Procrastination is something that most people deal with from time to time. It can sneak up on you when life gets busy because it’s easier to push something to the next day instead of tackling it and crossing it off your list.
And I couldn’t be more excited to share this conversation with my good friend, Rob Dial. He’s the mastermind behind the #1 podcast on mindset and motivation which has been downloaded over $250M times called, The Mindset Mentor. He also has a new book titled, Level Up: How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life.
Today, Rob shares his blueprint for building a life where fears or what-ifs do not hold you back. You’ll learn how to stay driven and focused to chase your biggest goals – even on those days when you don’t feel like it – and upgrade your life.
- The more you fight the world’s flow, the greater your anxiety.
- How most of your fears are made up.
- The art of taking action, even when motivation is low.
- How to turn fear into excitement.
- Every great achievement begins with a single step.
- Achieving hardcore focus in a world buzzing with distractions.
- Your phone may refresh its battery but can’t refresh your soul.
- Why procrastination is a sign of deeper underlying concerns.
- The #1 reason behind your dwindling motivation.
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- Rob Dial on Facebook | Instagram | YouTube
- Level Up: How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life by Rob Dial
- The Mindset Mentor
- Jon Berghoff
- Celeste Fine
- John Maas
- Jay Shetty
- Richard Shuster
- Andrew Huberman
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Hal Elrod: Rob Dial, it is so good to be with you, brother.
Rob Dial: Hey, good to be with you, too, man. Thanks for being here.
Hal Elrod: So, we have a lot of history.
Rob Dial: Yeah. We have a lot of history, yes.
Hal Elrod: We have a lot of history. I want to start there. So, we coached together back in 2006.
Rob Dial: Yup. 2006, you and Jon Berghoff are my coaches.
Hal Elrod: Your coaches then? Yeah. And what were you doing back then? You weren’t running one of the biggest podcasts in the world. No coaching program. What were you doing back then?
Rob Dial: I was a brand new sales rep in Cutco and I couldn’t figure it out. And I realized you guys seemed like you had figured it out and you seemed like you had your life together and I didn’t really have any mentors in the business. And I was like, “You know what? These guys seem like they know what they’re doing. They’re both like Hall of Fame reps. I’m going to hire them.”
Hal Elrod: Nice. Smart. So, you understood the power of mentorship.
Rob Dial: I wanted to shorten my learning curve and that’s what I did.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Now, you’re the mindset mentor and you were on the other side of it, right, being mentored.
Rob Dial: Oh, yeah. Yeah. It changed my life to just having a call with some person every single week. And even though it was more than I spent, I spent $350 a month in rent, but I spent $500 a month for a coach. And that alone was like, I didn’t have the money, I put it on a credit card, I’m like, “I’m going to figure it out.” And that decision of just investing in myself was one the best decisions I ever made.
Hal Elrod: And you were how old in 2006?
Rob Dial: I was 19.
Hal Elrod: 19 years old. It’s how old I was when I started selling Cutco too. And then let’s fast forward to 2014. You came to the first live event that I ever put on, Best Year Ever Blueprint, that Jon Berghoff and I… How funny, right? It’s the same coaches who put on in 2014. And then at that event, you had an epiphany that led to the work you’re doing now, led to your new book, Level Up: How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life, which, by the way, talk about three things that we all need to do, get focused, stop procrastinating, upgrade my life. What was the epiphany that you had at that event and how did it…?
Rob Dial: Yes. So, I mean, when we first worked together in Cutco, I became a great sales rep. I became a manager. I ended up running the number one office in the entire country out of 750 of them. And then I kind of burnt out and I was over it. So, then I started working for other companies and doing sales and I made like great money for being in my twenties, like more money than all my friends did but I was just like so unhappy with life. I was like, “This isn’t like what I want to do.” And so, the thing that I miss most, though, and the thing I loved about being a manager in Cutco was I missed learning about myself and then teaching that to everybody else. So, I missed the teaching aspect of it. I just like craved it. And so, in December 2014, when I went to the event, I was like, “You know what I’m going to do? Like, I’m going to start helping people. I’m going to start coaching people. I’m going to start doing something.” I don’t know what it looks like but the thing I miss most is helping people the same way I used to when I was in Cutco.
And so, about a month later, so that was kind of like in my consciousness and I was like, “I don’t know what it looks like but it’s going to come to me.” About a month later, I was in Jason’s Deli with my girlfriend at the time, now my wife and it was like a movie scene where like things start to kind of like get real weird as if they’re going to pass out or whatever. It was like my life came to like a fever pitch and it was like I saw these people in Jason’s Deli and they were yelling at their kids that everybody seemed like they were overweight and they seemed unhappy and they seemed pissed off. It literally was like I don’t know if I wasn’t seeing reality or actually was. This is like all in my head but I literally was sitting across from Lauren and I said, “I’m going to start a podcast.” And then she’s like, “Okay. All right.” Because I had a microphone, right? And I was like, “I could start a podcast. I could do that.”
There was something inside of me, which is funny because for people who don’t know, I just interviewed you for my podcast. And what you said about The Miracle Morning is that you felt obligated to teach it. I actually felt obligated to start a podcast because I felt like I had all of this knowledge that had helped me go from getting over my father’s death, being an alcoholic as a kid, to starting to work on myself, making my mindset better. And I was like I feel obligated to teach this to people. And there was no money in podcasting back then. They weren’t big. It was really hard to find out how to listen to a podcast. I was like, “I’m just going to start it.” And so, I started it and that was August of 2015. So, we’re eight years now.
Hal Elrod: I think, brother, they call that a calling, right, when you feel like called like, “I have a responsibility. I have to share this with people. I have to help people.”
Rob Dial: Yeah. And it didn’t make any sense logically in my head to quit my job and do podcasting and coaching and stuff, right? It didn’t make any sense logically but it felt right. Like, I felt like it was the thing. And so, I followed it and it started growing and now we’re about to hit 300 million downloads of the podcast. It’s the number one mindset podcast in the entire world.
Hal Elrod: The name of the podcast?
Rob Dial: The Mindset Mentor.
Hal Elrod: The Mindset Mentor. 300 million downloads?
Rob Dial: Yeah, 300 million.
Hal Elrod: Incredible.
Rob Dial: Yeah. Well, we do at this point in the next 12 months, we’d probably do about 100 million a year is where we’re at. So, I’m just thinking of like fast-forwarding, it’s going to be at a billion pretty soon. I’m like it’s crazy to think of what it’s become and it just came from sitting in Jason’s Deli and being like, “I feel like I have to do this thing.”
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I can tell you often I meet people that are like, “Hey, I listened to Rob Dial’s podcast and like he mentioned to you or he mentions you.”
Rob Dial: I mentioned you pretty often. I do. One of the things I say, the quote I say probably the most from you is actually it’s probably changed around a little bit but you said it just a minute ago and in the interview that I had with you, which is, “Your stress and anxiety will be in direct proportion of how much you resist the way that the world is.” And it’s just like when people get that they’re like, “Oh, I’m creating the stress and anxiety in my life.”
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Incredible. So, your first book just came out. It’s called Level Up. Again, it’s How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life. Let’s just start with why the book. Why now? Before you answer the question, years ago you and I were talking about you writing a book. I’m like, “You are such a wealth of knowledge. You’ve got such a huge community that would support this book.” And I introduce you to my agent, Celeste Fine and John Maas, who are two of the most beautiful human beings on the planet. And then now, your first book, Level Up, is finally coming out. So, how did we get from there to here?
Rob Dial: Yeah. Well, so I’m like you where I’m not a really good writer. I’m a great speaker is what I… Like, that’s my format and you say it. You’re like, “Man, writing’s hard for me.” So, like for me to sit down and write an email is like tough. For me to sit down and go, “I’m going to write an entire book is like it’s such an undertaking.” But I felt like for a long time, people have asked me like, “When are you going to write a book? When are you going to write a book?” And it just didn’t feel ready. And then at some point in 2020, this is the summer of 2020, I was like, “I kind of feel like…” I guess the best way of this is like I’m like ready to give birth to something. I’m ready to give birth to this thing. And so, I remember I called you specifically and I was like, “Hey, man, I’m thinking about writing a book. You have one of the most successful self-published books that’s ever existed. Should I do self-published or should I do traditional?” And you’re like, “Honestly, you should do traditional. If it were anybody else, I’d probably say self-published, but you should do traditional.” And we started talking about the reasons why, and you’re like, “I’ll connect you with my agent, John, and you can just see how it feels.” And I was like, “All right, cool.”
And so, I had a call with John and then I was like, “Yeah. This does seem like…” It was like I didn’t know. There’s so much unknown. And then I had to call him and I was like, “Okay. I feel like there’s a little bit more known and I feel like this path is a little bit more lit.” And I was like, “I feel kind of comfortable going this way.” And then the same day that I talked to John, I called up Jay Shetty and I was like, “Hey.” His book had just come out that year and I was like, “Why did you go traditional instead of self-published?” And he started telling me the reasons why and I was like, “Okay. I feel like it’s lining up a little bit more.” And then what happened was I was like, “Okay. I’m going to write this book.” So, I literally sat down and it’s me writing it with my writers and we’re going through and figuring out like with the team, what’s it going to look like. And so, there’s one thing I haven’t told you. I wrote an entire book and then I was on a flight from Austin to Sedona reading like the shell of it, the draft. And I was going there for a team event. We had like 15 of our team members out there.
And Lauren, my wife, is like, “What’s wrong?” And I was like, “I f*cking hate it.” She’s like, “Really?” And I was like, “It doesn’t…” Like, one of the things that I concentrate a lot of in the podcast is the flow of like when you give a speech like you’re a professional speaker too, it has to flow. Like, it has to feel like I’m taking them on a journey. And there wasn’t like a journey that was really there. And so, I was like, “I need to redo everything. I’m just going to start back at nothing.” And so, we have our team event and I’m like, “Lauren, I’m going to rent an Airbnb and I’m going to stay for an extra week by myself and just try to crank out as much as I can.” And so, Sedona is like this incredibly magical place. So, I rented a place and I was by myself, but I wanted the best view I could get and I got this place that was like 8,000 square feet. It was huge. Yeah, for me by myself. Like, I didn’t go to one part of the house because it was so creepy. You know when you’re by yourself in a huge place, like, it’s got to be haunted, right?
But every morning I would wake up and I would disconnect from my phone. I would check in and I would be done for the day. And I was like, “I’m going to see what comes to me.” And I was like, “What do I do? Like, what is it that I teach?” And what I realized is like with The Mindset Mentor, literally it is, number one, how to understand yourself, how to understand your mind. And then once you understand yourself, how do you take action to create the life that you want? And I didn’t want to write like a self-help book. Like, I didn’t want it to be self-help and corny and all this stuff. I want it to be like actual strategies to get stuff done. And I was like, “Man, like, if you look at my entire catalog of 1,300 podcast episodes, a lot of it is just like tips and tricks to get yourself to go from 0 to 10 miles an hour, like just get moving in the right direction.” And so, I was like, “Okay. I think most of what I do is actually taking action.” And so, the first title was Take Action and then we were like, “That’s not really a sexy title,” but that’s really what it’s all about. So, there’s…
Hal Elrod: That’s as generic self-help as we can get.
Rob Dial: Right. Right. That’s it. But it’s also like when you’re in sales, right? You don’t sell the plane flight to Hawaii. You sell the vacation. And so, it’s like to level up sounds a lot better than take action, right? So, people are going to look and be like, “Nah. F*ck it, I don’t want to take action.” So, that was it. And then so I was like, “Okay. So, let’s think about taking action.” And so, it’s three parts. Part one is why you don’t take action, part two is how to take action, and part three is actually a lot of neuroscience, which Richard Shuster actually helped me. He’s a neurologist, and he went through and literally helped me. I hired him as a consultant to go through and make sure that everything was factually, scientifically, neurologically fact in the book, which is actual strategies, talking about dopamine reward systems and talking about the acetylcholine in your brain and how to change it with neuroplasticity. And so, it’s like very deep science and fact for the analytical mind. So, it’s why you don’t take action, how to take action, and then how to actually make action stick through reward systems and creating habits in neuroplasticity.
