We all have problems, but how our problems affect us can differ greatly from one person to another. While one person might feel overwhelmed or even depressed by the problems we’re facing, someone else might actually feel optimistic and motivated, viewing their problems as opportunities for growth.
In the last year, I’ve dealt with depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, and severe sleep deprivation. And while these “problems” have been the most difficult I’ve ever dealt with (and am still dealing with), they have become my greatest opportunity for growth.
If we can change and reframe our perceptions, we can have a better quality of life. If we realize that the word “problem” is simply a label we’ve given to situations, and which amplifies our worst feelings – we can use them as a way to better understand ourselves, learn, and, most importantly, work through them.
In today’s solo episode, I want to show you how to look at “problems” through a new lens, shift your paradigm, and find not just solutions, but inner freedom.
- Why I now set aside time at the beginning and end of my day to feel good – and how to integrate this into your daily practice.
- How to get to the place where you don’t need external stimuli to be happy.
- What I did to stop anxiety from keeping me up at night after a year of depression, fear, and uncertainty.
- Why fixating on a problem amplifies it – and how to look for real solutions you can actually implement, even if you’re just turning to Google.
- The reason you should never suffer in silence – and how to make the most of the lives we’ve been given.
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Hal Elrod: Goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning community, welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. It’s Hal Elrod. And what should we talk about today? This is my first solo episode in a minute in a bit because we had quite a few great guests for a while here. We had Neale Donald Walsch and Kyle Wilson, and we had the one and only Yanik Silver. We had Drew McManus, the lead singer of Satsang. So, we had a lot of great guests here over the last month or two. And then I did a couple of bonus episodes where we were promoting the Best Year Ever Blueprint mentors, the BYEB Mentors Program. So, we gave you some like sneak peeks and kind of some of the sessions from that. And I haven’t done a solo episode in a while so here we go. Let’s make this happen. So, I was reviewing notes and I keep notes in different places, a little bit too many places. There’s too many technologies now where I’ve got stuff in Evernote and stuff in Google Docs and stuff in my notes on Apple, stuff everywhere. I need to get better at centrally locating or keeping a central location. Maybe you can relate to that, right? You know, this is not a commercial for a new organizing app.
So, I was reviewing my Google Doc where I’ve got a lot of notes and I was going to do a podcast episode today on kind of the purpose of life or a purpose of life and in talking about kind of your inner game and the idea that we just want to feel good, we want to be happy, we want to be loved, and I was reviewing the note and thank goodness I did a search and this shows you how bad my memory is, but I was like, “Wait a minute.” I searched my podcast and I go, “Oh, I already did that episode. I already reviewed this outline and shared this with you guys and gals on Episode 285, which is What Is The Purpose Of Life? (Hint: It’s Simpler Than You Think). And by the way, if you haven’t listened to that one, got some great feedback for that. So, if you have time, go listen to HalElrod.com/285, Episode 285. So, then I’m like, “Oh, shoot, I’d spent like 20 minutes prepping that episode,” and I’m like, “I can’t do the same episode twice. That’d be kind of silly,” although it actually be good because you’d hear it in a different way. I’m sure I’d share new insights. I’m a different person than I was a couple few months ago when I recorded it. But I thought, yeah, that’s probably not going to be ideal. Many of you’d be like, “Wait, like 80% of this sounds very similar,” or something like that.
So, here’s where we’re going to go today, I want to talk about your problems and if you’re a human being, I would imagine you’ve got some, right? We’ve all got problems or at least what we perceive as problems. I want to talk to you about how to see your problems in a different way, how to almost get rid of them. Not get rid of them, but just see them in a different way and approach them in a different way. It threw a lens. I want to shift how you view the paradigm that you see your life because many of us see our life, a large majority of our time and energy is invested in seeing our problems, experiencing our problems, worrying about our problems, stressing about our problems, having anxiety around our problems, and they could be financial problems. It could be problems in your relationship, could be health challenges, right? So, there’s a lot of different problems in areas of life. Any area of life, we could have a problem in that area. And here’s where we’re going to go with this. And in the context is around again, this is your perception of problems as they relate to your life. And if we can change, if we can reframe our perception of our problems, then we can change our experience of life or inner experience or emotional experience, the quality of our life because it’s the inner game.
