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Do you have a morning routine? Could a morning routine be the answer to the start a of a great day? What if you could win your morning by just doing 6 small things before you start your day?
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Hal Elrod about his bestselling book, his positive morning routine and how you can also live a better life by winning your morning.
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Meet Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning at a time. As one of the highest rated keynote speakers in America, creator of one of the fastest growing and most engaged online communities in existence and author of one of the highest rated, best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning —which has been translated into 27 languages, has over 2,000 five-star Amazon reviews and is practiced daily by over 500,000 people in 70+ countries—he is doing exactly that.
Find out more about Hal on his website, Twitter, Instagram, LinkedIn or Facebook.
Hal Elrod’s Story
Hal actually died at age 20. Hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, his heart stopped for 6 minutes, broke 11 bones, and eventually woke from a coma to be told by doctors that he would never walk again. Not only did Hal walk, he went on to run a (52 mile) ultra-marathon and become a hall of fame business achiever—before the age of 30. Then, in November of 2016, Hal nearly died again—his kidneys, lungs, and heart on the verge of failing, which led to his being diagnosed with a very rare, very aggressive form of cancer (acute lymphoblastic leukemia).
In This Podcast
In this podcast episode, Joe Sanok speaks with Hal Elrod about his bestselling book, his positive morning routine and how 6 small daily acts in the morning can change your life.
The Catalyst for The Miracle Morning
Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become – Jim Rohn
At the age of 30 Hal found himself in a tough spot and turned to Google to find out what the world’s most successful people do for personal development, and he kept coming across morning routines and rituals. He then realized that a morning ritual sets the tone for the day. If you win the morning, you are setting yourself up for success.
Combining the 6 Most Scientifically Proven Personal Development Practices
Hal identified the top 6 practices – he did all 6, and within 2 months he doubled his income, he committed to running a 52 mile marathon and his depression subsided. Because his life changed so dramatically he thought this was a miracle.
- Silence – Meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing or gratitude
- Affirmations – Positive statements you repeat to yourself
- Visualization – Create mental pictures of what you want in your life
- Exercise – boost your energy, enhance your health (download the 7 Minute Workout and check out Cosmic Kids Yoga)
- Reading – Read something which inspires you and will enhance your life
- Scribing – Document your ideas, insights, realizations, successes and lessons learned (check out The Five Minute Journal)
Be at peace with where you are while you maintain a healthy sense of urgency to get where you want to go.
To get a free crash course on The Miracle Morning click here and join The Miracle Morning Community here.
Other Books Mentioned In This Episode:
Meet Joe Sanok
Joe Sanok helps counselors to create thriving practices that are the envy of other counselors. He has helped counselors to grow their businesses by 50-500% and is proud of all the private practice owners that are growing their income, influence, and impact on the world. Click here to explore consulting with Joe.
Thanks For Listening!
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This is the Practice of the Practice podcast with Joe Sanok section number 347.
Well, happy new year. I am so excited you are joining me today. Man, I love this time of year. I’m thinking ahead, planning, trying new things and just saying, you know, “What do I want this year to look like?” It’s a great time of evaluation and deciding and hopefully, it sustains through the whole year. The podcast that I just did before this one I talked about kind of your to-do list in January and hopefully, you got some value out of that and you’re taking some action. If you didn’t hear that, you definitely want to go back and listen to that one.
This month we have some killer guests lined up. We’ve got Hal Elrod today, we’ve got Kelly Higdon coming up, Julie Gottman, Dr. Julie Gottman, Mike Michalowicz, Allie Casazza, people that are just rocking it out in so many different domains. I wanted to power pack January’s podcasts to really help you have an amazing kind of start to your year. So, I pulled out all the stops with a bunch of amazing guests and not that the other ones this year aren’t, but we’re just like kind of pulling out all the stops at the beginning.
Hal Elrod, I’m going to tell you about him in just a second. But boy, he’s been on my map for a long time. I remember I first heard his story when I was listening to the Smart Passive Income podcast. And he has quite an amazing story and how he’s really kind of changed the way that he views the world and what that looks like to him. And I just, you know, I don’t want to give away too much of the interview, so without any further ado, I give you Hal Elrod
Today in the Practice of the Practice podcast, we have Hal Elrod. Hal is on a mission to elevate the consciousness of humanity one morning at a time. As an author of one of the highest rated and bestselling books in the world, The Miracle Morning, he is doing exactly that. Hal, welcome to the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[HAL]: Joe, always an honor, man. Thank you for having me.
[JOE]: Yeah, absolutely. It’s so awesome to have you on. I remember hearing an interview view with you a number of years ago on Smart Passive Income and I was like, I want to connect with that guy someday. You have just revolutionized mornings for people. And I think I am someone who needs my morning revolutionized. I wake up happy and excited, but I’m also usually tired and groggy. So, let’s just go back a few years and tell us about kind of what life was like and how that led into The Miracle Morning. And then I’d love to kind of get an update and kind of what life’s been like for the last couple of years and some shifts in your business and The Miracle Morning and all that. What was going on kind of before you wrote The Miracle Morning?
[HAL]: Yeah, the way that I frame what led to The Miracle Morning is, I say that I went through two rock bottoms and the way that I define a rock bottom for everybody listening, we all go through rock bottoms. I just define, a rock bottom is that time in your life, a moment in your life or a period in your life of adversity and adversity that tests you, that challenges you, that causes you to question sometimes yourself or your faith or you name it. And rock bottoms are very relative to the person.
So, I would never compare like, well, what I’ve been through is harder than you because who you are and your mental and emotional intelligence as you’re going through a period of adversity really determine how difficult it is, right? So, the same thing will happen to two different people. One person, it’s devastating, the other person’s like, “No, no, I got this.” So, for me, the first one was 2000, actually December 3rd, 1999. I should know that date. I was driving home from a sales conference. I was, I gave a speech at a conference and I was hit, my car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles an hour.
