Podcast

Episode 60 – Hal Elrod, Author and Miracle Maker

Hal Elrod’s story is, quite frankly, insane. As someone who has defeated death (twice!) Hal is uniquly qualified to share his thoughts on how we can truly live.

Today, Jessica and Hal not only chat about his amazing journey, but how through persistence, tenacity, and just doing the things you’ve got to do – we can achieve more than we’ve ever thought possible.

TRANSCRIPT

Jessica: Hey, there. It’s Jessica Honegger, founder of the socially conscious fashion brand, Noonday Collection. And this is the Going Scared podcast where we cover all things social impact, entrepreneurship, and courage. And today, you are going to hear a courageous story by my new friend, Hal Elrod, who is the popular bestselling author of The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life. He has had one completely coming back from death experience and another near-death experience, and he demonstrates a lot of courage. So, I’m excited for you to dive into this conversation. But real quick I wanted to let you guys know, I have an email community, and I don’t talk about it too much on this podcast. But I would love for you to join my email community. I just send out about one email a month and it’s usually some behind the scenes about what’s going on in life. The one that’s coming up is our home reveals.

So, my email community is gonna be the first to see phase one of our home remodel done, and a sneak peek of the Airstream that I am currently living in. So, if you want just a little bit more behind the scenes, a little life tips around courage, or just behind the scenes about life as a CEO, as an entrepreneur, then hop on over to my website, jessicahonegger.com. And it’s just right there, click, sign up. Super easy. I would love to see you there. All right. Let’s give Hal and my conversation a listen.

Listen, thanks, Hal, so much for joining us today on the Going Scared podcast. Day two of your book launch.

Hal: I know, it’s crazy.

Jessica: It is so crazy. And you were just, before we got on, you were telling me you have written 13 books, but this is your first book to go through the traditional publisher route. So, I’m curious. How’s that feeling this week as opposed to maybe some of your past book launches?

Hal: Yeah. It’s feeling a heck a lot bigger. My publisher, the publicist just put me on The Today Show as I was mentioning in the next June 11th, I think. So that’s huge, that’s the biggest platform I’ve ever had to share my story and my message, which everyone’s going to get a sneak peek of, or I guess really get the whole thing today. But yeah. So, that’s exciting. And I’ve self-published every book, and I’ve sold over 2 million books, self-published.

And so, I wasn’t really eager to do traditional because there are a lot of benefits to self-publishing, right? You make 70% royalties instead of 8% to 12%. So, there’s definitely, you have control. One of the big things for me is delivering the best quality to my reader. So, I am able to read the critical reviews on the books that I write and then go, because I’m self-published, I go change them. Once a year I go rewrite each of my books. I just update them and revise them. And I do it based on the critical reviews where I see common themes, and I go, “Oh, look, seven readers all said the same thing. I need to fix that. That’s rubbing some people the wrong way.”

So anyway, so this whole traditional published thing was kind of an experiment like, “Oh, I’ll give it a shot. We’ll see.” And that’s for my new book, The Miracle Equation. And it’s been great. So, I actually emailed my editor today and I said, “So as you know, I think this was kind of an experiment for me to see if I was ever gonna wanna do this again or not.” And I said, “I’m happy to report. I love working with you guys. This team is amazing.” We had a similar team at the same company, The Publishing House, right? Penguin Random House. Yeah. So, anyway. It’s great. It’s going well.

Jessica: It’s a great group. Well, the fact that you were talking about writing your next book on day two of your launch, that is a very good sign. Because I’m still recovering. I’m still recovering.

Hal: Don’t worry. I know.

 

Discovering the Miracle Equation

 

Jessica: So, Hal, I know that you share your story all the time. But to know someone’s passion and motivation is to know your story and who you are. So, for those that may just be meeting you, could you give us some of the major beats of your life?

Hal: Yeah. I think that probably the most impactful thing I can share with everybody listening is I’ve had not one but two near-death experiences. And in fact, one of them was not near-death, it was death. It was I died. I was clinically dead for six minutes when I was 20 years old. I was driving home actually after giving a speech at a sales meeting, which, we were talking about that. And that was the first time I got a standing ovation from my peers and so it was like this high point in my life at that point. I was just on top of the world, totally amazing.

I had three weeks prior, I had bought my first new car with totally my own money, my commissions. It was a brand-new Ford Mustang. And at about 11:30 at night, I got into this Ford Mustang, got on the freeway driving home. And a man I had never met before, a drunk driver got on the freeway as well after he left a bar in his much larger vehicle. He had a full-size Chevy truck, and he was heading the wrong way on the freeway. And I don’t remember the headlights coming at me, I don’t know what my … I just don’t remember. But he hit me head-on at 70 to 80 miles an hour and my little Ford Mustang spun off of the drunk driver and the worst was yet to come. My car spun, we kind of hit head-on on the driver’s side. So, it was not in the center, it was off to the side. And my car spun off the drunk driver and the car behind me crashed into my driver’s side door at 70 miles an hour.

 

Jessica: Oh, my gosh.

Hal: And I always like, if you’re listening to this. I always say just look over your left shoulder real quick and imagine that you’re sitting in your car, and a car coming at 70 miles an hour without breaking just crashes into your door, your driver side door. And what you might imagine happening is what happened, which is the left side of the car smashed into the left side of my body. And I broke 11 bones instantaneously. My femur, the biggest bone in the human body, it broke in half. One half came out the side of my leg. I won’t get too graphic here. Sorry.

And then my pelvis was smashed between the center console and it gave way three separate times, it broke three separate places. My arm broke in half behind my bicep, my elbow was shattered, I severed the radial nerve in my left arm, my eye socket was shattered. It’s all rebuilt with three metal titanium plates now. My ear was almost completely severed in the top of the ceiling, but from the pressure it buckled, and it sliced a big V in the top of my head.

And unable to withstand the pain, I am extremely grateful that I was immediately in a coma. And it took them an hour to pull me out of the car using the jaws of life to cut me out, and I had lost so much blood that I bled to death. And my heart stopped beating on the side of the freeway and they rushed me onto a medevac helicopter, hooked me up to an IV. And I was clinically dead for six minutes and brought back to life, rushed to the hospital where I spent six days in a coma. And I was told that I would never walk again when I came out of the coma, and I had permanent brain damage.

And I made the decision to maintain unwavering faith, which we’re gonna talk a lot about today. There’s this thing I created a year and a half before called The Miracle Equation. And I created it not to overcome a near-death fatal car accident, I created it to actually break a sales record for my company. I was trying to do something that felt like a miracle. And I go, “What would I have to do? What would the formula be to create a seemingly impossible miracle?” And I came up with this formula that’s called The Miracle Equation. It’s relatively simple. We’ll talk about that today.

