473: Experience Hal’s Signature Keynote Speech
Do you find that outside forces, such as difficult circumstances, painful events and other people’s actions, often dictate your mental & emotional state?
Would you like to change that so you are in control of your mental and emotional state?
Today’s podcast episode is about how you can overcome any challenge you face and choose to be the happiest and most grateful you’ve ever been even while you are enduring the most difficult circumstances in your life.
- There are no failures in life. Only opportunities for growth.
- Using urgency as an ally in making lasting changes.
- How to win the morning (even if you’re not a morning person).
- None of us has life figured out. Ditch the ego, and don’t be afraid to learn from others.
- The 5-minute rule for dealing with extreme anger and disappointment.
- Resisting your current reality makes it more difficult to change it.
- Staying with difficult emotions is always better than running away from them.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
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Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
- Hal’s Signature Keynote Speech – The Miracle Morning on YouTube
- Mat Franco
- Robin Sharma
- Demetri Martin
- Jesse Levine
- Jim Rohn
- Dave Ramsey
- Kevin Bracy
- Simon Sinek
- 7 Minute Workout
- 5 Minute Journal on App Store | Google Play
- Robert Kiyosaki
- Mark Victor Hansen
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Host of the highly acclaimed Achieve Your Goals Podcast, creator of the Best Year Ever Blueprint Live Experience, and bestselling author of ten books, our next speaker is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning at a time. His experience of overcoming a near-fatal accident and then going on to beat a rare and aggressive form of cancer just seven years later led him to develop a morning ritual designed to help him perform each day at his very best. It’s a process he shared in his bestselling book, The Miracle Morning, and has been helping others implement for the past decade. Please welcome Hal Elrod.
Hal Elrod: Good morning. Good Miracle Morning, everybody. You’re here to have some fun?
Hal Elrod: I have nothing fun planned for us. I apologize. My wife was supposed to be here with me, and whenever I travel, if I go somewhere cool, I bring her. No offense. She didn’t want to go to Topeka a couple of weeks ago, but she was going to go to Vegas and then she said, “Hey, I got too much stuff to do. I’m not going to come.” And I thought, “Oh, I hate to travel without the family,” and it occurred to me, I said, “Hey, I’ve never taken our son, Halston, seven-year-old-son Halston on a one-on-one trip yet. Like I forget my luggage so she doesn’t trust me to forget the kid. So, I said, “Could this be the first time I take him on this one-on-one daddy-son trip?” And I thought it was going to be kind of a fight and she said, “Yeah, he would love that.” So, Halston and I traveled to Vegas yesterday, and last night we went and saw Mat Franco. Thank you. Winner of America’s Got Talent Magic Show, my son’s first magic show. And at the very end, the last trick, Mat Franco comes off stage, grabs my son, Halston, and brings him up on stage. And it was just surreal. It was magical. And Halston’s in front of 300 people, and he’s a little shy. He’s sitting right up here.
And Mat said, “What have you been up to in Vegas?” and Halston said on the microphone, “Me and my dad went skydiving.” And Mat Franco was kind of in disbelief and he goes, “You and your dad? How old are you? You’re seven. You went skydiving?” And he said, “Yeah.” He said, “Wait. You and your dad jumped out of an airplane together?” And my son kind of looked and I yelled from the fourth row back, I go, “We went ziplining.” And my son’s face planted and Mat goes, “Oh, okay. That makes a lot more sense.” So, I share that with you because I want to start where we’re going to finish and that is for you to think about what really matters most, what matters most. And I think we lose sight of that more often than not. And what I would say is what matters most is you, what matters more than anything is you, how you feel every moment of your life. What do we want? All we want is we want to feel good. Why don’t we do anything? We want to feel good. You can say we want to be happy. And I would say that what really matters is you more than anything and that’s what we’re going to talk about today. How do you optimize you? What matters right up there with you is your people, your family, your friends, your loved ones, whoever they may be.
The rest is just a game. All of this is just a game. And I’d encourage you to consider that you already have everything that you need to be the happiest person that you could ever be. And it’s simply up to you to be present to that in every moment. What is really the one thing that you need to be the happiest that you could ever be? You already have it. It’s called life. You already won. If you have life, which you all do, that’s all we need to be the happiest we could ever be. And everything else is just us misunderstanding what this is about, thinking that happiness is in the next sales goal, it’s in the next achievement, it’s in the home, it’s thinking that happiness is in anything outside of ourselves. But it’s really just a matter of life. In fact, I’d love for all of you to close your eyes for just a few seconds and find that place inside of you. Smile and find that place inside you that’s just grateful to be alive. Yeah, we all have problems. We all have fears and insecurities but if we have life, we have everything that we need to be the happiest that we could ever be. You can open your eyes. And the last thing I’ll say on that is there is nothing to fear. In your life, there is nothing to fear because you cannot fail. You can only grow, learn, and become better than you’ve ever been before. If you guys are ready to get started, say, “We’re ready.”
Audience: We’re ready.
Hal Elrod: Okay, cool. I’m going to start with a quote from Robin Sharma. He said, “One of the saddest things in life is to wake up one day and realize you could have been, done, and had so much more.” This is sadly the story of our society. It’s most people, they wake up it’s usually every decade when they do the real gut check, right? Like, you wake up at 20, you’re like, “I’m going to conquer the world. I can do anything.” They call it uninformed optimism or delusion. And then you turn 30 and you’re like, “What the hell happened? This isn’t the life of my dreams I was planning.” And you’re like, “All right, something’s got to change,” but nothing changes. We don’t draw our line in the sand and go, “Okay. Here’s what I’m going to do. Here’s what I didn’t do during the last ten years that I’m going to do differently during these ten years and my life is radically different.” Instead, we just keep doing what we’ve been doing. And then you wake up at 40 and you go, “Damn, what the hell happened? These last ten years just flew by. Man, things need to change, but they don’t.” And then you wake up and it just keeps going on and on and on.
But here’s the problem with this quote from Robin in my opinion or where I would just like to tweak it is Robin says, “One of the saddest things in life is to wake up one day and realize you could have been, done, and had so much more.” But my question is, well, when is one day? See, that lacks an important aspect of change, which is urgency. Arguably the most important aspect of change, which is urgency, right? Because you go, “Yeah, that would suck to wake up one day and realize I could have, been, do so much more. But luckily that day is not today. I’m going to keep accepting a little less than my best today. Little mediocrity. I know I should do this and should do that, but I’m just going to just keep living day by day.” So, I think that one of the saddest things or the saddest thing in life is to wake up not one day, but today, every single day today, and to realize that you could have, been, and do so much more to know in your heart that voice of intuition that says, “You should go to the gym. You shouldn’t eat that. You shouldn’t drink that. You should treat her better. You should treat him better. You should get on the phone,” to ignore that little voice and to end your day and go to bed realizing that you could have been, done, and had so much more not one day, but today. And to live every day with that sense of urgency that you make, literally, you wake up and you make every day the best day of your life because you give it the best of yourself. That’s the secret to life.
That’s the secret to a life of meaning, of purpose, of freedom, is to treat every day like the most important day. And here’s the one thing that we all share in common is every day starts with the morning. And how you start your day sets the tone, the context, and the direction for the day that you live. If you start each day by hitting the snooze button, I heard Michael Hyatt talking about this, hitting the snooze button, which is literally a form of procrastination. Think about that. In fact, a comedian, Demetri Martin, I think is the one that said, “Hitting the snooze button, we all do it but it doesn’t even make sense. It’s like we’re saying, ‘I hate waking up in the morning so I do it over and over and over again.’” It doesn’t make a lot of sense. So, how you start your day sets the tone, the direction, the context for the rest of your day. And we’re going to get into that a little bit later but we’ve got a few places to go before that. And I want to say this, going back to what Robin said, one of the saddest things in life is to wake up one day and I’m saying it’s today, it’s every day, and realize you could have been, done, and had so much more. The question is, why did you wake up this morning? Think about that for a second and apply this to every morning.
