Where you are is a result of who you've been, but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.
How do you fulfill your potential? How do you stop procrastinating, get past the obstacles in your way, and do everything you’re capable of?
It’s one thing to know what you need to do, it’s another thing to actually live it.
In today’s episode, the second edition of my “Ask Me Anything” series, I’m answering your questions on this topic. Join me as we dive deep into what it means to live to your full potential, how to truly achieve it, and how this gives you the power to live not just the life that you really want, but the one you deserve.
- How to stop unconsciously settling for less, overcome feelings of dissatisfaction, and create the inner (and outer) world you want to experience each day.
- The power of written affirmations to create the best version of yourself.
- The key to stop procrastinating, become consistent in your actions, and get out of unhelpful routines.
- How to take the teachings you read about, lean into those beliefs, and make them a part of your daily practice.
- Four simple rules to live by to unlock your potential.
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and thank you so much for being here. I really appreciate you and that you're spending your time listening to this episode. And with that, of course, I want to make sure this is well worth your time. And I think it will be because we're going to talk about how to fulfill your potential and this is actually an Ask Me Anything episode where I'm answering your questions, audience questions that come in. And the theme of the questions that I kind of grouped together is how do you fulfill your potential? How do you overcome the procrastination, the obstacles that are standing in the way of you being, having, and doing everything that you know you're capable of? But it's one thing to know. It's another to actually live it. And so, today we're going to really dive deep into how do you live to your full potential.
Before we do that, I want to take a minute to thank my sponsors. First and foremost, Organifi, and I'll tell you, not all plants are created equally. We've heard fruits and vegetables contain vitamins and minerals that we need for a healthy life but have you heard of adaptogens? Now, these are herbs and mushrooms that literally help you adapt to the stress in your life. They balance hormones, promote a state of calmness, and help you get back to homeostasis faster than usual. Organifi specializes in creating delicious superfood blends powered by these adaptogens. Simply add a scoop to a glass of water to enjoy more balanced energy throughout your day. I've been using Organifi for over half a decade now. I can't believe it's been that long but I'm a big fan. So, check out Organifi.com/Hal. That is spelled O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi with an I dot com forward slash Hal and use the code “Hal” at check out to get 15% off your entire order. And I personally use their protein powder every day in my smoothies as well as a number of other products that you'll find there. So, I hope you find something there that you absolutely love.
And last but not least, I want to thank Self-Publishing School. Self-Publishing School was founded by Chandler Bolt, and Chandler Bolt actually served on the leadership team of my very first live event that I ran with Jon Berghoff in 2014 I think was the year of Best Year Ever Blueprint but Chandler was on the leadership team making copies and running workbooks and cleaning the room, whatever. He had to do re-setting the chairs and Chandler has now created this company, Self-Publishing School, that has helped hundreds of members of our community, listeners of the podcast, hundreds now to write and publish their first book. So, if that's on your goal list, if that's a dream of yours, you want to write a book, whether it's to create a legacy, impact people, help people, create an extra stream of income for yourself, grow your business all of the above, head over to Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal. That’s Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal and you'll get access to a free training that we posted for our community. So, without further ado, let's talk about how to live to your full potential because we all want that and we all deserve that.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community. Welcome to the podcast today. And today is our second Ask Me Anything episode where you submit questions at HalElrod.com/AMA. AMA as in Ask Me Anything and you can submit your questions there and then each usually about once a month, well, it's our second episode so I can't say usually. This is new. But a few weeks ago, we did our first of these episodes and it's based on questions that you, our listener, my listeners, submit at that link that I just shared a few minutes ago or a few seconds ago, and the first time the focus was on mindset and emotional intelligence. So, I try to pick kind of group questions into a topic or a category to keep it all relevant so that you're not just listening to questions on random topics, some of which might apply to you, some of which might not. Today's really universal. I think this is one of the fundamental questions of being a human, which is how do I fulfill my potential. How do I get myself to do what I know I should do? I know that I'm capable of so much more than I'm currently experiencing or accepting or settling for. But how do I do it? How do I get myself to do it? And so, there are nuances to that topic of fulfilling your potential.
So, some of the questions today are directly about how do I fulfill my potential. Some of them are about how do I see myself as better than I am. How do I really have that self-worth to fulfill my potential? How do I overcome procrastination? How do I actually implement what I know, what I've learned? I read all these books but I don't do anything with them. So, there's a lot of nuances but all of these fall under that general theme of how do you live to your full potential so that you can live the life that you really want, the life that you deserve. So, we'll dive right in. And by the way, if again, if you want to ask a question, you can go to HalElrod.com/AMA. And if you want to listen to the first episode that we did, this Ask Me Anything format, you can go back to HalElrod.com/381. That was Episode 381. And again, those topics were on mindset. We even covered there was one question about how to find your purpose, talking about again, optimism. How do you see the bright side when there's so much negativity in the world? So, all under that category of how do you manage and optimize your mindset and your emotions, your emotional intelligence. But today we're going to talk about fulfilling your potential.
