As individuals, it is our ability to live in alignment with our values that determines our level of fulfillment. No matter what you value — health, family, freedom, safety, contribution etc. — when your thoughts, words, and actions are in alignment with what you value most, you are living a fulfilled life.
But are their shared values that matter most for ALL of us?
That’s ultimately up to you to decide, but I believe there are values that are crucial for all of us, both to thrive as individuals and as a society. Today we explore what those values are, and we can better live in alignment with them so that we can ALL experience higher levels of fulfillment.
- A detailed addition to last week’s episode on “How to Be Fearless.”
- The difference between what matters most for us individually and collectively.
- Why HEALTH is a core value for all of us.
- What my highest values are and why.
- How healthcare systems can save our lives while simultaneously being driven by ulterior motives that we should be weary of.
- What I do every day to choose happiness and inner freedom.
“If we fear the unknown, there’s no need to fear any of it. The fear is a waste. It’s a misuse of your imagination. It’s a misuse of your emotional abilities to live in fear over something.” – Hal Elrod
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Hal Elrod: Welcome to the Achieve Your Goals podcast. This is your host, Hal Elrod, and thank you so much for tuning in today. I really, really appreciate you and you listening. As always, it means a lot to me. Is it redundant that I tell you that every week? It probably is but it's true. Actually, it's like my kids. They go, “I love you guys so much.” “We know, dad. We know. You love us. Got it.” Well, I'd rather you hear it so much that it's imprinted in your memory and that's what I tell them. So, yeah, I do. I love you and I appreciate you and I appreciate you listening. Today's episode, the first 14 minutes of the episode, we're going to do a follow-up on last week's episode, which was about how to be fearless. And I had a distinction after the episode that I was going to re-record the whole thing and then I go, “Nah, I'll just add that to this week.” So, we start there and then we talk about what matters most for all of us and really in terms of our values, our shared values, essentially. So, the values that we live by individually really determine the quality of our life.
You know, if you value financial freedom and you live in alignment with that value, then you're going to be financially free. So, living in alignment with our values is crucial. In fact, I'll do a future episode on that specifically. But the same is true for a society, right? What matters most for all of us meaning that the shared values that we have are really crucial to the well-being of our society, of humanity, right? So, that's what we're going to dive into today and what we can all do to do our part if you will. And then at the end of the episode, make sure you stay until the end, I'm going to share with you a resource that recently three of my friends sent me. And the first one that sent me, I'm like, “Eh, I’m not going to watch that.” Second one I'm like, “Eh, I’ll flag it for later.” And the third one that sent me I'm like, “All right, I guess I got to watch it.” So, I watched it. So, I share that at the end of today's episode. So, stay tuned for that.
And before we dive in, I want to take just a minute or two at the most, probably about a minute-and-a-half but to thank my sponsor, Organifi. Organifi brings you this show every single week and they have for a long time. And if you are like me, you know the importance of healthy eating, right? And we talked about that in the episode today but you don't always have the time or the willpower to cook with all the colors of the rainbow. And Organifi Superfood Blends make it really easy and enjoyable to add more variety and nutrition to your day. So, they're delicious organic powders that you can add to water or almond milk or orange juice or your smoothie. I put it in my smoothie every day, stir it with a spoon, and enjoy it any time for more energy, nutrition, hormone balance, and peace of mind. So, Organifi is a great way to jumpstart your morning, energize your afternoon, or nourish, wind down, and relax in the evening. Head over to Organifi.com/Hal and then use the code HAL at checkout to get an additional 15% off of your entire order. And I hope you find something there that you love. I'm a big fan of Organifi’s products and I use them for about, I don't know, five or six years now. So, with that being said, let's dive into what matters most for all of us, from my perspective. Enjoy.
Hal Elrod: Oh, here we are. Goal achievers, it's another week, another podcast, and it's been challenging today to come up with the podcast. I've been on sabbatical so you may have noticed I'm not doing very many interviews because my scheduler is not set up. I'm just kind of unplugged from work in a way and I've been working on the ranch. My wife and I and our family bought a property and we're building garden beds and chicken coops and we're trying to be self-sufficient and live off the land, and it is absolutely one of the most fulfilling experiences that I have ever had. But I'm very unplugged from work. I’m behind on emails and text messages and, yeah, happy to be, very happy to be. So, with all of that, a lot of times it takes me when I'm coming up with an episode, sometimes I get inspiration in the middle of the night and it's just like this is what we're talking about. That was last week. We talked about how to be fearless and that just came to me. I was inspired with this kind of realizations breakthrough I had. I thought, “Gosh, I want to share that with you because it was so impactful for me,” and that's how a lot of episodes work.
