answers to your questions

A few weeks ago, I did a podcast episode where I shared with you a behind-the-scenes look at my next book. On that episode, I announced that we’re going to try a new “Ask Me Anything” format on the podcast, and I invited you to submit your questions, with a promise to answer them on future episodes. 

Today is our first “Ask Me Anything” episode and I’m answering your questions—and over the last few weeks, y’all have sent in A LOT of questions! :^) 

The questions I’m answering today are about finding purpose in life, emotional intelligence, optimizing your mindset, and a number of other topics. 

If you would like to ask me a question, please go to HalElrod.com/AMA to submit it. Depending on how this goes, I’ll keep a running list of questions and answer as many as I can—perhaps as often as once or twice a month!

KEY TAKEAWAYS

  • How to find purpose and hope in an uncertain future—and why you get to decide what your life is all about.
  • How to redefine success by defining your values.
  • What we can do to learn optimism and develop internal motivation to live out unwavering faith in the face of worry, doubt, and negativity.
  • How to separate yourself from outcomes as you work to hit your goals—and why committing to the process without getting attached to the result is the secret to success.
  • My simple strategy to ensure that I drink enough water to stay hydrated.
  • How to write an affirmation to help ensure you will commit yourself to achieving your goal, no matter how challenging it is.

TWEETABLES

THIS EPISODE IS BROUGHT TO YOU BY:

  • Organifi makes the highest quality nutritional products, which are made from whole food ingredients (not synthetic vitamins) that I enjoy nearly every day, and have for many years. Visit Organifi.com/Hal, and use the code HAL at checkout to get 15% off of your entire order. I hope you find something there that you love! :^)
  • Self-Publishing School has enabled hundreds of members of the Miracle Morning Community (including my sister) to write and publish their first book. If you’ve ever wanted to write a book, whether to share your story, to positively impact people lives, to create a source of passive income – or all of the above – check out this free training I recently did with Chandler Bolt on how to go from “Blank Page to Published Author In As Little As 90 Days” at Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal and turn your dream of writing a book into a reality! :^) 

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TRANSCRIPT

[INTRODUCTION]

Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod. And thanks for being here today. I really appreciate it, appreciate you taking the time to listen to, I think this is our first ever Ask Me Anything podcast episode where you, the listeners, sent in a bunch of your questions and I answered as many as I can today. And as you'll hear me talk about when I open up the episode here in a minute, I guess this is technically opening the episode, but I record the episode and I record this intro. So, you get like a double opening, but anyway, the episode today, the questions that we answer are universal. We talk about finding your purpose in life. We talk about emotional intelligence, how to optimize your mindsets of some really relevant topics for everybody. So, I really hope you get a lot of value out of today's episode.

And I do want to say this, I got to give you a little disclaimer. Today's episode, the audio quality is a little more raw sounding than normal as I wasn't able to record with my usual gear. I was on the road, so I apologize in advance. It sounds a little hollow. This happens sometimes when I'm out of my studio, but it is clear. We did go back and listen to it. It's clear, it's concise. You'll still hear everything, but it doesn't sound like that really high-quality studio microphone. So, hopefully, you’re okay with that.

With that said, before we get started, I want to let you know about my two sponsors for today's podcast episode. The first is Organifi, O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I. Organifi makes some of the highest quality whole food supplements, so powders such as green juice and red juice and a vegan protein powder, everything is plant based. Everything is whole food, not synthetic vitamins. And I'll tell you, I was looking at a vitamin. The company sent me this vitamin supplement today. It was this immunity blend. They wanted me to try it out, and I turned it over.

And one of the first things I do is I check the vitamins. I always look at vitamin C. It's like my first– that's how I know the quality of the product. If it's ascorbic acid, by the way, check your vitamin C supplement, most like 90 plus percent, maybe 95% in the US are made from ascorbic acid, which is normally sourced from China which normally uses ammonia or what's the other chemical? But they extracted the chemical, it's not vitamin C, it's synthetic vitamin C. I prefer my vitamin C from acerola cherries and oranges and different actual foods and fruits that produce the vitamin. And that's why I love Organifi because none of their vitamins are synthetic. So, if you want to check out some health boosting supplements, go to Organifi.com, again that's O-R-G-A-N-I-F-I, Organifi.com/Hal. And then if you find something that you love and you want to get it, just use HAL at checkout, H-A-L at checkout, you’ll get 15% off your entire order.

And last but not least, I want to thank Self-Publishing School, the organization who has helped more Miracle Morning community members in the hundreds now to write and publish their first book and make it a bestseller, and they can help you do that as well in 90 days. Just go to Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal, again, Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal, and you'll get a free training. It's a free training that I did with the founder of the company, my good friend, truly a good friend, Chandler Bolt. And we teach you how to go from a blank page to a bestselling author in as little as 90 days. So, if you want to take your dream of writing a book and make it a reality, check out Self-PublishingSchool.com/Hal.

And without further ado, our first, I think it's our first, Ask Me Anything episode where you get your questions answered. And this is the first of many, we’ll be doing a lot of these because we got more questions than I could possibly answer. And I want to hear your question, too. And in the episode today, I'm going to give you a link where you can actually go submit your question, anything you want to ask me, and I will do my best to answer in a future episode. So, hope you enjoy today. I love you. I appreciate you. Thank you so much for listening and have a good time.

[INTERVIEW]

Hal Elrod: Hey, goal achievers and members of the Miracle Morning community, welcome to today's podcast. I am feeling good. I am happy, even though it is rainy, not that rain and happiness are correlated, but many people get gloomy when it's all dark and cloudy and rainy. And I'm here in Austin, Texas. It is very rainy, but we're going to have a great episode today. That's my feeling. That's my intention. That's my commitment. And today's episode was actually prompted by a few podcast episodes ago. I did a podcast called A Behind-the-Scenes Look at My Next Book, which, by the way, if you want to go listen to that, that was Episode 378. You can go to HalElrod.com/378 to listen to that, but during that episode, I said, “Hey, I want to do an Ask Me Anything episode.” In fact, maybe a series where I started doing episodes regularly. And it was during the meditation that morning, I realized I'm not interacting with my audience enough, I'm not interacting with my listeners. I'm coming up with content, but not as much dialog, not where I'm asking you what do you want to hear or what do you need help with or what are your questions?