That was what the episode was going to be about today was kind of the goal. Our goal for all of us, it’s really inner freedom. Think about that for a second. We’ll probably do an episode on that. I’m sure at some point, I’ll dive deeper into that. But inner freedom, you know, and there’s a lot of ways that you could describe that. You could say we just want to feel good. I’ve said that many times like really, the majority of us, human beings like we just want to feel good. That’s why we do anything that we do typically is to feel good. The word good, you could replace that with a lot of other words, a lot of synonyms, love, right? I want to feel love. I just want to feel loved. I want to feel love for myself. I want to feel good. I want to feel bliss, joy, ecstasy. There’s a lot of words that you could use to describe that feeling good. And when I did the episode on the purpose of life, it was the idea of we just want to feel loved, like that’s what we want. We want to feel love, want to feel good so why we do anything that we do.
In a relationship, you do things because you want to love that person, express your love for them, feel their love back, right? Like it all revolves around that, that feeling love and feeling good. So, here’s one of the biggest things that get in the way of us experiencing life as it is. I believe that it’s meant to be. It’s my own belief, right? I believe that we are meant to not just feel good all the time and that kind of used to be me which I’ll break it more into it at some point as well. One of the things that have happened over the last year is I’ve gone through this really difficult mental and emotional time that I’ve been open with you guys and gals about depression, anxiety, post-traumatic stress disorder, all these things that I’m still dealing with. I’m not sleeping well. There’s a little inside info if in case you didn’t know that. I’ve been sleeping on three to four hours a night for the last two months. I don’t know if I don’t think I’ve shared that before. But yeah, for the last two-and-a-half months, I’m averaging about three to four hours a night. Some nights I sleep not at all. Some nights I’ll sleep a couple of hours. Sometimes I sleep seven but, yeah, that’s been really, really challenging. Anyway, so I don’t mean to go too far down that rabbit hole.
But here’s the point. I believe that we want to feel good the majority of the time. It’s why we do what we do. And I think we deserve to feel good and that’s what life is meant to be. So, what’s getting in the way of that for us? That’s the question. Yeah. I do like to feel good, right? It feels good to feel good. I like to feel good. Yeah. We can establish that. I’d like to feel good more often. In fact, what if I could feel good like almost, you know, maybe not all the time, but most of the time, the majority of the time? And I would like to offer something that I’ll offer this on the front end in case I forget. I don’t know if it’s in my notes because it was in my notes on the other episode, I was going to do for you guys, as I was expanding on that. And I now have 60 minutes a day scheduled to feel good for no reason. So, I have 30 minutes in the morning first thing when I wake up and 30 minutes at night right before I go to bed. It’s just to lay there in bed and just smile, and just feel good, to feel love. And I would encourage you to do the same thing.
And maybe you don’t need to start with 30 minutes, start with five or one, something. And for you how you’re going to get there, it may be different for everybody meaning let’s say you haven’t felt good in a while. Let’s say you have a lot of problems. We’re going to get back to the problems and how to kind of get rid of your problems if you will or reframe your problems. But let’s say you have a lot of them. Like life sucks right now, Hal. I’ve got a lot of problems, a lot of challenges. I can relate, right? I can relate. I spent three years or it’s been over three years now that I’ve been dealing with this cancer and a lot of that time was spent in hospitals. In fact, I was in the hospital last week. It’s still going on but for me, it’s realizing that my ultimate objective is that inner freedom, that inner joy, that inner bliss, that inner love. It’s how I feel at any given moment, that’s my ultimate goal regardless of what’s going on around me. So, I’d encourage you to consider for the same thing for you that regardless of what’s going on around you, that your goal is ultimately to feel good and so, it’s that inner freedom.