And most of us, it’s one of two camps. It’s I wake up because I have to or because I want to. Most of us it’s because I have to. You think about you look at your schedule, you go, “Okay. When do I have to be somewhere, do something, or answer to someone else?” And then before you set your alarm, you go, “When’s the last possible moment that I could wake up without losing my job, having my marriage fall apart, having my kids taken away from me?” That’s the opposite of the Miracle Morning I call it the mediocre morning. It’s your mediocre morning. There’s that camp of waking up because we have to, which is how the majority of society and me for most of my life, that’s how, why, and when I woke up. And then you’ve got this other group, and many of you were in this group already, in fact, real quick, how many of you are Miracle Morning practitioners? Show of hands. All right. Not enough of you. I’m in the right place. Good. And how many of you by show of hands be really honest, no shame here. How many of you would consider yourself not a morning person? You’re not a morning person. Raise your hand. No shame. You should all be ashamed of yourself. No, I’m kidding. I’m kidding. I’m kidding.
So, why did we wake up this morning when you get into the want to, it’s, “Oh, wait a minute. I’m not going to set my alarm to the last possible moment. I’m going to back it up maybe 30 minutes before that or 60 minutes before that. And I’m going to focus the first part of my day, the first 30 minutes to an hour working on myself, maybe a little meditation, maybe a little reading, maybe some exercise, maybe some journaling. I’m going to do some practices that are proven, historically proven to make you a better version of the person that went to bed the night before. And if every day you start your day by becoming a better version of the person who went to bed the night before, you put yourself in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state first thing in the morning, well, that’s a really empowering, positive, productive, energized tone for the rest of your day. You win the morning. You win the day. One more question for you all. I moved to Texas a few years ago and I just started saying, “Y’all.” You can’t help it. I moved to Austin and you start saying, “Y’all.” It doesn’t feel weird. It feels obviously a little weird. I still have an insecurity and I have to address it when I say it.
Anyway, so one more question for you all. What do you want to be when you grow up? I need to change that actually. What did y’all want to be when you grow up? Alright. So, I don’t know about you but I didn’t have like I wasn’t growing up where I knew I want to be like a firefighter or a singer or anything like that. It was when I was 14, 15 years old, I started deejaying school dances, and I had a dream to be a nationally syndicated radio DJ. And I know at 15 years old, I thought this is probably going to start with like a college internship at a radio station and then maybe get into radio, right? Like, it was a long-term vision. I got a phone call from Larry Gamble, the owner of the local radio station in a small town in Northern California where I grew up, Oakhurst, California. And he had heard that I was a DJ and he called me out of the blue. And Larry had one of those radio station voices. You know what I’m talking about, right? “Hal, hey, it’s Larry Gamble under 103.7 FM. How are you doing, my friend? I heard you’re a DJ. Is that right?” And I’m going through puberty, so I’m like, “Yeah, Larry. I do school dances and stuff. What’s up?” And he said, “Hey, we’re looking for a high school student to host a radio show. Love for you to come down and interview and then see if it’s a good fit for you.”
And I’m like, “What? This is my dream, you know? Of course. Yeah, I’ll come down. I’d love to.” And I’m 15, so I asked mom, “Mom, mom, mom, drive me down to the radio station? I got an interview,” and she’s excited for me. So, mom drives me down. I go, I sit down with Larry and he asks me a few questions and I think already kind of, I mean, there wasn’t anybody else applying for the job, I don’t think, so I got it. I was excited. I was stoked. I was on cloud nine and I’m floating out of his office like, “Oh my God.” And he told me I was going to do 3 hours a week, my own radio show. I was going to be paired with a senior in high school. I was a sophomore. I was going to be paired with DJ Marty D, his first year as well. Both of us kind of starting this thing together and I was excited and he said, right as I was leaving his office, he said, “Oh, Hal, one more thing. Do you have a nickname that you go by?” I looked back at Larry. I said, “There’s some stuff the kids at school call me, but it’s not really appropriate for the radio and he said, “Well, do you think you could think of a nickname by next Thursday, your first day on air?” Because he said deejays have what’s known as an on-air moniker, fancy way of saying it’s a cool hip nickname. And he said, “Can you come up with an on-air moniker by Thursday?”
And I’m looking. I said, “Yeah, sure. Of course, I’ll figure that out. Yes, I will definitely do that.” And I walked out of his office and I went from being on cloud nine to being insecure and stressed going, “I don’t have a cool nickname. Like, what am I?” You know, I’m walking to the car, my mom’s in the car waiting, and I’m like, I’m thinking in my head Hip Hop Hal, right? Like, Happy Hal? I don’t know. And I get in the car and I’m in my head trying to think of a nickname. And so, I don’t say anything to mom and she thinks what? I didn’t get the job. I didn’t get the gig. And she goes, “Sweetheart. Remember, everything happens for a reason.” And I look, “What? Oh, no, mom, mom, mom, no, I got the job. I start next Thursday.” She goes, “Well, what? You look like something’s wrong.” I said, “Well, I have to have an on-air moniker, like a cool nickname, and no offense, mom, but you guys named me Hal and that’s like the dorkiest name ever. Like, how am I supposed to make Hal cool?” And she goes, “Well, first of all, you’re named after your grandfather. It’s not a dorky name.” It’s like, “Okay, my bad.” She said, “Second of all, I’ll help you think of a cool nickname.” “Okay, mom. This should be good. What’s your idea for a cool nickname?”
She goes, “Well, that’s easy. Just rhyme it with Hal. Be like Hal My Pal or My Pal Hal or Ooh,” she goes, “I know. I got it. Use slang. Make it super cool. Be YoPal Hal.” So proud of herself. I said, “Mom, you are such a dork. I will never be YoPal Hal. Nice try, though.” And I think this next slide teaches us two very important lessons. Number one, mom is always right. Yes or yes?
Hal Elrod: And number two is for us all to be more open-minded. You know, I really had a powerful realization. I recently had a powerful realization, literally, this was a few days ago. In fact, you’re the first audience I remember sharing this with. I didn’t know I was going to share it until about 3 seconds ago. Normally, I share a story. When I was 19, my mentor realized – I was in sales. I started selling Cutco Cutlery at 19. Anybody else sell Cutco? We got any Cutco fans? Owners? So, I actually was a Cutco Hall of Fame sales rep. That was my background before I got into speaking and writing and all that. And I had broken all these records when I was 19 and my manager saw me at a meeting not taking notes, playing on my phone, and he pulled me aside afterwards. He goes, “Why aren’t you taking notes? Why aren’t you learning to get better?” And I go, “I’ve sold more than all these people.” And he taught me a valuable lesson. He said, “Hal, every person is your superior in some way because they have something in their life experience that you don’t have. Everyone has a different life experience so it’s your responsibility to be open, curious, and learn something from everyone.” And I’ve always valued that lesson.
And then like literally a week ago, maybe I was falling asleep at night. You know when your brain starts dipping and you start having those profound thoughts, you’re like, “Damn, I’m trying to sleep,” but you have to wake up and write it down cause it’s like a game changer. So, I had one of those and I realized that I’ve been teaching that lesson and I wasn’t living it that I thought my model of the world, and I think this is true for most of us, I thought my model of the world was right. You know, I had studied enlightenment. I felt that I was moving in that direction. I would often unconsciously or consciously judge my wife, thinking that, “Well, if only she would see things the way that I know they are.” Right? Anybody else married? And I wrote this journal entry that night and I read it to her the next morning and it was so specific to the marriage. I go, “Sweetheart, I want to start living your model of the world for a while and try that on.” I said, “I thought I had it all figured out.” And I always tell people that none of us have it all figured out but I actually thought I did without realizing it. And now I realize that my way of seeing the world as conscious as it might be, as enlightened as it might be, it’s not the right way. It’s only one way. It’s one option.
