Hal Elrod has changed the way millions of people think about their mornings. He’s the best-selling author of one of the highest-rated, best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning—which shares a morning routine practiced daily by millions of people worldwide and was just released in an updated 10-year anniversary edition. Hal is also the author of The Miracle Equation and a renowned speaker who has spoken to audiences worldwide.
Hal Elrod returned to the Elevate Podcast to discuss 10 years of The Miracle Morning and much more.
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Hal Elrod On The Ten Year Anniversary Of The Miracle Morning
Our quote for this episode is from John Wooden, which is, “Make each day your masterpiece.” My guest, Hal Elrod, has changed the way millions of people rethink their mornings. He’s the best-selling author of one of the highest-rated best-selling books in the world, The Miracle Morning. It has been translated into dozens of languages and shares a morning routine practiced daily by millions of people worldwide. It was also released in a special updated ten-year anniversary edition. Hal is also the author of The Miracle Equation and a renowned speaker who has spoken to audiences around the world. Hal, welcome. It’s great to have you back on the show.
We’ve been here and done this before, but this going to be different, better, new, and improved.
I’d encourage people to check out your first appearance way back in Episode 15 back when we were still figuring things out. One of the things I like to ask repeat guests is a lot has gone on, particularly since 2000. What’s changed for you the most in your world and routine since this global pandemic?
It’s a perfect correlation. You mentioned there’s a new, updated, and expanded edition of The Miracle Morning, which is fitting. That book came out years ago. I’ve always wanted to update it, expand it, and rewrite it. I don’t care who you are. If you go back to your work years ago, whether it’s a video, an audio recording of you, or a book you wrote, hopefully, you’re a little bit like, “Who was I back then? I’ve grown a lot since then.”
When the pandemic hit in 2020, I realized that when we focus on that, which is out of our control, we feel out of control. That’s what leads to stress, fear, anxiety, and even depression. In 2020, that which is out of our control was magnified, amplified, and shoved down our throats, and it has ever since. Back then, I didn’t pay attention to the government and what they were doing. I’m like, “Whatever. I’m living my life.” It was then that the government was like, “You can’t leave your house now. You have to do this. You can’t do this.”
For me, I realized, “What should I be focused on now as a dad, a husband, and the leader of The Miracle Morning Community?” The answer was high-level, “I should only focus on that,” which is in my control. The next question is, “What can I control?” There is only one answer. It’s me. I can control how I show up every day, and I can control who I become every day.
The daily miracle morning practice is becoming a better version of myself and showing up for my family, those I love, and those I lead at my best. I went back to The Miracle Morning Community. I’m like, “Let’s double down.” Over the last couple of years, I’ve been learning how to take the Miracle Morning to the next level. This new edition has 70 pages of new content. It really is sharing everything that I’ve learned over the years of doing the Miracle Morning in terms of advanced meditation practices, affirmation practices, visualization practices, and so on and so forth.
For people that this is the first time they’re reading about the Miracle Morning, which there can’t be that many left, will you share a brief synopsis of the story behind what started it for you and then the movement?
It wasn’t a book idea. To be very clear, it wasn’t like, “What are popular topics that people would want to book on?” In 2008, when the US economy crashed, I crashed with it. I lost over half of my clients and half of my income. I lost my home. It was foreclosed on by the bank. My body fat percentage tripled. For me, physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially, it was rock bottom.
A series of events led me to realize that if I want to change my outer world, I have to change my inner world. I got to become the person that’s capable of thriving in the 2008 Great Recession. There was a quote from Jim Rohn. He said, “Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of personal development.” You might’ve heard that quote before. I had, but it never clicked the way that it did.
What happened for me is I quantified it. I went, “If my level of success is not going to exceed my level of personal development, I have to ask two questions. What level of success do I want, and what’s my level of personal development? It’s because they’re going to parallel each other.” The level of success that I want on a scale of 1 to 10, if you’re reading this, is the same that you want, like level ten health, happiness, or financial security. You name it. Every human being has an innate drive and desire to self-actualize and experience the best that we possibly can in every area of life. We all want level ten.
