautiful.”
And what I hear is that our ancestors for tens of thousands or hundreds of thousands of years, or I don't remember the time frame he said, but that's what we did. We worked the land, We did it to provide for our family and take care of ourselves. And he said, “I think there's something real primitive that you're tapping into that lit you up.” And he said, “I hear that sincerity in your voice.” And so, anyway, what is it in your life? What away from all this technology and all the drama that that we're being bombarded with right now, get back to nature, get back to our ancestral roots. I'm inviting you to consider what that might look like for you.
Where are we going to go with this? We're going to do a Q&A today. So, we've been doing question and answer. And I wanted to share this before I answer, I’m going to answer as many questions as I can today that you guys have been submitting over the last few months and try to do these about once a month through an Ask Me Anything episode. And you can submit questions at HalElrod.com/AMA for Ask Me Anything. And today, I want to answer as many questions as I can.
Before I do, I want to talk to you, I really want to talk to you. When I say you, during my meditation this morning, I had it come up that, I'm always thinking about you being my audience, my community, my friends, humanity, I just consider we're a big family. To me, every person on this planet is part of my extended human family. And as I've said many times, I believe we all have so much more in common than we have differences. And I think that right now, we're being focused on our differences so much, oh, you're an opposing political party, you're the other team, or your beliefs oppose mine, you're different than me. At the end of the day, we are fundamentally the same. You're a human being. I'm a human being. And any constructed realities, paradigms, perspectives, rules, opinions that have been created out of that, you know that, oh, I believe this and you believe this, that's created, that's imagined, that's what's real. The essence of who we are, it's real.
Every person, for the most part, we just want to be happy, we just want to be healthy, we just want to be loved, we just want to be respected. And I'm going to keep reminding all of us of that, because I want to encourage you to look at every human being that you come in contact with, including those that post up on social media that triggers you. And why are you triggered? But I'm inviting you to look at them not as their political beliefs or political party, not as their ideologies, I'm inviting you to look at them as a fellow human being and to look at every person with compassion and with empathy and with love. And I'm going to invite you to consider, really consider this, that if you had lived another person's life, any person, you look at any person on the planet, especially, but really, those that trigger you, those that they make your blood boil, or those that maybe it's loved ones, maybe you love them, but what they post on social media or what they say triggers you, and you go, gosh, why don't they get it? I just want to shake them.
It feels like the world is kind of divided right now, and one half wants to shake the other half and say, “Why don't you see things the way I see things? You're so delusional.” And I'm inviting you to look past that and realize that if you had lived their life, and again, this is any other human being on the planet if you had lived their life, you'd likely be exactly the same, you would think and feel and believe and behave exactly the same. If you'd had their parents and their friends and their influences., it's easy to judge and condemn and say, “I would never do that.” Well, if you grew up in a gang in South Central L.A., you might behave differently than you do now based on where you grew up. You might think, say, and do things differently. And I'm using that just as one extreme example, but the idea that we judge each other and condemn each other and feel negativity, whether it's hate or dislike or judgment against another person, I think arguably, that's what's tearing apart the fabric of humanity right now.
I'm inviting you to be the change, be the change. In fact, that might be the theme of today's podcast. Be the change. If you want peace and love on this planet, which I'd imagine, unless you're a power-hungry maniac, I'd imagine that that's what you'd like, some peace and love. It starts with you. It's interesting, I see online and I'm sure you've seen this, but you see people, I mean, I think most people have a good heart, period, but you see people, I've seen people that like are hardcore, like activists. And they want to end racism and they want to save the planet, but they're like hating those that oppose them, like it feels so kind of hypocritical, kind of backward that, yeah, we need peace, but you're horrible for thinking differently than I think.
And this morning, what I was thinking about was how are you feeling right now? And I know we're all different. I know we're all different, I mean, nobody's experiencing the exact same feelings because we're all different, but I’d imagine, I just was thinking about me and you are fellow human beings and imagining what people are going through right now, specifically what you might be going through, what people are going through that might be causing you to feel stress or to feel overwhelmed or to feel fear, to be really concerned, really worried with the future, to feel sadness over some of the things that you're seeing in the world right now, maybe you're experiencing depression, maybe you're experiencing hopelessness or feeling isolated and experiencing loneliness.
