This week’s guest has a simply incredible story that you have to hear to believe. We’ve got Hal Elrod, author of The Miracle Morning, (Amazon link) a book that quite literally changed my life. And while that routine has helped me in so many ways to get more done than I ever thought possible, Hal has a new book coming out that sets its sights even bigger. The Miracle Equation (Amazon link) is about how to make the shifts in mentality you need to achieve extraordinary things. [Full Disclaimer: As an affiliate, I receive compensation if you purchase through The Miracle Morning links.]
Hal’s story is incredible and inspiring. It starts with him being diagnosed with acute lymphoblastic leukemia, a type of cancer that moves so quickly that he needed to start chemotherapy the very next day. Many people with this disease die because it’s often misdiagnosed, and it moves so rapidly that it can be too late to save them when they finally figure it out. Even with the right diagnosis, Hal himself was given only a thirty percent chance to live. The thing is, he was completely unfazed. He turned to his wife and said, “Sweetheart, I promise you. I don’t know how, and I guess I can’t promise, but I have unwavering faith that this cancer will be the best thing that ever happened to me.”
The craziest part about this whole thing is that his first book, The Miracle Morning, is about recovering from a different near-death experience: a car accident that left doctors saying that he’d never walk again. In both cases, he made two decisions that changed his perspective and helped him get through unbelievable hardship. Hal is inspiring, passionate, and committed to helping you change your life. There’s so much in this episode, so take a listen and hear more about The Miracle Equation (Amazon link).
Hal Elrod: He said, “Hal, you don’t have that kind of cancer. You don’t have a slow growing tumor.” He goes, “You were healthy last week. You’re on the verge of death right now, and you’ve got days to live if we don’t do chemo.” I thought that was a scare tactic. I’m like, “You know, let me sleep on it.” I Googled it and basically found this is real, most people die from this cancer because they go and get misdiagnosed with pneumonia, which is what I was diagnosed with initially. Then before they figure out what’s actually wrong, the person’s dead. And so I started chemo . . .
Pat Flynn: You’re listening to Hal Elrod, a near and dear friend of mine who has gone through, now, a second near-death experience. The first time he was on the show, he talked about his book The Miracle Morning, which was stemmed from a life-changing experience he had after a car accident. He was actually pronounced dead for eight minutes, came back, and was told he would never walk again, and has not only walked, but he has now changed the lives of hundreds of thousands of other people, including myself with his book, The Miracle Morning.
He’s coming out with a new book now called The Miracle Equation. Actually, it just came out yesterday, and that talks about the two decisions that move your biggest goals from possible to probable, to inevitable, something that he used to help him get through his first accident, and then now the cancer. He’s cancer-free at this moment, which is amazing. He’s just an incredible inspiration, Hal Elrod. I cannot wait to have you listen in on exactly how he got through this, and how he has used this Miracle Equation to grow his business to what it is today, and to help him through all the tough times in his life. This is what he’s teaching us now. Quite honestly, I needed to hear this conversation today, and this might be exactly what you need to listen to as well. Before we get to it, let’s get to the intro, and then we’ll get started.
Announcer: Welcome to The Smart Passive Income Podcast, where it’s all about working hard now, so you can sit back and reap the benefits later. Now your host, one of his all-time favorite TV shows growing up was Are You Afraid of the Dark?, Pat Flynn.
Pat: What’s up everybody? Welcome to Session 367 of The Smart Passive Income Podcast. My name is Pat Flynn, here to help you make more money, save more time and help more people too. Helping people, wow. This is something that Hal Elrod has just . . . He’s changing the world, and he’s going to do it again with his book, The Miracle Equation, which just came out actually very recently. If you are listening to this episode right now, it is published and live, and it’s in all the places you can get books. That includes Amazon, obviously.
The last time Hal was on the show was in 2014, in Episode 140. That was about productivity, and really having Hal enter my life, and what it was like to go from being a complete night owl, to then a massively productive morning person, which I still am today. I have a lot of success that I owe to Hal. He and I have grown to become really great friends, and actually, I remember when I heard the news about his cancer, it was crazy because I had just seen him a week before, and he was perfectly healthy.
We were in New York together at a book publishing seminar for the press over there, for self-published books because his first book, The Miracle Morning, and all the other Miracle Mornings that have come out since then are self-published. My book, Will It Fly?, was self-published. We were there for a little press thing. We had lunch together. He was fine. A week later I hear this news, and he’s got cancer. It hit me really hard. I’m really thankful that I was able to connect with him again, cancer-free, here on the show to talk about how he mentally got through that, and how he gets mentally through a lot of other tough times in his life as well. Sit back and just man, enjoy the ride. Here he is, Hal Elrod, author of the new book The Miracle Equation.
Hal, my man. What’s up. Welcome back to The Smart Passive Income Podcast. Thanks for being here.
Hal: Pat, it has been too long, man. I love you. I’m so grateful to be here.