The next question I ask is, and I want you to ask this to yourself, “What’s my level of personal development?” To define that, to make it a little easier to answer that, for me, personal development is your daily personal development ritual and routine or routines that enable you to become a better version of yourself every single day so that as you become better, your ability to create better results in your life and achieve higher levels of success parallels.
The answer to that question for me was like, “I’m at a 2 or 3. I’m not doing much every day. I’m so stressed out trying to survive and manage my life and my business.” The epiphany was, “I need to go study what the world’s most successful people do for personal development and assemble the most effective personal development ritual arguably of all time so that I can quickly become that level ten version of myself.”
That’s where the Miracle Morning started. I assembled these six timeless practices that every successful person does at least 1, 2, or maybe 3 of. I had never heard of anyone that did all six. I thought, “What if I do all six practices? That would be the ultimate morning routine that would enable me to become the person I need to be as fast as humanly possible.” I was thinking I’d give myself 6 to 12 months to turn my life around, and it happened in 2 months. In two months in the worst economy of my lifetime, I doubled my income. If you’re reading and you’re concerned with the recession, this has worked not just for me, but it has worked for millions of people around the world. That was it.
Within two months, I went to my wife. I said, “Sweetheart, I signed on two more coaching clients today,” This is the end of the story here. She said, “Congratulations, sweetie. That’s great.” I said, “You don’t understand. This is a tipping point. We’ve officially doubled our income since I started that morning ritual. It feels like a miracle.” Without hesitating, she goes, “It’s your miracle morning.” I go, “I like that.”
I then started teaching my coaching clients. They went from, “I’m not a morning person,” to, “This works. I’m changing my life. I’m having the best week in my career.” That’s when I realized that if it changed my life and their life, it could change the world. That’s where I started writing the book. The rest is history.
Talk a little bit about the community and the reach. I was amazed from our first episode by how far and wide it had gone in terms of languages and people in this community. Can you talk about it at a high level? I’d love to hear 1 or 2 anecdotes. I always think of the far-flung person in the remote part of the world who reached out to you and joined the movement.
The book itself has sold over two million copies. My agent thinks it’s over 3 million, but it’s really hard to get accurate reporting from these 40 different foreign publishers. It’s always delayed.
Getting a report a year later is real-time.
I went to Brazil to speak in Brazil, and then I did a book signing with my publisher and a media tour. If you would’ve asked me at the time, “How many copies have you sold in Brazil?” I probably would’ve said, “It’s done really well in Brazil. We’re over 50,000 copies.” You go, “That’s amazing.” They hand me a plaque at the book signing that says over 500,000 copies sold. This was 2015 or something. How do I not know that I’ve sold 500,000 copies in Brazil? It’s been the number 1 best-selling book in Brazil and Korea and number 6 in the UK. It has done really well overseas. In fact, it sold more copies overseas than it has in the US. The US is around 1 million.
The Miracle Morning Community is a Facebook group with 350,000 people from over 100 countries who wake up every day and support each other. It’s one of the most inspiring groups of people who are all waking up and dedicating time to their morning ritual. I want to say really quickly that if you do not consider yourself to be a morning person and you’re like, “I don’t know if this would work for me. I don’t want to wake up early,” it’s not the 5:00 AM club. You could wake up ten minutes earlier and do a Miracle Morning. In fact, there’s a chapter in the book in the new edition called The Six-Minute Miracle Morning. On days when you are pressed for time or if you don’t want to do more than 6 minutes, how do you do the 6 practices effectively in 1 minute each?
You mentioned an anecdote. There are a couple that are profound. First, you said somebody on the other side of the world. The Miracle Morning documentary, and you can watch this for free at MiracleMorning.com, features Robert Kiyosaki, Mel Robbins, Brendon Burchard, Lewis Howes, Laila Ali, and Joe Polish. There are some big-name achievers in this film talking about how their morning routine impacts their success.