So, I really try to tap into what are some of the challenging emotions that people are experiencing and going through right now, and then I thought, well, what are some of the circumstances that might be causing some of those emotions? So, for some of us, for some of you, it might be a financial hardship. There's been a lot of jobs lost and businesses destroyed over the last year and a half. Or it could be maybe your emotional experience isn't over a current financial hardship, maybe it's an anticipated future financial hardship, maybe it's just the state of the economy going, man, we can't go, this thing's propped up pretty significantly. I don't know how much longer we can go on like this. So, maybe there's not a current hardship, but maybe it's a fear of a coming economic crash, maybe the financial hardship as a result of losing your job or having your business closed down, which if you have a business and it fails or you have a job that you had for a long time, a career in it, you lose it, there's more than just the financial hardship. That's an identity crisis.
So, I was an entrepreneur, a successful entrepreneur, and now, I'm failing. It's more than just the financial hardship, there's an identity crisis that comes along with that. Or I was a teacher or I was a bus driver. I was just in Seattle. I talked about on the last week's podcast episode, I was visiting my mom in Tacoma, Washington. And we went to the farmer's market, and I got my son a balloon animal. And I think, I don't know if I shared this last week or not, but last week, I talked about the supply chain issues right now in our food supply chain. And by the way, if you didn't listen to that, I encourage you to go listen to it, but there are some serious issues in our food supply chain and that could cause some severe disruption, shortages that we've never seen before. And they're already starting to show up, but it's not just in the food supply. I mean, we went to buy a truck, my wife and I, or we were looking at buying a truck. And they're not making new trucks. They're across the board in most car companies. They can't get the microchips, like there are shortages right now. Their supply chain is disrupted in the plastic industry.
I just had a guy come out today to give me a quote on a fence on my property. And not only are the prices through the roof, something he said, he used to buy a 2 x 4, I think a 16, 2 x 4 was like $2.16, and now, it's $11 per, and this other thing he buys, it used to be $11 and now, it's $55. And he said, and he used to get them, he could go buy them at the hardware store, and now, he's three months out and his clients are waiting. I mean, there are some major disruptions right now in all supply chains. And so, anyway, the reason I was mentioning the balloon animal gal is my son got a Spiderman balloon, and it's a balloon animal, the bodies made of these balloons, but then the face is just a balloon that she blows up, and it's got Spiderman’s face on it. And she said, “Yeah, I'm glad you guys were able to get this because there are supply chain issues in the balloon animal world.” She said, “I'm not able to buy these anymore.”
And then, she went on to talk about, she's a bus driver. Her day job is as a bus driver. And she said because of the unemployment, and I've heard this, I mean, you've probably seen this in your town where hiring signs are everywhere because people are being paid to not work right now. And she said a shortage of bus drivers, it's like 35% of bus drivers are just collecting unemployment now, and they're having like the kids are at risk of not having rides to school. And so, anyway, so on and on and on with these issues but the job loss. And I know for me, personally, I deal with this fear of my income, for sure, a bit of it going away or it being significantly impacted as an author. When the economic crash happens, who knows what's going to happen? It's hard to predict the fallout and which industries are going to suffer and which industries are going to be okay.
Another issue that, again, I'm just thinking in my head, what's causing people right now to experience emotional distress? And one is that I mentioned earlier, the conflict and the division between family and friends due to differences, whether it's political or some ideological or philosophical.
You know what, I see this so much whether or not someone gets vaccinated. I'm seeing it in my own family like people the divisiveness over that topic. And, for me, when it comes to politics, vaccines, I always try to like when it comes to politics, for example, I identify as apolitical, meaning I don't identify with one party or the other. For me, I try to learn as much as I can about all political parties. And not that I don't have some expertise. I don't invest enormous amounts of time into that. But the point is, for me, I see good on both sides, I see corruption on both sides, I see bad policies on both sides and for me, I just try to take the whole thing in. And the same thing with religion. In fact, that's one of the questions that I was asked. The question is, "Hal, what do you believe about Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible?” And similar to being apolitical, I don't know if areligious is a term or just spiritual but for me, I grew up Catholic. I was raised Catholic. I received my first communion all the way to confirmation, the whole thing, but ultimately, for me, I don't adhere to one religion. I mean, I think there are over 2,000 religions in total and I think Christianity alone has, I don't know how many, probably hundreds of versions of Christianity.