Hal Elrod: Got it. So, why you don’t take action? You know, this is the Achieve Your Goals Podcast and, obviously, you got to take action to achieve your goals. In fact, I listened to one of your podcasts on the way down here. I know it was all about that. It’s like if you don’t do anything, nothing’s going to change, right? I mean, day one stuff. But let’s start there like what holds people back from and you can answer either of these. Here are two ways to answer the question. What holds people back either from achieving their goals or what holds them back from taking action or any blend of those two, right? The relation of the two.
Rob Dial: Yeah. So, the first thing that I talk about in the book is actually your identity which I think is probably the most important thing for someone to actually start to think about. If I go, “I want to lose weight,” and I’m 50 pounds overweight and I have a friend whose parents are like this. I’ve talked to them before and they’re like, “Yeah. Well, our family is just all overweight. It’s in our genes.” And so, if I have the programming that it’s in my genes that I’ll always be overweight and that’s part of my identity like that’s the basis, the foundation of who I am, why would I ever take any action to try to achieve the goal of losing weight? And so, I think that for a lot of people, it’s actually questioning like who you actually think that you are. So, identity is a huge, huge piece of it. And then the other side of it is fears. And so, I started doing a whole lot of research on fears and found out that humans only have two innate fears that are built into them, the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling. Everything else is learned. Everything else is learned.
So, then you start thinking, “Well, what fears do I have because it’s learned in some sort of way?” And then what I do is I take fears and I actually break them down into two different types of fears. I got this from a friend of mine who went and lived with a native Brazilian tribe in Brazil, which took a two-day long boat trip to get to them, like no roads, like they’re remote, remote. And he lived with them for 40 days. It was really interesting as we had this conversation and he had to have a machete with him all the time because he’s like, “You never know when something…” Like, you see a jaguar, it’s been watching you for a long time. He’s like, “You sleep with it. It’s with you at all times. It’s that remote.” Like, tribal, right? And he said, “What’s really interesting about it, though,” he looked me in the eye and he goes, “No, like, not one person in that entire place has depression.” And so, we start talking about why that is and he said we put it in two distinctions. They have primal fears, which is like getting attacked by a jaguar and anaconda hunting with them like an anaconda killing somebody, right? So, those are primal fears, which is death is attached to it.
And then on the other side of it, what we have here is because we don’t have to worry about primal fears is we create something that I created. It’s called intellectual fears. Every fear that we have that does not have death or pain attached to it is just an intellectual fear, which means it is a complete fabrication of your mind. And that’s what usually guides our entire life is these fears of like, “Oh, well, I want to start a business but if I start putting videos on Instagram, everyone’s going to judge me.” That’s an intellectual fear. There’s no pain and there’s no death that could possibly be attached to it. And so, what happens is I think a lot of people don’t take action because either, number one, their identity doesn’t line up with the person they want to become. And so, you can’t shift it if you think like, “This is who I’ll be forever.” Or number two, they’re creating some fears that are fake that don’t actually truly exist in reality. And one of the things that’s important about one of your fears is we as humans are so incredible where we can think something and immediately feel it in our body. And so, we can feel as if the event is already happening.
And so, for a lot of people like an example I give inside of the book is if you’re dreaming and you’re walking through a forest and you see this tiger cross in front of you and you freeze for a second and you actually just sit there and you see that it’s head turns and it starts running after you and you start running. We’ve all had these like crazy dreams, right? You start running and you’re like trying to get away from it. You’re running, you’re looking over your shoulder. You see that’s getting closer because it’s so much faster. And then you turn your head, you look over and it’s just about to bite you and then, boom, you wake up. And you’re like (heavy breathing). What’s crazy about it is you’re out of breath. Your heart rate is up. You’re sweating. Nothing happened except for you just imagining this thing. And so, that’s how we are with our fears. We imagine these futures and create the feeling in our body in the present moment. And then when you feel that feeling of this future that you don’t want of being rejected or being someone saying you’re just not good enough or smart enough or pretty enough or your parents saying that, “You went to school to be an engineer. Why would you want to be a motivational speaker?” or whatever it might be. We’re feeling those feelings inside of us and when you don’t feel good, taking action is one of the hardest things to do.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, how do you change that? I know you’ve talked about like you’re big on visualization and envisioning. You mentioned if you are in fear of a horrible scenario that you’re making in your mind, how do you overcome that? And do you use visualization to do it?
Rob Dial: Yeah, it’s funny, I was actually listening to, and this is in the book as well, is actually listening to… I can’t remember who it was but when I was in Sedona what I would do is I would write as much as I possibly could, and then I would just listen to different spiritual teachers or whatever. It was that I was on at that point or whether its identity is kind of like Alan Watts and spirituality. And then when it was neurology, it was Andrew Huberman, all the stuff, and I would go for a drive and just listen. And I remember one of the things that this guru, the spiritual, I remember is an Indian guru that was talking and, God, I wish I could remember the name. I don’t even know if I know who the person was, but he said it was how to overcome fear and it was this whole thing. And it was like a light bulb moment where I had to like turn off the music and turn off him speaking and be like, “Holy sh*t, this is crazy.” And the whole idea of how to overcome fear is that you don’t overcome fear because it doesn’t actually exist and you can’t overcome something that doesn’t exist.
And so, the only problem that we have in our life are the problems that we’re creating. And so, the whole idea of fears don’t exist, if you can remind us, because we almost always feel like we have to have something that we’re combating as humans. Like, well, I need to beat this fear. I need to conquer these fears. And it’s like actually the fears aren’t even really there because the only fear that actually truly exists inside of you is the fear of loud noises and the fear of falling, which means that everything else is learned, which means if it’s learned, it’s not actually real. I can’t physically hold on to it. If it’s not going to kill me, then it doesn’t actually truly exist. And so, one of the things I would tell people is like, what if you just went on the journey of whatever fear pops up? You go, “Is this real?” “No, it’s not real.” “Okay. Well, then I can keep going. I just keep moving on.” And then so what happens is when we’re talking about the visualization side of it is we’re usually visualizing the future that we don’t want, and we’re creating those feelings inside of us at all points in time. And I know for you, visualization is part of SAVERS, so it’s like huge for you.
And so, for me, the way I really got good at visualization was in January 1, 2017, my goal and I put it everywhere was I wanted for myself and Lauren to move to Italy for six months. Now, that’s number one goal. If nothing else happens, that’s what I want and I want to be there by July 1, 2017. Naturally, fear came from that because I was like I just bought a house. I have a brand new business. My girlfriend at the time who’s now my wife, she was still working for somebody else, so she had to figure out a way to make money and I was like, so it’s all the feelings of like, “This can’t happen. I don’t know how it’s going to work. I don’t know how it’s… Like, this is f*cking crazy. How are we going to do this in six months? I don’t know if I’m going to make this happen.” And then I was like, “Okay. I’m going to visualize it.” So, I woke up and I was like, “I’m going to start visualizing July 1, 2017, and I want to live in Rome.” And so, I started visualizing it and I started feeling a little bit better about it. And I was like, “Man, how can I make myself more excited?”
So, I actually went onto a Facebook group that was called Expats in Rome, and I joined it and I started reading people who lived in the United States who moved over to Rome and what their life was like, and they lived in different neighborhoods. I found out there’s these different neighborhoods. So, I put a post up in there and I was like, “Hey, this is what my girlfriend and I are into. We don’t really party anymore. We like food. We don’t want to be around where it’s too busy. Where should we move to?” And I looked at all these different places and the one that kept popping up was this neighborhood in Rome called Trastevere. And I was like, “Cool. Let me look up Trastevere and see what it looks like.” And it looks like you would imagine like an old like the Roman town would look like, right? But it’s in Rome. It’s actually right outside the center of it. And so, I was like, “All right. Let me google it,” and I googled it. I started looking. I clicked on Google Maps and I started like seeing everything and looking around in Google Maps. And I was like, “Wait, what if before I visualize, I go on Google Maps every single morning and actually see it?”
And so, then I started doing that. I tried to visualize what I was seeing and trying to feel into it. It started getting deeper and deeper and I was like, “What if I find a coffee shop and imagine myself walking to that coffee shop every single morning?” So, then I found an area, like a coffee shop that was in a square and I saw it there and I saw that there were tables outside so I was like, “Okay. Now, I’m not making it up in my head anymore. I’m actually seeing a real thing.” And it gave me more context and I was like, “Okay.” I did that for a couple of weeks and I was like, “Hold on. I’m visualizing myself drinking coffee.” I drink coffee in the morning anyways. What if I just close my eyes and visualize myself walking there and then I hold on to my cup of coffee, and I actually drink the cup of coffee? So, I’m smelling it. I’m tasting it. And I was like, “All right. So, hold on. I’ve got almost all my senses alive. So, what I don’t have is hearing.”
So, I actually found this thing on YouTube. It’s called like the Sounds of Rome. So, this is every morning, Hal, every single morning. I would wake up and I would visualize myself. I put on my headphones so it sounded like the streets of Rome. I’d have my cup of coffee in my hand. I would look at Google Maps first and I would watch the road that I was going to walk down. And so, what I would do is I would close my eyes and I would see myself walking there. I would feel myself sitting in the chair outside. What I started doing is actually going outside because it was outside and sitting in the sun. So, I’d feel the sun on my skin. I felt the cup of coffee in my hand. I would smell it, I would taste it, I would hear it. Every aspect was just in it. It wasn’t just trying to visualize it. It was like all five senses in it. I got so excited to get there, I was like, “Lauren, we got to f*cking go. We’ve got to go there soon like we have to be like…”
And so, it went from fear to hardcore excitement. And when that hardcore excitement started to happen, we were talking about manifesting before the podcast started was just like things started lining up very quickly. And so, the goal is to be there by July 1, 2017. We’re there June 1, 2017. We were there a month early. And so, the visualization is in the book where of like, how can you bring as many of your senses into making it real? Because all too often we’re guided by our fears and our limiting beliefs when I want to be guided by like my visualization of what is possible and what I want. And how can we bring all five senses into doing that every single morning is what I think people should focus on.
Hal Elrod: I love that. Man, I wish I had heard that story before I published the new edition of Miracle Morning because that is like one of the best visualization stories that I’ve heard.
Rob Dial: Thank you.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And look at what it’s doing, right? Like you said, rather than waking up every day and living in fear, you’re going to be proactive. It’s not just closing your eyes for a second like, literally, you were hearing it, you were seeing it. And it reminds me you mentioning like going to Google Maps and actually looking at a real street, a real coffee shop where you want to be. When I first learned visualization, I was training for the ultramarathon and I hated running. And I had a total fear that I’m like, “What am I doing? I’ve never run a mile. How am I going to run 52 miles?” But so, I print it out. It wasn’t quite as vivid as yours, but I went and I’m like, “Well, I’m going to be running the Atlantic City Marathon twice in a row.” And so, I printed out the finish line, right? And so, then every day I would at least I’m looking at this is the actual finish line and I closed my eyes and I would like create this mental movie of me running and crossing that. Of course, I wasn’t the first one that actually broke through there, but that’s what I pictured, right?
Rob Dial: Yeah. Like you wanted.
Hal Elrod: Like I wanted.
Rob Dial: Or they just set up a new finish for you to break through.
