Are you like me (and most people) in that you have strong attachments to things going the way you want them to go? Consider the areas in your life where you may be holding on too tightly and trying to control the outcome.
What would happen if, instead, you chose to surrender and trust the flow of life just a little more?
Last week I mentioned that I was re-reading one of my favorite books, Michael A. Singer’s The Surrender Experiment. And I’ve noticed that I’ve been struggling to surrender lately, so I thought I’d share my journey of getting to a place of surrender with you today.
You’ll learn why surrendering isn’t about sitting back and doing nothing. When we actively choose to surrender to the flow of life, we often find clarity, peace, and unexpected opportunities. This means there is less stress from trying to control everything and more joy from experiencing the genuine moments life offers.
- It’s not about the events in life, it’s about how you interpret them.
- The power of looking at challenges as opportunities for growth.
- The key to unlocking our potential often lies in places we least expect.
- The tighter we hold, the more we lose.
- Dance with life’s rhythm, don’t dictate it.
- Why letting go leads to deeper connections.
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Rise by CURED Nutrition is a natural supplement made from CBD, Lions Mane and Ginseng (among others) that helps boost energy, performance and cognitive function. There’s no caffeine, no jitters and most importantly, no crash. Visit CuredNutrition.com/Hal and receive 20% off of your entire order. They have tons of other products as well, hopefully you’ll find something that works for you. :^)
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Hal Elrod: Hello, and welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and I appreciate you being here today. We are going to talk about what it means to surrender, to shift your paradigm instead of trying to force life to be the way you want it to be. What if you just surrendered to life the way that it was?
And this is based on the book I am rereading right now. I mentioned this in last week’s podcast episode. It’s called The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. I first read this probably three or four years ago. And it’s in top 10, 15 of my favorite books of all time. And as I was reading it and just realizing that I am really struggling to surrender right now, I’m really struggling to surrender, and because I’ve been struggling to surrender, I’ve experienced a lot of stress and anxiety and fear and just trying to push my way through life and being attached to the outcomes that I am working towards and the fear of not reaching those outcomes causing me all sorts of stress.
So, as I’ve been going through that journey over the last few months or weeks, months, I guess months, or decades, that’s just life. But as I was reading this book, I just today, when I was like, what’s on my heart to share with you, I thought, you know what? It’s this journey of getting to a place of surrender. And so, that’s what we’re going to unpack today.
I’m not reading from the book. It was my inspiration for the episode. And it’s really just kind of a stream of consciousness episode. I really hope it is valuable for you and it helps you to realize that there are different ways to approach your life. And when you change the way you interpret your life and your life experiences and you change the way you respond to your life and your life experiences, you shift how you experience life itself. So, excited to share this with you today. Hope it is really helpful.
Before we dive in, I want to take just a minute to thank our sponsor, Organifi, bringing you the highest quality organic whole food supplements. Most recently, I take their Essential Magnesium before bed as part of my bedtime routine. In fact, I mention that supplement in the new Miracle Evening chapter of the Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition. Because in that chapter, I share the supplements that I take before bed to help me calm my nervous system. And one of them is Organifi Essential Magnesium.
If you want to check out that product or any of Organifi’s products to help you with your weight management, your energy, your cognitive ability and mental clarity, your sleep, or any other health-related topics, head over to Organifi.com/Hal, that is O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal, and use the discount code H-A-L at checkout for 20% off of your entire order. All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, my friends, I am excited to explore the question, what does it look like for us to shift our consciousness, shift our paradigm to one of surrender?
Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I have a question for you. What does it mean to surrender? Or maybe a better way of putting it is what does it mean to live a life of surrender or at least implement surrender into your life?
Last week, I talked about how to overcome feeling overwhelmed and got a lot of great feedback from you all on that episode. I’m glad it was helpful. I was realizing right now, I have 314 unread text messages and I thought I should have included mentioning that in the episode on why I have been feeling so overwhelmed. Oh no, it’s down to 299. All right, I guess I answered 15 of them. We’re down to just 299.
But I mentioned also, in last week’s episode, that I’m reading the book or rereading the book, The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer. And I cannot recommend this book enough. In fact, as I’m reading it and reading all of my underlines and my notes and everything else inside of it, I find myself realizing, man, there’s so many things in here where I write a note like, hey, reread and master this or implement this, and maybe you can resonate or relate to reading a book and then not going back and doing everything you intended to do or rereading sections of the book to really implement and integrate the content into your life. So, anyway, that’s a side note.
The idea of the Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, one of my favorite authors, is that he essentially, at some point in his life, realized that he was always trying to control everything. And maybe you can relate to that. We try to control things and we try to control them mostly in our mind. We definitely try to control them logistically as well, externally, try to control situations. And we do things, we take actions trying to make life the way that we want.
But it’s a very stressful way to live, where you’re like, you have this idea of the way things are supposed to be, the way things have to be. And we live our entire lives trying to adjust and control and manipulate, and I don’t mean that in a negative connotation of manipulate, but just meaning to move things in the way we want them to be. And rather than, what’s the alternative? The alternative is to just go with the flow and see what life presents us with.
And part of this transition, and that, by the way, is really what surrender is, surrender is I’m going to go with the flow of life, and whatever life presents me, I’m not going to resist it, I’m not going to wish it were different. I’m going to embrace life exactly as it is. I’m going to enjoy every moment. I’m going to surrender to the flow of life rather than trying to control life. And then when things aren’t the way that we want them to be, getting upset or angry or scared or anxious, think about that.
The weather is a great example. In fact, Michael Singer uses the weather as an example in the book where he talks about, like, if you had plans for the day, let’s say you had plans for the day and you wanted sunny weather for those plans, right? It was an outdoor activity that you didn’t want to rain, and maybe rain would even “ruin” the activity, such as you’re going to play a volleyball game or something like that. And so, he said, if it rains, like that day comes and you’re excited for whatever you had planned, and then it rains, think about how we respond to that. We resist the rain. We wish it weren’t happening, we’re angry, we’re upset, and we might even decide that our day is ruined because it rained.
So, rather than surrendering to the weather and saying, “Hey, it’s raining, I can’t change it. There’s no point in feeling upset about it. What a waste of energy. What a waste of my life to be upset over the rain, upset over the weather.” You can apply this to anything in life. Whatever happens, you can just be upset about it. And you could wish it didn’t happen and live in a state of really delusion. We’re delusional when we are wishing that life happened differently than it happened because that’s delusion. It’s happening the way it’s happening.
And for us to think or wish or want otherwise, it doesn’t actually make life the way we want it to be. It just causes a disconnect between us and reality. It causes conflict, internal conflict between us and reality. So, great example, for me, personally, the Miracle Morning book launch is what I’m in the midst of, and I talked about that on last week’s episode is the reason I am feeling as overwhelmed as I’ve ever felt before, and I’m sure recency bias plays a part of that, but I have more on my to-do list than I have time to do it. And it seems like every week that goes by, I’m not getting everything done I need to get done, which means my– and then, usually, new things are being added to the list. So, it’s like my responsibilities or my tasks are growing and I’m feeling incapable of getting everything done that I need to get done.
And again, if you’re new to the channel or new to the podcast, this is for the upcoming edition, the new updated and expanded edition of The Miracle Morning. So, I’ve rewritten the entire book. I’ve rewritten almost every page, and my editor changes the back. He was, “No, no, this was actually better the way you had it before. You tried to make it too different.” I’m like, okay. So, the essence, it’s the same book. The chapter titles are the same, but I’ve improved every page and then I’ve added over 40 pages of content, including two new chapters, The Miracle Evening and The Miracle Life. So, that’s the new book that’s coming out here, December 12th of 2023.