So, that morning, I had that awareness during my meditation, during Miracle Morning and then on the podcast that day, I thought, well, let's throw it out there. So, I offered to ask me any question that you have. And I set up a forum, by the way, if you didn't get to ask a question and you'd like to, you can go to HalElrod.com/AMA, so that stands for Ask Me Anything, HalElrod.com/AMA. Now, we had more questions come in, most likely, than I can answer today. So, this will probably be an ongoing thing, and I'm thinking that we'll see how the response is, but maybe I'll do this once a month where I'll just keep a running list of questions. And I’d probably can’t get to everybody's question on every episode, but I'll just keep going down the list until I can answer, hopefully, all of them.

And by the way, if you like today's format. Again, this is for you. So, I really want to make sure that you, as our listener, my listener, that you really get a lot of value today. I think that you will. These are questions that are on a variety of highly relevant topics that apply to virtually every single one of us. So, today, we're going to talk about purpose. We're going to talk about mindset and emotional intelligence. By the way, just so you know where this comes from, I categorize the questions as best I could, which took me about an hour and a half, by the way. So, I wasn't expecting to take that long. So, we're talking about fulfilling your potential and implementing what you learn. I put those in one category because some questions were how do I live my full potential, some categories were how do I get myself to do the things that I know I should do, and I kind of put those together.

We're going to talk about help with the Miracle Morning. A lot of people shared their challenges following through with the Miracle Morning or with certain SAVERS, specifically. We'll talk about affirmations, visualization, that sort of thing. I got some personal questions, so I’m going to answer personal questions. I'll give you a preview. One of them was, Hal, what do you believe about Jesus Christ, God, and the Bible? So, I'm going to answer that and a few other personal questions. We have some questions on dealing with tragedy. People are dealing with some major tragedies right now from a dying spouse to a divorce. And more so, we'll talk about dealing with tragedy or health challenges. I got a few questions on people's health challenges. I got a question on parenting, we'll talk about that. I got quite a few questions on helping others. How do you help other people that don't want help or that you feel like need help, but they're not willing to change, or it's your spouse, and coaching them, giving them advice, it doesn't go over so well? So, we'll talk about that.

We’ll talk about social issues, loneliness, making friends, that came out, how to overcome fears, questions about my next book since the podcast that inspired today was about my next book. So, I got some questions and some suggestions on that. And then, I made a category for random questions, things that don't really fit into any of the other categories. So, again, I can't promise we'll get through all of those today, but I'm going to answer these in a way that is as universally relevant to everybody, because the purpose of this, obviously, is to answer your individual questions, people that submitted questions, but really, again, I want to make it, so it really is relevant for everybody.

And then, last but not least, yet, if you like today's format, let me know under the podcast episode. So, today's Episode 381. So, you probably figure that out, go to HalElrod.com/381 and scroll down to the bottom and you can leave a comment, but if you like this format or if you have any suggestions on how it can be better, this is for you. So, please let me know, go to HalElrod.com/381 to leave a comment under this episode and let me know how you like it or if you like it. And then, if you do, we'll keep continuing this. So, this might be like once a month or maybe even more often. Who knows, maybe the whole podcast becomes just me answering your questions, I don't know. Well, we'll see, but alright, so let's dive in right away, and we're going to start with purpose.

And by the way, on the questionnaire sheet where you submit your questions at HalElrod.com/AMA, it asked, “Are you okay with me sharing your name publicly? Or would you prefer that I did not?” And so, I took the time to mark each of these questions with the name of the person, or it says no name if the person checked the box, “No, please don't share my name.” So, just a heads up, and if you're going to ask a question as well.

So, this comes from Angel Absolon. And by the way, I'm going to apologize in advance if I butcher your name, which I'm sure is going to happen more often than not. Again, I do apologize, but this question from Angel, again, I would say pretty universal for all of us because she simply asked or he simply asked, is there a life purpose? Is there a life purpose? That's a question, it's obviously a very loaded question, meaning that you can answer it in different contexts. If you follow a specific religion, there may be a life purpose that is to glorify God or to follow the word of the Lord. So, there may be purposes embedded in your culture or in your religion or some other ideology. So, I’m going to answer this, again, as universally as possible.

So, is there a life purpose? I believe that from the context of how I'll share my answer is that we decide, that you decide your life purpose. So, if you decide that your life purpose is to glorify God, then that's your life purpose. If you decide that your life purpose is to fulfill your potential, then that is your life purpose. If you decide that your life purpose is to fulfill your potential so that you can help others fulfill theirs, and by the way, I share that because that is one of my life purposes, that's another part of the answer to the question is I don't believe there is only one. I don't believe there only has to be, well, this is the purpose of my life and nothing else matters, or no, you can say, yeah, part of my life purpose is to be the best version of myself to fulfill my potential. That's part of it.

Another part of it is to fulfill my potential so that I can help people that I love and people that I lead to fulfill theirs and so that I can be a contributing member of society. So, you can see how your purpose can have many nuances, many layers, and also your purpose could be to glorify God and to fulfill your potential, right? Your purpose could be specific. It could be, you know what, my purpose is to eradicate world hunger, that's why I'm here. Everything I do is aligned with that purpose. It can be very specific. It can be something financial. My purpose is to make a billion dollars. I'm not judging anybody on, you decide. And I think that, to me, the ultimate answer for all of us is that is there a life purpose? If you decide there is, there is. You could also decide life has no purpose and then guess what, you manifest your reality, that becomes your reality. I think that we need to take more ownership of life is what you make of it. Life is what you make of it.

