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EO 360°, a podcast by Entrepreneurs’ Organization, explores entrepreneurship with a wide perspective, moving beyond business to those insights not often shared by high-profile thought leaders.

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Jan 9, 2018


Hal Elrod, international speaker and best-selling author, reveals how he survived a major accident, “downward spiral” leading to depression, and cancer. Today on the EO Podcast, Hal discusses how his attitude towards life and mindset allowed him to overcome obstacles while still accepting the worst-case scenario. Tune-in to learn the morning practices of successful people and how “Yo Pal Hal” implements the 5-Step Snooze-Proof Wake-Up Strategy every morning.

Time Stamped Show Notes:

  • 00:36 – At 20 he was hit by a drunk driver who was driving 70mph, was dead for 6 minutes, and woke up 6 days later to 11 broken bones, permanent brain damage, and news that he’d never walk again
  • 00:52 – He ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon, became a Hall of Fame business achiever, international keynote speaker, success coach, hip-hop recording artist, and multiple-time #1 bestselling author
  • 01:08 – Was a DJ for a hip-hop radio station and was known as “yo pal Hal,” is one of EO’s highest-rated speakers, and is the author of “The Miracle Morning”
  • 03:07 – Hal went through a depression, was near-suicide, and was diagnosed with Acute Lymphoblastic Leukemia
  • 03:58 – Was healthy one day, and had collapsed lungs, failing kidneys, and a near-failing heart the next
  • 04:10 – One year ago, at age 37, his doctor told him that he had days, maybe weeks with treatment, to live; Hal has always been into health and has a family
  • 05:10 – He came out with an amazing book, ½ million people practice the Miracle Morning, has a large Facebook following, and people sharing that he’s changed their life
  • 05:52 – Random people all over the world share their videos on YouTube about their Miracle Morning
  • 06:30 – Hal’s reaction to finding out he had cancer: Acceptance
  • 06:46 – That was his lesson with the accident as well
  • 07:10 – He weighed the possibilities and imagined being happy in whatever circumstance (walking or in a wheelchair)
  • 07:35 – Hal decided to be grateful, happy, and at peace with the worst case scenario so it couldn’t have any emotional power over him
  • 08:08 – He accepted the worst case scenario (to never walk again), but then put all his energy into what he wanted (to walk), and was walking 3 weeks later
  • 08:20 – Thought, emotion, visualization, prayer went into what he wanted (mind-body connection – thoughts influence our biology)
  • 08:41 – When he got cancer, he decided to be the happiest, most positive person with cancer that still shows up for life
  • 08:50 – What’s happening outside of us should have nothing to do with what’s going on inside of us
  • 09:10 – He decided to be proactive and learn from his adversity
  • 09:45 – The hardest part was thinking of his family losing him
  • 10:00 – Can use his acceptance examples (accident/cancer) and apply it to everyday examples like traffic to become at peace and “emotionally invincible”
  • 10:40 – His relationship with religion: Hal is spiritual and talks to God all the time
  • 10:54 – He believes in a higher power, but doesn’t consider himself religious or have a say as to which one is right or wrong
  • 11:45 – Hal’s relationship with death
  • 11:51 – He isn’t afraid of death itself, but he does fear the negative implications his death would have on his family
  • 12:25 – “Are you afraid of birth?” Death is an essential part of being a human being and life, it is inevitable so we should be at peace with it
  • 13:25 – At birth you have everything to gain, and at death you have everything to lose
  • 14:07 – At death we won’t care that we are gone, and if you are religious and believe in something beyond death, you may actually have everything still to gain
  • 15:00  - Since death is out of our control, there’s no value in wishing that it were different
  • 15:11 – The greatest lesson he learned in the accident was that any negative emotion we’ve ever felt is self-created by our resistance to reality
  • 15:35 – Example: The same thing can happen to two different people and one can react negatively and the other positively
  • 16:10 – Our quality of life has little to do with what’s going on around us and everything to do with what’s going on inside of us
  • 16:45 – He battled depression for 6 months: With you philosophy on attitude, how did you get caught in this depression?
  • 17:45 – Hal never applied the “can’t change it” philosophy in a downward spiral; when he lost coaching clients it all happened so quickly; it wasn’t just “instances”
  • 19:12 – He applied the philosophy to individual instances, but couldn’t handle all the negativity/adversity all at once
