When you learn how to live in the present moment, you are able to take control of your emotional state.”
“How’s life?” can often be a loaded question, especially with the state of the world right now. If you ask most people, they’ll run through an inventory of their circumstances. You might hear them talk about what’s going well, but, more often than not, you’ll hear about their problems, financial challenges, difficulties at work, struggles in their marriage, or other less-than-stellar circumstances.
And when we’re not talking about our problems/circumstances, we’re thinking about them. We tend to listen to the voice in our head, stressing about the present and worrying about the future, and unconsciously allowing our emotional well-being to suffer.
But what if there is more to life than our circumstances? What if life is actually the experience we’re having in the present moment? And what if you could learn how to transcend the voice in your head and live the majority of your life in the present moment?
In today’s episode, I want to teach you two techniques you can use to stop the voice in your head from taking over and give you the power to truly live in the present moment. Even if you’re already familiar with them, I want you to look at them in a new way, combine them, and discover how they can help you be here now–and live free from fear, stress, and anxiety.
● How to assess how often you’re fully present.
● Where stress, fear, overwhelm, and regret come from.
● Why our brains are prone to amplifying and focusing on problems when we try to solve them.
● How to not let the voice in your head create your reality.
● How a mantra can help you bring your life into alignment on your terms.
● My 7-day challenge that will enable you to begin quickly living in the present moment.
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Hal Elrod: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod. And thank you so much for listening today. I really, really appreciate you, appreciate you taking the time. Today was a good one. I just finished recording the episode and it's about how to live in the present moment. You know, it's interesting. Last two weeks' episodes, I'll tell you, I was feeling off, as you know, I'm a human being. So, sometimes you wake up and you're like, "All right, I'm on point today. I feel good.” Although I got great feedback from our last episodes, I felt a little bit off and today, I just was really in the moment, which ironically or interestingly enough, that's what the episode is about. But make sure you listen until the end. The end of the episode, I give two techniques to live in the present moment and I don't script any of this stuff. So, that's where often I don't know how it's going to turn out until it's done and then I either can go, “That was all right,” or, "Wow. That really came through me really well.” And so, the two techniques at the end that I share, what I wasn't planning on doing that just emerged was how to combine the techniques. And while you might be familiar with these two techniques, you maybe even tried one or two of them, the idea of how I explained how to combine them to really make this ability to live in the present moment free from fear and stress and anxiety to be fully present in the now, yeah, I think this will be helpful for you. So, hopefully, it will.
Before we dive in, I want to give a shout-out and a thank you to my two sponsors. They are my loyal, faithful sponsors. They are personal friends of mine. Now, the first is Organifi. Organifi creates delicious superfood blends that address the problems that we have with being able to eat healthy and have more energy and not having enough time or resources or making the right foods. And Organifi gives you adaptogenic herbs and mushrooms to help balance cortisol levels associated with stress and they make it easier to add more nutrients into your day. So, you can simply mix a scoop of their green juice or their red juice or their protein powder or dozens and dozens of different options that they have and enjoy a natural boost of energy and calm and focus any time of day. Head over to Organifi.com/Hal. That's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I dot com forward slash Hal and if you find some stuff that you like, use the code, HAL, at checkout and you'll get 15% off your entire order.
And then last but not least, I want to thank Self-Publishing School. Self-Publishing School has enabled hundreds of members of our community, our listeners, to write and publish their first book or their next book. And so, if you've ever wanted to write a book, whether it's just to share your message, your story, to enhance your business, to create another stream of income, to change the world, impact people's lives, leave a legacy for your family, whatever your reasoning of wanting to write a book, it's easier than you think and you can get it done faster than you think. And in fact, they teach you how to do it in as little as 90 days to write and publish your book. Head over to Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal to turn your dream of writing a book into a reality. And now, without further ado, let's talk about how to live your life in the present moment the way that I believe it is meant to be lived.
Hal Elrod: Good morning, family. How are you doing today? This is Hal Elrod. I hope you are well and I'm feeling good. I'm feeling well. I'm feeling present to this moment. And that's what we're going to talk about today is how to live in the present moment because that is the only way to actually live fully. You may have heard me say this before but life is the present moment like your life exists in the present moment. If I were to ask you, "How's life?” most people, if you ask them, "How's life?” they start taking an inventory of their circumstances, right? “Yeah. Work’s okay and marriage is, you know, we’re fighting a little bit right now or and this is going.” It's an inventory of circumstances. But if you think about it, your circumstances, that's not life, right? We exist beyond circumstances. And when our circumstances change, we're still living life. You could say that life is your consciousness. It's your conscious awareness of the moment. That is life, right? There's different ways that you could define it but for me, I like to think about life is this moment and it's not yesterday. It's not even five minutes ago. It's not what's happening tomorrow. Life is always happening in the moment. Life exists as the present moment.
So, I want to start with a quick assessment. I'm going to ask you, on a scale of one to 10, how would you rate yourself at living in the present moment? So, in other words, how often are you fully present to what you're doing, what you're experiencing in real-time versus in your head thinking about something else? In fact, we can go a little deeper. How often are you fully present to the joy, the beauty, the perfection of what you're doing in this moment, what you're experiencing this moment versus buying into what the voice in your head is telling you? So, is your reality one that you're experiencing in real-time based on what's actually happening in this moment, or are you like I'm often guilty of and a lot of us where we allow that voice in our head to distract us and take us away from the present moment? When we're worried or stressed about the future, we are not living life in the present moment and our mental and emotional well-being typically suffers. When we are thinking about the past and we are essentially in our head thinking that, “I wish I wouldn't have done that. I wish I wouldn't have said that. I wish I would have done things differently,” we're creating regret. Creating regret, by the way, we are creating regret. Regret doesn't exist in and of itself. We are creating it. In fact, we're always creating our reality.