It’s really to feel whatever you want to feel, but for the most part, that’s probably going to be feeling good. And so, what I do now is at the end of the day, I have that time scheduled where I get to spend just feeling good for no reason and I’m going to go more in-depth with this in the end because I’m going to give you this as an exercise for you to implement but I want to just kind of get you thinking about it now which is the idea that every day I spend that time first thing in the morning and then right before bed feeling good. And like I said, how you get there may be different for everybody. If you have a lot of challenges, if life’s not going, it’s not exactly what you want it to be right now and you’re kind of struggling with a lot of it, well, then you might need to really focus on what are the things in your life you have to be grateful for, like externally. In fact, even if you’re feeling good right now in life, it can be kind of the same thing. You can focus on those things that you have to feel good about.
Ultimately, though, it’s about getting to the place where you don’t need an external stimulus to feel good. This is about conditioning yourself that it’s your birthright, right? I think about when babies are born and babies are born like their natural state unless they’re experiencing physical discomfort. They’re just smiling and laughing and giggling and just putting their feet in their mouth and all of that’s available to us, put your feet in your mouth, but smiling, laughing, giggling. The idea that it’s that inner freedom. In fact, I’m reading a book right now called The Illusion of Money by Kyle Cease, which oh my gosh, that’s one of my, you know, I’m probably a third of the way in, half the way in. It’s such a good book, but he talks about that think about how much money you have. How does that make you feel? It makes me stressed or I get excited or whatever, somewhere in between. And he goes, “Realize that it’s not the money that made you feel that way. It was your thought about the money, and those emotions that you generated, those are available to you all the time: emotions, love, freedom, joy, gratitude.”
Those are inside of us. Those are available to us all the time. That’s that inner freedom that I’m talking about, that you get to experience that whenever you choose. And most of us are making our inner experience of life, our joy, our love, our happiness, dependent on something outside of us. And it’s usually our problems. We focus on our problems and our problems are what prevent us from feeling great because typically our problems cause us to feel stress or to feel anxiety or to feel fear. So, I know I’ve kind of gone around about here to get to this point but it was important for you to understand that what we’re wanting is this inner freedom, this joy, you want to feel good. And what’s getting in the way of that are our problems. So, think about this and not our problems, by the way, our perception of our problems so let me clarify. The mind is a great tool. You got a mind. I got a mind. But the mind is a problem-seeking machine and a problem-creating machine. Our minds are constantly in search of a problem to fixate on.
Now, this isn’t true for everyone or for all of us. In fact, for a long time, this wasn’t true for me. In this past year, it became very true for me. What I mean by that is you’ve got to recondition your mind. If your mind is conditioned to focus on your problems where when you wake up in the morning, first thing to think about is all your problems and then you’re thinking of them all day long. And if you start to feel good, your brain is like, “Wait, something’s wrong. I know there’s a problem that I should be fixated on because I’m feeling good and that’s off. That’s not my normal way of feeling. So, there’s got to be some sort of problem that I’m not – oh, that’s right. That’s right. Okay. Now I remember. Now I’m stressed. Now there’s that anxiety.” We literally create it based on our perception of and our focus on our problems. So, our minds are constantly for most of us in search of a problem to fixate on. And when we can’t find one, we create one.
And by the way, if you have trouble sleeping at night, notice this, which by the way, that’s the reason, one of the reasons that I started doing this practice at night is because I’ve mentioned I’ve only been sleeping three to four hours a night and has been getting better in the last couple weeks since I’ve been doing this. It’s really helped whereas because I’d go to bed and I’d lay down and my brain would be blank for a second, mind would be blank, and then, sure enough, I go, “Okay, wait a minute. I know there’s something. I know there’s some sort of problem that I should focus on right now. I’ve got a bunch. I know there’s been a bunch of problems. Oh, yeah, okay, there we go there. Oh, God. Oh, that causes me stress. That causes me anxiety.” It’s like I want to go to sleep and my brain, my mind I would allow it to be I became a servant of the mind and it would seek out a problem and then it would start to focus on it which would then amplify it which would then create fear and anxiety and stress and then I couldn’t fall asleep.
And so, I got some coaching and the coaching that I got was that I needed to release at night. I needed to let go, I needed to not turn the mind off, but turn the problem-seeking aspect of the mind off because too often the dominant question in our mind is, “What is wrong?” What is wrong? What is wrong with me? What is wrong with him? What is wrong with her? What’s wrong with us? What’s wrong in my life? What’s wrong in the world? But the more you watch the news, that’s going to become a part of your consciousness. You know, there was a period, I think I’ve mentioned this, but where I decided that I needed to solve every problem that humanity faces, going back to that problem-seeking aspect of the mind and then I started watching all these documentaries and now my consciousness, my conscious awareness was filled with virtually every problem that humanity faced and now I couldn’t sleep, I became stressed, all of these things.
So, while yes, we should focus on solving our problems when we get them, in today in the episode, it’s important to understand the nature of the mind and then it’s important to understand or be clear on what do you want? What do you want to think and feel? And we kind of opened with that, right? We want to think, we want to feel good. You know, we want to think clearly. We want to think in a way that not only makes us feel good, but it minimizes our fear and stress and anxiety so that we can move forward and solve our “problems” which we’re going to reframe here in a few minutes. But again, that dominant question in our mind, what is wrong it’s that problem-seeking, problem-creating machine that our mind has become. And again, if it’s not what’s wrong now if there’s not a problem now right to focus on, it’s well what might go wrong in the future? And we start anticipating problems, ask and you shall find.
For me, finances, I have a lot of subconscious beliefs around finances and in 2008 when the economy crashed and I lost all my money, that really like jaded me. It really created a kind of a deep-seated fear of, “Oh, this could happen again. Oh, even when things are going great, whether it’s financially or in a relationship or anything otherwise, this could change. Like on a dime.” I thought 2007 things were great. I just bought my first house. I was making more money than ever before. Life’s great. And then the rug was kind of swept out from under me if you will. And so, that’s happened, you know, so that is permanent with me or not permanent, right? I shouldn’t say it’s permanent but that is stuck with me. It’s something I’m always using affirmations and meditation in various practices to kind of override that. And so, here’s whatever you ask, ask and you shall find. If you’re asking what’s wrong with me or what problems should I focus on? Or what’s going wrong in my life or what might go wrong in the future? Ask and ye shall find, it becomes you’ll find an answer to those questions.
So, here’s a reframe for you, reframe for all of us. Reframe that I’ve got to do, I’ve done but I’ve got like anything in life, you got to keep practicing, right? It’s like working out, exercising. For most of these things just like for any mental reframe or mental reprogramming, it takes a mental practice in the same way that if you want to physically improve your body or your health, it’s consistent. You’ve got to consistently do these practices. So, it’s the same for me, but here’s the reframe for you. The reality is that in life, consider that there are no problems, only situations. So, the word problem is a label. It’s a label that we choose to give to a situation. Now, situations can be dealt with or left alone, and realize that words are powerful, and they have an effect on our emotional well-being. When we label a situation as a problem, we immediately create a meaning that by default has an impact on our emotional well-being. And typically, one that isn’t beneficial, that generates stress or fear or anxiety.
And the good news is that if every problem is created by the mind or at least that label is, then we have the power to live life without problems by simply choosing to stop creating problems in our mind. Meaning that when you label something as a problem or any label, by the way, that problem is just a word, right? Just a word. You could use any word is I’ve got this horrific circumstance in my life or even taking a situation and labeling it in a negative, painful, overwhelming way. Language is very powerful. And so, this paradigm shift, it’s one that allows you to enjoy your daily life as you work through various situations and the fastest way to begin living in this new paradigm is to contemplate a simple question that I’m going to share with you. And this is one that I got from my coach, Jenai Lane. I shared this at the end of a recent podcast episode that we did. One of my coaches. I have multiple coaches, by the way. Jeffrey Williams, Jenai Lane and there’s more, but those are my two primary coaches right now. Jenai introduced this to me when I was stressed out over all the problems in my life like I have so many problems, right? This was probably six months ago.
She asked me and this is a question that I asked myself now every single day, multiple times a day, typically, but it’s in my affirmations. I ask it every morning. Here’s the question for you to ask yourself. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? Take a deep breath. Let me ask that again for you to ask that again. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? For me, here’s what comes up when I ask that question. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? Love. Like, just love? I’ll ask it again. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? Joy? Ask it again. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? Perfection. That’s an answer that comes up for me a lot. In this moment, perfection. If you’re a spiritual-religious belief, which the majority do, what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? You might answer God like God’s always here, right? If you think about it, most moments are perfect. Only our minds tell us otherwise.