And so, I invite you to consider that as we move forward. Some of the things I share with you, they might upset you. They might go against the grain of what you’ve been taught or what you’ve believed in. And so, that night, the other night, it was such a powerful reminder that at any given time, not even in a given time, just a way of being is we should always be willing to set aside our beliefs that we’ve maintained for maybe our entire lifetime to consider that maybe there’s another way. Maybe it’s not better, but maybe it’s different. Maybe combined with our way of seeing the world it could be better. It could make us more whole. It could make us more enlightened, more conscious, and it could improve our lives in the same way that YoPal Hal improved mine.
Three things that today is going to focus on for all of us. Number one is to develop emotional invincibility. I mentioned when we opened that we all just want to feel good. That’s really what we want. And what stops us from feeling good is feeling bad. You follow, right? And what usually causes us to feel bad is something outside of ourselves, something that happens or doesn’t happen, something that someone says to us, something we lose, some expectation that we have of, “Hey, if these things happen, I’m happy and I feel good. But if these things don’t happen in the way that I want them to happen, well, then I get upset. Maybe I get angry. Maybe I get sad.” And so, I want to talk about how to develop what I call emotional invincibility or I’ve been lately calling it emotional enlightenment, which is the ability to feel good regardless of what’s going on around you, the ability to be in control of our emotional state no matter what is going on outside of us, that we’re in control of our internal state. That’s the first thing. Because if you can figure out how to make a vow of feeling good and being happy, you win, right? You win. But most of us, it’s not dependent on our internal vow. Most of us is dependent on all these external stimuli that we’re not in control of, right? You’re happy as you’re heading to work or an appointment until you hit traffic. And now you’re going to be late to the appointment. You could lose a client. Now you’re upset, you’re frustrated. You spend the entire time in traffic, stressed out. And that’s a metaphor for life. That’s how we go through life. Things happen that don’t meet our expectation and it causes tension. It causes internal emotional turmoil and I want to free you from that. I want to give you emotional invincibility, freedom, enlightenment, whatever you want to call it so that you can live life in terms of how you feel on your terms.
The second thing is optimizing your morning ritual. If you’ve never been a morning person in your entire life, you raised your hand earlier, again, I’m sorry. I said, “Shame on you.” But join the club. You know, we have over 2 million people now have read the Miracle Morning, actually, I take it back, have purchased the Miracle Morning so maybe a million have read it. I don’t know. But it’s practiced every day by roughly a million people around the world in 100 countries. It’s pretty wild. And someone asked me, “What percentage of these Miracle Morning practitioners in this community were already morning people before they got the book and started to practice?” So, it was easy, right? It was like, “Oh, cool. Instead of getting up and watching the news in the morning, I’ll do these things,” but it was an easy transition. And they said, what percentage were never morning people to where it was like a belief they had or like, “I’m not a morning person. I don’t want to be, never have been, tried, failed, doesn’t work for me?” And I didn’t know the answer to that question. I didn’t know what the percentages were. We surveyed the community. 72% said they had never in their life been a morning person. So, if you’ve never been a morning person, that can change quicker than you ever imagined. And if you are a morning person, this will take you to the next level.
And the third thing is to create and sustain level 10 success in every area of your life. And the first piece of once you learn how to feel good no matter what, well, then might as well create all the circumstances in our outer world that make it easier to feel good, that bring us joy, that give us freedom, right? So, that’s the third piece is, okay, as you become a better version of yourself, you become on a scale of 1 to 10, if you become a level 10 person, then on a scale of 1 to 10, level 10 success, however you define it, success in your marriage, in your health, in your happiness, in your emotional well-being, all of the success in every way, how do you create level 10 success in every single area of your life? So, that’s what we want to focus on today.
Part #1: Developing emotional invincibility. The first rock bottom that I experienced in my life was my car accident. And I could say it was my sister’s death. When I was nine years old, sorry, eight years old, I woke up to my mother screaming across the hall. I ran in and she had been breastfeeding my 18-month-old sister, Amery, and looked down and Amery’s eyes glossed over. Amery died in my mom’s arms. And my dad was at work, my sister was at my grandma’s house, and I woke up, I went in and I found my sister dead in my mother’s arms. And I called 911 and we lost her that morning. That’s not the first rock bottom that I’m going to speak of. The first rock bottom, because for me, at that time, I didn’t process it. I just kind of accepted it and I didn’t know how to process it. My car accident, I was 19 years old, 20 years old, and waking up from a coma to be told I was never going to walk again. So, those are the pictures that you saw briefly in the movie. That was a hard thing to hear, right? You know, I had a lot of goals that involved walking again. And to be told that I had permanent brain damage, which my wife will vouch for. In fact, now my kids say it all the time. I don’t know if that’s good but they’re like, “Dad, you have brain damage.”
I’m like, “I mean, I do but I don’t know if you should say that.” I don’t know. Kind of conflicted about it. I don’t know how to respond when they say that, which they say a lot. But I’m being told all of these things. Waking up, I broke 11 bones. I’ve got a titanium rod in my leg. I’ve got two screws in my elbow, a rod in my arm, three metal plates in my eye, short-term memory loss, all these things. But I wake up from this coma and I’m told I’m never going to walk again. There’s a lot to process, and the way that I processed it ended up being very empowering. And I’m going to share this with you because this is the foundation of emotional invincibility. So, I came out of the coma. A week goes by. All these tests are done every day. They’ve already done all these surgeries to repair while I was in a coma for six days. So, during that time, all the surgeries were done. I flatlined twice more in the coma. Flatlined. I was dead for 6 minutes at the scene of the accident. So, I technically died three times at that point in that week. And I was seeing psychologists every day and I started physical therapy. Doctors said I’d probably never walk again and that I’d be in the hospital for about a year. That was their guesstimate, estimate.
My mom and dad were called in by the doctors after I had been awake for a week and I had been evaluated by all the psychologists. And the doctors sat them down and they said, “We want to give you an update on Hal. Physically he’s made it through the worst. He should be with us for a long time.” And at that time, that’s all they cared about. Mom and dad were like, “Walk again. Yeah, yeah, yeah,” but they just wanted me to be alive. So, the doctors told them, “He’s going to make it. He should be around a long time.” And so, that was huge for my parents. That was a huge sigh of relief but the doctor said something they weren’t expecting, my parents weren’t expecting. They said, “We’re concerned with Hal’s mental and emotional state. We believe that Hal is in denial or delusional because every time we interact with him, the psychologists, his doctors, his physical therapists, Hal’s always smiling and laughing and joking and telling us jokes, making us laugh.” And they said, “Frankly, that’s not normal.” They said that’s not normal for a 20-year-old young man that’s being told you’re never going to walk again to just be happy and everything else.
They said, “But it’s not totally uncommon where some accident victims, they can’t handle their reality. They can’t accept it. So, they check out and they just go, ‘Everything’s fine. Everything’s great,’ and they just kind of go into a state of delusion because it’s too painful to face the fact that they may never walk again and all of these other things that they’ve got broken bones and brain damage and all this. So, we believe that Hal is in a state of denial and we need you to talk to him. Find out how he’s really feeling. Deep down, he’s probably scared. He’s probably sad, maybe even depressed about his new lot in life.” They said, “He may be angry. Maybe some accident victims, deep down, they’re very angry that this unfair turn of events happened.” They said, “So, would you please talk to him and see if you can get him to open up? Because the emotional healing can’t begin until Hal actually faces what’s really going on inside his real feelings.” So, my parents were, of course, concerned. My dad comes in minutes later, and I didn’t know. I knew they had met with the doctor, but I didn’t know what the conversation was, of course.