So, we'll start with a question from and, by the way, when you fill out the form to ask a question, it asks if you would like me to say your name when I read the question or if you want to be left anonymous so you totally have that right. If you want to ask a question but don't want me to announce that it was you that asked the question, you'll be able to specify that when you ask. So, everybody today shared their permission to share their name. So, Dolce, and I always apologize in advance if I mispronounce your name, which I'm sure I'll do. Dolce Munis. All right. Here we go. “How to erase the unconscious sense to settle with less than what I know I deserve and always try to give others more than I give to myself? How to get unfamiliar with life struggles and unsatisfactory feelings? Thank you for all that you do to better up our lives.” So, there's a few questions in there. How to erase the unconscious sense to settle? How do we overcome where we're okay with settling at some level? Because we do it. We settle. So, there must be in some way we're okay with it even though we don't like it or it's painful. How do you overcome that? And then also mentioned in there, always trying to give others more than I give to myself, how to get unfamiliar with the life struggle and unsatisfactory feeling?
So, here's the answer. I think that the premise of the answer to this is you have to actively see yourself as better than you've been, meaning if where you are right now in your life isn't where you want to be or where you want to be in all areas or you just are simply aware that you're settling for less than you really want and less than you are capable of and less than maybe the people in your life deserve from you. Maybe you have a family or just wanting to be the type of person that inspires others to fulfill their greatness and if you're not living up to that. So, you've got to see yourself as better than you've ever been before. You have to create a clear picture of who you're committed to becoming or committed to being that best version of yourself. It's not easy to do. In the Miracle Morning book, I talked about, I called it rearview mirror syndrome that we tend to check our unconscious rearview mirror and that's where our self-concept comes from. It's based on who we've been and there's a quote where I say, "Where you are is a result of who you've been but where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.” And that begins with seeing yourself as the person you're going to choose to be. It's hard for us to see ourselves as any different than we've ever been because there's no evidence. Now, we've got to use our imagination. Now, we have to start visualization to see something that when we check the rearview mirror, there's no real picture of that. There's no real evidence, right? We've got to see ourselves as better than we've ever been before.
And so, two ways to do that simply. Number one is, this is where I would start, articulate the best version of yourself in the form of a written affirmation. Articulate the best version of yourself in the form of a written affirmation. And by the way, what I'm sharing with you right now, this isn't beginner stuff like, yes, it's where you might begin but for me, personally, I'm constantly recreating an affirmation and a vision of who the next version of me is. For me, right now in my life, in every era, I feel like I can improve. That's one thing that we share as human beings is we can always improve until the day that you die, the day that I die up until, right, there's always a next better version of who we can be. And so, for me, in every area of my life, I'm always asking, not always but consistently asking, “How could I be a better dad? What might that look like? How might I be a better dad for my children? How am I to be a better husband for my wife? How might I be a better podcaster? How might I be a better author? How might I be more healthy? How might I take my fitness to another level?” And so, I create that in writing, “I'm committed to...” and here are some prompts for that, by the way. “I'm committed to creating or becoming or achieving or experiencing…” like it depends on the context of what vision for yourself you're creating. It might be who you're committed to becoming. It might be something you're specifically committed to doing. Like, the next version of you is someone who is taking a specific action or achieving something.
Or if you want to improve, simply like to be happier, then you might say, “I am committed to experiencing more joy in my life,” or I'm committed to focusing on the things in my life that make me feel good. So, this is just an example of how you articulate the next best version of yourself in writing, in the form of an affirmation, “I'm committed to _____,” to becoming, to achieving, to experiencing whatever that is for you. And for me, recently, it was my fitness, taking my fitness to another level. And I wrote, “I am committed to weight training for 30 minutes Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, and I am committed to cardio on Tuesdays and Thursdays and I do a little bit of each every day or five or six days a week but in terms of a specific ritual each morning. And so, I used to bike not far. I mean, I'd probably bike a mile a day just to get like a little warm-up and it was a lot of uphill biking and now when I bike, I took it to another level. So, if you're a biker, you're like, "Please, Hal. I ride 50 miles every week.” But I took it to 2.5 miles every Tuesday and Thursday. So, I ride a bike 2.5 miles and it's through very hilly terrain. So, anyway, that's just an example of articulating what's the next best version of me in terms of my fitness. And I've done that recently as a dad, as a husband. In fact, I did a podcast probably a month or two ago on defining that as mastery. How could I achieve mastery in each area of my life? And putting that in writing.
So, that's the first thing is you've got to see yourself as better than you've ever been before and that starts, I recommend, articulating what that looks like for you in writing. Now, there's one more piece to this and this is important. The first question from Dolce was, how do you erase the unconscious sense to settle with less than I know that I deserve? And then the other part of the question, the next question was how do you get unfamiliar with life struggle and unsatisfactory feeling? And this second piece really speaks to that second part of the question, how do you get unfamiliar with the life struggle? The only way to get unfamiliar with life's struggle is there are two ways. Number one is you end the struggle, so there is no struggle, and then that will probably make it easier to get unfamiliar with that feeling. However, if you're still in the midst of challenges that you would call the struggle, then you have to imagine it. You have to use your imagination. There's really no other way about it, right? It's one of those two ways. Either you end the struggle so now you're not familiar with the feeling anymore because the struggle is gone or you start using your imagination. And what I would recommend is to visualize and meditate on that version of you that you just articulated in the form of an affirmation to condition that way of being, to generate that feeling.