Today's podcast is just a bunch of different, you know, I've got all these notes just so you know, my brain the way that it works. I have an app called Standard Notes, and whenever I have a flash of inspiration, which is usually every night when I'm falling asleep, sometimes in the morning when I'm meditating, usually at least twice a day, I have inspiration. I start a new note. And so, I've got all these podcast headlines here with like summaries of what I want them to be, but they're not fleshed out. Today is what matters most to all of us. I have another one up here, “Who can we trust?” which I have not recorded that yet. I have another one that says, “Read Mike Dillard's post on an Achieve Your Goals Podcast episode,” and I actually might do that today. I have another one called, “Are you willing to fight for freedom?” I have another one called, “What does it mean to be human?” So, these are all like podcast episodes in the works and sometimes they come with a clear understanding of what the message is and what the details are. And very often it's vague and I get the general concept but then I struggle with my chemo brain, if you will, to flesh out the details.
So, with all of that, today, we're going to talk about what matters most to all of us. And before we dive into the topic, I want to follow up on last week's episode. And I've been doing this kind of consistently where I begin an episode following up when we talked about the week before. And the reason that happens is usually when I stop recording the podcast, when I end the episode like this happened last week, that night while I was falling asleep, I had a rush of all these insights that were directly related to How to be Fearless from last week and I thought, “Oh, I didn't get these in the episode.” So, we're going to start this week's episode with adding on to what we talked about last week. So, I want you to think back to some of those difficult times in your life to think back over your life. I'm sure the big one stand out, right? Maybe it was a time of loss where you lost somebody that you loved or you lost something important to you. Maybe you lost a relationship or a job. Maybe it was a time of sickness, of health challenges that you faced and you went through some difficult times. Maybe it was an accident like a car accident or something like that where you suffered an injury and you experienced pain. Maybe it was a time in your life when you endured financial difficulties. I know most of us have had that time and some are having that time right now.
So, think back to some of the most difficult times in your life. You have those in your mind. And maybe it was the hardest thing you've ever dealt with but you got through it. And life went on. Now, imagine yourself before those difficult times occurred when those weren't even on your radar. They were the furthest thing from your mind but imagine you had a psychic tell you that those difficult times were ahead in your future and there was nothing that you could do to avoid them. Imagine they actually gave you a date like, "On this date, this horrible thing will happen to you. It will be painful. It will be disheartening. It will be depressing. You're going to have to deal with it.” Imagine the amount of fear and stress you would likely experience leading up to those difficult events. It would probably consume you. And as the days counted down closer and closer and closer to those difficult experiences, your fear and your stress would increase. But if you think about it, there was really nothing to fear because whatever was going to happen was going to happen. And when it happened, you just handled whatever came your way. And in handling it, you likely evolved in some way. Maybe you developed capabilities that you didn't previously have.
So, I think about my car accident. If someone had told me when I would turn 19 that, “Hal, at the end of this year on December 3, 1999, your car is going to be hit head-on by a drunk driver. Another car is going to crash into your door. You're going to break 11 bones. You're going to break your femur in half. You're going to break your pelvis in three places. You're going to break your arm in half. You're going to shatter your elbow. You're going to sever your radial nerve. You're going to puncture your lung. You're going to rupture your spleen. You're going to fracture your eye socket in three different places. Your ear is going to be cut almost completely off and the top of your skull will be fractured when the ceiling buckles on the car. Then you're going to slip into a coma. Actually, first, you're going to die for six minutes. You're going to clinically die. You can go to the hospital. You're going to endure multiple flatlines. You'll wake from the coma. You'll be in pain.” If I had been told that ahead of time, “Hal, on December 3, 1999, you're going to get in this car accident and it's going to be the most painful experience of your life,” I would have lived every day in terror, as you might imagine. I would have lived every day in terror. But there was really nothing to fear. Because it was an inevitable experience. It was going to happen, whether I lived every day in terror or I lived every day blissfully. You follow that?
The things that we are aware of or if we fear the unknown, there's no need to fear any of it. The fear is a waste. It's a misuse of your imagination. It's a misuse of your emotional abilities to live in fear over something. Whether it's unknown or it's known, either way, it's inevitable. Death is a great example. You know, that's one of the top fears is death. In fact, I'd say with COVID-19, that's sparking, that's poking that fear for people like, "Oh, death, that’s this great fear.” It's probably, you know, for me personally, because I've flirted with death so many times with my car accident and then with cancer, I think that's where I made peace with it. But here's what I would encourage you just on this note of fear of death if that is something that you have a fear of in any way, and sometimes it might be an unconscious fear that you're not even fully aware of but when I've talked to people that have told me that, yes, they fear death, they have a fear of death, my response, I ask, “Did you have a fear of being born?” And they usually say, "Well, I don't know, I wasn't aware I was being born.” I go, “Okay. Well, do you think being born, would there be a fear to be born?” And people always look at me funny and they go, “Well, no, why would you have a fear of being born?” And I go, "Exactly. Why would you have a fear of dying?” They are simply two ends of the same thing that is life. Two ends. Two sides of the same coin. That is life. Birth and death are both equally inedible. Like, once birth happens, death is inevitable. So, to live in fear of it, it seems silly. Maybe silly is not the right word but it's unnecessary. It's unnecessary to have any fear of death. And that is true for all fears.
