520: The Superpower of Our Time with Jon Berghoff

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Jon Berghoff

What is the superpower of our time? Well, according to today’s guest, Jon Berghoff, it is the ability to facilitate transformational experiences that help individuals and groups tap into their full potential. 

Jon is considered to be one of the best in the world at this and is now teaching it to others. In fact, he’s paid as much as $250,000 to design and facilitate transformational experiences for organizations that include BMW, Facebook, TEDx, Keller Williams, Vitamix, Microsoft, Nike, and HP.  

He’s also the person I trust to lead our community (he ran all my in-person events for 6 years). If you want to make a bigger impact in the world, today’s episode is for you. This superpower Jon teaches can enable you to quickly scale both your income and your impact. 

Jon is founder and creator of the XCHANGE Approach, and his work is a true game-changer in the world of coaching, consulting, and entrepreneurship. In today’s episode, Jon introduces you to his roadmap for amplifying your impact and your income by bringing out the best in the people you influence and lead.

P.S.  Jon is hosting a free interactive and experiential XCHANGE workshop for the Miracle Morning community on February 15th, 2024. He’ll lead you through How to Multiply Your Impact by Leading Transformational Group Experiences. It’s a fantastic opportunity you won’t want to miss, so make sure to book your spot by visiting XchangeApproach.com/tmm2024 today!


  • Jon shares things that Hal, even after 24 years of friendship, had never heard before.
  • The foundation of success is consciously choosing who you will be in any given set of circumstances.
  • At a certain point, you need to go from learning to action.
  • When the why is strong enough, the how will reveal itself.
  • Turning pain into purpose can heal both the world and you.
  • How we live is how we’ll ultimately face the end, so let’s make every moment count.
  • How to cultivate a life of service.




“It’s OK to have a blend of confidence, but also a dose of doubt.”

“When the why is strong enough, the how will reveal itself.”



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. :^)





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Copyright © 2024 Miracle Morning, LP and International Literary Properties LLC

Hal Elrod: Hello and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. I am your host, Hal Elrod. And today, we’re going to talk about what the world needs now with my good friend, Jon Berghoff. When I say good friend, Jon and I have been friends for 24 years. And I met him when he was 18, I was 20. We’ve been friends longer than we were alive before we met each other. And that’s, I guess, a special point in a relationship, where you realize that you’ve been with the person longer than you were alive before you knew them. My wife and I crossed that recently as well.

Now, as the creator and founder of XCHANGE, Jon Berghoff is considered a pioneer in the field of transformational group facilitation. He is a leader of leaders brought in to facilitate Global CEO Summits, leadership conferences, and high-stakes gatherings for organizations like Conscious Capitalism, Women Presidents Organization, NASA, HeartMath, Keller Williams, and many more. And over 15,000 coaches, consultants, and leaders are now using the XCHANGE Approach to redefine how we unlock potential at scale through transformational learning experiences.

And for our community, on February 15th, Jon is hosting a free XCHANGE live experiential workshop on facilitating transformational group experiences. So, if you are a leader, if you interact with groups, if you’re a CEO, if you’re a coach, a consultant, etc., you can get the details for this free workshop. It’s for our community specifically. It’ll be live at XCHANGE, that’s the letter XchangeApproach.com/tmm2024.

Now, before we dive into today’s episode on what the world needs now, from you, from me, from all of us, I want to thank our two sponsors for today’s podcast. The first is CURED Nutrition. Now, CURED Nutrition, I started out with their Rise supplement, which is a nootropic for focus and clarity in the morning. However, I have fallen in love and I still take that supplement, but I’m really in love with their nighttime supplements. And in fact, there’s two. They’re the same product, but in different form. One is Night Caps, which is CBD and CBN oil in capsule form, and I usually travel with those. But then on my bedside table, I have nighttime oil which is the exact same ingredient. However, it is in drops that I put under my tongue.

And I think I told y’all this a week or so ago, but my neighbor Hillary was struggling with sleep and she reached out and said, “Hal, I know you struggle with sleep. You figured it out. What are you taking? What can I take?” And I gave her two CURED products. I gave her the nighttime oil or the Night Caps, and I gave her Serenity Gummies. And Serenity Gummies, I’m not looking at the ingredients right now, but they just make you feel just calm and peaceful. In fact, I’ve taken them before meditation before, so not just for sleep. But I gave her those two products. I checked in with her a week later and she said it completely– she literally texted me, “It’s a 180, Hal. I’m sleeping so well. I can’t thank you enough.”

So, I’m a fan of CURED Nutrition. She’s a fan of CURED Nutrition. So, again, their Night Caps and their nighttime oil and their Serenity Gummies will help you fall asleep. To get 20% off as a listener to this podcast, head over to CuredNutrition.com/Hal and use the discount code Hal at checkout for 20% off your order as a listener of the show. Again, CuredNutrition.com/Hal and use the discount code H-A-L for 20% off.

Last but not least, our longtime sponsor, Organifi. I’ve used Organifi’s products long before they were a sponsor, I think throughout the last nine years, and I take so many of their products. I take their Focus in the morning, which is also a nootropic but with a high-thousand-milligram dose of lion’s mane. And then before I work out every day, I take their Red Juice, which helps with blood flow, so you can get that pump. And I work out harder and longer and I have more natural energy. I take their protein powder after my workout. I mean, I could go through the whole day, I take a lot of Organifi’s supplements. I’m a big fan of their organic whole food supplement. So, if you want to boost your health, your energy, your muscle mass or stamina, and you want to do it in the most effective, efficient way possible, I encourage you to head over to Organifi.com/Hal, that is O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal. And as a listener, of course, use the code Hal, H-A-L, for 20% off your entire order.