And so, is your reality again one you're experiencing in the moment? Are you living in the present moment or are you in your head a lot? And are you feeling stressed a lot? Typically, if you're experiencing stress or fear or overwhelm or regret, you're typically usually that means that's a sign that we're in our head. We're not fully present. And personally, I go through phases. Up until recently, I had been very much living in the present. I had been doing a really good job. In fact, just a couple of episodes ago, I think it was Episode 390, don't quote me on that. I think it was 390, give or take one episode. The title of the episode was Random But Important Ideas That Will Enhance Your Life. You can go back to HalElrod.com/Podcast if you want to listen to this, Random But Important Ideas That Will Enhance Your Life. But I talked about how I had just come off the best vacation of my entire life, literally. And the primary reason that it was the best like I was assessing what made it the best vacation and how can we apply that to not just every vacation but everyday life.
And I talked about that the primary reason that I identified that made it such a fantastic vacation, it was a week-long vacation visiting my mom and my grandmother with my family, but I talk about the primary reason for that that we can apply to our everyday life is that I was fully present and grateful in each moment. I was just totally in the moment. Now, I wasn't thinking about work. I wasn't checking emails. For those seven days, I was in the moment with my kids, with my wife, with my mom, with my grandma, just fully present to whatever we are doing. And whenever I would have thought enter my mind, and by the way, this is something to consider. This is an important technique if you will. Whenever thoughts have entered my mind, I would just go, “Thanks for visiting. You know, I'll see you on Monday.” Like, "Thanks for visiting. I'll see you on Monday.” And I do that when I'm going to sleep at night. When I'm falling asleep at night and I find myself worrying about something that I need to do the next day, I just say, "No. Thanks for visiting. I'll see you in the morning.” Because there's no value typically. I mean, you could argue, “Well, no, I'm figuring stuff out at night when I'm falling asleep.” Maybe. But we're typically not going to solve any problems. My objective when I'm laying down my head on the pillow is to sleep, to rest, to relax, to get quality sleep. That's the priority. And so, being present, that's another example of like being present in that moment. That moment is about rest. But when we get in our head, it takes us away from the present moment.
So, I had been doing really good at that for a bit. And as a result, for a few months, I was doing really well at it and like I said, I go through phases but I was really fully present and grateful each moment, not just on the vacation but at home and at work and at whatever I was doing. And as a result, I experienced joy and happiness, and love. And I just felt aligned. You know what I mean? When you're not conflicted, that inner conflict where you're thinking about one thing but you think you should be doing something else, you're doing something but you're thinking about something else. And then what you're thinking about, you're not sure if it's the right thing to think about. And then you find yourself thinking about things that make you feel stressed and then you beat yourself up for why am I focusing all of this? We get so in our head and we live there and that becomes our reality when it's not reality. It's a self-inflicted reality if you will. However, despite doing good at this for the last couple of months, the last couple of weeks, I've been in my head. I've been stressing about my finances. I've been concerned with our society and where we're headed. A lot of things that are out of my control. I've been fearing the unknown future, both personally for me and my family as well as collectively. I've been feeling overwhelmed because I tell myself that voice in my head tells me that I have so much to do, too much to do, and not enough time to do it, and a lot more.
So, the last couple of weeks I have gotten off track in terms of living in the present moment and as a result, my experience of life has suffered. It has absolutely suffered. And so, the last few days becoming aware of that, I've really been focusing on and I'm going to share at the end of the episode that I'll share a couple of techniques to really live in the present moment. And I've been using these techniques and they work. It's amazing. They work. You can take control of your mind. You can take control of your focus, of your consciousness. And when you take control of your consciousness, you take control of your experience of life. You give yourself that gift of inner freedom that we've been talking so much about. Part of what inspired today's podcast, actually, there's a few. I mean, there's three different kind of stories, if you will, that I'm going to share here that are really powerful. And I'm actually going to interview one of the individuals that I'm going to talk about. I'm going to interview him. Hopefully, I'll get him on the podcast by next week's episode. That's the goal. I sent some texts and emails this morning to schedule that so hopefully, we can get that in.
But what first started was yesterday I was on a Zoom call with a mastermind that I'm a part of. So, it's called my GoPod and it's a part of a larger mastermind that is GoBundance. You may have heard me, I've chatted about GoBundance a little bit before. I've been a member of that mastermind for many years. My good friends, David Osborn and Mike McCarthy, and Pat Hiban, they’re some of my friends that founded this mastermind. So, anyway, this GoBundance mastermind, all of us are encouraged to create your own little GoPod, which is for us, it's a five-person mastermind group that meets once a month on Zoom. And so, we run our video call yesterday and when we were sharing our wins and then what we need help with, which is kind of the format that we started to call with, "Hey, what's going well right now and what do you need help with?” One of my four fellow mastermind members shared that his win is that he has, and this was like all of our jaws dropped because we knew he was doing well but we had no idea, he has like $17 million in his checking account right now and he doesn't know what to do with it. Anyway, yeah, like for me, that's a good chunk of money. So, all our jaws like I said kind of dropped because, again, we know he's doing well but we're like, "Wow. You're crushing it. Congratulations. That's insane.”
