Almost everyone has big plans to change their lives for the better starting each New Year’s Day, yet so many people will fall out of the groove and lose the motivation to push forward. Will you still be hitting the gym, eating healthier, writing that book, or pursuing that new personal or professional goal after January has come and gone?
In today’s very special conversation, Jon Berghoff and I will share our top 3 strategies to help you achieve your goals, as well as life-changing stories from the past year, and ways to truly live a life that’s aligned with what matters most to you.
- Why so many people suck at reaching their goals—and what you can do to set yourself up to succeed in 2018 and beyond!
- The importance of behaving in alignment with what you truly value in life.
- How to commit to your process without being emotionally attached to the results—and why that’s a critical factor for achieving your goals.
- How to structure your physical environment in a way that removes obstacles preventing you from succeeding.
- Why we’re conditioned as children to resist accountability as adults—and the single best way to raise your level of commitment for any goal that you want to achieve!
- Why being open and asking questions will help you better connect with others, no matter what industry or environment you’re in.
- And much more…
[Tweet ““Without your health, nothing else matters.” – Hal Elrod”]
[Tweet ““Don’t believe people who say you can’t have it all.” – Jon Berghoff”]
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TRANSCRIPTClick here to Read the Transcript
Jon: Hey, everybody, welcome. If you’re watching in the live stream I’m here with Yo Pal. It’s our special New Year’s resolution edition of the Achieve Your Goals Podcast. Lance Carter, Natalie, good to see you. We’re on the live stream here. That’s who I’m giving a shout outs to. So, if you’re listening on the episode and you’re wondering, you’re curious, we also stream these live into the Miracle Morning Community, the Miracle Morning Facebook Community.
So, I’m going to be jumping on here with the one and only Yo Pal, Hal Elrod. It’s our first episode back together since the Best Year Ever Blueprint Event. This is our special edition New Year’s resolution episode and I’m really looking forward to what we’re going to be bringing your way. If you’re watching us live on the live stream, I’d like to invite you via the comments. Hey, Natalie, what’s up? So, feel free to share any questions if you’d like to direct towards Hal or myself and we will answer any questions we can related to goal setting, goal achievement, and the spirit of honoring. It is New Year’s resolution season which I want to talk about that in a little bit here but Hal’s back. Hal, you’re back.
Hal: I’m back.
Jon: Just to clarify, we stream these episodes live via video into the Miracle Morning Facebook groups, so you ought to come hang out there because this year I think one of the things we’re going to start doing is scheduling and announcing so that more people can catch up live with us versus just stumbling in.
Hal: Yeah. Look, everybody’s saying hi. Natalie says hi. Lance Carter, what’s up, buddy? Dokoru, that’s a beautiful name. I’m not sure I’m saying it right but hello.
Jon: We got Don. One after another.
Hal: Look at that. What are the odds? So, despite what Jon Berghoff is going to tell you in the next few minutes, this is a special time of year for setting goals.
Jon: I’ll clarify that. I promise.
Hal: As always, Jon’s got a contradictory opinion on some stuff, but it is a special time of year. I don’t care who you are. There is something that feels special. It’s man-made, self-created, but what is it, right? But the idea that a new year presents this time where it’s like, okay, you get to reflect on the past 12 months and look at what are the next 12 months, how can you make it your best year of your life? Of course, we did the Best Year Ever Blueprint as Jon mentioned. This is our first episode since the live event but that’s what the whole point is, how do you have your best year ever. And so, today being that it is the new year, it is the time when most folks we set goals and create New Year’s resolutions. We thought it’d be a great time to give you our top tips on how to achieve your goals in 2018 and, of course, the tips will be timeless. So, we might title the episode for 2018. It really is anytime you’re listening to this episode you’re going to be in good hands. It’s also, Jon, we’re about at our one-year anniversary of kind of a special celebration of you taking over the majority of the podcast.
Jon: Yeah. It’s almost exactly a year ago where you and I came on. We did episode 152 where you kind of introduced me to your audience and said for the foreseeable future I’m going to stand in to create some space for you to pour your energy into what mattered most for you and your personal healing journey, and if anybody is stumbling into this podcast for the first time right now and you’re like, “What are these guys talking about?” You can always go back and listen to episode 152 which was one that one of very few that I’ve actually gone back and listened to again. It was a moment that I’ll always remember. So, it’s great to be back with you, buddy. It means a lot to me that we’re here together and I’m looking forward to this year.
Hal: Yeah. Me too. So, it is a special time to set goals because it is the new year. It’s a new 12 months. Nice mug, Jonny. For those who are listening, Jonny’s got the poop emoji coffee mug that he’s drinking out of and it says, “Wait for it, wait for it.” So, what I was saying though is that most people suck at reaching their goals. You think about that and whether you call it resolution, a New Year’s resolution is really just another way of saying setting your goal. A goal and a resolution are essentially the same thing and most of us suck at reaching our goals. If you look at, I always loved the example of the gym. The first few weeks of January it’s packed and in February, it drops off quite a bit. March or April it just goes back to the way it was the last December before the New Year because people set goals but being able to set goals, there’s an art and science to that but the real art and science is how do you reach those goals. How do you consistently stay disciplined to take the actions that will ensure that you do reach your goals, you do make your resolutions come true, and this is your best year ever? How do you do that? That’s what we’re going to talk about today. So, JB, I’m happy to share first. Oh, there was something on the…
Jon: Yeah. Yeah. Yeah. Two things, number one, this is the first time you and I had been on an episode together since the Best Year Ever Blueprint Event back in November.
Jon: So, I just wanted to point that out and acknowledge that and the other thing, and actually this really what I want to ask you about is you just celebrated New Year’s in an amazing fashion. Can you tell everybody what you experienced a couple of nights ago which all started through the Front Row Foundation, so I’d love for you to share that with everybody?
Hal: Yeah. So, for those of you that don’t know, here’s the quick story. So, Front Row Foundation is a nonprofit similar to Make-A-Wish. They send people that are braving life-threatening illnesses to the front row of the event of their dreams. And that could be anything. So, they’ve sent people backstage. In fact, Jon Berghoff took a girl battling brain cancer to Kelly Clarkson and they went backstage. They met Kelly. It was a beautiful experience. They’ve taken people to your Phantom of the Opera front-row, the World Cup in Brazil or Italy or some other country, front row. And I have been a huge supporter. Jon and I were there when Jon Vroman, our good friend, have the idea for the Front Row Foundation 15 years ago, something like that, 10 years ago. So, I’ve been a big supporter and when I was diagnosed with cancer last year, Jon Vroman called me and he said, “Hal, you qualify now as a recipient for the Front Row Foundation,” and what a cool, I mean, it was really meaningful being that I’ve supported this charity, Jon and I, for over 10 years and now to be on the other end where I’m now receiving a front-row experience was amazing.