But that’s also how I took my first step. Doctor said I would never walk again, and I maintained unwavering faith that I will give it everything I have to walk again until I’m proven wrong or unless I’m proven wrong. And two weeks after I came out of the coma, the doctors came in with routine X-rays and they go, “Hal.” And every time I would tell him I’m gonna walk again and they would keep trying to bash me over the head with reality and go, “Look, Hal, we don’t want you to get disappointed because then you’re gonna freak out and turn to drugs or alcohol or suicide or some other vice.” And they said, “We need you to accept the reality.” I said, “No, no, no. You don’t understand. I have completely accepted that I may spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, and I’m at peace with that. I will be the happiest, most grateful person you’ve ever seen in a wheelchair.”

“I came up with this formula that’s called The Miracle Equation …. That’s also how I took my first step. Doctor said I would never walk again, and I maintained unwavering faith that I will give it everything I have to walk again until I’m proven wrong or unless I’m proven wrong.” Hal Elrod

I said, but that’s not the only option, and it may be the most likely option. But I said, “I’m putting all my energy—I’ve accepted the worst-case scenario.” And this is such an important lesson for all of us, I believe, which is, “I’ve accepted the worst-case scenario. So, it has no power over me, no power over my emotions, over my quality of life. If I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life, I won’t feel sad about it, I won’t be mad about it. I’ll be the happiest, most grateful person I can be.”

I said, “But the second option is I could walk again. And honestly, I don’t know if it’s possible, and neither do you. But I do know that I’d rather focus my energy on what I want until I’m proven that it’s not possible.” And I was thinking maybe, Jessica, maybe in a year, six months to a year of healing. No way that I think that … it was one week after that conversation the doctors came with X-rays, they said, “We don’t know how to explain this, Hal, but your body is healing so quickly that you’re ready to take your first step in therapy today.” And I was, “What? Today?” And I took my first step that day, and I left the hospital four weeks later.

Jessica: Oh, my gosh.

 

The Power of Faith and Gratitude

 

Hal: And I actually jumped back into a sales contest right when I got out of the hospital against doctor’s orders. But that’s another story for another time. But most recently, just over two years ago … so I was 20 then. I am 39 now. When I was 37 … and I won’t go into the whole story. I tell the story in the book, the details of it. But just for time’s sake, I won’t bore you guys with the whole thing. But I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer, leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia. I was given a 10 to 30% chance of surviving. And it’s a very rare, very aggressive.

When I went into the hospital, they didn’t know what was wrong and my lung was collapsed, I could hardly breathe, my heart was surrounded by fluid, they had to do immediate surgery, not surgery but they had to puncture through my rib cage and drain this fluid out of my heart. And I had to sign a waiver that said there was a chance that they would puncture my heart if my heart beat too big and I’d go into cardiac arrest, they’d have to do open heart surgery and that I couldn’t sue them if that was the case.

And my wife looked on as this happened, my two kids were at home. And my kidneys were on the verge of failing. And if you can imagine being given a 10 to 30% chance of living. And I always say this jokingly but seriously, which is if you’re a pessimist, if you’re a glass is half empty kind of person, that’s the doctor saying you have a 70% to 90% chance of dying and leaving your kids without a dad and leaving your wife without a husband here in the next few weeks or few months.

And the day I was diagnosed, I called my wife, she actually was out of town. It was … made it even harder we weren’t together. I said, “Hey, sweetie. The doctors figured out what’s wrong. It’s this crazy cancer and we’re about to go through the most intensive chemotherapy regimen in existence. We gonna do about 100 hours of chemo every 3 weeks round the clock.” And I said, “I’m gonna support that with every holistic practice available. But I’ve done research that if I don’t do the chemo, I literally … people die from this in days. I have days to live. We don’t have time to…”

And I was already living an anti-cancer lifestyle. I ate a plant-based diet, I had no chemicals in my house. Like, we’re kind of hippies, you know? So, I was like I don’t know what improvements I’m gonna make on the natural side. So anyway, long story short, I told my wife, I said, “Sweetie.” I said two things. Number one is, just as I was with the car accident, I promise you I have committed I will be the happiest and the most grateful I’ve ever been while I go through what I imagine is going through the most difficult time in our lives.”

And anybody listening, I’d encourage you to consider that, that you actually have the choice to be the happiest and the most grateful you’ve ever been, or any emotion you want to experience, even if you’re in the midst of the most difficult time in your life. That was my decision when I had my car accident. “I will not let my circumstances determine my quality of life, I will not let my circumstances define my emotional state.” And so, the first thing I said to my wife is, “I promise you, I’m OK. I’m gonna go through this with grace.”

And I said the second thing is I live by this thing, I’ve lived by this thing called the Miracle Equation for 19 years. It allowed me to walk again when doctors said I never would, it allowed me to break every sales record, it allowed me to sell a million copies of The Miracle Morning. And on and on and on. Everything I’ve ever overcome or accomplished that’s extraordinary has been using this formula. And I said, “Sweetheart, I’ve seen it work so many times, and it’s in miraculous fashion, it defies the odds. I really have faith that I’m gonna beat this.” And she was fearful, she was scared. So was I. But I overrode my fear with faith.

“You actually have the choice to be the happiest and the most grateful you’ve ever been, or any emotion you want to experience, even if you’re in the midst of the most difficult time in your life.” Hal Elrod

And not faith in a higher power. Not that I don’t have that, but it was faith in my ability to do anything and everything in my power. It was also faith in the mind-body connection realizing that I was told I would never walk again. And two weeks later, I took my first step. There’s no way to explain that other than there are the elements of the mind-body connection, which I’ve since studied and realize that, “Oh, we actually … our thoughts affect our DNA, affect ourselves.” So, anyway. And I’m grateful to say that after the most difficult year of my life, the most painful year of my life, I’ve been in remission from cancer for a year now. And now I’m on a mission to help other people that are suffering as well.

Jessica: That is amazing. Two miracles. Not many people experience one miracle in our lives. It makes sense too.

Hal: Well, I’m trying to change that by the way. That’s what I’m here for.

 

Conquering Resistance

 

Jessica: I know. That’s why you’re here. So, I just need to go back though, a little bit, because that’s a lot what you just shared. And I wanna go back to—you’re in the hospital during your car accident. Four weeks later, you walk out. There was a time period in there where you were wrestling. You know, the way you told the story, it’s as if maybe you are just born with this natural positive mindset. So, I kind of wanna hear your process of the messy middle where you are grappling.

Because I appreciate what you said that you had faced the fact or the truth that possibly you would be in a wheelchair for the rest of your life. Because I think when I see formulaic things, I often can become skeptical because I’m like, “You know what? We can control effort and we can control attitude, but we can’t control outcomes.” And I don’t know, maybe you can speak to that. So, when I see formulas, I’m like I don’t know. I don’t think that we can always just control the outcomes of life. So, I appreciate when you said you had faced the fact that maybe you would always be in this wheelchair. So, I kind of wanna know how you held that paradox of the worst-case scenario and yet believing for the best because I find that that’s a tension that people have a very hard time embracing.