Hal Elrod: It was my turn, yeah. Set me up a new finish line. Right. But what that did is, yeah, it became real. Like, every day, like this is really going to happen. That’s what I say is the benefit of visualization is you go from being afraid that it won’t happen to now you’re visualizing it. You’re embodying it into your example of the nightmare that you have, your mind, your subconscious, your body doesn’t know the difference between something that is real, unreal, or vividly imagined like that tiger chasing you. And so, when you imagine Italy, it’s real now. You’re excited. And then to your point, I think there are cosmic unknown, unexplainable, woo-woo forces that seem to start to line up.
Rob Dial: Yeah. That I was going to say and if people don’t believe of like, “Oh, well when I imagine something, I feel it inside of my body,” think about the last time you had a sexual thought. Your body starts changing immediately, right? So, it’s like you can be guided by fear but it’s like your body reacts to what you’re imagining inside of your head. And so, it’s like, “I don’t want to be guided by fear.” And I think that’s the most important thing people decide is like, “My life will no longer be guided by fear.”
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I mean, recently, we were talking also before we started recording about how we’re both going through book launches and it’s one of those stressful times of our life.
Rob Dial: It’s so super stressful.
Hal Elrod: So stressful. There’s so much fear. There’s so much overwhelm. And, yeah, it kind of hit me the other day that when we live that way, it’s like, I’m no neuroscientist, right, but our limbic system, our subconscious, it’s bombarded and it takes a cumulative toll on our nervous system. And so, the way you’re talking about visualization and the other level of practices, it’s like really putting yourself, deciding, “Do I want to live a life based on fear or be pulled forward by what could be possible?” It may or may not work out the way I want to. It might work out better, but I’m pulled by that vision versus something else. Something else you talk about in the book is you call it Living in the Headlights.
Rob Dial: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: And this is somewhat contradictory to like vision, right? Like your long-term vision, it’s like, no, you say, “Don’t live ten years in the future. Live in the headlights. Live in the now.” Talk about that. Unpack that concept.
Rob Dial: Well, so one thing that I found, first off, I am really big into visualization. I’m really big into goal setting but one thing that was really surprising to me is, came to me a couple of years ago, is that I realized that most people, not most people, a very large percentage of people, especially if you’re a planner or very analytical person, will go, “I’m going to make my ten-year goal.” And they make their ten-year goal and then they get paralysis by analysis because all ten years, all 3,650 days, and what has to be done immediately flows into their head. And they’re just like, “I don’t do anything,” because it’s all of this. And so, there’s the goal of looking very long term of like what’s my North star in life? Like, what is the guiding light that I’m going to be following? And so, if you imagine if you’re outside and you go, “Okay. I’m going to have a North Star,” and it’s obviously nighttime. You can see the North Star in the distance. You don’t know how you’re going to get from here to that point exactly.
And so, the example I was going to give is like right now, if I were in Austin and I were going, “Okay. I’m going to drive to my friend’s, Mike’s house in Houston, and I get inside of my car. I will not see the entire route. It just won’t happen. And we want to see the entire route for our lives. And so, if I do, though, I’m going to see the next hundred feet in front of my car. And everybody who’s listening has probably driven a car at night or been in a car that’s being driven at night. You cannot see the next mile in front of you very well but you can see the next hundred feet there in front of you. And once you get past those hundred feet, what happens? Well, it starts to light itself up. And it actually goes back perfectly to what we’re talking about with the book was when I didn’t know the path of writing a book, but I was like, “Well, what’s the next step?” And the next step was like, “Let me just talk with an agent or someone who knows what they’re doing.”
I talk to them and I was like, “Oh, I feel like, okay, that’s like the first hundred feet. And now that I’m here and I have a little bit more knowledge, who should I call? All right. I’m going to call my friend who just got finished with the book.” So, I called Jay and he’s like, “Well, yeah, I would go traditional.” I’m like, “Okay. Here’s the reasons why he went traditional.” And then John’s like, “We’re going to go ahead and shop your book out to other people and we’re going to get you on the calls.” Then the next 100 feet kind of built 100 feet at a time. It wasn’t like I saw the entire like me thinking now, all this started three years ago, summer of 2020, and now it’s 2023. I didn’t see the entire path of how to get here, how to write a book, the long nights, the early mornings.
Hal Elrod: How to get 300 million downloads, for sure.
Rob Dial: Yeah. How to get 300 million downloads. I didn’t see any of this stuff. All I did was I said, like, “What’s the best thing for me to do right now?” It’s like the journey of a thousand miles begins with a single step. And so, when I talk about living in the headlights, it’s like we won’t see the entire path and it will never be fully illuminated. And there’s going to be detours, there are going to be changes, but like, what’s the next hundred feet? And once they get to those hundred feet, it will eventually illuminate the next hundred feet. And so, that’s why I always say living in the headlights.
Hal Elrod: I love that. And really it just reminded me of that’s how I live and that people would ask like, “Hey, did you know this Miracle Morning like that it was going to be this?” I’m like, “Dude, I had no idea.” And so, my point is, I’m like, “I’m not very good at thinking far ahead.” I’m just good at doing the next thing, doing the next thing, and doing the next thing. And so that, for me, it’s always like I just keep moving forward in a positive direction. And then I think, and I actually want to hear your opinion on this, where does faith play into that? And I don’t mean spiritual, although it’s one and the same, but in terms of like faith that if I keep living in the headlights and just doing the next best thing and keep moving forward, eventually like I’m going to be going in a positive direction and I don’t know where I’m going to end up but it’s going to be somewhere awesome.
Rob Dial: Yeah. So, I’ll talk about the whole faith side of it is I’ve done a lot of work on myself over the past 17 years. I’ve done some journeys and I’ve done some other things and I’ve worked with people. I’ve had coaches and I’ve invested a lot of money into myself and I’ve had many things not happen the way that I want them to, right? Like, I can look back to like having an alcoholic father. That’s not what I want when I was a kid. Having my dad pass away when I was 15 from being an alcoholic, not what I wanted as a kid. Many failures along the way, not what I wanted. But now that I’m 37 years old, I can look back, I can go, “All of those worked out exactly how they were supposed to.” And so, for me, when we’re looking at like the idea of the North Star, where it’s like I at least have taken a step back and said, what’s important to me? Who do I want to be? How do I want to operate in this world? What do I want my life to look like? And that’s my North Star. I know that I’m not going to get everything that I want, but I will get everything that I need.
And so, I actually really do trust in God and the universe that as long as I’m lined up and I have many examples throughout my life, as long as I’m lined up with what I feel like I’m supposed to be doing, everything will work out exactly as it’s supposed to. And I said this the other day yesterday on a podcast, but like one of my wife’s fears is that I’m going to get so big because everything’s been growing so fast and it’s been like not expected that eventually, my safety could come in danger, right? Because there are some crazy people out there.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Rob Dial: I completely understand her fear but I’ve said, “If that’s what happens to me, that’s what happens to me but I’m not going to not follow the path that I feel like I was made for in this world simply out of the fear that something might happen in the future, which probably won’t.”
Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, it’s a really good way to put it. I want to unpack the subtitle of your book because I think there’s just really powerful lessons in there that you are an expert at. It’s how to get focused. Okay. We can help with that. How to stop procrastinating, one of the biggest killers of dreams. And then how to upgrade your life is kind of the product of those first two. But talk about focus. I was actually listening to your podcast on the way here, and I believe the episode was about getting focused, increasing your productivity. You mentioned if you don’t do anything, obviously, of course, you’re not going to go forward. But talk about if someone feels like I think right now I did a podcast a couple of weeks ago or I guess a month ago, how do you overcome feeling overwhelmed? And I feel like people feel overwhelmed both individually and collectively right now. And what I mean is collectively, ever since 2020, I feel like the world just feels crazy, kind of out of control, and we’re seeing more than we knew before, a lot of division between people and so on and so forth.
So, there’s this global collective overwhelm of like what is the future of the world going to look like, right? But there’s the individual overwhelm, which is like I have so many things to do, not enough time to do them. I have dreams I want to achieve but I’m just trying to make it through another day. So, focus is the knife that cuts through all of that, cuts through the overwhelm. It’s like, “Well, I’m overwhelmed because I’m trying to focus on 17 different things that make me feel overwhelmed.” If I can learn to focus on one thing at a time, I can actually eliminate or transcend the feeling of overwhelm and now I can actually feel good that I’m focused and making progress. How do we get there?
Rob Dial: Yeah. So, one of the things that I get compliments on is I try to make things really simple and really basic. And the way that I do it is I always take a step back. And so, even in my business, we have 34 employees. At the executive team, I’m like, “Okay. Here’s the goal, but what’s the 50,000-foot overview of this thing?” And so, the same way that I wrote the book of like it’s about taking action, the first thought in my head was, “Well, why don’t people take action?” And that’s where the first part of the book came from, part one came from, right? So, then what happens is if we look at focus, my first question is, “Well, why aren’t people focused?” And immediately what comes with that is distractions. And so, you can like teach someone, “I’ll give you some strategy on how to focus,” but I can’t teach someone to focus if they still have distractions.
Hal Elrod: Eliminate the things that are stopping them from focusing.
Rob Dial: 100%. So, I always say like cell phones are the most incredible piece of technology I think that might have ever existed. I think that people should stop saying, “The best thing since sliced bread,” and they should start saying, “The best things since cell phones,” because it’s revolutionized the world, right? The problem, though, is that we weren’t sure. We had no idea that they could create apps that would just make us so addicted to them. So, for me, I’ve realized years ago that my phone was just a massive distraction. So, I was like, it’s either going to become my life or I’m going to figure out how to master this thing. So, not everybody has the means to this, which I completely understand, but I have two phones. I have a work phone which I do my work on and I have my personal phone. And on my personal phone, I don’t have Instagram, I don’t have Facebook, I don’t have Reddit, I don’t have any of those. There’s no apps on my phone that could distract me.
Hal Elrod: I need to get a second phone. Keep going.
Rob Dial: Yes. And so, my first or my second phone, though, is always plugged in at my office. And so, if I’m like, okay, because I post all the time on Instagram so I’m like, “I need to create a reel. I need to respond to people. I need to put up a story,” I’ll pick up my phone and I will immediately do it, or I will literally take a video. If I’m out and I have a great idea and I’m like, “I want to put this on a story,” I’ll take the video and I’ll send it to my head of social media and she’ll post it for me. So, I understand and not everybody has that means but for me, that was just the way that I did it because of the fact that I wanted to distance myself from it. And so, I think it’s important to be like, what are my distractions? For some people, it might be social media. For some people, it also might be their TV. And so, one of the things I say inside the book is that every room in your house, the entire environment is going to help you do something. What that something is, you have to figure out.
So, like the kitchen, if we say, what’s the number one thing that people do in the kitchen? Eat. So, that’s what it facilitates and helps you do. If I say to you, what’s your living room built towards? 99.9% of living rooms I’ve walked in, where do the couches face? A TV.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, sure.
Rob Dial: So, what is that room designed to do? To watch TV. And so, if someone’s watching too much TV, you either change the room or you either change the actual physical room or you change the room that you’re in. And so, for me, if somebody lives at home, they’re 30 years old and they’re like, “I’m trying to build my business but I really want to figure out a way to stop watching so much TV,” take your TV off the wall, put it inside of a room, inside of your closet, and leave it there for 30 days. Put books on top of it. If you’re trying to build a business, put business books that are on your coffee table. So, the only thing that that room is designed to do is to either sit there and stare at the ceiling or you decide, “You know what I’m going to do? I’m going to go home and read some business books,” and that’ll help you out. And so, what it’s about is how do you design an environment that helps you take action? Because a majority of people don’t realize they’ve designed environments to distract them in some sort of way.
And so, what really I think people should focus on is how do you design an environment to get free of as many distractions as possible, whatever those distractions are. If there are other people, well, then how do you… Come here.
Hal Elrod: We’ve got a dog right now that is joining the interview.
Rob Dial: Come here.