Pat: It’s been way too long. I was looking very recently at when you were last on the show. That was over four years ago, in Episode 140 where we talked about The Miracle Morning, and the success of that book and movement, really, is what it’s become. Since then, many different things have happened. I’m just going to go right into it. The last time you came on you talked about a near-death experience you had. You were actually pronounced dead for several minutes, came back, they said you weren’t ever going to walk again, you walked, and you developed this miracle morning routine to help you through your recovery. Now you’ve since shared it with millions of people around the world, and now I’m just seeing The Miracle Morning everywhere. It’s everywhere for me every day because I wake up and I do the miracle morning. Thank you again for that. But you even had another near-death experience. Can you tell us . . . Let’s just get right into it. What happened . . . you again?
Hal: Yeah, I thought one was enough. Just over two years ago, I woke up in the middle of the night struggling to breathe. My wife, of course, she woke up. I was gasping for air. She had me sit up and put pillows on the bed. I always joke that that was the moment I decided I would never give her a bad time for all the decorative pillows on our bed, but yeah. Long story short, within a couple weeks, my lung kept having to be drained of fluid, and I was diagnosed with a very rare and aggressive form of cancer, leukemia called acute lymphoblastic leukemia.
I was on the verge of death when I went into the hospital. Not only was my lung collapsed, which it had been collapsed. It had collapsed over eleven times over the course of two weeks, and I had to go have all the, like, pounds and pounds and liters and liters of fluid drained. Then I went in for a second opinion at one of the best cancer hospitals in the world, MD Anderson, in Houston, and they found that not only was my lung collapsed, my heart was on the verge of failing and my kidneys were failing. It turned out that I had this aggressive cancer and I’m as natural and holistic as it gets, so I’m like, “All right, well, doctor, hey, can you support me in curing this holistically?”
He said, “Hal, you don’t have that kind of cancer. You don’t have a slow-growing tumor.” He goes, “You were healthy last week. You’re on the verge of death right now, and you’ve got days to live if we don’t do chemo.” I thought that was a scare tactic, and I’m like, “All right. Well, let me sleep on it.” I Googled it, and basically found this is real. Most people die from this cancer because they go and get misdiagnosed with pneumonia, which is what I was diagnosed with initially. Then before they figure out what’s actually wrong, the person is dead. I started chemo the next day, and then supported it with my holistic practices the entire journey. Yeah, man. It was the hardest year of my life. As you know, I have got a wife, I have two young children who were seven and four at the time. To leave your family, like the idea of dying when your kids are young or any age, it was terrifying.
I had to dig into my tool kit. They gave me a thirty percent chance of surviving. Terrible odds. I always say, if you’re a glass is half empty kind of person, that’s a seventy percent chance you’re going to die very soon. There’s this thing called the Miracle Equation, which I know we’re going to talk more about today, but it’s something I came up with, ironically, long before The Miracle Morning. I’m sure anyone that sees the book coming out goes, “Oh, wow. The Miracle Morning, now, The Miracle Equation.” No, Miracle Equation I came up with when I was twenty, like six years before The Miracle Morning. It’s the formula that I use for business success, like overcoming odds, breaking records when I was in sales, this and that. But I studied it and realized that every person that’s overcome extraordinary adversity, be it financial adversity, health adversity, whatever, or has achieved extraordinary success, that’s how they did it.
I go, “Wow, if I’m going to turn this thirty percent chance of surviving into one hundred,” which is I wanted to turn thirty percent into one hundred percent, “this is the only way that I know how.” So I approached my cancer through the lens, the filter of this Miracle Equation as my strategy, and defied the odds. I’ve been cancer-free for about a year. It’s an ongoing thing. I’ll be on forever, I’m getting a check-up on Monday. I go into the hospital, they dig into my bone marrow. It’s very painful. They test me for cancer every three months. But yeah, after the most difficult year of my life . . .
The last thing I’ll say on that is the day I was diagnosed, I told my wife, “Sweetheart . . .” She was terrified. I said, “Sweetheart, I promise you. I don’t know how, and I guess I can’t promise,” but I said, “I have unwavering faith that this cancer will be the best thing that ever happened to me, because I look back at my car accident and that allowed me to overcome adversity, to grow, and to become the person and create my life’s work.” And I thought every adversity holds an advantage if we choose to approach it through that lens. Because of that, I decided to be the most happy and grateful I had ever been while I went through the most difficult time in my life. And I believe that had a huge part in me overcoming that cancer and being alive today.
Pat: How do you legitimately stay happy in a situation like that? because I think a lot of us know that we should try to be happy, but it almost seems like faking it. “Yeah, I’ll put on a smile, even though I’m in massive pain and I’m about to die.” How do you honestly, in your heart, stay grateful during that time?