Consider that, most moments are perfect. In fact, I’m going to do a quick search for because we just did an episode on perfection and I just want to give you guys that episode. Perfection. Episode 304: You. Are. Perfect (How To Experience The Perfection In Yourself And Life). You are perfect. So, go to HalElrod.com/304 if you want to listen to that one, but again, if you think about it, most moments are perfect. And if you don’t believe me, let’s explore this one. How about this one? This moment right now as you’re listening to this podcast. Are you facing a problem in this moment? I don’t mean do you have problems like out there to be dealt with like you got to make money and I got my relationship when my spouse comes home from work, we’re dealing with some interpersonal problems. I’m talking about right now, in this moment, like as in are you being attacked? As you listen to the podcast, is someone attacking you? Like that’d be a problem in this moment that was happening? Or are you just listening to a podcast?
In this moment, are you existing as a human spiritual being floating through time and space on this planet that’s spinning around the solar system, the sun? And in that way, might this moment be perfect? Could this moment be seen as perfect? Could you experience what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? Now, your mind might have instantly thought when I ask you the question of are you facing a problem in this moment? You might have heard it as, are there any problems out there or in your life that you need to solve? And as soon as you ask that question in a different way, are there any problems that you need to solve? I’m betting that your mind did its thing and it went searching for an inventory of your many problems. And I’ll bet you found some. You’ll find some. If I go, “Do you have some problems in your life?” “Of course, there are problems, Hal. I need to make more money and I’ve got challenges to my relationship and I’m behind on my to-do list. I have a bunch of other problems that I can’t even think about right now because I’m so overwhelmed. I mean there’s so many, but that’s only because I just don’t have enough time. Oh, yeah, that’s one of the biggest problems that I don’t have enough time.”
You see, the mind can come up with nearly unlimited, an unlimited list of problems. And yet each one is simply a situation. Each one is just life. Each one represents something you can choose to address and choose to do something about it or not and each choice presents new consequences and new situations or new potential situations, but what would your life be like if you just saw situations for what they are? And if you went with the flow and if you stop trying to make life be exactly how you think it should be in order for you to be happy, and your happiness was dependent on whether or not you had problems or how big they were, how difficult they were, or how much money you had or anything outside of yourself. Instead, what if you just surrendered to life and just lived it as it is? And in every moment, instead of choosing to let your mind get fixated on your problems, on your situations, what if instead you spent the majority of your time and your life feeling good while you took action that improved your situations, or you could say solved your problems?
What if you enjoyed the ups and the downs? And just thought, “This is life. This is why I’m in debt, whatever, that’s life. I’m going through stuff. I’ve gone through stuff before. I got through it.” When I say I, I mean you, I mean we. We’ve gotten through it. It’s one of the things we have a really difficult – the mind has a difficult time doing is seeing life as different than it is now. And I’m speaking I’m guilty of really struggling with this this past year, when you’re in it, when you’re in a financial crisis or when you’re in a challenging relationship. When your life situation I talked about that in I think that was in my first book, Taking Life Head On, that, yeah, our life is not our life situation. Our life situation represents the circumstances and situations outside of us but your life is you. It’s your internal state. And so, most of us, our quality of life, internally, we base on our quality of life situation externally. If our life situation is going good, we feel good. We’re happy. Life’s great. Somebody says, “How’s life?” You go, “Ah, it’s amazing.” Why?” and then you list all these things outside of yourself.
But that’s not your life. That’s your life situation. You’re not your circumstances. Your circumstances are temporary. You are infinite. You are infinite. You are infinite creativity as Kyle Cease wrote about in The Illusion of Money. You’re infinite creativity, you’re infinite love, bliss, joy, you’re infinite potential. You’re infinite. You’re not your circumstances and situations. So, when someone asks how’s life? Your answer doesn’t have to be dependent on anything outside of you. Life as in you are whatever you choose to be. And you can be miserable, stressed out, frustrated, angry, and I’m not saying those things are good or bad. They are what they are. But if you’re not enjoying life, if you go, “Man, I wish life were better. I wish life were better. I wish my life weren’t so difficult. I wish I didn’t have so many problems,” realize that you’re wishing your life situation were different. And that’s great. That’s good. I’m always trying to optimize my life situation. I’m always trying to improve my life situation. I’m always trying to create freedom and harmony outside of myself in my relationships, in my business, in my finances, in my home.