So, there's nothing to fear now because you can and will handle anything that comes your way. Like my car accident, I just handled it. I had to. So, fearing something, it's a waste of energy. In fact, last week, the premise of last week's episode on how to be fearless was that all the fear we experience is self-created. We create fear and we create fear because we imagined something in the future and we imagine it being too difficult or uncomfortable or painful for us to handle. And that's because in our current circumstance, when we're safe and comfortable and there's no pain, right, imagining that coming into our life, it feels unmanageable. But the reality is everything that you've had in your life, all those difficult experiences, you dealt with them, you probably learned and you grew and you became a better version of yourself as a result of them, they're just a part of life. They're not good or bad. They're whatever you choose to see them as, whatever you choose to make of them. So, I wanted to share that because thinking about the difficult times in your life that you've endured and realizing that fearing those things wouldn't have changed them. It would have just made you miserable along the way before they even happened.
There's a saying. I don’t know if it’s in the Bible or there's a saying somewhere, something along the lines of you're only meant to suffer once from your difficult experiences but yet we suffer in our mind over and over and over through fear leading up to our difficult experiences. And then we suffer over and over and over in thinking back, wishing they were different, which is futile. They're not different. They can't be different. But we create suffering before and after when the reality is like, “Look, life's hard enough without perpetuating suffering after the fact or creating it ahead of time through fear.” The reality is we're going to deal with challenges in life. We're going to deal with difficult, painful experiences. That's part of life and just deal with them once. Deal with them once. You can be fearless to realize that whatever is going to happen in life, it's going to happen and you can handle it. And I want to say one more thing that is really important on this. It's actually a line from a song that has been a game-changer for me. It's Rob Riccardo. And if you're not familiar, by the way, I posted Rob. I posted his album or one of his song lyrics on my Instagram account last week. He is my favorite artist of all time by far. I love his sound but it's primarily his lyrics. He's like having a spiritual life coach in my ear as I listen to his music and I literally listen to it every day and I have for like the last six months ever since I discovered him. But he has a song called Written in the Stars and here's the line from the song that kind of sums up what I'm talking about here. He says, “I don't know how it all plays out, but I know it does.” I'll say that again. “I don't know how it all plays out, but I know it does.”
And if you stop and think about it, that should release you or it can release you from your fear of everything. Meaning at the end of your life when you look back, whatever happened happened and you handled it. And from that future vantage point, looking back over your life, you'll see that that time spent in fear, worrying about the future, the unknown future or the known future, it prevented you from enjoying the present moment. It prevented you from living life to the fullest. Like, just live in the moment. Live your life. The things that are on the horizon, whether it's death or unemployment or whatever, you'll deal with it. You'll deal with it. It is what it is. I don't know how it all plays out, but I know it does. So, I'm going to enjoy every moment of this life. For example, imagine if today were your last day and you were looking back over your life. Maybe you had a divorce in there, probably had maybe parents died at one point. Maybe you were unemployed for a period of time. You know, I know for me, in 2008, I lost over half of my income and then I had to foreclose on my house and I moved in with my dad. But that wasn't the plan. That wasn't what was ideal. If I would have known that ahead of time, yeah, I would have been afraid of it happening but all that time that we spent worrying, fearing about the future, it's really a waste of energy that could be better spent enjoying the present moment. So, that's my follow-up on last week's episode, and if you didn't get a chance to listen to it, I highly recommend it. If you want to know how to be fearless, it was episode 397 so HalElrod.com/397.
Hal Elrod: All right. Let's talk about what matters most for all of us. Now, to be clear, this is from my perspective, of course, right? This is not the end all be all, black and white truth. This is just me inviting you to consider. It's food for thought. The irony, as I just talked about how I don't believe we should impose our values on other people, and yet I’m really in some ways imposing my value on society, saying this is what matters for all of us. So, again, just sharing my perspective, my experience, food for thought for you. Take it or leave it. Here you go. So, the first is health. And now again, personally, this is my highest value but I think that, objectively, without our health, we don't have anything else, right? Without our health, we don't have anything else. Meaning if they say that he who has his health has many problems. He who is without his health has but one problem. And I think I can attest to that, especially when I had cancer, it was like that was my whole world was just around, you know, I've got to beat this cancer and stay alive for my family, which incorporates another value of a family, of course. But when I say health matters most for all of us, though, I want to be really clear. I'm not talking about healthcare. Like, let's make really a distinction here between taking medicine versus actually using nature to enhance your health. Meaning I'm not talking about pharmaceutical drugs that you take after your health is compromised.