Hal: That’s a great point. If someone has cancer, most people probably on Facebook are going, “Hey, I’m making the best of it.” They fake that positivity. For me, it was very genuine. Anyone that knows me really well knows. In our last interview a few years ago, we talked about that with my car accident. When I was in the hospital in the car accident, I had 11 broken bones, permanent brain damage, I was told I would never walk again, and even being told I would never walk at age twenty, I thought, well . . ..See I learned something in my Cutco training, so I’ll give it just a quick summary of how I do this, which is it’s called the Five Minute Rule. It’s simply that when things go wrong, you’re allowed to be negative, you’re allowed to feel bad, or feel scared, or vent, or punch a wall, or whatever. You’re allowed to feel the emotions that are festering up initially, but the Five Minute Rule said, “After five minutes,” and literally we were taught in our sales training, “set your timer for five minutes. When the timer goes off, take a deep breath, and acknowledge that if you can’t change something, then there’s usually very little value in feeling bad about it.”
Here’s the thing. Every negative emotion, we think it’s because of the thing we’re going through, or the thing that happened to us, or the thing that someone else said, or the thing that someone else did. Whenever we’re feeling upset, whether it’s sad, scared, angry, name a painful emotion, when you’re feeling upset, we have something to point to, “Well yeah, of course I’m angry. Did you hear what he said to me? Well of course I’m said, look at what I lost. Of course, I’m upset, look at what is going in my life.” What I learned, and I was fortunate to have this mentor that taught me this, every negative emotion that you or I have ever felt, or anyone on the planet has ever felt, or could ever feel, it’s always self-created. What causes emotional pain is resistance. When something happens in our lives that doesn’t meet an expectation, if we resist and go, “I wish this were different, I wish this didn’t happen, I wish I didn’t have cancer, I wish I wasn’t in the car accident. God, I wish I could walk again. I can’t imagine not walking again,” it’s that resistance and the degree of resistance that we put towards the things that are out of our control. We can’t go back in time and change them. The degree of resistance determines the degree of our emotional pain that we create for ourselves.
I learned that at twenty, about a year and a half before the car accident, and so I went, “Okay.” I literally, I was so happy the doctors thought it was . . . They didn’t believe it. They thought I was in denial, that I was delusional. They called my parents in, they had this conversation going, “You got to talk to your son. He’s in denial. He’s smiling, and laughing, and joking all the time. That’s not normal. We would imagine deep down he’s hiding his real emotions of fear, anger, depression, Whatever he’s feeling, find it out.”
My dad came and talked to me. I said, “Dad. I live by the Five Minute Rule. I can’t change it. Can’t change that I was in a car accident. And if the doctors are right, there’s only one of two possibilities. Number one, if the doctors are right and I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life, I’ve already decided—if that’s my life, if I’m in a wheelchair forever, that’s not what I want. I’m not hoping for that. But if that’s what ends up happening and I can’t change that I’m in a wheelchair the rest of my life,” I said, “Dad, I promise you. I will be the happiest and the most grateful person that you have ever seen in a wheelchair because I’m not going to let the wheelchair define my quality of life.”
And Pat, I want to stop for a second and everyone to think about that. I’m not going to let the blank define my quality of life. When you hit traffic in the morning, that’s a low level of resistance . . . “Ah, dang it. I’m going to be late now.” There’s a level of resistance. You create a level of emotional pain. That traffic, it’s like, “No, no, no. I can’t change blank so I’m not going to let that define my emotional well being. I can’t change that the cars are going slow in front of me. I can’t change that this person said this to me. I can’t change that I lost my job. I can’t change that I lost my . . .” If we can’t change it, it’s learning that I’m going to make a conscious decision to fully accept it. That’s the opposite of resistance, is acceptance. So that’s the thing.
Now, I had hindsight, and I write about that a lot in the new book. I tell both of the stories of cancer and the car accident, and the bridge between how, on the day I was diagnosed with cancer . . . It was the day I was diagnosed and told I had a thirty percent chance of living and I said, “Sweetheart, this will be the best thing that ever happened to me,” and I really meant it. I lived it for the entire journey. That doesn’t mean . . . I mean, there were days . . .The Miracle Morning documentary comes out in a few months. You’re in that movie. You see me. I’m in the hospital hooked up to chemo, bawling . . .
Pat: It’s hard to watch, man.
Hal: Saying . . . Oh yeah. You’ve seen it, right?
Pat: I went to the premiere.
Hal: There’s even more in there.
Pat: I went to the premiere in Arizona when The Miracle Morning documentary, which is awesome, and you should all check it out when it does come out. I don’t know where it’s going to come out. Where are we going to see that? Do you know?
Hal: We’re probably going to do a nationwide theater release, and then it’ll be available on DVD and video-on-demand, and then eventually hopefully Amazon streaming and Net . . . Like major movies do. They go theater first, and then down the line.
Pat: You visually see all these things that Hal is talking about. You could probably imagine what it might look like. Your ability to take things that are very hard in your life, and not only see the good parts that can come out of that, but also then share your message with the world is just . . . wow. I’m very inspired by that because, in a small way, I’ve done something similar, taken the story of my layoff, and then turning it into a business, and then sharing with the world how I was able to do that so others can do that too. But this is so important. I want to dig into The Miracle Equation, because I think everybody’s just like, “Okay, Miracle Equation. It just came out on Amazon.” Show notes, obviously check it out. Where can people go get it if they’re jumping on that right now?