Hal Elrod: Bear needs some love.
Rob Dial: We got a tiny dog sitting here.
Hal Elrod: Tiny dog.
Rob Dial: So, if you look at every room, it’s designed to do something. What are all of your rooms designed to do? I was watching an interview one time and one of the things that was best is they said that people who have the most willpower or the most consistent are not people who are born that way but people who have designed their environment not to test their willpower. That was like, oh my God, that’s so true because I love anything with sugar in it.
Hal Elrod: Okay.
Rob Dial: I’m like a crackhead when it comes to sugar. Like, if I have some sugar, I have to have all of the sugar, right? So, I can’t have sugar in the house and I just know that about myself because I’ll finish an entire thing of Skittles. I’ll finish everything. And so, it’s like I’ve designed my environment to help me with the goal of not eating the sugar. And so, that’s the first thing is how do you design your environment to do so as far as distractions? Now, you can also design your environment to help you take action too. There’s a bunch of really cool things that happen when you actually start to look at somebody neurologically. And so, what happens is your mental focus follows your visual focus. And so, what happens is for the average person, if you’re going to sit down and do something, it takes about 6 minutes for your brain to warm up. So, if you’re going to go into a gym, right, you’re not just going to go and lift your best every single time. You’re going to warm up and then you’re going to go lift.
And so, what happens is the first 6 minutes for people is usually the hardest 6 minutes. And so, when you sit down to do something, I recommend using the Pomodoro technique. I’ve recommended this over and over like hundreds of times because I’ve never found anything better, which is 25 minutes of just work on one thing and one thing only and 5 minutes off. There’s a whole lot of research behind why this works, and that’s also in the book. But you take 25 minutes, you say, if you have slides that you have to create for a presentation for work tomorrow, you sit down. You give yourself only 25 minutes to do that free of as many distractions. You get to a desk that has nothing on it except for your computer, an external monitor, and a light. And I’ll tell you why all of that’s important in a second. So, the only thing that you can do is either just stare at your screen or you keep the presentation done. You turn off all of your notifications. Those are more distractions that I talked about, right?
So, you turn off all of your notifications, you put your phone in another room so there’s no urge to go pick it up, and then you go, “All right. I’ve got 6 minutes that I know it’s going to take my brain to warm up.” And when I was writing the book, it was so funny because I was doing these and I was noticing myself being the guinea pig in this book, right? Sit down to write and be like, “Damn, I don’t want to write right now. Like, I got so many other things to do. I’ve got a business.” And so, really what it takes is I was like, “But what did I say in the book? Write for 6 minutes. Just start writing something for 6 minutes.” And then writing for 6 minutes, it just starts coming out of me a lot easier, right? And so, what happens is you sit down, you give yourself no distractions. You tell yourself it’s going to take about 6 minutes for my brain to warm up and mental focus follows visual focus. And so, what you want to do is you want to stare at the screen for about a minute if that’s about how far it’s going to be. So, if you need to get work done, you stare at the screen, you watch a blinking cursor, and try not to blink your eyes for as much as possible.
And you sit there and you stare because what happens is you’re trying to take your peripheral vision and actually try to imagine that you’re looking through like a paper towel roll and put it to just this little area that’s right in front of you. When I wrote the book, I actually wrote the book a lot of times with a hat on and a hood over like a hoodie on so that there was no sides that my brain could see on the other side because I’m actually visually telling my brain, “This is the only thing that we’re working on right now.” And there’s no distractions on the outside. There’s nothing else that I could see, and this is what we’re focusing on. And then what I would usually do is that I have a cup of coffee while I was doing it, and I would get into levels of focus that I’ve like never had before in my entire life. So, I’m writing the book based off of I know happens, all of this research, and I’m trying all this research as I’m actually doing it. And I went from 25-minute sessions to 45 minutes straight of just hardcore focus on this thing only.
And one of the things that helps with that is that your brain, it’s really interesting, so your eyes are connected to your brain, obviously. And if you’re looking straight ahead, like straight ahead and imagine that there’s a line. When you look down, which is how most of us look at our computer, we look down at our computers or we look down at our phones, there’s actually a part of your brain that it clicks on that tells your body to start being relaxed. And so, we’re working, looking down almost all day long, which is telling us to start to relax. But what’s interesting is that when you look above the center of your visual field and so this is why I always recommend you have an external monitor and it’s just a little bit up like this, number one, it’s better for your spine to do it that way and you’re looking, it’s actually telling your brain to be more alert. On top of that, the most important thing you could do, you could walk into either one of the two offices that I work all the time, is right above my screen of my external monitor is always a really bright light.
And the reason why is because the bright light actually mimics the sun and your brain has these things that are these receptors on the bottom of your eyes, they’re called a basal, I don’t want to screw it up, but I probably will, basal ganglion cells that are – I think I was actually right on that – that are on the bottom side your eye that look up that that search for basically the sun to tell your brain to either be alert or to be or to be tired. And so, if you can remember, light above your eyes a little bit. You don’t want it to be blinding or anything like that. And then a screen that you’re looking at that’s a little bit slightly elevated above your normal visual field, it’s actually telling your brain, wake up, get focused. And if you can try to narrow your visual field and only give yourself one thing to focus on, you can focus on it. And I always tell people, you might be terrible at it the first day but just keep doing it and show up and keep doing it and show up and you’ll get so much better at it. And you’ll notice you can go 25-minute sessions like it might be a struggle to get to 25 minutes. Do this for a month and you’ll notice you’re like 30, 35, 40 minutes of just hardcore focus. And if you can get a couple of the sessions done a day, you’re light-years ahead of the other person.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. The Pomodoro technique the 25-5 off, before I knew what that was, I created this strategy when we were in Cutco called Half Hours of Power. And it was the idea that I got to make phone calls for like an hour or two, like I don’t want to, and you’d end up dilly-dallying. In one hour, you’d end up making a call and then you’d get distracted and do something else. And what I did is I gamified it where I go, “Okay. Half hours of power.” So, I have to make calls for 30 minutes, as many calls I can possibly make, and then I earn and it would be a five or a ten-minute break. And so, it was the laser focus and head down, head up, whatever, and for the 30 minutes and then getting the calls. And I would set a number of, okay, I need to get this many calls done. So, I was racing, trying to get to that target and I already measured like how many calls can I get done in half an hour if I’m pretty much on point the whole time. So, I was like and I was telling, “Okay. I’m at eight, right?”
And like the thing is, it’s like your brain instead of focusing on all the different things like distracted, you’re like, “I have to get this many calls done to earn my break. Because if I didn’t get that many calls done in the 30 minutes, I didn’t get to take a break. I had to keep going.” And I almost always get it done. But anyway, actually, the point and the question is with the five-minute break on using the Pomodoro technique, what do you do with that?
Rob Dial: I’m so glad you brought it because I wanted to say it. Because I was like, as you’re saying, I was like, “Sh*t, I hope you don’t change.” There’s something really important here, because here’s what happens is most people, what we do is then we go to our phones, right? And the problem with that is that you’re still using a narrow visual field.
And so, what happens is, it’s convergence eye movement. So, convergence means your eyes go from like, if I’m looking out in the distance outside across the street, my eyes are basically like this. When I’m looking at something right here, my eyes have to converge a little bit, which they basically cross is the way it would be. And then there’s divergence, which is like kind of looking out towards the side.
When you are looking at something that’s very close, your eyes are still telling your brain it’s time to focus. And so, looking at your phone is one of the worst things that you could do. Here’s what you do, though, if you’re studying or if you want, like I wish I would have known this in college. I didn’t study in college anyways and I dropped out, so it doesn’t really matter, I guess. But for people who are listening and they’re in college, this is amazing for you to do at studying.
If you’re reading a book or you’re trying to get better at like, with a specific skill set, what you want to do is if you’re, let’s use playing guitar as an example, right? Someone’s like, “Okay, I want to learn this guitar phrase.” And they sit down, they play guitar. The worst thing that you could do after that 25-minute session, whatever it is of dedicated practice, whether it’s studying, whether it’s playing guitar, whether it’s creating slides, any of that stuff, the worst thing you could do is look at your phone because you’re still telling your brain through what you’re looking at that it needs to focus.
What you want to do is the exact opposite. So, if you imagine a hardcore workout, what do you need? You need rest. Your brain goes through something when you fall asleep through your hippocampus, it’s called hippocampal replay, which is where it actually replays your entire day. That’s why you can have dreams about what happened. When you’re asleep, it can go anywhere between 50 to 60 times faster and more replay. So, it would replay it 50 to 60 times over and over. And that’s how you create the repetition to make it a long-term memory.
What’s interesting, though, is when you take a five-minute break, the best thing that you could do is close your eyes and do absolutely nothing because your brain goes into hippocampal replay. And even though you’re awake, it restores at 20 to 30 times faster. So, it’s not as much as when you’re asleep, but imagine if you’re trying to study something, whether it’s a sheet music, whether it’s something for school, whether it’s a presentation that you have and you’re trying to memorize, you’re trying to memorize, you’re trying to memorize, and it’s hardcore focus on this thing and you’re trying to store it, the best thing that you can do is take 25 minutes in that five-minute break. Close your eyes and then just allow your brain to do whatever it’s going to do, which is storing it back over again. And so, it just allows your brain to do it. That’s the first thing you do.
The second thing you do if you want to do something active is to go for a walk or to go out and look at a landscape. So, for me, a lot of times, what I’ll do in my breaks when I was writing the book, I’d sit there and write the book, is I would take five minutes and I would go outside. So, the sun was still out so my brain could see the sun was still out. It would tell my brain to focus and I would look out at the trees because then my eyes go from looking at something that’s real close in focus and divergence eye movement to now I’m taking in my perimeter again and it tells your brain to actually start to relax and replay all of that over and over again. So, the worst thing someone could do is look at their phone. The best thing they could do is some form of relaxation, whether that’s yoga nidra or whether that’s meditation or whether that’s just staring off into the distance, allowing your brain to replay and store everything that you just did.
Hal Elrod: I’m so glad that we didn’t move on and we got to cover that because you just changed my life, because I think that I do probably, like most people, I will go to the phone. And it’s interesting. I never thought about it, it seems like such common sense, close your eyes for five minutes, almost go into a little midday meditation and allow not only for what’s happening to start to embed itself in your subconscious, but yeah, and just to reset, I mean, it makes so much sense. And I’ll go outside for five minutes, whatever. But I’m sure half of the time, I grab the phone and then go outside.
Rob Dial: Hey, I used to only go to my phone. I was hardcore in Pomodoro and I would always go to my phone because I have a business and I have things I have to do. And then I realized, “Oh, I need to put in another room and disconnect.” If I’m going to do two Pomodoro sessions, 25 minutes each, that’s going to take me an hour, okay, I’ll disconnect my phone for an hour. I’ll let my team know and then I’ll come back to it.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah, it’s fantastic. All right, so the first part of the subtitle, the book is Level Up. It’s How to Get Focused. The second part is, and How to Stop Procrastinating. And I want to talk about that because procrastination. I mean, I’ve done podcasts on that, right? It’s like the first question always is, okay, well, why do you procrastinate? Let’s identify that. And to me, the simplest answer is because it’s always easier to do nothing than it is to do the thing that you need to do.
Rob Dial: For sure.
Hal Elrod: No matter what the thing is. It’s always easier to not do it than to do it, right? So, that’s the simplest reason you’re procrastinating and you can dig deeper into, well, it’s fear. You don’t enjoy it. It’s painful, it’s tiring. You don’t feel capable or whatever the reason is, but it’s easier to not do it than it is to do it. So, yeah, how do you stop procrastinating?