But that’s not my life. And by the way, I have to remind myself of this all the time like I’m not coming preaching to you going, “I have this all figured out and 24/7 I am in bliss and joy and love.” I tried to be more often than not, but I think it’s what I’ve gone through really these past few months, the past year, but these past few months have been the hardest few months of my life. I’ve never been so depressed. I’ve never been so living in fear. I’ve never had so much anxiety. I’ve never, yeah, I’ve never struggled like the last few months and I find purpose in that. I go, “Oh man. I’m going through this. This is my belief. This is my reframe for me.” And maybe you can borrow this if you’re going through tough times or you have some challenges internally or externally but I go, “If I’m going through this, that means that I’m not the only one, right? If I’m struggling with anxiety or depression or whatever, I’m not the only one.” Always for me, I find a lot of peace, a lot of purpose in taking it on myself to figure out, to get through, to reframe, to overcome, to transcend my personal challenges, knowing that if I’m going through it, that means millions of other people are going through it too.
You know, my mental health issues, recently, I don’t know if you’re a fan, I’m not much of a boxing fan but recently, our good friend Jon Berghoff, my good friend, Jon Berghoff, your good friend, Jon Berghoff, or fellow host to the podcast occasionally, he sent me a video about Tyson Fury, the heavyweight boxing champion. If you’ve seen this or not, it’s incredible. Just go to YouTube type in Tyson Fury, mental health. And Tyson fury is the heavyweight champion of the world being talked about one of the greatest boxers of all time. And for two years after he won his biggest fight a few years ago, he got addicted to drugs and alcohol because he got depressed, like deeply, deeply depressed, anxiety was suicidal, on and on and on. And he realized that his purpose was not to be the heavyweight champion in the world. It was to overcome his mental health issues for the greater good. And I watched that. I really resonated with that and so – I’m sorry I got off on a little Tyson Fury tangent but if you watch his videos, it’s pretty cool.
But that for me is where I take solace and then I go, “If I’m going through this, other people are too. How can I get through this so I can help those that are struggling, mentally, emotionally, with any form of mental health issue?” Whether it’s just stress. Stress is a form of mental health, anxiety, depression, all of those things. And so, for me, I’m coming to you sharing this because although I’ve known this for a long time, like what I’m sharing with you right now, I wrote about this in my first book, Taking Life Head On, like15 years ago, I think. So, it’s one thing to know something and it’s one thing to be able to fully live it and to embody it and to experience it. And to make it part of your way of thinking and feeling and living and being, part of your being. And so, for me, this is something that I’m sharing with you. And when I say sharing it with you, I’m not just sharing with you on the podcast, I’m sharing it with you, as in I am working on implementing something I already know. And I’m sure you can relate to that where you’re like, “Yeah, I know what I need to do but how do I get myself to do what I know I need to do?”
And the answer for me is to schedule it. The answer for me is to put it in my written affirmation so I read it every single day and that’s a universal answer or strategy for you to implement in any area of your life. You want to improve your health, you want to improve your, you know, any area, schedule it, create written goals for it, written affirmations that articulate your goals and who you need to be and how you need to think and what you need to do. I’m serious, do this. Don’t just listen and be like, “Oh, yeah, that’s a good idea. I should do that.” No. Actually, do it, really do it. You need to pause this rewind, like, come back to this whatever. Actually, take action. You’ve got to do the exercises. Let me give an exercise here at the end, which we’re probably getting pretty close to. That’s only 30. We’ve covered a lot in 32 minutes. But, yeah, so again, just to kind of recap, our problem, the real problem that is creating our problems is that we label everything as a problem.