Hal: Yeah, well this is my . . . I’ve written twelve or thirteen books that are all self-published. This is the first traditionally published book. In the past, I’d say, “You got to go to Amazon.” Now I’m like, “Oh, you could actually get it where books are sold, walmart.com, target.com, amazon.com, Barnes & Noble.” It’s everywhere.
Pat: I’m so proud of you for that. I’ve a little bit been following your footsteps related to publishing. I made a very strategic decision to self-publish Let Go, and then my book Will It Fly?, because of the success that you’ve had with The Miracle Morning. We’ve connected with a lot of the same people to help us get it into book stores around the world. I have Will It Fly? now in Vietnamese and Chinese. It’s just amazing. Thank you for that. Again, you’re inspiring me. So let’s dive into The Miracle Equation. What is the Miracle Equation?
Hal: I’ll start. The subtitle of the book, which gives you a high-level overview of what it is, it’s, “The Two Decisions That Move Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable.” If you think about it, if you’re in the self-help world, if you read business books, personal growth books, if you go to Tony Robbins seminars, listen to Pat Flynn the podcast, we’ve all heard that anything is possible, and most of us we buy into that, right? We’re like, “Yeah, anything is possible.” But “possible” isn’t enough to get you out of bed in the morning. Yeah, everything is possible. If what was possible was enough of a driver, everybody in the planet would be highly successful because they’d be living what was possible.
So the idea is that once you get your goals to probable, now you’re like, “Okay, wow. If I believe I can achieve this goal,” because rarely do we pursue a goal that’s possible, but we don’t think is probable. Very rarely does somebody go, “I don’t think I could actually do this, so I’m going to give it everything I have.” No. Most people want a guarantee like, “If I think I can do it, then I’m going to pursue it.” The idea is how do you take it from possible to probable? Then okay, now you’re at probable, but how do you make it inevitable?
When I was twenty, I was approaching this sales goal. I was trying to break a record, which means I was with a company that had been around for fifty years, Cutco. I sold Cutco kitchen knives, and I was trying to do something that no one had ever done in fifty years. That’s very intimidating. You’re like, “Well, I’m going to . . .” That’s very intimidating. You’re like, “This has never been done before.” I was trying to do it in fourteen days. There was a fourteen-day window. The day before the fourteen-day window—and I had spent the last couple weeks writing out my goals, and strategizing, and planning, how am I going to do this? The day before . . .
Pat: It’s a company-wide fourteen days.
Hal: It was a company-wide, yeah, fourteen-day sales contest. I was trying to not only be number one at the current time, but actually break the all-time record. I was trying to do $20,000 in knife sales in two weeks, in-home presentations, no corporate sales. It was one, selling a set of knives to one housewife at a time. The day before the contest started, our manager said, “Hey, by the way, guys. I don’t know if you’ve heard, but we don’t have the full fourteen days. This is only a ten-day sales contest.” You can imagine, mentally, I had prepared . . . I was trying to get the courage to go for this record in fourteen days, and he just took away thirty percent of my time. But the record, the amount had to stay the same.
My initial thought was, I was so deflated, and I’m like, “There’s no way. There’s no way. It’s not possible.” I was giving up, and then that night . . . The moments of inspiration are either in the shower or falling asleep at night. I’m falling asleep, and I’m tossing, and I’m turning, and my subconscious is thinking about the goal. And I get a couple thoughts of inspiration. I sit up, I pull up my journal that sits by my bed. I just kind of reverse-engineered. I go, “Wait a minute, if I were to do it, it would be like a miracle.” That would feel like . . . I mean it’d be a miracle. I couldn’t even fathom doing this. Reverse-engineering it, what would have to happen between now and ten days from now for it to happen? I deconstructed two decisions. I don’t know that they were worded this way, initially, but by the end of it, they were worded this way. It was unwavering faith . . .
So the Miracle Equation is made of two decisions. By the way, these decisions, Pat, are deceivingly simple in their explanation, but extremely rare in their execution. Meaning, when I them you’re like, “It doesn’t sound complicated,” but if you actually, as we dissect them . . . That’s why they required a book, because you really have to go deep to understand because both the decisions are totally counter-intuitive to human nature. That’s why very few people make them, and those that do are those that we look up to, and admire, and read about in Forbes, and Entrepreneur, and listen to on your show.
The first decision is unwavering faith, and the second decision is extraordinary effort. Meaning, if you study anyone on the planet who has achieved extraordinary success, overcome extraordinary obstacles, they did it with, first and foremost, they established and maintained unwavering faith. Think about it. It is not human nature to establish the faith that you can do something that you have no evidence in your life that you can do. Maybe it’s running a marathon, or starting a business, or writing a book, or becoming a millionaire. Very few people go, “Well dude, I have no evidence that I can do that. I’m going to go for it.” Like we talked about earlier. The first part of unwavering faith, that decision is establishing it. Now there are many people though, it’s a small percentage, but it’s a larger percentage that will establish it. They call it uninformed optimism like, “Maybe I can do anything.” They listen to your show, they hear about someone that did something they want to do, and they go, “Well maybe I can do it.” They establish the faith. It’s the easier part, but it’s still counter-intuitive.