Yet he shared that he is struggling. Not financially, obviously but he isn't fulfilled. He said essentially, I don’t know if he used these exact words about not being happy but like he kind of was sharing, “I'm not happy. I'm stressed all the time. I'm always thinking about work.” He's not living in the present moment and he said, “I'm always thinking about work.” He said he's always feeling stressed. He doesn't have a social life like his life revolves on work. And then he said he doesn't know how to be present. And he asked me how I do that. A little bit later in the call, he circled back and asked me that. But he said no matter what he's doing, he's always thinking about work. And I find that, again, that's a perfect example of someone that on the surface, like financially, wow, that's incredible. Your life must be perfect. Like, we all think, "Gosh, if I had $1 million or $17 million, my life would be perfect. I'd have no problems.” While, yeah, that could take away all of our financial problems, it doesn't change the experience of being human. It doesn't change the experience of being human. It doesn't change if you live with stress and fear and anxiety and overwhelm, having a lot of it. What did Notorious B.I.G. say in his famous song many years ago? Mo Money, Mo Problems, that the more money you have, the more leverage you have to actually create bigger problems, bigger challenges.
And, of course, the human experience becomes amplified because your fears, now, you've got more to lose. Now, you've got people coming after you that want to take from you, that want to take advantage of you. There are all sorts of fallout from having that. Anyway, that's not what we're talking about. It's not about the fallout from having a bunch of money that my mastermind member has. It's about that he's not happy, he's not fulfilled, and he doesn't know how to live in the present moment because he's always thinking about work. So, that got me thinking about living in the present moment because I gave him advice. And as I gave him the advice of how to live in the present moment and how I do it, I realized I haven't been doing it the last couple of weeks like I fell off track and it was really kind of a wake-up call for me. And then this morning, I was on a bike ride. I go for a bike ride about three days a week and I go bike a couple of miles up some steep hills to get a good leg workout, and I caught myself. As I took up on the bike ride, I felt a little stress and I caught myself thinking about my work. Actually, I was thinking about the podcast, “I got to record a podcast today. What am I going to talk about?” And I was feeling stressed out about that. And then it was pretty quick, I'd say within just a few minutes, I caught myself thinking about work. I caught myself not being present.
Then I remembered my conversation with my friend on the GoPod Zoom call yesterday and the advice that I gave him and the realization I had that I hadn't been present. Again, I was on a bike ride. I wasn't at work, yet I was thinking about work. I was on a bike ride. I wasn't recording a podcast. I was thinking about recording a podcast. I was on a bike ride. I wasn't experiencing any stressful situation yet I was feeling stressed. So, I'm asking you, why is it so hard for us to be fully present to what we're doing? Why is it so hard? And then what I did is I just started saying I'm on a bike. I just started like freestyling. Actually, that is in total transparency, I started rapping. I don't exactly know why. That's where I went. It wasn't a conscious decision but I just started rap like freestyling. A little bit of background, when I was in high school, I used to freestyle at parties and I have a couple of raps. There's a rap song in the Miracle Morning. Anyway, so that's like part of my background. I enjoy hip hop music and I enjoy rapping and freestyle. I don't do it very often anymore. But anyway, as I'm on the bike, I started freestyling and I was freestyling about being present in the moment. I don't remember the lyrics that were coming up for me but it was about riding a bike and living in the moment and being present and joyful. Oh, yeah, I remember I was wrapping up my legs being so strong that I can get along up this long hill, keeping it real, blah, blah, blah.
So, anyway, I'll embarrass myself if I keep going with that. But I just started rapping and just about being in the moment, the joy of the moment, the perfection of the moment. And it's amazing what I was doing didn't change. I was riding a bike just like when I headed out on the road in front of our house, it started out with me riding a bike and feeling stressed. And then by me shifting to be fully present to what I was doing, my stress disappeared, and it was replaced by feelings of joy and fulfillment and presence and happiness and energy. And I want you to consider that for a second, that is just an example, that is a metaphor for all of us, right? Again, I started the day riding a bike, feeling stressed, overwhelmed, and really an unconscious fear around things I needed to get done in my life that I wasn't sure I could get done. So, I started riding my bike feeling stressed, overwhelmed, afraid, and then a simple shift, getting fully present to what I did, changed all of that. And so, I'm sharing that. I know I just said it like two or three times in a row for you to consider that whatever your bike riding is, whatever you're doing, hanging out with your kids, just life, right, you can be riding that bike or living your life feeling stressed, afraid, overwhelmed, anxious, angry, you name it by being in your head about things. “I'm angry because of what this person said or did or didn't do. I'm angry.” Well, they're not saying it. Now, they said it earlier. Maybe it was an hour ago. Maybe it was yesterday.
And by us being in our head versus living in the moment, being present to the moment, when we are in our head, we create all sorts of emotional turmoil. At last week's podcast episode with How to Take Control of Your Emotional State, in a way when you learn how to live in the present moment and, by the way, well, let me finish that thought. When you learn how to live in the present moment, you are able to take control of your emotional state. You're able to gain that control that we lose when we start listening to the voice in our head. And so, I forgot where I was going to go with that. But again, riding a bike feeling stressed to riding a bike feeling joyful and fulfilled was done as quick as I could snap my fingers by just shifting my focus to the present moment and getting out of my head. Because here's the thing, our brains are problem-solving machines, and if we're not intentional, they will try to solve problems all day long. And here's the thing about solving problems. When your brain is trying to solve problems, very often it's focused on the problem. In fact, I'd argue that our brain is focusing on the problem and amplifying the problem and worrying about the problem probably more so than it's actually trying to solve the problem. Think about that.