And so, the launch for that, and probably, like we do in life, I’m making it more complicated than it needs to be. I’m adding a lot of tasks and a lot of ideas and stuff that I’m probably getting a little too far from the basics. We had talked about that last week on the podcast that the cause of overwhelm, the root cause is internal far more than it is external, right? Meaning that you might have a lot of things on the to-do list, but it’s all about how are you internalizing that? Are you telling yourself it’s too much, you can’t handle it, which is what I’ve been doing? Or are you telling yourself, I’ve got this? And what’s going to happen is going to happen, I’m going to do the best that I can. That’s all I can do is the best that I can.
Or in my case, my affirmation reminds me all I can do is apply the miracle equation. All I can do is maintain unwavering faith that the book launch is going to go great and put forth extraordinary effort, do my best every day to make you agree, and then be at peace with whatever happens, right? And that, therein is the surrender. Be at peace with whatever happens.
So, if you think about your life and you think about the best aspects of your life, or best is a loaded word. Let’s just say the most meaningful aspects of your life. So, if you have children, for example, the person, the father or mother of your children, likely you didn’t force that to happen. Now, some of you might have stalked your spouse or whatever, and you’re like, no, no, I laid eyes on him. I decided they were going to be mine. And I started stalking them until it became– I got what I wanted. Like that might be your story.
But for most of us, I didn’t know that I was going to meet my wife, Ursula. When I met her, I had no idea that she was going to come into my life. Life just kind of delivered her, if you will. And I took advantage of that opportunity in terms of courting her and loving on her and all of that. And now, we have this marriage and children and a life together.
But the point is, think about how many of us are for– like if you don’t have the love of your life or think back to when you didn’t have the love of your life, most of us feel this pressure, this stress that we need to make it happen. We need to find that person versus surrendering and going, “You know what? I’m going to keep being the best version of myself, putting myself out there, meeting people, socializing, maybe online dating.” That’s actually where I met my wife. So, I was being proactive.
But anyway, and then surrendering, going, “You know what? That person, I don’t know when they’re going to come into my life, but I’m going to surrender.” And I think that faith and surrender really do go together. It is having faith that life’s going to work out and that you’re going to go with that flow, which means that if you go with the flow, if you surrender, then life is working out by default because you’re just surrendering. You’re saying yes to life, you’re saying yes to the opportunities, you’re saying yes to the challenges.
Look at the challenges in your life. I think about my car accident. I couldn’t have chosen that and I never would have intentionally chosen that to be hit by a drunk driver and break 11 bones and found dead at the scene. But I really believe that’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. And the reason I believe that is because I believe that the greater the adversity we experience, the greater the opportunity for growth, for evolution, for our personal evolution, for our self-actualization, for us to become the best version of ourselves. If you don’t face adversity, if you don’t face challenges, then those are opportunities to grow.
And think about the challenges you’re facing in your life right now. How might you learn from those? How might you grow from those? How might you surrender to those? Meaning, rather than resist those challenges and think, I am so mad about this. I’m so upset about this, I’m so sad about this, I’m so angry about this. Why did this happen to me? I don’t deserve this. Life isn’t fair. What if the thing that you think you don’t deserve because it’s difficult and it’s painful, what if, like me, with my car accident, you’ll look back one day and go, oh, that was the greatest thing that ever happened to me because it enabled me to grow or it led to this other opportunity or this relationship or this, whatever it is, and it’s beautiful.
You have to realize that the quality of your life has far less, not nothing, but far less to do with what’s going on outside of you than it does to what’s going on inside of you. And surrender, that’s an inside mindset, paradigm, perspective. Really, it’s a paradigm. It’s the paradigm of surrender. I’m going to go with the flow of life. It kind of reminds me of that Jim Carrey movie, Yes Man, where he decided he was someone that was really always played really cautious and he was always anxious and he was always stressed out. I forgot why he made the decision, but he decided, you know what? I’m just going to say yes to life from now on. I’m going to say yes to every opportunity. And preceding that decision, friends would call him and say, “Hey, come out with us, Jim.” And he’d say, “No, no, no, I’m going to stay in.” And he’d get an opportunity to– I don’t know, in his work, and he’d say, “No, no, no, I’m just going to play it safe.”