But here is the thing, maintaining it. As soon as you go, “All right, I have faith. I’m going to do it.” But most people, as soon as they hit the wall, the obstacle, they stumble, they fall, they fail. Then most people give up the faith that their dream, their goal, their vision is possible. Once you give up the faith that it’s possible, it quickly becomes exactly the opposite, which is it becomes impossible. You can’t achieve something you don’t believe you can achieve. So the first decision is establishing unwavering faith that you can accomplish something you’ve never accomplished, a big, huge, audacious goal or dream, and then maintaining that faith until it happens, until the moment. For most of us, and Pat, you can, I’m sure, back this up, which is it usually takes longer than you thought. You set a goal, “I’m going to do this, by this in the next year,” and it takes you 10. Most people aren’t willing to maintain the faith for that long.
Pat: Unwavering faith. Does that mean searching for evidence, like you said, that proves that this actually is something that is possible? I’m thinking of . . . The example that comes to mind is way back in the day when the four-minute mile was broken. Nobody had any proof that that could ever be done, so nobody ever thought that it was possible. But the moment somebody had done it, then you started to see all these other people actually be able to achieve it, because it unlocks in their brain, the faith that, “Wow, this is something that actually can be done.” Now that obviously begs the question, well is it something that I could do? That’s a different story. But just is that what this means, is searching for evidence, whether within yourself that you have capabilities that can support that goal and/or others who have achieved it as well?
Hal: Yes, and there’s a little more to it than that. Yes, that is the most fundamental, I believe. In fact, in the book I talk about something called enlightened entitlement. Entitlement is usually an icky word in our society, like we think of this person’s entitled, which they think they deserve something even though they’ve done nothing to earn it or deserve it. Enlightened entitlement is the foundational belief that every person on the planet is just as worthy, deserving, and capable of achieving anything that another person has achieved, or creating, or accomplishing, or experiencing, or believing. Of course, there are limitations to that. I’m not going to play in the NBA, neither are you probably, right?
Pat: Well, no. Probably not.
Hal: Even though Muggsy Bogues has proven height doesn’t matter. But there’s certain things that we got to be realistic for, but for the most part, it’s this inherent universal philosophy that if another human being has accomplished something, so can I. Again, that’s counter-intuitive. It’s not normal because most of us, we do the opposite of that. We don’t find connection to what’s possible based on what others have done, we create separation, “Oh, well man, that person is so . . . You listen, and look how confident they are.” Or, “They have more experience than me,” or, “They’re older than I am,” or, “They weren’t born with the crappy parents that I was.” Our friend Josh Shipp is a great example. Grew up in the foster system and achieved everything he’s ever wanted, and is changing the world. There’s so many examples of that.
So the foundation of unwavering faith is faith in yourself, that you are just as worthy, deserving, and capable of achieving, creating, accomplishing, experiencing anything and everything that you want, as any other person on the planet. Then beyond that, some people draw their faith from a higher power, from God. Some people draw their faith from their past experience. You can draw your unwavering faith from various places. There are people that, in our society or other societies, that they didn’t even have evidence that it was possible for another person. They might not have had access to podcasts, or even go back in time. Our life’s very different now, our world. Rewind twenty years, there weren’t podcasts, there weren’t blogs, there wasn’t social media. Finding evidence was a little tougher, right? You go even further before there were amazon.com, and Barnes & Noble, you couldn’t even find out . . .
You don’t have to find your faith through evidence of other people, but to me, that’s a place I often will look. But ultimately, it’s about faith in your worthiness and capability to do anything that you put your mind to.
Pat: And when you do hit that wall in those tough times, I know even from my own experience, I begin to doubt that faith. I begin to look for evidence of the opposite, that, “Wow, I didn’t go to school for business, therefore I shouldn’t be in business.” I remember having those specific feelings, especially after certain things happened in the beginning of my business career, when I started my architecture website. Do you have any specific strategies or things that we could do, systems, whatever, during that process of deflation to reinflate our faith?
Hal: Yeah. I think it’s important . . . Before I answer that, to set that up, that anyone listening understands. I know that I get excited, and I talk very—I’m super insecure. We all have our insecurities, our fears. Here’s the point, unwavering faith doesn’t mean . . . When you make that decision to maintain unwavering faith, and I’m going to tie it back to the story that I’m in the middle of telling, and we’ll keep looping back to, which is that sales contest for the ten days. When I reverse-engineered it, the whole point of faith is I realized, there are going to be so many times during these ten days, including before they even started, that I am afraid, that I doubt myself. I’d been in sales for a couple years at that point. I go, “I know there are going to be days where I go out and I go 0-6, and I don’t sell anything.” I know that the emotion that that creates is one of fear, and doubt, and that’s what happens. I thought, “Unwavering faith is my strategy. It doesn’t mean that I actually believe.” This is what’s interesting. It’s a really fine distinction.