And so, for those of you who don’t know, I’m a huge UFC fan, Ultimate Fighting Championship, and the funniest, anyone that knows me thinks it’s weird until they get to know why I love it because I’m not a violent person. I’m like the gentlest person you know. In fact, I don’t like when they get too violent, but I love the skill and the mindset that it takes all of that. So, here’s the point. I wanted to go front-row to UFC event so Jon Vroman and the Front Row Foundation sent me to Madison Square Garden about a month or so ago. We sat second row which is pretty much the front row but second row and at the most amazing fight card. Madison Square Garden, legendary arena, Jon Berghoff was there. Jon Vroman was there. A handful of friends, my wife was with me. My dad was with us. It was amazing.
And halfway through the prelim fights, a big bodyguard, big security guy comes up and he says, “You Hal Elrod?” I went, “Oh, yeah. Uh-oh, did I get in trouble? What did I do?” He said the boss, Dana White, who if you don’t know who that is, he’s the president of the UFC. He said, “Dana wants to watch some fights with you in a private suite, Hal. Are you up for that?” And I look over at Jon Vroman and he goes, “Surprise, buddy.” My wife kind of smiles. They knew. And so, I go back. It’s like a dream come true. I’m watching fights on Dana’s leather couch with Dana and I’m a huge fan. So, we’re just talking fights. We’re just analyzing the fights in the night so far. We’re predicting what we think is going to happen. I’m totally I’m fanboying as you could feel right now and thanks to my wife, at the end of the night, Dana was talking to some friends that he grew up with that we’re in the backroom with him and I said, “I don’t want to bother, Dana. Let’s sneak out. We’ll head out. I don’t want to bother him.”
And so, I head out and my wife stops me. We leave the room and we closed the door behind us and she says, “Hal, you should go back and say thank you. That’s the polite thing to do.” Leave it to my wife to keep me on track with some common-sense politeness but she says, “That’s the polite thing to do. Go back and wait for him to quit his conversation and then say thank you.” I was like, “You’re right. What was I thinking?” So, I go back. Thank God for my wife always. I go back in and I wait for Dana. I shake his hand. I tell him how profusely grateful I am for this opportunity and he says, “Hal, wait a minute. I feel bad. I got distracted with some friend that I grew up with. I didn’t get to spend much time with you as I would’ve liked.” I had told him I’m going to the December 30th New Year’s Eve card in Vegas. I already had tickets. He said, “Did you say you’re going to that card?” I said, “Yeah.” He said, “Why don’t you do this? Take any fight on the card and you come sit with me at the broadcaster table with me, Joe Rogan.” And literally, it’s against the cage. There’s no more front row. This is the front row of front row. And he says, “Why don’t you sit with me?” and I was just like beyond ecstatic at that night.
So, here’s a little behind the scenes. I chose the co-main event instead of the main event with the hope that Dana would be like, “Hey, it’s cool. Just stay for the main event too.” I didn’t know if it would work but I thought I would go for it. So, I sit there for the co-main event. Mike Tyson is directly behind me and if you want to see, go to my Facebook page. I was trying to take a selfie
of Mike and with me in the picture and I think the fourth or fifth selfie I took, he saw my phone and you can look on Facebook, he’s glaring at my phone just deadeye really angry I think that I took an unsolicited selfie of Mike Tyson, not the guy you want to be pissed off at you for taking a selfie of him. But anyway, after the co-main event, the gal came up. She whispered in Dana’s ear and he looked back, and he said, “No, no, let him stay for the main event too.” And I was like, “Yes.” So, I got to geek out, talk fights with Dana. I heard matchmaking. Dana’s matchmaker came up and they were talking on who the next fight is going to be like I’m getting this behind the scenes. It was like dream come true, once in a lifetime experience. Thanks to Front Row Foundation. I am so grateful, so excited.
Jon: That’s awesome, buddy. What a great way to get to celebrate. And just a shout out and acknowledgment to Dana, you brought me and introduced me to UFC. One of the things that I’ve noticed about him personally is even as the UFC has grown into this global iconic brand almost, he is the kind of guy who all he wants to do is say yes to his fans and it’s amazing the way he chooses to be when he could be the opposite and a lot of people would probably say, “I get it.” He did everything he can to say yes which is…
Hal: When I asked, because I was texting with the security guard who arranges the fights for this weekend and I asked him, I said, “Hey, I’m just curious, between you and me, do you have any idea why Dana is doing all of this?” Because that’s the thing is he let me watch fights with him in Madison Square Garden. That was it and then not only did he let me watch fights with him personally, the 30th, but I got a text the day before. He goes, “Hal, Dana wants to upgrade your seats.” So, Dana upgraded me and my two friends that were with me to the front row of his private roped off section and we’re sitting with championship fighters on each side of us, celebrities like it was amazing and I asked him why is he doing all this and he said, “That’s just how Dana is, man. He loves his fans and when he met you in New York, he could just tell that you were genuinely a very passionate die-hard fan.” And so, he takes care of his fans, man. So, that was really cool.
And I will say this, since this is the Achieve Your Goals podcast, my buddy that was there with me, I said, “Hey, Matt, remember about five years ago when you and I talked about how we just want to make enough money, so we can afford to go to UFC events like front row someday?” Then Matt just nodded. And I said, “Dude, we’re leaving that dream,” and it’s amazing. You put something out there and you just keep it in front of you, you keep working towards it and eventually, I think success becomes inevitable. Anything that we stay committed to, we’re going to get there eventually. It just takes a matter of time.
Jon: That’s awesome. Well, buddy, that brings us to the reason we decided to jump on and shoot an episode today to talk about goal achievement and this is New Year’s resolution season and we just thought we’d reflect and share maybe a couple of our best thoughts or our most meaningful thoughts at least for us around goal achievement and so I’d love for us to get into that. Where do you want to start? Do you want to start? You want me to start? How would you like to do it?
Hal: I’ll start. I happen to know your first point and I think it’s actually a great follow-up to my first point so there you go.
Jon: All right. Great.
Hal: Awesome. All right. So, I’ll kick it off. So, this is going to be that the way I organize this, Jon. I always do things a little differently, but these are my top three tips to achieve your goals in 2018 and I did think of a fourth tip while we’re talking earlier so I don’t know if I slip that in or not but so here’s the deal. Number one, so if you’re taking notes and you should be. Why wouldn’t you be taking notes? We might say something valuable here.
Jon: Well, if you’re driving.
Hal: Fifty-fifty chance. Yeah. If you’re driving, take audio notes.
Jon: Or if you’re on a run.
Hal: Yeah. All right. Stop negating everything I say. All right. So, the first tip is to start with what matters most. That’s my number one tip for you. To achieve your goals this year, start with what matters most and you’ve probably heard me mentioning those three words, what matters most quite a bit over the last six months or so. I talked about it a little bit at the Best Year Ever Blueprint. I think we did a podcast episode on it. We got a Best Year Ever coaching call on that topic, but I want to give you a real tangible example of what I mean by that. So, with what matters most, those three words followed by a question mark, that’s the dominating question that I’ve had over the last year going through the cancer journey. What matters most to heal myself of cancer? What matters most to be the best dad I can possibly be? What matters most when it comes to be being the best husband that I can be? What matters most to my business thriving with as minimal input for me as possible so that I can be spending time with things that matter most to me which is really my family?