I spun off that drunk driver. My car spun sideways and the car behind me crashed into my driver’s side door at 70 miles an hour and completely in an instant, broke 11 bones in my body. It crushed the left side of my body and my femur broke in two pieces. My pelvis broke in three places, broke my arm, my elbow, my eye socket. And I actually bled to death. I was clinically dead for approximately six minutes on the side of the freeway after it took them an hour, them being the fire department with the jaws of life to pull me out of the car.
And they revived me, rushed me to the hospital, spent six days in a coma. And when I came out of the coma, you know, I woke up going, “Whoa, why am I in the hospital? Why am I in pain?” And my parents are telling me that I have permanent brain damage, that the doctors are saying I’m never going to walk again. You know, I’ve got all these broken bones and, and so, that was the first rock bottom. And that was really, for me that became, I had this really positive attitude and I thought, “Well, I can’t change that I was in a car accident. So, what could I learn from this? How could I use this experience to serve me and serve other people?”
And I kind of, my life’s work at that point was sort of boring where I went, “Man, I always wanted to …,” It’s funny, I told my dad. My dad came in and was talking to me and I said, “Dad, you know, I always want to be a motivational speaker ever since I started speaking at these sales conferences from my company.” I said, “But you and mom, you know, I had a normal childhood. You guys were good to me. I never had much to talk about. I never overcame much.” I said, “Maybe that’s why this happened.” And so, I started speaking at high schools and colleges and wrote my first book way back then.
So, that was kind of what set the precedent for, like, I was moving, like my career was going to be helping people. And in 2008 when the U.S. Economy crashed, I crashed with it and to keep a long story short, a series of events trying to dig myself out of this kind of, that was my second rock bottom and I was deep in debt. I lost my house to the bank. You know, I had to foreclose on my house.
My body fat percentage tripled in a six-month period where I was eating terrible food because I was eating cheap food. I had no money. And, I was at, I was 30 years old, had my first baby, my fiancé and I moved in with my dad, right? So, not ideal at 30 to be living back home with dad, with a baby.
[HAL]: And so, all of that was going on. And a series of events led me to just Google, like literally Google in some ways. Well, I should say this Jim Rohn audio, this quote from Jim Rohn saved my life. It was the catalyst for The Miracle Morning. And I’ll share the quote because if you’re listening, I think you know, this quote to me is still very foundational in my life. And Jim Rohn said, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
And if you listen to that, and I’ll say it again in a minute here, but for me, I realized I’m not dedicating time every day to my personal development like Jim says. Therefore, I’m not becoming the person that I need to be to create the success that I want in my life. And so, I went home and I turned to Google and I just googled what do the world’s most successful people do for their personal development? Like what are their daily routines and daily rituals? And I kept coming across morning rituals and morning routines and Joe, I, like so many people like millions and millions and millions of people was like, “Yeah, I’m not a morning person.” Like, “Well, what else do they do?”
[HAL]: Next article [crosstalk]
[JOE]: What’s the night time routine? [crosstalk]
[HAL]: Yes, what’s that you can wake up at the last minute and hit the snooze button four times and still become a millionaire routine? Like that was the one I wanted. And so, I ran across so many articles, I don’t remember the headline but one of them finally caught my eye because I wasn’t even reading them. I was just skipping him. One caught my attention, which I can’t remember the one but I dove in and I read it and I was like, “Wait a minute.”
And the realization and I would hope anyone listening would have the same realization is that as I’m reading this article, I’m realizing, “Wait, your morning ritual isn’t just an option, like in a buffet of options where I could choose this or I could choose this or I could use this and they’re all pretty much the same.” The morning ritual sets the tone, the direction, the context for your entire day. If you win the morning, if you crush the morning, if you have the most extraordinarily focused, goal oriented, growth-oriented morning ritual every single day, you’re setting yourself up for success. It becomes almost impossible to not have a great day when you win the morning.
And I had this breakthrough and the next Google searches went to, “Okay, well what are the best morning rituals? What are the best personal development practices that I could do during that morning time?” And I was looking for one and I had a list of six when all was said and done and I’m going, well, you know, meditation, affirmations, visualization, reading, journaling, exercise. Like these are all critical. Which one’s the best? Which one is going to change my life the fastest?
And the epiphany happened when I went, “Wait a minute. What if I did all of these? What if I woke up tomorrow morning and I did the six most proven, scientifically proven personal development practices that the world’s most successful people from world class athletes to millionaires, to CEOs to philanthropists have been, they’ve sworn by these for centuries?” And I woke up the next morning and to bring the story to kind of close, I did all six. I sucked it all of them. I didn’t know how to meditate. I didn’t know any of these. I was terrible.
But even being terrible at these six practices, I felt incredible. I was, “If I start every day like this, filling this energized, and having this much clarity and motivation and drive, and like energy, it’s only a matter of time before like Jim Rohn said, “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.” It’s only a matter of time to this daily personal development, this extraordinary morning ritual that I become the person that I need to be, that can create the success I want in every area of my life. And I was thinking it was like six to 12 months, you know, compound effect, you know, slowly but surely it happened so fast, Joe. It was less than two months that I’m more than doubled my income. I went from being in the worst shape of my life physically to committing to run a 52-mile ultra-marathon.
I never run more than a mile in high school PE class. And my depression went away in a day. And because my life changed so dramatically, so quickly, profoundly, I told my wife, “Sweetie, this feels like a miracle.” And I started writing my schedule every day as my miracle morning. But it was never a book idea. That wasn’t the idea. It wasn’t a book title. It was just my morning ritual. And I told it to my coaching clients and the rest is kind of history as they say. They went, “Hal I’m not a morning person. But you’re pretty convincing. I’ll give it a shot for like a week. I’ll try it.”