Rob Dial: Well, so yeah, what you said is actually perfect because I had this realization a few years ago. One of my employees was talking about somebody wanted to join our program and they were dealing with procrastination. And I was like, you realize that procrastination is never the actual problem. Everyone thinks procrastination is a problem, but procrastination is the symptom. It’s not the cause. And so, why are they procrastinating? If I were to say, “Hey, if you do exactly this thing, I’ll give you a million dollars. Would anybody procrastinate on doing exactly what that thing is?” If I said, “Hey, sit down and make 100 phone calls, 100 cold calls, you’re going to read this exact script. And as soon as you finish, if you finish in the next seven hours, I’m going to give you a million dollars. Would anybody procrastinate?” Nobody would procrastinate ever, right? There’s no way, because they know what they’re going to get out of it and they know exactly how much time they have and they know exactly what is they need to do.
And so, I think what it comes down to it is what we were talking about earlier, which is what fear you’re imagining in the future. And so, the thing that was like, I try to harp on this so much and I don’t know if people understand how important it actually is, but it’s the feeling of the future that you’re imagining you will feel in the present moment.
And so, for instance, if you’re a business owner, I coach a lot of business owners. That’s my main thing that I do besides a podcast, and so many of them are just afraid of the business failing. And then what’s really interesting about it is the thing that they fear the most is usually what they create. And so, they’re so afraid of the business failing that they don’t take any action and then the business ends up starting to go down the road of failure.
And so, what happens is I’m sitting here, for instance, I want to build my business to, let’s say, $100,000 this year. And then I sit there and I’m going, “Well, I’ve run two other businesses into the ground and I don’t know what’s going to work out, and I’m going to start taking this action. And what if I put so much time into this next year and I don’t even make enough money to pay my bills?” And so, they imagine a future they don’t want, they imagine the future that they fear. And most people are imagining a future they don’t want. And then they’re curious why they can’t motivate themselves to take any action. It’s because you’re actually thinking about a future that you don’t want. And who would ever want to take action towards a future that they don’t want? It doesn’t make any sense, right?
And I saw a video one time on YouTube and it was amazing. It was this guy that had this lady come up on stage and he’s like, “Okay, there’s one chair on the left side of the stage, there’s one chair on the right side of the stage.” And he goes, “Okay, sit right there and I want you to tell me what you don’t want in your life.” And so, she’s sitting in the don’t want chair and she’s like, “I don’t want this and I don’t want this and this and this.” He’s like, “Okay, what else? What do you don’t want in your relationship?” “Oh, I don’t want this in my relationship.” “Okay. What do you not want in your money?” And went through every category you could go to, right? And she’s like just firing stuff off. He was, “Okay, cool. Now, go to the other one.” And he’s like, “What do you want?” And she’s like, “Well, I would like to be happy and I would like this thing.” And it goes on for like 12, 15 seconds. Then she goes, “But I don’t want my relationships to be this.” And she immediately went to don’t want. And it was like, that’s how most people live their life.
Hal Elrod: Like program.
Rob Dial: We’re programmed to think about what we don’t want. And there was really a big moment in my life. There was a really interesting thing is right outside of town here, my friend AJ, it was his birthday. It’s like seven years ago now. And we went to go race go-karts, like 50 miles an hour. We rented out the entire track. There was 20 of us. It was awesome. And the guy who owned the track and was teaching us was an ex-limo driver. And so, he knew his stuff and he was French and he was funny and he was making all these jokes and then he got super serious and he’s like, “You will crash. Somebody will crash. When your friend crashes in front of you, don’t look at the crash because you will crash into your friend and there’s a chance you could kill him.” And he was serious as he could be, right? And he goes, “When somebody in front of you crashes, look at where you want to go, not to crash.”
And I was like, “Oh my God, this is everybody’s life is we’re always looking at the crash and going, why do I keep crashing?” We’re always looking at the crash, where it’s like, why do we keep crashing, where it’s like, we’re not looking at that. We’re looking at the crash, not where it is we want to go. I’ve never driven a motorcycle, but I’ve heard this from people who follow me is when you’re in motorcycle school, they say, look through the turn, look at where you want to go because that is where your body will naturally drive you, too. It’s the same thing with your subconscious and your conscious mind is that your body will naturally drive you to whatever is it you’re focusing on the most. And so, I think the problem with procrastination is that people are just imagining what is it they don’t want. And how could you ever motivate yourself to do something when the future looks like it’s going to suck? It’d be hard.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. To me, and that’s why when we were talking earlier about why I think affirmations are my favorite of the SAVERS is because everything that you’re talking about is on point, but also, what you talk about, we’re programmed to look for what’s wrong.
Rob Dial: For sure.
Hal Elrod: We’re programmed to live in fear. We’re programmed to think of life today the way we thought of life yesterday and the day before.
Rob Dial: And kept our species alive.
Hal Elrod: And that’s where affirmations are, literally. That’s where you rewrite the plan, you rewrite the blueprint, in writing. And those don’t have to be affirmations. You can call it whatever you want, right? It’s like, here’s how I commit what I want in my life, what’s possible. You can even say, here’s what I’m afraid of, but I’m not going to focus on that. I’m going to focus on what I want, what’s possible. And every day, I’m going to visualize that, I’m going to imagine that, I’m going to feel that, I’m going to think about that. I love this.
So, let’s go to the third and final part of the subtitle. The book is Level Up: How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life. If you want to leave our listeners with any wisdom to upgrade their life based on your book Level Up, what would that be?
Rob Dial: Well, read the book. But besides that, I think…
Hal Elrod: Read the book, yeah.
Rob Dial: Yeah. The thing about it is as I was thinking about creating a title of Make Your Life Better, or Better Than Yesterday was one of the ones that we went through, or 1% Better Today. And the thing that I want people to understand is this, the problem with better and why I didn’t go with it is because better implies worse, which means that if I’m going to make my life better in the current moment in my life is worse than it should be. And that just doesn’t make people feel good.
And so, the whole idea of the book and why it was called Level Up and Upgrade Your Life is because of this view as I was writing it and I was talking to the publisher, they’re like, “Why is that not in the book?” And I was like, “Why?” And they’re like, “This frame of your life being a video game.” And what I told them, and this is the way I actually see my life is I see my life the same way I see a video game, which is, first off, how boring would it be to play a video game where there’s no challenges? How boring it’d be in a video game that’s every day is exactly the same as it was before? You’d stop playing the video game. What makes a video game fun is that you meet a challenge, you meet a new bad guy. And you meet that bad guy and maybe you fail a couple of times, but you don’t give up. You just keep going and you don’t give up and you just keep going. And what happens? You eventually beat the bad guy and you go on to another level.
And the next level is always harder than the level before it. But you feel more confident because you’ve at least conquered things in the past. And then what happens? A new challenge, a new bad guy comes up and challenges you. And instead of going, “I’m not going to do this,” you’re like, “Okay, I’m going to keep going at it. Oh, man, I died again, I failed.” And then you go, “Well, okay, I learned that this doesn’t work with him, so I’m going to try this thing out. I learned that this doesn’t work so I’m going to try this thing out.” I see life exactly the same.
And you asked me a few minutes ago about, like, how do I have faith and trust and what’s happening for me is exactly what’s supposed to happen is I actually do view my life as a video game. And in this way of, like every character that comes to me, as a character, they’re supposed to be my life in some sort of way. God placed them there for a reason. But then when a challenge comes to me, instead of being like, “I can’t do this,” I go, “Okay, what’s the point of this challenge? And how is this challenge going to help me level up? How is it going to help me upgrade my life in some sort of way?”
And I’ve realized that I would never want to go back to any of the most challenging moments in my entire life. I don’t want to go back. You probably don’t want to go back to trying to walk again. You probably don’t want to go back to having cancer. You don’t want to have any of those things. But you wouldn’t change them because you’ve learned so much about yourself. You’ve probably gotten so much closer with your family. You appreciate them more. Your children probably appreciate you more because there was an opportunity where you might not have been there. And so, it’s like the challenges are never fun, but the challenges are always necessary for us to learn something from it and then for us to be able to grow in some sort of way because it’s like the phrase, new levels, new devils. It’s like more things come with you, right? It’s like new things come at you as you start to grow.
And so, the phrase level up actually came like leveling up your life. Upgrading your life came from like upgrading in a video game. I think of like when you used to play Super Mario Brothers, and you get the mushroom and it would make you bigger. It’s like, that’s what I want to be is I don’t want to be better, but I want to upgrade myself all the time. I don’t want to think that I’m going to be better in the future because that implies that I’m worse now. I want to think that I’m a more evolved, more expansive, more conscious being. And if I can view every challenge that comes through in my life as a way for me to upgrade myself, it makes it easier for me to be like, “Okay, I’m not going to give up. I’m going to push through because on the other side of this is a better version of me.”
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I love that. I love the video game analogy. I’m glad the publisher got you to put it in because it really does make sense. And yeah, new levels, new devils, the challenges get harder, but you get better, and such is life. And you think that if you’re dealing with challenges right now, anybody listening to this or watching this, just to realize that what you’re going through now is an opportunity for you to learn, for you to grow, and for you to level up and become better than you’ve ever been before.
Rob Dial: Absolutely.
Hal Elrod: So, Rob Dial, man, thanks for finally writing your book.
Rob Dial: I know, right?
Hal Elrod: Man, you are 37 years old and truly wise beyond your years. And for anybody watching, where’s the best place to get the new book Level Up?
Rob Dial: Wherever they want to buy it, it should be everywhere. It’s on Amazon. It’s on Barnes & Noble. It’s inside of bookstores. They can go to Google, type in Rob Dial Level Up, and it should pop up and they can order and have it sent directly to them. And it is out– you’re going to be releasing this the week that it comes out. So, it is available for people to buy and have it sent directly to their house.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And anybody listening, if you’re a podcast listener, which obviously you are, you listen to this podcast, subscribe to The Mindset Mentor. Rob, your podcast, it’s one of the few that I actually listen to.
Rob Dial: Thanks, man.
Hal Elrod: And it’s one of my favorite podcasts. And one of the things I modeled after you recently, except for this episode, but it is shorter. All your episodes, your solo episodes are usually 17 minutes, you do usually under half an hour. And mine, I’ll go on for an hour. Nobody’s still listening. What am I talking about?
Anyway, so man, it’s amazing how the student, I will say like to me, you and I, I really view you as a peer, as a mentor, if you will. And I feel like it’s one of those where the student in many ways has become the teacher. I learn a ton from you. I am really excited to read the new book, which will be arriving, probably arrived yesterday when this thing comes out. So, the book, everybody, is Level Up: How to Get Focused, Stop Procrastinating, and Upgrade Your Life by my good friend, Rob Dial. Grab your copy today and may your life be blessed.
Rob Dial: Thanks, buddy.
Hal Elrod: Hello, friends. Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod. And it’s funny, I always talk like a radio – my wife always says, she’s like, “You talk like a radio voice all the time. It’s just how you talk.” I’m like, “I know. I don’t even know how to talk any other way.” So, I just recorded the audiobook for the Miracle Morning, Expanded Edition, and my producer, no, director, she’s like, “You know, you’re projecting. You’re emphasizing words.” I’m like, “That’s just how we talk. I don’t know how else to talk.” So, she finally just let me. She’s like, “Alright. I guess be yourself. Okay.”
Anyway, listen, you’re about to hear a conversation that I just had with one of my favorite people on the planet, Kristin Brindley. And the title of today’s episode is How to be Selfishly Selfless. What does that mean? Well, there’s a quote that I mentioned in the podcast today after Kristin is sharing her philosophies on life and business and how she’s become so successful. And it reminded me of the Zig Ziglar quote, “You can have everything in life that you want if you help enough other people get what they want.” And Kristin is one of the most selfless, generous, kindest human beings that you’d ever meet. And for those of you that think like nice guys or nice gals finish last, she is extraordinarily successful because of the way she approaches relationships. And if you really tune in until the end of the episode, I believe you’re going to get a ton of value and it might shift the way you approach your entire life, you approach your relationships, and focusing on how can I add value, how can I be of service to others?