So, for me, here’s the difference. Before when I set goals, it was always like business was top of mind. That was always where I started, and it became my priority. And I think that it’s true for most entrepreneurs that you say that what matters most was let’s say our family. Our family matters most but then our schedule doesn’t reflect that. Our schedule doesn’t reflect that. You go, “Our goals don’t reflect that.” If what matters most is your family, why are they an afterthought in your goals or not even mentioned in your goals? If what matters most is your family, why does your daily ritual not include significant time with those people that supposedly matter most to you? And this is a big wake-up for me as I always said family matters most and I meant it in my heart but it’s one thing to mean something in your heart and to live it in a way where you are in alignment with that and so that it actually like my family if they know they matter most but they don’t feel it, they don’t see it, do they really matter most?
So, here’s the difference. This year my goals in the top three areas I set goals in, in this order of priority. So, here’s the big difference. It’s the priority of what matters most. Number one is health. My number one goal this year revolves around health and staying free from cancer for the rest of my life and I realize that this year with that alone, these goals hold more weight and more consequence than any goals of my life because cancer tries to come back. That’s one thing that I’ve learned. If you’ve had cancer, it tries to come back. You don’t get rid of it and then you wash your hands of it. It’s always trying to come back. And so, for me, I can’t let my guard down. I met a lot of them in the hospital that have cancer for their second, third, fourth time because they let their guard down and it came back. So, number one priority for me is health and I think for all of us without our health, you’ve heard this before, but I don’t care if you’ve heard it, I don’t care if you know it, conceptually, do you live it? Without your health, nothing else matters.
Even in their daily energy, let’s call health and energy they kind of go hand-in-hand. If you’re not eating foods that give you energy then you’re tired and you can’t be your best at work, you can’t be your best with your family, you can’t be your best with anybody. You’re not your best and you’re not happy. You’re not as happy. Well, you don’t feel energy. Energy and happy go hand-in-hand. When you’re energized, you feel happy. When you’re depressed, usually you’re tired so there’s a correlation there. So, number one, being healthy. Number two, my number two goals are around my family. How much time I play with my kids is one of my top goals. How much time I spend with my wife is one of my top goals. How often I call my mom and dad and my sister, those are my top goals. So, those are literally in writing at goals, fostering the relationships with the people in my life that matters most. And then the third area is business. And business is a passion of mine. It’s one of my favorite things to do in the world. It’s my passion and it’s how I provide for my family, but I realize that it’s how I provide for my family meaning it’s a means to an end. It’s a means to an end. Business allows me to buy healthy foods and exercise to do all those things and provide for my family and give myself the free time to spend and share with my wife, with my kids, with my loved ones.
So, that’s it. Start with what matters most. So, I’d encourage you this year to start with – and what matters most to you may not what matters most to me but I would say moth of us, that was a Mike Tyson quote, moth of us. For what matters for most of us, I would say health and family or loved ones if you don’t have a family, we’re all in our own, any situation, I’d say health and family should be at the top of the list for everybody. So, Jon, I think that’s a decent segue into anything you want to share on the topic.
Jon: Yes. So, I think it would be interesting for our listeners to know that the assignment that you and I gave each other before we got on this call was, “Hey, let’s each go off and privately reflect on what are the top two or three or four ideas that we want to share with this community about goal setting,” and I think it’s really interesting to know that on our own separately and then when we came back and shared our notes, your very first point is almost identical to mine, yet what’s cool is I have a totally different vocabulary that I used to make the point. So, but hopefully, people can get a distinction that might serve them differently and they’ll realize, “Wow, there’s a lot of alignment here.”
And so, the first point that I wanted to share today is it’s really about values and specifically and I first came across this idea and I was studying underneath the guy named Fred Kofman. Fred Kofman is a professor at MIT and he’s the Director of the Conscious Business Institute, and one of the things that he’s done is he’s gone out and he studied cultures that thrive and organization specifically where culture becomes a competitive advantage. That’s where Flourishing Leadership Institute, my company, that’s where we do all of our work. And so, I was learning from him and one of the things that I was learning from Fred, it really shaped a lot of my beliefs, a lot of what is important to me and it actually ended up really changing my life because as everyone will hear, this idea it was like a wake-up call for me.
And the idea is this. The idea is that when you think about this goal setting season that we are in, many of us, and you and I included, will set goals that are measurable, that are things that we want to achieve, things we want to attain, things we want to see happen in our lives, and that’s great and we should have goals like that. But one of the things that Fred taught me was that if we call those goals success, if we call achieving that success, he has a phrase and I just want to make sure I give him the credit for this that there’s something else that he calls success beyond success. And success beyond success is not about these things that we want to achieve but it’s about the ability to ask ourselves the question, what do I value, and then the ability to continuously align our behaviors with what we value. And there are some really interesting things that happen when for me at least when I made this a priority in my life and in fact it happened about two-and-half years ago at the time my wife and I had a four-year-old, a two-year-old and a newborn, and so…
Jon: Yeah. If you can imagine.
Jon: Yeah. Thank you. As Jim Gaffigan says, “It’s almost like you’re drowning and then somebody hands you a baby.”
Jon: Right? So, imagine this. That’s what’s going on in my life and in the same year, I literally left a career opportunity that financially it would’ve set up probably multiple generations of my family. I sold the home we were in. We moved across town and I left financial security to start the company that we’re operating today, and I did all of that for one simple reason. I did it because during that year I was asking myself the question, what do I really value? Or as you would say, what really matters most to me? And I’ll give everyone some examples of how that led to different changes and how you could think about this for yourselves. One example is I thought about how much I valued nature and not just for myself, and I could go way into why I value it for myself, but even as a source of renewal for my family. And so, that was one of the reasons why we moved our family across town in the middle of winter here in Cleveland to a home that backs up to 300 acres of natural preserve. I walk out my back door and I’m on trails going around the lake for miles and miles every single day.
And the reason we made that decision is because I kept asking what do I value? What do I value? And we live in a beautiful home, a beautiful neighborhood in another side of town that was great, but it was me realizing I really only get one shot at this thing called life and if I really say that I value something then I believe the most important thing I can do is figure out how to move myself towards being able to behave in alignment with those values. And so, that was just one example and it was not the only, we not only picked the home that we picked in the neighborhood so that we could back up to that nature, but we also picked the town that we picked because as my wife and I kept asking, what do we value, we realized we wanted to be around people that held certain values. And that when you look at communities and towns, they all have their own sets of values. And then we even thought about, well, why are we even staying in the Midwest? I grew up in Cupertino, California. I lived out in Virginia just outside of D.C. I’ve seen and been everywhere, but we stayed here because, on our regional level, there were values that we aligned with.
