They say that the most successful people in the world get up early and start the day ahead of everybody else. One factor that makes their mornings even more unique is having a dedicated morning ritual. And for author Hal Elrod, maximizing that several minutes before doing anything else is key in shaping your overall outlook in life. Jen Du Plessis talks with Hal about his book, The Miracle Morning, that goes deep in his ideal morning ritual SAVERS, particularly about visualizing the best version of yourself. Hal also shares his profound realizations after going into a near life and death experience.
Watch the episode here:
Listen to the podcast here:
How To Change Your Morning Ritual For The Best With Hal Elrod
I have our next guest, Mr. Hal Elrod. I have been following Hal. We happened to be in the same Ignite Advisory speaking group. I have been following and stalking Hal for a long time behind the scenes and pitching his everything behind the scenes to my clients. Without further ado, I want to thank you, Hal, for taking the time out of your busy day to humble me and join me and be able to share with our readers your story.
Jen, you’re welcome and ditto, thank you for taking the time to have me on and thank you for sharing my work The Miracle Morning. I appreciate the opportunity to be here.
Let me go ahead and read your bio for those people who have not heard of you. We’re going to be talking about a lot of things, some tactical and some mindset. We’re going to do a little both. After surviving multiple near-death experiences and impacting millions of people through his books, Hal is now in a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity one person at a time. He is the author of the international best-selling book. Not like some of us who have a best-selling book for twenty minutes on Amazon, which I have and can officially say I have, but international best-selling The Miracle Morning, which is translated into 37 languages and sold over two million copies and his latest book, The Miracle Equation, he’s doing exactly that as well.
I have to say how I loved it. I’m going to ask you this question. This is one of the questions I want to ask you was when you started off. I’m going to get right into it because I know you speak and you’re a runner and you’re going to tell us all kinds of fun stuff, and that’s how I met you. When you wrote The Miracle Morning, did you set up the name so that it could be translated into all the other ones that you’ve done? Your books are The Miracle Morning, The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents, Miracle Morning for Millionaires, The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families, it’s like everybody. Did you set it up that way? Had I known that was a way to do it, I probably would have named my book something different.
No, that was a friend of mine. It was an organic idea. When The Miracle Morning started taking off, I had thought of maybe I could do a series or something. A friend of mine, Ryan Snow, who is a realtor for Keller Williams and a sales trainer, he reached out to me and said, “Hal, have you thought about doing The Miracle Morning for salespeople for doing a series?” I said, “It’s crossed my mind,” but I’m focused on getting the original book in the hands of a million people at that time. He said, “I think we should do a series because I’ve taught The Miracle Morning to all of my agents that I managed, that I’ve trained, and every single one of them that’s doing it, their sales have increased, their motivations increased, their health, their happiness.”
He said, “It’s been a game-changer. I think we should do a Miracle Morning that’s specific with affirmations for salespeople and different rituals for salespeople.” I said, “I love that idea. Do you want to co-author it with me?” That’s how the series was born. It was organic. After that, I met Honoree Corder, who is my partner in this series. She’s managed and helped create all of the books. The rest is history as they say, but when I first wrote The Miracle Morning, I couldn’t see past.
One book and going down that road. It’s funny, he says that. I can’t tell you how many times I’ve purchased the book and brought it to a training session for realtors or shared it with my team and said, “In order for us to be on the same page when you walk through the door, I need you to subscribe to this and you can do the six-minute version or you can do the one-hour version, but you have to do the version before you walk through the door. You can stand outside and do it for all I care.” I think that’s incredible. Let’s rewind a bit and find out where did all this perpetuated from. I know that you had one near-death experience that perpetuated that, there’s another experience as well. If you don’t mind sharing with us about that experience that led you to believe that life is short, we need to make some changes. Share with us about that.
I used to call these my rock bottoms where you reach a point in your life. We’ve all been there and experienced, that tests you, challenges you, scares you, and causes you to question yourself, your faith, whatever it may be. I call these my wake-up calls and we all can relate. We have wake-up calls throughout our lives. When I was twenty years old, I was driving home after I gave a speech at a Cutco sales meeting. I was a salesperson for Cutco Cutlery. Driving home that night, my car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at over 70 miles per hour. My car spun off the drunk driver and the car that was behind me crashed into my driver’s side door directly in my door at 70 miles an hour.
If you could imagine a car hitting you in the door at 70 miles an hour, instantaneously I broke eleven bones on the left side of my body. I broke my leg, my arm, my pelvis, so on and so forth. I began to lose a lot of blood. An hour later when they had used the Jaws of Life to cut me out of the car, I had bled to death and my heart stopped beating for approximately six minutes. I was rushed onto a helicopter to be airlifted to the hospital where they revived me and brought me back to life. I then spent six days in a coma. I flatlined twice more and I came out of the coma to be told that I would never walk again. My first memory was about a week after being out of the coma, meeting with the doctors, them assessing my progress.
I decided I’m committed to giving it everything I have to walk again until I’m proven otherwise. I will maintain unwavering faith that I can and will walk again. I will put forth extraordinary effort in order to do so until proven otherwise. I made that simultaneous decision that if I never walk again, I’ll be at peace with it because I can’t change it at that point. There’s no point in feeling sorry for myself. There’s no point in being a victim. There was no point in wishing I could walk when I can’t walk. I had this simultaneous mindset where I expect the best-case scenario while I simultaneously accept and I’m at peace with the worst-case scenario. In 2008 when the US economy crashed, it was my second wake-up call. It was the first time I lost everything.