So, for me, I don't identify with one political party, with one religious party, and just say this is the one truth and everything else is false. For me, it's studying as much of it as I can, studying Western religions and Eastern religions, and learning from Buddhism and looking for common themes, and looking for what makes sense. Ultimately, I think it comes to finding my own truth and I'd encourage you to consider that. Rather than grabbing on to one ideology and saying, "This is it. Someone told me about this, and I believe this is the one.” You think about most – well, I'll tell you a story to exemplify or to make this point. I was in world religion class. I don't know the name of the class, World Religious Studies, or something. World Religions, I think, was the name of the class when I was in college, and in that class, people were so argumentative that, "No, my religion is the right one and yours is wrong.” And then some, “No, no, my religion is the right one, and here's why,” and just back and forth. And one day I raised my hand when all the students were going back and forth and they were getting really aggressive on whose religion is right and spouting off, "This is the truth,” and, "This is the truth because it says it in this religious text,” and somebody else goes, "No, this is the truth because it says in this religious text.”
And I raised my hand. Honestly, I think this was out of ego. I don't think this was like my finest moment. I don't think this was an evolved statement but I think there was a little bit of, you know, there was some evolution to the paradigm that I presented. But I raised my hand and I said something along the lines of, “I find it really interesting that everyone here is sharing such passionate perspectives and what is their truth.” I said, “But I don't think I've heard a single original thought,” meaning everything that people are like that it’s their cross to bear, it's their sword to die like this is the absolute truth for them, it's just something that someone else told them. And I genuinely found that curious. I found that interesting. And I encourage you to consider that. Examine your beliefs. Examine your beliefs. Are your beliefs those that come from you studying multiple perspectives? Studying history? Like, is it really well-rounded, combining multiple paradigms and perspectives and angles and belief systems to arrive at your truth? Or is it, “Oh, this is what somebody told me and I decided. I didn't know anything else.”? Like, often if we're taught something as a child, it becomes like rock-solid belief and we defend it until the end. Not for all of us. Some of us over time open our mind to other perspectives and consider there might be more than one way of looking at things. And so, I'd encourage you to consider that. Are your beliefs, were they just given to you by somebody else and you just adopted them and go, “Yeah, this is the truth. This is what I believe now.” Or were they based on your truth? Were they based on your own experience and journey and wisdom, combining the wisdom of many different ideologies or perspectives?
So, to answer that question, what do you believe about Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible? That's a very specific question. Part of what I believe as I would say, I don't know. I don't know the truth. So, my perspective is that Jesus Christ, I believe he was a son of God. Maybe. I don't know. I don't know. Actually, you know what, it's interesting now that I think about it. I just journaled this the other day. I don't know where it is, which journal it's in, but I journaled something along the lines of that I think Jesus Christ was a human being or a spiritual being. I believe that we're all spiritual beings having a human experience, but I believe Jesus Christ was a spiritual/human being that essentially fulfilled his potential, that lived in alignment with the highest truth. Like, I don't believe our highest truth is hate or condemnation or violence. I believe it is love. I believe it is peace. If you look at a five-year-old, right? Look at a five-year-old or imagine when you were five years old and when you were five, life was you just woke up and every day was an adventure and you were just pure love. You were just a sweet and maybe you were jaded by five so maybe you got to go back to like two or three. But whatever, at some point as a child, you're just a baby, just pure joy. They’re not judging another human being. They don't have any hate in their heart. So, I believe that's the essence of who we are.