Hal: Yeah. Absolutely. And there’s also around that, there’s another paradox in there, which is the more we want something, the more disappointed we are when we don’t get it. And what I’ve realized … so in the new book, there’s one of the most important lessons which I’m about to teach everybody, it’s such an important lesson that there’s an entire chapter in the book. It’s called becoming emotionally invincible. And that’s what I call this emotional invincibility where you are completely in control. And when I say completely, 99%, we’re human beings, we’re emotional creatures. I sometimes get upset but it never lasts for more than a few minutes. I literally am never upset for more than a few minutes, even if I’m being told I’m going to die.

And that’s again because I said … So, our circumstances don’t define our emotional state. It’s our response and our interpretation of our circumstances. And in one word, it’s our level of resistance. So, I think the place to start here is you have to go, “OK. What’s the cause of emotional pain? What is the root cause of it?” And the cause of emotional pain … now we, whenever something “bad” happens or painful happens in our world, in our lives, whenever we’re feeling upset, angry, sad, resentful, whatever the emotion is, we always have something to point to. “Of course, I’m upset. Look at what he said. Did you hear what he said? Yeah. But would you be upset too? Of course, I’m angry. Look at what she did. Yeah. I’m angry. Of course, I’m sad. Look at what I lost.” So, we always have something to point to.

And what you find is it’s never the thing that we’re pointing to that causes the emotional pain, it’s always the degree of resistance that we have to the thing. In other words, the degree that we resist our reality determines the degree of emotional pain. So, and here’s proof of that, if you will. The same exact tragedy can befall two different people. One person says, “This is the worst thing that ever happened to me. My life is ruined.” The other person says, “This is the worst thing that ever happened to me, and I’m going to take it head on because I know that I can overcome this and there is a better version of me on the other side of this adversity.” So, the person that’s saying that they’re upset and angry and sad and their life’s over because of the thing, because of the adversity, well, OK. Well, then how come the other person that experienced the exact same adversity says it’s actually gonna be the best thing that ever happened to them?

“Our circumstances don’t define our emotional state. It’s our response and our interpretation of our circumstances. And in one word, it’s our level of resistance…. the degree that we resist our reality determines the degree of emotional pain.” Hal Elrod

And so, the person that’s experiencing the pain is resisting it, they’re wishing that it didn’t happen, they’re wishing it were different. And when I say the degree of resistance, that’s a more practical kind of layman’s terms, if you will. It’s our wish … like, resisting something is wishing and wanting that it didn’t happen. And let me bring this down to earth really quick. Let me ask you, Jessica, do you enjoy being in traffic or do you hate it? Do you road rage? Are you in the middle? Where are you on the spectrum of how you feel about traffic?

Jessica: I mean, I’m definitely someone who has to become very aware of how I feel about it so then I don’t go to the bad basement part of myself.

Hal: Yeah. Well, my wife, it’s funny, she’s the same way and I’m always like, “Sweetheart, stop. You can’t change the traffic. Why are you upset? There’s no point. Be happy.” So, here’s the point. Traffic, I love this example because let’s say where we leave the house late, we’re running late, we hit traffic, it’s like the worst time for the traffic. And let’s say we need to be where we need to be in 20 minutes but at this pace, it’s gonna take us 40 minutes. Most of us spend … how do you spend those 40 minutes? Most of us if you’re listening you think, “Well, yeah. I’m usually stressed out for the entire 40 minutes.”

If the traffic’s moving really, really slow, there’s an accident or whatever, you’re riding the person’s bumper in front of you, you’re patting your steering wheel. “Come on. Go. No.” You’re thinking of all the negative consequences. Well, it’s not the traffic that’s causing you to be upset, frustrated, stressed out, it’s your resistance to your reality. It’s you’re wishing and wanting that there wasn’t traffic, it’s you’re wishing and wanting that you weren’t going to be late. But none of those things are possible. You are in traffic, you are going to be late.

So, the key that unlocks the door to emotional invincibility or sometimes I call it emotional freedom, freedom from your emotional pain, is acceptance. It’s unconditional acceptance. When you accept the things you can’t change, like for me, I used to be upset in traffic and I go, “Wait, I can’t change it. What’s the point of being upset? I’m in control of that. I choose that. I’m gonna choose to be completely at peace with the traffic and the circumstance, the consequence of me running late. And I’m going to enjoy the ride.” And that’s the metaphor for life is you’re in that car for 40 minutes. You can be either stressed out or you can be blissed out. Either way, you’re in that car for 40 minutes, and it’s completely your choice.

“The key that unlocks the door to emotional invincibility, or sometimes I call it emotional freedom, freedom from your emotional pain, is acceptance. It’s unconditional acceptance.” Hal Elrod

 

The Five-Minute Rule

 

And the last thing I’ll say on this is the five-minute rule is where I learned this. The initial learning of this was the five-minute rule. And then I’ve done a lot of reading on acceptance and being at peace and all these things. But in my Cutco sales training, when I was 19, I started selling Cutco kitchen knives, direct sales, in-home presentations. And we learned on day two of training, something called the five-minute rule. Our manager said when you’re out there in Cutco, just like in the real world, sales is a microcosm for life. He said, “You’re gonna encounter disappointment, and you’re gonna fail and you’re gonna have customers that you’re really excited for, and they’re gonna forget about the appointment, and not reschedule with you. You’re gonna have people that buy the biggest order you have and then they cancel it, the next day changed their mind. You’re gonna have all sorts of disappointment.”

He said, “Now, when something goes wrong, it’s OK to be negative. It’s OK to be upset about it but not for more than five minutes.” He said live by the five-minute rule, which is where when something goes wrong, you set your timer on your phone for five minutes. And by the way, this was a year and a half from my car accident. So, I had practiced this philosophy and this strategy for a year and a half. It was conditioned in me. Whenever something bad would happen, I would set the timer for five minutes, and he said, “You’re allowed to bitch, moan, complain, cry, vent, punch a wall, punch your friend. Do whatever, let your emotions out.”

And then after five minutes when the timer goes up, you turn it off, and you take a deep breath. He said smile if you can, and just remind yourself three very powerful words, “Can’t change it.” You can’t change, I can’t change it. Therefore, there’s no point in wishing I could. I can’t go back in time, I can’t change what already happened. And I could change the future, but I can’t change the past. And think about it. When we’re upset, Jessica, it’s almost always over the past, something that just happened which is causing you to be or you think is … that’s why I’m upset because that thing that just happened. No, no, no, no, no. You’re resisting the thing and when you make a conscious choice to accept it fully, you’re at peace with it.