I lost my house. I was in debt. I couldn’t pay the bills. It was scary. After going from creating the success to losing it all and I got depressed and scared. It was a series of events that led me to this breakthrough, that if I want to change my life, I have to change myself first. I decided to create a morning ritual, even though I wasn’t a morning person. I had been Googling, “What do the world’s most successful people do every day? What are their routines?” I kept coming across morning routines and morning rituals, but I’m like, “No. I’m not a morning person. Where’s the success ritual for those that wake up at 7:00 AM or whatever.” After reading enough articles, I was convinced that I’ve got to create a morning ritual and I decided I want to create the most effective, extraordinary, proven morning ritual in the history of morning rituals.
That became The Miracle Morning. It changed my life quickly within two months of doing this morning practice in the middle of 2008, when the economy was crashing, which I’ve always been not excited but I’m optimistic. When the next economic crash comes, which I’d say never more than now are we seeing, the ground feels unstable. I know from experience because I’m not the only one. Millions of people have done this where when you take control of your inner world and you take control of yourself, you’re able to dictate how you think, feel, what you do, and therefore the results that you create in your life. As the economy continued to crash, I doubled my income in two months and it was simply by reading books, using affirmations, visualizing, and applying all of these practices that I was doing throughout my workday. I saw the results. The rest is history, as they say. I started writing this book The Miracle Morning. It took three years. I self-published it. I didn’t have a following.
I had no idea.
Nobody knew who I was. I had no idea that it was going to be as big of a deal as it has been, but I was committed. I made a mission that I will change one million lives one morning at a time. I will do everything in my power to reach one million people with this book. It took six years. I tried to do it in one year, but it took six years finally to reach that one-million-person mark. As it expanded the new mission, which is this movie coming out is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning and one person at a time. That’s where this whole Miracle Morning, not just the book, but it’s become this movement into this global community. It’s not just me anymore. It’s millions of people that are passionate about waking up and elevating their own consciousness, fulfilling their own potential, going out and being that impact, that ripple effect to the life of every person that they touch.
I share this story. You have millions of people sharing your book. It’s not just you to millions of people, but that’s how it manifests itself into what’s become this. Truly, it’s a following. It’s not, “I sold a bunch of books.” To a certain extent, somewhat of a cult in a good way.
We got a guy that emailed, and he was obsessing, “This is a cult.” He went off about it. I go, “I guess I need to look up the definition of cult.”
We’ll find a different way, but it truly is a following and it’s something that people are fine. I want to backtrack a bit, and I want to ask you about death because I’ve experienced this as well. I woke up afraid that I didn’t see a light. I’m spiritual. Tell us about that experience. On the backside of that, did you have any experiences that kept you from living your true life? That you had these risks and this reservation because I imagine there was a period of time, maybe not for you, but that you went through saying, “I’m not going to get in a car. I’m afraid of this. Maybe I should be more conservative. Maybe I should reassess.” The light bulb came on and said, “Hold on. I need to change things.” Walk us through the pain that happened there too. Did you have those thoughts, those things? I personally did that’s why I’m asking. I’m asking to light myself because I second guessed everything I did. “That wouldn’t have happened if I didn’t miss,” and I blamed myself. I didn’t give myself the grace to forgive myself for so long. Once I did, that became a message for everybody I talked to.The reality is all of our emotional pain is self-created by our resistance to our reality. Click To Tweet
It was relatively quick. What happened was, in the hospital, I come out of the coma and I’m told I’m not going to walk again, and I had to process that. I didn’t feel pain as much as I felt disbelief like, “How is this?” I can’t even wrap my head around because I came out of the coma and I didn’t even know where I was or how I got in the hospital and I had brain damage. My parents, my family, my friends would tell me what happened to me. I would fall asleep and wake up hours later and I would have forgotten what happened to me. It took days for me to process and even get this to understand what was going on.
Ultimately, the doctors called my parents in one week after I came out of the coma. This is two weeks after the crash. One week after I came out of the coma. I’m starting to get my bearings and such. The doctors called my parents in and they said, “We’re concerned with Hal’s mental and emotional wellbeing.” At that time, everyone was saying I’m not going to walk again, but my parents at that point, they wanted me alive after they almost lost me and the doctors said, “Every time we interact with Hal, he’s always smiling and laughing and telling jokes to make us laugh. Frankly, that’s not normal. That’s not normal for a twenty-year-old young man who’s being told he’s never going to walk again to be happy and smiling and laughing.”
They asked my parents if they would come and talk to me to get to the bottom of how I was feeling, because the doctor said deep down I was probably scared. I might’ve been sad or depressed, possibly angry that this happened. They wanted to get me to admit those feelings so that the therapist and the counselor, psychologist, could work with me through this. My dad came in that day and I looked at him and I was watching television. This is two weeks after I was found dead, after I broke these bones, my leg is in a sling, my arms are in a sling, my eye is all sewn up and with a bandage over it, my ear had been almost completely severed. It was sewn on.