As people grow up and their ego takes over and we have experiences that causes pain, and then we develop a layer of protection that my ego says, “I'm not going to get hurt again.” Your parents got divorced and that caused you pain so you put another layer of protection. You know, you go after a goal or dream and you fail. You put another layer of protection. And all of a sudden, you've got this wall, this thick wall with all these layers to try to protect your identity, protect your ego. But that's not who you are. You don't even remember who you are. You being we, we don't remember who we are because we've built up so many layers of protection to protect our psyche from getting hurt. And I think it's time. I know it's time. It was time a long time ago. It's always been time to reconnect with the essence of who you are, that childlike love for the moment, that total presence. Picture a baby sitting up, maybe six months old sitting up, playing with some toy. They're not thinking about what happened yesterday. They're not thinking about what they're going to do tomorrow. That six-month-old baby is just thinking about that ball in front of them or that thing they're chewing on, that binky. Like, that's who we are. That's who we are.
And I would encourage you to get back in touch with who you are. First of all, you’re perfect. All the stories you have about, “I'm not good enough, I'm not smart enough, I'm not whatever,” that's all B.S. When you take off all of the layers of protection that you've developed over the years, the insecurities that you've developed over the years, all the limiting beliefs that you developed over the years, and you get back in touch with your essence, you're a loving, peaceful, kind, joyful human/spiritual being. That's who you are. And that's who the people in your life, that's who they are. Those that oppose your beliefs, that's not who they are. They aren't their beliefs. We aren't our political party. We aren't our ideologies. We are – I’m trying to think of the right way to put it. We are everything I’ve said, love, all of those things. And everything else is just a construct that we've created. And so, when I was asking myself what might cause you that fear, that stress, that overwhelm, it really may be the disconnection between people in your life that previously before all this crazy division that's been constructed by outside forces. I mean, think about how crazy that is.
Think about that two years ago, people that right now you can't stand or you've had to unfriend on Facebook because their political ideology is different from yours, two years ago was that even an issue? Well, they're the same human that they were two years ago, and so are you. Yeah. You might have adopted new political opinions or beliefs or whatever. I don't know. I'm just inviting everybody to get back to the essence of who we are and to see others the same. Some of you, what might be causing you stress is health issues, right? Dealing with health issues now like cancer or COVID or the fear of those things coming in the future. For some of you, what's causing a lot of stress? I talked to a buddy the other day and he said this is his number one concern. Are the rights being taken away from us? You know, he said, “I've lived in America my whole life and I've never seen this, to have freedom of speech taken away from us.” “No, well, but there's a justification. We've got to protect us from misinformation.” Like, what are you talking about? If you have an opposing view, I want to hear what you have to say. I don't want to live in an echo chamber where the only thing that's allowed to be shared or talked about is one single narrative.
Another thing that might be causing fear is the anticipation of any of the above, whether you're dealing with any of those things now or you're just concerned and it's often the fear of the unknown. right? The fear of the unknown. And so, I just wanted to start there because I wanted you, I mean, more than a start, obviously, but we're 30 minutes into the podcast but I wanted to really just let you know that you're not alone. And if you're feeling any of the emotions I mentioned earlier, the emotional distress, if you're feeling fear, overwhelm, sadness, stress, depression, hopelessness, loneliness, if you're worried, I'm going to let you know that, A, you're not alone but, B, and maybe more importantly, that there is a way out of that. You don't have to live in fear. You don't have to live in stress and overwhelm. And it starts by acknowledging that emotional distress isn't healthy for you. It isn't ideal. It isn't optimal. I know that's not news. I know you're like, "Yeah, of course not,” but when we're in it, we're usually not thinking, "Wait a minute, this isn't healthy.” And if we are, when you're emotionally distraught, it's hard to imagine that I can feel differently. I can change this. We've talked about this a lot over the last year, this inner freedom as kind of a fundamental concept that you have the ability to choose how you experience life in every moment.