When you're worrying and when you're thinking about your problems, are you typically thinking about them feeling totally empowered and inspired with the solutions that you're brainstorming constantly? Or are you worrying? Are you stressing? Are you feeling afraid? Are you feeling overwhelmed? Are you feeling incapable? Are you going down the rabbit hole of what if this happens? And then what if that led to that? And then what if this problem created an even bigger problem? And then what if I can't make more money or I can't find a job? And then that leads to I lose my house and then I lose my house, I lose my family. Like, think about that for a second. When it comes to problems, when you are in your head about your problems, what's the energy? What's the emotion? Is it inspired and empowered? Are you brainstorming solutions? When you're thinking about your problems, are you spending the time thinking about them in a proactive way of, "Yeah, I got a problem. How can I solve it? How can I solve it?” I have an issue right now that I've been dealing with and the issue that I've been dealing with - hold on. I want to take a note. I just thought of something else I want to share with you guys, a story of working in the garden. Okay. All right. I'm going to share that with you in a minute. Oh, damn it. What was I just saying? Guys, brain damage, the struggle is real. And chemo brain, it's like a double whammy.
Oh, you have no idea. I'll share that with you real quick. Let's just go on a quick tangent. I've shared this with you actually before so maybe, have I? But I struggle with my mental, yeah, with my brain. I can't remember anything. Anyway, and I'm remembering now that I'm saying that I think I shared that on the last episode. I probably shared that before. But where was I going with this? Oh, problems. We're talking about problems. And thanks for hanging in with me. It's funny. When I give live speeches, it's the same thing. And like I tell the audience, I usually warn them ahead of time like, "Just so you know, I suffer from brain damage. And during the speech today, I may forget what I'm talking about like in the middle of talking about it. And so, I need you to pay really close attention because I might be calling on you to remind me what I was talking about,” and sure enough, like almost every speech that happens at least once, sometimes a few times where the brain damage kicks in. And I got to ask the audience, "What was I just talking about?” Then they start yelling out answers and it's like a team effort. And it's like a big win when I go, "Yeah, yeah, yeah, that was it,” and then everybody feels like, "Yeah. We did it. All right.” But in this case, I'm doing a podcast and I don't have the two-way communication. You can't remind what I was talking about but it was problems.
And so, consider that when you're thinking about your problems, how proactive are you being? And so, here's what ends up happening is when we have problems that we're faced with, we spend an exorbitant, is that the right word? We spend an excessive amount of time worrying about our problems, stewing over our problems. But it seems to be a very small percentage of that time that we spend on solving our problems. Oh, I remember where I was going to go with that.
So, my wife and I just bought– I think I told you we wanted to live on land for a long time. And so, we bought a house on some acreage and we're going to grow some food. Yeah, we just love living on the land. We got some animals. And we're getting more animals. And it's been really, really a special experience, and one that I never, my former self, my whole life, I've never been an animal person, I've never been a nature person, I've never been a dirt person. Like, I don't like getting dirty. And miraculously, in the last few years, that's all kind of gradually changed. And now, I'm loving every moment. But financially, I really want to pay off our home. I want to own the property in full. And there are a few reasons for that, but just know that I want to own the property in full. I really want to, and I experience a lot of stress around– or I have experienced just worrying of how am I going to pay this off, I don’t know how I'm going to pay this off.
The point of me sharing this is that I personally, spend most of my time feeling this subtle fear or consciously worrying about how I'm going to do this, but I haven't been asking myself, how am I going to do this? You see the difference, right? There's the worrying about I don't know how I'm going to do this, I don't know how I'm going to figure this out, I don't know how I'm going to fix my marriage, or I don't know how I'm going to get a job or I don't know how I'm going to grow my business or I don’t know– and we do it from a fear state, from a fear state, from an overwhelmed state, from a stress state, from a cortisol-spiking state. And it's this subtle shift, subtle but profound shift from I don't know how I'm going to do this to how could I do this? How might I do this?
And so, it's amazing. I ask myself that question the day I made that shift. And I'm like, I've been worrying, but not being proactive probably about a week ago. And I asked myself, how might I generate enough money to pay off our mortgage completely? And here's what's amazing. You may have heard this before, but whatever you ask yourself, you answer, your brain comes up with answers. Whatever you ask yourself, your brain comes up with answers to your why does this bad thing always happen to me? Your brain will figure out, well, because you're unlucky. Dang, I'm unlucky, that sucks. Why else do bad things always happen to me? Because you're not a good person, like you don't deserve success, you don't deserve that. Like whatever you ask yourself, you'll come up with answers.
So, I think Tony Robbins is the one that I first learned this from that you got to ask yourself. If you want better answers, you got to ask better questions. And so, when I went from wondering what if I don't figure this out to how might I figure this out? How could I pay off our property? How could I generate enough money to pay off our mortgage? And what's amazing is whatever questions you ask yourself, I know this is kind of a tangent, but it's such an important one, your brain searches for answers because, again, remember, your brain is a problem-solving machine, and a question is a problem. It's a miniature problem that needs a solution in the form of an answer.