And then he decides to say yes, which is really a form of kind of surrender. I’m going to just go with the flow of life. Whatever life presents me, I’m going to say yes. And that was Michael Singer’s decision, is that whatever life presents me, he’s going to say yes. And by the way, when that decision was made, he had gone on a complete singular-focused mission of enlightenment, inner freedom. All he was doing was meditating every day. He would meditate at least three times a day. He’d have a morning meditation, a noon meditation, and an evening meditation. And these weren’t 5 or 10 minutes meditation, these were hour, two-hour, three-hour long meditations.
So, basically, he had become like a monk, if you will, where he just wanted to completely be spiritual and go within and experience inner freedom. And when you decide to surrender to life, basically, it was similar to the Jim Carrey decision that he was going to say yes to all of the opportunities that came his way, say yes to the challenges that he was faced, stop resisting anything, stop resisting life. And part of that for him was giving up his preferences. That’s an important distinction, by the way.
Giving up his preferences, meaning he realized that when you have preferences, most of us have preferences with how we want things to be, how we like them to be, how we think they should be. And then when life doesn’t line up with our preferences, we don’t feel good about it. We’re stressed out, we’re upset, we’re angry, we’re sad. I expected this from this person and they didn’t deliver.
Well, surrender is, whatever that person gives me, I’m going to work with that. And if it’s something I don’t like, then I won’t expose myself to it. I’m not going to put myself in bad positions where I’m being beaten up mentally or emotionally by other people. But I’m going to just go with the flow of life, go with the flow in my relationships.
And when you live this life of surrender, what you may find is that what life delivers to you, what life has in store for you, if you will. Just like meeting your spouse randomly or encountering adversity, a car accident, a health challenge, whatever it is. Rather than resisting these things because they’re not in alignment with your expectations and your preferences, what if you just became this unconditionally at peace being and just went through life surrendering?
So, let me bring that back to what I’m dealing with as an example. So, for me, today is August 17th, and the Miracle Morning book launch is December 12th. So, four months until the book launches. And so, this is how I’m applying what this looks like. And it’s easier said than done, I get it, which is why I put my affirmations, I read it every day as a reminder. But the way that I’m applying this is surrendering to the book launch rather than stressing about it because I’ve got this to-do list and I have these 80 things that I want to get done and I don’t think they’re all going to get done. And now, really, that causes me all this stress and anxiety, or I shouldn’t say that causes me. I cause me all this stress and anxiety. Think about that for a second. Make sure you take ownership of all the stress and anxiety that you’re feeling isn’t because of the things in your life that you think are causing the stress and anxiety. They might be contributing to it. But the root cause is always your interpretation and your response to those things, your interpretation and your response to whatever things are causing you stress.
And if you change your interpretation and you change your response, you can alleviate your stress and your anxiety and your overwhelm when you surrender, right? All of the things I’m talking about can be wrapped up into one word. It’s to surrender. To surrender means to accept life exactly as it is. To surrender means to drop your expectations. It means to not be completely attached to your preferences. It’s to allow flexibility and grace in your life. It’s to go with the flow. It’s to say yes to the challenges you face, to embrace them and welcome them, and invite the challenges. And remember, when you change how you interpret and respond to the things in your life that are causing you stress, it changes the experience. You can let go of the stress.
So, if your interpretation of the challenge that you’re facing right now in your life, the challenges, I’m sure you’ve got more than one, if your interpretation of the challenges, of the adversity, if the interpretation is this is difficult, I can’t handle this, why, why, why, why me? I know I don’t want this. That interpretation causes you inner turmoil. It makes life difficult.
But if instead, you say, “Man, I’ve got a lot on my plate. I have so many things to get done. I can’t even get them all done. I’ve got some relationships in my life, some important relationships. I’ve got some challenges. My kids are facing some challenges. My spouse and I are–” I’m just kind of thinking out loud of all the various challenges that we are facing, either from time to time or chronically potentially, right? Like, these chronic challenges that seem like they’ve been going on for years or for decades. Think about if you change your interpretation of the challenges and you look at them as opportunities for growth, it changes your experience of the challenges. You can trade in fear and anxiety and stress and depression with curiosity and peace and growth and surrender. And so, you are so much more in control of your life and how you experience it than you realize.