All right, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, those of you who want to make a difference in the world, this is one of, literally, the best in the world at leading people to make powerful, transformative changes. And so, we’re going to talk with Jon Berghoff, my good friend, about what the world needs now. Let’s go.


Hal Elrod: Oh, Jon, are those new shades that you’re wearing?

Jon Berghoff: I know. Isn’t that fun? Isn’t that fun, whatever?

Hal Elrod: Did you have so many props and gimmicks and fun stuff? I feel ill equipped when we do videos together.

Jon Berghoff: Well, I’m happy to see you, buddy. It’s been a little while.

Hal Elrod: Dude, we used to work together a lot. We lived together. We were roommates. We worked together on events, coached every– we have quite a history. And so, we’ve definitely…

Jon Berghoff: If I recall, I think I married you and Ursula.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. And to be clear, not in a way where all three of us married each other. But you were the…

Jon Berghoff: No, I was the officiant. Yeah, I don’t think I should be called a reverend.

Hal Elrod: Reverend, no. Officiant of the wedding. So, hey, let’s just start right off the bat. What are we going to talk about today? Because we are catching up, but I want to make sure, of course, we’re going to deliver a lot of value for whoever’s listening to this. And I want people to know, from your perspective, what’s the objective? What are they going to walk away with today?

Jon Berghoff: Well, I mean, the only true answer is that’s a mystery to you and I.

Hal Elrod: It shall unfold in real time.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah. Well, I think, you’ve been curious about what we’ve been up to at XCHANGE. And, we’ll talk about whatever you’re curious about. And if I can be bold and outrageous, this is an extraordinary time to be alive. And I think there are opportunities for many of us to be of incredible service right now. So, my hope, Hal, is that, in what you invite me to talk about around what we’re doing at XCHANGE that this might open folks up to some ways to be of incredible service at a time where the world needs it. So, I’ve revealed nothing there.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, no, wait, a lot of saying nothing. No. Yeah, but I mean, in fact, let me actually put it this way. So, Brianna Greenspan, the director of education for the Miracle Morning Schools program, my longtime friend, co-author of Miracle Morning coloring book, so on and so forth…

Jon Berghoff: I love, Bri, yeah.

Hal Elrod: Yeah, she often says, “Hal, the work that you–” and she’ll say, I’m paraphrasing, “You and Jon, the work y’all are doing, it’s some of the most important work in the world.” And she differentiates it this way. She tells me that the work that I’m doing with The Miracle Morning is the work that every individual needs to be at their best. And then she’ll say, “And what Jon’s doing with XCHANGE is empowering every group to be at its collective best.” And so, she kind of says that the two of us together, we’re helping individuals that are showing up at their work and in their family, at their best with Miracle Morning. And then you’re taught teaching leaders and CEOs and coaches and consultants how to bring out the best in every group that they’re a part of and that they lead. So, is that a pretty accurate depiction?

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah. No, I think that makes sense. Yeah, our interest at XCHANGE is, we teach others how to design and facilitate different types of group experiences where if the goal is to bring people together so that learning is happening, running different types of workshops, trainings, conferences, meetings, or bringing people together so that there’s more meaningful human connection or most importantly, if somebody is curious about doing that in a way that ultimately builds a sense of community. There’s a reason why a lot of people are attracted to both be a part of communities where they feel they belong, but also to be able to create community for others because there’s a deep need for that in our world right now. But yeah, we’ve been teaching a methodology now for a number of years to thousands of folks how to do that.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. And it’s had a huge impact on the Miracle Morning Community. Obviously, I’ve often said that the most unexpected and maybe the greatest benefit of the Miracle Morning book is the Miracle Morning Community because it’s this group of millions of people around the world that are waking up every day and they’re elevating their own consciousness and it’s impacting humanity, one person at a time. But it’s the collective community of these like-minded people that are sharing a practice that are supporting each other. And so, when bringing out the best in a community, like you’ve said, it’s maybe the most important skill, ability, opportunity that we have right now.

I’ll probably share our backstory in the intro for today’s episode. But I’d love to hear your story. I think that, in the past, we’ve done episodes before, I don’t know how much we often dive right into the content. And I’d love to hear the backstory on how you got to be doing the work that you’re doing. And for those that don’t know, Jon is a dedicated father, coaches his kids, little league team, attends daddy/daughter dances with his daughter, Sierra. I mean, you’re a very involved family man, for sure.

But I’d love to hear on the work side of it. What led you doing the work that you did? Because it was kind of an interesting, unexpected path that reminds me of Steve Jobs saying you can only connect the dots looking backwards. So, let’s connect those dots for anybody listening.

Jon Berghoff: Oh, that’s so interesting, Hal. Yeah, I’m thrilled to try and do that. Well, I think an interesting starting point is actually, how about when you and I met in 1999? Like, let’s start there, right?

Hal Elrod: I love it.

Jon Berghoff: And maybe I can share a side of that meeting that, I don’t know if we’ve ever shared publicly. But some folks have heard our story. Like you said, we were roommates and we both had a period of time in our lives where we did very well, selling Cutco kitchen knives, right?

Hal Elrod: Twenty-four years ago.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, 24 years ago, oh my gosh. And the way you asked that question inspires me to share a more personal side of things. So, that time in my life, Hal, I became very successful. You know this, I was the youngest and fastest rep in the history of the company to be inducted into their Hall of Fame, which is measured based on sales. I was the number one new rep in the company. I was the number one rep overall in ‘99 and 2000. That all sounds really nice.

The part of my story that maybe people don’t always understand is a lot of that success, I think, it happened out of almost desperation and because, prior to that, I was very successfully failing my way out of high school. When a lot of my friends went to college, I didn’t because I was denied every college I applied to. And I didn’t apply to the Ivy League schools, put it that way. So, what was going on for me, Hal, actually, when you and I met is that was the most difficult time in my life. For a whole assortment of reasons, our family had actually moved so that I was in four different schools within five years.

So, the result of that, whatever reasons, in addition, during my high school years, I didn’t feel connected, I didn’t feel like I had friends, I didn’t feel safe, I definitely didn’t feel like I belonged. So, I was in a very lonely, low place. And if anybody can ever relate to that, the depths of pain that that can lead to can be really significant.

Hal Elrod: No wonder you asked me to have been with you after we met, like 30 days after we met.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, I needed somebody.

Hal Elrod: That’s right.

Jon Berghoff: And you called me out. I mean, enough time has passed. Like, I think, I can be even more honest about who I was, right? Doesn’t somebody say progress all starts by telling the truth? And it took me only about 30 years to realize who I really was when you and I met, but I was not…

Hal Elrod: Literally, by the way, buddy, this is the first time that I’ve heard you share that. So, that is interesting.

Jon Berghoff: Well, yeah, and I was known for not being very good at building relationships because I was so alone. I had no interest in that. I had a lot of just deeper issues. So, what does this have to do with my story? Well, I was fortunate, as you were, that we got connected with this company that had the kind of culture where you could be who you are and fit in, which has a lot to do with my interests today, 24 years later, I guess. So, we were given the gift of that opportunity.

And then, fast forward, in my mid-20s, I ended up, because I had done well in sales, I was invited in to be the head of sales for the Vitamix Corporation. They make these really nice blenders. And at a young age, I’m responsible for the largest profit and revenue center for a company that had been around for 90 years at the time and was an iconic brand to me or to a lot of people. And I had 200 people reporting to me. And one part of me, Hal, here’s again, the more personal side of what was actually going on, one voice in my head was like, “You’re the man.” Like, “Way to go. You got this incredible job as a senior leader in this incredible global company.” And I had another voice, it was like, “You have no idea how to do what you just got hired to do.”

Hal Elrod: An impostor syndrome?

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah, you know that self-doubt. And over a decade later, since that moment, I’ve come to realize, like, that’s okay. That’s okay. It’s okay to have a blend of confidence, but also a dose of doubt. What ended up happening was for the next four or five years, I was in a very privileged spot where I was the so-called leader. But I wasn’t the one that made the product that had been around for decades and I’m not the reason there were a lot of trends in the marketplace that we benefited from. But I did have to do some things without screwing it all up.

And the 200-person team grew to 600 people in four years. The $40 million of revenue when I got there grew to $180 million in four years. And one of the things that I learned and it was really accidental, Hal, was everything I was trying to achieve as this head of sales was through the way we ran meetings. And I was trying to create a powerful culture and I was trying to deliver business results too, right? And everything we were doing was through how we’d come together. And what I didn’t realize we’d stumble into is like, oh my gosh, there’s a way to come together through how we design any kind of gathering that actually can tap into this magical potential.

So, long story longer, how does that get us to this moment? Like, I ended up leaving Vitamix because I thought, I’m going to go start something, which for a few years, I kind of flailed. And then you called me. And you said, “JB, a whole bunch of the Miracle Morning Community are coming to an event.” I’m like, “Really? You sold a bunch of tickets to an event? Have you ever put an event on, Hal?” You’re like, “No.”

Hal Elrod: But I’m a keynote speaker, so I at least got an hour or two within me. You can just repeat it for two days. People will love it.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, and you remember. You remember the phone call, it’s like October 2014. You’re like, “JB, I got– you’ve been running events. Come help me.” I’m like, “All right, all right, we’ll figure this out.” And we did that for six years and that millions of dollars of business and we didn’t do it thinking we’re going to make a lot of money. We did it thinking, we got to figure out what to do with this first event, right? And then other communities started calling me, our friends at Gobundance.

And for five years, I designed and led their annual retreat as a high-net-worth mastermind group. And then I had the HeartMath Institute and Conscious Capitalism, now leading their CEO summit every year. And Keller Williams had come teach our master faculty. So, what all ended up happening, it started with you, thank you, is I realize there’s a way to design and lead groups where we can tap into this incredible human potential. And so, now, we’ve taught thousands of coaches, consultants, entrepreneurs how to design and lead group experiences. And people start and scale businesses using our approach, but they also use it to just have better conversations at the dinner table, to bring out the best in any interaction they have. So, thanks for the part that you’ve played in this, Hal. It’s been really cool.