I think that actually in our society, we've kind of been conditioned like, “Oh, if you're sick and you want to get better, if you have a cold go take DayQuil or NyQuil.” These are drugs, medicines, if you will, but they don't boost your health. None of those make you healthy. They just mask your symptoms or lessen your symptoms. So, I just want to be really, really clear that I'm not talking about healthcare, which is essentially owned by the pharmaceutical companies also known as Big Pharma. And let me start by saying this. I want to share my personal experience here, and I want to start by saying how grateful I am for our medical/healthcare system and specifically for all of the doctors and the nurses who have literally saved my life on multiple occasions. You know, when I had my car accident, there were surgeons that repaired my broken bones and doctors that brought me back to health and nurses that took care of me and literally took me to the bathroom. I mean, one thing when doing an episode, I always mention the car accident but where I go like really in detail about what it was like to not be able to wipe my own butt. Sorry to get graphic there. I couldn't bathe myself. There was a nurse, Wendy, had to wheel me into the shower in a wheelchair because I couldn't walk and I only had one arm. My left arm was broken and my leg was broken and so I couldn't walk, couldn't wash myself.
Anyway, I don't want to get off on that tangent, but I am so grateful for Nurse Wendy. I'm so grateful for all of my doctors that helped me through that ordeal and helped me get healthy, and I had an occupational therapist and physical therapist and so many people that contributed to my recovery. So, I want to start by saying that but I also want to say really with passion that as soon as I became a cancer patient, I started to realize that our healthcare system is not designed to make us healthy or to keep us healthy. In fact, you could argue the opposite: that it is designed to keep us just sick enough or just healthy enough right on that line where we are dependent on the healthcare system, where we become lifelong patients. You know, the chemotherapy, one of the five or, no, nine. Sorry. I was on nine different chemotherapy drugs. One of the nine chemotherapy drugs that I was on said on literally the bag that hung from my IV tower, one of the side effects was leukemia. Now, if you're not aware, the cancer that I was fighting was acute lymphoblastic leukemia and my mind was blown not in a good way when I read that one of the side effects from the leukemia drugs that I was taking was leukemia. It literally caused leukemia. And you may have heard it said that a healed patient is a lost customer for Big Pharma. You know, a healed patient is a lost customer, right? They want lifelong customers. So, just something to consider.
But the big thing for me has always been diet. I believe in Socrates, what he said, “Let food be thy medicine.” Most people's health issues and I wouldn’t say most, but arguably most, are a result of poor diet. You eat too much of a certain food. You can get obese, you can develop heart conditions, et cetera, et cetera, from a poor diet. So, on day one and I've been really a health advocate in studying health from I think it was in 2000, I went to a Tony Robbins event and day four of Unleash the Power Within of the four-day Tony Robbins event, which by the way, on a side note, I'm taking my daughter to. My 12-year-old daughter, I'm taking her to Tony Robbins' last live UPW event in November. So, just sharing a personal when I'm really excited to take my daughter to that event. But anyway, I went to that event when I was 20 years old, I think, 20 or 21. And on day four, it's health day, right? So, if you've been before, you know the whole fourth day is dedicated to health, and that was really the paradigm shift for me, learning about health in a way that really I was never exposed to. And so, when I was sitting with my oncologist on day one, I kind of as a way of vetting my oncologist, I said, “Hey, can you tell me what dietary changes should I make? What part does diet play in my recovery?”
And, you know, again, I'm grateful for my oncologist, but I kid you not, he said and I'm going to paraphrase as close to word-for-word as I can but, basically, "Diet doesn't matter as long as you do the chemotherapy. Your diet doesn't matter as long as you do chemotherapy. You can eat whatever you want.” And like, let's bring our common sense into this and then let's look at that and go, “Hey, wait a minute. If you're about health, literally, if you are responsible for helping someone to cure a disease, to rid their body of cancer, common sense says that step one is let's assess what you're putting into your body. He didn't ask, “Are you drinking alcohol or do you smoke?” Let's assess what your diet is, most importantly, if you're eating cancer-causing foods. Think about that. Which by the way, brings up another point, which is the FDA. You know, there's one of the podcast episodes that I've had, you know, I think I mentioned this earlier is Who Can We Trust? And the FDA is called by some to be the gold standard in regulation like, no, the FDA has approved every cancer-causing chemical in our food and our water supply, all the carcinogens that we consume, right? The FDA approves all sorts of things that are terrible for us. The FDA is the last organizing body that I would ever trust. Maybe not the last, but one of the last to approve something that I'm going to trust for my health. But anyway, so the point is red dye 40, blue dye like all the dyes and pesticides, right, pesticides, poison that is designed to kill bugs that is still allowed in our food supply. Fluoride in our water.