And every, literally every single one came back and I was like, “Hal, oh my gosh, you’re right. I’m more motivated. I just had the best week in my career. I just, I started reading again. I started running again,” like, you know. And that was when the light bulb went off and went, “Wait a minute, if this changed my life and I wasn’t a morning person, not even close to a morning person, if this changed, my client’s Katie and Taylor and Jerry, you know, and Brianna, if it changed their lives and now; they weren’t morning people, this could change the world.” And that’s when I thought like I have a responsibility even though writing a book, you know, I’m not the best writer, I have a responsibility to figure out how to get this into a book and get it out there to the world.
And now it’s practiced every day by roughly half a million people in a hundred countries. And you know, I’ve heard results that I wouldn’t even believe if I hadn’t gotten myself from gentleman Mike Eaton lost 90 pounds his first six months on The Miracle Morning. I didn’t write it to lose weight. You know, I have many people would have said it got them off their depression medication, it saved their marriage and increased their income. It finally got him to start the business or write the book or whatever. And so, that’s why my mission in life all revolves now around sharing this miracle morning practice with, you know, billions of people.
[JOE]: Wow. Now walk us through what kind of a typical miracle morning would look like, and then maybe we can continue talking to the people that aren’t morning people. Because it sounds like you’ve convinced a bunch of people that, “Hey, this actually works and it sounds like it actually is working.” So, I’d love to kind of hear like what does that practically look like when someone wakes up? They wake up at what time then? Then what do they do?
[HAL]: Yeah, so, The Miracle Morning is very customizable. That was something that when I wrote the book, I didn’t want people to feel like, you know, there was only one way. I know personally, I like options. Like when I go to yoga, my favorite yoga instructor is the one, his name is Jay Jay. And he goes, “All right, let’s get in this position. Now you have options here. You could twist, you could move,” you know. Like I love, it feels good to be able to like, “Yeah, let me make this the way that it feels good for me.” So, The Miracle Morning is very scalable in terms of what practices you do, which order you do them, what time you started, and how long it is.
And I’ll tell you, most people do a one-hour miracle morning. My first miracle morning was six practices, 10 minutes each. And the six practices are very specific, but you could do all six of them. You could just do three of them. You could do them in a different order. You could alternate where Monday, Wednesday, Friday you do these three, Tuesday, Thursday you do these, right? So, it’s customizable, but, the practice and to make it very memorable, and I owe this to my wife. It’s kind of funny. It’s an acronym. So, I’ll tell you the acronym here in a sec, but first, a quick back story.
I was writing the book and I had these six random practices that I, you know, again, they’re timeless. I didn’t invent these. And one day I was working on the book and my wife, I was like, “Sweetie, I need some like creative feedback.” And she goes, “Okay, what’s up?” I said, “I’ve got these six practices, none of them are new, I didn’t invent any of them. And I have no way of like, they’re not tied together and they’re just a buffet.” And I said, “Robert Kiyosaki’s got the Cashflow Quadrant. Stephen Covey’s got the 7 Habits of Highly … ,” and I was like, “All these authors have a system that’s memorable, that’s organized and I don’t, I can’t figure that out.”
And she goes, “Why don’t you get a Thesaurus and see if you can replace some of these six words and turn it into an acronym?” And I was like, “You’re brilliant.” And so, meditation became silence and journaling became scribing. And the acronym is SAVERS, s a, v, e, r, s. And it could not, I really feel like it couldn’t be more perfect because I really feel these are the six practices that are virtually guaranteed to save us from missing out on the life that we all want, the life we deserve, our full potential.
So, the SAVERS are silence, meditation, prayer., that’s the first part of the day. And most people, you know, they start the day in chaos, right? It’s like they wait until the last minute to wake up. They’re rushing around the house trying to get out the door. If you’ve got kids, you’re getting kids ready, right? And starting your day in peaceful, purposeful silence is, I mean, it’s priceless. The value of doing it. And if you don’t do it, you know, you don’t really get it until you get, until you do it. But, you know, there are over 1400 scientific studies on the physical, mental, emotional benefits of meditation.
And meditation is something that I think a lot of people, myself included, I first thought it was a woo woo thing and then I read an article about Fortune 500 CEOs that meditate. And I was like, “Wait, fortune 500 CEOs?” And they talked about how they do it for mental clarity and they have their best ideas and their creativity is enhanced. And I went, “Okay, that I can buy and all that.” So, the A is for affirmations and affirmations have a bad rap the way that they’ve been taught for, I don’t know how long through centuries by cell phone —
[JOE]: You’re good enough, smart enough and [crosstalk]
[HAL]: Yes. So, that was one of you, if you watch Saturday Night Live in the nineties, you’ve got the Smalley thing, which made a joke out of it. But I think there are really two big problems with the way affirmations have been taught for as long as I know before I was around. Number one is using language that is false, right? Which, or lying to yourself in layman’s terms, meaning you know, if you want to be something we’ve been taught that the words, “I am,” are the most powerful words in the English language and that you follow those with whatever you want to be.
So, if you want to be wealthy or let’s say a millionaire, you say, “I am a millionaire.” But the problem is, the truth will always prevail. And if you’re like, “I am blank,” but you’re not actually blank, then you’re lying to yourself and trying to convince yourself of something that’s not true. And so, if you go, “I’m a millionaire,” but, you know, you’re not there yet, or you’re not even a thousandaire, you know, your subconscious goes, “No, you’re not.” And you’re fighting that and you’re like, “No, no, shut up. I’m trying to do my affirmation true.”
[JOE]: “You’re so terrible at affirmations.”
