Have you ever wondered how some people are able to remain relaxed, calm, and seem to be genuinely happy no matter what life throws at them, while others seem to live in a constant state of stress? What’s the first (albeit smaller) group’s secret?
If you’re someone who allows external circumstances to dictate your mood, this episode is for you. Today, I’ll show you how to remain calm and centered, no matter how difficult life gets. You’ll learn the exact tools I use to deal with stressful situations and how I see these moments from a fresh perspective instead of letting them ruin my day.
You’ll also learn how finding inner peace helps you make better decisions and bring out the best in you and your loved ones in each moment.
- Why inner peace is the doorway to productivity and happiness.
- Every waking moment is an opportunity for choosing gratitude.
- How pursuing happiness makes you unhappy.
- The power of taking full responsibility for how you react to life’s challenges.
- How suffering and past traumas make us grow.
- Why you don’t need to feel happy to find inner peace.
THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:
Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 20% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
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. :^)
- Taking Life Head On! (The Hal Elrod Story): How To Love The Life You Have While You Create The Life of Your Dreams by Hal Elrod
- Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life by Thich Nhat Hanh
- The Miracle of Mindfulness: An Introduction to the Practice of Meditation by Thich Nhat Hanh
- Michael Singer
- The Untethered Soul: The Journey Beyond Yourself by Michael A. Singer
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Hal Elrod: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host Hal Elrod. And today we are talking about how to achieve inner peace. What does that mean? How to achieve a state of inner peace or what I often call inner freedom, where you are able to maintain a sense of calm and clarity in your daily life and in the face of adversity, unexpected challenges, loss, tragedy, difficulty. How do you elevate your state of consciousness to that of inner peace so that no matter what happens to you, the outside forces of the world, events, other people, challenges that come your way are not able to deter nor determine your mental and emotional state, but you are able to decide those things for yourself? That’s what we’re going to talk about today.
Before we dive in, I want to take just a couple of minutes to thank our sponsors. And today, I’m going to do something I don’t always do, I’m going to highlight two very specific products. So, our first sponsor, longtime sponsor, Organifi. Organifi makes some of the highest quality organic whole food supplements. And I want to talk about their Complete Protein because I use this in my smoothie every single day. So, Organifi Complete Protein is a two-in-one protein and multivitamin shake. It’s an organic and vegan protein powder, complete with multivitamins and digestive enzymes. It features 13 of your daily vitamins and minerals from whole foods, not synthetic lab-grown compounds, and it includes 20 grams of plant-based protein, all in one delicious easy-to-mix shake. It’s a soy-free plant protein, seven superfoods, 100% organic, complete multivitamins and digestive enzymes. And it can help curb your cravings.
They make chocolate and they make vanilla. I’ve got both, but I lean toward vanilla and have chocolate when I want to mix it up. If you want to add an organic, whole food plant-based protein to your diet or you want to switch it up and try Organifi, I highly recommend, head over to Organifi.com/Hal, that is O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I dot-com/Hal, and then use the discount code HAL, H-A-L at checkout for 20% off your entire order.
And then last but not least, our newer sponsor who– they’re not new anymore. I’ve been around, what, six, seven, eight months, but CURED Nutrition. And one of their products that I take, I’ve mentioned their Night Caps before. I actually switched where I take their Night Caps only when I’m on the road, and at home, I take their CBN oil, right? So, let me explain what this is. When it comes to health and wellness, we can all rant and rave over the latest fad, but the truth is ensuring something as simple as a good night of sleep would do more for our wellness than all of those fads combined.
And in addition to eliminating artificial blue light after the sun sets and timing my last meal several hours before heading to bed, I started including CBN oil in my bedtime routine. I take it 30 to 45 minutes before I hope to fall asleep and I couldn’t feel more satisfied with the results. Not only am I getting the most restful sleep I’ve ever experienced, I’m also waking up refreshed with zero grogginess. How often can you say that the effective or the various sleep aids that are on the market? So, right now, you can get 20% off of CBN oil and all of CURED Nutrition’s products. Head over to CuredNutrition.com, C-U-R-E-D, CuredNutrition.com/Hal, and then use the discount code H-A-L at checkout for 20% off your entire order. And of course, check out Organifi’s website and CURED Nutrition’s website for a whole variety of organic whole-food supplements that will enhance your health and well-being.