I look at my dad and he says, “Can I talk to you for a second?” I look over and his face is red and his eyes are welled up. I turned off the television. I said, “Dad, what’s wrong?” He said, “Hal, physically, the doctor said you’re stable.” I had flatlined twice more in that first week, three times total. He said, “They’re concerned with your mental and emotional wellbeing.” I said, “What do you mean?” He explained their concerns. He said, “Hal, how are you feeling? It’s okay to be sad, scared, depressed and angry. Those are normal emotions, but you have to admit it. You can’t pretend like everything’s okay.” I went inside to consider what my dad was asking me and the doctors, their assessment.
It only took me about 30 seconds, and I looked at my dad and I smiled. I said, “Dad, I thought you knew me better than that.” He said, “What do you mean?” I said, “Remember I live my life by the five-minute rule that I learned in my Cutco sales training.” Believe it or not. It said it’s okay to be negative when things go wrong, but not for more than five minutes. There’s no value in dwelling on something that is now in the past that you can’t go back in time and change. The only intelligent choice we have is to accept our life exactly as it is, be at peace with it, focus on where we want to go and what’s in our control now to move in that direction. We were literally taught in Cutco to set our timer for five minutes when something would happen. By the way, this was a much milder adversity, no sales or canceled orders, deals that fell through.
We were taught to set a timer for five minutes and give ourselves five minutes to feel the emotions, bitch, moan, complain, cry, punch a pillow, feel it. After five minutes, you take a deep breath, you turn the timer off. We were taught to say these three words, “Can’t change it.” It’s an acknowledgment. I can’t change it. I can’t go back in time and change it. It was horrible. It wasn’t fair. Many of us are suffering over things that happened not five minutes ago, but five hours, five days, five decades ago. The memory of something that was unpleasant causes us pain. Here’s the big a-ha. We tend to think that we feel emotional pain based on the thing that we’re thinking about. I’m upset. Look at what she said, what he did, what I lost, or what didn’t go my way.
The reality is all of our emotional pain is self-created by our resistance to our reality. It’s our wishing and wanting that something were different that we can’t go back in time and change. I said, “Dad, I can’t change that I was in a car accident. I can’t change that I broke eleven bones and I may never walk again. I don’t know but there are only two possibilities the way that I see this. Number one, the doctors are right and I’ll never walk again. I’ve already imagined if that is my future, I have already decided I will be the happiest and most grateful person you’ve ever seen in a wheelchair because I’m in a wheelchair either way. I will not let my circumstances define or determine my emotional wellbeing.”
That’s possibility number one is I never walk again. If that’s the case, I’m happy, I’m grateful and I’m in a wheelchair. The second possibility is I might walk again. I don’t know, but because that’s what I want, I’m focusing all of my energy, my attention, my emotion, visualizing what I want, praying about what I want. I imagine walking in every single day knowing that if I don’t walk again, I’ll be at peace with it. For everybody reading, realize that’s one of the greatest lessons that we can learn to be truly at peace with our life, happy and moving forward, is to accept all things you can’t change unconditionally. To give yourself that gift of inner peace and focus all of your energy on maintaining unwavering faith in every possibility that you want for your life and doing everything in your power to move in that direction. You do both of those simultaneously, accept the worst-case scenario, expect the best-case scenario and move toward that. Don’t dwell on what you cannot change.
It’s powerful. I had a retreat with my team and we talked about this resistance to forgive. They were constantly saying, “That was unfair. That was unjust. That shouldn’t have happened to me.” I think the reason why it’s powerful for me is after having gone through SAVERS. Going through The Miracle Morning every day for years and years and working on me is that, during COVID, there was enough silence in my chaotic life of traveling and speaking. I think this is what a lot of people are going to go through now is because there’s enough silence around us that I finally had that breakthrough.
I was a nine-year-old child, my father was an alcoholic and there’s a whole bunch of other things there. It was constantly going back and saying, “It’s their fault and my fault because I wasn’t perfect. If I were perfect, they wouldn’t be like that.” You said five decades and that’s five decades for me, the decades of doing that. When I finally was able to release that, I don’t know, I have this air about me that walks around a bit different and there was a falseness there, an armor that I was able to poke holes in and eventually fling it off. That’s what you’re talking about in The Miracle Morning. I want to ask you a question about that. I’m curious to know of all of the books that you’ve written, which one touches your heart the most? You’re probably going to say, “Miracle Morning because it was my first.” Seriously, which one is the one that is like, “That was good. That’s going to touch more people than ever before?”
It’s definitely The Miracle Morning. The Miracle Equation, which is my latest book, in some ways it touches my heart because I went through this cancer journey. I’ve been battling cancer. That book was written out of how did I beat cancer? I’m cancer-free, but how did I beat cancer and what can I share with other people? While The Miracle Morning was part of that journey, The Miracle Equation was this unwavering faith and extraordinary effort. These two decisions that you make every day that enable you to create what I call tangible, measurable miracles in your life. However, The Miracle Morning, in terms of impact, I think it’s the greatest contribution to humanity I’ve ever made.
Until further notice, my mission in life is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning at a time and it’s by enabling people. Here’s why. I was talking to my team about this, it’s the movie team, and we’re launching this documentary and we had a call about it. The call was we started out, we wrote down why is launching this movie and getting The Miracle Morning to as many people as possible important for you personally? Why do you feel that it’s important for other people? Why is that important for society, for the globe? We have six people on the call and everyone shared and it was empowering.