So, once you've defined who the next best version of you is, the version of you that doesn't settle and the version of you that that isn't struggling, the version of you that's doing the things that will move you out of the struggle, you've got to embody that way of thinking and seeing and feeling. So, one of the meditation forms that I've shared with you all in the past is emotional optimization meditation. And quick refresher on that, you simply ask yourself, "What emotion would best serve me right now? What emotion do I want to feel, do I want to experience? What emotion would best serve me right now?” And so, to answer Dolce’s question, if you want to get unfamiliar with life's struggle and that unsatisfactory feeling, you've got to ask yourself, well, what's the opposite of that feeling? What would it look like or what would it feel like to not be in that space of dissatisfaction or struggle or unhappiness or insecurity or fear or whatever that is for you, whatever you're struggling with mentally and emotionally? Because think about that. What we're struggling with logistically in terms of the situation in our life, the circumstances in our life, that then creates the inner struggle. And while you can either change the outer circumstances to change the inner struggle, I recommend that you start by changing the inner struggle first while you're focusing on changing the outer circumstances because it's actually a lot easier to stay motivated and inspired and generate passion and take action to change your outer circumstances when you are able to determine and decide and embody the inner states, emotional state, mental state, that feeling of confidence, of motivation, of drive, of energy.
First, change your inner world so that you are best positioned to take the actions that will change your outer world. So, emotional optimization meditation is where you simply ask yourself, what is the ideal emotional state that best serves me right now at this time in my life, during this situation I'm dealing with today? Right now is kind of that relative term, whatever is best or most appropriate for you to focus on. I want to feel this way right now today so that I can, A, enjoy life, B, do the things that will create or change my current struggles, challenging circumstances, etcetera. And so, once you've identified that emotional state, then come up with the stimuli. So, if you can get in that state automatically, great. Sometimes you might need to think of, "Okay. When was the last time I felt _____?” Confident, happy, excited, optimistic, motivated. When was the last time I felt that? Or what can I think of that makes me naturally feel that way? And so, come up with a stimulus. It could be, again, the last time you felt that way. So, imagining that circumstance, reminding yourself, "Wait. I've been motivated before. I've been confident before.” And what that means is if you've been this way before, if you've been in that mindset or that emotional state at any point in your past, even though it was a long time ago, that is proof that you have that ability to generate those feelings again.
And if you've never been there, if you've never in your life had the emotional state that you're after now which is probably pretty rare but then you've got to manufacture it, you've got to imagine it, and a good way to do that is to borrow it from somebody else. I used to do that when I was 19 years old and I started in a sales career. My manager, my mentor, Jesse Levine, he was so confident, so confident, or at least that's how he portrayed himself. He came across very confident. He acted very confident. He was very well-spoken, very influential. And so, I would often when I didn't have that to draw from for myself because at that point in my life, I had never really accomplished anything. So, I was in that place where looking back over the first 19 years of my life, it was like I never really did anything remarkable but now I'm trying to do something remarkable. My past is mediocre but I'm trying to be extraordinary now. What do I do? How do I get there? And I would borrow confidence from Jesse. I would go, "Well, what would Jesse do? How would Jesse think about this? How would he respond? What has he told me before? What might he say? How might he show up?” And I would just picture Jesse in all of his swagger and confidence and poise, and then I would embody that. I would borrow confidence from Jesse, my mentor, until my confidence caught up. And that took a while. It took a long time to overcome a lifetime of insecurities, as it does.
But the way that I did it was by seeing myself as better than I had been before, as more confident that I had been before, as more motivated than I had been with my first lazy 19 years of my life back then. And so, it was seeing yourself as better than you've ever been or seeing myself as better than I've ever been, and then I would live into that. I would create that emotional state. I would visualize it. I would meditate on it. I would see it. I would feel it. And just like when you go to the gym, if you work out every day for 30 minutes or an hour, whatever, your muscles get stronger gradually, not overnight but gradually over time, your physical muscles get stronger. And if every day, through meditation, through visualization, and also through affirmations, I like starting with affirmations because you can get concrete, right? You put it in writing once you get the wording right, it might take a few iterations, a few edits, once you get the wording right, once you've defined, you've clarified who you want to be, who you're committed to be, how you're committed to showing up, what you're committed to doing. And then each day once you affirm that, you then visualize it, then you meditate on the emotions, the states that you need to be in. Just like working out every day, physically making your muscles stronger, this is really a mental and emotional workout. And when you do this every day, you're conditioning those states. And, Dolce, to answer your question, you're getting more and more unfamiliar with the unsatisfactory feelings that you've lived with up until this point.