We also followed some ordinary folks who aren’t famous or well-known and who have had extraordinary transformations with the Miracle Morning. One of them is Rister. She is in Kenya. Her dream was to be a motivational speaker after she was blind and her husband left her with two kids. She’s blind, but somehow, she discovers The Miracle Morning through a Google search. She’s a published author. She’s following her dream of being a motivational speaker. We sent a camera crew to Kenya and they filmed her. It’s inspiring.
Another gentleman, Mike Eaton, had been obese his entire life. He had tried every diet and this and that. He started The Miracle Morning and lost 80 pounds 3 months after starting The Miracle Morning. Maybe it was more than that. It may be six months. It was profound. The last story I’ll share is Keith Minick. His son died three hours after being born. Keith was the Director of Business Development at Turner Home Broadcasting.
He went into a deep depression for about a year. He had read books on grief and dealing with the loss of a child. Nothing had helped him. A friend said, “Try this Miracle Morning book. It changed my life.” I opened the new edition of the book with Keith’s story early on. I put his exact words. I am paraphrasing what he said. He said in his very first Miracle Morning, he went from being depressed to going, “I’m taking control of my life. I’m not going to allow my son’s death to determine my mental and emotional well-being any longer.”
Almost ten years later, he still does the Miracle Morning every day. He talks in the book about how it transformed his life in one day after a year of being depressed. Ten years later, he’s still doing it, learning, growing, and evolving. I thought it was a great example of how quickly the Miracle Morning can transform someone’s life and how a decade later, it’s still transforming their life.
There are about ten different questions I want to ask in there. There’s a question of why the morning and why it works, but I want to ask it rhetorically. Let’s talk about what the un-Miracle Morning looks like for a lot of people. Maybe I wake up to my child screaming at me or hitting me alarm. I jump out of bed, get my phone, check Facebook, and run out frenetically. I look at my email, turn on the news, and respond to a bunch of things coming at me. By that point, what have I lost? What’s the cost of me from the manic morning?
At the highest level, I would say reactive versus proactive. You started the day in a reactive state. That spikes your cortisol levels first thing, and then you are operating at a mental and emotional deficiency all day long. To me, with what the Miracle Morning does, one of the simplest explanations is it enables you to start every day in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state in a relatively short amount of time so that you can show up at your best for the people you love and the people that you lead. That starts because you show up first for yourself.
It’s that overly used cliché oxygen mask analogy. You put the oxygen mask on in the morning. You do some reading, some journaling, some meditation, and some exercise and visualization every day. You’re utilizing six of the most timeless, proven personal development practices in the history of the world. It is what the world’s most successful people have sworn by for centuries, and you’re doing all six of them.
In fact, I’ll paraphrase Robert Kiyosaki. Robert is one of the biggest advocates for The Miracle Morning. If you don’t know Robert, he’s the author of Rich Dad Poor Dad, which is the number one personal finance book of all time. It has 30 million copies sold. I got to give him a copy of The Miracle Morning at an event where we both spoke. I figured he would never read it because the guy is worth $80 million. I’m like, “He’s not going to read my little self-published book.” It was 2015.
Three weeks later, his assistant emailed me and said, “Robert’s read The Miracle Morning three times.” My jaw dropped right there. I was like, “One of my favorite authors has read my book three times?”
She said he and his wife, Kim, are doing the Miracle Morning almost every single day and it’s transforming his health and mental state and on and on. She said, “He wants to have you on Rich Dad Radio.” I went on the show.
For those that don’t know, these six practices of the Miracle Morning are organized under an acronym SAVERS, Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading, and Scribing. At the end of the interview, Robert summed it up better than I ever had. I said this earlier, but I got this from Robert. He said, “You named the book correctly, The Miracle Morning.” I said, “Why is that?” He said, “Because before you wrote The Miracle Morning and you assembled the SAVERS acronym, every successful person on the planet swears by at least one of the SAVERS. Many of them do 2 or 3. Maybe they wake up, read, journal, and then exercise, but I’ve never heard of anyone that did all 6 of these ancient best practices in 1 cohesive ritual like you’ve taught.”