So literarily, when you think about this question, what do I value, we were asking the question on a regional, city level, neighborhood level, house level, and then even down to what’s happening inside of our home. Do we really value health and vitality? And if we do, then what are the decisions that we’re making when we’re at the grocery store? Because that’s the moment that the decision we make is going to shift our environment. It’s going to make it either easier or more difficult to align with those values. And I’ll give some more examples later on, Hal, when I get to some of my next points here about this, but I just want to share with everybody this one simple idea. That as you’re looking ahead this year and you’re thinking about the goals you want to achieve, I would like to suggest that maybe some of the most important goals are to ask this question that Hal presented or if you use the words I’m using, what matters most or what do you value and how can you figure out how to line up your life so that you’re continuously moving closer to closing that gap between what you say you value and how you’re actually behaving every day, how you’re actually showing up.
And there’s a caution I have, and the caution I have is don’t believe people who say that you can’t have it all. Don’t believe people who say that you can’t have it all. You can believe that and then that just becomes your truth, but I really believe that for me it’s actually become the opposite. It’s that I must have it all. I must decide to live in alignment with what I value with my family, with my health, with my spirituality, with my physical environment, and in my business. And in fact, when I decide what do I value in every area and I’m conscious of that, there’s a harmony that’s created where I move closer to actually having it all. The other caution that I want to offer is to be really careful when it comes to values and how we are being unconsciously influenced and I’ll give one example on this, Hal.
Jon: And it’s realizing that what’s true for me might not be true for you or true for one of our listeners. And in other words, for me, I’ve learned that a lot of the values that I’ve adopted in my life, they come from people I’m around. And when I think I’m making a good decision because I’m modeling people who I admire, one of the things I’ve learned to ask, a question I’ve learned to ask is, in what way do I want to be emulating that particular person who I admire? An example, the point I’m making is if there’s somebody who I admire how they run their business, I should be careful not to emulate their values in every other area of their life just because I like how they run their business. Or if I really value how somebody takes care of their health, I should learn from that but maybe not emulate what they’re doing at work or with their relationships. So, the point there is just very careful around who your influences are because sometimes when we have someone who we really admire for one reason, we might choose to adopt all of their values and that might not be the right thing.
Hal: I know naturally we tend to do that. We compartmentalize people. You go, “Oh, they’re awesome. They’re smart. I’ll do everything they do.” And then it goes back to the advice of that we’ve heard before which is don’t take advice from someone you wouldn’t trade places with. And I think that you had to look at each category because, I mean, just to your point I think that’s such a great point and I think it’s something that we’re not usually aware of. We tend to just take the whole person and go, “They’re smart. I’m doing everything.” In fact, you and I do that. You and I definitely purchased things that the other person said to purchase and then the other person was like, “Ah, we shouldn’t have bought that. That was terrible.”
Jon: Oh my gosh. Buddy, go ahead. That’s my first point.
Hal: All right. I love it. So, tip number two, to achieve your goals 2018 and beyond and this is one of my favorite. This is what I would personally call the secret to success, if you will, and it is commit to your process without being emotionally attached to the results. So, commit to your process without being emotionally attached to the results. What does that mean? It means that every goal that we set this year and anytime was always preceded by a process. So, whatever goal we’re trying to achieve, there’s a process that is required to achieve that goal. I’ll give you an example. This is how I’ve been achieving my goals every year for the last 18, 19 years. It was 1999 or 2000 actually, spring 2000. I was making sales calls one day and I had a terrible day on the phone where no one schedule with me, some ladies were rude, some people were rude, and I got off the phone just feeling not great. I didn’t feel good and I was like, “This sucks,” and I started thinking, “I’m going to get a different job that doesn’t have to do with the way I feel right now. I don’t like the way that I feel. I feel hurt and rejected and it doesn’t feel good and I don’t like it and I want to get a regular job where I just clock in and clock out and it’s easy.”
So, that’s what I was thinking. And then I had a realization that night falling asleep. You have those moments where you can’t fall asleep because your mind’s racing and you have brilliant ideas and hopefully you turn the light on and you write them down. So, I had this idea. I realize I’m focused on my results. I’m so focused on my results that all of my emotions are invested in my results. So, if I have good results, I feel good, and I have bad results, I feel bad. And I thought, “That’s not a winning game,” because I’m not in control of my results, not directly. I couldn’t control that no one scheduled in that day. I could do my best, but I can’t control if nobody wants to schedule that day. Nobody’s going to schedule. I can’t control how many will pick up the phone when I call. I can’t control their attitude or their mood on the phone. I can’t control what they decide to do. I can’t control if they show up to the appointment. I can’t control if they buy from me.
And so, I had this realization, I thought, “Wait a minute, my goals this year are really dependent on how many times I pick up the phone and dial the number. If I make 20 calls a day also X amount, if I were to double that and make 40 calls a day, well then I would double my sales.” On average I double. So, I just started to realize, “Wait a minute, why don’t I just commit to the process and just make the conscious decision that I’m not going to be emotionally attached to the results anymore?” And this applies to every area of life. And maybe some very current examples here in a second but here’s what happened. I pulled out a calculator and this is what you have to do. You have to define your process first. Before you commit to it, you have to know what it is. So, if you have a goal of losing weight, if you have a goal of writing a book, define how many pages do you need to write per day to be on track to finish your – so, if you’re going to write a 200-page book, write ten pages a day for 20 days, there you go. Now it probably takes a little longer than that. Write three pages a day for eight, whatever. Do the math. So, I decided I’m going to make 20 calls a day, five days a week and that should get me to my goal. And if I’m not at the end of five days, if I’m behind on my results, I’ll make an extra day or two of phone calls, but that was it. 20 calls a day.
So, here’s how this shows up for you in your life. It just minimizes stress and it allows you to be really focused on what matters most. So, in terms of achieving your goals. So, here’s what happened. I made 20 calls a day, five days a week and at the end of my 20 calls, I didn’t care if anyone set with me. I didn’t care who showed up in appointments that day. I didn’t care if they bought or not. I was never attached emotionally to my results because I knew that the process over the long-term, over the next 12 months, it would work itself out. I have a friend right now who’s trying to get in great shape and so he’s working out and he goes, “Hal.” He called me, and he said, “Hal, I’m trying this early on. I’ve been working out for a week and I’m not losing any weight. I’m staying the same, but I don’t know why. I’m working out so hard.” And I said, “Well, you’re probably gaining muscle while you’re burning fat and that’s going to offset the weight. So, why don’t you go measure your body fat percentage and don’t worry about the results of your weight. Just every day do your workout and measure the body fat percentage.” And so, he did that and he said his weight has not changed at all. It’s been three months now, but his body fat percentage went from 24%. It’s down to 14%. And that’s by him being committed to the process every day. He defined his exercise routine, what he was going to do and when he was going to do it and how often he was going to do it. He follows through with the process.