So, when you ask yourself questions about how can I solve this problem? How can I improve this situation? How might I be more capable in this area? Whatever you ask, whatever questions you ask, your brain seeks answers for it. And so that, for me, has been a game-changer. And it's amazing that I'm finding solutions to ask myself that question, how might we pay off this property in full? Because again, I don't have the money sent around to pay off the property in full. I can pay our mortgage, thank God, but I don't know how to– I don't have the finances to do that. So, the point being, whatever you ask yourself, you'll come up with the answer.
Back to how to live in the present moment. I want to share this quick story. A couple of weekends ago, I think I mentioned this in last week's episode, but a couple of weekends ago, my wife and I went to gardening, like a very intensive five-hour gardening workshop, on how to start your garden. And it's a specific gardening method. If you want to look it up, it's called the Mittleider method. It's spelled M as in Mary, I-T-T as Thomas, T-T-L, I believe it's E-I-D-E-R, could be I-E, but I think it’s E-I, M-I-T-T-L-E-I-D-E-R, Mittleider method. It's one of the fastest ways to produce food, even if you don't have good soil in your area.
So, we went to the seminar or that workshop. The next day, we spent five hours on the woman's farm, got to tour the farm. It was just my wife and me. We had a private tour. It was really cool. And we came home, and the next morning, at 7:30 in the morning, my wife comes out, I'm doing my Miracle Morning, and she says, “Sweetheart, get dressed. We're going to work the land.” I don't know what that meant, but I was like, “Alright, let's go work the land.” So, I got dressed, and we went out. And basically, this area we're going to plant our vegetables, like we just moved here, so the property was untended in this part of it. It's all overgrown with– the whole thing is weeds, right? And many of the weeds are like these giant three-foot-tall, three-foot-wide, maybe even bigger than that, huge weeds with like giant root stems. You know what I mean? We had gloves on, two hands. We’re pulling out these weeds, and it's a huge area.
And so, we were out there for about, I think about an hour and a half. And we're in Texas. It's hot. It's humid. So, I'm sweating, just dripping sweat off my face, my arm. I had shorts and a t-shirt on. And we're pulling weeds out of red anthills everywhere. I've got red ants crawling up my legs, biting my legs, literally biting my legs. I've got red ants crawling up my arms, biting my arms. Again, I'm sweaty, I'm dirty. And if you knew me my whole life, you'd be like, yeah, Hal does not like to get sweaty. He does not like to get dirty, like playing basketball or something I sweat, but I don't like to work and be sweaty and whatever.
And I'm sitting there and you know, you could say uncomfortable as heck. And I just stopped and I realized how present I was in that moment. Each weed that I pulled, I was just focused on the weed. Each red ant that bit my arm, I was focused on the red ant. Every drop of sweat that I saw fall from my forehead to the ground, I was fully present and I just stopped and I looked at my wife. Ursula, her name is Ursula. And I said, “Sweetheart, I am so happy right now.” And she said, “Yeah,” I said, “Yeah, I am so happy. There's nothing I would rather be doing right now than pulling weeds, fighting off red ants, dirty, sweaty, and most importantly, with you and doing all of this with you.” And I said, “We're doing it. We wanted to grow our own food and kind of live that lifestyle. And it was such a departure from anything we've ever done.” I said, “but we're doing it. We're doing it. We're doing it for us, for the family, for like, it's beautiful. This is such a great experience.”
And part of that, what made that experience special is I was living in the present moment. I wasn't thinking about working. I wasn't thinking about recording a podcast. I wasn't thinking about my finances. I wasn't thinking about anything else. I wasn't thinking about what was going on in the world. Why was I able to be free from stress and happy and joyful and blissful, it's that I was living fully in the present moment. And that's what today's episode, that's what this is all about, and again, I'm going to give you, we're going to close it out with two really simple techniques to live in the present moment, but I want to talk about it with you. I want to really give you as much context as I can, as many stories and examples. And I got one more from somebody in our Miracle Morning community Facebook group that I think is going to just inspire you. And I'm going to get to that in a second, and then we'll go into the two techniques.
But really, everything I share, this is for you. I really want you to think about how to apply this to your life and think about how often, again, we started out the episode with that quick assessment, on a scale of 1 to 10, how would you rate yourself living in the present moment? How fully present are you to the beauty, the perfection, the joy in what you're doing in this moment versus in your head thinking about something else? And I don't know if you are a member of the Miracle Morning Community Facebook group. If you're not, I would encourage you can go to MiracleMorningCommunity.com. It's just a Facebook group. There's no cost to it.
There are a little over 310,000 members in that group from over a hundred countries. And what's amazing is that's organic. I don't run Facebook ads to get members. That's just people that have read the Miracle Morning and then have joined the community. And if you are not a member of that group– if you are a member of that group, I'm preaching to the choir, you know what I'm about to say or you'll probably nod your head. It's one of the most engaged, inspiring, supportive online communities in the world that I've ever seen. It's incredible. People are so vulnerable and humble and authentic and loving and supportive. To me, it's like the finest that humanity has to offer. And you don't see any of what you see on the rest of social media, right? There's no division. There's no arguing. There's no politicizing. No, none of that. To me, it's humanity at its finest.