I mean, I'm not going to go too far down that rabbit hole, but do you see that anyone that is approving cancer-causing chemicals for cancer patients, there's something wrong there, there's something out of alignment. And my doctor, my oncologist literally said, you can just eat whatever's in the cafeteria. The cafeteria had soda. Soda, right? Coke, Pepsi, soda that’s with high fructose corn syrup and all the other chemicals. It was just tons of chemicals, but there was actually not anything organic in the entire hospital cafeteria. But again, think about that for a second, if you trust our health care system, if you trust our health care system, how could you trust a health care system that is feeding its cancer patients cancer-causing chemicals, completely unhealthy foods? So, just something to consider.
So, anyway, I am sorry, I got a little bit off of track, yeah, I got way off track. The point of that was when I say health is one of the things that matters most to all of us, I'm talking about eating a healthy diet. I'm talking about moving our body, getting exercise. I'm talking not about taking a pharmaceutical drug after we get sick. I'm talking about boosting and strengthening our immune system so that we don't get sick so that our immune system protects us, which is what it was designed to do and what it will do if we take care of it.
So, anyway, I just wanted to again, I know I went off a little bit, I got a little bit on a soapbox there on the health care system and my experience with it, but I will say this. Again, I started out by saying how grateful I am for my doctors and all the medical practitioners that help me. I also have realized that I can be both grateful for someone that saved my life because you might listen, go, how ungrateful, Hal, that you're talking about the health care system, and they saved your life. Yeah, I realize that I can be both grateful for something that saved my life while simultaneously being aware of and acknowledging the faults in the overall system. And that's really where the issue lies, is a system that is profit-driven that I believe and that I've experienced values profit above healing people. Otherwise, all of the natural protocols and methodologies and modalities that have been proven to heal people since the beginning of time wouldn't be excluded from the treatment plan of a patient.
So, anyway, we value health. I'm talking about living in alignment with your value of being healthy. In fact, one of my friends, Adam Stock, he told me recently, we were at a Front Row Dads retreat and he said, “Hal, I want to share something. You said something on a training call,” like seven years ago that I was on. And he said, “It has stuck with me and it changed my life.” And since that training call, he lost, I don't know the number, like maybe 40 pounds, something like that. Don't quote me on the weight he lost, but he lost a lot of weight and got healthy. He said, “What you said on that call was to value the health consequences of the foods that you put into your body above the taste.” Because most of us value the taste, right? When you think about it, you go to a restaurant, you open a menu, you're like, “What sounds good,” right? Not what's going to enhance my cellular health, not what's going to give me energy, not what on this menu will provide longevity for me. No, we're like, what sounds good? Ooh, that cheeseburger. Ooh, that pizza. Ooh, that fried chicken, right? Ooh, that ice cream sundae.
And by the way, guilty as charged, like pre-cancer, I thought I was healthy. Looking back, I was not healthy. I ate way too much. I was mostly vegan, so I thought that was healthy, but I was eating processed preservatives, vegan ice cream with tons of crap, like all sorts of stuff. But anyway, I just wanted to leave you with that on the health piece is consider when you make your decisions on what you're going to buy at the grocery store or order on the menu at a restaurant, be conscious. I'm going to value the consequences of what I'm eating above the taste in terms of priority. And by the way, taste is a close second for me. Like, I go, okay, what's healthy? And then I figure out, okay, what tastes really, really good?
So, I have a smoothie in the morning. I tinkered with it until it tastes amazing, but it has ginger in it. It has garlic in it. It has a whole orange in it, has a handful of organic spinach and kale. It has a cup of organic lemon juice in it. It's got alkaline water in it. It's got all sorts of powders. It's got camu camu. So, I basically get in my smoothie, I get like 1600% of my vitamin C, not ascorbic acid, which is synthetic vitamin C, which is crap, but I get it through whole food that has been dehydrated and then shredded into a powder, grated into a powder, but I get like 1600% of my daily vitamin C intake every morning in that smoothie. And so, first and foremost, it's so healthy, and then right behind that, in terms of priority, is I want it to taste really, really good. And by the way, the smoothie, you can actually get my smoothie recipe if you don't have it at my MiracleMorning.com. So, in my MiracleMorning.com, you can download the PDF or whatever, print it out, but that whole recipe is there.