So, again, it's changing your inner world, which you have immediate control over before you change your outer world, which we don't have immediate control over. You can't double your income today. I mean, I don't like to say can't. Maybe you pull off a miracle. But it's not likely that today you can take a single action that will immediately transform all of your circumstances or any circumstance that today you take an action that's going to transform your circumstance. Typically to change your outer world, your outer circumstances, it's going to take a while, right? It's going to take consistent, diligent action. You don't have control over immediately transforming a circumstance, typically, but you have immediate control over your inner world. So, the outer world is going to take some time but by optimizing your inner world, which you have immediate control over, A, you can immediately transform how you experience life and struggle and your challenges to take them on with peace of mind and with confidence and with motivation and with optimism. You can generate all of those states immediately, right now. You can sit there, you can ask yourself what state, emotional state, mental state would best serve me now. And then within a few minutes, you can be in that state.
And then I always say meditate, right? Meditate and marinate in that state. And the longer you stay in that state, just like the longer you work out, if you work out for five minutes on your biceps versus working on them for 30 minutes, the growth you experience from the longer workout you're going to experience more growth. And the same goes for a mental, emotional, or spiritual workout. You meditate for a minute, you're going to experience a minute's worth of meditative growth. If you meditate for 30 minutes, 20 minutes, 10 minutes, whatever, whatever it is, it's all relative, it's all relative. So, Dolce, really, really great questions around how you erase that unconscious sense to settle, how do you see yourself as better than you've ever been before. So, I appreciate the question, Dolce.
Number two from Sharon Smith. This is around procrastination. Sharon said, "How do you overcome procrastination and develop consistency?” Again, this is a universal question for all of us. How do you overcome procrastination and develop consistency? And then Sharon goes on to say something that we can all probably relate to. I know I can. She said, “I tend to get inspired for a few weeks and then fizzle back down into my old routine of putting things off.” Oh, Sharon, thank you for the question and being open and vulnerable and authentic and I feel the weight of that question and I think I feel it because I've experienced it. I’ve experienced getting inspired for a few weeks and then fizzling back down into my old routine and putting things off and letting procrastination get the better of me. So, the answer to this and again, these are just my thoughts, my answers for you. I'm not giving you the end-all-be-all. I encourage you to take what I say and then use that as a jumping-off point for you to consider it more deeply for yourself, for you to access your own intuition, for you to do further research on and on and on. I don't want you to come thinking that this whole Ask Me Anything is that I've got the definitive answers for what you need. This is really just the beginning of getting you to think and apply what makes sense for you.
So, my answer, Sharon, for how to overcome procrastination and that falling into that trap of getting motivated and excited for a few weeks, getting inspired, and then fizzling back into the old routines of putting things off, I guess this is really it's not rocket science. It's kind of standard advice but it's what works. It starts with setting those long-term goals. You have to have goals that are more long-term. For example, well, let me throw a few tips, and then I'll give you the example. So, number one, set long-term goals. Let’s just start with one at a time, set a long-term goal. Pick one area of your life that you have that's important to you that you want to improve but you've been procrastinating it. So, this is your step one. So, pick one area of your life. Just start with one. Don't pull all ten areas of the life out and try to set goals in all ten. If one of the reasons we procrastinate, there's many reasons, but one of them is overwhelm. We're overwhelmed with the thing that we need to do or the things that we need to do. And the more things we try to imagine or set goals for at once, the more we can feel overwhelmed and when we feel overwhelmed, we fall into procrastination. It's automatic for most, if not all of us. So, number one is to set those long-term goals but start with just one. Pick one area of your life. Like, if you are a habitual procrastinator, then let's take baby steps.
Pick one area of your life. And in the same way that we talked about building muscles earlier, if you can build that muscle to overcome the trap of procrastination, which would look like this. It would look like, “Okay. I'm clear on what I want to do but I don't feel like it. What else? I'm going to procrastinate.” Well, if you have ten things that you're trying to do at once that can be overwhelming. You're more likely to procrastinate. Whereas if you have just the one, you go, “Okay. Now, I feel like procrastinating but I'm going to do this thing anyway. I'm going to override the feeling, the pull to procrastinate, and I'm just going to take action.” You know, John Maxwell taught in his book, Failing Forward, act your way into feeling. I'm going to act my way into feeling. I'm just going to do the thing that I don't feel like doing because I know I should do it. I committed to do it. So, once you have that long-term goal, that one long-term goal, now you've got something where you have a runway. You go, “Okay. I've got to overcome procrastination for the next six months or 12 months because that's how far out my goal is.” And the goal it's whatever area of your life. It could be a fitness goal. It could be a financial goal. It could be a career goal. It could be to write a book. It could be to start a blog. It could be to start a podcast. It could be whatever. It could be do something with your family, so on and so forth, to build something but set that long-term goal.