And so, when I started practicing the five-minute timer, I was like … when I learned it, I was probably thinking what a lot of people listening are thinking, which is, “Dude, five minutes is not enough time to be upset. Can I get like a five-hour rule? A five-day rule maybe?” And here’s what happened. It changes your level of consciousness. What I would do is I set the timer five minutes, the first time the timer went off and I’m like, “Aargh. Just as I thought, I’m still upset.” But then I said, “All right. Let me try this. I can’t change it. I can’t change it. There’s no point being upset about it.” And it was like this weight was lifted. I go, “This is weird.” Because I’m addicted to being upset when something goes wrong. I’m programmed for that. OK.

And the emotions were partly there, partly not. And I’m telling you, Jessica, I went from being “five minutes is not enough” to within a few days, the timer went off. Maybe it was a week. I don’t remember the exact time. Timer went off, set it, I’m like, “Argh, I can’t believe that she did that. I’m so mad. Just son of a…” OK. And then I pick up my phone and I go, “All right. There’s four minutes and 17 seconds left.” And I go, “I can either be upset for four more minutes, or I could just accept it now, be at peace with it, and then take action to improve this situation in the future.” That sounds way better. And I’m telling you, it was less than a week that the five-minute rule became the five-second rule where I just, “Argh.” Need to get it out and then I’m done. I accept it. I can’t change it.

And so, when I had my car accident, I literally, I didn’t struggle with it. I accepted it the first day. I woke up and I’m like, “What happened to me? Why am I in pain? Why am I all bandaged up? Why do I have metal rods in my leg and my arm?” And I don’t know if it was five minutes or … because I had brain damage and my memory was short to where my parents had to keep telling me over and over and over every time I woke up. I’d sleep a lot because my body was so broken. And every time I woke up, the brain damage caused me to forget from minute to minute. And so, my parents had to tell me what happened to me, I dunno 50 times, 100 times in the first few weeks and then it started to kind of get better, but yeah. So, that’s my process. It’s the five-minute rule, which leads into those three words, that “can’t change it” mantra and giving myself that gift of being at peace with all things I cannot change.

Jessica: Well, I love that you share this, especially in correlation with your sales background because I lead a direct sales company. And what I’m constantly telling the social entrepreneurs that work in partner with Noonday Collection is the biggest obstacle that I’m up against is people’s mindsets. It’s not a lack of training or lack of knowledge about the product or like, “Oh, your network is running dry.” It’s that mindset of every day waking up and believing that today holds potential.

 

Overcoming Survival Mindsets to Thrive

 

And that’s the other thing too is that when you’re not clocking in, when you have a sales force that doesn’t have to clock in, they get to choose every day they wake up, they’ve got a couple of kids, they’re, “OK. What today am I gonna do for my business?” And so, it’s the mindset shift. And I’m curious as you have been out over the last 20 years, motivating people and teaching people, what are the biggest mindset obstacles that you see people have? And then how has your teaching sort of been the antidote to that?

Hal: Yeah. I love the way you frame that question. So, one of our biggest enemies is human nature because human nature is survival. Human nature is not necessarily progress. That takes going above and beyond human nature and often defying your human nature. Human nature is to survive. When you were a caveman, people weren’t trying to achieve, they were trying to survive, they were trying to just live. They were trying to eat and have shelter and that was it. So that’s what we’re wired to do. So, what human nature causes us to do is take the path of least resistance or do what’s easy over doing what will move us forward and elevate ourselves and our lives and our success. And so, what that causes is we tend to, well, you could say we stay in our comfort zone, but what we do is we seek certainty. And so, that’s why most people don’t do sales because of too much uncertainty. I was in sales for six years, in direct sales for six years, and I hit the hall of fame. So, I performed at the highest level I possibly could.

“One of our biggest enemies is human nature because human nature is survival. Human nature is not necessarily progress.… Human nature causes us to do is take the path of least resistance or do what’s easy over doing what will move us forward and elevate ourselves and our lives and our success.” Hal Elrod

Jessica: For some reason that doesn’t surprise me, Hal, the short time we’ve chatted.

Hal: Well, the weird part is before … so, I started at 19. And in my first 10 days I broke the … it’s called the Fast Start Record. I sold more in my first 10 days than anyone had in my company in 50 years. But here’s the crazy part and I think this is really important for anybody listening. I was the most average mediocre kid growing up that you could be. I was a C student at best, I did not play sports. So, I had no training around discipline or winning or any of that. The only thing I did that was not average was I was funny. I was the class clown but that just got me in trouble. So, that wasn’t a positive back then. I just was always getting grounded. It’s funny. I set one record in my life before I broke the company record. I started when I was a junior or a senior, I think. I think I was senior. I broke the record for the most hours of detention that anyone at my school had ever gotten. And my parents had to donate money to … it was actually about the UCLA thing that went down. And I’m actually, maybe I’m making this up, I don’t even remember the details, but and maybe … my mom sometimes embellishes and tells you stories.

Jessica: She bails you out.

Hal: But she had to call the school and be like, “What can we do to get Hal to graduate? Because that’s how bad it was. It was like 180 hours of detention and they had to get it down to 40 or so.

Jessica: Wow. Where did you grow up?

Hal: Oakhurst, California, which is, once again, I had no signs of success around me, no examples. It was a town of 30,000 people and great little town but there were no entrepreneurs there. I guess there were entrepreneurs who owned businesses. But the point is this is that it was in my … I think Tony Robbins is the one that says this famous quote, “In our moments of decision, our destiny is shaped.” And so, I believe that because it was in a moment of decision on my second day of training, I went to my manager and said I wanna break the company record.

And he said, and I thought he was gonna be all excited because I really admired this guy. I was 19, he was 23. He was the number one manager in the history of the company at 23. He was breaking every record. So, I did have … And by the way, I only broke the company record because I had a mentor who thought the way he did. I can take credit for I did the work, but I called him to quit on my first day. And so, I went to him on day-two of training and I was like all day in training, we learned about this fast start contest where your first 10 days there’s all these prizes and different milestones. And the biggest milestone is if you break the all-time company record, you get all these … you get to go on a limo ride and skydiving and you win all this stuff. It was just right in your … all these things.

And so, I don’t even know what it was because again, I wasn’t an achiever so, but something in me was like, “Dude, what if I did that? Why don’t I do that? And so, I’ve never done anything in my life extraordinary. Why not me? Why not now?” And I was waiting till after training to tell him because I’m like, dude, I’m like, I really wanna impress this guy. And if I tell him I’m gonna break the record, he’ll be so impressed. And I went up to … his name is Jesse Levine. He was in my wedding. He’s a good friend now. And I said, I waited till everybody was gone and I said, “Jesse,” I said, “Hey, I wanna break the fast start record.” And I thought he was gonna do a backflip and hug me. And he goes, nods his head and kind of looks off to the side and looks the other side and just kind of looking around and I’m like, “What the hell is he thinking?”