All right. Without further ado, let’s talk about how you can achieve inner peace and how that can transform literally every aspect of your life, not only your mental and emotional well-being, but we’re going to talk about how inner peace impacts your productivity. Here we go.
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, friends, and family, thank you for joining today. And I want to talk about inner peace. Inner peace, is that some woo-woo, fluffy topic that would be nice, but it’s not realistic? Life’s too challenging to worry about inner peace. Is that for people that have all their needs met? They’ve attained a certain level of success or sustainability to where their life’s kind of easy, so now they can focus on inner peace. Or is inner peace, what could and/or should come first in order to not only enjoy the life that we have but create the life that we want?
And I invite you to consider this, that when you don’t have inner peace, when you’re experiencing what I would call inner turmoil, kind of the opposite of inner peace, inner turmoil, which could be emotional pain and instability, where your emotions are all over the place because they are being determined by your external circumstances, some other outside forces, such as other people or events or thoughts about your past or worrying about your future, consider that when you’re not at peace internally, when you’re experiencing inner turmoil, you don’t think clearly, and therefore, you’re not going to make the best decisions, you’re not going to be able to take the most effective actions.
But if you are at peace, then from that place of inner peace, not only are you able to actually go through life calmly and enjoy this one life that you’ve been blessed to live, but inner peace might be the most important, at least the most fundamental state of consciousness for productivity and for achievement. Because again, from that place of inner peace, we can think clearly. We can make better decisions, make optimal decisions. We can take effective actions.
So, when I talk about inner peace today, I’m approaching it from that perspective of this isn’t just about feeling good, feeling at peace. It’s actually about putting yourself in a state of consciousness that allows you to be the most effective in everything that you do. So, in that way, you could say this is literally, inner peace is the key to productivity. It’s the key to happiness. That’s another thing to consider is that peace is not an emotion. Peace is a state of being.
And what’s the difference? Well, if you imagine that you’ve got positive and negative emotions, meaning you’ve got emotions that make you feel good and then emotions that don’t feel good. And we’re using the word positive and negative is, it’s kind of subjective because the words positive and negative, you could take that as good or bad. And it’s not to say that a negative emotion is bad. It can actually be really beneficial to grieve.
For example, you might call sadness. You might categorize that as a negative emotion. But feeling sad is really a part of the human experience and it’s a part of grieving. And it’s something that we should be very much welcoming to that, where emotions can become detrimental is when they take control of us, when we don’t have control of our mental and emotional state, but outside forces do. So, other people’s events or past, things that are out of our control, when we allow that to determine our mental and emotional state, then we are setting ourselves up for, I don’t know, if it’s a failure, but we’re setting ourselves up for not optimal states of consciousness, and therefore, not being able to move through life in the most effective way.
And so, I’m going to read a passage from a book right now, as I often like to do. And this book, this is called Peace Is Every Step: The Path of Mindfulness in Everyday Life. Now, I know the author. I have multiple books of his. I don’t know how to pronounce his name. It is, I’ll do my best, Thich Nhat Hanh, T-H-I-C-H N-H-A-T H-A-N-H. So, hearing the spelling, you might be able to understand why I don’t naturally know how to pronounce his name, but really, he’s an expert in mindfulness. I think this book was written in 1976, if I remember correctly. Oh, copyright, 1991. Interesting. All right. So, I’ve got another one of his books that was written called the, I think, The Miracle of Mindfulness, written in ‘76.