And so, for me, in this Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition book launch, I don’t think I’m going to get all the things done that I want to get done, and that’s been causing me a lot of stress. But now, when I say now, I mean the last couple of weeks, I’ve shifted my interpretation of those things that I need to get done, that I want to get done, that I’m telling myself I have to get done, and I’m just surrendering and saying, you know what? I’m going to go with the flow. I’m going to get done as much as I can get done. And I’m probably not going to get done a bunch of things, but nobody’s going to notice because they don’t see my 80-item to-do list. You all are looking at my to-do list. At the end of the book launch, you’re not going to go, “Hal, you didn’t get 48 things on the list done, you only got 32 of them done. Man, you suck. You failed.” You’re not going to see that.
You’re just going to go, “Wow. The new book’s out, and there’s all these preorder bonuses.” Oh, that’s awesome, right? Oh, I’m excited for the new book. And I’m going to get copies for my friends and family. I’m obviously planting seeds with that. But the point is, you’re not going to see the things that didn’t get done, that I’ve been telling myself had to get done.
In fact, if I got nothing done on the list, except for the books up on Amazon and people can buy it, that’s all that needs to happen. And so, look at your life. Look at the things, the preferences that you have, and ask yourself, could you trade in your preferences for the choice to surrender and go with the flow? For example, if you go to a restaurant and you only like to eat certain things at a restaurant, could you go to that restaurant and say, hey, you order for me? Whoever you’re with, you order for me. I’m going to surrender. I’m going to let life surprise me, right?
Life can surprise and delight you if you let go of your preferences. And I should say we, because I have very strong preferences myself, and I’ve tried to let them go. By the way. I’m much more like by the book, follow a schedule. I’m very disciplined and that comes with very strong preferences. My wife, Ursula, thank God, I married her for many reasons, this is one of them, but she is much more, “Hey, let’s go with the flow. Let’s just show up somewhere and see what happens.” And so, I’m trying to be a lot more like that.
And some of you, you might be listening and you go, “Yeah, I’m pretty go with the flow. I do surrender.” But I don’t think it’s the majority. I think the majority of us have very strong preferences. We have preferences with the way life should be, expectation where life should go. And we have attachments, we are attached to outcomes, and our preferences, our attachments, and our expectations, right? Our preferences or expectation or attachments cause us a ton of worry, grief, stress, anxiety, fear because we’re afraid. What if things don’t go the way I want them to go? What if I don’t get everything done that I need to get done?
And I’m inviting you all to try the Surrender Experiment. In fact, I’d encourage you to read the book. It is a phenomenal book, The Surrender Experiment by Michael Singer, the subtitle is My Journey into Life’s Perfection, because you realize that you actually can see life as perfect, you can experience life as perfect. When you decide life is perfect, it exists as it exists. It’s been around for billions of years, longer than you or I have, and it’ll be here long after we’re gone. And life just continues to flow. And yet, we try to make it the way we want it to be.
And there’s nothing wrong. Yeah, this is the Achieve Your Goals podcast. Of course, set your goals, achieve your goals, but surrender to the unexpected. Surrender to outcomes that might not be what you intended. Surrender to the challenges and the adversity that’s going to show up in your life unexpectedly. And it might be there to teach you a lesson. In fact, my car accident that left me dead for six minutes and with broken bones and all that, it might one day become the best thing that ever happened to you. The most painful thing that ever happened to you could ultimately be the best thing that ever happened to you.
And if right now, you’re enduring one of the most painful times in your life, I encourage you to shift your interpretation, your perspective. Bring a little surrender in your life and go, “You know what? Oh, maybe this is exactly what I’m supposed to be experiencing right now so that I can learn what I need to learn, so that I can become the person that I need to be, to create everything I’ve ever wanted for my life.” And I invite you to surrender to that possibility.
All right, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning Community, I love you so much. I hope this has been helpful for you. And I will talk to you next week.