And there's one specific gentleman, Eric Hansen, who joined the community, I don't know how long ago, or maybe, I don’t know. Actually, I do know long ago, roughly 88 days ago. I know that because he posts every single day and he starts his post by telling us it’s his day 80. Today's post, I believe, was day 88, I could be off by a number. And I'm going to read post day 85 to you, which he posted the other day, but he posts every day.
And Eric, when he discovered the Miracle Morning, he was homeless. He was homeless. Again, it was 88 days ago. And Stephanie Blackbird, she's the head admin for the Miracle Morning Community Facebook group. She runs the community. She makes sure she approves all the posts, like all the posts have to be approved, that way we don't get any of the– in case, somebody comes in and tries to spam the group or sell or promote their stuff, or they're angry, they're politicizing, whatever, like to keep the culture of that community. Stephanie is in charge and she is incredible, like the amount of hours she devotes to that community is just incredible.
Well, Eric was homeless. She met Eric. And I don't remember the specifics of the story of where she met Eric, but she reached out to me. She said, “Hal, I met this man, Eric Hansen. He's homeless, and I want to help him.” And so, I'm putting together a list of all the supplies that he needs with him. I've asked him what he needs. He needs a tent to live in. He needs socks. He needs some food. He needs all the stuff. And so, she said, “Would you be willing to help me support, buy some of these items for Eric?” And I said, “Of course.”
And so, she made this list and she reached out to all of her friends. And we all pitched in and we all bought Eric all of the supplies that he needed. And Eric's got some major health challenges, but she gave him the Miracle Morning. And the Miracle Morning transformed his life because he started the morning ritual every day and he was able to do what you may have experienced, which is he was able to use the Miracle Morning to be intentional about how he started his day, the frame of mind that he chose to be in. And it has transformed his life in many ways. I'm going to read to you his post again. This was from August 7th. So it was just, I think, what are we on today? It’s like the 11th, so like less than a week ago. And by the way, he posts like this every day and he has a loyal following. Now, I'm going to bring him on the podcast, like I said, hopefully, for next week's episode. I love the follow-up this week with next week's episode to talk to Eric directly, but if not next week, it'll probably be within the next two weeks.
So, here's his post. “Day 85 #theMiracleMorning Good morning, everyone. It's so quiet out here this morning. During my meditation, I just close my eyes and try out every one of my senses. I slip between all of them staying fully in the present. The sounds were pretty cool this morning because it's so quiet. Not much traffic on a Saturday, really brought out the birds and the bugs. I really enjoyed this one. I woke up a little crabby, but I already shook it off. I just wanted to take another look at where I am this morning in my life. My life, and one way of looking at things, is so far from perfect. I'm basically unemployed again due to my health. My health sucks. My family still has pretty much nothing to do with me. And my thoughts drive me crazy on a daily basis. If I choose to look through these lenses of life, I would be depressed all the time and would probably no longer be here posting, or damn, even clean off drugs anymore. I've learned that how I look at my life is my choice. I choose to look at those issues as my challenges in life. The speed bumps, because there are no roadblocks that I need to just slow down the car and go over. What is better in my life? That's what I ask myself when I do my self-inventory. This list is way longer than the other one and really brings out my gratitude when I go over this list. Living on the streets, looking for another illegal come up is no way to live. I will find my way through these issues that I need to get past right now. I know I will. Then, what? It will be onto the next issues that overcoming these will bring on. I'll get past those two. Hal Elrod, without you, none of this awareness would have ever been possible. Thank you. I'm going to make this day great now.”
Wow. Wow, I don't know about you, but hearing Eric's story, he was addicted to drugs, living on the streets, his entire world revolved around his neck, as he says, illegal come up. To this day, now, he's better off, he's off drugs, that's great, but he's unemployed again, his health sucks, his family has nothing to do with him, and his thoughts drive him crazy on a daily basis. And as he said, if he chose to look through these lenses of life, he would be depressed all the time and he'd probably no longer be here posting. But Eric is present, he's living in the present of each moment because he knows that when you listen to the voice in his head, it drives him crazy, it makes him feel depressed. And I don't know about you, but Eric's challenges are beyond my own, meaning, relatively speaking, I would say Eric's got it tough. I feel like I've got it much better than Eric.
And I would imagine, if you're listening to this, for most of us, you might have it better than Eric too. You might not be dealing with the same level of challenges, or maybe yours are the same or worse, I don't know, right? I don't know. Maybe you go, no, I'm actually similar. I'm still addicted to drugs. Maybe your health is challenging. Maybe your family won't talk to you. Maybe you're unemployed. So maybe you were nodding your head relating to Eric's plight, what he has going on in life right now. But listen to the things that he says, about being present, he says, I slip between all of my senses as I meditate, staying fully present.”
The questions he asks, we talked earlier about the questions that you asked determine the quality of your answers, the quality of the questions determine the quality of the answers. And he says, “What is better in my life? That's what I ask myself when I do myself inventory.” And he says, “This list is way longer than the other one. And it brings me gratitude when I go over this list.” I don't know about you, but again, hearing Eric's story, and he posts like this every single day, every single day, and he's got a loyal following in the Miracle Morning community Facebook group, people that are following the posts, the comments under his posts are so inspiring, they're almost as inspiring as his posts saying, “Wow, Eric, you inspire me. Like seeing what you're going through. And the attitude that you maintain is phenomenal.”