I’m in the hospital bed. I mean, that picture that you see, it was literally about a week after that. So, I’m not in great shape. My legs are in a sling and a cast, arms in a cast. I’m watching Oprah for inspiration. True story. And my dad comes in and he says, “Hal, hey, can I talk to you, buddy?” I said, “Dad, I’m watching Oprah.” And I look over at him, though, and his face is red. His eyes are welled up with tears and I knew he’d met with the doctor, but again, did not know what they talked about. And I’m thinking the worst. I’m going, “Oh, God. What did the doctor tell him?” And I turn off the TV. I said, “Dad, what’s up?” And he said, “Well, now the doctors said physically you’re doing great. You’re looking great. They’re very optimistic.” I said, “Oh, okay. Great. Well, what? Well, you look really concerned.” And he said, “Mentally and emotionally, they’re a little concerned, Hal,” and he explained what their concerns were, that deep down they thought I was covering up my real, I was pushing down real emotions and just faking like everything was okay. I was in delusion, whatever it was. And he said, “Hal, I know you like to be positive, you’re a positive thinker, a positive person.”
He said, “But how are you really feeling? Deep down, it’s okay to be scared. It’s normal. Are you sad? Are you angry? God knows your mom and I want to strangle that drunk driver. I’m angry. I’m scared, I’m sad, and I need to go through it. You went through it. How are you really feeling?” And I’m looking at my dad’s face and he’s trying not to cry and I’m trying not to get emotional looking at him. And I can tell he’s concerned. He really went inside and I asked myself the questions that he asked me, “Am I really deep down am I sad? Am I scared? Am I depressed? Am I angry?” And I really thought about it and I really tried to get in touch with those emotions. And then I shook my head and I looked at my dad and I smiled and I said, “Dad, I thought you knew me better than that.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Dad, remember, I live my life by the five-minute rule that I learned in my Cutco sales training.” And he said, “Remind me again what the five-minute rule is.” I said, “Dad, I’ve told you and mom this so many times and you’d be so much happier if you would just listen to me. The five-minute rule is that when something goes wrong, it’s okay to be negative, but not for more than 5 minutes.”
I was taught in my Cutco training by my mentor and my manager, Jesse Levine, that you literally set your timer on your phone for 5 minutes when you have a no sale, a cancellation, a canceled order, you don’t hit a goal, whatever it is. He would teach us, you set your timer for 5 minutes and you give yourself 5 minutes to b*tch, moan, complain, cry, punch a wall or a pillow or whatever. But after the timer goes off, you say three very powerful words, “Can’t change it.” You acknowledge, “I can’t change it. I can’t change what is now 5 minutes in the past. So, there’s no value in wishing that I could. That wishing is futile, that wishing and wanting something were different that’s now in the past.” And he taught us after the 5 minutes, you take that deep breath, you say, can’t change it and you acknowledge, “I can’t change the past, but I can change everything else. So, I’m going to stop dwelling on the thing that is now in the past, whether it’s 5 minutes, five weeks, months, years, whatever. I’m going to focus on where I’m at, except where I’m at fully unconditional acceptance, and I’m going to focus on where I want to go and what I can do now. What’s in my control, not the past, what’s in my control to move forward.”
I said, “Dad, it’s been two weeks since the car accident. I’m way past my 5 minutes. I can’t change that I was in a car accident, but I can change everything else and I can damn well choose my attitude.” And I said, “And the way that I see it, there’s only one of two possibilities. Number one, the doctors are right and I will never, ever walk again. I might be in a wheelchair for the rest of my life, and I acknowledge that is a very real possibility. In fact, that may be inevitable. I have no idea.” I said, “So, I’ve already thought through that but if I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life and I can never walk again, I’m not going to let that define my emotional well-being. I’m not going to define my quality of life because I can’t. If that’s the case, I can’t change it. So, why would I wish that I could? Why wish life were any different than it is? If it’s out of my control, it’s out of my control.” I said, “So, dad, I’ve already thought through this. I’ve imagined. All right, let’s say doctors are right. I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life, and literally, dad, I visualize myself in that wheelchair what would that be like? And I’ll tell you, dad, you and mom, I know you guys are so scared for that. You’re worried about me. You have nothing to worry about because I’ve decided I will be the happiest, most grateful person that you or anyone has ever seen in a wheelchair. Because I’m in a wheelchair either way.”
And let me pause. Consider that. What’s your wheelchair? What’s a circumstance in your life that you can reference past, present, or maybe even you’re worried about for the future that’s out of your control, especially in the past? Or what’s happening now based on past events? But what’s your wheelchair? What’s that experience, that circumstance, that challenge, that adversity that has caused you emotional pain when really you need to take a deep breath, take your time for 5 minutes, take a deep breath, and acknowledge, “I can’t change it. It’s in the past. I might as well be the happiest, most grateful person I could ever be even though that thing happened or even though I’m going through that thing right now.” Because, see, the two aren’t mutually exclusive, but most of us think that they are. Most of us think that bad, painful thing happening, I feel bad. Well, the reality is you can endure the most difficult, painful circumstance in your life and choose to be the happiest and most grateful you’ve ever been. Because again, remember, you already have everything that you need to be the happiest you could ever be. It’s inside of you. It’s life. And when we set up the rules of our game where, “No, no, no, no, no. My happiness is dependent on things that happen outside of me, things that are out of my control.”
Well, then you’re not set up to win the game. You’re only set to win the game if life works out perfectly. And please show me someone who has, right? Show me someone whose life is just everything they’ve ever had, it’s gone perfect for them, right? Even the world’s most successful people that we admire that are making an impact in the world, most of them had to go through a lot of really difficult times, or still are, and have more ahead. So, I told my dad, “There’s only one of two possibilities. Number one, I’ll never walk again and I’m at peace with that, dad. If that’s the case, it’s fine. It’s not going to affect my quality of life.” I said, “But the second possibility, dad, is I will walk again.” And I don’t even know if it’s possible. None of us can predict the future. Unless you’re – any clairvoyant in the house or whatever, right? I said, “I don’t know. I don’t know if I’m going to walk again, but I do know that in my mind it’s a possibility.” So, while I’ve accepted the worst-case scenario for me, which is never walking again, I’m simultaneously focused on the best-case scenario that I visualize walking every single day, like the visualization of me in a wheelchair, that’s not a daily visualization. That was like a one time.
Okay. How can I make the most of that circumstance that I don’t really want? How can I be at peace with that so it has no power over my emotional well-being and quality of life? Once I did that, once I accepted it before it even happened, I accepted life before it even happened. I gave myself that gift of inner peace. The worst-case scenario had no power over my emotional well-being. And then I was free. There was no fear. There was no worry. I could then go, “What do I want? I’d love to walk again. That’d be awesome. I’m going to think about that. I’m going to dwell on that possibility. I’m going to visualize that. I’m going to pray about that. I’m going to talk about that, that which is what I want while I simultaneously accept what I don’t want, and thus I’m at peace with the worst-case scenario and I’m excited and hopeful and optimistic with the best-case scenario.” But if the best-case scenario doesn’t come to pass, it doesn’t ruin me. It doesn’t devastate me because I just go back to being at peace with the worst-case scenario and being the happiest, most grateful person that you could ever be in a wheelchair. It’s not so bad. I’m happy, I’m grateful, regardless of the circumstances.
That is emotional invincibility in action where you accept all things you can’t change, past, present, and you even accept the things in the future that happen that are out of your control once they happen. Because once they happen, it becomes the present. You accept it all. You’re at peace with it all. And you’ll hear a little bit later.
Three years ago, the most difficult adversity of my life came to pass. I was diagnosed with a very rare, aggressive form of cancer. I was given a 10% to 30% chance of surviving, which if you’re a pessimist, that’s a 70% to 90% chance of dying. You can laugh about it, again. Not very good odds.
And the day I was diagnosed with cancer and I called my wife, she was out of town with my kids. I was by myself when I got the diagnosis. And the cancer, by the way, is called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. And I called her and I said the same thing I told my dad. I said, “Sweetheart,” and she’s crying and I’m crying because she’s crying. I was at peace with it because I couldn’t change it. So, to me, there’s no logical choice other than being at peace with it and accepting it completely.