But here is the point, if we knew each other at that time, Pat, and you’re like, “Hey dude, I heard you’re going for this record, man. You’re maintaining unwavering faith. You want to bet, I don’t think you’re going to break that record. Hal, do you want to bet $1,000 that you’re going to break . . . I bet you’re not going to break the record.”
I would have gone, “Dude, I’d probably bet you $1,000 that I’m not going to break . . .” I didn’t think I was actually going to do it. Unwavering faith was a strategy to override my fear, and override my doubt. The way that I did that, and this is the direct answer to your question, is what I call the Miracle Mantra. Miracle Equation, Miracle Mantra. The Miracle Mantra is simply I am committed to give it everything I have to achieve this goal until the last possible moment, regardless of my results. No matter what, there’s no other option. That’s a long version of it. I think in the book, it’s a little more concise. But basically, it’s I’m committed to achieve this goal no matter what. There’s no other option. Whenever I would have a no sale, or I would have a bad day, or a canceled order, whenever I was not on track for my goal, I remember literally, I can picture it. I drove a black Nissan Xterra. I can see myself on this one spot on the freeway with all my windows down screaming, because I had just come off three no sales in a row, and I’m like, “Dude, there’s . . .” The voice in my head was, “There is no way. There is no way. I’m kidding myself. There is no way I’m going to achieve this goal.”
Then I became aware, “Oh, wait, wait. I committed, I’m not allowed to talk that way to myself.” That’s the thing about unwavering faith. It was a strategy and a conscious decision that whenever I caught myself in those moments of fear, and self-doubt, and negative self-talk, I would override it with that mantra. I would roll down the windows and go, “I am committed to give it everything I have, to sell $20,000 in the next 10 days no matter what. There is no other option.” That is it, is that mantra. And the beauty of unwavering faith is it keeps you on track. Pat, here’s how this play . . . Well, let me tell you. Any other questions, and then we’ll go into the second decision and then how these work together.
Pat: Nah, I’m ready to go to extraordinary effort. Correct?
Hal: Yeah, extraordinary effort. Again, if you study anyone, yourself included, anyone that has achieved anything extraordinary, you don’t find that they did it without extraordinary effort, but that is not human nature. Human nature is to take the path of least resistance.
Pat: The safer path.
Hal: It is, yeah, safety, comfort. We seek comfort. Achieving a big, scary, audacious dream or goal, it’s not comfortable, it’s the opposite. You’re constantly faced with fear and self-doubt, and it’s magnified. When you’re watching Netflix, your fear and self-doubt doesn’t really show up. It’s deep down inside you, it’s there, but it’s waiting for you to actually do something that brings it about. For anybody that’s listening, is that the world’s most successful people or anywhere along that spectrum of success, they have tons of fear, tons of insecurity, and tons of self-doubt. Again, they have more of it than most people because they’re pursuing things that terrify them, that scare them, that challenge them.
Extraordinary effort, first and foremost, I think it’s important to make it feel ordinary because extraordinary effort, at first glance, you’re like, “Wow dude. I’m going to shut the podcast off. I don’t want to . . . That sounds hard. That sounds hard.” Extraordinary effort, if there was one word to sum it up, it’s consistency. The world’s most successful people, it’s not that they . . . I mean, yeah, some of . . . We’re in different seasons . . . I’m in a season of my life right now where I’m actually working a lot, I’m slammed. But for the most part, it’s just that they do the things you’re supposed to do every day, and the compound effect of that is over time, they achieve great goals or dreams. Like writing a book for example. If you just write five pages a day, in a hundred days, you have a five-hundred-page book, and you don’t need that long of a book, so in twenty days, or whatever. That’s the point is extraordinary effort isn’t about working yourself to the bone eighty hours a week, it’s about a commitment every day to move a little bit closer to a goal or a dream that is extremely meaningful to you. If you move in the direction of any goal or dream in your life, whether it’s losing weight, or making money, or whatever, you eventually get there.
By the way, that’s where the subtitle of the book, “Moving Your Biggest Goals from Possible, to Probable, to Inevitable,” that’s where it comes from, is that if you commit to maintain . . . You define your goal. I call it your mission in the book. You define your mission, the goal, the dream that is so meaningful to you that will add so much value to your life, that you’re willing to commit to it. If you pursue it with unwavering faith until, and underline the word until, until you get there, and you put forth extraordinary effort until you get there, you eventually get there. Your success is inevitable. Sometimes, as you know, you often, like with your dream, it was being an architect, right? I’m not messing that up?
Pat: Yeah, it was.
Hal: You were pursuing that. That ended up not being the dream, but you were pursuing it with unwavering faith and extraordinary effort. Here’s a really important part of this, is redefining the purpose of your goal, your dream, or your mission. I believe this was Jim Rohn that first said this, which is, and I’m paraphrasing, but the purpose of a goal is not to achieve the goal, it’s who you become throughout the process of achieving the goal. By maintaining unwavering faith, and having that as your foundational mindset, and putting forth extraordinary effort, you become the type of person that can achieve bigger, and greater, and more significant goals and dreams. It’s who you become that matters.