They all reminded me of how this had changed their life, which is why they’re on the team. I didn’t just hire these people. They all came through this Miracle Morning community and came into my life. When you take time every morning and dedicate that time to getting quiet, reading your affirmations, meditating, focusing on what it is in your life that you want, who you’re committed to being to achieve what you want, to contribute what you want to the world. It gives you this space to raise your awareness, your conscious awareness as to how every thought that you think, every word that you speak, everything that you do impacts your life, the lives of every person that you touch, the lives of our society and the planet. Most of us, if we don’t have that practice in the morning, we’re not doing that.
We wake up and we go in, we eat the same thing we ate yesterday, and we watch the same thing we watched. We keep repeating the same day over and over. By taking that 30 to 60 minutes in the morning, you’re able to get clear and get intentional with how you live your life and you see these amazing results. The Miracle Morning is the most impactful practice I’ve ever seen in my own life and in the lives of the millions of people that are practicing it, the thousands that sent me personal messages.
There’s no question about it. I look back on when I first got it, you and I were talking in the green room about Brian Buffini, who is the number one real estate coach in the country. I was being coached by him, even though he was a lender, which is a whole other story. That’s when I was introduced to you on stage when you were at one of his annual summits, his mastermind. I started putting The Miracle Morning into play. I think it was 1.5 years or 2 years later that I was in the top 200 loan officers in the country. I can contribute that to Brian Buffini and his coaching. Also, I contribute that to Miracle Morning because I got my head on straight every day. There’s a phrase for this that says, “Where you focus is where you go.”
“Wherever your attention goes, energy flows,” or something like that.
Any iteration of that. A lot of times, in sales, entrepreneurs, all of that. The attention is wherever someone is pulling them the furthest. I talk about this all the time about slowing down to speed up instead of speeding up to slow down. If they could slow down in the morning and take even the six minutes, which I think I’ve only done once, maybe twice I’ve done the full thing all the time. If they could do that, then that energy would flow that way in their chaotic lives. The lives that we’re all experiencing with. We’re all sick. It’s part of it. I think that that’s extremely powerful. I want to dive in for people that have not heard of this. Can we dive into SAVERS? I have a specific question on V. I’ll stop you at that one, but if you wouldn’t mind sharing with us the concept of what The Miracle Morning is all about.You have to maintain unwavering faith that you can overcome anything and accomplish anything. Click To Tweet
The way that this unfolded, I heard a quote from Jim Rohn. He said, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.” The way that I equated that is on a scale of 1 to 10, if we’re measuring success that we want in every area of our life, not just business success, but success in our marriage, as a parent. On a scale of 1 to 10, we all want level 10. We want to be as happy, as healthy, as wealthy, as free, as we possibly can. When I assess my level of personal development on a scale of 1 to 10, it wasn’t a 10. Back then it was a 2 or a 3. In 2008, I was struggling. I believe this is the disconnect for the majority of our society is we all want level ten success.
If we are honest with ourselves, that our level of personal development, there’s a big gap. The way that I look at this, you’ve got to become a level ten person, the level ten version of yourself, I should say in order to create and sustain level ten success. That comes through daily personal development. I googled “best personal development practices.” I googled “personal development practices of millionaires and billionaires.” I googled, “What are the world’s most successful?” I googled all these phrases around trying to figure out what are the best self-development, personal development practices. I had a list of six, and at first, it overwhelmed me. I’m looking for number one. As I reviewed this list of six and I read articles and I researched each one, none of them stands above the other as more beneficial.
They’re all equally beneficial, it depends on who you ask. There’s an article on Fortune 500 CEOs who swear by meditation. I would never correlate that, but they attribute meditation to calming their nervous system, giving them clarity. Some of their best ideas that have moved their company forward have been periods of meditation. As these six practices, I was about to throw in the towel because I was overwhelmed going, “I don’t know which one to do.” The light bulb moment was, “What if I did all of these? What if I woke up tomorrow, I did the six most timeless proven personal development practices in the history of humanity that the world’s most successful people in all walks of life have sworn by for centuries?”
The ultimate morning ritual. It wasn’t until years later that I was writing the book and these six practices, which by the way initially were meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, and journaling. I was writing the book and I was frustrated. I went to my wife. I said, “Sweetheart, I can picture this in the hall between my office and our bedroom.” It was like this defining moment. I go, “Sweetheart, I don’t know what to do. I’ve got these six practices that I want to teach, but I didn’t invent any of them and there’s no way to connect them in a cohesive way. They’re six random practices.”
She goes, “Why don’t you get a thesaurus and see if you can swap any of the words for similar words and make it into an acronym that people could remember?” I kissed her on the face and I said, “Brilliant, let’s try this.” Meditation became silence and journaling became scribing. Now you’ve got SAVERS, Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. I love the acronym because as I described in the book, these are the lifesavers. These are the six practices that if you do these every day, they will save you on missing out on the life you want to live, that you deserve to live. Any one of these will change your life. When you do all six of them, you do see miracles. The change happens fast, you can’t believe it.