I think it was Henry Ford that said, “If you believe that you can or you believe that you can't, you're right either way.” And I think you can take that philosophy and you can apply it to all of life. You can be happy or unhappy, either way you choose. Life has a purpose if you choose that it has a purpose, if you see it that way, but if you decide, it doesn't, then it doesn't. So, more of life than we realize, we get to decide what it's going to be. We get to decide what our purpose is. We get to decide if life is great or if it's terrible. And whichever you decide is your truth, it becomes your reality. So, Angel, thank you for asking that question. It's a great way to kick us off.

Next question from Sherri Meyer. How did you have hope for your future when you were in your 50s or 60s? The kids are gone, and it is you and your spouse, now, what is the best behind us? And it goes back to, I think I would first and foremost echo the answer I just gave to Angel's question, which is you decide, Sherri, right? You get to decide, you're in your 50s and 60s, what do you hope for your future? Well, you get to decide what your life is about. And we go through seasons of life. I've realized that now, I'm in my 40s, I just turned 42 on Sunday, just a few days ago, and I'm in a phase of my life where my ambition to be “successful” as society defines it, if you will, that's really fallen away for me. I am really– and I guess it was quite a long time ago that it felt, well, I don't know, long ago, but it's gradually, I've realized that that's not what my purpose is anymore. My purpose, I'm not concerned with being successful as the world defines it, I'm concerned with living in alignment with my values. For me, that's what success means.

The degree of success that I'm experiencing in my life, to me, is directly correlated to the degree that I'm living in alignment with my values, my values of being a family man, being a father and a husband and putting my family first, my health, having impeccable health. These are my highest values. And for me, success is defined by living in alignment with those values: freedom, love, gratitude, all of these values. For me, that's how I define success. So, Sherri, so I would say that for you, no matter what your age, could you define your values? What are your values? Contribution, connection, love, safety, freedom. And every day if you wake up and you live in alignment with those values, I would say from my perspective, and again, this is just you're asking me so I'm sharing my perspective but I'd say, "Wow. That's fulfillment. That’s success.” And here's what I would also consider, Sherri. If you listen to the last episode that we did on Episode 380, I talked about upgrade your identity to upgrade your reality. And, Sherri, if you have not listened to that episode, I would go back to HalElrod.com/380 and listen to that because I talk about examining your identity that has gotten you to this point in your life and looking at what aspects of your identity are still serving you and which aspects are no longer serving you, and then pulling out your journal and actually recreating your identity anew that reflects your highest and best self. Who are you committed to being, moving forward? And so, to me, at any age, that's an opportunity that's exciting and I know like for me, the best day of my life will be the last day of my life.

I'm a big believer in the philosophy of making every day the best day of your life. And that has very little to do with what's going on outside of you, what your age is, what your weight is, what your hair color is, whatever, well, any external circumstances. To me, it has less to do with the best day of your life as it is your intention. The best day of your life is the day that you decide is the best day of your life. The other day on my birthday, I drink a sip of coffee. It was like 5:30 in the morning or 4 in the morning. I don’t know what time it was because I started that day at midnight. I woke up at midnight and I just stayed awake and I literally started my birthday at midnight and then I took like a three-hour nap that afternoon. But the point is I drink a sip of coffee and it was like slow motion, time stood still, and I said to myself, "This is the best moment of my life,” and there will be a chapter in my new book about this, about how to make every moment the best moment of your life. Most of us, if you were to ask somebody, "Hey, what was the best moment of your life?” You know, their eyes would roll to the side and they'd go, "Gosh, that's a great question,” and they would usually search their memory banks for some sort of event or circumstance that was outstanding. You know, it was my wedding or it was that trip we took to Hawaii or it was that day I got a promotion or I have my child or whatever, right? We would search for external circumstances.

And what that says is that the best day of our life, A, it's behind us and, B, it's based on events or circumstances. It goes back to what I said at the beginning, which is like you take ownership of every aspect of your life, including how good any given day is. So, to be the best day of your life isn't the day that something great randomly happened or even that you made happen. The best day of your life is whatever day you decide is the best day of your life. The best moment of your life can literally be every single moment. And that I guess it's really a philosophy where you decide, yeah, I'm deciding that every moment of my life is the best moment of my life. And guess what's cool about that? This is the best moment of our lives right now. Me saying these words, you listening to these words, if we so choose, can and is the best moment of our lives. So, Sherri, with all of that, it doesn't matter what age you are. And the other thing I would share with you and I did this for you as a quick bonus, I actually searched “success after 50” on Amazon. And there's a book called 50 After 50: Reframing the Next Chapter of Your Life. There's a book called It's NEVER Too Late And You're NEVER Too Old: 50 People Who Found Success After 50. There's a book called How to Get a Good Job After 50. There's a book called Women Who Spark After 50: Inspiration to Reinvent and Reignite Your Life for the Second Half. Yeah. That's a great one. I would read that. So, there are many books and many examples of people who found success and found fulfillment after 50 who made the second half of their life the best half of their life. So, hope that is helpful for you and for everybody listening.

All right. Now, we're going to dive into a category, mindset and emotional intelligence. This was arguably the biggest, the most question I got. I think the most questions came that I would relate to this category, mindset and emotional intelligence. So, the first one's from Jenny Smith. Jenny, thank you. And Sherri Meyer, by the way, thank you for your question. Jenny Smith said, "You exhibited extraordinary optimism after your accident. Was that innate from your parents or learned at Cutco? And how can we develop internal motivation to live out unwavering faith if we have always lived in a world of worry, doubt, and negativity?” So, I guess those are kind of two different questions. The first was the optimism that I had after my car accident. Was that innate from my parents or learned at Cutco? So, there are three different options. Was that innate, was that learned from my parents, or learned at Cutco? The answer is I would say all three and innate in terms of obviously if I chose it, there was some aspect of it that was innate because I was willing and able to make that choice to be optimistic and to have faith after my car accident.