And as a result of her philosophies that you’re going to hear today in the episode, Kristin is a Hall of Fame sales rep for Cutco Cutlery. We met back in the day at Cutco and now over a million sales reps in the last 69 years, she’s in the top 40. She’s even more successful at her new venture. I shouldn’t say new. She’s been at it for, I think, seven or eight years now, but it’s called Real Producers and she owns seven franchises. She started with one, scaled it to seven, actually four and then added three more this year. But out of over a thousand people in her position for that company, she is ranked number three. So, she’s somebody you want to listen to, right, whatever industry you’re in or if you’re not in an industry but she is someone that lives her life in alignment with her values in such a way that she’s taken the philosophies that she’s going to share with you today and turn them into extraordinary financial success, extraordinary relationship success, and she’s someone that beyond her professional milestones, her personal story of resilience is absolutely inspiring.
She’s a survivor of cervical cancer. She’s a marathon runner. And she really views life through a lens of gratitude, which, again, I asked her to talk about today. And I think that will also help shift your perspective as well. And above all, Kristin’s a dedicated wife and mother, and she brings that same passion she exhibits in business to her family and her drive to help people connect and thrive, which is on full display today. I mean, it’s so sincere. It’s so genuine. None of it is contrived. You just sense she is authentically a rare human being in how she views life, how she views business, and how she approaches all of it. And again, that drive she has to help people connect and thrive, it’s a unifying thread throughout all of her entrepreneur ventures and her personal life. And her life story serves as an inspiration for perseverance, hard work, and triumph in the face of adversity. It’s something we’re all going to learn from. I love this conversation, and if you stick with it until the end, I think you’re going to walk away a better version of yourself, honestly. And by the way, the beginning, the microphone was pulled away from my mouth a little bit. So, her mike was louder. So, little technical issue there. Just if you can stick through that, again, I think you’re going to love this episode.
Before we dive in, I want to take just a minute or two to thank our sponsors for bringing you this show every week. They help support my family. And first and foremost is Organifi. And I’m holding up this product right here if you’re watching the video. If you’re not, you can listen, of course. Essential Magnesium, and I take this every night because magnesium has relaxing properties that help you to relax your nervous system, relax your mind, and it helps me prepare for bed. I take these 90 minutes, two capsules in 90 minutes before I go to bed, and it helps me wind down. In fact, I talk about it in the new book, The Miracle Morning, Updated and Expanded Edition. If you want help with your sleep or resting, relaxing at any time of the day, head over to Organifi.com/Hal. That is spelled O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I. Organifi.com. If you’re looking, you can see it there on the bottle, Organifi.com/Hal, and use the discount code ‘HAL’ for 20% off your entire order as a listener of this podcast.
And last but not least, our second sponsor is CURED Nutrition. And they’re kind of like Organifi’s cousin. I take their products together in the morning and in the evening, and I take their Night Oil in the evening. You might hear me in the past, I’ve called it Night Caps because I take both. It’s the same ingredients, CBD oil and CBN oil that have a sedative effect that help you fall asleep and stay asleep. And I take these drops right under my tongue about 30 minutes before bed. And then I take the capsules from traveling because it’s easy to travel and the TSA doesn’t like flag my bag because I’ve got liquid in it or whatever. But whether you get the Night Caps or the Night Oil, I encourage you to head over to CUREDNutrition.com/Hal and use the discount code ‘HAL’ same discount code for 20% off your entire order. And the Organifi Essential Magnesium and the CURED Nutrition Night Oil work together as your one-two punch for a better night’s sleep.
All right. Goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, I love you so much. And I hope this episode and this conversation with Kristin Brindley on how to be selfishly selfless transforms your life in a positive way. Enjoy.
Hal Elrod: Kristin Brindley.
Kristin Brindley: Hi, Hal.
Hal Elrod: It is so good to see you.
Kristin Brindley: Same.
Hal Elrod: You and I haven’t talked in probably a year and then we just caught up the other day. And then I said, “We should totally do a podcast together.”
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. That was a pleasant surprise. Really, it was nice talking to you and, yeah, thank you for having me on. Appreciate it.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Absolutely. I mean, seriously, you’re one of… I was talking to our mutual friend, Brianna, letting her know we were talking and we both agree like you’re just one of the kindest, most generous, most forward-thinking. There are so many adjectives to describe you as a person that are positive. And we were just talking about your daughter, Avery, before we started recording and how our kids are growing up too fast. Like the old cliche, they grow up so fast. It is so true, right?
Kristin Brindley: Way too fast.
Hal Elrod: You say she is nine or she’s about to turn nine?
Kristin Brindley: Yep, she is nine. She’s going to be ten in November. It’s crazy. I remember your daughter being like super short, like small too, right? And she’s 14 now. Like what?
Hal Elrod: I know. Yeah, my daughter’s 14. Your daughter’s nine. And like you said, some days that we both agree they, you know, what you said, she talks like she’s 30 or she talks like she’s four, right? My daughter’s more 30 or 14 is about as low as she goes. And so, for everybody listening that doesn’t know you or know me, well, they know me, but know our relationship, we have a lot in common. And I was thinking all the things that we have in common and one is that you and I met in Cutco. We both worked for the same company and we both are cancer survivors, right? So, another really major aspect of our lives was the cancer journey. And we’ll touch on that today. And then we both are huge advocates of the Miracle Morning. And the difference being I have to be. I wrote the book like I have to be. But you’ve gifted over 3,000 copies of the book in the last 11 years since the book came out. And so, I want to touch on all of those and a lot more. But start with Cutco. Real quick and for those that don’t know, right, Cutco, you and I, we sold kitchen knives in-home presentations, so I want to know a few things about that. Like, what age were you when you started that? What were you doing before that? What were your expectations? And then what happened?
So, how old were you? What were you doing before that? And then what were your expectations and then what happened? Because obviously for you, I mean, for me, it turned into so much more than I ever imagined that it would. And I’m curious if it was the same for you.
Kristin Brindley: Oh, goodness. Yeah. So, I mean, Cutco changed my life. I made more than my dad in college.
Hal Elrod: Earning more money than your dad in college. Wow.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. Yeah, I paid for school, and it was not, you know, I thought I was just selling knives but really it changed my life and changed how I viewed money and how I viewed business. And I’m very grateful to Cutco and all the training that I received. Like, I still have Cutco clients. It’s still buy Cutco from me. I have a partner that runs that business. So, that’s summer job but 20 years later it’s still, you know.
Hal Elrod: Wow. So, what year did you start?
Kristin Brindley: I started in 2002, so literally 20 years.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I was 1998. So, four years before you. And you were in college when you started?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, I was in college when I started. I was between sophomore and junior year. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: If you had to pick like what was the biggest either lesson or benefit that you gained from your career selling Cutco? There’s a lot of them. I know it’s hard to pick one. I didn’t prep you with that.
Kristin Brindley: That is. That’s hard. So, I would say, shoot, it’s either mindset or work ethic. Both of those were a huge contributor from Cutco. Like, the work ethic that you get from just doing the appointments and the mindset to be okay to have rejection and all the other things. Those two items have served me the rest of my life for sure.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. I know that that makes sense. Mindset and work ethic. Now, what’s amazing is, literally, you run a different business now and your Cutco business, you’ve hired someone, empowered someone to run that business for you. So, it still exists. You still service your customers. How many customers do you have at Cutco? You know?
Kristin Brindley: About 3,000 or so. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Wow. That’s incredible. Yeah. My manager usually says, “It’s not about selling knives, it’s about changing lives,” and both for the people that buy the product but also really for, I mean, I think more than anything it’s the people that go through that process.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, I always thought that it was such great karma, especially when I was in college selling knives, that people saw me to help me with school. But they then had the knives the rest of their lives. And I have people who have bought them 20 years ago that still I see when I go back to my hometown and they thank me and I help them get them sharpened and it’s pretty great. I feel great about what we’ve done with that. You know what I mean? It’s a good feeling.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, it is cool. I mean, the product being guaranteed forever, like when I was even selling Cutco, I’d see them, they’re like, “Oh, I bought this 51 years ago and I still use it every night and the company sharpens it.” Or there are not that many products that you bought 50 years ago that still work is good today, right? All right, I’m getting to my Cutco, I’m going to start selling Cutco here.
Kristin Brindley: I know.
Hal Elrod: So, I want to transition to your cancer journey because I don’t know the exact statistic, but it’s a large number of people have had cancer or know someone. I mean, I rarely have met anybody that their life wasn’t touched by cancer in some way, whether they had it or a relative, someone had it. Talk about a little bit your cancer journey.
And here’s what I’m curious is when did you have cancer, like how old are you? I’m trying to gauge what part of your life that was. And then, what did you learn from that experience? Because I think, everyone that goes through cancer comes out saying, often, it’s one of the best things that ever happened because of the growth I experienced and who I became on the other side. So, yeah, when did you have cancer? How old were you? And what was that like? And what was the biggest takeaway?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. So, I was 31, 32, I had cervical cancer and I was really young. I was like an interesting case through Walter Reed where I was treated. And it was 2013. I actually ran the Marine Corps Marathon in 2012 with cancer and didn’t realize it.
Hal Elrod: Really?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah.
Hal Elrod: Is that your first marathon, by the way?
Kristin Brindley: It was, yeah. So, yeah, I was diagnosed and then went through 40 radiation treatments and seven chemo. And cancer is a thumbprint, it’s different for everyone. I just read a statistic that 40% of people, before they pass on in life, will have cancer or have cancer. It’s mutation of the cells brought up by aging, too. It’s kind of crazy.
Hal Elrod: Interesting.
Kristin Brindley: I read that in Life Force with Tony Robbins. That was a good book.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I bought it. It’s on my shelf. I have not read it yet.
Kristin Brindley: It’s 17 hours. But he says at the end, like you’re weird if you finish, like you’re an amazing human. It’s kind of neat. I was like, “Oh, yeah, this is 17 hours.”
Hal Elrod: The audiobook was 17 hours.
Kristin Brindley: The audiobook is 17 hours.
Hal Elrod: That’s insane, okay.
Kristin Brindley: Hey, that’s only like 17 Miracle Mornings, all right.
Hal Elrod: There you go. I love it. Yeah, so what were your biggest takeaway or takeaways from going through that journey? And how long was your treatment? How long was that journey for you?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, that was almost three months. And man, I learned a lot. And it was the worst/best thing that ever happened. God, I learned so much. So, when I was on the radiation table, actually, like I used the 5-Minute Rule a couple of different times. And why am I doing this, why am I putting myself through this, things like that. And while there is a lot of gratitude that came from that for my family, for my daughter, for just purpose of life, there’s a lot that came from surviving that. Yeah, it was worst/best thing ever happened, Hal, like the value of time, the way I think about time, how I spend my time with my family, how precious it is, yeah, worst/best thing that ever happened. You’re totally right, yeah.
Hal Elrod: Do you do anything differently now as a result of that, in terms of diet or exercise or personal development or spirituality, like, in anything that’s been different since then?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. I feel like you and I have probably gone on a lot of the same. We’ve talked about different diets and different things, like goodness, I’ve done the Whole30. I did keto. I’ve done some vegetarianism. I’m really on six smaller lean and green meals now. I’m very health conscious. When you go through PET scans, you realize that sugar and carbs show up looking like cancer. So, it just makes you not want to eat a ton of sugar and carbs because it looks like cancer on a screen.