So, I’m going to read from you the first page and the title of this– the book is not really organized into chapters. It’s just organized into many, many, many small sections, if you will, that are anywhere from one to a few pages. So, the very first page of the book, Twenty-Four Brand-New Hours, “Every morning, when we wake up, we have twenty-four brand-new hours to live. What a precious gift! We have the capacity to live in a way that these twenty-four hours will bring peace, joy, and happiness to ourselves and others. Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy. We can smile, breathe, walk, and eat our meals in a way that allows us to be in touch with the abundance of happiness that is available. We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living.”
I want to say that again. “We are very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living. We know how to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we are willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment, the only moment there is for us to be alive. Every breath we take, every step we make, can be filled with peace, joy, and serenity. We need only to be awake, alive in the present moment.” I don’t know about you, but that really spoke to me. In fact, here’s what I wrote at the top of that page. I wrote, reread and fully embody this chapter. And then I wrote, also known as become it by implementing it, start by rewriting it in the form of an affirmation, and read it every day.
I want to skip a couple of pages ahead and read another question that he poses. He says, “If we do not have peace and joy right now, when will we have peace and joy? Tomorrow or after tomorrow? What is preventing us from being happy right now? As we follow our breathing, we can simply say calming, smiling, present moment, wonderful moment.” So, the part of that that I wanted to extract was the question, if we do not have peace and joy right now, when will we have peace and joy? Tomorrow or after tomorrow?
I wrote a book and I published in 2006 called Taking Life Head On! It was my first ever book that I published. And in that book, the tagline of that book, the subtitle is Love the Life You Have While You Create the Life of Your Dreams, based on the premise that most of us are waiting to love the life we have until we create the life of our dreams. We go through life not living as Thich, if I’m saying his name right, talks about that we’re very good at preparing to live, but not very good at living, right? So, we’re not living in the moment. We’re pursuing a better life, better circumstances, more money, a relationship, etc., whatever we’re pursuing. And literally, we live life preparing to live, going, “Oh, once I accomplish this, once I achieve this, once I change this, once this person is different, then and only then I can love the life that I have, but not the life I actually have now because it’s not the life I want. I’m pursuing the life I want.”
But here’s the problem, that becomes a perpetual way of living, a perpetual way of being. It’s in pursuit, right? Even the Declaration of Independence, I believe, it was said that we are guaranteed life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness. The pursuit. Well, if you’re only guaranteed the pursuit of happiness, then doesn’t that mean that you’ll arguably be pursuing happiness for your entire life and it ends up being fleeting? Happiness becomes fleeting. It’s an emotional state. And you can be happy one minute, and then the next moment, you’re upset, angry, sad, depressed, regretful, whatever it is, resentful, based on some new change of unfavorable information or some event that occurs.
And so, the idea and something we’ve talked about here for the last year or so on the podcast is elevating our consciousness. What does that mean, elevating your state of consciousness? Here’s the difference between emotional states and states of consciousness. So, inner peace, which is the topic of our conversation today, is a state of consciousness. It’s not an emotion, not an emotional state. The difference is emotional states are fleeting, right? You can be, like I just said, happy one minute, and then some bad news completely changes your emotional state. Now, you’re upset.
So, emotional states are very unstable. They are short-lived, typically. Usually, if you’re angry, you’re not angry for days or weeks or months or years. Now, you might be a relatively angry person, meaning that you could go to anger quite often, but it’s not the sustainable state where you just stay in that state. Usually, you’re happy for a bit, and then you’re upset for a bit, and then you’re happy again. And maybe you’re upset more than you’re happy.
In fact, I think that’s one of the biggest problems for human beings, is we don’t allow ourselves to be happy. We don’t allow ourselves to be happy because we believe happiness is either waiting in the future, right? We’re pursuing happiness. We’re as Thich Nhat Hanh. I guess I should have Googled how to pronounce his name before I recorded the podcast. But as he says, “We know to sacrifice ten years for a diploma, and we’re willing to work very hard to get a job, a car, a house, and so on. But we have difficulty remembering that we are alive in the present moment.” And the only moment there is for us to be alive and only moment to be happy is this moment.
And if you can’t be happy with the life you have now, and that’s what I talked about in the book I wrote Taking Life Head On! I said, “If you can’t be happy with the life that you have now, what makes you think you’ll know how to be happy with the life that you think you want in the future?” Because it’s about how you’re choosing to experience your life. If you choose to experience life by focusing on what’s wrong with your current life situation and pursuing something better and deciding that you’ll only be happy or happier when you achieve that something better, then that’s a perpetual way of being. It’s a perpetual way of experiencing life.
So, if you’re not happy now, if you’re not at peace now, likely nothing you do will make you happy other than choosing to be at peace now, choosing to be happy now, choosing to love the life you have with all its imperfections and all the challenges that you might be facing, the difficulties, but choosing to love my life now. Because you go, “Look, I have one life. Some days, it’s awesome. Some days are more challenging, but I can choose how I experience every moment.” In fact, it’s arguably the only choice that we have.
Actually, I’d say there’s two choices, how you experience every moment and how you show up in every moment, which are very much related, meaning life’s challenging, but I’m going to choose to accept life as it is and stop wishing it were different. In this moment, I will work on making it better. I will take action, but I will do so while I’m at peace with my reality in this moment. You follow?
So, we have two choices. In any given moment, we could resist reality and wish it were different, and understand that resisting reality is the source of emotional pain. To the degree that we resist our reality determines the degree of emotional pain that we feel. Let me give you an example of that. If you hit traffic, let’s say you’re running late to an appointment. Now, you need to be there. Okay, oh, you leave the house. Oh, gosh, I hope there’s no traffic. I hope there’s no traffic. I hope this, I hope that. I hope there’s no traffic because I really need to be on time. And I’m leaving at just the last possible second where I need an open road to be on time. And if I hit traffic, I’m going to be late, and then there’s going to be a consequence for that, right? Most of us can relate to this.
And then let’s say you’re driving, and all of a sudden, you hit traffic. There’s a car accident, whatever the reason for the traffic is. But you hit traffic. No, no, no, no, no, not today. God, I can’t deal with traffic today. I’m going to be late. We resist reality wishing the traffic was not there. And let me ask you a question. Does resisting reality change it? No. It doesn’t change the speed of the traffic in front of us. So, what does it do? It causes inner turmoil. It causes us to be upset and frustrated.
I’ll say this again, to the degree that we resist reality determines the degree of emotional pain and inner turmoil that we create for ourselves. See, we were lied to, we were told, we were conditioned mostly by other people’s examples that the reason we are upset when we feel upset, the reason we’re upset is because of the thing that we’re focusing on. I’m upset because of the traffic, right? We’re upset because of the traffic. That’s why we’re upset. Now, if you arrive your destination, you show up at work, and you’re late, and you’re walking off frazzled, and you’re so frustrated and your coworker says, “Hey, why are you so upset? Why are you frustrated? And why are you late?” And you’ve got something to blame. The reason you’re late, the reason you’re upset, the reason you’re frustrated is traffic. You should have seen the traffic on I-5. It was unbelievable. And that’s why I’m upset. That’s why I’m frustrated because of the traffic that I experienced.
But that’s not accurate. That’s not actually true. It’s what we all think is true. It’s how we live. We always have someone or something to blame for how we feel. That includes feeling good, by the way, right? Why are you so happy? Oh, because I just got a raise. Because someone gave me a compliment at some outside force. Like, think about that. We’re not in control of our mental and emotional state because we’ve given away our power to these outside forces that we blame for the way that we feel inside.