And by the way, just in case somebody is listening for the first time, they don't know my story, I won’t bore most people with it that know it but when I was 20, I was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles an hour. I was found dead at the scene. My heart stopped for six minutes. I broke 11 bones and when I came out of a coma six days later, I had permanent brain damage and the doctor said I would never walk again. So, that was what I had to deal with and I just decided I can't change that I was in a car accident and if I never walk again, I'll be the happiest person that I've ever seen in a wheelchair because I'm in a wheelchair either way. So, I'm not going to let my outer circumstances dictate my mental and emotional well-being. So, that's what Jenny's alluding to. So, was part of it from my parents? Yes. My mom, less from my parents, though, but definitely a part of it. In fact, the innate aspect I think was embedded when I was young from my parents. So, when I was nine years old, I woke up on a Saturday morning. It was me, my mother at home, and my 18-month-old baby sister. My dad was at work and my sister was out of town visiting my grandma, my other sister, and I woke up to my mother screaming across the hall saying, "My baby, my baby.” And at first, as I came to, I thought she was playing with my sister going, "Oh, my baby, my baby.”

And then as I woke up and I became conscious and I started to wake up, I caught despair and terror in my mother's voice and I ran across the hall and my baby sister, Amery, was dead in her arms and she was giving her mouth-to-mouth. My mother was out of breath trying to give my sister mouth-to-mouth. It was a horrifying scene. And at nine, I was scared. I was confused. I didn't know what would happen. Long story short, my sister died that morning. She didn't make it. She went to the hospital. They couldn't revive her. And my mother was obviously distraught. I mean as a parent, I mean, it's your worst nightmare. However, within a matter of months, I think it was six months, maybe it was a little bit less but my mom I guess within a few months she started attending a support group called Compassionate Friends for Parents who had lost young children, and she started attending that group. And within a few months after attending it, she decided to form her own chapter in our small town and to lead it and to help other parents not only to heal herself and manage her grief while helping other parents who had lost children to do the same. And so, I learned at a very young age to take your tragedy and turn it into a triumph, to take your adversity and find the advantage within it, and specifically to do that for other people.

So, it's like, “Okay. I've struggled. I've suffered and maybe I've come through it and I've learned some things.” Now, how can I take my experience to help other people? And so, my life has been about that ever since I had my car accident when I was 20 years old. When I was in the hospital, I literally thought, “Okay. This is not what I ever would have asked for but maybe I'm meant to get through this and help other people.” And so, then I committed. I said, “I'm going to be as positive and proactive as I possibly can to get through this difficult time and I'm going to then help other people to overcome their challenges.” I'm 42 now so for 22 years that's kind of been my mission in life in one way or another, including the Miracle Morning. It was like, "Oh, this thing changed my life so I'm going to now share it with other people and help them.” Then I have cancer. So, I'm always trying to filter my challenges through helping other people. And so, I think a big part of that was seeing my mom and my dad do that at a very young age and it was embedded in me subconsciously because I don't even realize it until I was asked in an interview probably five years ago if I learned my way of being from my dad and it’s like it hit me. I go, "Wait a minute,” when I was really young and I shared this story that I just shared with you about my sister dying and seeing my mom and my dad, by the way.

They started a fundraiser also that year to raise money for the hospital that attempted to save my sister's life and gave her care when she was alive because she was born with a really rare heart condition, which is why she died. She was a dwarf. She would never grow to be over four feet tall. And so, she was in and out of the hospital her entire life, her short 18-month life while she was alive. And so, my parents again found a way to, "Hey, let's raise money for the hospital,” and turn my sister's death into something that could help other people. So, that's where that came in. And Cutco, last but not least, Jenny, you asked, did it come from Cutco when I was in sales at Cutco? That's a big part of it. I learned something called the 5-Minute Rule and I will share this with you. Some of you may have heard this before so this will be a good reminder. Some of you may practice this daily and it'll also be a good reminder and some of you may have never heard this before. But when I was in my Cutco sales training on day 2 of training, my manager and my mentor, Jesse Levine, he taught us something called the 5-Minute Rule. He said, "Look, when you guys go out there and you're doing sales for the first time,” he said, "You're going to be calling people on the phone trying to schedule appointments. Some people are going to be rude and they're going to hang up on you. Sometimes you're going to set a goal to schedule 10 appointments and nobody's going to be home or people are going to say no and you're not going to schedule any appointments and you're going to feel really discouraged.”

He said, "Sometimes you're going to go and you're going to have a goal for the week and you're going to go out and customers aren't going to buy anything or they're going to cancel their orders when you thought you had sales and it's going to be very discouraging.” So, as he's telling us all this, I was 19 at the time, I'm going, "Oh, my God, what did I sign up for? I don't have the emotional strength to deal with all that disappointment and rejection.” I mean, come on. And he says, “I'm going to teach you how to deal with all of this, how to deal with all disappointment in your life, all rejection. Anytime something in your life happens, whether it's in Cutco and in sales or in any area of your life,” he said, "This is how you deal with it.” And to this day, this has been one of the most valuable lessons I have ever learned. And he said it's called the 5-Minute Rule. It's okay to be negative when something goes wrong but not for more than five minutes. And he taught us when something in your life happens or doesn't happen, that doesn't meet your expectation and you find yourself upset, you're angry, you're stressed, you're frustrated, you're disappointed, you're sad like you name the painful emotion, you're distraught in some way, he said, "Set your timer on your phone for five minutes.” He said, "So, at Cutco, in this way,” he said, "This is your training for the rest of your life because, at Cutco, you're going to experience a lot of disappointment on a daily basis more so than in regular life, you might argue,” he said.