And then this is something from the book, The One Thing. I love this concept and it's to develop a relationship with your goal. What does that look like? It means that you're revisiting the goal every single day. And ideally, you're clear on why that goal is important to you like I don't want to leave that out. The why is always crucial. You're clear on why that goal is important to you and you're revisiting that every day. So, you're building a relationship with your goal. Many of us, we set the goal, and then we don't look at it again. You should be looking at it every day. You should be journaling about your goal every day, “This is why this is important to me. So, this is what I'm committed to doing today.” Or if you don't want to journal about it, you should have that in the form of an affirmation or in writing where every day you're revisiting, “This is my goal, this is why it's crucial to me, and this is what I'm committed to doing today.” So, every day, ideally, part of your Miracle Morning every morning you wake up and you re-engage with your goal. You're sustaining a healthy relationship with your goal. And then last but not least is having a form of accountability. So, Sharon, answering your question about overcoming procrastination, the thing is if nobody knows about your goal, if nobody knows about the action or actions that you're committed to taking and you're used to letting yourself off the hook, then there's a decent chance that that will continue unless you have someone else that's holding you accountable.
When I hired my first coach, I doubled my income that year because I asked him to hold me accountable to doubling my productivity, doubling my output. I realized that if I wanted to double my income, double my sales, I had a sales career at the time, I had to double my output. I had to make twice as many calls as I made the year before. And if I made twice as many calls, I knew I would double my income. I also knew that in the past, I often didn't make my phone calls. I procrastinated on making my phone calls. I was very guilty of procrastination. But once I hired a coach and I made a commitment to, and his name was Jeff Sooey, every week Jeff said, "Are you committed to making 20 calls a day, five days a week every day this week?” I said yes. And then every time I felt like not doing it and the voice of procrastination, the temptation of procrastination, when that would creep into my subconscious, what got me to do it? What got me to do the right thing and take the action I needed to do was that I gave my word to Jeff. So, I go, “I'll just put my calls off until tomorrow,” and then I went, "Wait a minute. No, I can't. I gave my word to Jeff that I would make my 20 calls today. I've got to follow through.” And then I walked over, I opened up my referral notebook that had all the phone numbers I needed to call. I picked up the phone and I called him. And I don't want that. I don't want you to miss that.
Because realize this, if I had done the first two steps, the first two simple generic tips, Sharon, that I gave to you, that I know they're generic, I know they're common which is set a long-term goal and then I guess the second one is not as common, develop a relationship with your goal, reengage with your goal every single day. Even if I had done those two, there is still a decent chance that I would have procrastinated because I could have, okay, I got the goal set and then every morning I re-engage with the goal, “Okay. I’m committed to do this.” But when it came time to make my calls, I absolutely would have succumbed more than likely to procrastination and gone, “I'll just do it tomorrow. I'll just make up for tomorrow,” but then tomorrow would come and that same habitual procrastination would show up and I’d go, “Nah, I’ll just do it tomorrow. I don't feel like it.” And that's what happens with procrastination. It becomes our way of being. But the third tip that I'm sharing here is have a form of accountability. Have someone else that you are accountable to, whether you hire a coach, form an accountability group, find the accountability partner, someone in your industry, someone in your world, or it could be a friend but someone that you're committed to holding each other to the highest standard of integrity, where when you give your word that you're going to do something, it's black and white.
Unless something absolutely gets in the way like physically prevents you from doing it or you fall ill, if you give your word, you have an agreement with your source of accountability, again, whether it's a coach or a friend or colleague, “Hey, let's hold each other accountable. Let's make it black and white. Let's hold each other to the highest standard of integrity that when we give our word, we're going to do something, it's as good as done. There is no other option.” That, in and of itself, that accountability in that context because you can have an accountability relationship with somebody but like, "Hey, I'm going to do it this week. I'm going to write for 20 minutes. I’m going to make 20 calls. I'm going to go to the gym. I'm going to…” whatever. But if you have established a standard in that relationship, a context based on impeccable integrity then it's really easy to show up to your next call. If you have weekly calls scheduled, which is what I had with my coach. I think it was 30 minutes or maybe an hour. I don't remember how long but anyway, it was a block of time every single week. And it's easy to show up if you haven't set that, if you haven’t established that standard of impeccable integrity, it's easy to show up and be like if it's a friend, “I didn't make my 20 calls,” and they're like, "Oh, well, do better this time.”
Friends are not very good at holding each other accountable because we don't like to make each other feel awkward, make each other feel bad for not doing what we said we were going to do. That's kind of where a coach is different and that a coach it's like, "Hey, I hired him to hold me accountable. He's trained. In fact, he trains other people,” but here's the thing. You don't have to hire the coach. I recommended that hiring coach is a good thing but you can have a similar if not equal effect with a friend as long as you both are clear on the standard that you are committed to hold each other to, a standard of impeccable integrity, of total accountability, that if you say you're going to do something, there is no other option. If you establish that even if it's a friend and you both agree to that then that becomes your leverage. And if you need to go further than that, there's a great book called Following Through, and it's real simple. It simply says that if you don't have a consequence, you're less likely to follow through but if you do have a painful consequence for not following through, then you're more likely to follow through. In that book, it just gives a real simple, it recommends using money. It says if you don't make your calls or you don't exercise or you don't do whatever you're going to do, you have to pay $100 or donate $100 of charity or give $100 to the opposing political party that you believe in or whatever but it's make the consequence painful.