[HAL]: Yeah. You are now piling liar on this thing that isn’t true. So, and then the second problem with affirmations, the way we’ve been taught is that we’re taught to use this flowery passive language that makes us feel good in the moment but is really counterproductive. And I’ll give you an example. We’ll stick with the kind of the financial affirmation. There’s a really popular financial affirmation or some variation of this that says, “I am a money magnet. Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance.”
And why do people, a lot of people say that and they like it. Now, why? Because that gives you temporary relief from your money woes, right? If you’re, if you check your bank account in the morning and you’re like, “Oh, I got, I’m negative again. My balance’s a negative,” you go, “Okay, I’m going to do my affirmations. I need, I feel like, I don’t feel good looking at that, the reality of my bank account balance.” So, I’m just going to say, “I am a money magnet. Money flows to me. Oh, that feels good.” Right?
But that doesn’t. All it does is give you, it actually gives you like a false sense of relief. Like, “No, no, no. Money doesn’t flow effortlessly to people because they sit on their couch and tell themselves it does.” Right?
[HAL]: So, the way that I teach affirmations in the book and every single one, you know, all these practices are very, a lot of them are woo woo spiritual. I’m really a result-oriented person. Like if I’m doing anything to improve my bank account balance, to improve my marriage, to lose weight, like I want to see measurable improvements, right? I don’t want to just feel good while I tell myself money’s going to show up someday, right? So, the way that I teach affirmations in the book is they’ve got to be rooted in truth. You know, don’t write down, you don’t say you’re something that you’re not. Affirm what you’re committed to.
So, if you want to be a millionaire, that’s great, but don’t say, “I’m a millionaire.” Say, “I’m committed to becoming a millionaire,” and then reinforce that. The second part of the affirmation is why is that deeply meaningful to you? Like, get clear in writing. Articulate why it’s so meaningful for you to generate whatever that result is that you’ve committed to in writing in your affirmation that that’s the leverage that you need. Like, “Dude, I’m going to wake up early. I’m going to do whatever it takes,” because like for me, I wanted to be, when I was in my twenties, I wanted to be wealthy, right? But it was mostly because of the shallow pursuits of like, “Well, I want fancy cars and cool houses and to wine and dine, and women or whatever. Like in my early twenties, that was what was important to me and it was never enough to drive me because those are just kind of fun things that I don’t need.
And then when I had my first child, I was the breadwinner that, you know, then becoming wealthy was to provide financial freedom and security for my family who was counting on me for that, right? And that was the leverage that deeply was the leverage that I needed to do whatever it took within, you know, integrity and morals and all that. But like now, that gave me leverage. The third part of the affirmation formula I teach in the book is, what specific actions must you take that will make your success inevitable?
So, if you get clear on, “I want to lose weight,” well, okay, then you know, what do you need to do? You need to exercise, you know, 20 minutes of cardio a day and limiting your calories to under 2000. You can’t not lose weight if you’re burning more calories than you’re taking in, right? So, I’m all about making success inevitable.
And then the fourth aspect is when were you committed to taking those activities, those actions? You know, so, we’re really, so, this affirmation formula that we teach in the book is like, this is rude. It’s not, you know, you’re not lying. You’re not using this flowery passive language that makes you feel good. This is rooted in truth. It’s reinforcing the commitment, the actions that are necessary, reminding why you’re committed to doing it. You know?
So, this to me, and this is, I’m going more in-depth on affirmations, but this is how I try to break down all the SAVERS is how can you make meditation? How can you make visualization? All of these things. The V SAVERS is for visualization and I won’t say a lot on that except for the world’s greatest athletes are famous for visualizing themselves performing at their peak before they go into actual performance. Before they go to practice, they see themselves working hard practicing.
Mostly it’s game time, right? They sieve themselves, they visualize, you know, they go for visualizers, the perfect stroke. And because they’ve gone there in their mind in the morning before they actually step onto the field or the course, then when they actually have the ball in their hand, the club in their hand, they’ve already been there in their mind. And it’s that much easier to go there in real time and so I say it’s if the world’s greatest athletes are maximizing, they’re fulfilling their potential by visualizing what that looks like and feels like the first thing, then when it’s time to actually do it, you’re ready.
And I’ve used it for everything when I was training for that ultra-marathon. I hate running. So, I visualized running with a smile on my face. I visualized myself getting my running shoes on in the morning, heading out the front door, smiling, enjoying it, feeling good so that when it was time to actually run, I had already created… And let me say this. I believe that the number one key to visualization being effective is all about creating a vision of what you need to do, what you have to do that day, not just the end result, not just seeing yourself crossing the finish line or looking at a vision board with a mansion on it. No, no, no, no, no, no, no.
The most important visualization, the most important part is what do you have to do today? See yourself doing today what will get you to that finish line, that mansion, that ideal weight, that whatever and see yourself doing it and feel the, create the emotions while you see the vision. You’ve got to generate the ideal emotions so that when it’s game time, when it’s time to run out that front door or jump on the phone and make sales calls or open your computer and start typing your book, you’ve got, you’ve already generated it during visualization, the clarity, the confidence, the energy, the motivation, the happiness, the joy, the gratitude, whatever the emotion is. You’ve seen yourself performing the activity, but you’ve generated that emotion. So, when it’s timed from the activity, the emotions are automatically right there at your fingertips.
[JOE]: [crosstalk] That reminds me of, I think it’s in The Power of Habit. Charles Duhigg is talking about Michael Phelps in, I forget which Olympics it was, but it was that one where he just like one by like a fingertip, that his goggles, there was something wrong with them and they filled up with water. But because he had visualized exactly how everything is, and he just knew it. You know, he did the same like playlists before he goes out there, the same warmup, that it just was automated for him.