And then for lunch, I have the salad. I can eat the same thing every day. My wife can't do that. You maybe can't do that. So, you may have to mix it up a little bit, but I basically eat same thing every day for six months and then I get tired of it. And then I have to mix it up and change up the ingredients a little bit, but same thing, my lunch, I have this awesome salad, and all of the ingredients, first and foremost, enhance my health and give me energy. They're all raw, organic, etc., with protein and all the important amino acids, everything that I need. It's living food, so it gives me a lot of energy. And so, anyway, just keep that in mind. Start to make a conscious decision. Everyone, write that down if it resonates with you. Start to make a conscious decision to value the health consequences of the foods that you eat above the taste. And then once you find healthy foods, find the ones that taste really, really good.
So, the second thing that is important to us, I think to all of us, what matters most to all of us is happiness, our mental and emotional well-being. An unhappy person affects everyone around them. And you may know a person that is always complaining, that is always down in the dumps and negative. And by the way, that's on a judgment, like we've all been there before. I've been deeply depressed to the point of being suicidal. So, not judging someone, I'm just saying this is what matters most to all of us is happiness, right? We want to feel good. We want to enjoy life. And one of the reasons why that over the last year and a half, my main focus for all of us has been inner freedom, looking at it from all different angles. I've done one on how you'd be the happiest you've ever been or how to be happy even when life sucks, how to experience both kinds of freedom -- outer freedom and inner freedom.
The podcast is really– this has been kind of a central theme over the last year and a half because I really believe that one of the most important things are what I call inner freedom, but I define that as our ability, your ability, my ability, our ability to consciously choose how we feel in any given moment, or said another way, to choose how we experience every moment of our life, regardless of what's happening in life, meaning life is going to be hard, right? Life dives hard. Life's great, life's hard. There are good days, there are bad days. Your life's going great. Then you might– I get cancer like you. Life is ups and downs. So, think about it, life's going to do what life's going to do. Life's going to do what life's going to do. People are going to do what people are going to do. You can't control a hell of a lot of things in life. Like, a lot of life is out of our control. The only thing we can control is ourselves. And we can develop the ability through a commitment to enter freedom, a commitment that here's how I want to feel. I want to be happy. I want to experience joy, gratitude. I want to be at peace, whatever your state, however you define it.
First, you define it, you identify it, you name it. This is how I'm committed to experiencing my life in a way that’s happy, etc. And then, you align your thoughts, you align your words, and you align your actions with living in alignment with that state. So, you can be happy. Happiness is a choice. And we either choose to be happy or we don't choose to be happy. That doesn’t mean we choose to be unhappy. That's an important distinction. It's not like anyone's going, I want to be unhappy. I want to be unhappy, I'm going to be unhappy, and then they're unhappy. No, it's that they're not choosing to be happy. So, you're not choosing to be unhappy, but if you don't choose consciously to be happy, then you're leaving it up to chance. So, what matters most for all of us, right behind that health, because if you've lost your health and you're in pain and you're suffering physically, then now, happiness, it's still possible, of course, it's still a choice, but it's more challenging. So, once the health piece is in order, then committing to be happy for yourself because you deserve it, you deserve to be happy. Even if life is difficult, even when life is challenging, even when it's painful, we all have the ability to choose to be happy.
The third thing that I believe matters most to all of us, our relationships. And for me, that's family is the core of that. I've got a wife, I've got my daughter Sophie and my son Halston. So, my family, that's the core, and then my mom and my dad and my father-in-law and mother-in-law, my sister, my sister-in-law, brother-in-law. I got the whole family, got the whole core, but my relationships are key, are crucial. And for me, for each of these, by the way, if you catch it, I'm giving you, I’ll kind of share a strategy or an idea that can potentially help you to experience fulfillment in these areas. So, in terms of relationships, for me, it's a focus on selflessly adding value for the people that I love. And that, by the way, stretches out to every human being in the world. I've talked about that before, my philosophy that we're all family. We’re all family. Of course, there are different levels of family. There's your blood, and then there’s who you marry and then there's your kids and all that, but I believe we're all family. So, for me, it's a commitment that I'm focused on, always selflessly adding value to the lives of other people.
And the reason the word selfless is in there. I don't even think that I'm trying to come off as righteous and altruistic or whatever because I'm selfish, too, but when I defined my purpose in life, I was in my late 20s, and it was to selflessly add value to the lives of other people. And the reason I put the word selfless in there was because I wanted to keep it pure, meaning it's one thing to add value to other people when you feel like it, when it's convenient for you, but I thought, I don't want to live that way. I want to serve others, even if I'm not in the mood, even if it doesn't benefit me, which of course, it does benefit you in some way, but even if it doesn't directly benefit me or there's nothing in it for me and the thing that I'm doing, I really want it to be selfless. I want it to be about, “Hey, what is that person in my life need? Will this serve them? Will this help them? I don't care if I'm in the mood. I don't care if I'm too tired. Do they need it?” And so, that's my North Star. That's my guiding principle in relationships is selflessly adding value to the lives of other people.