And I’ll give you one more example. Miracle Morning came out five years ago. We just had our five-year anniversary of the book publishing. Now, I decided applying the same strategy, I asked myself, “What’s the process that I can commit to that will promote the Miracle Morning?” You may not know this, standing behind the scenes, but I didn’t have a platform. I didn’t have a big email list. I didn’t have a bunch of connections. When the Miracle Morning came out, I had very few resources beyond what the average person would have. And so, I asked myself what would be the best way to promote the Miracle Morning? And there’s a lot of different ways but I decided that the fundamental strategy that I was going to implement because it costs nothing, it was free, just cost time, but any new strategy is going to cost time, I decided that I would do podcast interviews and my philosophy, and it turned out to be right, was that if people listen to podcast, they’re the type of people that invest in personal development. Now if they’re watching television, that might not be the case. Think about this. Most people that get on The Today Show that’s a home run. Oprah, Today Show, whatever. Now, Oprah is different, but Tim Ferris said he sold more books being on Jordan Harbinger’s Art of Charm podcast than being on The Today Show.
So, I decided I was just going to do podcast and here’s the reality. I’ve done over 300 podcast interviews and almost 200 of my own podcast. So, over 400 podcast episodes, I have been on promoting the Miracle Morning. And it took me a year-and-a-half. Listen to this. The first month that the book came out when I put all my resources that I had into effect, every friend, every connection, I sold 1,500 copies of the first month the Miracle Morning published. It took me a year-and-a-half to get back to 1,500 copies and I did over 100 podcast interviews by then. So, the point is it wasn’t some overnight success. I busted my ass with interview after interview and listen to this, if you look at how low the sales were in the beginning, I was doing 10, 20 podcast interviews a week and it was earning me a couple hundred dollars a month. So, if I was emotionally attached to my results, I would’ve never kept doing those podcast interviews because I would’ve thought I’m working, and doing all these interviews and it’s not making any money but I knew that if I committed to the process over the long run and I wasn’t emotionally attached to my short-term day-to-day results, that success would be inevitable, and it was. And so, for you, take every goal that you set this year, the goals that are in line with your values and ask yourself, what are the activities that will define the process that will make my success inevitable? You might have a bad day, you might have a bad week, even a bad month but you consistently do the activities that will set you up for success. It’s only a matter of time.
So that’s it. Commit to your process for every goal you have to find your process and commit to it every day specifically as you can possibly be, how many reps, how many calls, how much time and don’t worry about your day-to-day results knowing there’s going to be good and bad days but by the end of the year everything will work itself out.
Jon: Hal, I remember when you and I lived together 18 years ago, and I remember we would make phone calls. We were both in the same business and I remember watching you and how over time because you would play this game with yourself where it’s just whatever the number was that day or that week. It’s like I’m going to make 20 calls, I’m going to make 30 calls today. You were able to really remove emotion from the type of business that for many people that’s what they never get over is the rejection and the ups and the downs and I think we know that so many of our listeners are entrepreneurs and I think there’s so much value in that idea. I really love that and it’s fun to think about I was there when it all started.
Hal: Back in the day, that’s right.
Jon: Yeah. And people have heard this story 100 times but I’m still going to tell it because they can’t stop us. You and I competed with each other. And so, I would try and win but this is back when we didn’t really use cell phones. We had a cordless phone though in the house and I would hide the cordless phone and even that couldn’t stop you from making a sale.
Hal: That’s right.
Jon: But so great. Hey, should I go to my second big idea with this episode?
Hal: Hit it, man. Do it.
Jon: All right. I want to talk about for a few minutes the idea of environment. And I’m not specifically talking about the physical and natural environment. I’m talking about…
Hal: This is a global warming rant?
Jon: Yeah. It will be in a sec. I’m talking about, in fact, I’m going to talk about these pictures that are behind me so if you’re listening, I’m going to show everybody our physical environment here because there’s very little in our space that is not intentional but one of the things that I’ve learned about achieving goals is and I’m going to connect this to the first idea I shared on this episode which is about asking ourselves what do we value in every area of our lives and then asking how do I shift my behaviors to continuously close the gap between what I say I value and how I’m actually behaving every day like that’s a never ending goal of mine is to close that gap. One of the ways to close that gap is to set up our environment and what do I mean by that? Well, we’ll talk about that. It’s our physical environment. It’s the people that we surround ourselves with so that it can become easier to act in alignment with what we value. And I just jotted down just now a couple of personal examples.
For one, for me is nutrition. So, I’m taking everyone over to our little kitchen area in the office here. First of all, I’ve got snacks. That’s our snack bucket. Laura, thanks for stocking us with oranges. We’re fully equipped to be able to quickly whip up a salad. We have a fridge in there that we stock with cold-pressed juices. We have our own little water machine. The whole point is nothing there is fancy or exciting but the whole point is nutrition is something that I value, and we value in our team. And so, there should never be an obstacle or a block between the thought of I’d love to eat something healthy and then having something healthy. Now, whether or not that stuff is healthy, that’s a whole other debate but at my home we have our food now prepared by a local company and I know there are some folks that are listening, as soon as I say this, “Oh, that’s so expensive,” I don’t know. I don’t know if it’s that expensive especially as an entrepreneur where the sharpness of my mind is completely connected. There’s no disconnect between how sharp I am and my ability to create opportunities and how I treat my body. I don’t know if I can afford not to eat the way that I eat. So, we have organic locally sourced vegan meals that are prepared and delivered to our home. People would be surprised. That type of service is growing in our country right now which means the prices are also coming down as there’s more competition but that’s an example of I’ve made it easier and easier to be healthy and harder and harder not to be. So, just with food.
I’ll give you another example. Another example has to do with my family. One of the things that I really value is adventure and when I say adventure, I value being able to go outside and be in nature all the time. It doesn’t matter what the weather is. Today it’s like 10 degrees outside. There’s snow everywhere. There’s been a blizzard every day for the last few days here. I’ve been outside every day for multiple hours with my kids. And one of the reasons why we are able to do that is because sometime in the last year I realized that we had an obstacle, and one of the obstacles was I really valued going outside but I noticed that for our kids to be able to go outside, the way that our laundry room was organized or not organized, the effort that it took for them to get their gloves and hats and all that snow stuff on was so much that it was demotivating for them. They didn’t want to go outside but as kids, they don’t articulate all that. They just say they don’t want to go and I finally realize. It’s like a lightbulb. It’s like, “Well, wait a minute. They don’t want to go because it’s so much work to put their gear on.” So, not long ago we reorganized our laundry room so that all of our kids’ stuff, by kid and by like type of attire is organized so that any of our kids in like a minute or less can be ready to go outside and now it’s much easier to go outside regardless of the weather. That’s it. And that might sound like a trivial example but it’s not because that’s the difference between being able to live out a value and have a totally different experience with my kids versus what happens if they end up not wanting to go outside.
I’ll give you one more example and this is the one where I’ll use the camera here if you’re watching on the live stream and that’s the physical office that I’m in. Now, my home is five minutes from here. I choose to invest in an office down the street because for me having a space where I separate work from family is really important. You don’t have to go by that, but it works for me. I’m going to turn on the camera here. So, a couple of things here. So, first of all, we talk about environment. Everything on the walls in this office has a deep symbolic meaning. There’s nothing that we throw up on the walls like, “Oh, that shit looks cool. Let’s put it up.” No. Everything has a serious meaning to it. So, these three pictures behind me here not only are they of Yosemite National Park which is where I got married with my wife so there’s a meaning to that, but you’ll also notice there’s one picture of Yosemite in the winter in the same exact picture in the summer and the reason I have that picture is to remember there’s beauty in every season. And I have like my own really deep I could literally talk about the meaning of those pictures for hours and all of my beliefs about nature and science and where the world is going and the reason why…
Hal: We’ll save that for another podcast episode.