It happened first for me. I talked to my coaching clients. It happened for them. That’s when I went, “If this works for me and it works for my coaching clients, this could work for anybody.” Most of us weren’t morning people including me. Silence is your 5 or 10 minutes of meditation every morning. You can use an app, you can sit in silence, you can go to YouTube and find a free meditation video. There’s a lot of different forms of meditation, but the benefits of lowering your stress, calming your nervous system. My best ideas are while I’m meditating. I have my journal right there because I always have to pause a meditation timer. I have to write down an idea to come and revisit later.
The A on Affirmations, I won’t give any hardcore training on these, I will on a couple of them. I’ll do affirmations and visualization. Silence, my favorite form of meditation is something that I came up with called emotional optimization meditation. It’s where instead of quieting your mind and following your breath, you begin your meditation by asking, “Which emotional state or states do I need to be in now, do I need access to now?” On any given day, it would be like happiness or gratitude, but on certain days, if I have an important meeting coming up where I need confidence or poise. If I need to have a lot of somebody to get done, and I need clarity and focus, those are the states that I’ll access in the morning. I’ll ask myself, “Which state do I need to access?”
I will spend 5 or 10 minutes accessing that state. Marinating in that state. The way I’ll do that is, for example, if it’s gratitude, I’ll think about something that makes me grateful. I’ll get in the state and I’ll stay there and try to go as deep as I can. If I need confidence, I’ll think of a time as recent or distant past as I can when I was feeling confident. I’ll go there, visualize it all, imagine and I’ll go there in my mind. What that does is you’re conditioning those states so that you can ultimately easily go there every day at will because you’re conditioning it in the morning. It sounded like your exercise for your mind, body and spirit. The A in SAVERS is for Affirmations.
This is an important one. Affirmations are misunderstood because they’ve been taught in this goofy way where it’s like, “Tell yourself something that you want to be true until you believe it.” “I am wealthy. I am healthy. I am thin,” if you’re overweight. Lying to yourself is never the optimum strategy. In the book, I teach three steps for affirmations. Number one, don’t affirm what you want or affirm something that’s not true. Affirm what you’re committed to. I am committed to blank. Number two, affirm why it’s deeply meaningful to you. Why is that a must? Why are you fully committed? Why is that crucial?
Number three, affirm which specific actions you’ll take and when. Now you’re not affirming some, “I am amazing blah, blah.” You’re affirming a commitment that you’ve made, some outcome. You’re affirming the specific actions you’re going to take and when. You’re affirming why it’s meaningful and the actions you’re going to take. When you do that every day, you’re aligning your subconscious mind, your conscious thinking and your behaviors with what it is that you’re affirming and what you’re committed to. Individualization, you said you had a question on that.
It’s funny the way that you’re talking about that because I wake up at night knowing about the emotional optimization meditation. Not knowing about it. When I get up in the morning, I have put my affirmations. Some are my affirmation, some are quotes. I’ve segmented them into the wheel of life. Business, spiritual, whatever. I get up in the morning and I’m thinking, what do I need the most now? I don’t think what is my day like? That’s interesting. I think, “What do I need the most now? Now, I think I need more business.” A lot of times it’s because of what happened yesterday. Yesterday is a history. Tomorrow is a mystery and today is a present. That’s why it’s a gift. A lot of times it’s like, “How did I feel yesterday?” I was like, “I need a bit of boost of business now. I need a bit of boost to spiritual now.” That’s where I do my affirmation. This is funny. I did a combining of them. For me, silence is prayer. I do some reading in prayer too. That’s interesting.
I want to talk about visualization. I know you’re going to get to it and stuff. I’m not a vision board person. I’ve even tried the app. The vision board app and dropped stuff in. While I do the visualization, I tend to talk to myself about imagine. I say, “Imagine what it would be like to stand up on a stage.” I’m on stages all the time, I used to be. I’m on stages all the time, but my visualization is imagine standing up on the stage and somehow, some way, there’s a light that flows around one individual and I know that I’m making a difference in their life. Imagine helped me get through visualization, but I am excited to ask you about how you get through visualization because a lot of people think, “I’m going to go cut up a bunch of pictures in a magazine and put them on postcard like I was a kid. I’m going to look at it every day and it’s supposed to change my life.” I think there’s more to it than that. I want to hear it from you.
I call vision boards invisible boards because usually they end up unless you’re active and committed and disciplined, they become background noise on the wall after a while. I’ve struggled with visualization. It’s been my most challenging of the SAVERS, which means I’ve had to figure it out, since I wrote the book on it. Here’s the first and foremost for anyone reading this. Consider that the world’s greatest athletes, the world’s top athletes from Olympians to the Michael Jordans and Serena Williams of the world, they swear by visualization. They visualize themselves performing at their best before the game starts so that when the game starts, they’ve already rehearsed. I call it mental rehearsal. That’s the best way of thinking of it.
The problem with visualization is the way that we’ve been taught the whole vision board strategy which is a form of visualizing the end result, that’s it. The problem with that is if that’s all you do, if all you do is visualize yourself at the end result, you’re omitting the most important part which is the process that will produce that result. The world champion athletes don’t visualize himself holding up a trophy. They visualize themselves taking a jump shot with perfect accuracy. They visualize themselves. They mentally and emotionally rehearse. Here’s the two-step process for visualization. Number one, visualize your ideal outcome because that fuels your desire and your drive to make it happen. It also enhances your belief, something that right on day one might seem far off that you can hardly even imagine it.