I’m going to say this. Again, this is like the premise of The Miracle Life, which is a chapter that I am trying to finish. I’ve been working on it for four months, this one chapter. But good news, I got it from 38,000 words down to 8,000 words, but our target is 6,000 words. So, I’m still 33% too long. Anyway, but on the premise of The Miracle Life is that we’ve been conditioned to believe when good things happen, I feel good. When bad things happen, I feel bad. The premise of The Miracle Life is a new paradigm– not a new paradigm, but it’s a paradigm that says, no matter what happens, I actually take responsibility for choosing how I feel. I accept my life exactly as it is. Therefore, I’m at peace. I choose to be grateful for each moment, not because of what’s going on necessarily. Not a circumstantial gratitude, but I’m grateful for each moment because I understand that gratitude is the doorway to happiness.
I’ll say that again. Gratitude is the doorway to happiness. In fact, acceptance is the key that unlocks the door to inner peace, and then gratitude is the doorway to happiness. Hold on. I need to write that down because that needs to go in the book. And I don’t think I have it said quite like that. Okay. Please bear with me because I really don’t want to lose this. All right. So, acceptance is the key– you all can say I was there with Hal while he was writing The Miracle Life. You’re literally with me while I’m writing. Acceptance is the key that unlocks the door to inner peace. Gratitude is the doorway to happiness. I’ll massage that a little bit, but that’s the general idea.
So, what does that mean? Well, if resisting reality is the cause of all of our emotional pain and it essentially is, you lose a loved one. If you resist it, then you create emotional pain. And the moment you accept it is the moment you give yourself, you unlock the door to inner peace. And it’s important to understand, and I touched on this earlier, but I want to go a little bit deeper into it that inner peace or peace is not an emotional state. It’s a state of consciousness. What’s the difference? I said, emotional states are fleeting. You got positive emotions over on one side, the negative emotions over on the other side. And you can go between the two very quickly based on what you focus on.
Peace is in the middle. It’s in between. In fact, when I am giving a speech and I share this lesson, I always put my right hand up and I say, “You’ve got positive emotions over here.” And I kind of wave it in a circle. And then I hold my left hand up and I’m doing it right now, by the way, if you want to picture this. I hold my left hand up and I say, “You’ve got painful emotions over here.” So, positive emotions on one side, painful emotions on the other side. And then I bring my right hand to heart center and I bring my left hand to heart center, and I put them in prayer position as a visual to say, in between painful emotions and pleasant emotions is a state of inner peace. And the way that you access that state is by making a conscious choice to stop resisting reality and wishing things that are out of your control were different, such as traffic, such as what happened in the past, such as what other people do or say. All of those are out of your control.
Think about that for a second. You can’t control traffic. You can’t go back in time and you can’t control the past. You can’t control other people and what they do or say or don’t do. Yet, how often do we experience mental and emotional pain, inner turmoil over our past that we can’t control, over other people that we can’t control, worrying about a future that isn’t happening right now? It’s not real. It might happen. It might not. We also don’t know how it’s going to be when it actually does happen, meaning you might be worried about something that you know is coming down the pipe. It’s inevitable. It’s the circumstance that’s coming. But you don’t know how it’s going to be when you experience it. It might be the greatest thing that ever happened to you.
How many of us can look back at tragedies in our lives that they broke us or nearly broke us during the tragedy. But then we look back and we’re actually grateful that we endured it. Think about like the breakup of a relationship, you were heartbroken, you were distraught. You might have not wanted to go on anymore, not wanted to live anymore because that person you loved broke your heart and left you. But then you look back one day and you go, “Oh, wow, that was for the best.” Or you go, the growth I experienced by getting through that really difficult time in my life actually served my highest good. I became a better version of myself, stronger and more capable. I’m so grateful that I endured that tragedy.”
And it really goes along with the saying, hindsight is 20/20. We’ve all heard that before. Hindsight is 2020, meaning that you look back and you have a different degree of clarity and understanding over why something happened or the benefit of it happening. And what I would offer you is the question, why live that way? Meaning, if hindsight is 2020, why live in a way where you experience suffering in the present as opposed to seeing the benefit of your challenges in the present? And the benefit might not be happening in the moment, it might be a future benefit. But why not, as you’re enduring difficult times in your life, go you know what? Every adversity serves me. Every adversity is an opportunity to learn, grow, and become better than we’ve ever been before. And so, why not be grateful for it in the moment? Why not be at peace with it in the moment as opposed to suffering for who knows how long? And then one day in the future, looking back and go, “Oh, there was actually an opportunity in that adversity. And I’m actually grateful that it happened because, I wouldn’t be where I am today without it.”
Like most people go through life playing the same repeating pattern, suffer, eventually see the benefit in the adversity, experience adversity, suffer, look back and see the benefit, experience adversity, suffer, and the suffering can be detrimental. It can be depression. It can be anxiety. It can be to the degree that you resist reality determines the degree you create emotional pain. So, if you’re like, “No, God, no, I didn’t deserve this. It wasn’t supposed to be this way. This was supposed to be different.” That’s the language we often use in our head when we’re resisting reality.
And if you really resist reality, then you really create emotional pain, an inner turmoil for yourself. But the moment you choose to accept reality exactly as it is, you might not be happy about it, but you can immediately be at peace. And remember, peace is not an emotion. It’s a state of consciousness. And if you condition the state of consciousness that is inner piece, and I’ll talk more about how some practical tools on how to do that here in a sec, but if you condition the state of consciousness that is inner peace, then when you do experience some bad news or a disturbing event, it doesn’t wreck you, it doesn’t mess you up, doesn’t ruin you because you live your life in a state of acceptance. You accept life as it is. You’re generally at peace with all things. And so, while a disturbing event, you might have an initial emotional response that’s painful, you return, we always return to our state of consciousness.
The other side of that is if someone lives in a state of consciousness of fear, for example, then whenever anything happens that stimulates their fear, that pokes or prods their fear, now because they live in that state, all painful emotions are amplified. You can say your state of consciousness is your filter. You filter everything through your state of consciousness. So, if you are experiencing difficult experiences, challenges, or you’re worried about something in the future and you’re filtering that through the state of consciousness of fear, again, it amplifies the detriment that every painful emotion causes.
But if your filter is inner peace and you experience those disturbing events or that fearful future, you’re filtering it through your state of consciousness, which is inner peace. And the way that you can achieve inner peace, the practical tools that you’ve probably heard me talk about many times before are the 5-Minute Rule and the can’t-change-it mantra. I learned this when I was 19 years old. My mentor, my manager, I started in sales and he said, “Hal, sales is a microcosm for life, but mostly in terms of adversity. Most people experience rejection and failure occasionally, but as a salesperson, you’re going to experience it every day, multiple times a day.”
And he said, “You need some tools to manage your adversity, manage when you face challenges or disappointments or setbacks.” And he said, “The first tool is the 5-Minute Rule.” You simply set your timer for five minutes after you find yourself getting upset over something. He would say, if a customer cancels an order or no-shows on you when you drive out to their home and they’re not there, they forgot about you or they ditched you or whatever, or if you don’t reach your goal for the week, even though you worked really, really hard and you find yourself upset, disappointed, distraught in some ways, taught us, you set your timer on your phone for five minutes and you give yourself five minutes to bitch, moan, complain, cry, vent, punch a wall, like whatever. Feel your feelings. Don’t suppress them. Don’t try to be positive. Feel whatever naturally comes up for five minutes.
And he said, the reason for the timer, though, is that you lose value and the emotions become detrimental when they’re extended over a long period of time. There’s value in the short term if you’re upset that you didn’t reach a goal that can signal you to examine what you did or didn’t do or could have done differently to reach that goal. If you weren’t upset, you wouldn’t even think to examine your behavior. But if you’re upset, that’s a signal that, okay, I’m upset. I did something or something wasn’t what I wanted it to be. So, is there anything I could have done differently? And if there is, then you extract that lesson. You apply it the next week, and you accept life exactly as it is. And then you move on. There’s no point in dwelling on something that you cannot change and continuing to create and perpetuate emotional pain and inner turmoil.
So, he taught us, set a timer for five minutes. Give yourself five minutes to feel your emotions. When the timer goes off, you say three very powerful words, can’t change it. A simple acknowledgment that, okay, I can’t go back in time and change what happened five minutes ago. So, I have two choices, or I have one choice to make between two options. Number one, I can continue to resist reality, wish that what happened five minutes ago didn’t happen, and be upset over it. I can do that for as long as I want. I could be upset. I could be frustrated. I could be sad, angry. You name it. That’s choice number one is I could continue to resist reality and create emotional pain for myself. And that’s what most of us do but unconsciously. We’re not aware that we have this choice. So, we just continue to unconsciously resist reality and suffer, but it’s self-induced suffering.
Or choice number two is I can accept reality exactly as it is. I can acknowledge that I can’t go back in time and change what happened five minutes ago, but I can choose to accept it, be at peace with it. And from that place of peace, I can then choose what’s my optimal mental and emotional state to move forward, or what action can I take now that is in my control. For example, going back to my– when I learned this lesson in sales, when a customer canceled their order or a customer canceled their appointment or whatever, rather than dwelling on it, which most salespeople do, and they end up quitting sales. That’s why sales are a tough job, because you have so much rejection and failure that most people, they don’t have these tools and they can’t handle it. And so, they get upset when something doesn’t go according to plan when they get rejected or someone cancels and they don’t feel good and they are upset.
And then that extends for a long period of time. And then, maybe they eventually get over it after, the next day, maybe they wake up the next morning, they go, “Okay, I’m going to try again,” or maybe it takes a couple of days. But then what happens is they experience another rejection before they’ve even gotten over the first one. In fact, they probably didn’t get over the first one, actually, in a healthy way. They just swept it under the rug and they go, “Well, whatever, I got to move on.” But they didn’t actually accept it, consciously. But the point is, they keep experiencing these little micro-traumas. You’ve been there before.
It happens in relationships as well, these micro-traumas, where things happen that upset you, and if they happen often enough, frequent enough, and for too long, then you eventually throw in the towel. I can’t do this anymore. What does that mean? I can’t do this anymore. I can’t feel the way I feel anymore. It happens to relationships just as much as it does in a sales career, right? If your significant other does something that upsets you, and more often than not, you don’t accept it because it wasn’t fair, it wasn’t right. They shouldn’t have done it. You’ve told them before not to do it. And so, you’re not willing to accept it. Instead, you want to suffer. You don’t want to suffer, but that’s what you’re doing. You’re creating self-suffering because you’re resisting reality and wishing they were different. This is so applicable in relationships, wishing they didn’t do the thing they did, wishing they didn’t say the thing they said, wishing that they were different.
And remember, to the degree that you wish something or someone were different that is out of your control determines the degree of emotional pain that you experience which robs you of the inner peace that is available to you at all times. I want to read that passage, part of that passage again from the book Peace is Every Step. He says, “Peace is present right here and now, in ourselves and in everything we do and see. The question is whether or not we are in touch with it. We don’t have to travel far away to enjoy the blue sky. We don’t have to leave our city or even our neighborhood to enjoy the eyes of a beautiful child. Even the air we breathe can be a source of joy.” That’s the essence of mindfulness, right? It’s being completely present. And they usually start with your breath, in, out. Breathe with me. In. Out.
Do you find joy in every breath? You can. It’s simply being present to the joy that’s available to you in each breath. Inner peace is available to us at all times. We simply have to be present to it. We have to be aware of it. What blocks us from inner peace is inner turmoil. What causes inner turmoil is our resistance to reality. How do we transcend resisting reality? How do we transcend inner turmoil? By consciously choosing to accept reality. I like to use the word life, to accept life exactly as it is. How do you accept life exactly as it is? Well, the two tools that I found to do it, our number one, the 5-Minute Rule. So, it gives you that five-minute buffer to feel your emotional pain, whatever’s coming up for you, your unpleasant or difficult challenging emotions, five minutes, and then when the timer goes off, take a deep breath, and you say, can’t change it.