I think there's value in that but, personally, I prefer to just commit, to draw my line in the sand and we'll talk more about that in a little bit here but just to commit. I'm committed to having impeccable integrity no matter what because I want to become that person. Because think about this, if you only operate when there is a painful consequence present for not doing what you said you were going to do, then in the absence of that painful consequence, you don't have integrity. If you only uphold your integrity because there's a painful consequence in not doing it, then again, when the consequence is gone, you're going to fall back into your old routine. But if you're committed to becoming a person of integrity and I guess this is a kind of a bonus lesson here, it's really important. But when you value your integrity above your excuses, when you value your integrity above that pull to procrastinate, when you value your integrity at the highest level, you can literally speak your life into existence because your integrity means your word. It's I value my word. If I give my word to something, there's no other option. Come hell or high water, I'm going to do what I said I was going to do. For me, I didn't value my integrity in that way until I hired a coach and the coach basically taught me what I just shared with you.
Jeff Sooey taught me that lesson about integrity. He said, "Hal, do you want to be successful? Do you want to achieve your goals? Do you want to achieve everything you want in life?” And I said, “Of course, yes, yes, yes.” He said, "Well, then I'm telling you, arguably, the single most effective way to do that is to become someone who values your word, values your integrity at the highest level, to hold yourself to a standard of impeccable integrity.” Don Miguel Ruiz, who wrote The Four Agreements, which by the way, if you haven't read The Four Agreements and the other books I mentioned, yeah, you can skip Following Through, but if you haven't read The Four Agreements, I highly recommend it. But I believe one of the agreements is be impeccable with your word and it's exactly what we're talking about, which is you do exactly what you say you're going to do no matter what, without exception. And by the way, the other part of that is to be willing to be held accountable, to be willing to put it out there, because it's one thing if you have integrity but you don't make any public commitments like you don't tell anybody what you're committed to doing because you don't want to be on the hook, because you want to just settle for mediocrity because you don't want to have to get out of your comfort zone. You don't want to have to overcome procrastination. So, you just keep your goals and ambitions, and commitments a secret. You don't tell anybody. So, obviously, you have to put your word out there and be held accountable.
So, Sharon, that's how I recommend overcoming procrastination is getting clear, setting that long-term goal or goals but starting with one and then engaging with them every day, which is what they call in The One Thing, the book, The One Thing, developing a relationship with your goals, your spouse. If you have a good relationship with your spouse or anybody, it's usually you engage with them consistently. I don't know anyone that has a great relationship with their spouse because they never talk to their spouse like they might think they do. They might think that avoiding the conflict or whatever is better but you have to engage with someone or something in order to develop a healthy relationship with, I think. And then last but not least, establish that accountability. It's crucial. Sharon, thank you for the question. I appreciate that, Sharon Smith.
And then last question is from Annie Arcuri. And then after this question, I'm going to share with you kind of a summary of my best advice on fulfilling your potential, which we've covered some of this today and I'm really going to just bullet point it for my four biggest keys here. Let's see. Annie said, “Hal, I'm so excited to see the trajectory you're on for your next book. Here's the question I'll try my best to articulate. I too have read and loved Michael Singer, The Untethered Soul and The Surrender Experiment. I've also read Eckhart Tolle’s A New Earth and a gamut of other books on spirituality. I get that we find true freedom from within and yet there's a huge gap between reading about and understanding it conceptually and truly experiencing it. If you feel that you've captured it and can actually take yourself there, then guide your readers there through your lived experience. I'll be eternally grateful.” Oh, she's referring to my next book. Yes, that's my goal is to actually do that, to get you like the Miracle Morning got people to wake up early and do a morning routine, not just learn about it or think about it. That's what I'm working on figuring out, how do I get you to actually experience total freedom, true freedom, inner freedom, which I define as being able to choose how you feel, how you experience your life in any given moment, no matter what's going on in the moment, no matter what's going on outside of you that you have control of what's going on inside of you.
So, Annie goes on to say, "Because for me, there is a huge disconnect. In fact, reading about spirituality almost feels isolating and removed from the interconnected reality. So, my question for you is, do you feel like you get how to live and apply these teachings to find true freedom that these books speak of?” So, yeah, I mean, the answer is yes and it's what I've been talking about for the last I don't even know how long in the podcast, right? The episodes I've done on my last one that last week was how to be truly happy in three simple steps. It was about this topic. Before that, I did an episode on how to make any day your best day ever. It was about this topic of how do you take control of how you feel on any given day. And the week before that, it was how do you make every moment the best moment of your life. How do you take control of how to experience every moment? And so, yes, Annie, I feel like I'm figuring that out. I'm experiencing it on a daily basis. And so, here's my recommendation on how to do that. And, Annie, your question was how to apply the teachings to find true freedom that these books speak of but you can apply this to really anything that you learn in a book. But here's the answer and, actually, I think I heard this first said by Mark Victor Hansen. I was at an event that he was speaking at many years ago and he talked about leaning into it every day, it being whatever it is that you want to achieve or accomplish or experience, lean into it every day.