If you visualize it every day, it starts to become real and you become acclimated to that possibility becoming a reality. That’s step one. There’s value in visualizing the end result. Step two and the most important step is, bring it to today. Ask yourself, “What do I need to do today to ensure that I’m moving in the direction of that outcome, that result?” Visualize yourself like a movie, see yourself performing whether it’s making sales calls or going on a run or engaging with your kids, whatever it is. See yourself doing that in a peak emotional state. Feel those feelings.
Here’s a real-time example. When I was training, I trained to run a 52-mile ultramarathon because I hated running and I had never run more than a mile, which was in high school when you had to. That was why I thought I want to challenge myself and get far out of my comfort zone that I’d have to become a different version, a better version of myself to pull this off. I hated running. In fact, I still hate running. Once I finished the marathon, I’m like, “I’m done.” I haven’t run since. When I was training for the ultramarathon, I would first spend a few minutes visualizing myself crossing the finish line. I did have a printed-off picture of the Atlantic City Marathon finish line so I knew what it looked like when you crossed it.
You have to imagine what the atmosphere was going to be.When you are in that state of inner peace, you can choose to enjoy every moment. Click To Tweet
As clear as your vision can be, the better. I would do that, I would see it, I would start to get excited and that would create that drive and desire to make it happen. The most important part of visualization is I would then bring it to now and I would visualize the alarm on my phone going off and I would hear it, “Beep, beep.” I would visualize myself picking it up and looking at it at 7:00 AM and turning it off because that’s when I committed to run. Visualize pushing the button, visualize myself going into my bedroom closet, getting dressed in my running clothes, walking through my living room, opening the front door. I remember this vividly. I always visualize myself smiling, a rush of emotions as I opened the front door. I would see through my eyes, the pavement, the sidewalk, and I would usually affirm something like, “This is going to be a great run now. I’m going to feel amazing. I’m becoming healthier and stronger and developing my stamina so that I can finish that ultramarathon and complete my goal.”
I would visualize myself heading out and going on the run. Here’s what that mental rehearsal does in real time. When my alarm went off at 7:00 AM, I didn’t have any of that resistance of, “I hate running. Maybe I’ll skip now.” Without even thinking, I picked up the phone, turned off the alarm, walked into my bedroom closet, got dressed in my running clothes, headed out the front door, opened the front door and as you might imagine, I smiled. I was flooded with positive emotions that drove me to that run. That’s the power of visualization when it’s done in this manner.
Thank you for sharing that with me. I love being vulnerable because we’re not perfect. I say, “I get through these things every time.” I’ve wondered, “Am I doing this part right?” I’m grateful that I have the opportunity to ask you directly. Let’s move on to exercise.
This isn’t rocket science. I’m not going to give you a lesson in exercise. What I’m going to tell you is this, the benefits of morning exercise are imperative. They’re important in terms of your mental acuity, your ability to think clearly when you get blood and oxygen to your brain, you think much clearer and also energetically. In fact, in The Miracle Morning movie, we interviewed Robin Sharma. If you don’t know who he is, he’s written dozens of leadership books, one of the bestselling authors in the world. He said the benefits of morning exercise have been scientifically proven to last as long as thirteen hours after the exercise takes place. All I’m doing here is saying don’t wait until the afternoon to do exercise. I’m not saying you need to go to the gym in the morning or go for an hour-long, 30 minutes.
All you need is 5 to 10 minutes of getting your heart rate up. My morning exercise is I go for a bike ride around the neighborhood. I realize it’s gotten cold here in Austin, Texas. I would do some stretching. I would do some jumping jacks. Even if you do a minute of jumping jacks in the morning, you mentioned the six-minute Miracle Morning. Do one-minute of jumping jacks and you will be at a different level. You will be awake. You’ll be attentive. You’ll feel energized. Your breath will be flowing. Blood and oxygen to the brain. You’ve got to exercise even for a few minutes in the morning. The R in SAVERS is for Reading. We’re all one book away from learning something we need to learn to transform any area of our life.
You want to improve your marriage? There’s a book for that. You want to be happier, healthier, wealthier, a morning person? There’s a book for that. Here’s math for all of us, if you read ten pages every morning, that’s 3,650 pages a year. That’s the equivalent of eighteen 200-page self-help books. Let’s say you did half of that, five pages a day. That’s almost a book a month. You’re going to separate yourself from the majority of societies. Less than 1% consistently read self-help books in our society. Hopefully, all of us start reading. You want to separate yourself from where you were or where the average person is or your competition.
Gaining that knowledge that you can use to improve your life. The final S is for Scribing, which is a fancy word for journaling. Writing down what you’re grateful for in the morning, writing down your highest 1, 2, 3 at the most priorities for the day of that long ten-item to-do-list. Get clear. What are the items that are going to make a difference? For me, that’s my main journaling that I do is the top three things I’m grateful for the day and the top three specific, measurable actions I’m committed to taking that will make the biggest impact in my personal and professional life. Those are the SAVERS. Any one of them will change your life, but all six of them done in 30 to 60 minutes every morning or as little as six minutes, if you’re busy, doing one minute each, but that is The Miracle Morning. That’s what has enabled millions of people to transform any area of your life that you apply the SAVERS to.
