hal elrod on the most powerful morning routine (in six steps)

Hal Elrod had reached the lowest point in his life.

It was 2007 and the stock market was crashing.

Practically overnight, Elrod ended up thousands of dollars in debt and unable to pay his bills.

Elrod faced “a complete mental, emotional, and financial breakdown.”

Deep in depression, battling thoughts of suicide multiple times a day, Elrod was “overwhelmed, hopeless, and depressed.” Despite having come back from a terrible car accident in 2000 to create tremendous financial, emotional, and physical success, Elrod could not pull himself together.

Not until The Miracle Morning.

Elrod writes…

In a single morning, everything changed. I woke up feeling depressed, as I had been for weeks, but this morning I did something different.
I knew that the solution to all of my problems was that I had to commit to making personal development a priority in my daily life… So, I pulled out a piece of blank paper and I wrote down all of the most life-changing personal development practices that I had learned over the years, but never implemented.
I chose the six activities that I thought would have the most immediate and dramatic impact on my life, assigned ten minutes each, and planned to try all six the next morning.

Within eight weeks of practicing The Miracle Morning Elrod’s depression lifted, his energy, clarity and focus returned, and business profits were higher than they had ever been before.

I’m not one to sell snake oil or appreciate lofty claims. I’ve tried Elrod’s Miracle Morning for nearly four months now and I believe it to be the most powerful morning practice I’ve had since living in a monastery 14 years ago.

Here’s why:

Most of us begin our day at a disadvantage. We owe this disadvantage to The Negativity Bias.

photo by Sebastion Unrau

The Negativity Bias is “the notion that…things of a more negative nature (e.g. unpleasant thoughts, emotions, or social interactions; harmful/traumatic events) have a greater effect on one’s psychological state and processes than do neutral or positive things.

In other words, we tend to focus on what freaks us out.

When we focus on what freaks us out it derails our work as artists.

The Negativity Bias evolved as a means of self-protection. When the brain is on high-alert for anything that may harm or kill us we have a much greater shot at survival. Historically speaking, if the brain focused purely on pleasurable outcomes it wouldn’t notice the tiger looming behind the tree or the snake hovering just above in the branches.

Ignoring the tiger or the snake meant, quite often, death.

The consequence of this evolutionary masterpiece is that while our lifestyles have evolved from fending off tigers or poisonous snakes, our brains have not. This means that our brain, in an effort to keep us alive, is constantly scanning our environment for potential threats.

In brief: We are almost always anxious and fearful.

Especially first thing in the morning.

Steve Pavlina, author of Personal Development for Smart People writes,

It’s been said that the first hour is the rudder of the day. If I’m lazy or haphazard in my actions during the first hour after I wake up, I tend to have a fairly lazy and unfocused day. But if I strive to make that first hour optimally productive, the rest of the day tends to follow suit.

If, when we wake up, we do what most folks do: jump into the day without pausing to slow the mind or bring greater awareness to our lives, we risk being swallowed up by the ever-present fear and anxiety.

The key then, as Hal Elrod teaches in his book, The Miracle Morning: the not-so-obvious secret guaranteed to transform your life before 8am, is to break that evolutionary cycle.

The way to break the evolutionary cycle is to rewire the brain through higher, less primitive, states of consciousness and a flood of positive, empowering hormones.

Elrod’s method for this is The Miracle Morning.

In essence, The Miracle Morning is:

  1. Meditation/Silence
  2. Visualization
  3. Affirmation
  4. Reading
  5. Writing
  6. Exercise

Together these six things act to completely realign your mind and rewire your brain.

How long you dedicate to each aspect of The Miracle Morning is up to you. Elrod proposes doing the entire routine in as few as six minutes or as long as two hours. What’s important, says Elrod, is to do it.

The Miracle Morning can be an absolute game-changer, allowing you to attain that elusive next level and take your personal professional success far beyond what you’ve achieved in the past.

For a more-in-depth look at The Miracle Morning read The Miracle Morning: The Not-So-Obvious Secret Guaranteed to Transform Your Life or watch Hal Elrod reveals “The Miracle Morning” Part One and Part Two.

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