Hal Elrod: Well, it’s cool. I remember, when I used to talk to people about what you would do at– our Best Year Ever Blueprint was the name of the event that we ran for six years. And when I would talk to just friends, colleagues, people in my space, and they would do, “What are you guys doing at this event?” You guys, it seemed I’m getting great feedback. People are loving it. And I would say, I go, “This is the type of person that Jon is.” I said, “Jon runs the events. I get people there. I contribute my ideas and this and that. I speak. But he actually coordinates and facilitates all of the three-day group dynamics and interaction.” And I said, “What’s unique about Jon is he has such high standards.” I said, “He’s been going to the best events in the world and he goes there to take notes to see what they’re doing really well with excellence, what they actually could be doing better.” I go, “He’s the only guy at Tony Robbins’ event going, ‘All right, Tony’s got a lot of this down, but there’s a few holes in his game that we’re going to do this better.’” And I said, “And that’s why the events are so great.” I said, “Jon, he just has a standard of excellence.” And he goes back, “It’s just who you are.”

Like in Cutco, you were not just the number one rep. You almost doubled the all-time annual sales record when you were 18 years old. In fact, I think you were 17 when the year started, right? And then you finished off the year at 18 years old, I mean. And to do that at 18 and then the evolution of you, again, it was like this, you’re going to Vitamix events, you’re going, how can I make these events phenomenal and create this culture? And then you brought it in the Best Year Ever. And then you started XCHANGE. Now, you just shared some evolution of how your backstory got you to here.

But I’d love to hear, at least a little bit about the evolution of, okay, you have this idea. All right, I figured out how to lead groups. I’ve studied some of the best in the world. I’ve been doing it at the Best Year Ever event for the Miracle Morning Community. I want to start my own company that does this for other companies and eventually, became teaching others how to do this for their own coaching group, company, organization, etc., etc. What’s the evolution of XCHANGE? I mean, it was even called LEAF Training on day one. It was really called LEAF. Like, what’s the evolution of when you left Best Year Ever and you started doing your own thing, and then what it’s become now and what it’s doing for people?

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, well, I love that question and happy to do my best answering it. Today, just since the pandemic got here, we’ve had, I think, 16,000 students come through our introductory live workshops. Oh, I can’t forget. Hey, we get to tell if anyone’s listening to this.

Hal Elrod: Yes.

Jon Berghoff: Who like mom or dad, hey, Hal, you and I were hosting a live workshop. If anybody wants to meet me live, online on Zoom, coming up February 15, so whatever, whenever they hear this, they may miss it, that’s fine. But we’re going to host a live workshop where I can actually lead everybody through an experience of the kinds of things we’re going to talk about right now so they can actually firsthand learn our approach and then go use it wherever they want. So, if anyone’s interested with, they can find the link wherever.

Hal Elrod: So, I’m glad you brought it up. I have the link. And this is free for the Miracle Morning Community. And Jon, we’ve done, every time you do this, it evolves, but this will probably be your fourth or fifth or sixth one for our community. But if you all want to attend that, it is free. It’s XCHANGE Approach, so the letter XchangeApproach.com/tmm2024. Again, Xchange Approach.com/tmm2024. So, yeah, let’s talk about what– I guess this might lead into what they would learn at that, knowing how you evolved.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, well, and I want to honor your question you’d asked about our evolution. And I was kind of starting with the present. We’ve had thousands of students come through, and I was going to kind of work backwards, like what has happened? And I’ll share with you, there’s practical, tactical, entrepreneurial lessons, but also some more deeper lessons that I think could apply to anybody, whether or not they want to start a business or not. Let’s start there. Let’s start in the deep end.

Hal Elrod: Okay.

Jon Berghoff: I’ve always been inspired. In fact, it was when you and I met in 1999 that out of desperation, the opportunity to sell Cutco, I was very open to learning about how to create something, even at that young age, even in the midst of struggle. And I think one of the things I learned very early on is the power of purpose. And I’ve got a distinct perspective on purpose. It goes against how some people think about it. And what I was introduced to very early on is this idea that when we find a way to connect ourselves to a sense of purpose or meaning or fulfillment that’s deeper, more significant, that the world kind of organizes things for us. I once heard somebody say, when the why is strong enough, the how will reveal itself. And that’s always been something for me that even through high points and a lot of low points in my life, I’ve remembered that if I can remember to pause, to notice and choose to go back to this question, like what really matters for me?

And when you went through your health journey, Hal, I was there. And I remember you got so clear on what really matters and you made all these changes to support your family. That also, I think, helped to grow your business. And, that’s for me too. I think you and I have had some of the same teachers and mentors. I’ve always tried to ask myself, how do I commit myself to a purpose greater than myself? I actually spent an hour yesterday with a very close personal mentor, an incredible woman, a global luminary that many people might know, Lynne Twist.

Hal Elrod: Soul of Money, Lynne Twist?

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah, she’s a member of our faculty now.

Hal Elrod: Well, that’s amazing. I love that book.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah. And Lynne has lived a life of purpose, and she now teaches, what does this mean to live a committed life? But Lynne has reminded me, Hal, that when we commit ourselves to something bigger than ourselves, beyond ourselves. And that doesn’t mean, like I have to save the world or the planet, and there’s nothing wrong with aspiring to make that kind of impact. It’s not about whether your role is a big role or a small role, but we all have whatever our role is. It could just be how I show up for my kids tonight when I commit myself to something greater than and beyond myself. Lynne has taught me that the universe seems to organize, to help me to become who I need to be, to live in to that commitment. So, I’ve always been interested in how do I help others to create experiences for groups of people where people feel a sense of belonging, where they can learn, where they can transform because I was given that gift. And if I can help others – coaches, consultants, speakers, authors, anybody who wants to learn how to bring people together to create belonging, that’s going to drive me.

