Hal Elrod is a keynote speaker and best selling author. He joins us to discuss his latest book, The Miracle Morning. This book may change your life!
What is so miraculous about the morning? Plenty. If you want to improve your life, your morning is the place to start.
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Hal’s secret is that your level of personal development will match your level of success. He began devoting an hour a day to personal development. He researched the six most powerful methods of personal development and vowed to do all six each day.
It's ok to be negative but not for more than five minutes.Tweet This
Mornings get such a bad rap. Everyone seems to want to stay in bed rather than get up and start the day. If this is you, you are giving up the best part of the day. Mornings are the most distraction free time you will get.
If you get up early enough, you are probably the only one in the house who is stirring. No one is asking for breakfast or if you remembered to pay the car payment or where their other sock is. You have the whole house to yourself!
If you go to the gym, it’s almost empty! You don’t have to wait around for the machine you want or get annoyed because some cretin didn’t re-rack their weights. If you drive or take public transit, there is less traffic and less people to crowd and annoy you on the bus or train.
When you get to work, you can get things done without the phone ringing, e-mails coming in, co-workers bugging you. Unless you are staying in bed for sex, there is really no reason to keep laying there hitting the snooze button wasting your miracle morning.
Morning is the best time to get things done because we are at our freshest. We’ve had at least some sleep, even if it was a bad night of sleep, it’s as rested as you are going to feel all day. The day also has a habit of getting away from us.
You don’t work out in the morning and promise to do it after work. But then you remember you have a dentist appointment or agreed to meet a friend for dinner. The day is over and you never worked out. When we don’t do things in the morning, the rest of the day can get away from us and those things just never get done.
In the morning, you don’t have the events of the day weighing you down. Sometimes we do have bad days and we just don’t have the energy or we are just in too bad a mood to care about doing things that will help our personal development.
That is why morning.
The Six Most Powerful Methods of Personal Development
This are the things Hal starts his day with. All it takes is one hour.
Our world is loud. I lived for a time on 78th Street and Second Avenue. There were a row of bars across the street. Bars close late in New York City, not until 4:00 am. It wasn’t the bar patrons that was the problem, apart from the occasional “Whoooing” bro or drunk chick.
It was when the bars when drag trash bags full of empty glass bottles to the curb. When you managed to fall back to sleep after that, the garbage trucks would pull up and toss them into the back, making another huge sleep destroying clatter. I used to lay in bed almost bawling from anger and frustration.
There is something about certain noises or noise that is interrupting our sleep that triggers some kind of oddly disproportionate anger in us. The World Health Organization declared noise pollution a “modern plague” and there is overwhelming evidence that it is detrimental to physical and mental health.
The antidote to the stress causes by the cacophony of life is to start your day with silence. This could be “formal” silence like meditation or just sitting quietly for a few minutes before turning on the radio or television. Silence reduces blood pressure. Silence can regenerate brain cells in the hippocampus, the part of the brain tasked with memory, learning and emotion.
Give your brain some room to breathe in the morning by indulging in a few minutes of silence before it’s bombarded by the noise of the world outside.
An affirmation is a short, powerful statement articulating what you want. Up to 70% of our thoughts are negative. One way to combat this is by using a written affirmation. A thought is a fleeting thing, so even if we have a positive thought, it can quickly disappear or be overwhelmed by our much higher percentage of negative thoughts. Writing an affirmation down and posting it where you will see it a lot, on the door of your fridge or on a Post-it stuck to your computer, can help anchor it.
Affirmations can help program our minds. Our minds have trouble distinguishing between what is real and what is not. You can understand this concept if you’ve ever cried at the death of a character in a book (Dobby in Harry Potter for me). I know he isn’t real but I felt sad when I read his death scene all the same. I also felt ridiculous for the record.
Your affirmation doesn’t have to be all mystical and airy fairy. It can be as simple as, “Today will be a good day.” “I will accomplish a lot today.” “I will be in a good mood today.” When you affirm something, you are declaring it to be true.
When you see your affirmation over and over, it tells your brain that this thing is important to you. That helps your brain (and you are your brain) devise ways to make that happen for you. Your brain works with you rather than against you.
If you affirm that you will accomplish a lot today and then sit down at your computer and start reading Reddit, your brain will whisper, “Get off Reddit and start cleaning the house, writing your term paper, looking for a new job.” Whatever it is that you need to do to be productive.
Visualize the end result and then what you need to do that day to achieve it. This is almost like a mental to do list, although it helps to write it down into a physical to do list. If we use our affirmation about having a good day, visualize what a good day looks like.
Naturally, you start by doing the six things that make up the miracle morning! After those things are accomplished, you might visualize eating a healthy breakfast, driving to work without letting traffic make you angry, turning in the report that’s due to your boss and being praised for it, leaving work on time because you were productive and didn’t waste time messing around on-line.
Visualize enjoying a walk after dinner, cleaning up the house for the morning, spending some time with your family before turning in early enough to get a full eight hours of sleep. When your visualize how to make a good day happen, you give your brain a road map to follow to lead you through that good day.
There are untold benefits, physical and mental, to regular exercise. It improves cardiovascular health and muscle tone (muscle burns more calories than fight so more muscle means a better metabolism), it makes us look better naked which is good for our self esteem. Exercise reduces stress and can help treat depression and anxiety. If you aren’t moving your body on a regular basis, you really have no idea how good you can feel.
Moving your body doesn’t have to mean running miles to nowhere on a treadmill or making a fool of yourself in Zumba class because you have two left feet (you probably are not making a fool of yourself though). It can mean running along the lake, riding your bike to work, playing tennis with a friend, or walking your dog.
If exercise makes you miserable, you aren’t doing the right one. Keep looking until you find something you enjoy.
The fastest way to increase your personal development is to spend some time every day reading. I’m not convinced it matters tremendously what you read although certain books can definitely be helpful for specific goals. If you want to get out debt, reading Total Money Makeover will be more useful than reading The Red and the Black but reading that novel can teach you lessons about love and obsession, envy, and hubris.
Reading can also teach you new words which improves your writing, your speech, and your ability to communicate with others. Reading is like exercise, it doesn’t matter so much what you do, just that you do it and it has more benefits than you ever imagined.
Scribbing just means journaling. I don’t even like that term. It sounds to much like a tween scribbling about boys in her diary and is too formal. Just jotting down thoughts, worries, ideas, and a few things you’re grateful for count as scribing.
Writing down worries can help us stop thinking about them over and over. There is something about writing them down that can help “delete” them from our brains. The worry still exists, but we don’t have it nagging at our minds all day (and night).
Because thoughts can be fleeting, writing down ideas you have preserves them. How many million dollar ideas have been lost for lack of pen and paper? Writing down a few things we are grateful for sounds goofy and like some self-help non-sense from the 70’s. And it kind of is, but it is good for us. Especially if you keep these writings. When you’re having a bad day or a rough patch in life, looking back at days, weeks, eventually years, of the good things in your life can help you get through those times.
How can this help us in the realm of personal finance? Google something like, “habits of rich people” and you will find at least a few of these things on every list. Doing these six things can help us develop discipline and discipline is something all successful people have in common. Tomorrow is another opportunity to start your own miracle morning.
Get our best money lessons:
Hal Elrod: Hal’s site including links to his best selling books.
Betterment: The smart way to invest. Use this link to get up to six months free investing.
Gunny Mac: An American black lager.
The Miracle Morning: Hal’s latest book.
7 Minute Workout: A quick, full body work out.
5 Minute Journal: A guided journalling app.
Deepak Chopra: A to Z steps of Creating Affluence
The Millionaire Fast Lane: Crack the code to wealth