And I think that we don’t give enough power to visualizations and thinking through your day. A habit that I have is after I drop off my daughter at school, it’s probably a 10-minute drive to where my office is and I just kind of think through what is it that are kind of the big things that I want to hit right first thing in the morning that if I just completed those, I feel awesome about the rest of the day? What are those, you know, as Jay Papasan and Gary Keller say, “What’s the one thing that’s going make everything else easier?” Really visualizing that is such an effective tool early in the day.
[HAL]: Yeah, absolutely. Absolutely. So, you want me to keep going with them?
[JOE]: Yeah. What’s the E of SAVERS?
[HAL]: So, the E is exercise and I won’t say a lot about that because it’s pretty self-explanatory. But here’s what I’ll say. If you’re listening and you’re like, “Oh, no, no I … ,” well if you don’t exercise at all, obviously this is very important. If you’re like, “Oh no, I already go to the gym but I go after work or I go on my lunch break or I run in the evening or whatever,” I’m not telling you that you need to replace that with morning exercise. What I am telling you is both the scientifically proven benefits, but also just the common-sense benefits of exercise. When you exercise in the morning, you’re getting blood and oxygen, you’re waking up your entire lymph system, right?
You’re getting blood at your nervous system, blood and oxygen getting to your brain, you’re going to think clearly and have more clarity, more energy, more motivation. You’re going to have more discipline, you know, more energy throughout the day. So, just even five minutes of exercise in the morning or as little as one minute, like on days where I don’t have, I’m like, I got a project or something I will do, like there’s almost no day where I won’t do at least 60 seconds of jumping jacks.
And so, that’s all your miracle morning needs to include. But 60 seconds of jumping jacks? At the end of those who are like, “Oh, okay.” Like you’re awake, right? The blood is flowing, the oxygen’s flowing. So, I’m not telling you that you need to replace, you know, a full workout routine in the morning and do it in the morning. You just need to move your body in the morning, do some stretching, some exercise, you know, run up and down the driveway, whatever. Go for a walk, do some yoga, something.
One of my, if you like apps, one of my favorite apps for exercise in the morning is 7 Minute Workout. And there’s a free version on the iPhone and probably, I think all devices. But that’s a seven-minute full body workout. And I do with my kid, you know, and then if you have kids, by the way, if you have kids, this is crucial, go to YouTube and search up Cosmic Kids Yoga.
[JOE]: Yes. Oh my God, Hal. I love Cosmic Kids Yoga. Our daughters, that lady is such a good storyteller. It’s so good.
[HAL]: Yeah, yeah, yeah. So, yeah, it’s incredible and my kids love it. My kids, like we do a 7-minute work out together. The kids, we alternate between 7 Minute Workout and Cosmic Kids Yoga kind of typically, but on, so, yes, so do a little exercise in the morning.
[HAL]: The R is for reading and again, pretty self-explanatory. Obviously, I’m referring to, you know, reading personal development, professional development books that will, you know, consider that all of us, every single one of us, if you want to improve in your age, your life, there’s a book on that, right? You want to be happier, there are hundreds of books on that. You want to have a better marriage, there are hundreds of books. And it kills me when, you know, if you’re asking, I said this in The Miracle Morning in the book, I said, if you ask the average person that’s, let’s say getting a divorce. And my parents got a divorce a few years ago so, I think that’s, it was around that same time, and that was why I kind of got present to that.
You know how difficult that is but if you asked the average person that’s getting a divorce, how many books have you and your spouse read on having an incredible marriage in the last six months, you know? And what do you think most people would say?
[JOE]: I mean, working with people that get divorces, usually it’s maybe one that they’ve read and that’s usually the recommendation of a therapist.
[HAL]: Right. And it’s not, but see, most people getting a divorce are not going to a therapist, right? And so, most people, I think the answer for most of zero. I mean most, the percentage of that that read self-help books is like, it’s less than five or something or seven or you know, it’s really low. So, it’s like, if we’re not, you know, if we’re not gaining knowledge, I mean, if you read just one book on how to have a great marriage, you’d have a whole new skill set that you could apply, right? So, and I’m not —
[JOE]: But, I mean for years we gave the seven principles that make marriage work by John and Julie Gottman as our wedding present. And we were like, “Even if they don’t read it,” we talk to friends and of course in the first year they are like, “Oh, we don’t need that.” But by year six or seven, it’s like, “Oh, I’m really glad that’s still on our bookshelf.”
[HAL]: Dude, it’s funny I have that book and I don’t think I’ve read it, so I don’t know.
[JOE]: Oh, Hal, you have to.
[HAL]: I have to find it. What’s it called? The Seven –?
[JOE]: The Seven Principles that Make Marriage Work. John and Julie Gottman. Actually, Julie, I’m interviewing next week, so, we’ll probably release yours and Julie’s around the same time.
[HAL]: Very cool.
[JOE]: But just, they’ve been doing 40 years of research on what makes marriages work. It’s incredible. My wife, Christina and I actually went through their art and science of love workshop out in Seattle with them. It’s a two-day workshop and it really just gave us so many practical tools and not that I went into it thinking I’m a therapist, I don’t have anything to learn. I definitely was open, but I was amazed at just how practical it was for our marriage and things that we still use today.
[HAL]: No worries. So, the R for reading, right? You know, we’re all one book away from learning anything. We need to learn to take any level of our life to the next level. And the final S is scribing and scribing as a fancy or a pretentious word for writing. I just needed an S for, you know, it basically journaling. But the power of putting pen to paper, and I’ll tell you my favorite journal is called The Five-Minute Journal. I think you can get it online at fiveminutejournal.com.
I use the app. It’s also a hardbound journal. So, if you like to write by hand, I personally like the app because you can upload a picture every day and every day I try to get one picture. Usually, it’s of me with my family or if I’m giving a speech, I’ll take a picture from the stage or, but it’s just, it’s to capture like what was the highlight of the day. And then every day you write down what you, in the morning, there are two entries in the morning. It’s what you’re grateful for and the three most important things for you to do that day, which just helps you take your to-do list of a dozen things and clarify, “Okay, yeah, I can be busy all day, but what are the three that are really the game changer?”