And he said, "But if you can learn to deal with it in Cutco, then you can deal with it for the rest of your life. So, this is just practice.” He said, "When something happened, you set your timer for five minutes.” And by the way, everybody listening, please, get this lesson and if you heard me say this before but you're not doing it regularly which is normal, really implement this. So, he said, "When you have, for example, if you have a customer cancel an order or you have a customer that doesn't buy anything or you have a customer that's rude to you and they hang up the phone on you.” He said, "Set your timer for five minutes and give yourself five minutes to feel all of your emotions.” And I think he said, "Bitch, moan, complain, cry. If you need to vent to somebody, do that, beat up a pillow, get your emotions out. Feel them. Don't deny them. Don't shut them down.” He said, "Feel them fully.” But he said, "When the timer goes off after five minutes, you say three very powerful words. Can't change it.” He said, "You remind yourself that you can't go back in time and change what happened five minutes ago.” So, there's little to no value in wishing that you could, in dwelling on that thing that is now in the past, whether it was five minutes, five days, five months, five years, five decades ago. And let me say this to everybody, we think about this.

When you suffer emotionally over something, aren't you always resisting that thing, you're wishing it were different, you're wishing that the person in your life that's making you angry were different? Why do they have to be that way? Why can't they just be nicer or why can't they be more motivated? Why can't they be more like me, which is usually what it is? We think the way that we see the world is the way the world should be in the way that we act is the right way. Why can't people just get it the way that we do? That's what we do. We resist reality. That's the biggest lesson to understand this 5-minute rule is to understand that the cause of all of your emotional pain, all of our emotional pain, every negative and painful emotion that you've ever felt that you're feeling now or could ever feel in the future is self-created and it’s self-created by resisting your reality. And to the degree that you resist your reality determines the degree of emotional pain that you feel. Think about that. Imagine you hit traffic or you're running late somewhere you really need to be. You leave the house, you're going, “Oh, God, please don't let there be traffic. Please don’t let there be traffic. Please don’t let there be traffic. I cannot have traffic today. I am running late. I've got to get there,” and then, boom, you hit bumper-to-bumper traffic. How do you spend the time in the car? Think about that. Let's say you're in the car for half an hour in traffic. You're running late. What are the emotions that you're experiencing?

You're frustrated. You're upset that you left earlier. You're clenching your teeth. You're clenching the steering wheel. You're riding the bumper of the person in front of you. You're talking to them, right? They can't hear you but you're going, “Come on. What the hell's wrong? Go faster.” You're talking to them. You're resisting reality. You're wishing that there wasn't traffic but that's delusional because there is traffic. You're wishing the car in front of you were going faster, but that's delusional because they're not going faster. You're wishing that you hadn't left late that morning but that's delusional because you did leave late that morning. You're wishing that when you get to your destination, that the person that's there isn't going to be upset or whatever. No, no, I wouldn't say it's partially delusional because you're not in control of their response but do you see the degree of resistance that we have to our reality is what determines and literally creates the degree of emotional turmoil that we experience in any given moment. Resisting reality causes emotional pain. So, what's the opposite of that? Acceptance, unconditional acceptance. So, I used to be like most people in traffic and I would be frustrated and upset and angry and just in my head and stress, intense. I was that way for most of my life until I learned the 5-minute rule and then I went, "Wait a minute.”

You know, I could set my timer for five minutes and be upset for five minutes that there's traffic, but then when the timer goes off, I take a deep breath, you go, "Can't change it. I can't change what happened five minutes ago or I can't change the pace of the cars in front of me or I can't change my spouse. They are who they are. I can't change my kids. They are who they are. I can’t change my business partner.” I can't change what I can't change. So, you really have two choices. Number one, resist reality. You continue to create emotional turmoil for yourself and I'd imagine if you really stop and think about it, that's not the best choice. Well, I'm not going to judge your choice. You can choose that but I would imagine most of us don't want to be angry, stressed out, frustrated. Sometimes we do. But for the most part, we want to live in peace and harmony and joy if we're really honest with ourselves. Usually, when we do want to be stressed or angry, it's because we're trying to meet a need and we don't know another way to meet it. We're trying to meet a need for control and so anger gives us a false sense of control. If I'm angry at the person then I'm controlling the situation. I can be angry at them and they can come groveling to me, asking for me to not be angry. Now I'm in control. You follow? When we're angry, it's just a primitive way, it's an immature way, and I don't mean that as an insult, my kind of just an observation or an assessment or one point of view. And by the way, I got angry yesterday with someone that I was talking to. In fact, I just texted him and apologized and I don't normally get angry like angry. In fact, I don’t even feel like it's anger. I just get intense. I’m like, “Come on!” I don't feel angry. I don't feel like negative angry. I’ll just get intense sometimes if I'm trying to prove a point. You might notice I get intense whenever I'm trying to share anything.

But anyway, the point is when we're upset, we're just trying to meet a need and it's the only way that we know how. We haven't figured out a better way to feel in control, which you think about the irony. We’ll lose control of our emotions, somehow gives us a false sense that we're in control. “I’m angry so I have control over the situation,” but not really. You're losing it, right? You're losing control. But certainly, the point is that is the lesson I learned at Cutco, the 5-minute rule and I applied it for the last 23 years and it's one of the most powerful lessons I ever learned because it has been the key that has unlocked the door to what I would call emotional freedom, freedom from emotional turmoil. Now, when something happens, I don't even take five minutes. It's just a way of being. It's instead of five minutes, the 5-minute rule eventually became the 5-second rule where I went, “Sonnuva… I can't believe that happened. Ugh!” Deep breath. Can't change it. Move on. I didn't need five minutes because what would happen is the 5-minute timer, I would set it, and after I did this for a while, I start to get the hang of it, “Ugh, this is so annoying. I can’t believe this happened,” and then I look at my watch or my phone and I go, “I still got four minutes left like what's the point of being upset for four more minutes? Why don’t I just move on?” And I would just move on and go, "Wow, that's freeing. I literally can just choose to accept what I can't change at any given moment.” I could wait five minutes or five seconds or not even put any time. I just accept life before it happens.