Hal Elrod: I’ll take that as a sign. Yeah, right.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, PET scans, you’re not allowed to have that stuff beforehand. So, I mean, maybe that’s a good sign, too, not to do too much of that.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. And that’s for me, it’s like I looked back, like when I got cancer, we don’t know what causes your particular cancer. It’s such a rare cancer. And well, let me look through my entire life and think of what are all the things that I put in my body or did to my body that were not natural, whether it was pharmaceutical drugs. I was on Adderall in my 20s, I was like, “Oh, that’s one molecule away from street drug, methamphetamine.” And I was like, probably, not good for you, right? I don’t think the body takes that as, “Oh, yeah, we welcome this. This is natural,” right?
And I took a lot of workout supplements in my 20s, my vanity, trying to look buff and impress girls and stuff. And I’m like, “Yeah, those might have contributed.” I wasn’t sleeping a lot, I used to not value sleep and think I want to sleep as little as I can. It was the whole, I’ll sleep when I’m dead mentality, right?
Yeah, so for me, I was like, I’m going to do everything in my power now just where I’m not going to put anything in my body that could cause cancer because I think that, I hate, but I don’t like when people are like everything causes cancer, so I’m just going to live my life. It’s like, well, no, organic fruits and vegetables probably don’t cause cancer. And even like medication, I don’t think causes cancer. In fact, there’s a lot of things that actually counteract the probability of cancer. And so, just as a message for anybody listening, I really believe, there’s a great book called Anticancer, and it’s like live that way now so that you don’t have to suffer on the radiation table or with an IV in your arm getting chemotherapy, right?
Kristin Brindley: Amen.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So, let’s talk about the Miracle Morning because, in fact, let me unpack this. I might share this in the intro. I’m not sure, we’ll see. But literally, you reached out the other day and you’re like, “Hey, Hal, I need to order 500 more copies of the Miracle Morning.” Like, that’s how, and I’m like– and then I called you, I was like, “Hey, there’s a new edition. You know about the new edition?” And you didn’t know about it yet. I’m like, “Hey, it’s coming out. There’s all these preorder bonuses.” And so, that’s how we ended up talking again.
And then I was like, “I got to have you on the podcast.” Because one of the things you told me, in fact, maybe this is where we’ll start, or no, let’s start, we’ll go there next. I want to talk about what the Miracle Morning means to you. Like, how has the Miracle Morning affected your life? And then, I want to ask you about, why have you gifted it to 3,000 people, and then specifically about what you told me about your mom we talked the other day. So, we’ll go in that order. So, I’ll take them one at a time. How has the Miracle Morning impacted your life?
Kristin Brindley: The Miracle Morning has impacted my life in so many different ways, even down to like what I do for a living now. It has literally, I mean, I’ve read about 40 books a year for the last at least five, six years. That’s how many…
Hal Elrod: That is incredible right there, by the way. Let me highlight, 40 books a year for the last five or six years. So, we’re looking at 200 books. That’s insane.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, my bookshelf behind me, like, I actually have a ton more. I have five or six versions of your book, too, that I’ve read, all the different ones, too, like being a parent.
Hal Elrod: Oh, all the series books.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, for a salesperson, for a parent, the millionaire one, the real estate one. I’ve definitely read a few different versions, actually.
Hal Elrod: You’re amazing. You’re so amazing. Okay.
Kristin Brindley: So, yeah, I know, it’s meant a lot for me, personally, like the 5-Minute. One of the things you told me in the beginning was to use the 5-Minute Journal, and that really helped with doing gratitude and affirmations, visualization, like the entire piece. That really helped in that journey because for me, and one of the tips I have for people is to start with someone that you’re struggling with.
Hal Elrod: You mean the specific of the SAVERS that you’re struggling with?
Kristin Brindley: Yep, whatever SAVERS you’re struggling with at the time, start with it. Like, usually, whatever when I’m, like, if it’s exercise, most of the time, I feel like I get to, like I get to exercise, it’s pretty awesome. There’s been times in my life where I was laying on a radiation table and I didn’t get to. So, I usually have the get to attitude, but once in a while, that would be my first one because I’m like, “Oh, I don’t feel like that today.” So, whatever one is giving you any kind of issue in your head or whatever, I always start with that one if I’m having something like that.
Hal Elrod: And is that with the philosophy, like the eat the frog philosophy? Is that why you do it?
Kristin Brindley: Eat the frog, yep.
Hal Elrod: Like, get that one out of the way, and then it’s all uphill or downhill from there, right?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. And it’s an easy, easy one from that. I mean, I love the app too. Like, I don’t know, if you were talking about that today at all, but the app is really, really good. And having Patricia’s voice on there and Lucy and all these guys is pretty awesome.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, the Miracle Morning app. Yeah, I know it’s been cool. I thought, oh, it’s just an app. But when I read the reviews on iTunes, there’s a lot of people that say, “I fell off the Miracle Morning. I used to do it. I didn’t do it. I got the free app. And then now, I finally can sit, like the app gave me that accountability and that structure and that consistency.” So, I’m like, yeah, I’m very passionate about sharing the app now as well.
Kristin Brindley: That’s really good. I love all the experiences and everything on there. It’s really good, Hal. You guys did a great job. Josh did a great job.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, Josh Eidenberg gets the most of the credit. He’s the head of the app development team. What’s your favorite of the SAVERS? And why? And any tips on it? Like, why is it your favorite, but I’m curious if you have a favorite and why?
Kristin Brindley: Silence is golden. And I’m very fortunate and I feel like I get to talk for a living and connect people. That’s what I do. And so, silence for me in the morning has been like a godsend. So, the gratitude and silence one is probably my absolute favorite.
Hal Elrod: Walk us through what your silence is typically like. Yeah, what is it like? And how long do you do it for?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. So, I mean, for me, it’s funny, I wake up way before my family, so I’m up at 5 a.m. every day and I’m in silence from everyone for a good hour and a half. And it is so nice. And the first, the intentional silence usually has gratitude. I do the things I’m grateful for and I write it out and scribe. I do the silence and then the scribing. So, gratitude for at least five minutes, like literally each day.
Hal Elrod: How do you do it? Do you do in that order? Do you go from silence to scribing?
Kristin Brindley: Yes, yeah.
Hal Elrod: I love that.
Kristin Brindley: Scribing used to be my hardest thing. And now, it’s not.
Hal Elrod: I love that and I love the people ask, do I have to do SAVERS in order? And of course, the answer is no. But it is interesting, like I’ve played with different orders and what the value of each. So, for example, there was a time where I tried scribing first. And I would start by writing, I would answer the question, is there anything I need to let go of? So, it’s like, that was a beautiful first part of the Miracle Morning. And I’m like, “You know what? I’ve been super stressed over this thing. That’s not serving me.” And so, I would just write it out and be like, “I am letting go of being stressed and worried about this thing that I can’t control or it’s inevitable or whatever.” Yeah, so I love that going in different orders depending.
And now, I usually start with 60 seconds of jumping jacks just to lift the brain fog and wake up my brain, get me energized. Yeah, so I love that you go silence and then into scribing and really focusing both on gratitude. Is that part of your silence? Are you kind of sitting there and kind of meditating in gratitude or how would you describe it?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, I sit in just silence and I focus on the energy of what grateful feels like. And then I start to list things I’m grateful for. And then, it kind of goes from there. Like, sometimes I have done meditation. I wouldn’t say that I’m amazing at meditation, but I’m much better than I used to be. That was the first challenge in my Miracle Morning was trying to meditate. And then the silence piece with gratitude always just blends into a great morning.
Hal Elrod: That’s awesome. I think for most people, meditation is probably like the cha– we have our monkey mind that just doesn’t stop. So, in the new book, I teach emotional optimization meditation, which is just this kind of it’s something I made up. I’m sure someone else has probably done something similar, but it’s where instead of clearing your mind, which is challenging and it has benefit, but to me, the biggest benefit is I identify what’s the optimal emotional state that I want to experience, and then I get myself into that state. And then I set my timer and I meditate, or I like this word, marinate in that state. And it’s hard wiring it into my nervous system so that it’s easier. And I think that’s almost without even saying it, that’s what you’re doing with gratitude, right? When you get into a grateful state and then you meditate in that state, you just spend time in it. It hard wires it into your subconscious, your nervous system, etc. So, I love that.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, when I start my day in gratitude, like most days, really, that the energy and the frequency that I feel like I’m on is totally different. And I have missed days and I’m just not as happy those days. And I was telling you a story like my mom, when she does her Miracle Morning, I can tell when she’s on her Miracle Morning and when she’s not as much. And we’ve talked about it. And she’s, again– it really is something that changes. When you can help people by changing a behavior or habit and to create more happiness, I feel like that’s an amazing thing and I feel like that’s what the Miracle Morning does is you help people change their behavior.
And I mean, for me, it’s affecting my team, the culture in our team, like how we grow, how we handle challenging situations, like just we’re always growing because of the Miracle Morning. You can’t sit that stagnant if you’re growing. You know what I mean?
Hal Elrod: So, is it like required reading for your team? Or do you gift everybody the book? What does that look like?
Kristin Brindley: Oh, yeah. I mean, I gave it to all my clients. I mean, I’ve given over 3,000 of them away. So, from the Cutco business to the Real Producers, I’m now on seven areas of Real Producers. Normally, I have that up on my screen, but instead I wanted to have my bookcase up and your books around there and stuff. But no, I’ve given it to anyone. And not even that, I’ve given it to my hairdresser. I’ve given it just to anyone that I feel like needs it. And that happens a lot.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, I mean, 3,000, it’s wild. When did you start gifting the book? Was there like, did you buy one and give it as a gift or did you go like or was I promoting something in you? You’re like, you bought them one time? Or like, you remember back when that started?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, I think I got like 50 of them. And then it’s like, “Hey, if we get a huge bulk order together, Hal, can you help me out?” Because I wasn’t doing as well back then. And we got a big bulk order together between a few Cutco people, and then I did another one. And you really did affect in 2016 when you came out and did all those masterminds with me. I got a bunch of books then again, too, but then it started this whole, I felt comfortable throwing big events to help people, and that really led into Real Producers, too. So, this is crazy cyclical thing.
And a lot of my Real Producers people, not only did they have had your book, but they also went to Best Year Ever. I have a few people that went to three different Best Year Evers that had seen you speak at one of our events together. So, that’s kind of crazy.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, it’s wild. Yeah, you brought me out to speak. Was that 2016 when you brought me out to speak?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. Isn’t that crazy? Yeah, it was 2016.
Hal Elrod: Wow. And that was the year that I was diagnosed with cancer. So, it was, I think, a few months before.
Kristin Brindley: It was like a week and a half later.
Hal Elrod: Was it that soon?
Kristin Brindley: It was like two weeks later. It was crazy, Hal, yeah.
Hal Elrod: Wow, wow, wow, wow. That is wild. Yeah, it’s wild. I know you’ve told me that you’ve had some challenges with the Miracle Morning and you’ve got some tips kind of on how to overcome those challenges. And I know people, I hear, like, “Hal, I fell off the Miracle Morning. I was doing it every day. Now, I’m not consistent.” So, what challenges have you had with it? Because it hasn’t been perfect, I’m sure, over the last 11 years. And then what are the tips you have on how to overcome challenges with the Miracle Morning?
Kristin Brindley: The Miracle Morning for me, it’s a stabilizing morning routine that really, it helps me set the intention for my day, the intention for the week, the month, the year. So, whenever I fall off of it, which has definitely happened, and sometimes it’s like on a vacation, sometimes it’s like just crazy busy and I’m working out at 5 a.m., but I’m not doing some of the other things or there’s just crazy time in business or something, right? Because you’ve been growing a lot. So, that definitely has happened.
And whenever it does, the day just doesn’t seem the same. And if I string two or three of those days together, sometimes somebody might tell you and be like, “Yeah, you don’t seem like yourself.” And I’ll think about it. I’d be like, “Oh, that’s why.” And then I just do it. Yeah, I literally do it that day, like before I go to bed just to get myself back into and then just get back into it the next morning. But it’s a forgiveness thing, too. When you break a habit, you got to forgive yourself and then do it again, so.