As an acknowledgment that I can’t change what happened five minutes ago, so right now, I have a choice to make. I can continue to resist reality and that you have that choice. You can continue to perpetuate emotional pain by resisting reality, or you can choose to accept life exactly as it is and give yourself the gift of inner peace, the state of consciousness that is emotionally neutral and from which not only are you calm and clear headed, but from that emotionally neutral state of inner peace you can choose the state of consciousness, the emotional state that best serves you. You can say now that I’m at peace, what would best serve me in this moment? Maybe it’s happiness, maybe it’s joy, maybe it’s confidence, maybe it’s focus, maybe it’s empathy.
If we’re applying this to a relationship and your significant other did or said something that upset you and you’re frustrated and you’re resisting it, you’re replaying it in your head, and you set your timer for five minutes, you go into the other room by yourself. You give yourself five minutes to be frustrated, upset, angry at your loved one. Timer goes off. Deep breath. Can’t change it. I can’t change what they said or what they did. And right now, I have a choice. I can either continue to be upset, but does that really serve me or them or our relationship and the harmony that I seek, that I aspire to in my relationship? The answer is probably no.
So, if I’m not going to resist reality, what’s the alternative? It’s to accept reality, accept life exactly as it is, accept my spouse exactly as they are, my daughter, my son, my brother, my sister, my mother, my father, exactly as they are, and be at peace. It doesn’t mean that you are happy with what they did or said or didn’t do, but it’s much more powerful than being happy about it. You’re at peace. It’s not an emotion that is short lived and fleeting. It is a state of consciousness. Inner peace is a state of consciousness that is an underlying way of experiencing every moment of your life.
How do you get there? It’s through daily conditioning. The way that you embody states of consciousness are through daily conditioning. It’s consciousness conditioning or conditioning your consciousness. How do you do that? By listening to this podcast again, by taking notes and writing down, pausing it and writing down the one-liners, the quotes, the philosophies, the mantras, the 5-Minute Rule, can’t change it. Writing down the components from this podcast that for you, you say, “Oh, wow, if I could embody that, if I could learn to set that five-minute timer and commit to that every time I felt upset, every time I experienced emotional pain or turmoil, if I could set that timer and then commit that when the timer goes off, I say, can’t change it. And I make that choice to accept my life exactly as it is and the choice to be at peace with what I can’t change, peace with my reality. And then I ask myself, “What’s the optimal state of consciousness now to choose next?” I want to be grateful. I want to be happy. I want to be, whatever it is. I want to be empathetic to my spouse. They’re having a bad day. They’re doing the best they can with who they are. They’ve got their own trauma that they’re reliving in our relationship, and I can either hate them for it and fault them for it, or I can be at peace with it and accept them and love them. Isn’t that what you signed up for? Didn’t you sign up to love your spouse and your kids and your significant other in sickness and health, good and bad, right?
Inner peace is the state of consciousness that enables you to have the freedom to choose how you experience every moment of your life and how you show up for yourself and for others. I hope this has been helpful for you, and we’re going to continue talking about this from different angles because this is the miracle life. The miracle life is your ability to choose how you experience every moment of this one life you’ve been blessed to live, regardless of the difficulties you face. Because, as Michael Singer said, and I end with a quote, “What you’ll find is that the only thing you really want from life is to feel enthusiasm, joy, and love. If you can feel that all the time, who cares what happens on the outside? If you can always feel up, if you can always feel excited about the experience of the moment, then it doesn’t make any difference what the experience is.” That was from Michael Singer and the book The Untethered Soul.
Hal Elrod: Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you. And the world needs more people now to embody inner peace as a state of consciousness so that you’re not reactive, you don’t take out your emotional turmoil on other people. But if we can all experience inner peace, we’ll be a lot more conscious as a society. And that’s what the Miracle Morning mission is, to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one person and one morning at a time. And once again, thank you for being that person. I love you and I will talk to you next week.