Jon: Save it for another episode. If you try me, let’s see what happens. The reason I have this picture of these Redwoods is because those sequoias right there are the largest and longest living organisms on the planet. And so, I have a whole bunch of beliefs from my own research about what we can learn from nature and because of those beliefs, that’s why that is what sits right behind me and that if I take you around the office here, you’ll see there are other pictures of nature as well on the wall. But then every banner that we have up has a certain meaning, so you may or may not be able to see those and I’m not going to read them all to you. I’m not going to read any of them but everything on the wall has meaning. Our favorite juice place when they switched from the menus that they have that were on these big steel boards to digital menus, we asked them. We said, “Can we put your menus up on our wall?” So, we literally have the old menus from our juice place on our wall. Which in the same way you laugh, people look at it and it’s entertaining, but it also is constantly sending a message. When you have the menus from your local juice store on your wall, it makes it easier to eat healthy.
And then you see those pictures behind Laura over there? Those are BMW motorcycles and they all say, “World championship,” on them. And those posters have a specific meaning because I used to be an apprentice of a motorcycling instructor and then Jim Ford who is known as the Zen motorcycle man who used to take BMW motorcyclists through the mountains and he taught us all these life lessons. And here’s what’s cool. All I have to do is glance at that poster and it opens up inside of me literally 30,000 miles of apprenticeship and all of the lessons that came with that.
And so, the point that I’m making here, and I could go around the office and point to symbol after symbol after symbol, is to surround ourselves with physical symbols that have important meaning to us. Every single thing in this office has an important meaning. It’s a symbol and the last one I’ll show everybody and if you’re listening, sorry, you can just imagine, but you’ll notice our desks in our office we have on the bottom of them, they’re standing up on these bed risers, so we’ve converted these tables that are actually regular height tables to all these standing tables. And if we want to sit, we still have these high-top stools, but I value health and vitality. And so, I learned a couple of years ago that if I can actually stand all day while I work, it actually changes my anatomy. Muscles that used to be tight aren’t anymore because when you sit, people can do their own research, it screws things up that weren’t meant to be screwed up. So, in every aspect of this office, there’s either something directly or symbolically in alignment with what we value. And I’ve given you examples from nutrition to these images that have a metaphorical meaning or have been meaning to my personal relationships to the imagery on the walls to the furniture that we choose.
And the last one I’ll show you, Hal, the last one is this is our whiteboard. And if any of you have listened to episodes where we talk about goal setting so it’s blank right now. It’s the beginning of the year but that’s my yearly calendar with any critical events with major client events. And what I’m about to do is I’m about to put up here quarterly goals in that quadrant, monthly goals in that quadrant, weekly goals in that one. And then I can put daily goals in that quadrant. And the idea is when I walk into my office so if you’re walking in with me right now, when I walk into my office, I can see all of my goals all the time all at once. I don’t have to flip open some file. I don’t have to look at some piece of paper no matter where I’m standing, I can see everything that matters and that works for me.
Last year, I set goals that way the first quarter and I don’t mind admitting this and for some people this is crazy, I set them, and I didn’t even update the board and most of what we put up there we surpassed. I didn’t have a to-do list last year. I don’t have a single checklist. I really believe there’s a power in when you visually put something up there that you have to look at again and again and again, there’s a point at which it just becomes internalized and you don’t even have to look at the stuff anymore because it’s so connected deep down inside. So, Hal, that whole point there is about the importance of physical environment, I didn’t even get to the people part but maybe I’ll save that for my last idea here.
Hal: Yeah. There you go. Jon and I always like to give you different ways of skinning a cat, that sort of thing.
Jon: No, no, no. There’s a new saying. Didn’t we create a new saying? Because skinning a cat sound really bad. Didn’t brotha James not like that?
Hal: Oh, he didn’t? Yeah. Maybe.
Jon: Yeah. Now, the new one there’s more than one way to make a baby, Hal.
Hal: There you go.
Jon: All right. Go ahead.
Hal: I like that. Yeah. So, Jon, he’s all about the standing desks in his office. I just got a new beautiful recliner so there are two ways to – this is my first recliner. So, I was like, “Wow, this is like a grown man purchase. This is like an old man. I like buying my own leather recliner, sitting in all of them.” I do most of my work sitting in that recliner while Jon is standing. All right. So, probably a third point, actually I saved the best point for last. This is my favorite point to achieve your goals this year. We’re going to wrap it up with a bang here and that is gain accountability by helping others to achieve their goals. So, gain accountability by helping others to achieve their goals. Now, what is accountability? Accountability is having some source, it could be another human being, it could be a consequence that you set up for yourself that holds you to a commitment that you’ve made. That’s essentially how I define accountability. It’s a source that holds you to a commitment that you have made. And the reason that’s important is because like I said in the opening that most of us kind of suck at achieving our goals because it’s very easy to let ourselves down. It’s very easy to give into human nature to do what we feel like in the moment and those who do what they feel like don’t do much because human nature is to feel like taking in the path of least resistance almost all the time. So, to be successful, to achieve goals, you have to defy human nature. You have to rise above your own tendencies and you have to find a way to follow through with your commitments. One of the best ways to do that is to leverage the power of accountability.
Now let me say this. The reason that I think most of us don’t do that is because accountability there’s a deep subconscious resistance to it that was developed within us as children and like most of how we operate our lives, most of us are just be four-year-olds in 40-year-old bodies or 30-year-old bodies or 20-year-old bodies or whatever. We have all these childhood issues that we’re not even aware off that drive our behavior, our thinking, what we can and can’t accomplish, what we think we can or can’t accomplish so therefore what we attempt. So, my philosophy on this is that you think about when your kid, what were the things that were healthy for us? Like eating vegetables was healthy. As kids, most kids unless you’re weird, you don’t like eating vegetables. Mom and dad had to kind of force you to eat your vegetables. Another thing that was healthy for us is sleep. Sleep’s really important. Most kids will stay up as late as a parent will let them stay up and then the other one is bathing. Bathing is really important. So, you think about it. The only reason that we ate our vegetables and went to bed on time and bathe was because of the accountability from our parents. And if it wasn’t for their accountability, we wouldn’t have done most of the things that are healthy for us as kids. I always wonder what would happen if I left my five-year-old and eight-year-old at home for a week? You ever think about that, buddy? Like, would they live? Would they kill each other? I don’t know. Would they eat? I bet you they would just eat all the candy in the house and be in a coma until they’re out of the coma then they eat all the candy in the house again, and I don’t know how many times they can do that before it would cause real problems.
But here’s the point. If it wasn’t for the accountability thrust on us by our parents, they made us homework. I don’t know about you, but I didn’t love homework. I wouldn’t have done my homework if it wasn’t for my parents making sure I am holding accountable with my homework. So, if it wasn’t for our parents, the accountability that was forced upon us as children that we never asked for, if it wasn’t for that, we’d be sleep deprived, we’d be malnourished, we’d be dirty, and we’d be uneducated little kids. That’s what we’d be, but we don’t realize that. So, when we turn 18, we leave the house and it’s like, “Ah, I don’t have to eat healthy anymore. I don’t have to go to bed at a decent hour. I don’t have to bathe.” Then you started dating in the hope that helps that, but the point is we resist accountability because it was forced upon us during our formative years and we didn’t want it, we didn’t like it, we didn’t want to eat our vegetables, we didn’t want to bathe so we become these rebellious teenagers and rebellious young adults that resist accountability.
And here’s what you realize is that all of the most successful people in the planet thrive under the conditions of a high degree of accountability. Think about the best athletes in the world. They’re pushed hard at practice not by themselves, some maybe but by their coaches. It’s the accountability of their coaches, the coaches say, “Do 100 jumping jacks,” and they probably wouldn’t have done 100 jumping jacks if it wasn’t for the coach instilling that accountability. You look at CEOs. I bet you a lot of CEOs would be playing games on their computer a lot more during the day if they didn’t have the accountability of an executive staff they were responsible for, of a board that they had to answer to, of investors they had to answer to, shareholders. That’s a lot of accountability and that’s the leverage that dips them to rise above their tendencies of being lazy and following the path of least resistance to do the things that will get them where they want to go and achieve their goals.
And so, quick story for me, in 2005 this originated where I launched what I called The Ultimate Club. It was my last year for the company that Jon and I worked for, my last year in sales. I set a goal that scared the hell out of me. It was to double my best year ever in sales. So, imagine working for a company for five years and being one of the top sales reps and you’ve already worked really hard and given what you thought was your all during the year and then you have this realization that you could do so much more, and you set a goal to double your best year ever which is very intimidating. So, what I did is I formed a team of 20 other sales reps and I took it upon myself to run a call every week for them and the whole purpose was holding them accountable to achieve the same level of sales that I was pursuing. And the reason for that was both that I could be in alignment with my value of helping other people, but also selfishly I know that the best accountability is when you are holding other people accountable to do the same thing that you are giving yourself accountability to do.
So, every time I had a call, every Sunday we had a call and I started the call by announcing what my commitment was for the following week and my commitment or commitments so that crosses with what I talked about in step number one, I would say every week, “Hey, guys, I’m committed to making 20 calls a day, five days a week, and if I don’t hit my goal by the fifth day, I’ll make another 20 calls on the sixth day. If I don’t hit my sales goal by that, I’ll make another 20 calls in the seventh day.” Done. And then guess what, every day that was time to make phone calls, there was always that voice of mediocrity in my head, we all have that voice. It’s like, “Eh, you could take the day off. Eh, you could always do it tomorrow.” But because I went, “No. I have given my word to this group of people who I respect and respect me, I’ve given my word that I make 20 phone calls today,” so in my mind there is now no other option because I’ve given my word to these people.
So, I believe one of the most effective ways to raise your own standards of discipline and follow through with your commitments is to lead a group. And by the way, when I say a group, it could be one other human being. There’s your group. You and an accountability partner, you don’t have 20 people. Give me one other person that you give your word to of what you’re committed to doing for every day for each week and then every week you jump on a call, you meet at coffee, whatever, and you hold each other accountable for what you follow through with doing and my only word of caution is don’t let yourself, don’t get caught up in justifying mediocrity for each other. I’ve been in those groups where you go, “You didn’t do it. Yeah. Me neither.” “Hey, well that’s okay. We could do better next time. Let’s go watch a movie or whatever.” Make sure that you guys establish your accountability relationship with that integrity to say, “Hey, we’re committing. There’s no other option.” And what I would encourage you to do is you make a commitment and you set an expectation upfront where if one of you doesn’t follow through with your daily commitment, you don’t wait until your weekly phone call or your weekly meeting to reveal that you didn’t follow through. You immediately communicate any lack of follow-through. In fact, communicate it ahead of time if you know that tomorrow you can’t make your calls or you can’t write your pages or you can’t run or whatever, go to the gym, because you got something up, let that person know immediately and then recommit to how you’re going to make up for that.
And that’s my encouragement because you don’t let one bad day turn in two. It’s too easy. If you miss a day and then you’re like, “Ah, I missed yesterday. I could miss today. I’ll just throw the whole week out the window and I’ll let my accountability partner know when we talk next week that I had a bad week.” Not acceptable. If you have any day that you don’t follow through, you communicate that immediately to your accountability partner and then you had to communicate what the recommitment is as to how you’re going to make up for that lack of follow-through. And some days maybe you can make up. Some days maybe it’s like well, “I’ve got something I do seven days a week. I can’t make it up,” but more often than not like with phone calls, I could just take those 20 calls and have five more to each of the next four days. Now, I’m making 25 calls of those four days, makes up for the days that I miss. Same thing, any quantifiable process that you got, how many reps you’re committed to doing in the gym, how many miles you’re committed to running, how many pages you’re committed to writing, how much time you’re committed to spending with your children or significant other. Anything that’s quantifiable, you can make up for it. So, commit, gain that accountability by leading other people to achieve their goals. And also, it’s fulfilling because guess what, now you’re making a difference in lives of the people while you are selfishly giving yourself a source of accountability that will ensure that you follow through and are held to higher standards than you would hold yourself to.
Jon: I love it. I’m just sitting here taking notes. I was just…
Hal: Smart man.
Jon: Yeah. Thanks. I was just a listener. That’s awesome, buddy. I really love that, the idea of accountability. When you’re talking about it, I was thinking where does accountability work in my life? One of the things that have been helpful is in my business I have events that become forced accountability. And so, I was thinking about that’s a benefit that I have but I also stopped and realized that these events in my day job and for any of you, if you’re not a regular listener, you don’t know, I design and facilitate large-scale events of many different types. And so, I have forced accountability that I’m going to show up and facilitate these things, but I had to stop myself, Hal, and realize I give them the meaning of choosing to hold myself accountable. I could just as easily show up to those far less prepared and having not use those events to drive me to become a better person before I show up.
So, I’d encourage anybody when you look at your calendar I realize it’s a game that I play with myself that listening to you talk and help me to sharpen my clarity on what it is I’m doing that’s actually effective and it is when I know there’s an event coming up, I choose to give that an event a special meaning and I play with my own ego. It’s like I know there’s going to be people there and I know that I’m going to care while I’m there about how well this is going and what they’re going to think so why not just use that as an excuse to elevate who I am as a human between now and every moment until that event. And I’m just stating what people have done forever. Everyone can relate to this when it’s, “Well I have a wedding coming up and I’m going to use that as my excuse to lose weight.” So, I’m just applying that for my own world. Hal, I had like three big ideas I could share but I got to respect the time here and I don’t know which one to go with. So, I was going to roll the dice to let you ask me…
Hal: With the shortest one.