Which essentially means that you don't have to make a quantum leap. You just have to lean into it, experience it a little bit more and a little bit more. And as you do, you'll understand it a little bit more and a little bit more and a little bit more. So, Annie, lean into it every day, practice it, continue learning, practice some more, learn some more. Reread the books that you mentioned. I am reading The Untethered Soul for the third or fourth time literally right now. I'm also coincidentally rereading and listening to The Surrender Experiment. So, think about that. Most of us, we read a book once and we move on and we more often than not forget most of what we read. We forget what we read because there's, what, 60,000 words in a book. How many of those words can you remember? I encourage you to develop a relationship with a book, kind of like with your goals. So, for me, it's not just rereading a book but if I really like a book, then I buy the audiobook. Now, I listen to the author read the book to me then I go back and I read the book. And while reading the book, of course, I circle, I underline, I write in the margins. I turn that book into a resource that I can revisit over and over and over and over again so that I can live what I've learned.
Because to just learn something and move on to learn something else is of limited value. When you learn something, it's to learn it so that you can live it. And the only way for that to happen, not the only way but for more often than not the only way is to revisit that material, to relearn that material. Like I said, you want to lean into it each day. You want to learn it and then you want to practice it, then you want to revisit it and continue learning it and then continue practicing it on and on and on. Practice some more, learn some more, and then get consumed with the most important things in your life that you want to experience. So, for me, and what your question is, Annie, true freedom like how do you experience that true freedom every day? For me, it wasn't that I learned at once and then I'm like, "Oh yeah, I got it intellectually so now every moment feels free.” No, not at all. It was, "Oh, I learned this concept and I got it intellectually but I don't really get it like I don't know how it feels. How does it feel? You meditate on it and you get a glimpse. You're like, "Oh, wait a minute, that's what it feels like to not worry about anything, to realize that there's no value in living in a state of fear or stress. That's what it feels like. I got a glimpse.” Annie, first, you lean into it, you get a glimpse of it, and then almost so much so that you're like, "How do I get back there?” And then you were like you got to figure out how to get back there.
And then you go back there and then you meditate on it instead of just a glimpse. Maybe you get to stay there for a minute and you feel truly free but then that thing you've been worrying about perpetually for the last few months or years, it comes back and you're like, "Oh, God, now, I fell back into my old pattern of thinking and feeling and being. I want that freedom.” And then you get to and then you start to have experiences in your life where you go, “Okay. Wait a minute, this difficult situation, I'm going to try to apply that lesson I learned in the book about accepting life exactly as it is. Instead of resisting this situation, even though it's not ideal, it's not what I want, I'm going to embrace it. I'm going to accept it. I'm going to be at peace with it. What does that feel like to stop resisting it?” Wow. It feels kind of foreign. You, guys, see where I'm going with it? Like, I'm just saying that it’s a process, it's gradual, but for most of us, we don't live what we learn. We learn it, move on, learn something else, forget what we learn the first time. So, like, you got to master these things that are really important in your life. You've got to master these ways of thinking, these ways of being. And that comes from not only revisiting certain sources or resources like a book. It comes from expanding resources to continue learning from different people on the same topic.
And I don't want to convolute this so I want to keep it as focused as possible but the point being, Annie, is that it's not something that, yes, I feel like I want to have it all figured out but I've definitely figured out how to experience that inner freedom even in the midst of difficult circumstances like cancer or financial hardship to realize that, “Okay. I can't change the things that are unchangeable so I'm not going to wish I could. I'm going to be at peace. I'm going to feel what that feels like. And again, you start with a glimpse and then you get into an extended glimpse where you start to actually experience it, and then if you stick with it every day over an extended period of time and you keep learning and you keep practicing that same topic, in this case, inner freedom then it becomes who you are. And you don't have to think about it anymore. But that process might take six months or a year of a real commitment, like a real commitment, and it will continue for the rest of your life. It'll continue for the rest of our lives because we're always learning. We're always growing. And I hope that was helpful for you.
I’m just going to wrap this up. I said the second half. I don't think it'll be an entire half here, probably just five minutes or ten minutes or so. But here is kind of a synthesis of some of my best advice on fulfilling your potential. And I think I covered probably some, if not most of this, but where I would start, number one is own - and if you're taking notes if you haven't already, if you want to take notes, you can write these down. I’m going to give you - what have we got? Four keys here. Number one, own your inherent worth. When I say your inherent worth, know that as a human being, you are inherently just as worthy and deserving and capable as any other person on Earth. So, you don't even need to necessarily believe in yourself per se, meaning that this isn't about you. I'm just saying you're a human being, so you just need to know that all human beings were equally worthy of whatever we want, so long as we commit to consistently moving toward what we want. But our psyche has been damaged or shaped via our past and I'm inviting you to, number one, owning your inherent worth. Just step back and realize, "Wait, yeah, I'm a human being. So, just because this happened in my past or this didn't happen or this person told me that like I need to realize that if I am a human being, I'm just as worthy of ____,” whatever you want, “as any other human being on the planet.” So, that's where I would start. Own your inherent worth. And like I said, I'm removing your need to believe in yourself because yourself with this identity that has been shaped and created over your lifetime and there may be some trauma in there that is shaped and created in a way that is limiting for you. So, step out of you and just own the inherent worth of human beings. You're just as worthy, deserving, and capable as any other person on the planet.