So, Hal, you asked like, how did I get to this business being here? We can talk about blocking and tackling. And how do you start something? How do you make money? But I don’t think those things actually work if we’re not constantly committed to something greater than ourselves. That’s the first thing I want to say. If you wanted to interject, please.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, I think, I mean, a story that I have started telling recently that I’ve never used to tell, I don’t think I fully understood the connection between the work that I do and my childhood and the influence my parents had. But when I was eight years old, I woke up to the sound of my mother screaming across the hall from the bedroom and she was screaming, “Oh, my baby, my baby,” with just this terror in her voice. And I woke up. I was eight years old. My dad was at work. My sister was at my grandma’s house, my other sister. And I ran into my mom’s bedroom, and my 18-month-old sister was dead in her arms.

Now, I didn’t know she was dead at the time. My mom was giving her mouth-to-mouth resuscitation. I don’t know if my mom knew she was dead, but she’d been breastfeeding her and her eyes glossed over. And that morning, she officially died at 18 months, just a baby. And of course, my mom and dad were devastated. However, within 6 to 12 months and less than a year later, my mom was leading a support group for other parents who had lost children, and she was leading this group every month called Compassion, it was a chapter of Compassionate Friends. My dad was leading a fundraiser to raise money for the hospital that tried to save my sister’s life and cared for her when she was alive.

And what you’re talking about, like, they took their pain and they found purpose within their pain. And in doing so, we all have pain. We’ve all suffered. You suffered in high school going to four different schools, right? I’ve suffered with my car accident, cancer, etc., financial distress. I mean, when we can, and so anybody listening, think of the pain that you’re experiencing right now or that you’ve experienced in the past that maybe haunts you, trauma. And if you can find purpose or turn that pain into purpose, that is one of, not only most healing things that we can do for ourselves, but it’s the most healing thing that we can do for every life that we touch. And in doing so, now, not only are we healing, but we’re healing others. And it does, to your point, it’s the driving force behind all great work I believe that is done in the world. So, yeah, that’s what I would add to that. And I think that it’s such an important point.

Jon Berghoff: Well, I’m really grateful that you shared that story just now, Hal, because I knew about that, but I’ve never heard you share it in that way. And I didn’t know some of those things about how your mom responded. And yeah, I think what you’re sharing is for anybody who wants to create something or make a difference or make it through a struggle, the remembering that this is how nature works, that in nature and as human beings, if we want to create life, things also have to die, like dying and living go together. And they’re happening every moment. Like, the body that I am today wasn’t even here seven, eight, nine years ago.

And when we remember that, we can remember that every breakdown is it holds within it a seed of a potentially even greater breakthrough. But it’s easy for us to sit here and say that in a recording. It’s hard sometimes in the moment to remember that, especially when we feel like life is happening to us, maybe it’s happening for us. And these types of rememberings are the kinds of things that in our work at XCHANGE, we want to be able to design and lead the kinds of conversations in groups where people are not only having transformative experiences, but they’re also reconnecting with each other in very human ways and remembering what it means to be a human, which includes the pain. The pain comes from the same place within us where we experience joy and when we learn how to not just conceal things, and then they repeat themselves in unhealthy ways and we can actually feel the pain of things we go through, and then we can heal from it. We grow from that. So, thanks for sharing that story.

Hal Elrod: When it comes to, we were talking before we started recording and I’ve heard you go on some rants and I don’t know if we’re going to go on that rant right now, but basically, about…

Jon Berghoff: They’re ready. Let’s see what you bring me.

Hal Elrod: All right. But this unique time in human history if you were to ask someone to unpack, what makes this a unique time in human history? That could be answered in a variety of different ways. And I think that if anybody’s listening and I mean, they’re a human being and right now, it’s a very tumultuous time. It feels America, some would say, is on the verge of a potential civil war. I mean, we’re really living at a wild time in human history. And for a lot of people, it’s a scary time in human history. I would be lying if I didn’t say that I feel fear at some times. And it’s almost that even sometimes, it’s not pointed at anything. I’m not even afraid of a specific thing. It’s like just the unknown right now. And there’s some sort of collective energy.

And here’s what I’ll lead into the question with is that I’m a big believer, I’ve been saying this on this podcast for the last three-plus years since 2020 that when we focus on things that are out of our control, we feel out of control, and that perpetuates stress, fear, anxiety, and depression and that doesn’t serve us and it doesn’t serve anyone. So, the only thing we should be focusing on are things that are in our control. From your vantage point and, again, I work with individuals, more so you work with groups. Like from our friend Brianna’s standpoint, that’s a very significant yet, simple distinction between how you and I work with people and help people. You help people that help groups. I’m helping individuals.

So, all of that being said, at this unique time in human history, however one wants to define what makes it unique, what do you think what do people need right now? What do individuals need? What do groups need? What do the individuals that lead the groups need? Because that’s what you do every day is you’re helping people to bring out the best in other people, bring out the best in the groups that they’re a part of and the groups that they lead.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah. I’ll share an interesting story with you, Hal. When I’m not teaching our work to our students on occasion, I’ll go actually lead a room full of leaders. Like you said, one of the rooms that I enjoy, it’s maybe one of the most meaningful for me the last two years and again, this will be the third year, we get to lead every year a gathering of leaders who are all CEOs of a community called Conscious Capitalism. And it’s a very intimate group and it’s leaders in this room of companies that many of us know of.