That’s the thing, is that when you pursue this, even if you don’t achieve the goal, which you and I . . . I have more goals that I have pursued and not achieved, but when you do it through the Miracle Equation, you become a better version of yourself. You become someone who can achieve big and better goals, whether or not you achieve every single one, and you won’t. No champion wins every game, no champion wins every championship. There are good games, bad games, good seasons, bad seasons. But they are champions, they are the best in the world at what they do because, and we can go into this rabbit hole. If not this second, but if you want to . . . I love studying athletics. Did you watch Michael Jordan as a kid?
Hal: Michael Jordan is, to me, the quintessential champion. He was the guy, and he’s considered widely by most people as one of, if not the greatest basketball player of all time. Before there was LeBron James, kids, there was Michael Jordan. But if you think about the world’s greatest athletes, because this is just a great analogy that we can use across the board. Most people, when the game is on the line, and there’s only thirty seconds left, there are ten seconds left, and they’re in the huddle, the average player, and of course these are the average amongst the best. If you’re in the NBA, you’re amongst the best in the world, but the average player doesn’t want the ball because they allow fear to dictate their actions. That’s most people, we allow fear to dictate our actions.
The game is on the line, and Phil Jackson’s in the huddle with Jordan, and Steve Kerr, and Scottie Pippen. Most of the time, all the other players are like, “Dude . . . uhhhhh . . .” they’re waiting for somebody else to step up. Jordan goes, “Give me the ball.” Even if he missed the last seven shots in a row, because he decided at some point in his life, “I will maintain unwavering faith that I can make every single shot that I take, no matter how many I miss. I will maintain unwavering faith that I can win every single game that I play, even though that’s impossible, and no one ever does it.” The point is, unwavering faith is a conscious decision on how you will approach everything in your life. It’s approaching it with the, “I can win every game, I can make every shot, I can achieve the goals I set,” even though we know you’re not going to achieve them all. But by having the mindset of unwavering faith, you will achieve more than ninety-nine percent of the people that are like, “Well, I’m only going to pursue the ones that I know are likely to happen.”
Pat: Yeah, you can’t make a basket unless you take a shot. You’re going to miss some. It reminds me of that Jordan quote, “I’ve missed more than nine thousand shots in my career, I’ve lost almost three hundred games, twenty-six times I’ve been trusted to take the game-winning shot and missed. I’ve failed over, and over, and over again in my life, and that is why I succeed.”
Hal: That quote is both on a poster on my son’s well. Were you just reading it by the way? Is it on a poster, or somewhere on your wall?
Pat: I was hoping people would think I memorized it, but I actually pulled it up. I pulled it up.
Hal: I was like, you started saying it. I was looking in your eyes and like, “Is he . . . I think he’s looking at a post.”
Pat: We need to turn the camera off, people.
Hal: Yeah, yeah, yeah. I know, we should have done no camera. No, but yeah. That’s on my son’s wall, and that quote is in The Miracle Equation. That is in the book. I give Jordan as the example, right, because that’s exactly it. That’s exactly it.
Pat: Well, I’m definitely going to be getting the book, and you should all get it too. Go and find it at your local book store. Of course, it will be available on Amazon as well, right?
Hal: Yeah, and it will be audiobook, Kindle, all of the iBooks, all of the above.
Pat: As far as extraordinary effort, to me what you’re saying is, it is extraordinary to be consistent, meaning most people are not. Is that the truth?
Hal: I hope I said it that way in the book, because that was very well said. Yeah, that’s exactly it. Going back to my sales contest, I maintained unwavering faith that I was going to do it using that Miracle Mantra. I put forth the extraordinary effort. The extraordinary effort was simple committing to a specific number of calls every day, and then showing up to my appointments. Of course, yes, it’s over and above, when I was between my appointments—whereas in a normal week, I might just rest on my laurels, I was on the phone making even more calls. But yeah, that’s it. What makes it extraordinary is that it’s consistent and that it’s consistent effort over an extended period of time, because most people, if they are consistent, it’s for a short burst. They don’t maintain it over the weeks, months, or years that it takes to create miracles in their lives.
Pat: If you don’t have that energy, and you don’t have, seemingly, time to be productive, and you aren’t working your own personal development to help support that, well then you should check out this other book called The Miracle Morning, which can help you out with that.
Hal: It’s a good point. People have asked, why The Miracle Equation if we already . . . The Miracle Morning stands alone as this great system. The Miracle Morning is a system for personal development. To me, that’s the foundation of everything, of our quality of life, and of our success. But I realized that we still need a system for goal achievement because you could engage in personal development every day and still shy away from pursuing your biggest goals and dreams out of fear. You could be the most personally developed person on the planet, read all the books, and have all the knowledge to be the smartest, most capable person, but still shy away from the goals and the dreams. They really do go together. It’s personal development plus goal achievement.
The last thing I’ll say on this is with unwavering faith and extraordinary effort, there is something that I call the faith effort feedback loop. What that means is, when you establish unwavering faith, that you can accomplish something you’ve never done before, that opens the door for you to put forth the extraordinary effort. You go, “Well now, I’ve put in writing, I’ve got the faith I could actually do this. It’s possible. It’s probably, it’s inevitable, I’m going to do it.” Then now you’re motivated to put forth effort. The more you put forth that consistent effort, the more it reinforces your faith because you go, “Dude, I deserve it. I am working hard. I’m seeing little signs that this could actually work out.” That’s it. Now you have more faith that it’s possible, that feeds your unwavering faith which in turn gives you more energy, more motivation, and more drive to put forth the effort which then feeds the faith. It just—round and round you go, and then it literally changes who you are, fundamentally as a person, and what you’re capable of.
Pat: I think I heard a person once say, “To be successful at anything you must take action even when you don’t feel like it, knowing that the action itself will produce the motivation you need to follow through.”
Hal: That was in Miracle Morning, wasn’t it?
Pat: It was. I’m quoting you. I’m reading it. But yeah. But it all relates, people. I love the brand that you’ve created, and just how epic your community is. I’m in the Miracle Morning community silently watching and listening to the conversations in the lives that you are changing. Here we go again with The Miracle Equation, and now traditionally published I expect to see your face everywhere and on bookshelves all around the world. I’m just so proud of what you’ve done that I’m inspired, and I’m really excited for the upcoming success that you’re going to have.
Going back to the initial story that started out, you being in the hospital with cancer, I’m so thankful and I remember praying very hard during that time that . . . It was obviously, the rest of the world, your community praying with you. I remember seeing pictures of you in the hospital with no hair, and just super skinny, and just very weak looking. It was your mind that kept all of us motivated, including yourself all the way through. I think this is how powerful this is. Everybody, go and pick up The Miracle Equation, and we’ll have links in the show notes, and how just you’re an inspiration to me. I appreciate you, brother. Any final words of advice to motivate people as they close this episode, and go do what they need to do in their lives?
Hal: Yeah. Well first, I just want to say, thank you, Pat. I cannot put into words how grateful I am for you. When you interviewed me about The Miracle Morning years ago, and you started practicing it, and it changed your life, and then you shared it . . .
Pat: Yeah, it did.
Hal: It reached . . . You’re such a great . . . I loved you before we ever spoke, and from afar, just watching you and how you conduct yourself, and we’re having a little bromance right here. But I’m so appreciative. The Miracle Morning, you helped it take off. You have changed many lives with The Miracle Morning because you’ve shared it. Yeah, man. People helping people. I’m so appreciative of you, and having me on now, and closing words. If you’re listening, whatever your biggest goals and dreams are, just know that you really are limitless, you really are limitless. The only thing standing between you and everything that you want and deserve in your life, I truly believe, are two decisions. It is really those two decisions.
If you consciously commit that you’re going to start establishing and maintaining unwavering faith, that you can accomplish these goals and dreams, that are meaningful for you, for your family, for your community, for whomever, and you get clear on what does extraordinary effort look like for you? What does the daily process that will make our achievement of those goals and dreams inevitable? And you pursue, you wake up every day, you read your Miracle Equation affirmations. Those are in the book of course, and you reinforce that unwavering faith, and you execute and implement that extraordinary effort, your success, your goals, our dreams will truly move from possible, to probable, to inevitable. I can’t wait to see that, and I believe you deserve it. I want to see it for you.
Pat: Thank you, Hal, for that. Appreciate you and good luck on the launch, man.
Hal: All right brother. Talk to you soon.
Pat: All right. Wow. I hope you enjoyed that episode with Hal Elrod. Again, the last time he was on the show was Episode 140, and now we’re in 367. Hal, I know you listen to the episodes here, and I’m just so proud of you, and I’m so inspired by you. Hal and I chat every once in a while. We throw ideas back and forth at each other. I was very thankful to be in his documentary, The Miracle Morning documentary. You can actually see the phone conversation, the FaceTime conversation that I sent to him when he was going through his cancer. Just very thankful that he’s in my life, and I know he’s there to change many other lives too.
If this is your first time listening to Hal, definitely get involved with him and his book The Miracle Equation (Amazon link), and also The Miracle Morning. I’ll have all the links to everything in the show notes. If you go to smartpassiveincome.com/session367, again smartpassiveincome.com/session367, you can get access to all those links and resources there. Obviously, like Hal said, wherever those books are available to you, you’ll likely see The Miracle Equation there too.
Wow, just let me know what you think. Hit me up on Instagram or Twitter, @patflynn. If you want to do me a one up, shoot me a @patflynn on an Instagram Story, and share this episode, and just talk a little bit about what you loved about it, so I’ll see those come in, and I’ll repost some of those to my audience. Thanks again. I appreciate you, Team Flynn. You’re amazing. Hal, thank you for the inspiration today. Let’s just pay it forward. That’s exactly what we’re all doing here, pay it forward. Team Flynn, thank you so much. I love you all. Please subscribe if you haven’t already, Team Flynn for the win.
Announcer: Thanks for listening to The Smart Passive Income Podcast at www.smartpassiveincome.com.
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Special thanks to Hal Elrod for joining me this week. Until next time!