One of the things I’m so grateful for, as I was reading The Miracle Morning the first time. I tried to find my book so I can show you that I have it. It is dog-eared, highlighted, you name it. It’s ugly because I go back in, “Now I want this one.” I had to change a different color of highlighter to remind myself this is the stuff I want to do. It’s funny, but I was grateful that you’re scribing. It’s funny as an author, you think I’d love writing, but I can’t write as fast as I think. I get frustrated and I was happy. I do the bullet thing. I’m a high ID. I was thankful that that was the way I could scribe. For those that want to do more, this is the opportunity, take the time to do more. I was going tell you also with exercise. During COVID, I’ve been gamifying everything. I make my tea in the morning, but I can’t drink it until I do 5 or 15 pushups. I start bringing it into my office and I’m like, “No, you can’t sit at your desk until you do a couple of planks.” I’ve been gamifying myself to get that exercise up. I want to share that with everybody else too. That’s interesting too.
I have in my morning my mission time. I have to get my number one priority done in the morning to earn my smoothie.
That’s exactly the same. That would be a good book too. We’ve got to figure out something like that. That’s what I’m doing is gamifying it and saying, “You don’t get that tea until you do those push-ups.” Especially at my age now, because I’m getting older, I’ve got to do that. I have to do those two things. I’m grateful that you’re spending time with us. In The Miracle Equation, you were saying that we’re two decisions away from having everything we want. What are those decisions? Can you share a bit about what we’re going to find in the book?
I touched on these a bit. What’s interesting about this, the people that have read The Miracle Morning and they saw The Miracle Equation came out if they followed my work, would probably think, “He’s milking this miracle concept.” The irony is I named it The Miracle Equation and started practicing it roughly seven years before The Miracle Morning was even an idea. I never thought it would be a book. When I was diagnosed with cancer, I was given a 30% chance of surviving. It was a rare, aggressive form of cancer. I was 37 years old. My daughter is seven. My son was four.
That was the scariest time in my life. Being told you have a 70% chance of dying and leaving your kids without a doubt. On the day I was diagnosed, you’re racking your brain, “How am I going to beat this? What do I do?” Statistically, I don’t have good odds. How do I transcend those odds? There’s this thing called The Miracle Equation that I started practicing when I was in sales to break company records. I would use this formula to try to accomplish things that no one in the history of our company had ever accomplished before. That’s why I called it The Miracle Equation. I figured if you ever did something never done before, that’s a miracle.
I immediately remembered, “The way I’ve defied the odds in the past was using the miracle equation.” That’s the only tool that I’m aware of that I can pull out and use to beat this cancer. If you study the world’s most successful people in all walks of life, you will find that these are the two decisions that they make over and over again. It’s a way of living that you wake up every day and these are the two decisions that the world’s most accomplished, fulfilled people in all walks of life make. Number one, unwavering faith. You have to maintain unwavering faith that you can overcome anything, that you can accomplish anything.
The faith is in yourself. It can be both in yourself and in a higher power, it can be in God, the universe, higher consciousness, whatever you want to call it. That thing that’s bigger than all of us, that source of energy we can all tap into. For me, that’s God and the unwavering faith. If you think about this, when I was told I would never walk again, I had unwavering faith that I could walk again. When I was told I was going to die from cancer, I had unwavering faith that I would beat cancer. I read an affirmation during my miracle morning every day that said, “I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will heal myself from cancer and live to be 100-plus years old alongside Ursula, Sophie, and Halsten, my family, no matter what, there’s no other option.”
That’s what I call the miracle equation affirmation. I am committed to maintaining unwavering faith that I will blank no matter what, there is no other option. When you read that over and over again every single day, you become that commitment. There is no other option and it aligns your subconscious and your conscious mind. A lot of science is showing the mind-body connection. These two times, the doctors couldn’t explain how my body healed quickly. I believe I’m not special. It’s because I focused all of my energy on that unwavering faith that I would heal.
The second decision is extraordinary effort. Once you’re maintaining unwavering faith, you can’t sit back and stare at a vision board and think that things are going to magically change in your life. You have to before the extraordinary effort. For me, extraordinary effort is defined as consistency. It’s not about working 80 hours a week and sacrificing your family to be an entrepreneur. This is about doing one thing every day that moves you in the direction of whatever your miracle is, whatever your tangible, measurable miracle, as in your biggest goal, your biggest dream, that outcome you’re committed to. If you can maintain those two decisions, unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, every day for as long as it takes to reach your goal. I believe that the only variable is timing. The Miracle Morning movie is releasing on December 12, 2020. We’re doing a live online world premiere.
My goal was for 10,000 people to watch the film. I don’t think I’ve ever had 10,000 people buy my book on day one or do anything on day one. My team came back and they go, “Hal, we don’t want to stress you out, but we think you’re thinking too small. You’re the guy that wrote The Miracle Equation. We want to have 100,000 people watch the movie on December 12, 2020.” It’s still hard for me to get my mind around that but I’m maintaining unwavering faith. I have an affirmation every day that says, “I am committed to impacting 100,000 lives with The Miracle Morning movie on December 12, 2020, because they need it now more than ever.
In less than two hours. Add that.
That’s good. The reason we made the film is because my mission is to elevate the consciousness of humanity but my friend, Nick who’s a filmmaker came to me and he said, “Hal, what percentage of humanity read self-help books?” I said, “1%.”