John Mackey, the founder of Whole Foods, as an example, is one of the kind of co-founder examples of Conscious Capitalism. He and many of his kind of colleagues are kind of in the room and share an interesting story. He, this year, shared a message with the room as we closed out the third day. And John shared some of his lessons from founding Whole Foods and making the difference in the world that he did, which is quite significant. And at the end of his message, Hal, he said to this room full of CEOs who have power to influence and he said, “Hey, here’s the single most important thing I’ve learned. It’s that as we navigate through a world like this, we need to remember to breathe.” And he actually invited us all into a breathing exercise.

And then he invited us to breathe and to reconnect to the place within us where love lives, right? And again, I’m sitting here telling you this is a room full of CEOs of global companies that we all know of. And the whole room is resonating, they’re aligned. Now, this all sounds really nice. It sounds very privileged that we can sit in there and breathe and connect to love. But the whole reason I’m sharing this story is because you could look at this moment in time, like you said, many different ways. If you were to look at it from a historical perspective, every civilization has risen and fallen with pinpoint accuracy. And I’m not talking about like the last 10 civilizations. It happens six phases, 250 years.

The anthropological research has actually validated this back thousands, tens of thousands of years. Not very many folks go that far to see that this has actually repeated itself. So, that could either be discomforting when you see the stage that we’re actually in and that will be in for a while. Or it could be comforting when we remember that there are patterns and so, we can remember to learn, right? There’s also indigenous prophecies that for thousands of years have said the same thing.

Here’s the bottom line. However you come into it, like you said, this is a time where maybe things in our world are changing faster than we’re all able to adapt to that change. So, the stress we feel, the self-doubt we feel, the isolation, loneliness, depression, markers of mental health are in places they’ve never been. Yeah, this is real. But I would recommend that what we need, and this has always happened in these times, we need a select group of people.

One of my teachers, Margaret Wheatley, talks about how every time the world is going through a stage like this, there’s a select group of people. Hal, I believe anybody who is doing the Miracle Morning is a part of this group. We need a select group of people because they care about who they are so they can be of service to others. I know that’s true in many cases. We need a select group of people and it’s not going to be some critical mass. Look around, right? The whole world is not all of the sudden going to be conscious. That’s just not how it’s going to work. But we need a critical mass to be warriors for the human spirit, as Meg would say.

And what does that mean? Well, it can mean something different for each of us, but I think the real question to ask is, who will we choose to be, right? And we need to be willing to see the present clearly so that we can act wisely, not try and see things delusionally better than they are or make them worse than they are. Let’s all be on a journey to see clearly so we can act wisely. And here at XCHANGE, our small piece of that puzzle is realizing that how we lead groups in ways where people are having human connected, safe experiences, that’s our effort. But whether or not someone has any interest in leading groups, Hal, everybody can ask, who will I choose to be? And I began with the story about John because everything that’s separating us and dividing us, if we can breathe and reconnect to our hearts, I don’t know, that could be an embarrassingly simple solution in some cases. So, I’ll stop and see where you want to go.

Hal Elrod: Yeah, well, it’s funny that– or not funny, but curious, interesting that what I wrote down, as you were talking about five minutes ago, the next question I wanted to ask you was about your relationship with Margaret Wheatley, the author of Who Do We Choose to Be? As I was writing that, essentially, you started talking about her, yeah, because I read her book years ago. And so, I’ve talked about on the podcast, it is a very sobering book that every civilization, like you said, rises and falls. And we are lining up. It’s a very predictable pattern and it’s repeated over and over and over again. And the question being, who do we choose to be in the midst of the chaos, right? And she calls it being islands of sanity in the midst of storm or the midst of chaos.

This actually brought up a different line of thinking or a different question. And this is a curiosity for me right now and yeah, I’m very curious. And I’ll share my perspective, too, if you want. But what are your thoughts on death? And this is a very personal question. But what I mean is sometimes when I get stressed out about the state of the world or the unknown fall of the empire or the direction, I find peace in death because, like you said, the day you’re born, it ensures that you’re going to die, right?

And I think that a lot of people are afraid of death. It’s a fear. And I’ve always thought, “God, what an irrational fear because we’re all going to die.” And that’s not a judgment, but just from my perspective. And I think, for me, it’s like when I had a cancer, I’ve gone through these experiences, so I’m like, I’m at peace with death. That’s going to happen whenever it happens for me. I’m not in a rush, but it is what it is. But for me, I think it’s like, look, every civilization has gone through these ups and downs and there’s been wars and there’s been genocides and there’s been tragedies, right? And at the end of the day or the beginning is everyone’s born and everyone dies and then stuff happens in between. Like, getting in touch with that simplicity and being completely at peace with death helps me to live fully and just enjoy every moment of this one life I’ve been blessed to live. So, I’m just curious personally on your thoughts on death and what that means to you, if it’s a fear, you’re excited about it to see what happens after, like I’m curious.

Jon Berghoff: Well, let’s get one thing clear. You clearly have been given more than one life.

Hal Elrod: That’s true. Yeah, that’s true.

Jon Berghoff: I’m pretty sure you’re a cat in a human’s body.