And I said, “Sweetheart, what I’m about to say you probably won’t agree with. You might even get mad at me.” And she did. I said, “I promise you. Yes, I imagine the next–” especially when I found out what the chemo was, it’s the most horrific chemotherapy regimen, 100 hours of consecutive chemo, like terrific. I said, “I would imagine that the next year or two or three will be the most difficult of our lives. And I’m sorry for that.” I said, “But I also promise you that I will be the happiest and the most grateful I have ever been while I endure and we endure the most difficult time in our lives.” And I was that. If you followed my cancer journey at all, you saw I was always smiling. And it wasn’t a fake smile. It was, hey, this sucks. This wrist– I’m in pain, this sucks. But I’d rather be happy and grateful going through this than let this experience destroy me inside.
So, I told my dad, “I live by the 5-minute rule, Dad. It’s okay to be negative for five minutes, but there’s no point after that. I’ve accepted that I was hit by a drunk driver. I might never walk again. And I’m at peace with all of it because I’ve accepted it.” And he went back and he told the doctors. I think they thought at that point, I was even more delusional than when they sent him in to talk to me, which is fair. I mean, they’re really like, “Yeah,” I don’t know, they didn’t get it.
But here’s what I have to show you. This next slide I’m going to show you is pretty powerful. I don’t have a graph to show you that shows my positive thinking, my acceptance of the worst-case scenario and giving myself the gift of peace rather than stress. What do most of us do when we’re given a diagnosis as grim as I was? you’re never going to walk again. We live in stress. Does stress build the immune system or deplete it? Depletes it. So, does it aid in healing or hinder healing? It hinders it, right?
So, I don’t have a graph that shows you that my positive mindset and the acceptance that I consciously chose that anyone can choose, it’s a conscious choice. I’m not special or gifted. I just learned something from a mentor in my Cutco sales training that I applied to this car accident, right? Just like all of you can. And I’ve shared this with tens of thousands or hundreds of millions of people now, I guess, in my books. And I don’t have the graph to show you how my healing paralleled the mindset.
I have this picture to show you, which was taken one week after that conversation with my dad. The doctors came in with routine x-rays and they said, “We don’t know how to explain this, but Hal, your body is healing so quickly that we’re going to let you take your first step tomorrow in therapy.” Now, three weeks after the drunk driver hit me head-on, another car hit me in the door. My femur snapped in half, my pelvis broke in three places. My arm, my humerus bone snapped in half, shattered my elbow, severed my radial nerve, punctured lung, ruptured spleen, fractured the eye socket completely, severed the ear. Three weeks later, after all that trauma, the doctor said, “We’re going let you take your first step tomorrow.”
Now, even me being optimistic, and I was thinking like I was a year off from taking my first step. Even me, I was blown away. But that next day in therapy, my therapist Bob wheeled me up in my wheelchair, which you see behind him. And the first steps are always the hardest to take, as they say, well, this is that on steroids. I mean, it was pretty tough, too. It was scary. I was afraid. I had these scary visions of almost like PTSD. What if my leg snaps when I put weight on it? Like, ooh, and I took my first three steps, and the rest is kind of history, as they say. I was released from the hospital four weeks after that picture was taken with a cane, by the way, no wheelchair ever again, with a cane.
And this lesson of acceptance, the foundation of emotional invincibility is acceptance. Or you could even write unconditional acceptance, right? It’s unconditional. It’s like I accept all things I can’t change – past, present, and future. Many of us are still suffering over things that happened during our childhood. And we think, well, I’m not going to accept it. I was abused. I was wronged. That’s not fair. I’ll never accept it because we mistakenly think that accepting something someone else did that hurt us lets them off the hook. Nothing could be further from the truth. Only their own acceptance can let them off the hook. That’s on them. Accepting all the things that have caused us pain lets us off the hook. It gives us the gift of emotional invincibility, freedom from emotional pain. And this is a way that you can live from now on.
Three words to implement this, the three easiest words are can’t change it. I used to wear a wristband. I had a wristband made that said, “Can’t change it.” And I’d be even in traffic– in fact, let me– you’ll love this. So, for those of you who you don’t have any major adversity going on right now and you’re thinking, would I apply this too on a daily basis? Be honest, I won’t shame you again, how many of you don’t like traffic? Raise or show your hands. I mean, that’s like 90% of people, right?
All right, so here’s a game changer. I used to not like traffic. I don’t love traffic. Well, actually, I kind of do like– let me explain. So, let’s imagine that we’ve got an important appointment, right? And the alarm doesn’t go off or you don’t set, whatever, we sleep through it. And now, we’re leaving the house late and we’re barely going to make it on time. If everything’s smooth, no traffic, we might make it on time. It’s going to be kind of real close. We’re a little stressed. And then maybe there’s an accident, whatever the cause. We have bumper-to-bumper traffic. Think about what is your emotional response to that normally. You’ve got an important place to be. You’re hoping, God, I hope there’s no traffic and there’s been an accident. Traffic is not moving.
Most of us, it’s no, no, no, no, no. We say things like not today. Of all days, not today. Like it’s the traffic’s fault that you’re late, right? But somehow, we project. We love to project and blame. That’s what we do, right? It’s easier than taking on ourselves, or we think it is. No, not today of all days. And then let’s say you sit in traffic for 30, 45 minutes, what are the emotions that you’re experiencing during those 45 minutes? Usually, they’re pretty uncomfortable, unpleasant, painful, stressful, right? You’re frustrated, maybe you’re mad at yourself, you’re beating yourself up. Maybe you’re– whatever it is, you’re angry, you’re stressed, you’re projecting on the car in front of you, like come on, move. Does that work? Like if you get upset enough, like come on. And then they’re like, “Whoa, that guy’s mad. Sorry. Go ahead, sir. Go ahead, ma’am. It’s your–” no, that doesn’t work.
But this is a metaphor for life. The way we spend that time in the car is how we spend our life when things don’t go as we would like them to go. When life doesn’t meet our expectations, that’s how we live, the way we live in that traffic jam. And I used to be just like that. I learned from my dad. I learned a lot of great lessons from my dad, but one was being real, like minor road rage. Sorry, Dad, if you’re watching this.
Then I developed this, I learned this 5-minute rule, and I was in traffic one day and I had the can’t-change-it wristband, this little wristband that I made for five bucks online or whatever, it was like 15 years ago. I’m driving. I’m like, “No, not today. Damn it. Oh.” Can’t change it. I’m like, “Wait a minute. Does this apply here? I can’t change that I left late. I can’t change that the traffic’s moving slow and I can’t change the outcome necessarily. I mean, I can try to strategize on how I’m going to affect it or what I’m going to say, but I can’t change I’m going to be late. I can’t change it.” I took a deep breath and I went, “Why don’t I enjoy it? I’m in a car for the next 45 minutes, why don’t I enjoy every minute?” Because that’s what life’s about, that’s all we want.
And the only thing that stands in the way of what we really want, which is to enjoy as many moments of our life as possible is our resistance to the things that we can’t change. The opposite of acceptance is resistance, wishing we could change something out of our control and that resistance. All of our emotional pain is self-created by the degree of resistance that we have to our reality.
In other words, it’s our wishing and wanting that something was different that causes all of our emotional pain. It’s never the thing in front of us. It’s never the person in front of us. It’s never what was said, what was done, what happened, what didn’t happen. Never. Never is a strong word. Almost never. It’s our resistance to reality.
And so, the traffic example is, wait, I’m in the car for 45 minutes. I’m going to lose this client. I’m going to lose out my commission, or I’ll do my best to save it, but I might be in a wheelchair the rest of my life. I might lose the client and the commission. But if it’s out of my control and I can’t change it, I’m going to be at peace and I’m going to accept life as it is – past, present, and future.