Number two, number two tip to fulfill your potential is make an unwavering decision to stop settling. Make an unwavering decision to stop settling. You've got to draw your line in the sand. You know, all the tips and tricks and goal setting strategies, none of those are going to make any difference if you're not fully committed. And this is true for any area of your life. If you want to improve your health or lose weight looking for the, you know, it's not the diet. You don't need to find the new trendy diet or the new strategy. That's not going to be the thing that finally gets you into shape. It's you. It's a rock-solid decision that you are no longer willing to settle in the area or areas of your life that you're experiencing dissatisfaction. It's an unwavering commitment to make meaningful changes in your life. And when it comes to making that decision to drawing your line in the sand, get emotional like if you need to get upset with yourself, not in a berating way where you say you're a loser, “I suck. I'm terrible. I'm a loser.” No. You're better than that. Let's do this. It's time like if you need to get emotional, get emotional. In fact, you probably do need to get emotional. When you make that commitment, that unwavering decision to stop settling, you got to have some emotion, some oomph behind it or, “Eh,” you'll keep settling.
Number three, spend time figuring out what you really want. You got to spend time doing it. You've got to make time to sit down, go out and ideally be in nature. Spend, meditate a little bit, bring your journal with you, and use a journal ideally for this. You can bring a computer but there's something about just you and a pen and a pencil or you and a journal and a pen or pencil in nature and just ask, “What do I really want?” Spend time figuring out what you really want in writing. “If I could have, be, do, or change anything in my life, here's what it would be. This is what it would look like.” Spend that time getting clear on what you really want and what your full potential is. What does that feel like? What does that look like? What is that for you?
Number four, and this is like the most fundamental truth, do the right thing every day. Do the right thing every day. When I say the most fundamental truth, I mean in terms of being who you want to be, achieving what you want to achieve, experiencing what you want to experience. Do the right thing every day. It's the best advice I ever received from one of my mentors, Brad Britton, who I learned this when I was probably 19. I was very blessed to have these great mentors in my life. And he simply said, "The key to success is this, do the right thing, not the easy thing. That's it.” He said, "Every day, every moment you're faced with a choice, do the right thing or the easy thing.” And the way that I look at it is doing the right thing is doing anything that moves you closer to what you want to have, be, experience and it's often outside of your comfort zone meaning doing the things, the right thing, is usually outside your comfort zone as it requires change. If it was within your comfort zone, you'd probably do it. Whereas the easy things are typically the things that are in your comfort zone that you've been doing. They're the things that created your current circumstances and will continue to keep you where you are. So, once you've made that unwavering decision to stop settling, you've got to live in alignment with that decision and for me, that simple guiding mantra for the last 23 years of my life has been do the right thing every day, do the right thing, not the easy thing.
Alarm goes off in the morning. “I’m so tired. I want to keep sleeping.” And then I'd hear that voice. It’s my voice that I affirmed over and over and over and over and over and over, “Nope. I am someone who does the right thing, not the easy thing.” The easy thing is hit that snooze button. The right thing is to turn it off, pull myself out of bed, and go create the life that I want. When I go to a restaurant, “Ooh, I really want to order that really unhealthy thing on the menu.” “Wait a minute, Hal, I am someone who does the right thing, not the easy thing. What's the right thing? Order of the thing that…” and it doesn't mean you're always going to order the healthy thing but, in general, you understand the principle. So, become someone who does the right thing every day. It doesn't mean you do everything right. You're allowed to be flawed and human and eat some ice cream here and there. You know what I mean? But every day, make sure once you're clear and you've decided that you're no longer willing to settle for less than you truly want and are capable of, the way to live in alignment with that decision is to do the right thing every day, not the easy thing but do the right thing.
Hal Elrod: All right. So, that's going to wrap up today. So, again, real quick, those four keys on fulfilling your potential. Number one, own your inherent worth. Know that you are just as worthy, deserving, and capable as any other person. Number two, make an unwavering decision to stop settling for less than you want. Number three, spend time figuring out what you really want. And number four, do the right thing every day or you could call that do the right thing, not the easy thing. Thank you to Dolce, Sharon, and Annie for your questions today. I really, really appreciate it. And if you want to submit a question, and I know I got more questions that I'm going to just kind of picking and choosing which ones resonate because there's more than I can possibly answer but you can go to HalElrod.com/AMA and hopefully I will get to your questions. So, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you so much for tuning in today. And yeah, I'll talk to you all next week. Take care.
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