And in case, you don't know this story I had, when I defined my purpose in writing, that same morning, a friend called me and that friend, he was in a mental institution, he had gone through these major challenges, and every time he called me, it was just exhausting. You may have a friend or family like that, they call you and they just complain and it's draining. And so, selfishly, I kind of stopped taking his calls and I would just send him a nice text, like, “Oh, I'm so busy. Sorry, I hope you're doing well.” It was just draining to talk to him. And then it was crazy. So, it just felt like the apology was meant to be. I defined my purpose that morning, I literally wrote it down during a Miracle Morning and I got in the car and I was headed to an appointment, and he called and I picked up the phone and I saw him on caller I.D. and I went, oh, no, just I had eventually gotten this pattern of not answering his calls because it was so difficult to talk to him. Again, I was being selfish, put the phone down, and then instantly, I had the thought, Hal, you just defined your purpose as selflessly adding value for other people. He's calling because he obviously wants to talk to you. It's not about you. And I picked up the phone and I had a conversation with him and I gave him some encouragement and some advice. And he later told me, a couple of years later, after he got his life back together and he was back on top doing great, he told me that he said, “You probably don't remember this, Hal, but a couple of years ago, I called you and you answered the call.” He said, “Well, what you don't know is I was going to commit suicide that day, and you were my last hope. Like, you always lifted me up. You always encouraged me when I talk to you. So, you were my last phone call, essentially. I called you,” and he said, “you picked up and you shared some things with me that I decided my life is worth living. And I'm not going to take my life.” And when he told me that, of course, I gave him a hug and we were in person, but it was really reaffirming. It just really reaffirmed that purpose and the value of selflessly adding value to the lives of other people.
So, for what it's worth, I encourage you to consider that. And so, again, we got health in terms of what matters most, and I'm just that little tidbit, value the consequences, the health consequences of the food you put in your mouth above the taste, and in terms of happiness, commit to inner freedom, choosing to be happy, and then in terms of relationships, focus on adding value to the lives of other people. And then I'll share a few more in short order. I want to throw a safety in there. I talked about earlier, safety for sure is a value for me. I want to be safe, but I think it's lower on the list because I'll risk my safety for my family, for example. I would risk my safety for my family in a heartbeat, which tells me family is a higher value. I'll risk my safety for my freedom like I will fight for freedom, I think that that's what this country was founded on, which I am not real patriotic, I don't know, but I guess now that seeing freedoms being taken away from people, not just in America, but in other countries, I don't know you're watching what's going on in Australia, but terrific, man, the way they're treating citizens. Yeah, but freedom as being taken away has really made me consider how valuable freedom really is. And I wish my safety every time like I said earlier, I drive my car or get on an airplane or go rock climbing because I value whatever I'm doing in the moment more than safety, but I do think that for humanity, I don't want to discount that, I think that safety is important.
And then just two more, integrity, I put on the list. I really think that for a society to function, for relationships to thrive, having integrity, meaning being honest and doing what you say you're going to do when you say you're going to do it, I think that's really, really important, and things kind of fall apart without it. And then last but not least, is unity. And I mentioned this, I think, on last week's episode, maybe the last couple, yeah, I think it was last week's episode where I had a day. My wife and kids were out of town a week or two ago, and I make sure those days are really valuable and have solitude. So, I just meditate all– I usually do an extended Miracle Morning. It's like an all-day Miracle Morning where I meditate for an hour and then I pull out all my old affirmations and I update them and revise them and create new affirmations and all of these things. And my intention that day was, what's the next phase of my destiny? How can I best serve humanity moving forward?
And inner freedom has been the theme over the last year and a half. And what came up for me was unity, was seeing how divided we've become as a society and seeing how the media is further dividing us, right? It's black against white and left against right and vaccinated against unvaccinated, and right there, like creating this division and dehumanizing certain segments of people. I realized that unity is a theme that I personally want to stand for and I want to carry that forward in any messages that I give. And I think that in terms of what matters most for all of us, I think unity is crucial. Without unity, I mean, you look at a family, for example, I think that you can look at an individual family as a microcosm for the human family, and what works in an individual family, the values such as love and compassion and forgiveness and understanding and support, and all of those values that work in an individual family are the same values that make the human family work. And when there's a breakdown in those values in an individual family, that family kind of falls apart or marriage can fall apart. The same goes if we lose those values in the human family.