Jon: The shortest one. All right. That’s deep. All right. Good. You know that no matter which one I pick I’m just going to talk and talk.
Hal: Ramble. Yeah. It’s fine.
Jon: Hal, where should I finish, buddy? Because I’ve got three big ideas.
Hal: Give me real quick. Run them by me. Let’s do real time. I’ll give you some feedback.
Jon: All right. I don’t want to do that. I think I know how I’m going to finish here.
Hal: Finish it strong.
Jon: So, I’m going to encourage everybody my last idea here when it comes to achieving your goals in 2018 is it’s two very simple words and it’s to be open and now I’m going to unpack that for like 10 minutes. So, what do I mean by be open? When I talked earlier about asking ourselves, what do we value and then how do I align my behaviors with that? That’s actually an example of being open and part of being open is willing to ask questions and allow answers to show up that we haven’t allowed to show up in our lives before. So, let me give you some examples. When I say be open, so first of all, when you’re setting goals, be open to the idea and, Hal, this is something I’ve heard you say, again and again, be open to the idea that you are actually limitless. Be open to the possibility that what we could accomplish is far more than we currently believe in.
Because if we’re open, and when I say open, what I’m not saying is I have a clear path from A-Z and I could tell you my business which is thriving and growing and Hal yours is too, neither of us has answers. We don’t have this clear path, but we have a permanent openness. And so, open doesn’t mean all the answers are there. Open doesn’t mean that the current version of you is going to be what’s going to get you there. Open doesn’t mean that all of your life circumstances and all of your environment, even clarity of your values have all been figured out and put it neatly in order. Open means you’re open to the possibility that what you could accomplish is far more than you can currently comprehend. Open means that you’re open to constantly asking the question, “Well, what are my strengths?” Questions like, what am I good that? Or when have I been at my best? Or when have I been alive? Because when we learn how to ask those types of questions, that’s actually an act of opening. Because when you ask that question and you give yourself the time and space to allow answers to continuously emerge because this isn’t an activity you should do one time. It should be a never-ending openness, a permanent curiosity.
What am I good at? What are my strengths? Might I be able to find brand-new ways of applying those strengths? Might there be a brand-new, if you’re an entrepreneur, partnerships, opportunities that I’ve been ignoring that maybe my strengths are the perfect fit to lift something to another level? Openness means to keep asking questions like why am I doing what I’m doing? Some people call this the purpose question. What is it about my work that motivates me? And on this podcast, all of you have heard me or Hal many times share the same anecdotal story of the three bricklayers. They’re all doing the same thing but when asked the same question, why are you doing what you’re doing? They give three different answers. This one says, “I got to earn a paycheck,” this one says, “I’m building a building,” and a third guy says, “Well, I’m building a cathedral that connects people to their creator.” They do the same thing but their answer to why they’re doing what they’re doing is different and the lesson in that is to be open that you might not need to change your career or your business or your industry but maybe just your answer to what is the deeper meaning that you can craft, that you can create, not wait for, not find and maybe divine intervention brings it to you. I don’t like to rely on that. It could be both. It can be that and realizing that when those three bricklayers are asked why do you do what you do, they have unconditional freedom in how they answer that question.
So, be open to surrounding yourselves with the kinds of influences and people and resources and environments and podcasts, go listen to others, go read whatever you need to do that can allow your answer to why are you motivated. Allow it to evolve and to elevate. See, those are all examples of opening up your mind, but I also think we have to learn how to open up our hearts. And that’s kind of the next level of openness, and opening up our hearts is when we not only are able to open our minds which is where we can start to see the world differently but opening our hearts means we can now see the world through somebody else’s eyes. And if you’re an entrepreneur which we know many of you are, I mean, that’s the most fundamental principle of success is to understand somebody else’s world so that you can deliver something that they’ll be captivated to enroll and to purchase, to buy, to participate in. But the extent to which you can actually see the world through someone else’s eyes is a direct correlation with how well you can grow a business. But it’s not just about growing a business. Being able to open your heart also means being able to be socially aware, emotionally aware of what’s going on with other people around you. Because the name of the game at the end of the day for many of us, professionally and personally, is going to be how do we keep improving our ability to relate with others, to strengthen our relationships which comes from the skill of being able to empathize and have social awareness.
So, that’s another example of openness and the last thing I’ll say about openness, Hal, you can take it over on this being the last thing. But the last thing I’ll say about openness is I really believe that when you allow your mind to open and your heart to open, what happens is you actually get intensely connected to the present moment. You get intensely connected. We talked about this in an interview we did with Andrea Riggs a couple of episodes ago where we talked about spontaneity. Some people think that spontaneity is like a recklessness or a carelessness but it’s actually the opposite. Spontaneity is when we’re so present, we’re actually able to recognize an opportunity in the moment that others might miss.
And so, I believe when we’re really open in our minds and in our hearts and we come from a place of permanent curiosity which is rooted in humility, the willingness to realize there’s more that’s possible, there’s more that’s out there, there’s more to learn, there’s more to feel and see, we actually get connected to the present moment in a brand-new way. And in a way where we actually become active participants in shaping what is emerging in the future. We become so present that we can actually shape what happens next. And it only comes from that place of total presence and I think that presence only comes from really being open all the time in the moment not just intellectually but emotionally in every other way possible. So, be open in 2018. You never know what could happen. Be open to the people around you. You never know where those relationships could go and take you and be open to sharing this podcast episode.
Hal: I was just going to say that. It crossed my mind to say. That’s funny.
Jon: Oh my gosh.
Hal: I just sent that to you telepathically.
Jon: It’s so funny. That’s all I got.
Hal: I love it. Yeah. The open, you guys. Be open to not just sharing the podcast but be open to receiving this year. That was a big one for me. One of my realizations around cancer was that I had realized that I had this subconscious limiting belief that said I don’t deserve all the great things in my life. Who am I to be successful? Who am I to be happy and special? It was a deeply rooted subconscious belief and I had to be open. You know what, I deserve everything that I could ever want and then willing to work for and earn. So, be open now for this to be your best year ever. You got to be open with receiving all of the great things that life has to offer and of course, working, putting forth that effort that will earn you the great things that life has to offer. So, Jonny, it’s been fun to talk about tips for making this our best year ever, achieving goals in 2018 and beyond.
Jon: It’s been awesome, buddy.
Hal: Yeah. We should do more podcast together.
Jon: If we go over like 10 more minutes, we could turn this into a two-part episode.
Hal: We probably could. You and I, though, together we’re almost like a perfect teacher together. Separately we are weak and have lots of flaws but together we really combine to be one really good human being. Together, we’ll probably be a good dad if you put the two of us together.
Jon: Hey, let’s figure this out.
Hal: Our wives would probably be happy. You got your good qualities and my good qualities. It might make a good man.
Jon: Yeah. I like the direction of this conversation. I think we should keep this going here. Well, hey, thanks, everybody.
Hal: Goal achievers, we love and appreciate you. Thanks for tuning in to another episode of the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is Hal Elrod with my good friend Jon Berghoff signing off. We will catch you next week, everybody. Take care.
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