And so, let Eric inspire you. He inspires me to not focus on all of my problems and worrying about them and fearing the unknown or fearing the known and anticipating it in my mind all the time. Don't let the voice in your head create your reality unless you're intentionally determining what the voice in your head is saying that's in alignment with the reality that you want to create. I'll say that again, don't let the voice in your head when it's telling you, when it's thinking stressful, fearful, anxious thoughts, don't let that voice create your reality. Don't let the voice in your head create your reality unless your voice, in your head, you are choosing it with an intention to be in alignment with the reality that you want to experience.
And I'll wrap this up with two really simple techniques. Before I do that, I just want to say that perspective is the ultimate technique. I mean, perspective is the ultimate context. Eric has perspective. Eric has made a decision, I'm not going to live my life listening to the voice in my head, I'm not going to live my life focusing on all the things that go wrong. I talked about that last week, that in our life, we have two pages to focus on, one page lists everything we have to feel bad about and one page lists everything we have to feel good about. And Eric said it, when he focuses on, when he listens to the bad page or the bad voice, maybe you could say we have two voices, one voice says everything we have to feel good about, one voice says everything we have to feel bad about.
When you listen to the voice or you focus on the page that lists all the things that you have to feel bad about, that are wrong in your life, for Eric, it's his health and unemployment and family not talking to him. When you focus on that, yeah, you feel depressed, but your life is not just that. The problem is many of us, we've conditioned ourselves that that is who we are or that is our norm. We've conditioned ourselves to listen to that voice. It's time to break free from that voice. It's time to be present, live in the present moment. And when you are listening to the voice in your head, make sure you're choosing what the voice says, and that is a perfect segue into the two techniques I want to share. None of these are rocket science, but they work, and they've worked for centuries.
The first is mantras. A mantra is simply a statement, and it's typically a statement that is in alignment with focusing you on how you want to experience your life. So, for me, so two techniques to live in the present moment, the first being mantras, it's about taking control of yourself talk. And if you have mantras, typically, the power of a mantra is it's you know it and you can say it over and over and over. It's a tool that you keep in your psychological toolkit that you pull out whenever you need it. So, it's one thing to try to control your inner voice, your dialog by freestyling. If you've been stressed for far too long, if ever since this pandemic started or even back to your childhood or anywhere in between, if you've been experiencing stressful thoughts, fearful thoughts, if you've let your mind run and be stimulated by the news or by social media or by your own internal fears, then you have to be willing to let that go.
And it’s a challenge, it can be challenging to talk yourself in a positive way. When you don't have that, you don't have that, meaning you don't have a repertoire, you don't have a script that makes you feel present and positive and joyful. You have typically the opposite script you've been running for so long. There's no other script. So, mantras are a simple way to replace that. So, I give you here are a few of my favorite mantras to live in the present moment. The first is, this moment is perfect. That's one of my favorites. This moment is perfect. Remember, life exists in the present moment.
When we're in our head worrying about future moments, but that's not this moment. What's happening tomorrow or next week or next month or next year, that's not this moment. So, this moment is perfect. I did a whole podcast on this, you’d have to go search through it, I don't know which one it was, but I don’t know, a few months ago about the moment is always perfect, right? Like this moment is perfect. And when I had cancer and was hooked up to chemo and was literally in pain, I still decided the moment was perfect. If you listen to that podcast, I said at this moment is perfect because of whatever it is. Right now, the moment is perfect because I'm talking to you staring at my computer. Actually, I was staring at a wall, but the computer is here too. And it'll be perfect in a few moments because I'll be making a smoothie. Once we're done with this, I'll be making a smoothie, that’d be perfect. Then I've got a call, that'll be perfect when I'm on that call because I'm talking to the people that I'm talking to. So, this moment is perfect. For me, I decided that that's true. Even if the moment is painful, it's still perfect. Perfect is a perspective.
A good example of that is if you're going through adversity and you go, well, Hal, it's not perfect. It's difficult, it's challenging, it's painful. Well, what if that difficult, challenging, painful experience that you or I have, what if it helps shape you into the better version of yourself? What if it helps you develop yourself into a more capable person, and then your life is better because of it? Well, wasn't that adversity part of the perfection of your journey? Wasn't that moment perfect to lead to a future perfect moment. So, again, I guess I am trying to convince you to consider if you don't because I know with some people, there's resistance, like this moment is perfect. No, it's not. This moment sucks. Like, I get that. I get that.
But I'm inviting you to consider the mantra, to try that on, this moment is perfect. And when you say that, close your eyes, breathe, and just experience the perfection of the moment. Your problems are waiting. You get to them. There's time to work on them. And when you do, please take my advice earlier that when you focus on your problems, focus on solutions by asking yourself, how can I solve this? How can I fix this? How can I improve this situation? How might I do this thing that feels impossible right now? So, the first mantra for living in the present moment is this moment is perfect. And don't just say it. Don't just do that in your head. You've got to feel that throughout your chest, throughout your throat. You've got to feel this moment is perfect. That perfection has to permeate every fiber of your being.
And here's the thing, if that feels foreign to you, if any of these mantras or anything I've shared that if it feels foreign to you, don't dismiss it. That just means you got to do it, repeatedly, until it feels normal. This moment is perfect. The first time you say that, you might go, no, it's not, this moment difficult. And I would invite you to consider that you might be focused on not on this moment, not on life, but on your life situation and your circumstances, which is that is what's causing you to go, no, no, this moment's not perfect because your life situation doesn't feel perfect. But this moment, living in the present moment, that's the whole point of this, is in your head on focus in your life situation, stressing out about it, you're not living in the present moment. This moment is perfect is a mantra that's designed to bring you back to this moment.