So, I love the Five-Minute Journal app, but the power of putting pen to paper it, you know, clarifying your thoughts is so valuable. And my favorite part of journaling, which you only realize, you know, after enough time goes by, but it’s going back and reading your old journals. I actually just a few days ago pulled my journals off the shelf from 2008 when I first started The Miracle Morning before it was a book or a movement or anything and it was just wild. I’d go, “Man,” like, you know, just to be, just to go, be able to see what you were dreaming of then in thinking about and where you are at and who you were and you know, and just to, it really helps you to get a perspective on how far you’ve come, you know, by reviewing those old journals.
[JOE]: I love going back to books that I read a few years ago because I have kind of a way that I’d take notes within them and then capture ideas in the back of the book and to go back and say, “Oh my gosh! That’s the seed of this idea that came to fruition.” Or, “Wow, I didn’t end up doing that, but I shifted in a different way.” It’d be great to go back and kind of look at those old mindsets.
[HAL]: Yeah, absolutely. And let me, I’ll wrap this up. The last thing I’ll say on this is, one of my favorite authors, Robert Kiyosaki who wrote the book Rich Dad, Poor Dad, a few years ago, he reached out to me and said he had read The Miracle Morning three times, which you know, to have an author that you’re a fan of telling you he read your book three times it’s crazy. And he said it’s changed his life and he interviewed me on his Rich Dad radio show and at the end he said, I always tell this little wrap up because he said this better than I ever did.
And he said, “Hal, what makes The Miracle Morning so transformative for people?” The reason they get, you know, it changes people’s lives so quickly I think is he said, “Before The Miracle Morning, those six practices that, you know, the SAVERS that you teach, he said, I don’t think there’s a person on the planet, a successful person that doesn’t swear by at least one of those.
He said, “But I also had never met anyone that did all six of them, you know, not even three of them let alone six.” He said, “Any one of those can change your life radically and quickly.” And he said, “I think what makes The Miracle Morning truly a miracle … And I’m paraphrasing of course, but he said, “What makes The Miracle Morning a miracle for people is you’re not just harnessing one or even two or even three, but you’re putting into practice the six most timeless proven personal development practices in the history of humanity and how can that not, you know, you’ll not see amazing results from that.”
And so, I think that was just a great thing. It’s, yeah, if you in The Miracle Morning, in the book, you know, we talked about customizing and like I said, I always say, I give a 30-day challenge at the end of the book and I say, do all six practice for 30 days and then customize it and you might decide, “You know what, I don’t like, for me visualization, I only use that when I’ve got something specific for the day. For whatever reason doesn’t resonate with me. A lot of people, that’s their favorite one of the SAVERS. Some people say affirmations is tough for them. That’s my favorite.”
It’s, you know, everybody’s different. I say do all six for 30 days, give them all a chance and then you’ll know how you want to, like some people go, “Man, I can’t meditate first Hal. All fall back to sleep on the couch,” you know? “So, I got exercise first. Run and get the blood flowing.” You know, so and for me, like if I’m tired in the morning, if I have a day where I wake up and I got the hit by a truck syndrome, like “Oh my gosh, I feel exhausted,” I’ll do those jumping jacks. And then I’ll be like, “All right, I’m awake,” you know, and then I’ll do the other practices.
So, you can really play with it. You can customize it not just as a whole one time, but you can literally play with it based on what’s going on in your life or in your day or how late you were up or whatever you can adjust it as needed.
[JOE]: Yeah. And I think there are so many tools that are out there, especially, you know, like with meditation for example, like the Muse biofeedback headband or there are some great YouTube videos on kind of meditation. I mean, specific types of meditation or, you know, each of these things has a wealth of resources out there because they work so well. And I love that you brought all six of them together.
Now, since you’ve launched The Miracle Morning, I imagine that you’ve adapted it differently in your life and you know, maybe you have new applications of different parts of it. Take us kind of in the last year or so. How have things gone with The Miracle Morning? Also, are there kind of new adaptations beyond what you wrote in the book?
[HAL]: So, yeah, I mean, I’m always kind of adjusting, customizing my miracle morning. The book itself rent itself, it became a book series. So, we have The Miracle Morning for, there are about 13 titles, give or take miracle morning for entrepreneurs, for salespeople, for parents and families, for writers. The miracle morning for couples comes out this coming back Valentine’s Day. So, we have a lot of different iterations and each one is very customized with unique content. The first part of the book kind of customized The Miracle Morning for, you know, whatever the niches, right? For a real estate agent, for a salesperson, for an entrepreneur. And then, but the other, the second half of the book is completely customized content from experts in that genre that I partner with as my coauthors.
And then The Miracle Morning documentary, it’s almost done. It’s like it’s done, but we’re just finishing like sound and technical stuff that I don’t really understand what they’re doing over there. But yeah, so, we actually did a documentary that followed my journey of, you know, I told my car accident story and then as you know, a couple of years ago was diagnosed with a really rare and aggressive form of cancer and given a 20 to 30% chance of living. And that was in the middle of filming the movie. So, my filmmaker, I said, “Hey, we got to put the movie on hold.” And he goes, “Are you kidding me? This is, we have to capture this as part of the story.” And I was just trying to not die, right. I was trying to live.
So, I was like, but luckily, he had the foresight to see that and he filmed me getting chemo and he filmed me at my lowest points and in tears and throwing up. And I mean, it was, and when you watch the film, the first half of the film is great. The second half of the film is where it goes from good to like, just, it’s extraordinary. And it’s because of his vision to capture the most difficult time in my life and how I overcame that. And so, and then beyond that, I don’t want to miss this part, but we went around and filmed world-class individuals from, you know, world champion athletes, to CEOs, to bestselling authors, to some of the top podcasters in the world too, as well as just everyday folks, if you will, who have radically changed their life with The Miracle Morning.
And all the way around the world, we went to Kenya and this woman who was blind and Kenya single mom, like, which The Miracle Morning changed her life. And we went out there and filmed her and she speaks in high schools now across Kenya teaching The Miracle Morning to students. I mean it’s just, the way it’s become, this global movement, it’s crazy to be. It’s blowing my mind, you know, every day. But, yeah, so I’m sorry I’m just rambling but I can just go like there are so many things happening.
[JOE]: Well, and to have an idea that you launched into the world and its no longer just Hal’s idea. Even if you came up with it, like to see it create its own entity, its own organism that is out there kind of beyond yourself is really cool to see. I want to go back to when you were going through cancer treatment. How did that shape or change you?
[HAL]: The biggest thing that it did, so because I had the hindsight of my car accident, like I always said after my car accident, it was the best thing that ever happened to me. People go, “Oh, you poor thing. Man at 20 to be told you’re never going to walk in and break all these bones, that’s so terrible.” I go, “No, no. It was the best thing that ever happened to me because it made me stronger.” And, my life’s work was born from that and I wouldn’t be able to help all the people I helped if I didn’t go through that. You know, I don’t think I would have.
People were, you know, more likely to listen and go, “Whoa, you went through what? And you were still happy and you didn’t even feel sorry for yourself?” Like, then they were like, “Oh shoot, the stuff I’m going through doesn’t even actually even compare to that. Tell me what, how do you do that? So, that was big, that for me, I always said was the best thing that ever happened to me. And as soon as I was diagnosed with cancer like literally the day I was diagnosed, I told my best friend, I said, he was like, you know, “Oh my gosh, Hal I’m so sorry.”
I said, “Don’t be sorry. This is, I have faith this will be the new best thing that ever happened to me.” And, I obviously, there’s something I’m meant to get through this and learn from this and help other people.” And so, that was the first thing, was immediately I was like, “All right, this is the next challenge that I’ve got to take on and figure this out and I’m going to be that.” And I decided I am going, and this is actually, I think an important lesson for anybody.
I decided that I will be the happiest and the most grateful I’ve ever been every single day while I go through the most, what I imagined this cancer journey would be the most difficult time in my life. And it was, and I was the happiest, most grateful I’ve ever been, and the most optimistic, every single day. I remember I was throwing up and I’d go, “Hey, well, if I can enjoy throwing up, I can enjoy anything.” And I’m the toilet puking and just smiling and just feeling genuinely grateful for everything.
[JOE]: Yeah. You know, it’s interesting. When I was going through treatment down in Texas, my wife and daughter were really sick the first day that I was going in there for just, it wasn’t even starting the treatment. It was more like all the assessments and blood tests and all that. And this billing lady had said something really like, just harsh to me like first thing in the morning and said like, “Take lots of pictures because you’re going to lose your hair.”
And like the treatment I was having, I wasn’t supposed to lose my hair and I went in this mental tailspin and went down to get my blood drawn. And it was just like this kind of chaotic situation down there where you know, people are like yelling out names and like turning your green farms. And I’m like, so just pissed that I had cancer and all this and I sit down and I’m like, “kay, what would I tell my clients in this situation?”
I tell them, fake it till you make it. I tell them, you know, find some gratitude. I’d probably tell them to take some deep breaths. And I was like, “Let’s see if this counseling crap actually works.” So, I like took a deep breath, I put a smile on my face and I started thinking about, you know, some kind of gratitude things like, you know, my Michigan health insurance has this place in Texas in network and we’ve got some savings so that even if we have some expenses, we don’t have to have a spaghetti dinner.
And the type of cancer that I had was highly treatable. And then I remember looking around and seeing this guy who he was missing a jaw and then there was this elderly couple.
[HAL]: Oh, yeah, I saw those too, man.
[JOE]: Oh, man. And then there’s this elderly couple and I couldn’t tell which of the two had cancer. They were both just so frail. And like then there was a family that had this kid that you could tell the kid had cancer. And it’s amazing how that intentional like, “I’m going to have some gratitude here,” and not that we just turn crap into rose-colored glasses, but there is something somewhere in moments that if we say, you know, “I’m going to get through this with a positive attitude. It really shapes kind of the way you view the world and the way you view adversity as an opportunity.
[HAL]: Yeah, I agree. I mean that’s, you know, it’s old, it’s not what happens to you. It’s what you do with it that matters. And, yeah, and again, I learned that in my car accident and in fact it’s funny, but the doctors, when I was going through my car accident, they thought I was delusional and in denial because I was so happy and positive. They thought it was like, you know, that it couldn’t have been like real. And yeah, it was pretty interesting. And so, they thought that I couldn’t accept my reality and it was the opposite. I’d go, “No, no, no. I’ve totally accepted my reality.” In fact, I said, “If I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life, I might as well be the happiest and the most grateful person that you’ve ever seen in a wheelchair, because I’m in a wheelchair either way, right? Like we can’t let our circumstances define our quality of life and they don’t have to.
[JOE]: Yeah. I had this intern who was working on his bachelors in social work and I was running this sailing program where we took the kids out sailing and did counseling on the sailboat. And when he was in the military, he was given this mandatory immunization that ended up making him go blind and had like five or six other people had the same reaction. And you would never, like this guy, he has embraced that. He’s now like one of the top blind sailors, visually impaired sailors in the world. He goes around talking to vets and you know, then there are other people that lose their sight and you know, they don’t have kind of that inside them or haven’t developed it or whatever the reason is.
But it’s just amazing to see those kinds of people that are out there, that have taken wherever they’re at and said, why shouldn’t I be happy and enjoy the kind of life that I want?
[HAL]: Yeah, absolutely.
[JOE]: Now Hal, if every private practice owner in the world were listening right now, what would you want them to take away?
[HAL]: Oh, and I think it goes back to that Jim Rohn quote, that “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.” And the idea that if you want to be happier, which we do, healthier, I mean, if you want to optimize your life and really live to your full potential, which we all have the capability, it’s not so much about what you do as much as who you become. And granted of course, what you do determine who you become, but that’s what The Miracle Morning is for me. It’s not about, you know, just being an early riser. It’s about starting your day dedicated to personal development so that you can become a better version of the person that you were when you went to bed the night before.
More knowledge, more belief, more, you know, greater skills to end. And when you do that every day, when every single day you become better than you were, the day before, every single day you are moving in the direction of the most extraordinary person you can be, therefore, who has the ability to create the most extraordinary life that you can imagine. And then, to put the icing on that is at the same time, you know, we feel like we often, I call it gap focus, where we focus on the gap between where we are and where we could be, should be, want to be where somebody else is that we envy, whatever. And that gets so important that to maintain this balance between being at peace with where you are while you maintain a healthy sense of urgency to get where you want to go.
Because for almost anybody, you know, at least I’ve found when you finally arrive at various points in your life, when you finally get to the place that you’ve been working so hard for so long, you know, and you’ve had, most people have so much stress trying to get there. You almost, when you finally arrived, you almost never wished would have happened any sooner. You know, instead, you look back in hindsight and you see, “Oh, the journey and the timing were perfect. I had to go through all that adversity.”
And so, with that, don’t wait. You know, don’t suffer for, you know, an extended period of time for years and look back and go, “Why did I suffer when I was going to get here anyway? I just had to go through all that stuff.” Just be at peace every day, every step of the way. Enjoy the journey as they say, I didn’t mean to rhyme all those and, but also have that sense of urgency where every day I’m going to up, I’m going to dedicate time to becoming the person that I need to be, that can, and continue moving forward in the direction of everything that I want for my life.
[JOE]: Oh, that’s so awesome. Ah, Hal, I know you’ve got some resources on your website. Maybe tell us a little bit about those first steps people can take with the gift that you’re giving them.
[HAL]: Yeah. If you go to miraclemorning.com and you know, I will email you what I call The Miracle Morning crash course and it’s the first few chapters of the book so that you, and if you want to buy the book, of course, you’re like, “No, I’m like, I’m convinced. I’m right. I’m going to give this a shot,” go to Amazon to get the audiobook, Kindle, whatever. But if you want to just like check it out first, miraclemorning.com you can get the first few chapters free.
You’ll also get emailed a link to a 15-minute video training where I kind of give an overview of The Miracle Morning; it was actually a speech, me on stage teaching this and then a 60-minute audio interview that I did on The Miracle Morning. So, it’s kind of like if you’re visual, you can watch the video if you want to read, right, you can do whatever you want. But that’s a great place to start.
And then last but not least, and this is, I should have mentioned this earlier, but better late than never. And that is The Miracle Morning Community is a Facebook group. It’s called The Miracle Morning Community with 180,000 people. And I actually, I sometimes I cringe when I say that because I give the impression that it’s just big. What’s impressive about it isn’t this amount of people, it’s the engagement level. I’ve never seen a more loving, supportive, conscious group of human beings and especially in an online community that is, every day they wake up and they go in there and they support each other and in around The Miracle Morning, but in ways, whatever ways are needed.
So, I encourage anybody listening, go join The Miracle Morning Community. It’s free. We’re not selling anything. There’s no, you know, it’s just a community for people to connect. And then that’s even, I always say, even, you know, before the book arrives, like go there and just scroll posts and you’ll be like, “Okay, unless all of these 180,000 people are like paid actors, this is crazy. How passionate and how, like how this miracle morning thing’s changing their lives?” I, you know, it’s pretty wild.
[JOE]: Oh, that’s so awesome. Well, we’ll have links to all of those things in the show notes. We’ll have that Jim Rohn quote in there. We’ll have the SAVERS acronym in there. We’ll have some links to my favorite meditation videos on YouTube, and also that Cosmic Kids Yoga. And we’ve got the 7 Minute Workout, Power of Habit, Five Minute Journal and Rich Dad Poor Dad. We’ll have all those links in the show notes as well.
Hal, thank you so much for being on the Practice of the Practice podcast.
[HAL]: Seriously Joe, it is my honor and my pleasure. I really appreciate you having me on and everyone that tuned in. Thank you for your time and I hope I see you in The Miracle Morning Community.
[JOE]: Sounds good. See you soon.
What an amazing interview. Just so good. So excited that Hal was able to come out and to connect with him. Go take some action based on what you learned from Hal. Just such important information for how you live your life this year, how you kind of plan your success and just the things that you’re doing in your own life outside of just running a business.
Next week we’re going to have Kelly Higdon on to talk about how to plan out your year. She’s amazing. One of my closest friends, she and Greg and Claire are just amazing people and can’t wait for you to hang out with her. Also, thanks so much to Brighter Vision for being a sponsor. If you want that discount on this first year of Brighter Vision website, now’s the time to switch over. If you have a junky website and you want an amazing website, head on over to brightervision.com/joe. They’ll give you an awesome website and thanks so much for letting me into your ears and into your brain having an amazing day. Bye.
Special thanks to the band Silence is Sexy for your intro music. We love it. And this podcast is designed to provide accurate and authoritative information in regards to the subject matter covered. It’s given with the understanding that neither the host, the publisher, or the guests are rendering legal, accounting, clinical, or other professional information. If you want a professional, you should find one.