And so, now, when I’m in traffic, I go, “I can’t change it. I’m going to enjoy every moment.” In fact, that’s why I love traffic because it’s a metaphor for life and a reminder of what I really want, which is I just want to feel good. And it reminds me I’m in a really safe environment, a slow environment, right? Like the cars or anything moving, that used to frustrate me. And now, it brings me joy. And it goes to show that whether it’s a car accident and being told you’re never going to walk again, being diagnosed with a rare, aggressive cancer, or being in traffic, by accepting all things as they are, not wishing they were any different. It doesn’t mean that you can’t go. Well, hey, there’s this circumstance that I want to change in the future, so I’m going to start doing things different to change the future. Okay, but you can’t change, whatever it is in this moment is as it is in this moment. You accept that, find peace with it. And the beauty of that is it gives you emotional freedom or emotional invincibility. So, you can choose the emotion that best serves you to move forward toward creating the circumstances that you want.
I used to speak at colleges, as you saw in the video. And this gal I spoke at in Vancouver sent me an email a week after I spoke. And she goes, “Hal, I got your little can’t-change-it wristband and it was empowering. I made a commitment that I would change it, risk every time I found myself upset over something I couldn’t change.” And she said, “I was changing it 30 times a day. I would count and tally on my phone. Thirty times a day on average, I would change the wristband.” I thought, man, I really need to work on this lesson. She goes, “After about a week, I’m changing it five, six times a day now. And I can see to the point where I’ll be changing it maybe between zero and one. I can see that’s like maybe a week away.”
Again, this is a 19-year-old college student, right? And within a week, her self-created emotional pain has gone down. Now, she sees it’s going to be almost eliminated. And when I got to her, she said, “I wanted a permanent reminder, so I got it permanently tattooed into my wrist, can’t change it.” And I had a few thoughts about this. I thought, number one, wow, I am inspired that I inspired this young woman to– that my message inspired her so much that it’s changing her life, she put it permanently into her wrist. That’s amazing.
Number two, I thought her parents must hate me. She goes to this motivational speaker and comes home with a tattoo. And the third thought I had is the irony in what the tattoo said. You definitely can’t change it. Yeah, you can’t change it. I also was kind of eccentric. I’m like, “Wow, this is like a one-off.” And then it wasn’t about a few weeks later. And I hadn’t told the story. This slide wasn’t in my slide deck. Totally random, totally separate. Spoke at another college and I got this picture emailed to me and I’ll paraphrase what the gal said. Actually, this was actually a Cutco conference. And I shared the message.
And this gal was 27 years old and she emailed me and I’ll paraphrase what she said, but this one put me in tears. She said, “Hal, I saw you speak a few weeks ago. And when you talked about that every negative emotion I have ever felt was my fault or my responsibility was self-created, I got angry because, see, my dad committed suicide 10 years ago. And I’ve spent the last 10 years deeply depressed and sad and angry. And everyone I ever shared that with, whether it was a therapist or a psychologist, counselor, a friend, a family member, they all told me that’s not my fault, that I had every right to feel that way. It wasn’t my fault. My dad died. And that’s why I felt so bad inside because my dad died. It wasn’t my fault. It wasn’t my respons– he died. He took his own life. So, when you said that it was my responsibility that I created emotional pain, I got upset. But in your message, I was considering maybe I’m not hurting and depressed for the last decade because my dad died. Maybe it’s because no one ever told me that I could actually choose to accept that and give myself the gift of peace for his death.” She said, “I got your little can’t-change-it wristband after the presentation. And I don’t have those anymore, by the way, if you’re wondering.”
She said, “And I’ve been wearing it for the last couple of weeks, and the last couple of weeks have been the first two weeks of my life that I have been at peace over my dad’s death.” She said, “Every time I think about it, I feel those emotions that I’ve felt for 10 years welling up inside me of anger and sadness.” She said, “I’ve decided to consciously replace those feelings with gratitude for my dad and my life. And I’m here because of him, and nothing will ever change that.” She said, “So, yesterday was the 10-year anniversary of his death. And I wanted a permanent reminder that his memory will never again cause me sadness and depression and fear and anger and all these emotions that I felt for 10 years that have ruined my life for the last 10 years.” She said, “His memory will only cause me gratitude that I’m his daughter, that I have my life because of him, and that’s a gift that no one can ever take away.” She said, “I want a permanent reminder of that. And I got this tattooed yesterday.” And I said, “For me, personally, I was so blown away by how powerful that is,” I thought.
And she told me in the e-mail that she’d been on antidepressants for 10 years, that nothing had ever solved her emotional turmoil. And I thought if these three little words could take someone from 10 years of depression where no psychologist, no psychiatrist, no depression medication had ever solved a problem, and within three words in a week, two weeks, she had let it go and replaced those feelings with feelings of peace, happiness, gratitude, love, we can all do it. We can all do it.
And whether it’s traffic, a car accident, a divorce, bankruptcy, it doesn’t matter. The principle is universal. All negative, I should say negative, because that’s relative term, all painful emotions are self-created just as all positive emotions are self-created. Painful emotions are self-created by our resistance to our reality, wishing and wanting we could change something from the past, present, or future. An acceptance is created, here’s what creates peace within us, and then we can choose the emotion that will best serve us in any given moment.
And here are three reminders, keys to emotional invincibility. Number one is the 5-minute rule. Set your timer on your phone for five minutes. Give yourself five minutes to be upset. Feel the pain. Don’t deny it. That’s one thing you don’t want to do. You don’t want to take emotions and just go, nope, nope, nope. Don’t do that. Feel them. Let them out. But realize that– and by the way, if you need to do five hours or 20 minutes, just get the concept and then scale it back.
And here’s what happened, when I first learned the 5-minute rule, I was like, five minutes isn’t long enough. And I had no sale, big canceled order. I can’t set the timer for five minutes. I’m like, “Damn it, that lady was rich. She could totally afford that. I know she’s lying about this. Why did she cancel her order?” And then the timer went off after five minutes, I’m like, “I’m still pissed.” And then I’d set the timer for five more minutes, right? But here is– and many of you are saying like five minutes is long enough, but it’s all conditioning. What happened is after a few– I mean, I don’t remember exactly, maybe a week of this, I set the timer for five minutes and I go, “Damn, and I can’t believe that I didn’t hit the goal, and the ordering goes through.” I’m like, “Oh, man, I can’t. This sucks. Really wanted that. I really wanted that.”
Four minutes and 37 more seconds to be upset. And I would go, “What’s the point? Why don’t I just accept it now and go spend the next four minutes making a couple of calls to prospects and replacing what I just lost?” And so, what was interesting is the 5-minute rule, which I thought was not going to be long enough after I did it for a week. It kind of turned into the 5-second rule. So, I needed to go– when something happened, go, ah, ahhh, all right, let it out. All right, can’t change it, move forward. And eventually, became accepting life before it happens, which is where the cancer diagnosis, when it came in, it just flowed through me into acceptance. And I moved forward.
And we all have that power. Start with five minutes. Once you get comfortable with that and it fit your circumstance, wait, there’s no point in resisting. You’ll recondition your brain and you’ll think differently and let it go. Number two, can’t change it. And number three, again, I just said that accept life before it happens.
So, once you understand what do we all want is we want to feel good and what we’ve talked about up until this point is how to feel good no matter what’s going on around you, well, we also want to create better circumstances in our lives, right? I would imagine, as human beings, that’s one thing we all share in common, is we have this innate desire and drive to make life as good as it can possibly be. And that’s what we’re going to talk about now.
And the key to making life as good as it can be, the secret, if you will, the not-so-obvious secret is to make ourselves the best that we can possibly be. I mentioned that in the beginning, right? We all want level 10 success. On a scale of 1 to 10, we all want level 10 success in every area of our life – level 10 health, level 10 happiness, level 10 financial success, right?
And Jim Rohn is the one that taught me this, that it’s about becoming a level 10 person. That’s how you create level 10 success. Most of us think we’re thinking of success outside of ourselves, and I just got to work harder and do more and this and that. The secret is no. If you want level 10 success, but your level of knowledge and your habits and your talents and your skills, if there is a 2, this is the disconnect for most of our society. We all want this kind of life, level 10, but if we’re not developing ourselves into a level 10 person, it will always be out of reach.