And that was the evolution is getting to a place where once I practiced the 5-minute rule, and I encourage you start with the 5-minute rule if you haven't done it before or if you haven't done it in a while. Start doing the 5-minute rule. When something happens that upsets you, set the timer in five minutes or you can do Mel Robbins’ five-second rule, you go, "Five, four, three, two, one. Can't change it. I can't change what happened so I'm going to choose to accept it, not resist it. I'm going to accept it fully and be at peace with it. Accepting it doesn't mean you condone poor behavior. It doesn't mean that you're approving this, that it's okay. No, you're saying I can't change it so I'm not going to create internal emotional suffering for myself. I'm going to accept it, be at peace with it, and move on.” So, I learned that in Cutco. So, Jenny, so yes, my optimism, my faith, all of that, it's a combination of those things but for anybody listening to this, I really would encourage you to apply the 5-minute rule to your life, turn it into the five-second rule as soon as you can, and then as soon as you can after that, turn it into accepting life before it happens, where you just decide that, "Look, anything that ever happens to me that I can't control, I'm not going to waste my emotional energy wishing it were different. I am not going to live in a state of delusion, resisting my reality, wishing that something were different that cannot be different because it is as it is. Whether it's in the past or the present, it is as it is.”

And you can either accept life exactly as it is and live in peace and harmony or we can choose to resist reality and keep banging our head against the wall, wishing things were different that are out of our control and creating emotional pain and inner turmoil. The choice is 100% ours. So, I encourage you to choose acceptance. The key to unlock the door to acceptance or to emotional freedom is acceptance and the gateway to get to acceptance is that 5-minute rule and eventually the 5-second rule and eventually accepting life exactly as it is before it even happens. So, last thing I'll say on that is the day I was diagnosed with cancer, like I told the doctor in the office like I'm okay, I'm at peace with it, and I was at peace with it. I was at peace with it because I decided a long time ago and I decided after I practiced the 5-minute rule for weeks and then months, then years, that I'm never going to create unnecessary emotional turmoil over something that I can't change. And when I was told I had cancer, obviously, in that moment, I couldn't change it but I was committed to do everything in my power to heal and part of that everything in my power to heal was to not let my body through unnecessary emotional stress. It was to be at peace.

Or the fact that I had cancer, in fact, I was grateful. I had thanked God. I want you to hear this. Every day, I was thankful. I thanked God for the cancer. I said, “God, thank you for giving me this cancer or for me. Whatever created it, wherever it came from, thank you. Thank you for the lessons, plural, that I'm going to learn from having cancer. Thank you for the growth that I am going to experience having cancer. Thank you for the abilities that I will acquire to impact more people as a result of having this cancer.” I was grateful for every possible thing I could think of to be grateful for in the midst of the most difficult time in my life and we can all choose that. Jenny Smith, thank you for the question, and that was a long answer. Hopefully, it was valuable for everybody.

Next question. Omar Martinez asked, he said, “Hal, in The Miracle Equation you spoke about detaching emotionally from all the outcomes during your push period for Cutco. I'm in door-to-door sales and I'm struggling at the time to separate myself from the customer’s decision to move forward. Can you give me some advice in how you were able to detach from the outcomes in order to hit your goals? Much love and thanks for all you do.” All right. Omar, that's a great question to follow up on the last one because there's definitely overlap. So, how do you detach emotionally from the outcomes that you're working so hard for? So, that's the distinction. This question is a little different. So, if you're listening, you have things you're working for like you're really working towards outcomes. You're working hard. You're putting forth extraordinary effort. You're giving all that you have. And what if you fail? What if you fail to achieve the outcome, at least in the short term? What if you don't meet your goals? What if you're working really hard and you're not achieving the things you want? Or there could be an outcome you want like, “I really want to stay married to my spouse,” and they want a divorce or they ask for a divorce and you go like, "How do you detach from those outcomes if you want to be married for the rest of your life?” And there are at least one or two questions further down around people that are going through a divorce right now and really struggling.

So, if you have outcomes, how do you accept what you can't change if what you can't change is what you don't want. Like you, well, I can't change it but the thing like I really want to change it. You know, I really want to beat this cancer. I really want to achieve these goals. I really want to do these things. How do you remain unattached? Well, I'm going to answer it specific to Omar’s context of direct sales and then you can apply this, obviously, to any outcome that you have. Omer's outcomes are achieving his goals in his direct sales career. So, here's the way that I talk about this in The Miracle Equation that the secret to success in terms of measurable success, so let's just say sales success or business success, one of the secrets is to stay committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the results. So, you might want to write that down. This to me is a secret to success. It's to stay committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the results. So, when I was in direct sales, my process was making daily phone calls and I figured out through my averages meaning how many calls I needed to make to schedule the number of appointments I need to schedule to make the number of sales I needed to make to achieve my sales. That was the outcome that I wanted. Well, the process was I needed to make 20 phone calls a day, five to six days a week. That was it. If I make 20 phone calls a day, five or six days a week, what's known as the law of averages, which means things average out over time. Like on any given day, you might make 20 calls and schedule zero appointments, right?

But over the course of the week, it would average out to me scheduling I think 15 to 20 appointments, something like that. And even if I had a bad week where one week there occasionally I'd have a week where it was like a holiday, like fourth of July and everyone's going on vacation. I didn't schedule any plans that week and I'm like, "Oh my gosh, I made 20 calls a day, five days a week. I didn’t schedule anything,” but because I was committed to the process over the long term, by the way, I mean, not just for one week, but for the year and not emotionally attached to results, I realized that even if I had a bad week, as long as I made 20 calls a day, five or six days a week, it would average out over the course of the month and the year and it would always work out. And again, it’s called the law of averages. You can google that and read up more on it if you want to. And the same goes in like exercising. Once you're trying to lose 20 pounds and one week let’s say you're losing 5 pounds a week and it's going great and then one week you don't lose any weight or you lose one pound or maybe you gain a pound but you did all the things right. I mean, biology is not an exact science. It could be your sleep that affected how much weight you lost or gained. It could be stress. Stress affects every biological system that we have, which is why when I had cancer, I was like, “I am not going to have any stress. I'm going to live stress-free during this cancer.”