There’s a statistic. I don’t know the exact number, but it’s sad. It’s something less than 3% of adults read a book after high school. Everybody who’s reading this can get tickets. We want to make sure that everybody gets a ticket to this. You simply have to go to MiracleMorningMovie.com and you can get tickets. Let’s help support Hal in making sure that he gets to his 100,000 mark. If we share that with everybody, I think that would be great too.
Last question. You mentioned Jim Rohn, I’m a big Jim Rohn fan and Les Brown because I had the wonderful opportunity to speak with him on stage and get to know him. When you think about quotes, what is a quote that moves you? Something that is embedded in you that is your go-to. I’ll give you an example. I have a couple. Every day, this is an affirmation for me, I say, “Lord, take me where you want me to go. Let me meet who you want me to meet. Tell me what you want me to say and keep me out of your way. Amen.” That’s something that I live with and breathe with. It doesn’t have to be work, it could be my grandkids, it could be anyone. Is there something that you always go back to it and you’re like, “True. I’m constantly looking at that?”
I have a lot of them. One is this, “Enjoy every moment.” As simple as that is. When you walk into my house, there’s a beautiful picture on the wall that says, “Enjoy every moment.” I want you to think, realize that everything that we do in life we’re looking for joy and love. We’re looking to experience. You could use different synonyms, but we’ll say experience that feeling of joy and think about most of us have these rules where we only allow ourselves to feel joy if things go as according to plan. For me every day, part of my miracle morning. Part of my emotional optimization meditation is that state of joy. That’s my default every day is to experience joy no matter what’s going on around me. Ultimately, joy is dependent on what’s going on inside of you. There are people that have problems that are much worse than ours that are happier, the right people that have figured out, “My outer world needn’t determine my inner world. My circumstances do not define how I feel inside.” That’s it. Every day I try to take a deep breath and smile and enjoy every moment.
Everybody can find you on your website. Remind everyone about The Miracle Morning movie and making sure that everybody gets a ticket there and certainly get the book. You can get it on Amazon. It’s available there. Go up and get the book and make the change. What are your parting thoughts that you want to leave with everyone?
Wherever you are in your life, always remember that it’s temporary and you can embrace the perspective that it’s exactly where you need to be to learn what you need to learn to become the person that you need to be to create what you want for your life. Often, we wish we were further along. We wish we weren’t going through what we’re going through. It goes back to the enjoy every moment. It’s like, “Look, you are where you are.” You accept life exactly as it is to give yourself that gift of inner peace. When you are in that state of inner peace, then you can choose to enjoy every moment. From that place of joy, you can wake up every day, dedicate time to becoming the best version of yourself, going out throughout your day and implementing, executing, acting on that version of who you’re becoming. As you do that, you’re both optimizing your inner world while you’re optimizing your outer world, and both the inner and the outer start to mirror and reflect each other. To me, that’s living life in alignment and that’s how it’s supposed to be lived.
That’s how you become significant. You’re giving to the world the gifts that you have. That’s how it is. I love that. Hal, I want to say thank you. It is such an honor to have you here and to spend time with you. I want to say thank you for sharing this with the readers because you’re bringing much value to them through me. I appreciate that. I want to wish you the best. Your cancer, I don’t want to dig into that. I hope that you do well. I hope it doesn’t come back and I hope that you live to be 101. I’ll be gone, I’m much older than you, but you live to be 101 and have your family with you. I wish you all the best.
Thank you, Jen. That means a lot. I appreciate you.
Thank you. Everybody, thank you for reading and taking time out of your day to share with us. I hope that you have left with another a-ha moment, another something that changes your life and moves the needle forward in your life and your business, whatever you’re looking to do. I thank you for reading.
- Hal Elrod
- The Miracle Morning
- The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents
- Miracle Morning for Millionaires
- The Miracle Morning for Parents and Families
About Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning at a time. As one of the highest-rated keynote speakers in America, creator of one of the fastest-growing and most engaged online communities in existence and author of one of the highest-rated, best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning—which has been translated into 27 languages, has over 2,000 five-star Amazon reviews and is practiced daily by over 500,000 people in 70+ countries—he is doing exactly that.
Hal actually died at age 20. Hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, his heart stopped for 6 minutes, broke 11 bones, and eventually woke from a coma to be told by doctors that he would never walk again.
Not only did Hal walk, he went on to run a (52 mile) ultra-marathon and become a hall of fame business achiever—before the age of 30.
Then, in November of 2016, Hal nearly died again—his kidneys, lungs, and heart on the verge of failing, which led to his being diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia).
After enduring the most difficult year of his life, Hal is now cancer-free and furthering his mission as the Executive Producer of The Miracle Morning Movie—a documentary that both shows you the morning rituals of some of the world’s most successful people, as well as takes you around the world to show you the life-changing impact that Miracle Mornings are having, globally.
Hal is also host of the highly acclaimed Achieve Your Goals podcast, creator of the Best Year Ever Blueprint Live Experience, and bestselling author of ten  books in The Miracle Morning book series.
As one of the most inspiring, highly entertaining (we’re talking “wannabe stand-up comedian” level humor!), and one of the most in-demand keynote speakers in the world, whether you are an individual or an organization, Hal will give you the tools to Wake Up to Your Full Potential.
Love the show? Subscribe, rate, review, and share!
Join the Success to Significance Community today: