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TMHS 446: Secrets To A Successful Morning Routine & Taking Back Control Of Your Time – With Guest Hal Elrod
“You cannot always control what goes on outside, but you can always control what goes on inside.” – Wayne Dyer
At a time when there is so much uncertainty in the world, it’s more important than ever to have some awareness and ownership over our inner world. Our thoughts and routines are critical building blocks not only for our success, but who we are and how we behave on a daily basis.
There’s no better way to take control over your routine than to apply a proven system that has helped tens of thousands of people transform their lives and reach their full potential. Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning is a movement that aims to elevate human consciousness, create profound and lasting changes, and transform lives.
On this episode of The Model Health Show, Hal is sharing his incredible story of overcoming, how to take control of your life by changing your morning routine, plus practical strategies you can apply to actually move the needle in a positive direction. So listen in, take good notes, and enjoy this interview with the one and only, Hal Elrod.
In this episode you’ll discover:
- Why the human brain craves routine and consistency.
- The philosophy that changed Hal’s life.
- How The Miracle Morning came into existence.
- What happened when Hal taught The Miracle Morning to his coaching clients.
- The origins of The Miracle Morning Movie.
- How to find gratitude amidst pain and suffering.
- How Hal fought and beat cancer.
- The importance of creating a paradigm shift around adversity.
- How changing your perspective can improve humanity.
- The real secret to creating long-term, lasting results.
- What the two main premises of The Miracle Morning are.
- What SAVERS is, and how it can improve your life.
- The two main problems with most affirmations.
- A three-step process for creating practical affirmations.
- The benefits of exercising in the morning (even for 5-10 minutes)!
- Tips for choosing your reading material.
- An effective way to journal.
Items mentioned in this episode include:
- Onnit.com/model — Get your optimal health supplements at 10% off!
- Foursigmatic.com/model — Get an exclusive discount on your daily health elixirs!
- Eatsmarterbook.com — Preorder your copy today to claim your free mini course!
- Family & Financial Wellness During Challenging Times – Episode 427
- The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod
- The Miracle Morning Movie — Use code MIRACLE2020 for 20% off!
- 7 Minute Workout
- Connect with Hal Elrod Website / Facebook / Twitter
Thank you so much for checking out this episode of The Model Health Show. If you haven’t done so already, please take a minute and leave a quick rating and review of the show on Apple Podcast by clicking on the link below. It will help us to keep delivering life-changing information for you every week!
Shawn Stevenson: Welcome to the Model Health Show. This is fitness nutrition expert Shawn Stevenson, and I'm so grateful for you tuning in with me today. I've been thinking about what topics we should be covering right now with so much change happening in the world and so much uncertainty. And today's episode is really focused on one of the facets that is not getting enough attention. With all the changes that have taken place and so much turbulence going on in the world, one of the things that gets lost is our sense of connection to consistency and routine. The human brain thrives on routine, is constantly looking for routine to automate behaviors so that it can go on to do other things. But if there isn't a modicum of certainty and consistency and routine, there's going to be a heightened state of alert. We've already got enough alert going on right now. And prior to this change taking place that is really happening worldwide, a lot of folks would get up every day, kind of knew what they were going to do. You get up, you go to work.
You get the kids, ready to go to work, everybody disperses. We have dispersement taking place. For tens of millions of folks here in the United States alone, that pattern has gotten turned upside down, and we're not taking on the same routines that we once had. And as a matter of fact, because of that, many of us have not yet anchored ourselves and gotten grounded and created a new routine, it's just been up in the air juggling a couple of balls. Some of us are juggling knives, juggling chainsaws, we're juggling, and we didn't get any training on it. So today is about taking back control of our schedules, taking back control and helping to manage the things that we can manage, because this is still providing an opportunity, not just for things to get back to a normal, we're not looking for a normal. The normal that we had, that we saw as a normal, of course, we want to be able to do things, see our family, live our lives, experience life, but we had a festering issue, a series of festering issues going on underneath the surface in this country. Our education system, training our children in much of the same old patterns for a world that no longer exists, alright.
The job market is not what it once was, and we still are doing a lot of the same practices and moving away from allowing our children to have access to things that invigorate them. Playing, recess, physical activity, arts, all of those things, the funding for those things have been dwindled down and more testing and more rote memorization and sitting and things that are very counter to the health and development of our children. And it's not to say that our system has not been valuable. Of course, I'm a product, we're all products, many of us are of conventional education, but it needs to change, we need to evolve with the times. And now we know we've got a lot of data now on the things that really help to create healthy or more successful sovereign human beings, free thinking creative human beings, we need creativity right now, we need innovation and new ways of looking at things. And we can really help to usher in change for our children who are going to then usher in change for our future. So this is very, very important to me, and that issue has been festering, but now everything has been turned upside down so much, twisted inside out, we really get to get face-to-face with it and start asking questions like, how was it going before this?
Do we really want to go back to how it was? Can we create something better? We've got so much invested in this system, so many wonderful resources with our amazing teachers who really are making a decision to take on the role of really cultivating our number one resource as humanity, our children are our number one resource. And so helping to support the teachers who are doing this work as well, in new and dynamic ways, now we get the chance to do it, but we can't sit back on her hands and just let stuff and try to get back to what we call this norm. And obviously, here with The Model Health Show we focus on health in all dimensions of our lives. Another big issue, of course, is what's happening with the job market and starting to see that differently because we've been training our children to go into a job market where now we're seeing these skyrocketing rates of depression and anxiety and unhappiness tied to the work that we're doing. We just did a show recently on that entire subject, is this what we're doing for our children, is creating, putting them through an education system that then puts them into a job market where they're living a life of unhappiness and lack of fulfillment. We can do better, we can do better.
So we'll put that episode for you in the show notes, but of course the big topic that's the tip spear for this is the health and wellness of our country. And I've been a big proponent and continuing to lead the charge and push the gas pedal down to say, "We do not want a norm when it comes to health." We've seen massive disease and destruction and loss of lives consistently every single year, every single chronic disease continues to go up, every single one of them, and nobody is addressing the root cause of our susceptibility to viral infections, to bacterial infections, to all manner of other things. We're not addressing the underlying susceptibility, and we have to make a change. Our medical system right now, and I'm going to continue to press this in the popular conversation every chance that I get. Right now, treatment from conventional medicine here in America, treatment from conventional medicine is the third leading cause of death here in the United States. Treatment from conventional medicine is the third leading cause of death. For some folks this is going to be shocking. It doesn't make sense. It doesn't compute.
Johns Hopkins did a wonderful study because the crazy part is the investigators have to go and dig and really find this data because the coding really helps to bypass and not even put for the death certificate, the coding, what the cause of death was related to improper care with modern medicine, with conventional medicine. This gives, of course, drugs, surgery, neglect, all manner of things, there are many different issues to target, but we need to talk about this if it's going to get better. The third leading cause of death after heart disease and cancer being conventional medicine killing us? And this is the system we're looking to right now to fix the situation? What sense does that make? What sense does it make? Our system is wonderful for emergency care, it is the best. Absolutely. Alright, don't give me a nutrition plan if my arm's hanging off, you know what I mean? Fix the arm. You know what I mean? It has its place, but for the treatment and reversal and prevention of our most pressing issues that kill millions of people each year, the heart disease, the obesity, the diabetes, the Alzheimer's, everything that continues to go up, the obesity in and of itself, upwards of 400,000 lives are lost in the United States, tied to obesity every single year. This is not okay. We don't want to get back to the norm.
We don't want things to get back to normal, we want to be better. And for that to happen, we have to step up and use our voices, we have to think in new ways, and we have to support each other, we have to have these conversations, even if they're tough, these are things that we might not want to look at, but we have to stand firm in these things. Not on the idea that it's true, but based on facts, based on logic and rationality. Like, okay, this system is the third leading cause of death in the United States, people need to know this. We need to do better. It's not acceptable anymore. We can't keep trying to treat symptoms of underlying problems. The craziest part is, as I'm talking about heart disease, continuing to be, just skyrocketing, rates of heart disease, every year the number one cause of death. I know some of the top cardiologists in the world and they'll share with me that in their 10 years of medical school, 12 years, they'll get training on nutrition maybe two weeks. In 12 years, 12 years, two weeks of nutrition. And we're looking at, okay, the human heart and the related organs, the cardiovascular system, the arteries, what's going on there, all these different things, missing the fact that your heart is made of the food that you eat.
How is this not a bigger part of the discussion? The food that we eat determines what our heart is literally made out of, what our arteries are literally made out of. The things that "clog" our arteries is from the food that we eat. Why is this not a bigger part of the system? We're looking to a system that treats symptoms in a system of mass death in and of itself to fix this, and it's not okay, we have to do better, we have to step up and have this conversation. So I just wanted to share that, I just feel compelled to continue to keep this conversation going is very important. But most importantly today, for us to even do that, for us to have the energy and the wherewith all the focus and the creativity to think at that level, we have to take back some self-management. There's this term that so many people have heard over the years of time management, you need to have better time management. You can't manage time. Time is just going to happen. You can't manage time. Wait a minute, hold up, I've got the DeLorean, Shawn, I can manage time just fine. We can't manage time, but we can manage ourselves within the construct of time because it's a construct.
Time is so freaking weird, we could do a show on time that'll freak you out. Time is different depending on where you are. It depends on where you are. Even on Earth, time can go a little bit slower or faster, depending on where you are, freak you out. But we're not here to freak you out today, we're here to freak you in maybe? I don't know, we're here to go within to get some more empowerment so that we can better manage ourselves in the construct of time. And we've got the number one person in the world in this subject matter for you today. And actually, you know what's so funny? I met this guy when I was in Austin a few years ago. Well, actually, this is the first time we met each other in person, but we had done some stuff previously. And I was down there visiting Onnit headquarters, shout out to everybody at Onnit. Man, what a great place. And by the way, it was actually when I saw our guest, I had gotten some tickets from the folks at Onnit when I went there to a UFC match that was taking place there, which was just in and of itself just crazy like gladiator vibe to it. But now Onnit also has this world class jujitsu facility there, of course, they got the world class Onnit gym, Onnit academy.
They've been really the people who've popularized and pushing a culture of steel clubs and maces, these really unorthodox fitness tools that have been around for thousands of years in different capacities, but really pressing that into popular culture. And they take the kettlebells and these crazy designs of primal bells, and they've had partnerships with Marvel, you know partnerships with Star Wars, there's like a Darth Vader kettlebell. How gangster does it get, you know what I mean? So such a cool company, but also just the exposure and the whole vibe, but most importantly, incredible people behind the scenes, not just making the fitness equipment and just the gear, but the nutrition side and using earth grown nutrients for their supplements, which... This is one of the few companies that funds double-blind, placebo control studies, where we again, you don't know what you're taking, so it's a double-blind study and using a placebo involved as well, and putting their products to the test to see what happens. And so one of them was done at Florida State University and they were testing their pre-workout Shroom TECH sport. This was a double blind placebo-controlled study, 12-week trial performed at Florida State University, and they took test subjects and they had them do different lifts in the gym, like this is a pre-workout.
Let's see what happens, does it actually have an impact on our results and what we're able to accomplish with the fitness side. And folks who were taking the Shroom TECH sport were able to increase their bench press by 12%. Their reps, the number of reps they were able to do by 12% versus the folks taking the placebo. Something happened. They also were found to increase their both combined bench press and back squat reps, so super set by 7%. And they were also found to increase their cardiovascular performance by almost 9%. Something good is happening, and these are the things that we get the benefit without the side effect because it's based on real food, earth grown nutrients, and the hallmark ingredient is cordyceps and there's also some B12 combination, again from earth grown nutrients, and this formula, it's just... It's incredible, it's awesome pre-workout, and you don't get any kind of weird... When I was starting off and working out when I was a kid in my teens, I was taking some of the craziest stuff. Even today, they got like... There's pre-workouts called Total War and then you feel like somebody's shooting at you. You know what I mean? It's just... We could do better, so definitely check out their Shroom TECH sport. Go to onnit.com/model, that's O-N-N-I-T.com/model, and you get 10% off everything they carry, and definitely check out the Shroom TECH sports, my favorite pre-workout.
And so down there at Onnit headquarters, and then I hung out with our guest today, and just one of the most incredible stories, I promise you, you're going to hear. What this man... I'm going to let him share it with you and really tune in, listen with your whole heart, your whole heart, your mind really focusing, because I think you're going to get a lot out of this and just to remember how remarkable we are as humans to overcome anything we're faced with, and these are the kind of messages that I want to make sure you get access to. And so we're going to get into that in just a moment, but first, let's get to be Apple Podcast review of the week.
iTunes Review: Another Five star review titled “Wake up people” by Danny B. Glass. “I've enjoyed listening to Shawn for about a year now, and a lot has changed in that year. I've enjoyed learning the histories of different health and wellness strategies and how they got started. Now, being in the midst of a global pandemic, he's taking big leaps by showing the other side of the story, the story they apparently don't want you to know. Combined with width and hard backed evidence, Shawn provides us with a deep and powerful understanding of what's really going on. Thank you for waking up the masses. Namaste.”
Shawn Stevenson: So good, so powerful. Thank you so much for leaving me that review over on Apple podcast, thank you for sharing your voice. And listen, we are not taking the foot off the gas, we're just going to keep it coming, and I appreciate that so much. If you've yet to do so, please pop over to Apple Podcast today, leave a review for the show. It really does mean a lot. And on that note, let's get to our special guest and topic of the day. Our guest today is Hal Elrod, and he is the author of 12 best-selling books, including The Miracle Morning, which has created an absolute movement. It's been translated into over 35 languages, sold millions of copies, but it's just created a movement of change. And Hal himself has been somebody who's been a continuous inspiration for so many people, his story of transformation and recovery and applying what he talks about has been the real fuel for this movement. And he's a really good friend and incredible individual, and this conversation, again, really tune in, listen with your whole heart, because I think you can pull some really powerful things away from this. So let's jump into this incredible conversation with the one and only, Hal Elrod. Mr. Hal Elrod, so good to see my man.
Hal Elrod: Shawn, model, man, it's been too long. Oh wait, I talked to you like a week ago but it's good to see you again.
Shawn Stevenson: Right, we got to make this more of a consistent thing.
Hal Elrod: I'm with you.
Shawn Stevenson: You're one of my favorite people, man, you're just an incredible inspiration. You've been in this field like killing it for such a long time, man. Your story is incredible, and it's been... I just found this out today, I thought it was maybe like three years ago, but it's been five years since you've been on the show.
Hal Elrod: Five years, yeah. We should make it annually.
Shawn Stevenson: Right. Going to speed this up a little bit. That's half a decade.
Hal Elrod: Like Rogan. Rogan always has his regulars like, you be a regular, you come on my show, I'll come on your show. We'll take care of each other.
Shawn Stevenson: I love it, man, I love it. And the big thing that I love with you, and this is literally on my calendar right now, from my wake up time, it says Miracle Morning. Let's go, let's get that morning protocol in. The title that you created is implemented and integrated into my life, man, so you are that remarkable.
Hal Elrod: That's cool, man. I'm grateful. And I owe it to my wife, she actually... That was her idea for a name after I did this morning routine for two months. And I went to her, I go, "Sweetie," I said, "This morning routine is like a miracle." I said, "We've doubled our income. I'm training for an ultra-marathon, like what? I'm not a runner." And I said... And I was depressed a couple months ago, I'm on top of the world. I go, "This morning routine feels like a miracle." And she goes, "It's your Miracle Morning." And I go, "Yeah."
Shawn Stevenson: And gave you the little point.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, she's my muse. I've realized that she's my muse, she has given me so much inspiration and ideas and nuggets, at these pivotal... And it's always like in the hallway, it's like, in the shower, this idea she just has, and then it ends up taking off, so...
Shawn Stevenson: It tends to happen like that, man. And being that it's been five years, we've got so many new incredible listeners, folks from all over the world listening in right now. So I really want to talk about your superhero origin story. The reason that this term that's come from the house of Elrod to our house, and so many people's homes across the world, across America and internationally, 'The Miracle Morning', this was really born out of a very powerful story. So, how did you get into this space in the first place, man? Personal development, you're one of the top speakers in the world, how did all this really start?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Well, it started when I was 19 years old, I was a radio DJ, so I had my second gig on the air, I had a radio show when I was 15, again when I was 19. And a buddy of mine was... He worked for Cutco cutlery, he sold Cutco kitchen knives, and he used to always... His name was Teddy Watson, and Teddy used to always... He would always kind of rouse me and go, "Dude, you should come in, come in for an interview, you'd be great at selling Cutco." And I would always... I'm like, "I'm a DJ, I don't have any desire to sell anything." And one day I was with him when he went by the office, I met the manager, long story short, I decided to give it a try, and I committed three days, a weekend, to this three-day training. And then I decided on the second day of training that I wanted to break the all-time company record. It was really born from a sense of being average my whole life, I had never done anything really remarkable, I didn't get good grades, I was always in trouble. I wasn't an athlete, I was a class clown that was all I had going for me, nothing else.
And I just decided I want to break the all-time company record, and I went out my first 10 days and I sold more Cutco than anyone had in 50 years, and at least in the western US. I think somebody back east had done more, but I broke the record. And that was when kind of, I think for all of us, what does Tony Robbins has that quote on, our moments of our decision that our destiny is shaped. "In our moments of decision our destiny is shaped." And when I decided, I committed I will do everything in my power to break this record, that's when everything kind of changed. And so I started speaking at every... Cutco put me on stage at every event that they had. So that's how that was born. And I planned on being in Cutco for life though, that was the plan, I love the company, I love the culture, I love the people. And a year-and-a-half into my career, I was driving home after I gave a speech at a conference, and my car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 80 miles per hour, and I was found dead at the scene. I actually bled to death that night, I was... My heart stopped beating for about six minutes. I was in a coma for six days, I flat lined twice more in that coma.
And when I came out of the coma, the doctor said I would never walk again, and I had permanent brain damage. And I always joke, my wife and kids will vouch for the brain damage, that's a very real thing. But I told my parents, and I told the doctors, I go, "Look, if I never walk again, I'll be at peace with it." In fact, I told my dad, I said, "Dad, I've already decided if I never walk again, I'll be the happiest, most grateful person that you've ever seen in a wheelchair, because I'm in a wheelchair either way, and I will never let my circumstances define my emotional well-being." And Shawn, I want to pause on that for a second, 'cause I think that for all of us right now, the world is in chaos like we've never seen before, collectively as a global society. And I think a lot of us are... I know I am. Every day is like, I got to remind myself of this, because there's a lot of stress and there's a lot of struggle, there's a lot of uncertainty, it's different for everybody.
And for me, I keep reminding myself that same lesson I learned when I was 20 in the car accident, that I will never let my circumstances define my emotional well-being. I will not let my outer world dictate my inner world. I will choose to be the happiest, the most grateful, the most optimistic, the most at peace I could ever be in the midst of the most difficult times in my life. And I think that we all have that choice. The doctors thought I was in denial because I was so happy, I was always smiling and joking and laughing, and they thought I was delusional, I was in denial. And a week... I came out of the coma after a week, and two weeks later they came in with X-rays and they said, "We don't know how to explain this, Hal, but your body is healing so rapidly, you're actually... We're going to let you take your first step tomorrow in therapy." And I was like... Even me being optimistic, I was thinking I was probably a year away from walking again, and three weeks after the crash, after I was found dead, after I broke 11 bones, including my femur, including my pelvis in three places, they wheeled me up to the parallel bars in my wheelchair, and I took my first step that day, and the rest is history.
But the one conversation, my dad was talking to me in the hospital about my emotional well-being, and the doctor's concerns, I said, "Dad, I always wanted to be a professional speaker," motivational speaker, if you will. I said, "But I never really had much of a story. You and Mom were good to me, yeah, I got bullied in high school, but nothing major." I said, "I would have never asked for this, but maybe that's the reason for this happening, maybe that's the purpose, is that I'm supposed to overcome this challenge and go out and I'm supposed to share it with other people." I said, "So, because... That's driving me to be as positive, as optimistic, as proactive as I possibly can, so that I can live my life as an example that will help other people when the time comes." And that is where my first book came from, and all of that was born from that challenge. And then that led into, six years later the financial collapse in 2008 led into this concept that we call 'The Miracle Morning'.
Shawn Stevenson: Yeah. Dude, this story literally gets me every freaking time, man, it's unbelievable, man, you literally... You were gone, you left here, you were in another plane, another reality, another realm, and you're here today and bringing back all of these gifts with you, man. It's just such a profound story. And I don't want to overlook one of the biggest parts of this story which is, you... In that time, you were looking for, like, "This is... I'm finding my message within this mess, this messy situation, there's a message here." And dude, it takes such evolved... What do you expect if you're 15 and you're like a DJ or whatever, you're like... If somebody comes with a Cutco you're like, "I'm not a rapper, I'm a DJ," then you become the rapper, and just like you're out front, center stage, but not having that story of really overcoming anything. And it's something that, of course, folks can identify with, and there's part of us that's just like, "Well, I could have did without that thing," but that's not how life is, stuff is going to happen.
Hal Elrod: Yeah.
Shawn Stevenson: And so your story is just such an extreme case of overcoming the impossible. And so I want to ask you now about the inception of 'The Miracle Morning', because it wasn't all sunshine and roses after the good stuff happened and the recovery happened, some things took another turn, and then something great was born from that, so let's talk about that.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, you fast-forward. So the car accident happened in 1999, and in 2008 when the United States economy crashed, that was kind of, I would call my second rock-bottom. The car accident was kind of my first rock-bottom where I never experienced such adversity. And then in 2008 when the economy crashed, I lost over half of my coaching clients, that was how I made my money, and I lost over half of my income therefore, and couldn't pay the mortgage, my house was taken away by the bank. And I went into a six-month downward spiral, which I think a lot of people did, the economy is declining, I'm out of money, I'm living off of credit cards, my house is being... I'm losing my first house to the bank, my body fat percentage tripled just 'cause I cancelled the gym membership, and I was in desperation mode where it's like you wake up, work all day, not really moving anywhere, like I'm in quicksand. I'm working, but I'm not making money, I'm actually going backwards, even though I'm putting in 12-hour days.
And a series of events led me to go on my first ever run, I had never run before. And my good friend Jon Berghoff said, "Hal, if you're not exercising every day, you're not putting yourself in a peak physical, mental, and emotional and spiritual state to figure out how to solve your problems." He said, "So every morning go for a run, go for a jog, and listen to something that's relevant to what your biggest challenge is right now." He goes, "You need coaching clients? There's probably a book on that, right, go get an audio book on that." And he actually recommended that I start with this Jim Rohn audio, and so I grabbed my iPod the next morning, I went on a run, and Jim Rohn said a quote, a few minutes into the run that changed my entire life. He said, "Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development, because success is something that you attract by the person that you become." And when I heard that, it... And I think I had heard it before, but Shawn, it just hit me. And for me, I always quantify things, so I stopped, I rewound it, I played it again, "Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development."
And what I realized is that on a scale of 1-10, and everybody listening, just first think about this for a second, if you're measuring success in your life in any area, your health, your happiness, your relationships, your finances, on a scale of 1-10, what level do we all want? And it's an obvious, it's well, 10. Every person, one thing we share in common is we all want level 10 success. But then when I got real with myself, and I assessed what's my level of personal development on a scale of 1-10? In terms of how am I developing my knowledge and my beliefs and my habits, my physical, mental, emotional and spiritual capacities? And when I was honest with myself, Shawn, I was like at a two, maybe a three or four on a good day. And the disconnect for me is we all want level 10 success, but if our daily ritual for personal growth and development is it a two or a three, or even a five, it's a big disconnect. And so the epiphany for me is, I've got to go home and I'm going to go online, I'm going to Google, I'm going to figure out what are the world's most successful people in different industries and different walks of life, what do they do for their daily personal development rituals?
And I'm going to combine the best of the best to create the most effective personal development ritual in the history of humanity. That was my ambition. And I went home, and I had a list of... After an hour online... Probably about half an hour online of Googling, I had six practices. I had meditation, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and journaling. And I got a little overwhelmed, I'm like, "But which one's the best? Which one is going to make the biggest impact? I can't do all six. Okay, these are all valuable, which one's the best?" And I couldn't determine the best, it just depended on who you asked. And I was reading about millionaires and billionaires and Olympians and professional athletes, and you name it. And the breakthrough is when I went, "Wait a minute, what if I did all of these? What if I woke up an hour earlier tomorrow and I dedicated 10 minutes to each of the six most timeless, proven personal development practices in the history of humanity?" I thought that would be the ultimate personal development routine, and I would... That theoretically would enable me to become the person that I need to be to create the success that I want in every area of my life.
And I woke up the next morning, I fumbled through it all like I... I don't how to meditate. I had never done affirmations. They felt really goofy. The way I read about it, it was like, "I'm amazing, and I'm a champ... “It was just these goofy phrases. But I still, even sucking at 'The Miracle Morning', at this morning routine, for the first time in six months of depression and fear and anxiety and stress, I started my day in a way where I went, "If I do this every day, it's only a matter of time before I become the person that I need to be that can create anything I want for my life." And I was thinking it'd be six to 12 months, and it was, as I already mentioned, within two months I more than doubled my income, I started training and running a 52-mile ultra-marathon, which I had never run outside of high school PE class, and my depression was gone. It didn't take two months, the depression was gone in a day, because I literally... I think a big cause of depression is when we start to lose hope, and my very first... It wasn't called 'The Miracle Morning', but my very first miracle morning, I went, again, "If I do this every day, it's inevitable, I can't fail, I'm going to keep growing and getting better and better and better and more capable, and it's only a matter of time before I turn things around."
And I started teaching it to my coaching clients, and almost all of them started out with, "Hal, I'm not a morning person, I don't want to get up early." I go, "No, no, no, trust me, I wasn't a morning person either, you can do this." And I gave them some tips and tricks that are... I talk about it in the book, to beat the snooze button. And 13 out of 14 coaching clients came back two weeks later to their call and said, "Not only am I a morning person Hal, but I'm having the best results in my career, I just read a self-help book, I'm exercising." They were on fire, and that's when I decided, "I have a responsibility to share this with the world. I guess I got to figure out how to write a book about it." And it took three years. I self-published it. That was, 12/12/12 was the published date, and since then it sold over two million copies, it's translated in 37 languages. And almost all of it, or the majority of it is word of mouth, it's because 'The Miracle Morning' changes people's lives in a really quick, meaningful and lasting way, and then they start telling everybody they know. "Oh, you're upset, you're depressed, you want to start a business, you're struggling in this way? You've got to read 'The Miracle Morning', you've got to do this." And that's kind of how we got to today.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, this story is so good, so powerful. And like you said, it's become this... It's not just this massive best-seller book, but it's become a movement. The folks that are part of your community, you've got a wonderful community on social media as well, and they're always sharing their stories and their insights, and there's an energy around it, and that energy... And the great thing about it that I don't think was highlighted, especially in our last conversation, is how much of a consistent thread these principles are for some of the most successful people in the world. And some of the most successful people that folks right now, regularly look to as their heroes or their model for success, have really dialed in and taken major parts of 'The Miracle Morning' equation, if not the whole thing. And this in and of itself is becoming this huge thing that everybody can look forward to participating in very soon here.
And you're parlaying this now into one of the most incredible films that people are going to be able to see, and taking these principles, and all of these incredible teachers who are utilizing these and hearing their perspectives and their voices. And right now, I think it's so important, it's so valuable because we're such a media-driven visual community, and for you to take the time, the energy, the resources, the travel, going all over talking with all of these super successful people and putting their stories into this film says a lot about you. And even what you went through in order to make it is just, the story just keeps going to another level. So number one, what inspired you to transform 'The Miracle Morning', not just into this epic book that's changed the lives of so many people, but to create this wonderful film that's coming out?
Hal Elrod: Yeah, 'The Miracle Morning' movie, it's so interesting, everything about 'The Miracle Morning' from the practice itself to the book, to the movie coming out of the book series, it's all been very organic, and I think that's part of a lack of... I'm not like a strategic... It's hard for me to see the big picture, I just see the next thing in front of me, and I just go all in. Well, in 2014, one of my good friends Nick Conedera was at my house for dinner, and he's a filmmaker, he had just made his first full-length feature film, which was called "Sharp", it's like a comedy for millennials. And he came to my house and he goes, "Hal, 'The Miracle Morning' is going so viral." He was in the Facebook group, which back then probably had 50,000 people in the Facebook group, and I think we had probably sold 100,000 copies of the book, give or take. And he said, "How... “He wanted my advice on how he could this into his work. And I said, "You've got to create a documentary," I said, "Look, comedies are great, but the reason 'The Miracle Morning' goes viral is 'cause it changes people's behavior that changes their life, so they tell their friends."
I go, "If you see a comedy, you might remember it for a few days and talk about it, but if you're not doing something every day as a result, you're not going to talk about it." And so we started talking about different things he could do a documentary on. And after like 30 minutes of me making all these recommendations and asking all these questions, he goes, "Wait a minute, why don't we make the documentary on 'The Miracle Morning'?" And I go, "Yeah, yeah, why didn't I even think of that? That's a great idea," I said, "But not now, I'm busy, I'm focused on the book, call me next year, circle back." And once Nick gets an idea in his head he's persistent, man, he kept texting me and pinging me every day. When are we starting on the movie? When are we on the movie? And I kept pushing him off, and he called me one day and he figured out how to get through to me. And he said, "Hal, what's your mission in life with this Miracle Morning movement?" I said, "It's to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning and one person at a time." "Why? What do you get in that?" He said, "What percentage of humanity read self-help books?"
And I was like... I got where he was going, I go, "Yeah, like one or two maybe, you know." And he said, "What percentage watches film?" And I went, "The other 98%." And his point was, "Hal, if you want to elevate the consciousness of humanity, if you want to reach literally over a billion people, which is the goal, right, that's the focus," he said, "you've got to have more than one medium, especially, you can't have a medium that's only consumed by 1% of our society, you got to go to film." And so we set out on this mission to create a documentary that not just replicated 'The Miracle Morning' book, that was part of it, I wanted to teach the ritual, the routine, but we wanted to go beyond the book and interview some of the world's most successful entrepreneurs and leaders and visionaries, and show their morning rituals and how they start their day, so that people could get a glimpse at that. And we wanted to show stories of members of 'The Miracle Morning' community, who, ordinary individuals, if you will, that have created these extraordinary results. We have a gal in the movie, she's from Kenya. We went out to Kenya to film her, we went to Kenya, went to France, went to Canada, Brazil, all over the place.
But she had lost eyesight in both of her eyes, and then her husband left her with two kids. So she's a single mom, she's blind, and she got deeply depressed. She got an eye transplant from the US, she got her sight back, but she was depressed, and she Googled how to get out of depression, and she found the Miracle Morning. So we have her story on how she went from being blind and depressed to her dream of being an author and a motivational speaker out in Kenya, teaching the Miracle Morning, paying it forward and teaching it at schools all around Kenya. We have another guy, Mike Keaton, in the community, he was obese his entire life, he read The Miracle Morning, put it to practice, and in the first eight months of doing his Miracle Morning, he lost 90 pounds and kept it off. And then we have story after story after story like that. And then half way through filming the movie, two years into it, we were almost done, we had a few... We were going to film you actually, that's another story, and then I couldn't breathe. I woke up in the middle of the night unable to breathe and I was rushed to the hospital. Over the next week and a half, I had my lung drained four times, draining 11 liters of fluid, my heart started to fail, my kidneys were failing. My lung kept collapsing and they couldn't figure out what was wrong with me.
And it turned out I had acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which is a rare aggressive form of cancer that has a 20% to 30% survival rate. And as a dad, being told there's a 70% to 80% chance you're going to die in the next few weeks, is what they were telling me, was terrifying. And I didn't want to do chemo because I'm not a big fan of poisoning the body, I want to build it up, but I reached out to some of the best holistic doctors in the world, and they said chemotherapy is your best bet. This is not a cancer that you have time to experiment with, you have a matter of days, maybe weeks to live if you don't start chemotherapy. And so I started 650 hours of chemotherapy over an eight-month period. It's one of the most intensive chemo regimens in existence, which is why the survival rate is so dismal, 'cause you're taking so much chemo. And I called Nick and I said, "Nick... “The day I was diagnosed or a few days later, I said, "Hey, you'll never believe this. I have cancer, it's not looking very good, I've got to focus all my energy on surviving for my family. The movie is on hold." And he called me back the next day and he said, "Hal, number one, I have no doubt in my mind that you're going to beat this cancer. Number two, I want to come film your journey and capture this as part of the documentary."
And I was really taken back by that. Not taken back, but I was just like, I can't even... That's not my focus. I don't care about the movie, I don't care if the movie never happens, I got to survive. Thank God, once again, Nick persisted, because he filmed the cancer journey, he filmed me... Skinny, I was six feet tall, 125 pounds on chemo, not a hair on my body, eye infections, in ER, he filmed me at my most vulnerable near death points. In the last third of the first hour of the Miracle Morning documentary is what we initially set out to... It fulfills on the promise, and it could end there, but the last 30 minutes is an unbelievably intimate journey where you are by my side watching me fight for my life and maintain the same lesson, the same principles that I live by. There's a scene where I'm in tears, I'm in so much pain, and I can barely talk. I'm sniffling, I'm crying, and I'm saying, "This doesn't change that I'm grateful for this pain because it's making me a better version of myself. This doesn't change that I'm grateful for everything about this cancer experience, because I truly believe it's going to enable me to elevate the impact that I make in the world." And little did I know that the film is what that next level of the impact is going to be.
Shawn Stevenson: I just need to pause for a minute, man, that's... Man, oh man, that's so powerful, Hal. And I have a little bit of a small connection in this because, again, we were trying to figure out getting me into the documentary, into the film, and then this happened. And wow, man, it's such a powerful, important film, and like you just mentioned, it's fulfilling on the promise to get tapped into that information, tapped into that inspiration that we could all definitely use right now. It's no accident also it's coming out right now, and you yet again demonstrating how somebody can come back from impossible odds. And we talked about this personally, that you went the course that was necessary, and all types of medical interventions have value, but you also did what you could to stack conditions in your favor with taking better care of yourself, like a whole different level of that, so that you can beat these impossible odds, because the regimen that you were on, most people don't even make it through, and you did. And you're here today, man, and I'm so freaking happy and proud of you and grateful for you and grateful that you're here, and I can see your family, you guys right there in the picture and it's just... You're freaking... You're a miracle, you're the Miracle Morning, man. It's just so powerful.
Hal Elrod: Thank you, Shawn, I appreciate that, man. And yeah, I think that for everybody, for all of us to consider having a paradigm shift around adversity. I think that most of us think, bad things happen, I feel bad, good things happen, I feel good. And I think that for us to have that paradigm shift around adversity, where we realize that every adversity that we face, every challenge we face is really an opportunity. And it's an opportunity for us to learn and grow and become better than we've ever been before. And the greater the adversity, the greater the opportunity. And when I had the car accident at 20, that's when I really... It was 21 years ago, that's when that paradigm shift happened. And I went, "Hey, every challenge is an opportunity to grow, and in that we can actually be grateful for the challenge while it's happening, and we can find purpose in the challenge while it's happening." And I think if you can find purpose and you can go, "Okay, I'm going to make it through this in the most positive, proactive way possible, so that I can be a living example for my family and for my community and for the world." And if all of us take on the current challenges that we're facing like that, then not only will we be better off on the other side, but the entire world, humanity will be better on the other side of our challenges.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, man. And I would love... Having you here is such a great gift for all of us, man, in so many levels, and I want to talk about some of the practical things that folks can put into their lives right now to start to see some results, and we're going to do that right after this important message, so sit tight will be right back.
For years, people would come into my office wanting to get programs designed for improving their health and wellness and accomplishing their goals. But the biggest question that people would ask me is, "Shawn, what can I take for more energy?" Now, what I first express to them is that humans don't necessarily get energy, we create energy through our interaction with food and nutrients and also through our movement. Even as I'm moving now, I'm generating something called piezoelectricity. It's a form of energy. It's kind of current in our bodies that we're all capable of when we are simply moving our bodies. So again, humans don't get energy, we make energy. But the things that we are interacting with, with our nutrition, can be paramount to our experience of having energy. And today, when people are looking for energy because of these crazy things that we have access to today, we're like chugging down these "Energy drinks" that are causing more harm than good because they're hitting on one channel just being a nervous system stimulant. And that's okay in some small doses, but when we're doing that over and over, because what generally happens is we get a correlating crash, we take something that spikes our nervous system, then when it starts to calm down and cool down, it goes even lower than it was before, and we need to take something else again.
So whether it's an energy drink or going ham at the local coffee shop over and over again, we start to actually lose the resilience of our receptor sites for this caffeine and our body doesn't even use it as good as it once did. And many people have had that experience where one cup of coffee, that first experience was life changing. The music came on and you fell in love, oh my gosh, this exists. But then after that, you need two cups, three cups, and we have to have a better strategy, because I'm absolutely a fan of coffee and of caffeine because of some of the benefits it has. Like for example, on human metabolism, studies show that caffeine can increase your metabolic rate by upwards of 11%. That means your body's ability to burn calories. And a study published in the American Journal of Clinical Nutrition found that most of the increase in metabolism from consuming caffeine is from the increase in burning of fat. So it is triggering your body to burn fat. So that might make some of us run out and want to take a bunch of caffeine, but there are different versions of caffeine. The source that you get it from matters a lot, because there are dirty versions, there's dirty caffeine? But we want to go for the clean stuff.
There's clean, there's big clean eating movement, we need to be more intentional in cleaning our sources of things like coffee as well because dirty caffeine... Because what good things in life come with the word dirty attached to it? We got dirty clothes, nobody likes dirty clothes, dirty bulking, dirty looks, nothing good comes with the word dirty attached to it, except maybe Christina Aguilera’s dirty. That was pretty hot when it came out. But bottom line is this, we want to get clean sources of caffeine, so organic coffee is the way to go. So we're not consuming pesticides and herbicides or rodenticides that do in fact influence our microbiome because they're meant to destroy small organisms. And guess what our gastrointestinal track is made of? These small organisms. And they can damage our endocrine system and also our nervous system as well. So organic is definitely paramount. But also I want to see a reduction in the amount that we're taking by balancing it out with something else that provides the human body a natural source of energy production that happens within ourselves. And there was a study that was published in medicine and Science, in Sports and Exercise that looked at 30 healthy people for six weeks and recorded the effects of Cordyceps medicinal mushroom on their performance.
The group that added Cordyceps to their daily regimen had twice the oxygen intake of the control group who didn't get the Cordyceps. And this oxygen, by the way, when we're talking about energy, this is the number one thing that we need. Oxygen is the most important thing, far more important than anything else. You can only last a few minutes without oxygen, and oxygen is essential in our cells in providing nutrients and to our cells, so this is really important. And another study that was conducted with the same researchers found that consumption of Cordyceps medicinal mushroom led to a 9% increase in aerobic activity from taking Cordyceps. It helps you to perform better, it directly influences your stamina and it doesn't have these weird crazy after effects of having to crash. Alright, so this is why I love the blend of Cordyceps in medicinal mushroom and organic coffee that you get with Four Sigmatic.
Alright, and I highly, highly recommend checking it out. I absolutely love it. It's what I had today. It's foursigmatic.com/model. That's F-O-U-R-S-I-G M-A-T-I-C.com/model, and you get 15% off all of their incredible mushroom coffees, mushroom hot cocoas, and mushroom elixirs as well. If you're not a fan of coffee, you can get Cordyceps by itself, you can get Reishi and Chaga all from great sources, and they're dual extracted, which sets Four Sigmatic in a league of their own. This means it's a hot water extract and alcohol extract to give you all of these nutrients that you're hearing about in these studies, you're making sure that you're getting everything. Alright, so head over there, check them out, foursigmatic.com/model. And now, back to the show.
Alright, we're back and we're talking with international best-selling author and filmmaker, Hal Elrod. And Hal is just somebody who's been a continuous inspiration for me. I've got the terminology that came from the House of Elrod on my calendar every day. And I think that right now is a really important time for getting back to basics. I think that we've really even strayed as a culture, away from the things that make us human, away from the things that make us successful, that the great sages and successful people of past have been saying to do these things, but also it's presenting this opportunity to put some of these things into play. And one of the biggest things is, I think, for many of us is that our schedules and our consistency, even if we had a routine, has been just thrown into the fire. And today's episode, what I really wanted to take from this was to really take control of what we can, and so that's how Elrod comes in, because you were the guy who really pressed this into popular culture. So if you can, let's talk about taking some control of our schedule and putting a practice into place that can help to just... By its actual implementation automatically creates better results.
Hal Elrod: Yeah. Our daily rituals determine our results, how we feel, what we think, what we focus on, and ultimately our quality of life. And the Miracle Morning, the premise of it is around a very simple concept, it's around a couple. The first one is that Jim Rohn philosophy I shared earlier, which is, your level of success won't exceed your level of personal development. And in the way I would flip that is the other side of the coin, and the way of saying that is, your level of success will parallel your level of personal development. So in other words, our society has conditioned us to think that if you want to achieve more you have to do more. And while that is a strategy, what I found is that the more true, more effective, more lasting strategy is that the real secret to achieving more isn't doing more, it's becoming more. Doing more will give you short-term benefits, short-term results, becoming more will give you long-term lasting results, and you can often achieve more by doing even less. As you become more effective through your personal development, more efficient through your personal development, you can achieve more by doing even less, that's the first premise.
The second is that how you start your day sets the tone, the context and the direction for the day that you live thereafter. And a simple way to put that is, if you win the morning, you win the day, or you put yourself in a position to win the day. One of the gentlemen featured in the Miracle Morning movie, Brian Johnson, founder of Optimize, he said that your day is your life in miniature, and that the way you create an extraordinary life is you string together many extraordinary days, and all of those days start with the morning. So most people, they have... No offense to anybody, but at least for me, it used to be a mediocre morning where I slept until the last possible minute, I usually hit the snooze button a few times, which if you think about that, that doesn't even make sense. You're saying, I want an extraordinary life, but I'd rather lay here unconscious for nine more minutes, and you do that a few times. And also, you wake up and it's literally you're resisting life itself, you're going, "I got to get out of bed, I don't want to get out of bed," versus waking up, not when you have to, but waking up because you want to.
It doesn't have be an hour, it could be 30 minutes. Most people do an hour-long Miracle Morning, about 82%, like 15% or so do a 30-minute Miracle Morning, and the last few percent do less than that, like 15 minutes. But either way, it's completely scalable. There's a chapter in the book called the six-minute Miracle Morning, so you can really do whatever you want. So that's the premise, is how you start your day sets the tone, the context, the direction for how you live your day. And if you have a goal-oriented, growth-oriented, focus, purpose-driven morning, you become the best version of yourself, and then you bring the best version of yourself into everything that you touch throughout the day. The one thing to consider is right now... And this is true in life, but especially now, whenever we're stressed out, we tend to go to bed thinking stressful thoughts, and then consider that your first thought in the morning is almost always the same as the last thought you had before bed. So if you went to bed thinking stressful thoughts, not only do you marinate on those throughout the night while you're sleeping, your subconscious goes to work on those stressful thoughts and continues to soak them into your nervous system.
But when you wake up, the first thing in the morning, your first thought is usually, "Oh," whatever you were thinking before bed. And flip that over, think about for me, Shawn, what's the most exciting time for you? Throughout your lifetime, when is the most exciting time for you to wake up in the morning? Like vacation or Christmas, or... What is it for you?
Shawn Stevenson: For me now, it's daily, but back in the day it was definitely Christmas day, that would be... That's that vibe.
Hal Elrod: I love that, 'cause I think for most of us, especially when you're a kid if you celebrated Christmas, you couldn't wait to wake up. And so you think about it, the last thing you were thinking about before you went to bed is, it's Christmas, oh my gosh, I can't wait. And you probably didn't even sleep that well because you were so freaking excited, you're tossing, you're turning, you couldn't fall asleep, but as soon as your eyes shot open in the morning, you were like, it's Christmas, and you were excited and you were energized, and it didn't matter how many hours of sleep you got or the quality of the sleep, you were intentional before bed about what you were thinking about, you created your experience in the morning before you fell asleep, and then you manifested it, you lived it first thing in the morning, and you're on fire, you're energized, you're excited, you're happy, etcetera.
And one of the things I've realized with the Miracle Morning is that you can, like you said, every day, you can recreate that experience intentionally every single day. So I wanted to start there, that's the big picture context of why the heck would you want to do a Miracle Morning, right? You want to start your day, you want to devote time to becoming the person that you need to be to create everything you want for your life, that's how you start the Miracle Morning. And then if you want, we can dive into what are those six practices and how do you execute each with simplicity, but also effectiveness.
Shawn Stevenson: Absolutely, we can't have you here and not go through the six pieces, man, so let's do it.
Hal Elrod: So here we go. So once again, I got to give credit to my muse, my wife Ursula, 'cause these six practices had no rhyme or reason, there was no way to connect them. And I was writing the book one day, and I felt that, I thought, "Man, all of these authors, they're smart, they create some sort of memorable system or structure." Like Robert Kiyosaki has the Cashflow Quadrant. And once you've read the book and seen the quadrant, you never forget it. Stephen Covey had The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People. So there's all these different systems. And one day I was writing the book, I had no way to connect these six practices. I went to my wife and I said, "Sweetheart," she could tell I was stressed out, she goes, "What's wrong?" And I explained to her the dilemma I was facing, and she goes, "Why don't you get a thesaurus, consult a thesaurus and see if you can swap some of the names of these practices and combine them into an acronym that people remember." And I kissed her on the face and I went to the computer and I started figuring this out.
Meditation became Silence, and journaling became Scribing, and the Affirmation begins with an S and ends with an S, it's SAVERS, S-A-V-E-R-S. Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. And I'll tell you, Shawn that I love the acronym because it literally... These six practices saved my life. And I don't mean they saved me from suicide, I wasn't that dark of a place at that point, but they saved me from missing out on the life that I knew I was meant to live and that I deserved to live because these enabled me to become the person that I needed to be to create that life. So let's dive into these. The first S is for Silence. I love that it became Silence and not Meditation, because a lot of people incorporate prayer into their silence or contemplation or some form of breath work. And I mix them all up. Usually every day I do meditation and prayer, and then some days I'll do some wim hof breathing and some different practices. I want to share an advanced strategy for everybody listening. When I say advanced, for me, it's not the normal way that people meditate. Most of us are taught to meditate either around a mantra where transcendental meditation of you repeat the same mantra over and over and over and over.
The most popular form of meditation is one where you would quiet the mind, attempt to release your attachment to any thoughts, those are great, but for me, I'm a really results-oriented person, probably to a fault, like a lot of entrepreneurs. And so while I do meditate in those ways, many times, my favorite form of meditation is one that will actually enable me to achieve my goals, to actually create measurable outcomes in my life. And I call this emotional optimization meditation. And it's very simple, every morning when you're about to start your meditation, you ask yourself, "What emotional state would best serve me?" And in terms of the time frame that might be in this moment it might be at this time in my life, it might be today. So if you've got an important meeting coming up where you need some confidence, you might need to get into that state of confidence. If it's Saturday and you're greeting your kids or your wife, you might need to get into a place of fun and playfulness. If it's just the general life... I don't know about you, but I like to feel happy and I like to feel grateful. I would say in life you can be stressed out or you can be blissed out, life's going to happen either way.
So I like to be blissed out, you know what I mean? So ask yourself, what is the ideal emotional state that I want or need to be in? And then once you lock in that state, you set your timer and you start with a stimulus, some sort of memory, some sort of object of your affection that will create the state. So if I want to be grateful, I'll just picture my two babies, my two kids. My daughter Sophie is 11, my son Halsten is 7. And that is the easiest thing to trigger a smile on my face and deep feelings of joy and gratitude. So I'll imagine that stimuli, my kids, I'll get into that state, and then if I haven't set my timer yet, I set the timer at that point, and I'll set it for usually 10 minutes, and I'll just marinate in that emotional state for 10 minutes. I'm hard-wiring it in my brain, and seeping into my nervous system, I'm acclimating to that emotional state so that it's becoming who I am, it's becoming something that I can access throughout the day or at any given time, it's becoming my default mode of being. And then if I'm having a stressful day, two hours later, four hours later, I'm stressed out, I can close my eyes, I can put my hand on my heart, and I can immediately re-engage that state.
And again, whether the state is gratitude and happiness, or it's confidence, or it's playfulness, or it's peace of mind, whatever it is, you can harness and optimize and reinforce that emotional state every single morning. So that's my favorite form of meditation I've been practicing for the last, probably six months or so.
Shawn Stevenson: I love that so much, man, so good. That's the thing when I talk to you, I pull things away that I experiment with, man, so thank you. So that's the S, and I love that you gave...
Hal Elrod: That's the S.
Shawn Stevenson: Because this is a new layer that we didn't have five years ago in our conversation of that diversity that's within that silence. And you using the S, not even knowing that that would have that impact, I love it, man. So let's go to the A is next.
Hal Elrod: This is my favorite because affirmations, I believe, are the most misunderstood, misinterpreted, mistaught form of personal development. Where often with affirmations, there's one of two problems. We're usually taught either to lie to ourself, just tell yourself something that you want to be true that isn't true. If you want to be wealthy just affirm it, "I am wealthy. I am wealthy, I'm a millionaire." But if you're not, then the truth will always prevail, and you're fighting with truth. That's never going to be the optimum strategy. If you want to lose weight, you're taught to affirm I am thin, I am thin. But if you're overweight and you know that's not true, you're creating an internal conflict. So number one, the first problem with affirmations, lying to yourself is never the most effective strategy. Number two, we're taught to use this flowery passive language that promises an almost magical result independent of any effort from us. You probably heard an affirmation somewhere along these lines, "I am a money magnet. Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance." And if you talk to anybody that has built a fortune, it didn't happen that way, they didn't sit back on their couch, make a vision board, think they were a magnet, wait for the money to show up. No, they worked hard, they created value, they added value to the consumer, the consumer reciprocated with money.
So again, the reason, by the way, I think that people actually like that affirmation is if you're struggling financially or struggling in any area of life, and you sit there and you close your eyes and you promise yourself that everything's going to get better, just it's all going to magically fix itself, well then that gives you temporary relief from your woes. "Okay, I'm a money magnet. Money is going to flow to me." But I'd be really curious to do a nationwide survey on how many people that have done that affirmation that money flowed to them. If they combine that with other affirmations around the work, maybe, but that in and of itself, I don't think is ideal. And I think that's why a lot of people are turned off by affirmations, 'cause they tried these formulas, these techniques, and nothing happened. I was lying to myself. So I want to give everybody three really specific steps to create affirmations that are practical and that are result-oriented and will actually produce tangible results.
If I affirm that money... A financial affirmation, I want to actually see my bank account balance grow. So step one, affirm what you're committed to. Affirm what you're committed to. Don't say I want to be a millionaire, say I'm committed to doing whatever it takes to becoming a millionaire, no matter what, there's no other option. Now, you're programming your subconscious mind with the commitment that is required for you to achieve a real tangible result. So number one, affirm what you're committed to, and I'm going to go through these steps, I'm going to give you a real life example. Number two, affirm why it is deeply meaningful to you, and use bullet points if you need to. What are the reasons that you're willing to do whatever it takes to make that commitment a reality? And number three, which specific actions will you take and when? That's where the rubber meets the road. Don't just affirm something and then wipe your hands of it. No, no, no, you're committing to this, what are you going to do? When are you going to take the action? When are you going to write that book? When are you going to make those phone calls? When are you going to play with your kids?
What actions are you going to take and when? And I'll give you a really specific example. When I was diagnosed with cancer, of course, the first thing I went to is The Miracle Morning, I'm going to do this every day, and I'm going to heal my body from the inside out. I'm doing chemo, but I'm going to do number one every holistic practice known to man, like I did coffee enemas and ozone sauna and acupuncture and lymphatic massage, and I took 70 supplements a day, and I did juicing, you name it, I did everything. But in my mind, most importantly, I programmed my body to heal itself. And so my affirmations went like this, step one, affirm what you're committed to. My affirmation is that I am committed, I am 100% committed to healing myself from cancer and living to be 100 plus years old alongside Sophie and the kids, or Ursula and the kids... Sophie is my daughter's name, just in case you're like, "Whoa whoa whoa, who's Sophie?"
Shawn Stevenson: Who's Sophie?
Hal Elrod: Yeah. So I am 100% committed to healing myself from cancer to live to be 100 plus years old, alongside Ursula and the kids. And then I always finish it with, no matter what, there is no other option. That's my gut check. No matter what. I am committed. No matter what, there is no other option. So for you, I'm committed to blank, no matter what, there is no other option. Number two, why is it deeply meaningful to you? And I'm going to tell you word for word, you're going to see this scene in the movie where I'm actually with cancer, reciting my affirmations, but I'll give it to you right now. I'm committed to beating cancer for Ursula because I promised her forever and a day. I'm committed to beating cancer for Sophie because she needs her daddy's love, guidance and leadership. I'm committed to beating cancer for Halsten because he needs his dad's love, guidance and leadership as well. I'm committed to beating cancer for my dad because he gave up everything to save my life. I'm committed to beating cancer for my mom because she doesn't deserve to lose another child. I'm committed to beating cancer for myself because I deserve to live a long, happy and healthy life. And I am committed to beating cancer for the millions of people who are themselves battling cancer or some other disease and are not blessed with the resources and the knowledge that I have, and they desperately need my love, my leadership and my support.
And that was the fuel, those affirmations were the fuel that got me to step three, which is, I will do everything in my power, I will do all the chemo that... I got over the resistance and I decided, "Hey look, this is necessary to beat this cancer." I will do 650 hours of chemo no matter how painful it may be, and I will do every holistic practice that I'm aware of to heal myself of this cancer." And I read that affirmation every single day, and Shawn, most important was when I felt fear, which I felt a lot in the beginning, but these affirmations reprogrammed it. It went away. In the beginning it was, "What if I die? What if all the positivity in the world doesn't heal me, doesn't save me, and I still die, and my daughter and my son, who were 7 and 4, are left without a dad?" I felt that. But then every day I pulled my affirmations, I would read them with conviction and I'd be like, "No, no, no, I'm committed to beating the cancer and living to be a hundred. No matter what, there's no other option." And it literally, it replaced my fear with unwavering faith. And once again, the doctor is kind of like when I walked after my car accident, they were blown away by how quickly I was in remission in a matter of months, and how well I responded to all the therapies.
Shawn Stevenson: Unbelievable. Unbelievable. This, in and of itself, there's this consistent theme that we're hearing on recent episodes of the show about unwavering faith. And this is the time, like a lot of us we're flirting with it, we're flirting with faith, we're flirting with... We'll see what happens. That kind of mentality. And life is going to respond in like kind, "Well, we'll see what happens. That's what you want, and we'll see what happens." And we keep seeing consistently, man, that the impossible is possible. It's only impossible because somebody hasn't done it yet. But first of all, Hal, I'm going to need you to stop rising from the ashes, alright? You've done it enough, man, I'm going to need you to stop, but your story is so...
Hal Elrod: I'm done, I'm done man, I feel like I've done my time.
Shawn Stevenson: You've got enough good stories, but seriously, man, I'm so grateful that you take these experiences and then you channel it into value and gifts for us. It's Christmas, right now, having this conversation, man. So affirmations, thank you so much for helping us to dial in that perception because I even got a new layer for myself here. So next is the V.
Hal Elrod: The V for Visualization, and these last four, I'll go through the V a little bit of time, but the last three real quick. The V for Visualization, similar to affirmations, I think we've been taught this ineffectively. When you learn visualization from a self-help guru or the movie The Secret or whatever, we're usually taught to make a vision board or in some way visualize the end result, and then that's it. We're left at that. See yourself living the dream, see yourself crossing the finish line. And there is value in that, but it's a limited value. And to me, it's actually detrimental if you leave it at that. So I'm going to share two steps to visualization to make it effective. Number one visualize the end result. They got that part right. The reason for that is... I'll give you an example, when I was training for my ultra-marathon, I visualized crossing the finish line. And the benefit of that is that it actually starts to become real for you. A vision that on day one, you might go, "Man, that's so far away from what I'm currently experiencing in my life, I can't even... I can hardly imagine that." But when you visualize it over and over and over and over and over every day, you start to acclimate to that possibility becoming real for you.
And so then you start to go, "I'm actually going to do it, I can believe it." But the problem is, if you stop there, you trick yourself into thinking that the outcome is a foregone conclusion independent of your effort, and it's not. 'Cause your brain starts to go, "Yeah, yeah, I believe it's going to happen," and you start to lose that healthy drive or even fear of like, "Well, if I don't do the thing today, that's not going to happen a year from now." So the second part of the visualization process is, in my opinion, the most important, you got to visualize yourself engaged in the necessary activity in an optimum emotional state. Visualize yourself engaged in the necessary activity in an optimal emotional state. And really for the day, like today. So I'll give you an example. I hated running, I had never run in my life outside of the force, running the mile every year in PE class, I hated running. And so I would visualize every morning, here's what I would do, I'd close my eyes during my Miracle Morning, and I'd see the alarm going off on my phone. And the alarm would go off on my phone at 7:00 AM, and I would visualize myself going into my bedroom closet, getting on my running clothes, heading out the front door, opening the front door, and I would see myself through my own eyes, looking at the pavement.
And then I would see myself smiling and I would start saying things in my head while I was visualizing, "This is going to be a great run, you're going to crush it, you're growing stronger with every step that you take." I would fire myself up during the visualization process. I would create this optimum emotional state to go running. And then guess what happened, Shawn? When the alarm went off at 7:00 AM, that rehearsal that I had done during visualization, it was game time. And without even thinking, there was no resistance to running because I had rehearsed it in an optimum emotional state. So I got up, I went in my closet, put on my running clothes, headed out the front door, opened the front door, first thing I did was smile in real time. And I thought things like, I'm going to crush this run, you mind side walk like one step out, and then I went on the run. And the point is that when you use visualization in this way, you're visualizing yourself doing the activities that you need to do to create the results you want, and you're mentally and emotionally rehearsing it, so that when it's game time, it's easy, you've already been there in your mind, body and spirit, and it's easy to go there in reality.
Shawn Stevenson: That's so powerful. That emotional dynamic, man. Thank you, thank you for adding that layer. Alright, so we've got that's... SAVERS?
Hal Elrod: ERS.
Shawn Stevenson: Alright let's do it.
Hal Elrod: Yeah, these ones are pretty easy, so we don't need to get too advanced. Exercise, the only thing I want to do is sell you on doing it in the morning at least a little bit, because a lot of people might go, "Well, I already exercise in the afternoon. I go to the gym in the evening." Whatever, that's great. But as Robin Sharma said in the Miracle Morning documentary that's coming out in a couple weeks, or less than a week.
Shawn Stevenson: No, when this comes out, it's... Yup less than a week.
Hal Elrod: Oh. Also, everybody I'm going to mention here, go to miraclemorningmovie.com. You don't want to miss it. We're doing a live world premiere. In the movie, Robin Sharma said that the benefits of exercise last as long as 13 hours after the initial exercise. So the point is, when you exercise, you release endorphins that make you feel better, you feel happier, right? You get blood and oxygen to your brain that give you more clarity. Your lymph system wakes up, you have more sustained energy. You don't want to miss out on those benefits throughout the day, so make sure you're at least doing five or 10 minutes of exercise first thing in the morning, some jumping jacks. For me, I go for a bike ride every morning. I get fresh air, I get oxygen, my legs are pumping, I get sunshine. It's one of my favorite parts of the miracle morning. So do some form of exercise that wakes you up in the morning? In terms of... By the way, one of my favorite apps is the seven-minute workout, check that out on your phone, you can get it free. It's a killer workout, seven minutes full body workout.
The R in SAVERS is for Reading. And again, not rocket science here, but couple of tips I'll give you. Number one, think about quantifying. If you read only 10 pages per day, that is 3650 pages a year. That's the equivalent of 18 200-page books. If you're reading books on finances and relationships, and happiness, and motivation and productivity, you're going to be a different person, you're going to be in the top 1% of our society. The people that read every day. Cut that in half that's still nine books a year, five pages a day. The only tip I'll give you is this, whatever you say is the most important thing in your life, make sure that your reading starts with that. I have a goal, I have a rule, I'm not allowed to read a business book or a marketing book until I've read at least five pages out of a parenting or a marriage book. That's to remind me every morning that, "Oh yeah, my family's number one." It's one thing to say it, it's another to live it. Are you living in alignment with your highest priority? And so for me, it's family.
So I got to earn the right to get to crack open that business book that I'm loving, by reading the book that's going to help me be a better husband that day, or a better dad that day. And then last but not least is the S. The final S in SAVERS is for Scribing, which is a fancy word for writing. And for me, for years, I've used the Five Minute Journal, which is really simple. Write down three things you're grateful for in the morning, and then look at your to-do list and write down the three highest priorities for you. I don't know about you, but I've got 10, 15, 20 things on my to-do list every day. I look at it and I go, "Okay, I'm tempted to do the easy things on this list first." That's really tempting, I just check it off, I get to feel productive. But I look at it and go, "What are the needle movers? What's the number one thing on this list that will make the biggest impact in the most important area of my life?" And then number two, and then number three. So that's how I journal. And I'll wrap this up by saying, those six practices, the SAVERS, again, they're scalable, you can do 10 minutes each, five minutes each, you can do 20 minutes of meditation, five minutes... You can customize it to fit your lifestyle and fit your preferences.
Robert Kiyosaki, the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, he's one of the biggest advocates for the Miracle Morning. He's read the book at least three times, him and his wife do it every day, they've done it for five years. And when he had me on Rich Dad Radio, he summed this up better than I ever have. He said, and I'm paraphrasing what he said, but as close as I can remember how before the Miracle Morning, before I read that book, every successful person on the planet did at least one of the SAVERS every day. They swear by one of them, and maybe two or three. But he said, "I had never heard of anyone that did all six of these ancient best practices to elevate themselves and elevate their lives." And he said, "When you do all six, any one will change your life, but when you do all six, it really does create miracles." He said, "I think you named it perfectly." So those are the SAVERS, those the six practices that will save you from missing out on the life that you deserve to live.
Shawn Stevenson: Man, so much value. Hal, thank you so much, bro. So the world premiere is coming up here, when this is coming out, because it's on 12/12 right?
Hal Elrod: 12/12/2020, the eight-year anniversary of the book.
Shawn Stevenson: So it's coming out later this week, when this is getting released, so everybody can go right now and get signed up to see the world premiere. How can they do that?
Hal Elrod: So go to miraclemorningmovie.com, watch the trailer first. I always say once you watch the trailer, you'll really understand what this movie is about, beyond what I've said today. But go to miraclemorningmovie.com, and then I'm going to give a code for your listeners to get 20% off their tickets, and then I'll tell you what the ticket comes with. But use the code MIRACLE2020, all caps, MIRACLE2020, you'll get 20% off your ticket. And here's what your ticket comes with, and this is going to be like probably a one-time thing, we're doing it for the live premiere. Obviously, you get a ticket to watch the movie, but we're going beyond that, I want to make this really valuable for people. So right after the movie is an implementation training from me. So it gives you step-by-step, here's how you start your Miracle Morning tomorrow. Move your alarm clock across the way, set these things out in your living room. We walk you through your first Miracle Morning. Then we're going to open it up for a live Q&A with me and the film-maker, so you can ask me anything that you want. And then it's going to end with a new and improved 30-day challenge. So you're going to get emailed a 30-day challenge that will support you over the first 30 days to starting and completing your miracle morning your first month so that it becomes a lifelong habit.
And then last but not least, you're going to get a digital download of the movie afterwards so that you'll have it forever, you can share with your friends and family and... Yeah, I think that's it. So miraclemorningmovie.com. And the mission of this film is to teach people, to show people how to take control of their lives, no matter what's going on in the outer world, take control of your inner world, take control of your life one morning at a time. And I'm so, so excited to share this with the world and to experience this live on 12/12/2020.
Shawn Stevenson: So powerful, man, eight-year anniversary from the book becoming a movement. This is going to be the next movement man, I appreciate you so much for putting your time, energy, focus, your heart into this, brother, it means so much. And again, look, I'm pumped for the movie, but more so I'm pumped for so many people out there to see it and to spread the word and really to help usher in a new way of being for us right now, we need it so much.
Hal Elrod: Awesome, brother. Thank you, Shawn, I love you and appreciate you, brother, and thank you so much for allowing me to share the message with your audience and everybody listening, thank you so much and hope to see you at the premiere.
Shawn Stevenson: Awesome. Hal Elrod, everybody. Thank you so much for tuning into the show today, I hope you got a lot of value out of this episode. Hal Elrod, truly an incredible inspiration for so many people, and he's somebody who against all odds just continue to get up every day and to execute and to continue to be an inspiration and paving a way for us in just showing what's possible. And we could definitely use a lot more of that right now. Hal's example... And even if you take the Miracle Morning on for yourself, this can be 10 minutes of each of these SAVERS, or as he mentioned, it could be a 6-minute process, you can take a minute, put... Invest into each one of those, or for myself personally, I take on pieces of it, what really fits best in my life each day. So for example, today I got up, I do my morning routine, I drunk my 20 to 30 ounces of water to start the day, and from there, I do my reading, and after that, do a little bit of meditation, I do a little bit of exercise, journaling, I do take on quite a few of these pieces, but they all for me are very practical because even within my meditation, I've created a meditation where I have the visualization built in.
I might do some breathing exercises to begin with, a little bit of silence and transition over into a gratitude practice or visualization process. You can really make these things meld and have a beautiful blend together. But the essential part to really take away from this is that right now we need to take back control of our minds and our schedules. And when he mentioned folks basically kind of waking up like it's an accident, you're waking up in your day just like you're an accident, everything is just so... You're not even trying to get into it, it's just like, it's an inconvenience, this day is an inconvenience. And I remember living like that, so when he mentioned having this feeling of like... Hitting the snooze button, I didn't even think about it until he just said that example, that that's how my life was for a great portion of my life. It's just like each day I got to get up, I got to go to school I didn't really want to go. Getting up, I got to go to this job I really don't want to go to, whatever the occasion may be, versus... I haven't had that experience in so long that it almost... It was a distant memory. Each and every day for me now, is just an opportunity, and there's a flip that we can switch in our minds to seeing that, like finding ways today, there's going to be something beautiful to happen. There's going to be problems, every day is equal opportunity with problems and gifts. It's an equal opportunity employer.
That's what life is. But now I've turned myself into regardless what happens. And Hal has done that to an incredible degree, but regardless of what happens, I'm going to find a gift in it and continue to grow. And this is an opportunity for me to get better, and that's what I'm here for. So let's stop waking up like we're an accident, stop waking up like life is an accident, and take some more dominion over it, because this is our opportunity. And it doesn't mean that we can't lay back, sleep in, reward, chill, even feel the negativity and the angst and the depression and all the different emotions that we talked about recently with Dr. Susan David. All of our emotions have value. However, we need to Trans mutate. As Hal mentioned, the messages might sound in conflict because he's such a positive... He thrives and sees himself as somebody who's really a positive person and driving for positivity, but he mentioned the affirmation part of not lying to oneself and seeing the negative emotions, but let's transmute that, let's learn the lesson and what it can teach us and put that into something great.
So again, this is not about being perfect. This is not a time to be concerned about perfection, it's just about progress. And you can make progress every day, just by taking on a little bit of these principles each morning and creating some routine. Right now is a time to take back control of our schedules, create something better so that we start our day in a powerful position. So again, very grateful for you hanging out with me today, make sure to check out the world premiere of The Miracle Morning movie. Go to miraclemorningmovie.com, use the code, exclusive code that he shared as well to get the discount off the ticket. And then of course, you get to keep the film, which you can share with the people you care about. I love that he mentioned that. Hal is such an incredible human being, he put everything he could into this film, and we have stories, him and I, personal stories of like... I was going to be in the film, and so many of the people that I know, some of the great success teachers of today are in this film, and it's such an honor to even be a part of it, but when we were trying to figure it out, this earth-shattering event happened in his life, and he literally went through hell and back to make this for us. So please, definitely check it out, go to miraclemorningmovie.com, and be a part of the movement and just to give back and to share for what Hal has shared with us today.
If that... And also just an investment for ourselves in our own health and our well-being and our personal development and our growth, because that's what it's really about, it's a tool for that. I appreciate you guys so much for tuning in today. We've got some epic shows coming your way, oh my goodness, we're not stopping any time soon. Much, much more to come. So please share this out with the people you care about on social, you can send this direct from the podcast app, we can use some inspiration right now. And again, much, much more to come. So make sure to stay tuned. Take care, have an amazing day and I'll talk with you soon.
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