Hal Elrod: Not beating yourself up, which so many people do, yeah.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah. So, it’s not an obligation. It’s a I get to, and I think that is one of the biggest things I can impart is that “I get to” attitude and that really hit me from cancer, but like carrying it through the Miracle Morning and I get to do a Miracle Morning. So, forgive yourself for the day before and then just get back in.
Hal Elrod: My philosophy on that or my little rule of thumb, it’s almost like a mantra, is never let one bad day turn into two, right? And that’s what we do is we’re like one bad day turns into, oh my gosh, I’m lame or aah, or it turns into it because it’s like, well, I missed a day and I’m still alive, nothing detrimental happened, so maybe I’ll miss another day, and no, eventually get back to it. So, yeah, never letting one mistake turn into two. And that also means never let three mistakes turn into four or 17 mistakes turn into 18 or six months turn into seven months, right? It’s just realizing that in any moment, you can go, okay, I’m going to get back to what I know works, what I know I can do, what I know is useful and helpful for me, so.
You mentioned Real Producers a couple of times. Just for those that don’t know, what is Real Producers? What do you do? And actually, I want to unpack it a little bit because when I came out and spoke, you had, I believe, one Real Producer’s territory. And now, you have– is it four?
Kristin Brindley: I have seven now.
Hal Elrod: Seven, seven, okay. Seven, I don’t want to over guess, but okay, seven. So, yeah, what is Real Producers, shortly? And how have you scaled to seven of these territories?
Kristin Brindley: I’m really fortunate. Reading all these books and all things has raised my leadership led. Actually, in preparation for this, I was like, I asked a couple of people who have known me, as long as you have, like what’s changed over the last 10 years? And my leadership led grew quite a bit. So, I have a team of about 30 people and we’re in seven territories for Real Producers. And what Real Producers is, is we really connect the top agents in a city. It’s usually about the top 2% or so.
Hal Elrod: When you say agents, you mean real estate agents?
Kristin Brindley: Yep, real estate agents. Yep, the top 500 real estate agents in most of our territories do about 80% to 85% of all the business out of 10,000, 20,000 agents, depends on the city.
Hal Elrod: The 80/20 rule, right?
Kristin Brindley: 80/20, yeah, on steroids in real estate. So, yeah, those people, we have a publication where we tell their stories. I love it, Hal. We interview agents and we get to hear their stories of success, and success leaves clues for everybody else and leaves a legacy by sharing their stories. So, the heart of what we do is share stories, and then we connect everybody with events. And it’s the best of the best.
Like, in the DC one where I started, they have to do– I think the bottom person did 15 million last year. And it’s crazy, yeah. So, I get to hang out with these people and connect them all and they have private social media and all that kind of stuff too. So, yeah, I just have people in each city that are boots on the ground for the events now and a whole team to do editorial. We put out a book every month. We were putting out almost 400 pages now every month, which is crazy.
Hal Elrod: Wow. That’s incredible.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, it’s cool, though. Yeah.
Hal Elrod: I want to ask some of your philosophies on success and just life in general. Again, anyone that has read 200 books in the last five years has a lot to share, but not just the reading, it’s the implementation, like you’ve been learning and implementing at an extraordinary level. And so, even like when your whole way of being is how can I serve and it’s very sincere. Like, I was looking at the text message you sent me earlier when we were talking about our discussion today is you ended it with how can I best serve you in this, Hal? And I feel you’re always asking that and it’s sincere and you follow through when somebody asks for support.
And the thing is, I didn’t ask you to buy 3,000 Miracle Morning books. So, people don’t need to ask for your support. You’re just that kind of person. And so, I think that when it comes to your philosophies on success, I’d love to start there. And here, how do you view the role of service, of selflessness, of generosity, of looking out for another person’s best interests rather than your own in terms of being successful? And I’m just thinking of everybody listening to this, like what’s this mindset and these philosophies you have that they can apply to enrich their lives?
Kristin Brindley: Thank you, Hal. That was really kind, what you just said. And my thoughts on service, like one of the things I like to ask people and almost every time I meet them or have an appointment, whether it’s with Real Producers, and any time I like to ask people what their highest hope is and that can be personal, it can be business, it’s like one of my favorite questions. And I actually saw Jeremy Reisig, brotha James. We talked about this question, gosh, like five years ago or something.
And I’ve asked it a ton ever since. And what’s your highest hope this year if we were to toast on December 31st? What would it look like? And I find out so many interesting things. And sometimes I can literally just make an introduction and help people with that or I can point them to a book because I’ve read a lot of books. So, I can point out, like, here’s four books of what you’re trying to do. If that’s truly your goal right now and that’s what you’re– like this is how I can serve. I just am always asking what’s really important to people.
And I learned so much more about them and I feel much more connected to them. And my job now and Real Producers is to connect people. And I feel like it’s served so much more than just my job. And I get to serve the people and I just like what they’re doing for work, which is pretty cool. So, yeah, that’s how I view serving other people.
Rarely do I talk about all the things that I do. It’s weird to even say I have seven Real Producers because I don’t really talk about it like that. Yeah, it’s like, what do you do? How can we work together? How can we help each other?
Hal Elrod: And the beauty of that is, to me, couple of things, it was Zig Ziglar that said that you can have everything you want in life if you help enough other people get what they want.
Kristin Brindley: It’s one of my words on my board. Yeah, I love Ziggy.
Hal Elrod: Right. And you embody that. And I strive to embody that. And honestly, I’m so impressed by you. I honestly am like, man, Kristin’s like– I feel like you’re a level above me, Kristin.
Kristin Brindley: No.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. No, I feel that. It’s amazing. But I think that for anybody listening, it’s very normal unless you were taught that philosophy. That’s not necessarily ingrained in our culture in terms of being successful, right? It’s like you got to get as much as you can, as fast as you can.
And I heard a quote a long time ago that helped shape my philosophy on this in addition to the Zig Ziglar quote, Eben Pagan said, “Learn to love getting the short end of the stick.” And he was talking about engaging with other people, like in business. And he said, “Everyone’s trying to me, me, me and get the most they can.” People sense that and they feel it and they, it doesn’t feel good. And I think what you’re talking about is you’re looking at how can I make sure you win?
And the beauty of that is we can be selfishly selfless or you can flip it. Selflessly selfish, which is like you can know that, hey, if I just stop trying to focus on me, me, me and what I can get at every situation and I actually become a person of service, I actually retrain my brain and my subconscious mind to genuinely care about the best interest of other people, right? And the best way is through language. That’s how you start it.
These are exactly what you’re saying. What’s your highest hope, right? So, get yourself to ask that question. How can I best serve you? If you ask that question over and over and over to your spouse, to your children, I ask my wife almost every day, “Hey, sweetie, how can I make your day easier today or better or what can I do to help you?” If you focus on that and ask that question, it will rewire your brain in and of itself. And then the beauty of it is the experience that you’ll have of someone says, “Actually, I really could use help in this area.” Then you help that person. And then they either reciprocated or they reciprocated the appreciation like, “Oh my gosh, that meant so much to me. Thank you so much.” And it’s like now, it’s increased these win-win scenarios and you’re literally reinforcing this positive behavior of being of service. So, I wanted to reflect that back to you. And anything to add to that?
Kristin Brindley: As you were talking, I was thinking about, we’re always talking about, like, now we serve 4,000 people between all the communities, like we’re serving. How can we serve more people is literally the language. How do we serve more people? I think that that comes from, you can give away 3,000 Miracle Morning books. Like, everybody listening, you could give away 100 Miracle Morning books, you could give away the app to your people.
That has turned into I do quotes every day with my team. Like, while I’m doing my Miracle Morning, I pick out a quote for the team for each day. How can I serve more people is a great question for your journal and scribing, too. It’s like how do we serve more people.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah. How do we serve more people? And I would add to that, how can I serve this person better, especially my spouse, right? How can I be a better service to my spouse? And of course, I’ve found that asking them is usually better than trying to guess and think that you know, right?
Kristin Brindley: Good goal, yeah. I love it.
Hal Elrod: Well, I did, sweetheart. Yeah, I don’t want you to do that. I didn’t ask for that. I’m like, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good point,” right?
Kristin Brindley: I’ve done that, yeah.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, of course, we all have. What is next for you, Kristin? What’s your focus moving forward?
Kristin Brindley: We’re continuing to grow. We went from four to seven this year. I’m looking to probably go to at least 10 Real Producers’ platform. At that point, I’m doing some other things, too. I’m partnering and doing some other things. So, just to continue to grow and serve people on a different level. One of the things I’ve been journaling on is the quality of your questions, the quality of your life, and I feel like that’s a book that I’m bringing on, so we’ll see. It’s on my board for this coming year, so.
Hal Elrod: To write that book?
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, yeah, I hope so.
Hal Elrod: I will help in any way I can. I’ll bring you back on the podcast. I’ll give you an endorsement, whatever I can do to support you, for sure.
Kristin Brindley: Well, I appreciate it, Hal. I really– we want to get out your word the most. Like, seriously, you help change my behavior, my mom, my family, my team, like, my entire team. The way we tackle the day is different. I affect that many people every day differently because of the books that you have written. So, I thank you. Like, thank you, Hal. You truly changed my life.
Hal Elrod: Oh, it means a lot. I appreciate. And then you’re paying it forward at a level that I can’t even imagine. I mean, I can hardly imagine and I can’t thank you enough. So, I’m glad it’s reciprocal. And it just goes to show. Literally, we were just talking about it, right? You look at adding value and then it comes back to you. Call it karma. Call it the law of reciprocation. Call it whatever you want, but it is a law and it does happen, even just practical sense, right? If I help you, you’re inclined to help me and vice versa. So, I’m glad we’re helping a lot of people out there in helping a lot of people.
Kristin Brindley: Yeah, I believe that 100%. I believe in karma. I believe if you do the right thing over and over again, it’s our core value on our team, like you do the right thing, great things happen.
Hal Elrod: Absolutely.
Kristin Brindley: It is the right thing.
Hal Elrod: And I just want to mention for everybody listening right now, if you do want to model Kristin at any level in terms of paying for the Miracle Morning, you can get a bunch of preorder bonuses at the new MiracleMorning.com. The site just went live, I think, this morning or yesterday when this podcast comes out. So, go to the new MiracleMorning.com and you can get books for your friends, your family, your employees, your clients. You don’t have to buy 3,000 like Kristin to get the bonuses, but there’s bonuses. We’re doing the Miracle…
Kristin Brindley: But you can.
Hal Elrod: But you can. We’re doing the Miracle Year Live Event. And if you buy five books, you get five tickets to that event to give to everyone that you gift the book to, plus a ticket for yourself. Well, Kristin, yes, I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you for being a part of my life. And thank you for being such a light in the world right now. Everyone I know that knows you has nothing but glowing things to say about you because of the way that you live your life. And what I love about it is you’re leading by example for all of us.
Like, everyone listening right now, you can go back and listen again or just reflect on what Kristin said. And what does she do? She starts every day with her Miracle Morning. She finds a quote for her team that will enrich their lives. She asks the question, “How can I best serve today?” She asks every person she meets, “What is your highest hope?” So, that she knows what they want and how she can best serve, and she pays it forward and she helps as many people as she possibly can.
And as a result, I mean, we didn’t talk about your financial success, but Kristin, you’re doing extraordinarily well, like you could retire at a very young age. So, it all comes back to you, everybody. So, until next time. Again, when that book comes out, I am here to bring you back on.
Kristin Brindley: Thank you, Hal. I appreciate you. Thank you for everything.
Hal Elrod: All right, ditto. Goal achievers, I love you so much. Members of the Miracle Morning Community, have a great day and we’ll talk to you all next week. Take care, everybody.