Another one is I'm so grateful to be _____ right now. I'm so grateful to be alive right now. This morning, it was I'm so grateful to be riding this bike right now. It's basically I'm so grateful to be in _____ as whatever you're doing right now. When I was on my vacation, I mentioned this in last week's episode. Those were the two mantras that I– this moment is perfect. Also, a third mantra is there's nowhere I'd rather be. There's nowhere I'd rather be. There's nothing I'd rather be doing than with my family right now, than recording this podcast right now, than making the smoothie right now. Or I'm not doing that, but I will be. There's nowhere I'd rather be. There's nothing I'd rather be doing. This moment is perfect. I'm so grateful to be _____, riding this bike, talking to this person, dealing with this challenge, getting chemotherapy, nursing a broken leg, like whatever it is.
Think about, even when life is painful, even when life is difficult, you can still experience the moment as perfect. You can still be grateful for the challenges you're enduring because of what they can make of you. You can be grateful for the challenges you're enduring. And then please, I'm not making light, I'm not trying to make light of your challenges. I got, like, an intuitive sense of somebody– somebody listening right now got upset when I said to be grateful for your challenges, like screw you. You don't know what it's like. I get it. I get it. I'm just inviting you. I'm not telling you this is– I'm not telling you anything. I'm just inviting you to consider, to live life in the present moment.
The first technique is mantras. Have those mantras, those are your tools, have them at any moment. And then develop your own mantras or Google, like mantras for living in the present moment. I guarantee there's a ton of great mantras that you can adopt into your life. Again, there are infinite mantras. It's just a series of words in a short sentence that direct your focus, keep you focused on the present moment.
And the second is meditation. And this is probably not news to you, but just like exercise strengthens your muscles, meditating each day strengthens your ability to live in the present moment. And so, set your timer, and by the way, you can combine mantras and meditation, it's a beautiful practice. So, you can say, for example, set your timer for five minutes and say, “This moment is perfect.” And feel it, feel the perfection of the moment. Take a breath or two or three. And then say it again, “This moment is perfect. This moment is perfect.” Feel the truth as you say that. “There's nowhere I'd rather be. This moment is perfect.”
And combining mantras and meditation is really a powerful practice because not only do the mantras help the meditation work because instead of you trying to meditate in the present moment, and your mind wandering to your problems and your worries, using the mantra replaces, it replaces where your mind might wander because you're focused on the mantra. So, the mantra benefits the meditation, but the meditation benefits the mantra because the more you repeat the mantra, if you repeat that mantra, this moment is perfect, for five minutes, and you feel the truth of that mantra, you start to program your subconscious mind so that (A) you're going to remember the mantra, but (B) the mantra is going to have the impact on you because, again, just like exercise strengthens your muscles, meditating each day and meditating with these mantras strengthens your ability to live in the present moment. It makes the mantra part of who you are.
I have mantras that I learned, the big one, one of the first mantras I ever learned is do the right thing, not the easy thing. I learned that when I was 19 or 20 years old. I'm 42 now. So, for 22 years, I've been repeating that mantra. It's part of me. When the alarm goes off in the morning and I go, “Ah, I don't want to get out of bed.” The voice in my head says, “Hal, do the right thing, not the easy thing.” I go, “Okay,” and I get out of bed. When I go, “Oh, man, maybe I'll skip my workout today.” The mantra, the voice in my head goes, “Hal, do the right thing, not the easy thing. You committed to work out this week five days.” I go, “Ah, okay,” and I do it. That's just an example of the power of mantras.
So, I'm inviting you to commit for the next– just do the next seven days. Let's just keep it a week, right? Keep it simple. I’d invite you for the rest of your life, but I think if you do this every day for seven days, I think it will seep into your subconscious. You will have these as tools that you might not currently have. So, again, the seven-day challenge is to meditate for five minutes a day using one or all three of these mantras, or you can find more of your own, but I would say so this moment is perfect. And remember, when you meditate and you say the mantra, don't just say it and repeat it mindlessly, say it and then feel the truth of what you're saying. In other words, experience the moment as perfect. Don't just say it's perfect, experience the moment as perfect. This moment is perfect. I'm so grateful to be meditating right now. I'm so grateful to be alive right now. I'm so grateful to be living in the present right now. And the last one, there's nowhere I'd rather be. There is nowhere I would rather be. There is nothing I would rather be doing than living this moment, meditating. This moment is perfect. I'm grateful to be meditating right now, and there's nowhere I'd rather be.
So, I'm inviting you to do a seven-day challenge. It's just five minutes a day, and you could do it during your Miracle Morning or you could do it whenever you want. Do it right now, whenever you want. For seven days, five minutes a day, combine mantras and meditation as a way to condition yourself to live in the present moment.
Friends, family, goal achievers, I love you so much. Thank you for tuning in. I hope you enjoyed this. And by the way, I almost never do this, but if you did enjoy this, and if you are a regular listener of the podcast, would you leave a review on iTunes? Would you do that? Like I listen to other podcasts and I always forget, this is probably like the third time out of 392 episodes that I've remembered to be like, oh yeah, would you leave a review? So, what is that? One-tenth of 1%, anyway, alright, or 1%. Love you guys and gals. I will talk to you all next week and make it a great one.