And so, I just want to again, invite you and encourage you to see all of us, meaning every human being on the planet, as a brother, as a sister, to engage with each other, with humility, with compassion, with curiosity, not with I'm right and you're wrong, I have it figured out and you don't, like how arrogant that is to think I have it all figured out and you don't. And I want you to think about this for a second. The way we all make decisions is pretty much the same. So, if someone, and I should say, the way we make decisions and the way we form beliefs is pretty much the same, meaning we take in information in the form of media or conversations or research, however, we get our information, but human beings, the process for beliefs essentially saying we take in information, right? We assess that information. We evaluate it. Sometimes we just accept it as fact without giving it much assessment or evaluation. Like when you're a kid, whatever you learn from your teachers and your parents as your brain is forming, you typically just accept it as fact. A lot of beliefs that we have today were just handed down to us from our parents, from our teachers or our peers as we were growing up, but essentially, we’re exposed to information or we seek out information. We assess and evaluate that information. And then we form beliefs and opinions and make decisions based on that process.
So, I want you to think about that for a second, the person or the people, anyone who has an opposing belief as you do, that you think how stupid, are they an idiot? Are they blind? Come on, don't act like that hasn't crossed your mind when you're seeing people, whether it's on social media or you're talking to your friends and family, and they're making opposing decisions to what you believe to be right and true and even common sense, and you're just shaking your head going, how do you not see what's actually happening right now in the world? How do you not see it? Like, what are you? What? Right? And you might judge them as being stupid or ignorant, right? Realize that they are no different from you. They were just exposed to different information or based on their experience and their knowledge, they assessed the information they received differently than you did. For example, maybe you both received two sides of an argument. And based on their thought process, they arrived at a conclusion on one side, and then you arrived at a conclusion on the other side. And now, they think you're an idiot, and you think they're an idiot, right? But the reality is, you both deserve equal love and respect and compassion.
And I want you to imagine this scenario of you and another person differing opinions and look at our world and look at all of this division and realize that we're all far more similar than we are different. We're all human beings on this journey called life. We're doing the best we can with what we believe is true. Anyway, sorry, we're doing the best we can with what we believe is true. And I just hope that you're a part of the solution in this division that is being created in our world, in our country. I'm inviting you, I'm asking you, let's be part of the solution. Let's be the change that we want to see. Let's stand for humanity's finest values. Let's stand for love of our brothers and sisters, compassion. Let's not wish harm upon any person. And let's understand that just because someone believes differently than us, it doesn't mean they're different than us.
Alright. I want to leave you with one resource, and it is a documentary that I highly recommend you take the time to watch. Now, I need to tell you that a friend sent this to me, and it looked like, I don't know, I interpreted it as kind of a conspiracy theory video. And I was like, I'm not like him, I'm not going to watch that. And the title of the video is called 2030 Unmasked, and I think that's what threw me off of my ass, I don't know, yeah, whatever, it didn't resonate with me. And then, a second friend within like two days sent it to me, and then I was like, okay. And these are two different friends with two different kind of– they're both smart people anyway. And after the second friend sent this, I flagged it, I'm like, okay, I opened it on my phone, on my Safari browser, and just left it. I'll watch that at some point, maybe, but since two different people sent it to me. And then a third person sent it to me within another couple of days, this was just last week. And so, I went, alright, and these are all three people who are highly intelligent whose opinion I respect. And so, I was like, I'm going to watch it.
And so, I'll tell you, I highly recommend watching it. So, I am going to put the link in the show notes. So, for you to go watch this document. It’s two hours long. So, I watched it over the course of two or three lunch breaks. That's the one time I watch TV, usually as I watch it while I'm eating lunch, but I recommend watching it. And so, it's called 2030 Unmasked, but I'll put the link in my show notes. And the show notes will be this podcast episode is at HalElrod.com/398, HalElrod.com/398. And I'm going to tell you what my friend told me, which is he said, “This blew my mind. It makes so much sense as to what's going on in the world.” He said it just makes sense of it all, but he said, “but you got to watch it with an open mind.” If you watch it as a skeptic, he said now, granted, he said, yes, be skeptical, but have on your skeptic hat and your open-minded hat at the same time. And so, I'll just pass that on and encourage you to do the same. So, again, the link to that video, I encourage you all. Please take the time to watch this. Go to HalElrod.com/398, scroll down to the show notes, and look for the link to the 2030 Unmasked video. Alright, that's it.
Hal Elrod: Alright, goal achievers, members of the community, family, friends, I love you guys and gals so much. Thank you so much for listening. I hope you got value from today's episode. And let's live in alignment with what matters most for all of us. Let's be healthy. Let's be happy. Let's fight for and exercise our freedoms. Let's add value to our family and the people in our life that we love. Yes, let's value safety and be safe. Let's live with integrity. And let's ultimately live with unity as one human family. Love you so much, and I will talk to you all next week.
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