During the 2008 crash Hal Elrod suffered through a financial collapse. Which spiraled into an emotional collapse. Depression and thoughts of suicide came . . . then this. This realization, leading to this change:
Our outer world will always be a reflection of our inner world. Our level of success is always going to parallel our level of personal development. Until we dedicate time each day to developing ourselves into the person we need to be to create the life we want, success is always going to be a struggle to attain.
I ran straight home. I was ready to change my life.
Our First Challenge: Finding Time
I knew that the solution to all of my problems was that I had to commit to making personal development a priority in my daily life. This was the missing link that would enable me to become the person I needed to be able to consistently attract, create, and sustain the levels of success that I wanted. Simple enough.
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Aw, Come on –Not in the Morning!
Then, I considered doing it in the morning—but I resisted. To say that I was not a morning person was a gross understatement. The fact was, I dreaded getting up in the morning, particularly waking up early, almost as much as I hated running.
But the more I thought about it, the more a few things started to make sense.
By committing to my personal development in the morning, it would give me a positive motivational kick-start to my day. I could learn something new in the morning. I’d likely be more energized, more focused, and more motivated for the rest of my day.
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By doing personal development in the morning, I wouldn’t have all of the excuses that accumulate during the day (I’m tired, I don’t have time, etc.)
If I did it in the morning, before the rest of my life and my work got in the way, I could guarantee that it happened every single day.
Finally, I just didn’t really see any better time to do it.
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Our Second Challenge: Doing What’s Most Impactful
Then I encountered another challenge—what was I going to do for that hour that was going to make the biggest impact and improve my life the fastest?
I could read, but I’d done that before, and I wanted this to be special.
I could exercise, but again, that wasn’t getting my juices flowing.
So, I pulled out a piece of blank paper and I wrote down all of the most life-changing personal development practices that I had learned over the years, but never implemented—at least never consistently.
Activities like meditation, affirmations, journaling, visualization, as well as reading and exercise. I chose the six activities that I thought would have the most immediate and dramatic impact on my life, assigned 10 minutes each, and planned to try all six the next morning.
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The Morning That Transformed My Entire Life
Teeth brushed, face washed, and a glass of water in hand, I sat up straight on my living room couch at 5: 05 a.m., feeling genuinely excited about my life for the first time in a long time. It was still dark outside, and something about that felt very empowering.
I pulled out my list of life-changing personal development activities I had learned over the years but never implemented. One by one, I implemented each one.
Sitting in silence, praying, meditating, and focusing on my breath, for 10 minutes. I felt my stress melt away, felt a sense of calm come over my body and ease my mind. This was different from the typical chaos of my hectic mornings.
For the first time in a long time, I felt peaceful.
Having always made excuses why I couldn’t find time to read, I was excited to make time this morning and start what I had always hoped could become a lifelong habit.
I grabbed Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich, off the shelf. Like most of my books, it was one that I had started, but never finished. I read for ten minutes, and picked up a few ideas that I was excited to implement that day.
I was reminded that it only takes one idea to change your life, and I felt motivated.
Having never before harnessed the power of affirmations, it felt amazing to finally read the self-confidence affirmation from Think and Grow Rich aloud. The affirmation was a powerful reminder of the unlimited potential that was within me — and within each of us.
I decided to write my own affirmation. I jotted down what I wanted, who I was committed to being, and what I was committed to doing to change my life.
I felt empowered.
I grabbed the Vision Board off my wall. I had created it after watching the movie The Secret. I rarely took time to look at, let alone use it as the visualization tool it was intended to be.
For ten minutes, my focus shifted from image to image, pausing at each one to close my eyes and feel, with every fiber of my being, what it would be like to manifest each into my life.
I felt inspired.
Next, I opened one of the many blank journals I had purchased over the years. Like all of the others, I had failed to write in for more than a few days—a week at the most.
On this day, I wrote what I was grateful for in my life.
Almost immediately, I felt my depression lifting, like a heavy fog which had been weighing me down. It wasn’t gone, but it felt lighter.
The simple act of writing down the things I was grateful for lifted my spirits. I felt grateful.
Finally, I got up off the couch, remembering what I’d heard Tony Robbins say so many times: Motion creates emotion.
I dropped down and did pushups until I couldn’t do one more. Then I flipped over onto my back and did as many sit ups as my out-of-shape abs would allow.
With six minutes left on the clock, I inserted one of my fiancée’s Yoga videos into the DVD player, and enjoyed completing the first six minutes of it.
I felt energized. It was incredible!
I had already experienced what was one of the most peaceful, motivating, empowering, inspiring, grateful, and energizing days of my life—and it was only 6: 00 a.m.!
Nothing Short of a Miracle
For the next few weeks, I continued to wake up at 5: 00 a.m. and follow through with my 60-minute personal development routine.
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My stress levels dropped dramatically. I had more energy, clarity, and focus. I felt genuinely happy, motivated, and inspired. Thoughts of depression were a distant memory.
You could say I was back to my old self again—although I was experiencing so much growth, so rapidly, that I was quickly surpassing any version of myself that I had ever been in the past. And with my newfound levels of energy, motivation, clarity, and focus I was able to easily set goals, create strategies and execute a plan to save my business and increase my income.
Less than two months after my first Miracle Morning, my income was not only back to the level it had been at before the economy crashed, it was higher than ever before.
I knew this powerful morning personal development routine was something I would eventually start sharing with my private coaching clients, so I needed a name for it.
Considering that the transformation I was experiencing was so profound and happening so fast — having gone from broke and depressed to financially secure and excited about life, in less than two months — that it felt like a miracle, the only appropriate name was The Miracle Morning.