So, you might be going to the gym five days a week and you're following your diet, and all of a sudden, one week instead of losing 5 pounds, you gained a pound. Well, if you're emotionally attached to the results, you might go, "Oh my gosh, I give up. I can't believe it. I've been working so hard for the last six weeks and apparently, my body has stopped losing weight.” Whatever. So, the point is if you commit to the process over an extended period of time without being emotionally attached to your short-term results, everything tends to work out. And then an important caveat to that is if you're in it for the long haul, when you finally get to the point in your life or in your business or in your sales career that you're working so hard for, for so long, you almost never wish it would have happened any sooner. Instead, you look back and you go, "Oh, okay, I have some tough weeks in there. I have some tough days but I see now that that was all part of the journey and it all worked out for the best.” I have shared this story many times of the Miracle Morning book. I wrote the book and my goal was to sell one million copies in the first year. It was the goal in writing and my affirmations that I read every day was change one million lives one morning at a time. And the way to do that was for me to sell one million copies of the Miracle Morning.

And you may or may not know this but at the end of the year, and I busted my butt by the way, I did over 150 podcast interviews. I did 52 of my own weekly podcasts. I was on like 13 television shows all over the country. I gave 36 speeches like I busted my butt. I posted on Facebook, on social media to promote the book and nurture the Miracle Morning community almost every single day of the year, and I sold 13,000 copies. Put that in perspective. That means I was short of my goal by 987,000 copies. My goal is a million copies for the year. That means I need to sell, what, some 85,000 copies a month and I sold 13,000 copies for the year. Now, was I discouraged? Absolutely. Did I feel like giving up? I did. Did I give up? Absolutely not, because that philosophy of being committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the results, and I guess that caveat, the add-on to that is for as long as it takes, actually the word “until”. Be committed to the process without being emotionally attached to your results until… Until you achieve the outcome. Because the only variable, if you maintain unwavering faith that you can achieve it and you put forth extraordinary effort consistently over an extended period of time, that period of time being until, it might take you a year, might take you 10 years, it might take you three. It depends on what you're working towards. And you often can't predict how long it's going to take you.

But because I live by that philosophy, which we can all live by and I encourage you to try it out, which is to be committed to the process of achieving every goal and result that you want to achieve without being emotionally attached to results, meaning you accept what you can't change. You accept that you’re at peace with it. You don't resist reality and live in delusion. All of these lessons we're talking today are all connected. You see there's some overlap extracting together and you do it until you eventually get there. So, Miracle Morning book examples, one of the best ones I can share because I dusted myself off. By the way, let me be clear. Maybe you're getting this. When I say to be committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the results, that's a conscious effort, a conscious decision. It's not inherent. It's not automatic and it's not necessarily easy meaning when I didn't achieve my goals when I was in Cutco and I developed that philosophy and I would make my calls and like I would feel the emotion. I'm a human being. So, I would be like, "Oh, how could this happen? I worked so hard this week like I busted my butt, I gave it everything, and I had three people cancel their orders and I had six no sales, and four people didn't show up, and the one lady that bought one knife.” So, then I would take a deep breath and I would go, “Okay. 5-minute rule, okay, I can't change it. Okay. Be committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the results. Huh, easier said than done but I'm committed to that.”

So, it was a conscious decision in the midst of a natural emotional response. So, I want you guys to get that. This isn't robotic. This isn’t, “I live by the 5-minute rule so after five minutes, I feel no emotional pain. I am committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the result so I feel nothing.” No. This is how you manage your emotions. This is how you acquire emotional intelligence is by practicing these strategies. These are strategies. These are philosophies. These are ways of being. These are ways of thinking. And you apply them so that you can overcome your emotional turmoil that you're experiencing. Hold tight. I'm going to take a drink of water and I encourage you to do the same. I wonder if you can hear me drinking the water. Maybe you can. But hydrate everybody. Hydrate. I drink water all day. I filled up this big hydro flask and I just make sure that I drink one before lunch and then at least one after lunch and it's like, I think it's a liter. So, I drink at least two liters of fluid a day. That's my minimum, plus all the tea and stuff I drink from coffee and whatever else. By the way, that's a bonus. Somebody recommended that strategy when I was like 20 something. I was like, “I need to drink more water. How do you drink water? I just forget,” and they go, “I fill up this one litter jug and I keep it on my desk and I just sip it all day long and I make sure I'm not allowed to eat lunch until it's gone.” And then they sip, "Then I fill it up again. And then after lunch, I'm not allowed to eat dinner until it's gone and I just keep it with me all day long. I put it on my desk, I bring it in the car.” And I was like, “That's genius.”

And you guys, it's a great hack if you will, a strategy. I have done that for 20 something years to ensure that I hydrate all day long of just sipping that water and making sure I can't eat lunch until the first one's done, can’t eat dinner until the second one’s done. It’s a great strategy. And just go online and search for a 1-liter water bottle or hydro flask or whatever. I use a hydro flask because it keeps it nice and cold all day which I kind of like. All right. Where was I at? Omar, so asking, yeah, so how do you separate yourself from the customer decision to not buy and move forward? And so, that's it. It's being committed to the process without being emotionally attached to the result and realizing that in the short-term, things don't always turn out the way that we want typically and not always, obviously. Not always but in the long run, if we continue to remain committed to the process and remind ourselves to not be emotionally distraught and then create emotional turmoil for ourselves, we typically eventually get to our goal. And the Miracle Morning book is an example. So, year one my goal was to sell a million copies, sold 13,000. Year two, I dusted myself off. And I was discouraged. Like I said, I was like, "Oh, my God, I'm never going to sell a million copies.” I did the math. I mean, what is that like 80 years or something? I think 13,000 times 80 is a million. I'm doing that in my head. It could be off by a zero or something but I think that's about right. No, that is right. So, like 80 years.