Hal Elrod: Something like that.

Jon Berghoff: Well, yeah, I mean, if there’s one thing that’s certain, none of us are getting out of here alive, right? Yeah, I’ve actually been studying death superficially. I mean, over the last few years, and we were talking about Meg, one of her teachers is Pema Chodron. And I’m interested in death from multiple perspectives, and so, I’ll share my kind of personal feelings in a second, but I’ll first share just, I found it really interesting to notice that in different places in the world, we have a different relationship with death, like in the Western world, just like you said, we’re not really steeped in the type of tradition and ritual and relationship with death the way others are.

And so, then I realized, like, “Oh, I’m in the same boat.” My mom right now, she’s in the later stages of dementia. And we were just visiting with her. I’m in Ohio. My mom and dad still live in California. I don’t get out as often as I’d like to, although I’m now consciously making an effort to change that. And we were out there just a few weeks ago. And I mean, it’s interesting to be around her because you see, it’s like you’re witnessing a slow death. And her soul and her spirit are very much still alive. But this part of her ability to be and to interact are clearly disintegrating right in front of our eyes. And so, that in the last couple of years has led me to think about like, we’ve never talked about this. So, I’m really curious to hear.

Hal Elrod: It takes a podcast for us to have a really deep conversation, buddy.

Jon Berghoff: We needed the accountability of that recording button. Oh my gosh. Yeah, I didn’t know what we’d talk about today. And I’m really glad we’re here.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. Me too.

Jon Berghoff: Well, I’ll tell you, buddy. It’s led me to realizing that, I think there is a benefit to looking at our relationship with death and life. And realizing how natural it is, it’s how nature works. And Pema Chodron wrote a book called How We Live is How We die. And yes, it brings in Tibetan and Buddhist teachings, but if you want, you can strip that away. And they’re still very practical, you have to see it. There’s actually a scientific validation of these spiritual teachings as well that life and death are how it works. And so, yeah, I’ve become more curious. I do believe it has inspired me to live differently. I had an experience a number of months ago, where during this experience, I had a realization that every moment could be my last moment.

And then I thought, if this is my last moment, who do I really want to be right now? Do I really want to be stressed out as I go into whatever’s next if that next is death and then what’s beyond that? Or do I maybe want to consider, like, hey, if I don’t know, and it could be my last moment, then let’s make this one matter? And maybe how I make it matter is different right now than the next moment. But how I show up with my kids in who I am with them and at work, all of that, in fact, is affected by thinking about these things, I think.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, I agree, I think one thing that I’ve done is, with looking at the world and the state of the world, what’s going on is, I’ll similarly take that moment that you talked about and how you’re going to show up in the moment and I’ll stretch it out over the context of if you were given a week to live, it’s your last week, how would you live that week? How would you show up? Because maybe, again, instead of the moment, I just extended a little bit to think about, man, what would I do this week? I would really connect with my children deeply and intimately and meaningfully this week, right? I would make sure I did the best date night with my wife ever this week. I would practice self-care this week. I’d reach out to my mom and dad and let them know how much I love them this week.

So, I’d encourage whether you think, how are you going to live this next moment, for anyone listening or, hey, you’ve been given a week to live, how are you going to live this week and then live every week like that? And of course, you can take the time frame and make it the last day of your life. How are you going to live this day? I just like the week because it gave me a little wiggle room and I could…

Jon Berghoff: You’re so practical.

Hal Elrod: What did you say?

Jon Berghoff: You’re so practical.

Hal Elrod: I’m so practical, I know, exactly. So, dude, I’m enjoying this, brother. I really am. And we could keep talking. I’d love to, because I know we have the training coming up, the live experiential training for our community. That’s going to be on February 15th, which I think this episode will come out on the seventh, so…

Jon Berghoff: Which is my birthday. So, that’s my birthday.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. And that’s interesting. Oh, yeah, so Happy Birthday, JB, because I call Jon Berghoff JB, y’all didn’t know. It’s your birthday the day this episode’s going to come out, so yeah.

Jon Berghoff: I feel like I’m double dipping.

Hal Elrod: The odds are I’ll forget to call you on that day so that I officially wish you Happy Birthday on what will be the seventh.

Jon Berghoff: Hey, whenever your next birthday is, Hal, Happy Birthday.

Hal Elrod: Yeah, thanks, buddy. That’s actually one thing that I love about us is that we don’t take life so seriously, that if we forget a birthday, it’s like we know we love each other and it’s like we’re not going to get all butthurt and be like, “Dude, you didn’t call me on my birthday.”

Jon Berghoff: Oh my gosh. What are your kids’ names again? Yeah, tell them I love them.

Hal Elrod: Yeah, that’s funny. So, what is that free training going to be? What are people going to get from that? Again, you can register, everybody, XchangeApproach.com/tmm2024. And I’ll just say from my perspective, I’ve gone through three-day XCHANGE trainings. I’ve gone through these 90-minute or 60-minute, whatever this will be, I’ve done these trainings with you. In fact, just so everyone knows, this is how good Jon’s XCHANGE training is, I’ve paid for my entire team. Everyone, every single person on the Miracle Morning team, I have personally paid for them to go through XCHANGE’s three-day training program. And this is free what he’s doing, but I’ve invested. So, I believe in the XCHANGE Approach. So, what will this free live experiential training, what will it be about? What will people learn and gain from it?

Jon Berghoff: Yeah. Well, first of all, we’re going to have a heck of a good time because that’s how I roll.

Hal Elrod: It is fun.

Jon Berghoff: Secondly, it might be the opposite of every other live webinar workshop you’ve ever attended, right? So, for example, I don’t have 200 slides, I don’t have any slides. It’s actually a lot, it’s an experience. We’re actually going to interact, not in a superficial way. We’re actually going to have a live experiential exploration. And then I’m going to unpack by sharing all of our core frameworks, all of our intellectual property, how do we do what we do at XCHANGE. You’re going to get to witness it. I’m not going to sit there and talk about it. No, that’s a disrespect to your time to say you got to show up live to listen to me talk. That’s what we’re going to do. I’d send you the recording. We’re going to have an experience. You’ve got to be willing to be present for it. This isn’t like some other thing where you do things in the background and you can get away with that. Don’t even come. Come if you want to actually witness and have a transformational experience. That’s a big claim for me to make, but let me deliver on it, right?

And then, what I’ll do is I’ll show everybody, Hal, there’s like a 12-page workbook that goes with this free workshop. I will share with you all our core frameworks for how do we design and facilitate gatherings where people learn and simultaneously have human connection and ultimately, experience of belonging. Because when we learn how to design workshops, meetings, gatherings, communities of any type where we hit that transformational triangle of learning connection and belonging, amazing things become possible for the people that we serve, but also for us if we want to do that in our lives or in our businesses. So, that’s what we’re going to do.

Hal Elrod: And I will say for anybody listening, a couple of things, one is Jon is literally considered the best in the world at this. So, that in and of itself, it’s really, like I went to a Taylor Swift concert with my daughter because that’s her dream, and so, I made it happen last year. And I was like, “Oh, I’m not a Swiftie,” even though I did get a T-shirt that said, “Dads can be Swifties, too.” But when we were there, I had this moment of awe, and it was going, “Wow. This is one of the best performers in the world at the peak of her career. And I’m having an opportunity to witness that.” And I just felt that I was like, “Wow, that’s special.” It’s a different context of I’m listening to my daughter’s favorite music, right? And so, basically, I’m saying, watching Jon on this free webinar is like watching Taylor Swift at a concert.

Jon Berghoff: I am absolutely not going to disagree with this comparison. You know what’s funny? What’s funny is I led a 250-person leadership training this week online and during that training, Hal, I was actually compared to Taylor Swift.

Hal Elrod: Get out of here.

Jon Berghoff: No, hold on. Let me finish the story. I was the one comparing myself to Taylor Swift.

Hal Elrod: Oh, okay. All right, okay.

Jon Berghoff: But for a totally different reason than you were. Oh, yeah, we’ll have a good time. And yeah, I’m honored to be considered in the class that I am as a facilitator, but I’m even more thrilled to teach what we do to as many people as possible.

Hal Elrod: That is what I think is cool is that you’re paying it forward, like you’re taking the methodology that you developed and that you do for the CEO of these big companies and you’re saying, “Hey, here’s how y’all get ready, you need to hire me. You can literally learn to do exactly what I do.” So, anybody who wants to attend and get into XCHANGE, the letter X, XchangeApproach.com/tmm2024, I sadly will not be there live because it’s my wife’s birthday and we will be on a ski trip. So, normally, I’m at all these live and I’m taking notes and learning, but actually, I won’t be there live, but you’re in good hands with Jon. And you’ll find at that URL that I gave you, there’s two different times. So, you can choose between a morning and an afternoon session depending on what works for you. Jon, I guess, my last question is when do we see each other next, buddy? It has been way too long.

Jon Berghoff: Oh my gosh. Yeah, no kidding. And by the way, have a great time with Ursula. Tell her I said hi. I hope you guys have a great time.

Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, what’s funny is we might see your kids there.

Jon Berghoff: Oh, yeah.

Hal Elrod: Because they’re going skiing at the same resort at the same time. So, we’re trying to arrange a dinner, yeah.

Jon Berghoff: I love it, I love it, I love it. I don’t know when we’ll see each other next. Well, let’s make it happen.

Hal Elrod: Will you be coming to Austin any time? I feel like you said, oh, you were here for Conscious Capitalism. Anything else?

Jon Berghoff: I’ll be there in October for the Conscious Capitalism CEO Summit. No, I got to get you and your team to come to our in-person event that we host for our community in October.

Hal Elrod: Yeah, all right.

Jon Berghoff: Yeah, yeah, that was actually where I was comparing myself to Taylor Swift because we sell that event out, like, months and months in advance. And I’m very proud of that. And so, I was telling this audience, like, we release a batch of tickets on February 21st. And it’ll probably fill up this year’s event, anyways.

Hal Elrod: That’s a stretch, man. That is a stretch comparison.

Jon Berghoff: I mean, it’s small stretch. Small stretch.

Hal Elrod: All right, well, let’s wrap up. Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I don’t know about you, but this was actually a really cool conversation for me because not only do I always learn a lot and have a lot of paradigm and perspective shifts when I talk to Jon, but we got to talk about some really real topics and personal topics. I enjoyed this, Jon. It was great.

Jon Berghoff: Me too, buddy. Really good to catch up and looking forward to when we connect again, Hal. This was awesome.

Hal Elrod: All right, everybody, I love you so much. Thanks for listening. And we’ll see you soon. We’ll talk to you next week.

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