The opposite is also true. If you dedicate time every day to your personal development systematically becoming a level 6, 7, 8, 9, 10 person, then level 10 success becomes your default. You draft somebody who’s highly talented, skilled, qualified into another venture, right? Well, because of who they are, even if they have no experience in that venture, because of who they are, their mindset, their skill set, their habits, they’re going to ramp up real quick and their level of success will always meet them head on based on who they are.
The origin of the Miracle Morning, my second rock bottom, you’ll see it says up there surprisingly worse than the first. Most people kind of go, “But dude, you died the first time. What’s worse than that?” It was the financial crisis of 2008. Anybody else around during that time? Not just me. All right, anybody else feel some pain in that time? Okay, yeah, a lot of us.
So, I’m the eternal optimist. And I don’t watch the news and people are like, “Dude, you’re the economy.” I’m like, “I create my own economy. I don’t pay attention to the news. I was just delusional.” I always say now, I learned this during 2008, there’s a fine line between optimism and delusion. I cross it very often. And I lost over half of my coaching clients at the time, which was my main source of income. I lost over half of my income. Therefore, I could not pay my mortgage. My house was taken back by the bank. I went from being a Dave Ramsey student that did not charge anything on credit cards unless it was paid off that month to accumulate $5,000, $10,000, $15,000, $20,000, $25,000, $30,000, $35,000, $40,000, $50,000 in credit card debt in a matter of months, personal credit card debt, just trying to buy food and pay my car payment and keep a roof over my head, which I did not succeed at.
And then a buddy of mine, I called him in tears. I said, “John, I don’t know what to do. I haven’t told anybody this, except my fiancée at the time, my wife now, Ursula.” I said, “I’m struggling, man. I’m failing miserably.” I told him how bad things had gotten. And he asked me if I was exercising every day. And my vision was him on the other end of the line playing a game on his phone because I go, “What the hell does that have to do with anything I just told you? I didn’t say I was overweight. I said I’m losing all my money.” And I’m like, “What are you doing?” He goes, “Hal, no, no, no, no, no.” He said, “If you’re not putting yourself in a peak physical state and thus an emotional state every day,” he said, “you’re not going to think any clearer than you are now. You’re not going to fix anything. You’ve got to get better before your life’s going to get better.”
He said, “It starts with your physical.” He said, “I would start with exercise.” He goes, “Every morning I would go for a jog or a run.” I said, “I hate running. What else could I do?” He said, “What do you hate worse, running or your circumstance that you just described to me?” It’s like, all right, touché, okay, I’ll go for a run.: And I said, “What else could I do?” He said, “How much personal development are you doing every day?” I said, “None. I’m in scarcity mode. I read here and there. I never finish a book, though. It’s not focused.” He said, “If I were you, I’d go for a run. And while you’re in that peak physical state and the bloods flow into your brain, listen to an audiobook or a podcast like the Achieve Your Goals podcast. It’s a good one.” It’s my podcast.
And he gave me an audio. He said, “The first one you should listen to is this Jim Rohn audio on how to have your best life.” He said, “That audio changed my life when I was younger.” I said, “Okay, I’ll do it. I hate running, but everything you’re saying makes sense. If I want to get better, if my life wants to get better, I got to get better. I got to start every day, putting myself in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state. I got to learn something new that I can apply to my life or my business, go home and apply it. And if I do that every single day, I kind of can’t fail. You can’t not get better in your outer world if you’re getting better every day in your inner world.”
So, I went for a run the next day and I heard this quote, and this quote changed my entire life faster than I ever imagined possible. It’s what gave birth to the Miracle Morning. Jim said, “Your levels of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” And that’s when my brain, I’m a numbers guy, a little bit like quantified it, wait, on a scale of 1 to 10, we all want level 10 success. So, what Jim is saying is I need to become a level 10 person. Got it. Got it.
And I ran home with this epiphany. I’m like, I’m going to create the most extraordinary personal development ritual known to man or woman. I mean, and Hal, it was basic. I’m going to go online. I’m going to Google what are the world’s most successful people do for personal development. And I’m going to combine it all, try to find the best one or two practices of everything I find.
And so, I had this pen and paper. And I can picture it on my couch, got my computer open. I’m Googling best personal development practices, and then I’m writing stuff down. I’m Googling what millionaires do for personal development, what Olympians do. I’m trying to figure it all out, and I’m looking for the one or two best practices, and I end up with a list of six. And I was a little overwhelmed. I’m like, I don’t know which one of these is the best ones.
And then the epiphany, the epiphany of the epiphany was, what if I did all of these? What if I woke up tomorrow an hour earlier than normal, and this is from a self-proclaimed, not a morning person, and by the way, a little side note, as I was looking at my schedule going, when am I going to do these six practices? I went, there’s all day long, I’m working. At night, I’m exhausted. The only time is if I woke up earlier, but I’m not a morning person. I almost didn’t do it because of that.
And then I heard a voice in my head from one of my mentors, Kevin Bracy. He used to say simple but elegant and profound, in fact, this is worth writing down, “If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first.” If you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first. It sounds so simple, but it’s what got me over that hump of almost dismissing the idea to– he’s right. I got to wake up an hour earlier and I moved my alarm at that moment on my phone from 6 a.m. to 5 a.m., which seemed crazy. I’m like, who gets up at 5 a.m.? Oh, the world’s most successful, happy, fulfilled people do. Oh, maybe I should try that.
I woke up the next morning. I did all six practices and I sucked at all of them, but I felt incredible. And within two months. I had more than doubled my income. I went from being in the worst shape of my life, physically having not exercised at all during those six months of depression and financial ruin. I canceled the gym membership. I decided to commit to a 52-mile ultramarathon. I had never run more than a mile, which was only in P.E. class in high school and never ran after that. I hated running and that’s why I did it because this new mindset was becoming a level 10 person. I thought, who would I have to become to go from hating running even to the end of the block to running 52 miles in one day? I don’t know that guy, that version. I don’t know him. I’ve never met him, but I’d sure like to meet him. In fact, I’d like to become him.
So, I committed publicly. I’m going to run 52 miles to raise money for this charity, having no idea how I was going to do it. Six months later, I completed it. But I was training for it in those two months. My income had doubled, I was training for the ultramarathon, and most importantly, the way that I felt inside, I had gone from scared and depressed, losing my house, losing my money. It didn’t take two months. It was a matter of days of doing this morning practice. I was re-energized, I was refocused, I was inspired. I was reminded of all the things I knew about peace and acceptance and all of that. I was the best I had ever been in a matter of days.
And after those two months went by and I doubled my income, I went to my wife. I said, “Sweetheart,” fiancée at the time, I said, “Sweetheart, this morning routine, it’s like a frickin’ miracle. We’ve doubled our income. I’m training. I’m running. Like I ran six miles yesterday. I haven’t run six miles in the last 25 years of my life. This is crazy. And I feel great.” And she was so happy to see me back to my optimistic, happy self. I go, “It feels like a miracle.” She goes, “It’s your Miracle Morning.” I go, “Yeah, I love that. It’s my Miracle Morning.” I wrote it down. It wasn’t going to be more of a book. It’s my Miracle Morning. And I started sharing my coaching clients and the rest is history, as they say.
But here are the six practices if you want to take these down. These are the SAVERS, and this is my wife’s brilliant idea for an acronym to remember the six practices. And it really, by the way, is the best acronym because I really do believe these are the six practices that will save you from missing out on the life that you deserve to live, only because you’d be missing out on the person that you deserve to become the best version of yourself. So, they really are the SAVERS. These are the six practices that will save you from missing out on what you really want.
The first is silence. That’s your meditation or your prayer time. There are 1,400 scientific studies that prove the mental, physical, emotional, and spiritual benefits of meditation. There’s an article you can find called Fortune 500 CEOs who swear by meditation. It’s not just a woo-woo practice. It’s about optimizing your physical and your mental just as much as your spiritual.
The A is for affirmations. Now, affirmations have a bad rap from the way they’ve been taught over the years. There’s a problem. The reason affirmations have failed you if you’ve applied them the way they’ve been taught by a lot of self-help gurus over the last few decades, number one, you’re taught to lie to yourself. Just say I am statements. Anything that follows I am is most powerful, like language you can use. And that may be true.