He said, “The reason you named the book correctly is because any 1 of the savers will change your life, but when you do all 6, I believe it creates miracles. I’ve experienced miracles in my life since I started this practice a few weeks ago.” I figure if it’s good enough for Robert Kiyosaki, someone who’s already successful at the highest level by most measures and someone who’s a voracious learner and reader, which he has read hundreds of books, even The Miracle Morning was transformative for him.
You said leaders. There’s an interesting thing I’ve talked about in my own work and capacity building, particularly with people working from home and hybrid. I don’t think we’re different. It’s not like you are Clark Kent at home and you show up as Superman at work. You suck at time management at home and money management, and you probably suck at those things at work.
Some leaders have embraced this. Some leaders would feel like, “This is not my space,” or touchy-feely, or like, “I shouldn’t be touching this.” If these are your employees and they’re working from home, therefore, coming to work is turning on their computer, how they start their day has a big impact on their attitude, productivity, and otherwise.
I’ve always done this. When we’ve done leadership training and otherwise, we try to model the morning as part of the training. It’s holistic. There are lines between work that are very thin, if any. How do you get more leaders to realize, “It’s to teach people A and B, but if you want to really talk about making people better, this could be either a huge drag on their life or an accelerant.”
I’ll answer it this way. My passion is keynote speaking. I write books, but speaking is my favorite thing to do. Writing is really hard for me. It takes a long time. Every speech that I give is a leader that reads The Miracle Morning. Usually, they implement it in their life and go, “My people need this. This is transforming my life as it did for Robert. My people need this.” Every speech I get is somebody reaching out to me. I don’t do any marketing. I’m not with speakers bureaus. They reach out and go, “We need you to come teach the Miracle Morning to our sales team, our HR department,” or whatever it is.
They ask you to teach it rather than they try to preach it. It can be a tough topic to bring up, right?
There are a couple of things. We didn’t talk about my story at all. This is the 30-second version. When I was 20, I was head-on by a drunk driver at 80 miles an hour. I was found dead at the scene of the accident. I broke eleven bones. I’ve got pictures to prove it. Thank God for my dad taking those pictures. They really make my keynote a lot more impactful. I was then diagnosed with cancer several years ago. I was given a 20% chance of surviving. I’ve been through these really traumatic experiences. Many of us have. The point is that when I go give my keynote, the first twenty minutes are this emotionally engaging thing that brings people in.
I then take them into the 2008 financial crash and say, “By a show of hands, how many of you were around during the 2008 financial crash?” Everybody raises their hands. I’m like, “That wasn’t just me.” They usually can remember what that was like for them, how stressful a time it was. Maybe they lost their house, etc. They’re brought in emotionally, and then I’m able to go, “Here is how the Miracle Morning transformed my life. I doubled my income in two months. Here’s how. Let’s walk through how you can apply this in your life.”
I end the speech with a 30-day journey. It is like a 30-day challenge but a 30-day journey. I make it super simple. I go, “You don’t have to wake up 1 hour earlier and do all 6 of the SAVERS. Wake up ten minutes earlier and do the reading part.” Every client, when they book me, they get books. Everybody is bought in hardcore like, “This is amazing. We’re going to do this.”
I always say, “Raise your hand if you’re committed to giving it a shot for 30 days. All you have to do is start by reading the book. When you do the chapter on Silence, add silence to your next Miracle Morning. Now, all you’re doing is the R and the S of SAVERS, Reading in Silence. It’s easy. When you do the chapter on affirmations, add affirmations in.” It really makes it super easy for everybody in the audience that read The Miracle Morning.
We have companies like RubinBrown, a national CPA firm. The Miracle Morning is part of their culture. The Miracle Morning is part of their hiring process. In fact, it’s their competitive advantage where they go, “We go beyond just having you come in and do accounting. We pour into our people. We have this thing called The Miracle Morning. Every new hire gets a book. We have a monthly call where we guide everybody through a 30-day challenge month after month.” They are on their thirteenth month since I spoke at their company. For us, a huge opportunity for Miracle Morning is to model what RubinBrown and some other companies are doing and take that to a lot of companies so that we can hand them the playbook. Get the book, read it, apply it, and then share it with your people.
You alluded to this before, but I have found that one of the protests is not a 5:00 AM club, but it comes from working parents or moms who say, “My wake-up call is my 3-year-old at 5:30 in the morning hitting me on the head. I can’t get up any earlier.” What’s interesting is we’ve said, “How’s that working for you?” The answer is, “It’s terrible.”
It is, “Do us a favor. Try it when you go home. You were at a hotel for three days. You were doing this routine. You liked it. Try to get up ten minutes earlier. Make your coffee. Have a few minutes to yourself. You know that alarm’s going to wake you at 5:30.” The feedback from everyone is overwhelmingly, “That was such a big change in my life that I decided to get up even earlier.”
It gets addicting. You’re like, “My me time in the morning is the best part of my day. I want as much of it as I can possibly have.” To your point about the kids, we have a responsibility to wake up earlier than our kids. How can we give them our best if we’re reacting to them waking us up? We have a responsibility to start every day and go, “I have affirmations. I have some self-imposed rules.” For my reading, I’m not allowed to read a business book until I’ve read a family book, meaning a book on parenting or marriage. That’s my self-imposed rule to remind myself every day that family is my number one priority. One of the components of Miracle Morning is affirmations.
That’s the one that’s probably most uncomfortable for people. All I can think about is Saturday Night Live with the, “I’m smart enough.” It’s the only thing I can think about. It was Dana Carvey, wasn’t it?
It’s, “I’m good enough. I’m smart enough. Doggone it, people like me.”
Was it Dana Carvey?
That is my affirmation association.
It made a joke out of it. Here’s the thing. Even if you are learning it from a well-meaning self-help author or guru, there are two problems with the way that it’s often taught. Number one is we’re taught to lie to ourselves about something that we wish were true but it’s not true yet. For example, if you’re struggling financially, you’d be taught to affirm, “I am wealthy.” The problem is if you don’t believe yourself to be wealthy, you’re creating an internal conflict that’s unhealthy. You go, “I am wealthy,” and your subconscious shouts the truth. It goes, dude, “You’re not.” You go, “Stop it. I’m doing my affirmations.” You’re fighting reality because the truth will always prevail.
The second problem with affirmations is we’re taught to use this flowery passive language that’s very woo-woo. It promises some magical result independent of any effort on our part. You’ve probably heard some form of this affirmation that says, “I am a money magnet. Money flows to me effortlessly and in abundance.” Any sane person knows that’s not how money works. You have to create value in the marketplace, your business, or for your employer. Once you create value, you increase your value and get paid more.
Those two approaches that have been taught and repeated ad nauseam for decades give affirmations a bad rap. I’m going to teach everybody three really simple but profoundly effective steps to create affirmations that are practical, actionable, rooted in truth, and results-oriented that will produce results in your life.
Step one, affirm what you’re committed to. You’re like, “I am committed to blank. No matter what, there is no other option.” That blank could be an outcome or an activity. It could be, “I’m committed to losing 10 pounds in the next 3 months.” It could be, “I’m committed to exercising 10 minutes a day for the next 3 months.” Either way, you’re moving toward the result that you’re committed to.
Here’s the thing. In life, we get what we’re committed to. That’s it. If you’re fully committed, there’s always a way. You’ll find a way. Arguably, the most important thing you could affirm every day is, “I am committed to this thing or this outcome no matter what. There’s no other option.” It’s a gut check every single day. If you’re taking notes by chance or you want to remember this, what you affirm becomes your reality. “My marriage sucks,” is an affirmation. “My spouse doesn’t get me,” is an affirmation. “I can’t handle things,” is an affirmation.
If you’re like, “I’m a victim,” which is what’s going on, it becomes your orientation.
In 2008, when the economy tanked and I crashed and lost over half of my income, I was pointing at the economy. I was affirming, “It’s the economy’s fault. I have no control over my income because I’m not in control of the economy.” I would imagine that for a large amount of people or a large percentage, that’s a natural thing. We’re very conditioned to believe that outside forces are dictating how we feel, the results in our lives, etc. We are like, “It’s my boss’s fault. It’s this fault.”