  • 19:30 – A year earlier, he was diagnosed with ADHD and was taking Adderall; his father sent him an article about the possible negative effects of the drug, so he quit cold-turkey
  • 20:04 – He was going through withdrawals at the same time as he was going through the downward spiral, so it was the “perfect storm” that led to his depression
  • 20:51 – His wife recommended he talk to John Bergoff for advice, who said he should go on a run every morning while listening to something inspirational
  • 21:51 – While on his next run, he heard a quote from Jim Rohn that changed his life: “Your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development because success is something you attract by the person you become.”
  • 22:30 – Hal realized that he needed to dedicate time to his personal development to become as successful as he wanted to be
  • 22:43 – Decided to dedicate an hour a day to his personal development in the morning (5am)
  • 23:38 – He integrated 6 timeless personal development practices into this time: Silence (meditation), affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading, scribing (journaling) SAVERS
  • 24:24 – Robert Kiyosaki (Author of “Rich Dad Poor Dad”) swears that any successful person swears by at least one of these practices: He does all 6 (SAVERS) every day and says doing all 6 makes the biggest impact
  • 24:55 – “The Miracle Morning” book
  • 25:05 – Has been published in about 30 languages and a huge following
  • 26:01 – What percentage of the community were morning people before reading the book? 72% had never been morning people
  • 26:55 – The 5-Step Snooze-Proof Wake-Up Strategy: 1) move your alarm clock to the other side of the room, 2) brush your teeth as soon as you wake up, 3) chug a big glass of water, 4) put on your workout clothes, and 5) leave the bedroom
  • 30:00 – Hal’s miracle morning is done in the living room and is very ritualistic
  • 30:45 – His thoughts on coffee and diet
  • 31:00 – He’s “mostly vegan,” drinks coffee, and is OK with most things in moderation
  • 31:42 – Coffee is a diuretic, so the water-drinking step is very important to do first to stay hydrated and energized
  • 32:13 – Hal blends oil and cacao butter in his coffee (MCT oil: “Brain-Octane” by Bulletproof) because it burns longer and cleaner in your body’s cells
  • 33:14 – Bulletproof coffee gives long, sustained energy and Hal finds that it works great
  • 35:04 – He now has 10 Miracle Morning series books: For college students, for transforming your relationship, for sales people, for real estate agents, marketers, writers, entrepreneurs, for addiction recovery
  • 35:40 – Hal is co-authoring “Miracle Morning Millionaires: What the Wealthy do Before 8am That Will Make you Rich”
  • 36:40 – The Miracle Morning will live forever: It is his legacy
  • 37:20 – He believes that purpose is not predetermined, it is chosen
  • 38:04 – A purpose can be as simple as making someone’s day better in a little way; it can save a life and be your legacy
  • 38:40 – Our purpose should be focused and rooted around helping others and adding value to the life of another
  • 39:25 – Change the World by Making Your Bed – speech by Admiral William McRaven also turned into the book “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World”
  • 41:00 – How the little things in life can make a huge difference
  • 41:20 – Boxers or Briefs Speed Round
  • Morning or night? Morning
  • East Coast or West Coast? West coast
  • Organized and planned or chaotic and spontaneous? Organized and planned
  • Tesla or Porche? Tesla
  • Khakis or jeans? Jeans
  • Travel or home? Home
  • Comedy or drama? Comedy
  • Action or comedy? Comedy
  • Mountains or ocean? Mountains
  • Movie or book? Book
  • 42:50 – Reach Hal through his website and find his Miracle Morning books on Amazon and in bookstores
  • 43:25 – The Miracle Morning Facebook community
  • 45:00 – He’s done running, it was a bucket list item
  • 45:46 – Favorite books: “Conversations with God,” “The Millionaire Fastlane,” “Vision to Reality” by Honoree Corder
  • 47:20 – He doesn’t remember anything from the accident, but he has faith that everything happens for a reason and has a lesson and purpose
  • 48:17 – Brain damage affects his sense of judgement: When he was 20 he said everything a 20-year-old thinks with no filter
  • 49:30 – Short-term memory was slightly affected


Key Points:


  1. Any negative emotion we’ve ever felt is self-created by our resistance to reality; our quality of life has little to do with what’s going on around us and everything to do with what’s going on inside of us.
  2. A successful life begins with a morning routine that prepares you for a productivity and successful day.
  3. Your purpose is not predetermined, it is chosen. Your purpose should help and add value to the lives of others.

Resources Mentioned: