Transform Your Life Every Morning, Hal Elrod

Hal Elrod, an international keynote speaker and best selling author of 12 books, including “The Miracle Morning“—which has been translated into 42 languages discusses how to transform your life a little every morning on Alan Olsen‘s American Dreams Show.




Alan Olsen

Welcome to American Dreams. My guest today is Hal Elrod. Hal welcome to today’s show.


Hal Elrod

Alan, I appreciate it, man. And what a great title of the show.


Alan Olsen

So Hal, you have a remarkable background we have in in your background on the screen there the Miracle Morning, which is over 2 million copies. But I I’d like to to share for the listeners here, as though they they’re getting familiar with how story and now how came to where he is today? Yeah,


Hal Elrod

yeah, I’ll try to give you a high level overview here of some of the kind of defining moments in my life. When I was eight years old, my, my baby sister Amory, died in front of me.

She was 18 months old, and I woke up one Saturday morning to my mother screaming across the hall, and I ran across the hall into her bedroom, and she was performing CPR on my baby sister, and my baby sister died that morning. Of course, my poor my parents, it was the, you know, the worst nightmare they could imagine.

And within six months, my mother was leading a support group for other parents who had lost children. And so while at eight years old, I did not realize the seeds that were being planted and the values that were being instilled at the time. But I learned that when you experience tragedy in your life, that you find a way to turn pain into purpose.

And so I learned that from from watching, my parents do that with my sister’s death. And then you fast forward 12 years later, at age 20, I was driving home from giving a speech at a conference one night, and my car was hit head on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, I spun off the drunk driver and other car hit me in the door at 70 miles per hour, and I began bleeding to death and I ended up being clinically dead.

An hour later, for six minutes, I broke 11 bones suffered permanent brain damage to what I would never walk again. And I had learned something from my mentor a year now prior about accepting what you can’t change being your maintaining faith in the possibilities and, and I took my first step three weeks later, and you know, went on to kind of start a career in helping other people through that.

And then most recently, seven years ago, I was diagnosed the rare aggressive form of cancer, I was given a 20% chance of surviving, and which is an 80% chance of dying. And I maintain the same mindset that I have with my car accident, which is like I’m not gonna let the doctors are the statistics define my reality. And I beat cancer.

And now I’m here today sharing this miracle morning message with millions of people as you mentioned, and that’s why I’m really grateful Alan, for the opportunity to share with your audience


Alan Olsen

how I like to venture down the road of your foundation, a lot of people in life are seeing you know, a myriad of change in this world and the environments that they live in. And here you have gone to the extreme. You’ve been a witness to the death of your your sister nearly lost you in life on more than one occasion.

Driver, the cancer survivor, where do you drive or draw your inner strength from a lot of people are like, you know, hey, I don’t know what to do and their problems are nowhere near what is it is it that that gives that strong foundation? You know,


Hal Elrod

I would I’d love I’ll share it in a way that’s duplicable right? duplicatable where, where anybody listening can actually adopt some of this into their life, right? Because if I say, Well, I’ve got this I was born with this inner strength. Like, that doesn’t help anybody. You know.

I’ll tell you when I was 19 years old, I was hired to sell Cutco cutlery, and I never thought in my life, I wanted to be a salesperson, but a friend of mine convinced me to go in for an interview and I gave it a shot. And in my Cutco sales training, I learned something called The Five Minute Rule. And it’s one of most life changing philosophies I’ve ever learned. And it’s how I got through the cancer. It’s how I got into the car accident.

And so the five minute rule. My mentor in my Cutco training said, when you go through adversity in life, you have two choice or you have one choice, basically, which is how you’re going to respond and you can respond in a positive, proactive way, or in a negative, disempowering way. Right. Okay. There’s a nice binary, pretty simple for all of us to understand. And he said, now you’re about to start a career in sales.

He said, you’re going to experience adversity, like most people don’t, on a daily basis, meaning the average person occasionally faces rejection, and they have to deal with that emotional turmoil that is caused when you are rejected. And that might happen to them, you know, once a year or something. He said, You’re gonna face it on the phone 10 times a day.

You’re gonna face it in person, you’re gonna sit across from somebody and they’re gonna say, I don’t want to buy anything from you get out of my house, right? He said, so you have to, you have to have a skill a strategy To quickly overcome adversity and move through it and just keep moving forward.

And so he said, The Five Minute Rule whenever you face adversity, big or small, he taught us to literally set our timer on our phone for five minutes, and give yourself five minutes to fully feel whatever emotions are coming up for you. Right? I’m so mad. I can’t believe this happened. I’m scared. What if, what if now, this means I’m gonna fail in my love what? Right? Whatever the emotions are.

He said, a lot of us suppress them. We push them down because Oh, I I can’t cry. Mom, Dad said Don’t cry, or I don’t have time for this right now. I just gotta you gotta keep right. And he said, You’ve got to, you’ve got to fully process the emotion. But he said, it doesn’t need to be for an extended period of time where you dwell on something you can’t change for day, you know, hours, days, weeks, months.

He said, set the timer for five minutes, bitch moan, cry, vent, punch a wall. When the timer goes off. After five minutes, you say three very powerful words. can’t change it. And it’s a simple acknowledgement. Okay, let’s deal with reality right now. I can’t change what happened five minutes ago. That’s my it happened. I get to choose now will I respond in an empowering way where I accept my reality as it is.

And I focus on what’s in my control moving forward? Or will I continue to wish it didn’t happen? Say it’s not fair be a victim, right? And he would just ask he would present those are the two options, which do you think is the best one for you to choose in any given situation? Like, I mean, you got to accept what you can’t change and be proactive and move forward. Right.

And so I learned that in my Cutco sales training in the context of much smaller adversity, I practice it for a year and a half. And then when I came out of the coma, six days later from after the car accident, I realized, Oh, this is no different from the little adversity. I mean, it’s definitely different. But but my right now I got a response, I can respond in the most empowering, positive, proactive way.

Except what I can’t change my reality exactly as is move forward. Or I can complain, I can feel be a victim I could, this isn’t fair, I didn’t deserve this. My life is over. And so that was it. And so I had learned that five minute rule at 19 years old, and I applied it a year and a half later, when I was told I would never walk again.

And there’s an important distinction there, I accepted the possibility that I might never walk again. And I told my dad, I’ll be the happiest, most grateful person you’ve ever seen in a wheelchair dad. Because I’m in a wheelchair either way, I will not let my unchangeable circumstances define my choosable attitude.

I said, but I’m not accepting that as the only possibility my energy now is going to go into Hey, maybe I could walk again, I’m gonna maintain faith that that’s possible while I accept the worst case scenario. So again, for anybody listening, this isn’t rocket science, it’s literally Oh, wow, we can all choose to apply that five minute rule be at peace with the things we can’t change.

And when the timer goes off after five minutes, or 10 minutes, or an hour or whatever, right? Okay, I get to choose now the most positive, proactive, empowering attitude. And that’s how I’m gonna live my life.


Alan Olsen

So you went out from these experiences to write a book called the Miracle Morning, down over 2 million copies. So can you tell us a little about the genius of the book? And how this came about?


Hal Elrod

Yeah. So there’s one other adversity in between all of those. And that was the 2008 financial crisis. And I have my own business, I was earning about $80,000 a year as a coach. So I was building this business, it was going well. And I was very optimistic. Like, I’m not gonna let the economy affect me. I’ll figure all that, you know, I’ll create my own economy.

Remember, I said that to a few people. I create my own economy. And long story short, the economy destroyed me. I lost over half of my clients, over half of my income, became depressed because I lost my house. It was fourth my first house had ever bought, foreclosed on. And I just I didn’t know what to do my body fat percentage tripled. I was in the worst shape of my life, mentally and emotionally, financially, you name it.

And one day, I heard a quote, from a Jim Rohn audio that my friend recommended it was the quote, and if anybody’s listening, this is worth writing down. You don’t want to forget this one. This changed my life. And it really gave birth to the Miracle Morning concept. Jim Rohn said, your level of success in any area of your life will seldom exceed your levels of personal development.

And when I heard that, here’s how I quantified it because I think that’s not a really easily understandable quote, you go well, wait, what do you mean by level of success? What is personal development? Does that mean? here’s the here’s how I made sense of it.

On a scale of one to 10 Alan, if we’re measuring success, fulfillment in our health, our marriage, our mental and emotional well being any area of life or finances, on a scale of one to 1010 being the best, what level Would you say most people, if not every person wants 10 It’s human nature. Nobody’s like, well, I don’t want to be too happy. I don’t want too much money.

No, it’s like, I want to be as happy and healthy and wealthy and financially secure and abundant and and look as it’s humanly possible. So then the next question was, okay, so we all want level 10 success. But I thought, What’s my level of personal development?

And the way that I would define that for anybody listening is what are the daily rituals and routines that you have in place that enable you to develop yourself into a better version of who you were when you woke up that morning, that’s your level of personal development, the books, you’re reading the journaling, that you’re doing the exercising?

And my answer was two or three, like I want level 10 success, but my level of personal development is that a two or three, and I believe that’s the disconnect for 95 plus percent of our society, myself included, as we all want to be as happy, healthy, wealthy and successful as we can be.

But most people don’t have a daily ritual or routine in place that enables them to become the level 10 version of them, that is capable of creating and sustaining that success. So I had this epiphany, and I go, I gotta go create the most extraordinary effective, scientifically proven, personal development, ritual, known demand. And I got to start doing that every day.

And so I just went spend an hour Googling, what are the world’s most successful people do for personal development. And at the end of that time, I had a list of six practices, six of those proven practices, and I was trying to pick the one or two, that was the best and I’m going, I’m feeling overwhelmed. I don’t know which one of these I should do.

And then the light bulb moment was, wait a minute, what if I did all six of them in 130 or 60 minute ritual, I wake up a half an hour earlier, you all six practices, I thought that would be the ultimate routine. Two months later, after doing it, five to seven days a week for those two months, I am more than doubled my income at the height of the 2008 Great Recession.

In other words, the economy continued to tank, and it got worse. But as I got better, and I developed my mental, my habits, my my, my financial, IQ, I mean, you name it, I was able to double my income. And it felt like a miracle. I called my Miracle Morning, I started teaching to my clients. And the rest is kind of history.

I eventually turned it into a book and now millions of people in over 100 countries swear by the Miracle Morning as a tool to change their life in the beginning, but then keep themselves continuously learning growing, evolving, and creating the life that they really want.


Alan Olsen

So these six, develop personal development practices. So you also have an acronym for them as savers. Yeah. Silence Affirmations, Visualization, exercise, reading, and scribing. Walk us through the savers and how they can help us improve our lives.


Hal Elrod

Yeah, I’ll start by saying this Robert Kiyosaki the author of Rich Dad, Poor Dad, one of the best selling finance books of all time, he has read the Miracle Morning three times to my knowledge, and he had me on rich dad radio, and he told me that it changed his life. And here’s what he said. He said, how you named the book correctly by calling it The Miracle Morning, of course, I said, Why do you say that?

He said, Because before you wrote the Miracle Morning, every successful person on the planet attribute their success to at least one of those practices. One of the Savers is what they would say, yeah, it’s the books I read or it with my you know, Ray Dalio, billionaire investor, says the number one key to him becoming a billionaire was his daily meditation practice.

So what Robert Kiyosaki said is how any one of the Savers will change your life. But he goes, you name the book correctly by calling it The Miracle Morning, because when you combine all six of these ancient best practices, he said, my experience has been that you experience miracles in your life. He said, I’m experiencing miracles in my business, my health and my marriage.

So that’s a high level understanding of when you combine these six ancient best practices, you’re not harnessing the power of one of them, or two of them, or three of them. But all six silence is starting your day with meditation, prayer or breath, work, gratitude. There’s a buffet of options, but it’s scientifically proven to lower your cortisol levels.

clarify your thinking so that you can be more effective in everything else you do for the day. Affirmations have kind of a bad rap, right? It was like the Stuart Smalley character that made fun of affirmations or I think the biggest problem with affirmations is we’re taught to affirm something that is not true, or that we wish were true without any effort.

So something along the lines of if you’re struggling financially, just tell yourself that you’re a money magnet, and that money is going to magically appear in your life and you affirm this and you deluding yourself. So in the Miracle Morning book, I walk you through three steps to create affirmations that are result oriented and practical. And those steps are, number one, affirm what you’re committed to.

In life, you don’t get what you want, because you want it, you get what you’re fully committed to. So I’m committed to blank, no matter what there’s no other option now might be saving your marriage, it might be losing 20 pounds, it might be committed to increasing your income this year. That’s the starting place of any result in your life is by being commit clarifying your commitment.

Number two is affirm why it’s a must for you. What are the reasons that it’s so important that when you review those every day, that will remind you, they’ll fuel your drive to do whatever it takes to make it happen. And then step three is affirm which actions you’ll take, and when you will take them. And that’s where the rubber meets the road where you go, Okay, I’m committed to this, here’s why.

So in order to ensure that I follow through with that commitment, I’m going to take these actions on these days at these times. And I apply those three steps to all of my goals. So I’ll have you know, page of affirmations. Financially, here’s what I’m committed to it as a husband, here’s what I’m committed to, in my you know, with my kids, as a parent, all areas of my life, I’ve got that formula.

And of course, I walk you through in the book how to do that. The V is for visualization. And that’s what the professional athletes do is they mentally rehearse showing up at the court, on the field at their best. So they’re mentally rehearsing, showing up for work, or their life.

And I use it for how I’m going to show up in the kitchen in the morning when I’m helping, you know, greeting my kids with love and passion and energy and fun. And mentally rehearsing that with your visualization practice makes it automatic. The E is for exercise.

The R is for reading, doing these things in the morning Prime’s your mind with the physical energy you need from exercise and the knowledge you need to implement in your life. And the final essence savers is for scribing, which is simply putting pen to paper and the magic that happens when you get the myriad of thoughts that are bouncing around in your head making you feel overwhelmed.

And you clarify your thinking and writing. And now you unburden yourself from having to keep all of that in your head. Now it’s on paper, or you type it in your in your journal. Either way, now you feel a separation from the things that are causing you stress. And you’re able to focus on the things that you’re grateful for, to amplify feelings of wow, you know what, my life isn’t so bad.

I’ve got my health, and I’ve got a roof over my head, and I’ve got. So those six practices, any one of them will change your life. When you combine all six, it becomes a miracle morning. And I think one of those important pieces of this is this doesn’t have to be done super early in the book, I walk you through how to wake up as little as six minutes earlier to do all six year savers.


Alan Olsen

Now this is so beautifully put as a as a process and is it done in an understandable format? Have you do you recommend that in this process of savers having some type of mentorship role or coaching role of accountability where it’s not just a self reporting, but you report something to another person?


Hal Elrod

Yes, I there’s a whole section in the book where I talk about the the power of accountability and why it is lost beat for most people, because it’s forced upon us as children when our brain is developing. So we grow to resent it and resist it. Oh, mom and dad make us eat our vegetables as kids. So we don’t want to they make us take a bath. We don’t want to they make us wake up for school we don’t want to.

And then most people when we become adults, we resist and avoid accountability at all costs. And it’s our downfall.

And so yes, in the book, I talked about getting an accountability partner, whether it is you know, in the Miracle Morning community, for example, there’s a Facebook group with 350,000 people call the Miracle Morning community and their everyday their people go in there, hey, I’m new, I just read the book. Where can I you know, anybody want me my accountability partner, I’m in the eastern time zone.

And people find accountability partners that way, some people will form you know, they’ll they’ll share the book with a friend or a colleague, right? And then they’ll go, Hey, why don’t you read this with me? And let’s be accountability partners or a spouse, you know, so it’s across the board.

And then of course, you know, you get to hire a coach, you can literally hire an accountability coach, which is also an effective way because now you’re investing money. And I feel like now you’re really putting your money where your mouth is, so to speak. So I think accountability is really important that


Alan Olsen

you recently released an updated and expanded version of the book. Can you tell us why you wrote this new book or the revised edition? And How’s it different from the original?


Hal Elrod

Yeah, so the Miracle Morning updated and expanded edition. The original edition came out on December 12 2012 1212 12. So 12 years ago, and the new edition came out about five months ago and I’ve always wanted to rewrite the book because I know so So much more over a decade later that I did not know when I wrote the first edition.

So the new edition has 70 pages of brand new content, including two new chapters, the miracle evening, which is your strategy for blissful bedtime and better sleep, and the miracle life, which is what I call your path to inner freedom. And there’s 25 new pages of content in the saver section alone. So it’s all sorts of new meditation practices, and, and I almost rewrote every page.

So yeah, so that’s why I released the new edition, because I’ve wanted to do a new edition for probably since practically after I wrote the first one, I go, Oh, man, I keep learning new things. And I’m learning not only from my own miracle morning, but from getting feedback and questions from the Miracle Morning community. It’s like, oh, wow, I didn’t realize that I didn’t cover that in the book.

So the new edition? Yes, it’s exciting to really write the book I would have written, How do I know what I know now?


Alan Olsen

Give us a couple examples of some of the things that you recently adopted in your strategic thinking for adopting some of these methodologies. Yeah,


Hal Elrod

so I’ll give you a kind of an interesting answer to that question, which is, I often find that this is true in most areas of life, the further I stray away from the basics, it’s often to my detriment, right? And that’s true in almost any area, you know, if you’re in sports, and you get away from the fundamentals, it’s like, Oh, why is my game off? Why am I not scoring the way that I did?

It’s like, oh, because I’ve gotten away from what I learned that made me who I am. So for me, I honestly, you know, well, I’ll give you an example of a real specific practice. In the new edition of the book, I teach something called Emotional optimization, meditation.

And most meditations are, you know, it’s a clearing of the mind, or you follow your breath, you’re trying to quiet your thoughts, or you observe your thoughts, which, in and of itself, will kind of calm the mind. Emotional optimization, meditation is a far more intentional form of meditation.

And I made this up, you know, at least I think I did, by combining all the different forms of meditation, kind of what I found works for me. And it’s where, instead of just clearing your mind, you identify what’s the optimal mental and emotional state for me to be in that would best serve me today. So I’ll actually look at my schedule briefly for just a sec. You okay, what’s on the agenda today?

Oh, I got I got a big presentation. Man, what emotional state would best serve me, I’ve got to be really connected and present to the people in front of me, I’ve got to, I want to be confident and be confident what I’m saying. So I identify the optimal state for the day. And then I go through a few steps where I get myself into that state. And then I set my timer on my phone for it depends.

Some days, it’s one minute, if I don’t have a full, you know, a lot of time, or it’s usually five minutes or 10 minutes of meditation. But I essentially sit in that mental and emotional state, and I almost marinate in it is a word I like to use. Because it’s I’m sitting in it, I’m hard wiring it in my nervous system. I’m programming my subconscious mind.

And doing that day after day, it’s similar to exercise for your body, but you are exercising are making these optimal mental and emotional states stronger, more rooted, so that you literally can feel better and and feel whatever you want to feel. So for me, the the daily state is bliss, I want to be at peace with what I can’t change. I want to feel genuinely happy.

I want to love my life, even though in some ways that can be a mess, you know, there are challenges, they don’t go away. But how can I enjoy this one life I’ve been blessed to live, even though it’s difficult. And that’s my daily emotional optimization meditation. And so the beauty of it is, I’m able to be at peace with the things I can’t change.

I’m able to genuinely enjoy life in the midst of the challenges like the ones we’ve talked about, and just the day to day challenges that we all face.


Alan Olsen

Sometimes thing is easier said than done. I want to draw back the experience you have when you’re diagnosed with cancer. You are in the middle of filming the Miracle Morning. Movie is a documentary that goes beyond the book. And I understand that you initially wanted to stop filming, but the director had other ideas to cap.


Hal Elrod

So I called our director Nick Canadair, who was a personal friend of mine, and I said, Hey, Nick, I am in the hospital right now. I was diagnosed with cancer yesterday, and it’s a very rare, aggressive form of cancer. I only have a 20% chance of surviving I have to start chemo today. The movie is on hold. And we talked you know his friends for a bit.

He asked me a lot of questions about what I was thinking and how he’s going to approach it. And then he said how I don’t take this the wrong way, but I don’t think the movie should be put on hold. This is the movie. He said we were filming how you were you know trial. During the world sharing, sharing the Miracle Morning changing millions of lives, he said, this is this is the movie now, this is your life.

And he said, and I know how you’re going to approach it. He said, I think that we should keep filming, I’d like to come to the hospital. And he said, and let’s inspire millions of people with how you approach this, this difficulty in your life. And I was totally taken aback.

I said, let me talk to Ursula, my wife, I said, we talked to Ursula, this is not part of the plan, you know, and thank God he kept filming, because when you watch the Miracle Morning movie, the documentary, which and it’s free, by the way, everybody can watch it on YouTube or your local

But the last 30 minutes are me fighting for my life. And it is a pretty compelling, you know, documentary to see that happening live, where none of us really knew if I was going to make it or not.


Alan Olsen

We’re the upcoming project. are you most excited about


Hal Elrod

it? Well, it’s one of the most recent it’s the Miracle Morning app. So we that’s been the most requested feature. In the Miracle Morning ecosystem is how we need an app. And everybody would always tell us, we’ve got you know, we use like six out for a miracle morning, we have a journaling app, a meditation app and affirmations and visualization app, right, a seven minute workout exercise that.

And they wanted the all in one miracle morning app. And it was so much for us to create. And so finally, we released this app, you can download it free, there’s a free version with a lot of robust features. And then there’s a premium version with hundreds of guided Miracle Morning practices. And yeah, that’s really cool.

Because the book teaches you how to do the Miracle Morning, the app, literally you can click play, and it will just sit back and it will guide you through all six of the savers.


Alan Olsen

How it’s been a pleasure having you with us here on American Dreams for those who are interested in either getting the book, finding your website, joining a Facebook group, how would they go about that? Miracle


Hal Elrod That’s the hub for everything. So if you go to miracle, you can watch the movie, they’re free links to the app, it links to the books. And one thing that I always say is, you know, if you are going to get the book, which of course I recommend, I mean, there’s a reason it’s sold millions of copies. It really does change lives.

You can order the book and then immediately you can download the free app and you can watch the free movie. So while you’re waiting for the book to show up, you can start your miracle morning journey. And when the book gets there you will be you know, having watched the movie and having you’ll be more equipped to actually implement it, read the book, follow through, you know and change your life.


Alan Olsen

Absolutely wonderful the work that you’re doing to better the lives of others in this world. Thanks for being with us here on American Dreams. Thank you Alan.


To view more content like this, click here to subscribe to our YouTube channel

And click here to receive our FREE Newsletter.

Sponsored by:

Thank You!

Transcript generated by software and may contain errors.

    Hal Elrod on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Hal Elrod

    Hal Elrod is a family man, first and foremost. He is a loyal husband to

    his wife of 14 years and a dedicated father to their two children.

    He has also lived a life that would break most people. At 8 years old,

    his 18-month-old baby sister died in front of him. Then, at age 20, his

    car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, he broke 11

    bones and was found dead at the scene. Then, at 37, he nearly died

    again when he was diagnosed with a rare form of cancer and given a

    20-30% chance of surviving.

    Yet, he’s found a way to turn all of his adversities into perspectives and

    practices that have helped millions of people transform their lives.

    His mission is to elevate the consciousness of humanity, one morning

    and one person at a time. As an international keynote speaker and the

    author of 12 books, most notably The Miracle Morning—which has

    been translated into 42 languages, sold over 2 million copies, and is

    practiced daily by hundreds of thousands of people in more than 100

    countries—he’s doing exactly that.

    His latest project is his new book, The Miracle Morning Updated and

    Expanded Edition, to which he has added over 70 pages of new content

    to, including two brand new chapters: “The Miracle Evening” and “The

    Miracle Life.”

    Alan Olsen on Alan Olsen's American Dreams Radio
    Alan Olsen

    Alan is managing partner at Greenstein, Rogoff, Olsen & Co., LLP, (GROCO) and is a respected leader in his field. He is also the radio show host to American Dreams. Alan’s CPA firm resides in the San Francisco Bay Area and serves some of the most influential Venture Capitalist in the world. GROCO’s affluent CPA core competency is advising High Net Worth individual clients in tax and financial strategies. Alan is a current member of the Stanford Institute for Economic Policy Research (S.I.E.P.R.) SIEPR’s goal is to improve long-term economic policy. Alan has more than 25 years of experience in public accounting and develops innovative financial strategies for business enterprises. Alan also serves on President Kim Clark’s BYU-Idaho Advancement council. (President Clark lead the Harvard Business School programs for 30 years prior to joining BYU-idaho. As a specialist in income tax, Alan frequently lectures and writes articles about tax issues for professional organizations and community groups. He also teaches accounting as a member of the adjunct faculty at Ohlone College.

Posted in