On my very first Miracle Morning, that was the profound shift. I went, “Instead of blaming the economy, I’m going to take ownership of becoming the person that I need to be that can thrive in the economy,” and I did. I doubled my income in two months because I took full responsibility for doing that. Step one, affirm what you’re committed to.
Step two, affirm why it’s a must for you. You’re like, “I am committed to blank no matter what. There’s no other option. I’m committed or it’s a must for me because.” I like to frame it. I like to choose the people in my life that I’m doing this for. I’m number one. I’m like, “It’s a must for me because. I’m doing it for my wife because. How’s it going to benefit my spouse? I’m doing it for my kids because. I’m doing it for the team that I lead because. I’m doing it for humanity.”
Here’s an example. When I had cancer several years ago, I was given that 20% chance of surviving. My affirmation said, “I’m committed to beating cancer and living to be 100-plus years old no matter what. There’s no other option. I’m committed for Ursula because I promised her forever and today. I’m committed for Sophie and Halsten, my children, because they need their daddy’s love, guidance, and leadership, and I want to watch them grow up.”
“I’m committed, number three, for my mom and dad because they already lost a child. My sister died when I was younger. They don’t deserve to lose another one. Number four, I’m committed to beating cancer for myself because I deserve to live a long, happy, and healthy life. Last but not least, I’m committed to beating cancer for the millions of people who are battling cancer or some other disease and may not have the knowledge and resources that I’ve been blessed with. It’s my responsibility to beat cancer so I can help them on their healing journey.” Those five reasons or musts for me were so meaningful and compelling that when I didn’t feel like it or when I wasn’t motivated but I read those, it was like, “It doesn’t matter if I feel like it.”
That doesn’t sound fluffy. That is very specific about where you’re going and why you’re going. A lot of these things are beyond money or resources. Success has a lot of different definitions. Being alive is a version of success.
None of the other goals mattered at that time. It is like, “If I don’t hit this goal, everything’s out the window.” Step three, affirm which actions you will take and when. This is where the rubber meets the road. Without this third step, you might not get to that commitment. If all you do is, “Here’s what I’m committed to and here’s why,” but then you don’t clarify what you have to do every day to ensure that you move forward toward that commitment that you made or you’re not clear on that, you may end up frustrated at the end of the year where you are like, “I thought I was committed and I knew my why.” You didn’t decide what you were going to do.
For me, during my cancer journey, I had two columns. The first one was, “I will do chemotherapy and do the best that Western medicine has to offer,” but there was an important distinction. I said, “I will affirm that my body is capable and strong enough to survive the chemo.” Most people die from chemotherapy before the cancer kills them.
My chemo, in particular, was one of the most intense regimens in the world because I had such an aggressive cancer. My lung was failing. My heart was failing. My kidneys were failing. When I went into the hospital, that’s how they discovered the cancer. For me, I did 650 hours of chemotherapy in 7 months, about 100 hours a month. Initially, I was scared it was going to kill me, but I realized that fear doesn’t serve me. I need to affirm that my body will unequivocally have no other option. It will survive the chemo while the chemo kills the cancer.
The second column was the most important column. It was, “I will relentlessly research every holistic practice available and implement every single one that I can.” There was a piece of that that said, “I will take 100% responsibility for my healing and not leave it up to the doctors.” Think about that. For most people, A) When they’re given a grim statistic like, “You’re probably going to die,” most of them accept that statistic as fact. They’re like, “I have a 20% chance of living.”
I told my wife on day one, “Sweetheart, I’m not operating on a 20% survival rate. I’m operating on a 100% survival rate because, in my mind, there’s a 100% chance that I will be among the 20% to 30% of those that survive this cancer.” To anybody reading, you create your own statistic in the economy, your health, and your marriage. Don’t listen to global statistics. You decide your own statistics. That, for me, was taking ownership and then applying every holistic practice I could.
I took 70 supplements a day. I juiced every day. I ate a really, as clean as I could, diet. I did an ozone sauna, lymphatic massage, and coffee enemas. If you don’t know what that is, Google it. That’s the most out-of-your-comfort-zone daily practice. I was like, “If I do this, I deserve to survive.” That affirmation formula, apply it to your marriage, parenting, financial goals, or business. For every goal in every role, you take those three steps. All it is is a few sentences. It is, “I’m committed to this. Here’s why it’s a must and here’s what I’m going to do to get there.”
Let’s address a couple of things that I know you talked about in your updated version. It has been ten years. The role of technology in our lives has changed pretty dramatically and has become far more of a distraction. A whole generation wakes up with phones next to their bed. Dan Pink talked about this in his book, WHEN. Most of us are cognitively best in the morning and otherwise, but then there are some night owls for whom the whole thing is inversed. It seems to be somewhere 8% of the population or something like that. Talk about those 2 things because I know you’ve thought about them since the first edition.
The first thing is the phone. My phone, I keep it across from me. This is the irony. We came out with a Miracle Morning app a few years ago. Some of the features in the app, I really appreciate. I don’t use all of them, but there’s a built-in journal and built-in affirmations. I like the guided practices. That’s what I do. I hit play and set my phone away. I don’t use the digital journal in the Miracle Morning app. I like a physical journal. I listen to the guided Miracle Morning practices and then I will journal by hand, and that’s not totally true because I do sometimes journal digitally. It depends.
One thing I talk about in the new book is flexibility. I used to be really rigid with my Miracle Morning, like, “I got to do the SAVERS for this long in this order.” This time, I start my day in silence and go, “What do I need today?” Sometimes, I’ll read the entire Miracle Morning. I’m like, “I need to dive into this book because this is what I need.”
Sometimes, I’ll meditate for the entire time. Sometimes, I’ll do three of the SAVERS. Sometimes, I’ll do six. Sometimes, I’ll do a guided practice in the app. It’s flexible. There’s a whole chapter in the new book called Customizing the Miracle Morning to Fit Your Lifestyle. I talk about really making this your own practice. Whether it’s 6 minutes or 60, or anywhere in between, do the SAVERS in a different order.
In terms of the digital, I’m not allowed to check anything that’s not related to the Miracle Morning. I have different apps. Sometimes, I’ll use the Miracle Morning, whether it’s the Miracle Morning app. I’m not allowed to scroll Facebook or do these things. That’s my rule. I can only do the Miracle Morning practices. I keep the phone off as much of that as possible.
As far as the night owl piece, I’ve done research into it. To your point, a small percentage of people are night owls. I want to share there are so many examples of people in the Miracle Morning Community who say, “I was a night owl until I read The Miracle Morning.” Most of them would say, “I’m not doing anything highly productive at 11:00 at night. I’m watching TV.”
The true night owl is the one who writes novels in the middle of the night.
I’ll give you an example. Do you know who Pat Flynn is?
Pat Flynn is a multimillionaire, entrepreneur, phenomenal dad, and marathon runner. He’s someone that thrives in almost every area of his life. When he had me on his podcast, and this was 2014 which was a long time ago, he started by saying, “I am not a morning person. I’m a night owl. In fact, I don’t even set an alarm. The way that I wake up is my kids come and go, ‘Daddy.’” He had really little kids. He goes, “Convince me why I should read your book and change.” I’m going, “How am I going to convince somebody that’s already thriving in every area of life and he has the most adorable wake-up system, which is his little cute kids waking him up?”
I made my case for The Miracle Morning. Pat said, “I get my best work done at night,” but right at the end of the interview, he said, “What you said makes a lot of sense. I may be missing out on a level of productivity that I’m not even aware of because I’m not starting my day in a peak physical, mental, emotional, and spiritual state like you said. I’m willing to give this 30 days. I will do the 30-day challenge or 30-day journey. I’m committing right now to my community. I’ll be accountable. I’ll post daily on my social media. I’ll see how it works. I’ll give it 30 days and then I’ll decide.”
He said Miracle Morning became a way of life for him. He’s in the Miracle Morning movie. He’s featured in the documentary talking about this. I don’t remember the number because it’s been so long, but he said his productivity increased. I don’t know how he measured it, but it was by 300% or 400%. Anecdotal evidence is the most underrated evidence. If you’re like, “1,000 people are all saying this. Maybe I should look into it rather than find some slanted study online that says this works.”
Jeff Bezos, I heard that he said to someone, “When the data and the anecdote conflict, I go with the anecdote.” I was like, “I like that.”
Text me that. I need to remember that. That is a really good quote. I agree. For example, cancer statistics. Those are manipulated by the companies that make all the money off the medication. They don’t make money if they tell you, “An organic diet will help you.” When I asked my oncologist, “What part does diet play?” He said, “It doesn’t matter as long as you do chemotherapy.” I was like, “That was more of a rhetorical test question and you failed it miserably.”
The last thing is this. If you’re not a “morning person” or you don’t consider yourself a morning person, I was asked a few years ago during an interview, “What percentage of The Miracle Morning considered themselves to be morning people before they read the book?” This was an easy switch for them. It is like, “I already wake up early. No problem. Instead of checking email or social media, I’ll do the Miracle Morning. I’ll do the SAVERS. It’s easy.” He said, “What percentage of them had never in their life been a morning person?” I said, “I have no idea. That’s a question. I need to know the answer to.”
We’ve surveyed hundreds of thousands of people in the Miracle Morning Community to ask, “Before you read the book, were you a morning person already? Or had you never been a morning person?” 72% said they had never been a morning person until they read the book. It changed it for them. If it worked for them, it would work for anyone who’s not a morning person.
That’s compelling data and anecdote. This is the last question for you. Since you started, what have you changed in your morning routine that had the biggest impact on you?
It’s interesting. I got too advanced, so I’m going to answer this question in a weird way.
You went back to simple?
Yes. I went too far away from my original practice. In 2020, I went through a really difficult time. After three years of chemotherapy, I had sleep deprivation. That is why I added a new chapter to the book called The Miracle Evening. If you struggle with sleep, this can solve it for you. I had a difficult time. I got depressed in 2020. I was suicidal. I won’t go into the whole thing because we don’t have time, but I was bad. I was a mess. I was only sleeping 2 to 4 hours a night. After three years of chemotherapy, my brain was fried. I went, “How can I overcome the depression?” I was trying to figure out everything.
I was then like, “In 2008, I overcame depression doing the Miracle Morning. I still do the Miracle Morning. Why is it not working like it used to?” I went and pulled out my affirmations from 2012 and my journal entries from 2012. I realized, “I’ve gotten away from the basics, the essence of the Miracle Morning.” I went back and I started with a total beginner’s mindset learning from myself, interestingly enough. I re-read the original book. I went back to basics.
When I wrote the new edition, I had that in mind. I was like, “How do I write this where I don’t overwhelm somebody and I don’t lose the essence of what’s made this practice and this book change millions of lives?” I teach a practice called Emotional Optimization Meditation in the new book that I created, but it doesn’t take you away from the essence of The Miracle Morning. I was very careful when I wrote this new edition to keep everything that worked in the original. The 70 pages of new content are a bonus. It’s not going to confuse somebody or overwhelm somebody. It’s written in a way where I still kept it as simple as I could.
Where can people learn about you, your work, The Miracle Morning, and the newly updated book?
MiracleMorning.com is the hub. You can get the movie there for free. You can get the app for free. You can join the community for free. You can find the book there or anywhere the books are sold like Barnes & Noble, Amazon, Walmart, Target, or whatever. MiracleMorning.com is a great hub for the entire community and the ecosystem to integrate into your life. It has a lot of free resources. Thank you so much for this.
Thanks for having us. I look forward. We’ll have you back for the twentieth-anniversary edition, if not sooner. To our audience, thanks for tuning in to the show. Thanks again for your support. Until next time, keep elevating.
- Hal Elrod
- The Miracle Morning
- The Miracle Equation
- Hal Elrod on the Life-Changing Power of Morning Routines – Past Episode
- The Miracle Morning Community – Facebook
- Rich Dad Poor Dad