I mentioned last week I read the introduction to a book that I am currently reading and loving, and I would invite you to get this book. It's called The Inner Work. And what are the names? It's by Matt and I can't remember the other name in front of me. The Inner Work. It's on Amazon. I'll look it up for you right now just so I can make sure. I don't know if there's more than one book. The Inner Work. It's by Mathew Micheletti and Ashley Cottrell and 512 reviews, five out of five stars. It's a phenomenal book and the subtitle tells you everything, An Invitation to True Freedom and Lasting Happiness. And I mentioned to you that, oh, there is another book called Inner Work. There's a few called Inner Work. Anyway, it's The Inner Work and it's by Mathew Micheletti and Ashley Cottrell. Highly recommend it. If you are struggling right now mentally and emotionally and you want to know the key to true freedom and lasting happiness. So, being aware that your emotional state isn't serving you is the first step and then you've got to decide how do you want to feel. Literally, you better write this down. “I want to feel happy. I want to feel at peace.” And then I would translate, “I want to” to “I am committed to feeling happy. I am committed to feeling at peace.” And then it's a matter of deciding, “I'm going to accept all things I cannot change, be grateful for everything that I have.”
In fact, I used to call these the ABCs of, I don't even know, happiness or something but it's accept everything I can't change, be grateful for everything that I have, and create progress every day towards a better future. So, ABC, accept everything you can't change, be grateful for everything you have, and create progress every day towards a better future. Do the best with what you have. That's all we can do. “But, Hal, you don't understand. I can't. I've got this horrible situation.” Okay. I don't discount that and I genuinely feel for you. I don't know what the situation is for each person, but we've all been through hard times. I've been through hard times. The only thing we can do is make the best with what we have. That's it. That's all you can do. And that starts with managing your mental and emotional state and it ends with managing your mental and emotional state. And in between those two, it's doing logistically what you can do with what you have in terms of your behaviors and your actions and your activities to doing the best of what you have. But at the end of the day, how you feel is what's going to determine the quality of what you're experiencing in your life and you can experience stress, overwhelm, fear, anxiety, loneliness, depression. You can experience all of that. I've experienced all of that. And then I realized that's not serving me, it's not serving my family, and it's not going to get me where I want to go.
So, how do I want to feel? I want to feel at peace. I want to feel joy. I want to feel love. I want to feel confident. “But, Hal, you have cancer. But, Hal, you're struggling financially.” We hang on to all of those limitations, all of that inner dialogue. Whenever we start to feel good, we tend to fall back, right? That thermostat, that emotional thermostat, whatever it’s set at, if it’s set at an uncomfortable temperature then we tend to keep it there. We tend to keep ourselves feeling the way that we're feeling. But if you're experiencing emotional distress, I'm here to tell you that you don't have to anymore. And by the way, that doesn't mean that life isn't going to be hard. In fact, I'm normally an optimist but I think that we're going to experience some hard times. I mean, many already are. Millions already are but the trends that I'm seeing in terms of what's coming in the future, there are going to be some really challenging times. And that's why I'm doubling down, and I think that we all have to double down on our mental and emotional management on our inner freedom. The harder life is, the more important it is for you to have the ability to manage your emotional state, the ability to decide how you're going to experience life even in the midst of challenges.
I always go back to that Victor Frankl book, Man's Search for Meaning. Victor Frankl was a Nazi concentration camp survivor. He had a wife and kid at home. He thought he was going to die. He watched his friends die every day and he decided that the last of man's freedoms, the last of a human being's freedoms is to choose one's own attitude in any given set of circumstances. And so, if he could choose to find peace in the midst of being starved virtually to death every single day, watching his friends die every single day, thinking he would never see his wife and kids again. I don't know about you, but I've never been in those dire of circumstances. And if one human being can do something, especially if it's a mental or emotional thing, that's evidence that we can do it too. So, whatever you're going through, my heart goes out to you. I send you love. I send you healing energy. And at the same time, I'm encouraging you, I’m inviting you to not let your circumstances define your mental and emotional well-being, but to let you define your mental and emotional well-being based on your highest hopes in the midst of the most challenging circumstances that you may endure.
Hal Elrod: I'm going to leave it at that. I'm going to leave it at that and we'll answer questions maybe next week. Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, I love you so much. I am serious. I'm sending you so much love, especially if you're struggling. I feel you. I feel your pain. And when I say it's going to be okay, I can't tell you that the circumstances are going to be okay but, again, I can tell you that you have the ability to be okay. All right. I love you so much. I'll talk to you next week. Take care.
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