But if you’re broke and you’re like, I am a millionaire. You’re smart enough. Your subconscious is like, no, you’re not. You’re like, “No, no, I am a millionaire.” It’s like, you’re not even a thousandaire. What are you talking about? You’re like, “Shut up. I’m doing my affirmations.” So, lying to yourself is never the optimum strategy. And the second problem is we’re taught to use this passive flowery language that makes us feel better in the moment but as counterproductive results. See? Maybe you heard this affirmation, some version of it.
I am a money magnet. Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance, right? No, that’s not how money works. You got to get on the phone. You got to work. You got to schedule. I’m like, money doesn’t flow to us effortlessly, right? So, those two strategies are the problem with affirmations. And this one you want to take a picture of. We probably don’t have enough time to write everyone down, but four steps create affirmations that actually produce results because, yeah, we want to feel good, but we also want results. So, I want affirmations that don’t just make us feel good for a few moments when we read them but actually produce measurable results from affirming something around finances. I want to see those consistent affirmations produce results in my income and in my bank account. Not just that I feel good because I think money’s going to magically fly in by a fairy, right?
So, number one, don’t affirm what you want, affirm what you’re committed to. Number two, affirm why it’s deeply meaningful to you. I want to create financial freedom to provide that for my family because they’re counting on me, and I and they deserve nothing less. That why as Simon Sinek has so powerfully taught, that why is what gets us to do whatever it takes to make that the what? A reality.
The third is which actions will ensure your success. So, get specific, right? Here’s what I’m committed to, here’s why, and here’s exactly what I’m going to do. This is what I must do. And if I do these things, it’s inevitable. I’ll get there. And then number four is when. When are you committed to take the actions, do the things that will virtually guarantee your success? Now, your affirmations get legs. Now, they’re rooted in, not in fantasy, not in falsity, but in reality. And you’re programming your mind every day to increase your commitment to do whatever it takes to take you where you want to go.
The V is for visualization. And the reason that visualization, the way it’s been taught to be counterproductive is because if all you do is create a vision board or just visualize the ideal outcome, like crossing the finish line of the marathon or having all this money or the house or whatever, if all you do is visualize the ideal outcome, you trick your brain into thinking that it’s as good as done, which is not the case. You need to have that healthy drive to make it happen. But if you see it over and over and over and over and over, you just see the outcome, you go, “Man, I believe it. I’m going to go back to bed because I was going to go fall asleep and I can’t wait to wake up and that vision is going to be my reality.” No. Here is two ways to visualize yourself to make it effective. Number one, visualize your ideal outcome, yeah, because you do want to see it so you can believe it. But more importantly, visualize yourself engaged in the activity that will produce the outcome.
So, for me, when I was training for the marathon, I hated running. I still hate running. So, every day, I visualize crossing the finish line of the marathon. So, I go, yeah, okay, I see it. I believe it. I get excited about it. But the most important part of visualization process was then seeing myself, I would always see the alarm go off on my phone at 7 a.m. because I wanted to anchor in that time that I was committed to run. I’d see myself walk into my bedroom. I’d literally visualize this little movie, put on my running clothes, head out the front door, and as soon as I open the front door, I’d see a smile on my face while I’d visualize, and I’d actually smile and I’d feel positive emotions to do something that I naturally hated.
And then guess what happened at 7 a.m. when the alarm went off? This is why visualization works when you do it this way. Alarm went off. My mind was, I didn’t even think about it. I’ve set the foot. I got up, went in my closet, put on my running shoes, headed out the front door. As soon as I open the front door, what do you think happened? I smiled and I felt those positive emotions.
And after a few days of doing that, maybe a week. Guess what? I didn’t hate anymore, I didn’t hate running anymore. That’s the power of visualization done like this. But if all I did was visualize crossing the finish line, none of that would have happened. I would have hated it and fought tooth and nail and felt like I have to do this. I have to run so I can cross the finish line. But I hate running. You can apply this to making calls. You can apply it to engaging with your spouse. Anything. Anything.
The E is for exercise. And I’m not saying you got to go to the gym in the morning. I’m just saying you got to do five minutes of jumping jacks, pushups, just something. Get the blood flowing. Do a little walk, whatever. Actually, there’s an app on the phone if you don’t have it, 7 Minute Workout. Me and my son did it this morning in the hotel room. It’s amazing. It’s great. 7 Minute Workout. It’s a full-body workout in seven minutes. You can do all these different routines for different parts of the body. Phenomenal.
The R is for reading. I’m not talking about Harry Potter or 50 Shades of Gray, right? But I believe we’re all one book away from learning what we need to learn to change any area of our life. It’s true for your marriage. It’s true for your health. It’s true for any book or any area of life, we’re one book away.
And the last S in SAVERS is scribing, which is a fancy word for journaling, but the J did not fit the acronym. And here are two really simple steps, too simple but transformative scribing. And then we’re going to wrap this up with the 30-Day Challenge. Number one, scribe one to three things you’re grateful for. And number two, scribe one to three top priorities for the day. That’s it. Keep it super simple.
I use a journal and app on my phone called 5 Minute Journal, and that’s where these prompts actually came from. And every day, it’s super simple. Just what is one of the things I’m grateful for? Make myself feel good. Remind myself that I already have what I need to be happy and feel good. I got life. That’s all I need.
One of my favorite mentors, Robert Kiyosaki, who I’ve learned a lot from, he’s read the Miracle Morning at least three times last time. I talked to him. He shares it in almost every speech and interview he does around the world. When he discovered the book, I actually gave it to him at an event I saw him. I thought he would never read it. A few weeks later, his assistant reached out and said, “Robert’s read your book multiple times. He does it every day. The Miracle Morning changed his life.” And I was blown away that this mentor of mine, his book changed my life, it changed his life. So, the Miracle Morning is magical in my life. He says, “If you want to maximize every day of your life, do the Miracle Morning.”
And here we go to close this out, the 30-Day Challenge. It’s very simple. You can do more than this, but I like to keep it simple because science studies, research has proven, the more you try to change it once, the more we try to change it once, the more likely we are to fall back into our old routines, the more likely we are to fail, in other words. If you lean into change as Mark Victor Hansen says, instead of trying to leap into change, you’re more likely to get it done and stick with it.
So, wake up 30 minutes earlier. You can do an hour if you want. Most people do an hour eventually but start with 30 minutes. You can do all of the SAVERS if you want but start with one. If you haven’t read the Miracle Morning, by the way, that’s what people usually do. They wake up 30 minutes earlier to start getting that habit in place, and then they read the book. And when they get to the S in SAVERS, they integrate that and they do the R and the S. When they get to the A in the book and they just keep adding on, stacking until within a week, they’ve got all six practices. And then join the Miracle Morning Community, which is a community on Facebook. It’s free. It’s 235,000 members from over 100 countries that wake up every day and support each other.
And I want to leave you with this. I believe the greatest gift that we can give to those that we love and those that we lead is a selfish gift. It begins selfishly. It’s about fulfilling our own potential, dedicating time each day to becoming the person that we need to be to create everything that we want for our life because only then do we have the knowledge and the ability and the mindset to pay it forward and to help those we love and to help those we lead do the same.
This is a picture of me a couple of years ago. That’s my wife Ursula, my daughter Sophie, and my son Halsten going through the most difficult time in my life, but I still woke up every day. I did the Miracle Morning so that I could become the person that I needed to be to create what I wanted for my life. And there’s nothing I want more for my life than to help these people create the life that they want.
So, it’s my hope that I’ve inspired you to wake up a little bit earlier, focus time on yourself on optimizing your physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual well-being so that you can become the person that you need to be to create everything you want for your life so that you can then help those you love and those you lead do the same because both you and they deserve nothing less. Thank you so much. I love you guys and gals. It’s been an honor. Thank you so much.
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