And he goes, “OK. Hal, can I be honest with you?” I said, “Yeah. Yeah. Sure.” He said, “I hear that every weekend training. We run training every week. I hear that every week at training. Do you know how many reps that work under me have done that?” I said, “No.” He said, “Zero. None.” He said, “It’s one thing to say it, it’s totally different to do it. You’d have to be prepared to work harder than you’ve ever worked before in your life, work every single day. And essentially, I can lead you, I can guide you, but you’d have to follow my instruction to the T. And it’s gonna be fully dedicating 10 days of your life to this thing.”

And again, for someone, Jessica, that wasn’t an achiever and did not have a work ethic and I’m like, “Holy crap, what am I getting myself into? I don’t wanna do any of the things you just said I had to do.” But at that point, I really admired him, and I was embarrassed to say anything other than, “I’m in. I’ll do it.” And he said OK. And I went out. I scheduled the first day, I went and I did three appointments my first day and he has you scheduled with like your grandparents, like who are the people that are most likely to buy from you so you get some confidence, some momentum. And I saw the three people I thought for sure would buy, and I went 0 for 3, and I sold nothing. And I called him to quit. Not to quit. Why? It was basically where I called him and go, “Jesse, dude, I’m embarrassed. I talked a big game, man. I don’t think I knew what I was saying.” I was humiliated, and he said, “Hal, you can do one of two things right now. You can either give up.” And I’m like, “Yeah. Yeah. That’s what I’m thinking of doing. What’s behind door number two?”

Jessica: You won’t give up on walking, but you’ll give up on selling.

Hal: Well, this was before.

Jessica: This was before the accident?

Hal: This was a year and a half before. Yeah. So, through the next year and a half, I became a different person.

Jessica: OK.

Hal: And if it wasn’t for who I became during that year and a half before the accident, I don’t know what would have happened. So, I went out, and he said, “Or you can either quit, or you can do what champions would do, which is get on the phone, schedule even more appointments and commit.” He goes, “And understand that it is the law of averages I taught you in training. Some days you’ll sell nothing, some days you’ll sell twice as much as you thought, some days you’ll sell usually what you expect or somewhere around there.” He said, “This was one of the days you sold nothing. Tomorrow, go out and have a great day.”

And so, I got on the phone, scheduled seven appointments the next day. Worked morning till night, sold $3,000, got back on track with where I needed to be. And 10 days later, I did 62 90-minute sales presentation. So, in those 10 days, I worked 90 hours plus another 30 hours of driving. So, I worked 120 hours in 10 days. I had never worked like that in my life, and I broke the all-time record on my last appointment of the whole thing. So, that’s not the miracle … that actually, that is the miracle equation. But I’ll point back to that when we get into the story

Jessica: Well, I love what you said. You said that we seek certainty and that we take the path of least resistance. And that these are the things that we are coming up against when it comes to what? Leading a life of flourishing, of success. Whatever our goal might be.

Hal: Whatever or however we define it. Sure.

Jessica: So, how does your miracle equation then offer us an alternative?

 

Defying Certainty and the Path of Least Resistance

 

Hal: So, the miracle equation literally, it defies both the two decisions. So, the miracle equation … well, let me actually, I’ll say the subtitle of the book because that will give you an idea of where we’re going and what this is about. The Miracle Equation: The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable. Because we only, we seek certainty. If you’re in the optimist club, the optimist credo is anything is possible. But you’ve heard that before. But we don’t wake up and pursue that which is possible, we pursue that which is probable.

Like, when was the last time that you set a goal, and you committed to give it everything you had, a goal that you did not believe was likely to happen? That’s not human nature. We don’t do that, we seek certainty. We don’t go, “Dude, the odds of this goal, it’s like slim to none. But I’m gonna give it everything I have, I’m gonna stay fully committed, I’m gonna write it.” We don’t do that. But the world’s most successful, fulfilled, prolific achievers, innovators, creators, etc., that’s how they live. They don’t pursue that which is probable, they actually take what’s possible, that’s not probable, and they make it inevitable through making these two decisions over and over and over and over and over again. It’s not a one-time feat.

So, here’s the two decisions, which I have to preface this which, these are deceptively simple in their explanation but extraordinarily rare in their execution. That is why I wrote this book, and that’s why my first book, The Miracle Morning has changed. The Miracle Morning, not the book but the practice itself, is practiced by over a million people every single day in over, it’s either over 70 or 100 countries. I don’t know the exact numbers. It’s a lot, it’s over 70 countries, I will say. And the reason for that is the book itself, if there’s anything, I’m not this impressive writer. You don’t read and go, “Wow. He’s so eloquent.” No, you’re reading, you’re like, “Dude, this guy’s got like a ninth-grade English level. But damn is his stuff really simple.”

Jessica: But I can do it. I can do it.

Hal: Exactly. And that’s what I’m about. And that’s where, when I wrote my first book, I’m like I’m not trying to impress anyone with my writing, I’m just trying to get them to do the thing that I’m teaching them. And that’s what I’m gonna do is I’m gonna make it so simple that they can hand the book to their third-grade child and be like, “Hey, buddy. I’ll give you 100 bucks if you can start doing this miracle morning thing. But next week.” And their third grader can read it and be like, “OK. I’m gonna do this. OK. Then there’s this. This is so easy. I just do exactly these things in this order. Here’s how I beat the snooze button, here’s how I, on and on and on.”

The miracle equation is the same thing because these two decisions are almost a little bit meta. And so, it’s how do you actually … it’s not about knowing these, it’s how do you actually live them. And here’s what they are. The first decision is unwavering faith, to develop unwavering faith. The second decision is to maintain extraordinary effort. So again, if I left it at that, I’m like, “There you go.” You’d be like, “Yeah. That helps me not at all. Great. I gotta believe in myself and work hard. I already knew that.” So, here’s how this came to be. And I think you’ll enjoy this story because it’s a direct sales story.

“The first decision is unwavering faith, to develop unwavering faith. The second decision is to maintain extraordinary effort.” Hal Elrod on The Miracle Equation

Jessica: Awesome.

Hal: So, I was 21, it was about a year after my car accident. I think a year. Yeah. About a year after my car accident. Yeah. It was actually almost exactly a year and two months. And I was trying to break a company record. There’s something in the company called a Push Period, which is a two-week sales contest that is secretive. Meaning no one knows what the other … you don’t know what each other are selling. You probably have something like that in your company. And it leads up to a conference. So, for two weeks, everybody is giving it everything they have. Nobody knows what anyone else is selling, nobody tells.