And let me give you another, a little perspective on this. If two people could be facing the same “problem”, same situation and you ask one person, “Hey, what’s going on your life?” They go, “Oh my god, this problem it is killing me. Yada yada. I’m overwhelmed. I’m struggling financially with this. You know, right now I’ve got a lawsuit happening like it’s this huge problem around my finances.” You go, “Wow, man, that is tough. What are you doing about it?” “I don’t know. I’m feeling so overwhelmed. It’s like, I feel like it’s hopeless. I don’t know what to do.” See, they’re focused on the problem. They’re living in the problem. They are right there. They’re amplifying the problem. The focus is on the problem. They lay awake at night thinking of the problem, and that becomes their reality. Now, you go find a different person that has the same situation aka problem, same situation, finances are tough and I got a lawsuit going against me or whatever. And you go, “Man, I’m so focused on figuring this out right now like I’m reading book after book. I’m reaching out to try to find, looking for mentors. I’m really like all in on figuring this thing out and turning the situation around. Because I really want to get to the other side of it. I know it’s temporary but it sucks. It’s really difficult right now. And I’m learning as much as I can. I’m googling every day, “How do you fix _____ situation? How do you overcome this?”
So, look at that. Two different people. They’re both facing the same situation, often referred to as a problem, but one is so focused on the problem, on the challenge on what’s wrong, on the stress and anxiety, so that was a big thing that I realized. And here’s kind of an important addition to this lesson is one of the things I realized is that I was perpetuating my anxiety and post-traumatic stress disorder and the fears that I had and the depression because I talked about it all the time. I was doing exactly what I just told you that we shouldn’t do, which is I was so hyper-focused on the problem. In fact, when I would search for research, that I would go like, what is anxiety? Do people suffer post-traumatic stress disorder after having cancer? And then I would read all this material on the problem. And here’s what’s really interesting and odd and important to understand. When I would read about the problem and it will explain the problem and how it felt, I would resonate so deeply. “Oh, yes, that’s what I’m going through. I can totally relate to that. That’s what…” and it would just reinforce this problem that I was dealing with that I was facing because I was so focused on the problem, rather than the solution.
And so, kind of the other part of this is once you realize that your mind is just looking for problems all the time, it’s a problem-seeking and problem-creating machine and that we need to be a solution-seeking and solution-creating machine. And whatever you’re afraid of maybe you have a situation you’re in and you need to improve it but you don’t know what to do so it’s overwhelming. So, instead of attacking it head-on, taking it head-on, and really looking for solutions maybe you just either stew in the problem or you’re just do nothing. They call that paralysis by analysis because you’re overwhelmed. Start focusing on solutions. Just do it. I don’t care if you feel like it. If you’re overwhelmed, just focus on solutions. Focus on solutions. The lowest hanging fruit is Google, right? Just google solutions, read solutions and then implement solutions. It’s quality over quantity. Don’t look for 100 solutions. Look for two, one, two, maybe three at the most, and implement it and see what happens, see what works. Get help, by the way. Also, don’t suffer in silence. Get help. Get help.
So, that question, by the way, as you’re working through this, as you’re working through your problems, reframing them into situations, which you can do that like instantly today, so stop working, stop dwelling on problems and start focusing on understand that there are situations that need solutions. So, start finding solutions to your situations and don’t live with a life of problems that create stress and overwhelm and fear. It’s a mental reframe. And remember the question, ask this question every morning and then sit in the answer. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? That’s the first question I asked. And again, the answer is always love, joy, bliss, God, perfection. And I just start smiling. And instead of letting my mind dwell on, hyper-focus on problems, I sit in there. I sit in what is there if there isn’t a problem to solve. Because here’s the reality, there will always be a problem to solve, right? We live in a world with problems, life presents problems, your quality of life, though. This is kind of what this is about, right? Yes, you have situations you got to fix and solve, but your quality of life while you solve them, you might as well enjoy it.
You might as well enjoy life because you’re missing out. Life is frickin short. I can tell you. It’s short. It’s fragile. It’s precious. So, don’t sit in your problems. Don’t focus on your problems. Don’t live in your problems. Don’t make that your reality. Because there will always be problems. Start your day and end your day with the question what is your now if there isn’t a problem to solve? And then whatever answers come up for you, might just be one answer. Just love. You can borrow my answers, joy, God, perfection. That’s what’s here now. It’s always here. It’s always available to us is that inner internal state of fill-in-the-blank joy, happiness, gratitude, love, ecstasy, just that inner state. It’s available to us all the time but we usually make it dependent on something outside of us. “Oh, that good thing happened. Now, I feel joy. Ah, my significant other did something sweet. Now, I feel love.” No. Generate it. Choose it. Start your day and end your day in the same way. Again, I do 30 minutes of this. I just sit there and smile and if a problem comes into my mind, which it often does, it’s kind of a form of meditation, I guess you could say.
But when a problem shows up, and I go, “Oh, but wait, I forgot about that thing I got to do today. I’m so stressed about that thing. I got to record that podcast today.” I go, “What?” No. What is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? And yeah, just sit in the answer. Do it for five minutes if you want. And this is not just about immediate reframe and the immediate upgrade to your emotional state. This is also about reconditioning your mind so that you can live there so that you can spend more time in what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve instead of that being only five minutes a day or even 60 minutes a day. But whenever you have a problem come up, think about this, anytime you go, “I got to do this thing,” so maybe it’s not even a problem. It’s just a stressful situation. You got to do this appointment or a call or some work or something you don’t feel like doing that causes you stress or anxiety. Ask yourself, what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? And then whatever that emotion is, that positive, love, joy, bring that come from that place as you take on your situation. Come from that place.
So, begin your day sitting in a positive, enlightened, heightened, proactive, productive emotional state, spiritual state. And the gateway to that state if it has problems that are in fact often standing in the way our perception of problems, our habitual thinking of problems, our hyper-focus on problems, if that’s what standing in the way of us experiencing what we want to experience, love, joy, God, to feel good then the doorway can be that question, “Wait, Oh, I got all these problems, these situations today that are going to cause me stress,” what is here now if there’s not a problem to solve? Let that take you into the state and use it first thing in the morning and right before you go to bed. That’s how I started sleeping again. I mean, it’s so crazy. I wasn’t sleeping for months and I’m still having a little trouble sleeping because I’ve kind of burned into my neurons have been wired in a way that sleeping is having to overcome this. But for the most part, I recently went four days, four nights in a row sleeping seven hours. That was huge for me.
But the way I did that was that instead of going to bed at night feeling anxiety about all the problems in my life, I just use that question, what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? And then I sat in the feeling of love and of joy, and sometimes I pictured like my kids or my wife unless I had a stressful situation with my kids or my wife, and they were part of the problem that I wasn’t going to focus on. But creating, entering into that state and then just sitting in it for as long as you can and if a problem comes into your mind, ask yourself the question again, what is here now if there isn’t a problem to solve? And smile and find something else that’s there and it doesn’t need to be a situation or a circumstance. In fact, I think it’s better if you can vent, maybe you start there but eventually, you get to the place where it’s internal. It’s just that it’s that inner freedom that we’re all after and that inner freedom is not dependent on outer freedom. Outer freedom can make it easier but we’ll always have problems outside of us or situations outside of us, that can cause us stress or anxiety if we hyper-focus on them if we dwell on them. So instead, dwell in your birthright, that love, that joy, that gratitude, that perfection of life as it is in this moment. Because remember, most moments are perfect and only our mind tells us otherwise.
Hal Elrod: All right, goal achievers, members of the Miracle Morning Community, I hope you enjoyed today’s podcast. I hope that you realize that, yes, there are problems in the world, at least that’s the label that we give to them, situations that aren’t ideal that that might bring about feelings of stress or anxiety inside of us, but we have the power. We have the choice to transcend our problems by realizing that our problems and anything else outside of us is not who we are. They’re part of our life situation. But our life, your life is you. It’s that consciousness, that spirit inside of you right now that’s listening to these words through your ears and you get to choose how you feel in just about any moment of life. And if you want to feel good, focus on that. Let go of problems and focus on who you truly are. All right. Love you, guys and gals, and I can’t wait to talk to you next week.
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