So, I'm literally going, “It’s going to take me 80 years to sell a million copies.” And by the way, I committed. I'm like, "Alright. If it takes me the rest of my life, I will. I'm committed. I'll do it. I'm just going to keep trying.” And I tried year two. In year two, I sold like 23,000 copies I think. So, I was at like 36,000 but it's still 964,000 copies away, 96% or whatever. Anyway, so long story short, I tried again, I tried again, I tried again year after year after year after year after year. And finally, the sixth year after the Miracle Morning published, we surpassed a million copies sold. And how did I do that? The Miracle Equation, unwavering faith that I could reach a million people, and extraordinary effort until… That word “until” is one of the most important words in the English language when it comes to achieving your goals because it often takes longer than you thought. I was interviewed once by Mike Koenigs and I talked to him about how I heard that philosophy, that it takes 10 years to be an overnight success. I think it was Will Smith. I could be wrong. I think it was an actor that was being interviewed on Ellen DeGeneres and they said, "You are an overnight success,” and he said, "Overnight success my butt. It took me 10 years. I've been kicked out of auditions. I've been waiting tables. I've been sleeping in my car.” So, maybe it wasn't Will Smith. I don't know who it was.

But anyway, he did have the number one movie in the country at the time, whoever it was and he said, "It took me 10 years to be an overnight success,” and then I heard more people say that and I wrote it down in my affirmations. It was part of my Miracle Morning journey to reach a million people. I was like, “Alright, ten years to be an overnight success.” But when I told that to Mike Koenigs, he asked me a great question. He said, "That begs the question, Hal, what do you believe in enough, what is meaningful enough to you that you're willing to commit ten years of your life to become an overnight success?” It's a great question, so I pose that to you. And for me, the Miracle Morning meant enough to me. I'm like this is changing people's lives. I'm committed to do whatever it takes for as long as it takes to reach at least a million people. Now, it's a billion people. I don’t know how long it’s going to take. It might be until I die but I'm committed. I believe enough in the Miracle Morning and I've seen it. It's changed millions of people's lives for the better. And so, I'm committed to share it until... Until when? Until I die. Until whatever. You decide the until. You get to decide the until.

Yes. So, Omar, I hope that's helpful and thank you for the great question because I think that applies to all of us. How do you detach emotionally from your results? It's easier done than said or easier said than done, right? Easier said than done but again, it's a strategy. We're all human beings. We all feel emotional turmoil. The difference is, does your emotional turmoil control you? Does it overwhelm you? Do you dwell on it? Does it stay with you for unnecessary and unhealthy periods of time? Or do you feel it? Do you accept it? Do you make peace with it? Do you say you can't change it? And do you move on? So, that instead of making you distraught for five hours or five days or five years, it's five minutes or five seconds or virtually not at all and you can get there. I promise you.

All right. Next question. This might be the last one we have time for today and then, yeah, obviously we have so many more. This next one is from Nancy El-Halbawi. So, she said EH for short. Thank you for that, Nancy. All right. So, EH for short. Nancy EH. She said, "How do you keep yourself motivated and manage overwhelming energy levels when you get to the promotion stage of a project you're working on? For instance, after you released your book and had to balance your energy for giving talks, touring, and promoting the book, how do you manage that busy time?” So, for me, Nancy, and this probably could be different for different people, I was excited for that phase. So, for me, the promotion phase is exciting because I go, "Wow. All the years of writing the book or the years of the work, the project are behind me, and now I get to go talk about it. Now, I get to share my enthusiasm for this project with other people. That's exciting.” So, I would encourage you, my answer is to frame, again, it depends on naturally you might go, “Yeah, I'm excited,” but it sounds like from your question that maybe that's not as natural for you. Maybe for somebody, you're introverted, right? You're like, “I’m nervous or whatever.” Maybe you're scared. There's a fear of rejection or a fear of failure, on and on and on. There could be a lot of different reasons that that's not something you're excited about.

But what I would encourage you to do is pull out your computer or your phone or your journal or a piece of paper and I would write some form of an affirmation that says, “I am excited. I am committed and excited to promote this project for as long as it takes to reach X number of people, whatever your goal is for the following reasons:” and then bullet point your reasons. “Number one, because I believe this can help people or because it helped me and I feel passionate about sharing with other people. Number two, because the more I share this with other people and promote it, the more it will not only help them but it will help every other person in their life. Number three, the more I promote this project, the more people will know my brand or my business and the more I'll be able to impact other people. Number four, the more I promote it, the more money I'll earn from selling my product. Number five, by doing this, I will show my children that when you work hard and create something that can help other people, you have a responsibility to share it with as many people as you can. Number five, I will lead by example for others.” I'm just spitballing here, just coming up with stuff on top of my head but the point is, Nancy, that the way I believe that the most effective way to manage the overwhelming energy levels we need to get to the promotion stage of a project is to generate the energy by clarifying your reasons why you're committed and excited and passionate to promote your project. So, that's my advice for you. I hope that is helpful.

[CLOSING]

Hal Elrod: And that is going to be it for today. We're out of time and we still have so many questions to get through. We just got into the purpose questions and the mindset and emotional intelligence questions but we still have to talk about fulfilling your potential and how to implement what you learn, how to follow through with things, help with the Miracle Morning, personal questions, dealing with tragedy, health challenges, parenting. We have so much more. So, we will do another Ask Me Anything soon. And if you want to submit a question, one more time, go to HalElrod.com/AMA (Ask Me Anything). And then last but not least, please, please, please, if you like this format, if you like this format, please leave a comment below this episode at HalElrod.com/381 and let me know so that we can keep this going. And if you have any questions or suggestions or anything regarding the content, the concept, the flow of the Ask Me Anything, please let me know. I would love your feedback because again, this is for you guys and gals, for our audience so that I can answer your questions and add value to your life. So, love you so much. Hope you have a great day and I will talk to you all next week.

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