Then you go to the conference and then there’ll be like 1,000 people and they go, “OK. Of you 1,000 people, if you sold over $1,000 in the last 2 weeks, go to the front of the room.” And 700 people would go to the front of the room. And then they do a count up, and they go, “OK. Between the thousand and 2,000, go to the microphone, state your name, what office you’re from, what you sold.” And then you would go until it was only 100 people left, and then 20 people left, and then the top 10, and then 5 and then 3, and it’s you’re looking around. Then there’s two people on each side and you’re like, “Oh, my God. Who won? Did I win? Did I sell enough?” So, it’s this really … the adrenaline is crazy. And so, I was one of the first reps to ever do $20,000 in 10 days and then I was one of just a handful that had done it … eventually did it two times in a row. And I wanted to be the first rep ever to do it three times in a row. Now, if you’ve ever had, Jessica, I know you can relate to this if you’re listening, if you’ve had a significant accomplishment, usually we find a lot of luck involved. Do you relate to that?

Jessica: Yeah.

Hal: You look back and you’re like, “Wow. If that wouldn’t have happened and…”

Jessica: Or timing. Yeah.

Hal: Yeah. That’s part of it. Like timing.

Jessica: Timing connections.

Hal: If that person wouldn’t have shown up at that time and they didn’t know that other person that they introduced me to that led to this thing that turned into this amazing … all the things had to line up for our extraordinary results to come to fruition. And so, what that causes, it causes a little bit of self-doubt in repeating it. And so, for me, I’m like man, those first 2 $20,000 Push Periods were perfect. I couldn’t have predicted that order and that order and that thing and that thing. And so, I was really scared to do it three times in a row.

So, I spent a couple of weeks mustering up the belief that I could do it, the courage, the commitment. I’m like, “I’m gonna do it.” I go to our sales meeting the day before the Push Period starts and our manager says, “Hey, everybody. You know we’re getting ready for Push Period.” And he says, “Now, remember, this is four days shorter than our normal push period because they moved the conference back four days. So, you guys only have 10 days instead of 14.” He said, “So, that’s 30% less than you thought you had.” He said, “So, make sure… adjust your goals accordingly.” And I raised my hand, and I’m like “Frank, Frank, Frank, Frank, Frank.” My heart sank in my stomach because I did not know this. And I go, “Please tell me this doesn’t count for records and stuff because we’re not getting the full 14 days. It can’t count for records, right?” He said, “No, no, no, no. Hal, unfortunately, this definitely counts.” And I’m like, “Oh.”

 

Redefining Goals

 

So, I’m driving home that night and I go, “What do I do? What do I do? Do I lower my goal? Do I just sit this one out and go on and take a vacation?” I don’t know what to do. But $20,000 in 14 days is close to impossible. So, 10 days is really right there on the line of impossible. And that night I remembered something that my mentor taught me. And this is one of the most valuable lessons I’ve ever learned. And my mentor, Dan Caseta, learned it from the great Jim Roan. And I’ll paraphrase it the way that it makes sense in my head. “The real purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal.” See, we usually take on goals with a black and white paradigm where it’s either if we hit the goal, we succeed, if we miss it, we fail.

And what ends up happening is that that causes us to not even set these big, major, improbable goals because we think, “Well, probably the odds of me hitting it aren’t good, so I’m not even gonna try. Why waste my time and energy and effort and risk embarrassment and failure and all these things?” But Jim Roan taught that the real purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal. The real purpose is to develop yourself into the type of person that can hit goals.

Jessica: I like that.

Hal: In other words, whether or not you hit the goal is really inconsequential. Let’s say you hit a goal. Let’s say, in fact, let’s say you hit it easily. You’re like, “Oh, my gosh. I went out and I met this rich person and they just bought. My goal was 20,000 and they just bought 20,000. I’m done.” But that doesn’t help you for future goals. You didn’t become any better than you were when it started. In fact, you probably gonna take the rest of the time off and you’re actually gonna regress. So, the idea is, the real purpose of a goal is to develop the qualities and the characteristics of someone who can achieve goals in the future forever.

“The real purpose of a goal is not to hit the goal. The real purpose is to develop yourself into the type of person that can hit goals.…Whether or not you hit the goal is really inconsequential.” Hal Elrod

And by giving it everything you have until the last possible moment to achieve that goal, even if you miss the goal itself and you fall short, what most people would consider a failure, well, no, no, no, no. If you gave it everything you had every day, you develop discipline and clarity and consistency and energy and motivation. Characteristics that will serve you for the rest of your life because only the growth is forever, not the goal. The growth is forever.

And so, I remembered that, and I went, “Wait a minute. What if I went for $20,000 in 10 days and gave it everything I had regardless of my results along the way or at the end with the real purpose being to develop myself into a better version, a more capable version than who I am right now? In 10 days from now, who could I become?” And so, I thought, “I’m gonna do it.” And then I reverse-engineered the process and I said, “OK, What do I have to commit to doing between now and the next 10 days to make this what feels like a miracle happen?” That’s why it’s called the miracle equation.

And let me, by the way, let me define a miracle real quick for anybody … I used to roll my eyes at that word because miracle has a bad rap. It’s a really loaded word because you think, “Well, it’s this random passive act. Or it’s this woo, woo manifestation thing, manifesting miracles.” I’m not big on that, I’m about results. And so, I define it in a way that is tangible and measurable that we have a degree of control over. A miracle in this context is any meaningful outcome beyond what you believe is probable for you. So, I’ll say it again. Any meaningful outcome beyond the realm of what you believe is probable for you. Therefore, when you achieve that outcome, it feels like a miracle. You’re astounded, you can hardly believe that you pulled it off.

But if you study the world’s most successful people, that’s what they do. They do things that have never been done before. And you don’t have to do things that have never been done before. But if you wanna improve your life, by default, yeah. You have to do things you’ve never done before and achieve things you’ve never done before. That’s what improvement is. It’s a better version of you creating an even better life than you have now. And so, for me, I went, “OK. I’m gonna have lots of fear and self-doubt along the way.” And that’s what stops us. Fear and self-doubt. It stops us from getting out the gate or if we get out the gate, when we encounter a roadblock and we’re not on track, the fear and the self-doubt, the seed is planted, it grows, and we give up. So, I realized I’m gonna have lots of fear and self-doubt during these 10 days. I’ve got to maintain unwavering faith that I can do this thing that I’ve never done, not in this short of time.

“You have to do things you’ve never done before and achieve things you’ve never done before. That’s what improvement is. It’s a better version of you creating an even better life than you have now.” Hal Elrod

And that’s what, by the way, that’s also how I define faith in this context. It’s another loaded word that has kind of a bad rap sometimes. It’s not faith in anything outside of yourself. And not that there’s anything wrong with that but it’s faith in yourself. It’s faith in your ability to overcome or accomplish anything that you, cliche term, put your mind to. Anything that you’re fully committed to and your faith and your willingness to commit to give it everything you have until the last possible moment, that’s the faith I’m talking about. And I said I have to have faith in myself and continue to focus on what I’m committed to rather than what I’m afraid of or what’s actually happening. Meaning if the results aren’t where I want them to be, I’ve got to keep the faith on where I’m going.

The second decision is I have to put forth extraordinary effort. And extraordinary effort also is at first time hearing it it’s like, “Ah, that sounds like a lot of work.” What makes effort extraordinary, I’m not talking about working 80 hours a week or Gary Vaynerchuk-ing it or hustling and grinding. I have a family. I put forth extraordinary effort but it’s not that I work … I work less than probably most people now. It’s about consistency. If I were to define extraordinary effort in one word, it’d be consistency.

Most people, they work on one goal until they get bored of it or it becomes difficult or they’re not on track and then they shift gears. They give up on that goal and they work on something else. And we spend our entire lives doing that. And that prevents us from creating the most meaningful, measurable outcomes in our life that we really want. And so extraordinary effort is, if you just think of it this way, this is the simplest formula for success. If all you do is one thing every day … and I’m dumbing it down. In the book, I talk about how to define your process and figure all about what is your extraordinary effort.

There’s a real process for that but in the simplest form, it’s if you just woke up every day and you did one thing, one actionable thing that moved you in the direction of your biggest goals and dreams, and you did not stop doing one thing every day that moved you in the direction of those goals and dreams, your success moves from possible to inevitable because you can’t fail.

Now, you might shoot for it in 1 year and it takes you 10, but you can’t fail. So, I decided those are the two decisions. I’m gonna wrap the story up. Unwavering faith and extraordinary effort. I went out for the next 10 days. I had the worst seven days. The first seven days were horrible. I wasn’t even halfway to where I needed to be. And so, I can actually tell you I sold $7,000 in the first 7 days, which meant I had 3 days left to sell the remaining $13,000. Jessica, let me ask you, how confident would you be in your ability to sell $13,000 in 3 days when you just gave it everything you had and only sold $7,000 in seven days?

Jessica: That’d be challenging.

Hal: Nah, very. And that’s part of this is faith doesn’t mean that you know it’s going to happen. That’s why it’s faith. I have faith that it’s possible and therefore I’m gonna give it everything I have until the last moment. And because of that, you’re not gonna hit every goal but you’re going to, A, get much further, much closer to every goal through these two decisions. And you’re going to become the type of person that can continue to build on every goal you set, whether you hit it or not, and achieve more extraordinary results than you ever have before in your past.

And in my last three days, I sold $13,000, $3,000 in the last hour, and I hit the goal. And that’s where the miracle equation was born. And the final wrap up to the story is I wanted to know if it was just me or if it was luck if it was just me. So, I was coaching 12 of my colleagues at the time. I immediately taught them the miracle equation. And in the next Push Period, that was what they applied and it was almost a 100% success rate. Every single one of them, everyone except for one person surpassed what they had ever done before and three of them broke the all-time records in their regions. And that’s when the validity in the formula grew. And then I started studying the world’s most successful people and I realized you can’t find … you’d be very hard-pressed to find a single person that’s achieved extraordinary results in their life or their business that didn’t make and maintain these two decisions until they got to where they were headed.

Jessica: So, I love all of the stories that you’ve shared, they’re super encouraging. But I also wanna know, because to maintain these decisions over a course of time takes resilience, it takes perseverance, it does take failure. So, have there been … Tell me about a time where, and I have a feeling if you’re anything like me, we’re reframers. So, I don’t even really … it’s hard for me to even see failure. I don’t even use … when people ask me, “Tell me about a time you failed.” I’m like, “I don’t know if it was a failure because it led to this.”

Hal: Exactly. I’m the same way. You’re right on.

 

How to Persevere Through Unmet Goals

 

Jessica: But I’m trying to speak to people that aren’t necessarily cut from that cloth. And tell us a time where you have applied this formula, and you didn’t reach that goal and then what gave you that resilience to stand back up again?

Hal: Yeah. So, well, here’s a big one. So, The Miracle Morning, when I wrote that book, and I think I mentioned this too when we were talking before, but I didn’t have a vision for it selling millions of copies. I wrote it kind of insecure. And I can remember sitting in my apartment and then my … we were renting a house for halfway through writing it. And I just remember sitting there. So many days I’d hit writer’s block and I would go, “Oh, I don’t know how to say this.” And then I would just think, “Who am I to write this book? How am I gonna convince people to become morning people when they have such a deeply ingrained belief that they’ve had for probably their entire life and evidence to support it?” Like, “Dude, I’ve tried to be a morning person. Not for me. I’m a night owl, period.”

I go, “How am I going to write words on the page that can actually get someone to not only believe they can be a morning person but actually do, like literally become that?” And so, I was pretty insecure about it. Wrote the book, published the book, started getting … And I didn’t have a big platform. So, the first month I sold 1,800 copies, which if you’re an author, like to hit The New York Times list, you need to sell 10 to 15,000 copies in a week. I sold 1,800 in a month. So, you’re an author, you know it’s not really impressing anybody, Hal. No publisher is gonna give you a deal after that. And then it got worse. It just got worse because I wasn’t a name, I didn’t have a platform, I didn’t have connections, I didn’t have anything. I don’t think podcasts were happening back then. Oh, no, no. I’m sorry. Podcasts were happening but I didn’t have anything to launch the book. I had no resources, I was self-published.

But here’s the deal. I started getting emails from readers that were profound, saying things, “Hal, I started the miracle morning three weeks ago, I’m off my depression medication, I’ve lost 20 pounds and I started running…” And just crazy, crazy outcomes very quickly. I had one gentleman who emailed me and said he had been on depression medication for his entire life. He was only 19 and now he was almost completely off of it after just three weeks. That was the story I was just telling, and he lost 20 pounds. Another guy lost 90 pounds in his first 6 months in miracle morning.

And so, I got all these emails from people saying, “Miracle Morning is saving my marriage.” Like these really profound results. And I just went, “Wait a minute.” And I call this microcosm evidence. Meaning a small sample of evidence that shows what’s possible. And I went, “If The Miracle Morning is changing these people’s lives, and it changed my life and it changed my client’s lives, and none of us were morning people before, this could change the world if the world knew about it, if they read it.” And so, I created a mission. My mission was to change 1 million lives, one morning at a time. And my goal was to do it in one year.

I thought I am willing to do whatever it takes, I will do. And I was doing 20 podcast interviews a week, every week. And in a year, I had not even gotten up to 1,800 copies in a month again. It took me a year and a half to get my monthly sales to 1,800. The first month I sold 1800, then they went to 900, then 700, then 383, then 192. And somehow that they just kept dropping off. So, imagine this, you guys. You have this mission to change a million lives, you are willing to do whatever it takes, maintain unwavering faith, put forth extraordinary effort, and every month your sales are going down, down, down, even though your effort is going up, up, up. So, Jessica, I hope this answers your question because you’re literally … I’m telling you exactly, I went through that exact thing.

Jessica: It’s a very bad discouraging feeling.

Hal: Yes. And so, here’s, in The Miracle Equation, in the book, I’m all about, again, making things simple. So, the way you maintain an unwavering faith, it’s not rocket science. You don’t have to go see a hypnotist and have him hypnotize you into figuring out how to maintain faith. It’s real simple. It’s you put words on a piece of paper or in your phone that establish, that articulate unwavering faith and what that would look like and sound like for you.

And then whenever you feel fear or self-doubt, you simply pull that affirmation or that mantra, whatever you want to call it, those written words out, and you read them as much as you need to, and they simply redirect your focus on not what you’re afraid of or what’s going wrong, but on what you’re committed to making happen no matter how long it takes. One of the most powerful words in the English language that is underused and under practiced is the word until. The Miracle Equation is about establishing unwavering faith and maintaining it while you’re putting forth extraordinary effort until, and you circle that word and underline it three times, until you achieve the outcome that you’re after. And almost every person you … if you watch interviews with successful people, Olympians, world champions, millionaires, billionaires, whatever, it almost always took them longer than they thought it was going to. We want things now or our society is, we want it now.

“Put words on a piece of paper … that articulate unwavering faith and what that would look like and sound like for you. And then whenever you feel fear or self-doubt, you simply pull … those written words out, and you read them as much as you need to, and they simply redirect your focus on not what you’re afraid of or what’s going wrong, but on what you’re committed to making happen no matter how long it takes.” Hal Elrod

Jessica: Well, I think a lot of us are tricked into believing because of social media we see success. And I think a lot of us don’t see the behind the scenes or don’t hear about. I mean, I was comforted knowing you came up with this formula when you were 20, and you’re 39. And you’ve had cancer since then and you know what I mean? Because I think a lot of us are looking for a silver bullet. We think like, “Oh, if I can just get on The Today Show or if I can just do this, then I’ll be successful.” And sometimes that does happen for people. There are some crazy, wild silver bullet success stories, but really it’s…

Hal: And some people win the lottery but not usually. That’s not the dependable strategy.

Jessica: Not usually. It’s like hard work and faith that it’s gonna work out.

Hal: Yeah. Millions of people buy lottery tickets every day or weekend and one wins or … So, that’s not how you move your goals from possible to probable, is that waiting for the silver bullet. That’s how you keep them in the realm of possible. Think about that. I’ve never thought of it that way but the way you said it just gave me that distinction. They stay impossible until … How do you move them from possible to probable? You define what your process is. See, every result that we want in our lives is proceeded by a process, and the process is what generates the result.

If somebody wants to be a bodybuilder, the process is hours in the gym every day. It’s not glamorous, it’s tedious, it sucks. They don’t wanna do it half the time, but they have unwavering faith that they can be a bodybuilder. And they put forth extraordinary effort until they do. And so, for me, with The Miracle Morning, and that’s really the only variable is time. That’s the variable. Your success is inevitable if you follow the miracle equation, the variable is time. And with the miracle … so, I’ll finish The Miracle Morning story. So, a year later, I had not sold a million copies, I had not sold 100,000 copies. I had sold, not even, I don’t think 10,000 copies. But I was committed until because I was on a mission to change a million lives. And it took me I think six years, not one, it took me six.

But let me share. Oh, I’m so glad I remembered to say this. Jessica, this is I think one of the most important lessons for all of us around how long things take. And this is an affirmation that I read to myself, not even every day because it’s so ingrained in me now. But for many years, I read this almost every day in my affirmations, and it now became part of my way of thinking. Which by the way, that’s why affirmations work is you articulate … Affirmation is another topic. In the book, by the way, I dispelled why affirmations are taught in this woo, woo like, “I am amazing, I am a millionaire. I am a…” Don’t state things that you are not because the truth will always prevail. Lying to yourself is never the optimum strategy.

So, when you create an affirmation, it should be worded and phrased in I am committed to blank, not I am a blank. Unless you are already that thing. But if you were affirming something that you’re not yet, well, then you’re adding liar on top of the thing that you wish you were but you’re not. So, anyway, just a small distinction on affirmations. So, here’s the lesson. When we finally get to the place, when you finally get to the place in your life that you’ve been working for for so long and working so hard and maintaining unwavering faith and putting forth extraordinary effort, you almost never wish it would’ve happened any sooner. Instead, you look back, and you see the perfection in the journey. You see that all the challenges, all the adversity was part of you becoming a person that you needed to be to create what you ultimately wanted for your life.

“When you finally get to the place in your life that you’ve been working for for so long … you almost never wish it would’ve happened any sooner. Instead, you look back, and you see the perfection in the journey. You see that all the challenges, all the adversity was part of you becoming a person that you needed to be to create what you ultimately wanted for your life.” Hal Elrod

And so, when you understand that, when you acknowledge and you realize that and you’re like, “Yeah. I guess when I finally get there I’ll realize, wow. I needed to go through everything I went through, it needed to take me six years instead of one, it needed…” So, the lesson there is, that’s the first part of the lesson. The second part is, so what do you do with that? Well, OK. It means maintain a healthy sense of urgency every day to do one thing that moves you closer, at least one thing, to the vision you have for your life. Sorry, I flipped this.

Be at peace with where you are every step of the way. Enjoy the journey, enjoy the traffic, enjoy the setbacks while you maintain a healthy sense of urgency to keep moving forward. And so, that’s what I did with The Miracle Morning. And guess what? When we finally hit a million copies, I wasn’t like, “I’m so mad that it took me so long. I wasted so much time.” No. I was like, “Wow.” It felt like a miracle. I was like, “I can’t believe I really did it.” And I felt it was even more gratifying after six years than it would’ve been after one. And now it took … Think about this too, by the way. It took six years to get to a million copies in sales, and it took another year to get to 1.7 million copies in sales. So, it’s almost doubling now in a year versus what it took the first six. So, the unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, gosh, it’s worth it. It’s worth it when you get there.

Jessica: All right. Hal fired me up. He did. He fired me up and I feel like that is a consistent theme that we hear over and over again is this idea of persistence, tenacity. Just doing the thing that you have got to do and just do it every single day. I think sometimes we want around it, we want to take this easy way out. And I think we just need to quit looking for that easy way out, quit looking for that silver bullet and just put your energy towards your goals.

So, that was a really great convo. Thanks for tuning in today. Don’t forget to hop on over to iTunes to leave a review. Thank you so much for all of those that have left a review. Thanks just for listening. I know that there’s a lot of things that you can do with your time, there’s a lot of podcasts that you can listen to. And you tuning in really means a lot. I create this content so that you can grow in your courage legs, and I hope that that is what you are doing.

Our music today for the show is by my good friend, Ellie Holcomb. Going Scared is produced by Eddie Kaufholz, and I’m Jessica Honegger. Until next time, let’s take each other by the hand and keep going scared.