After Losing His Business and Facing Depression, One Simple Change Turned Everything Around

If there was an award for someone who’s the definition of “against all odds,” Hal Elrod would be a solid candidate for it. For starters, he started his first business at the age of 15 as a mobile Disc Jockey. At that time, he was already making $100/hr, not bad for a young teen. At 19, he joined a company called Cutco, a company known to specifically target young people to sell their knife products. The company has been accused of being a “pyramid scheme” or a “scam,” but regardless of what everyone thinks, Hal became one of the top sales reps in the history of the company. For Hal to achieve such shows how good of a sales person he already was at such a young age.

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Hal hit his first major roadblock in life when he was 20. After his success at Cutco, the company always asked him to give motivational speeches to other reps. One night, after one of these speeches, he was struck head-on by a drunk driver going the wrong direction on the freeway at 70 miles an hour. The left side of his body was crushed and he was pronounced dead at the scene, but he somehow survived and was left in a coma for six days. When he finally woke up, doctors told him that he had permanent brain damage and would never walk again. After a couple weeks, not only did he defy all logic of the doctors and had a miraculous recovery, but he also went on to become a marathon runner and go back to work to be inducted in Cutco’s Hall of Fame.

That experience led to a successful career as a life coach, a motivational speaker, and a best-selling author. It would appear that Hal had no where to go but up at that point, until the US economy crashed. Hal slowly lost his business, his house, and went into $50,000 worth of credit card debt. For the first time in his life, Hal was depressed.

What looked like a terrible tragedy actually turned out to be a blessing in disguise. Although he was depressed, Hal’s drive to succeed did not disappear. While listening to his iPod during a run one day, a single quote by the late motivational speaker Jim Rohn became the catalyst that would turn his whole life around.

“Your level of success will rarely exceed your level of self-development, because success is something you attract by the person you become.”

From there, it hit him. In order for him to reach a high level of success, he needed to dedicate time each day to develop himself into a person capable enough to do it. From there came the conception of what he calls “The Miracle Morning.”

“[The Miracle Morning] is the ultimate morning success ritual… Your morning ritual sets the context and your mindset for the rest of the day. It’s all about starting your day focused, goal-oriented, productive and even just with self-discipline. If you think about it, when the alarm clock goes off, that’s life’s first gift to you. It’s also life’s first test, [saying] “Hey, you say you want an extraordinary life? Do you have the discipline to even get yourself off the bed in the morning and work on yourself? Or would you rather lay there unconscious for nine more minutes and another nine more minutes?”

And sadly most people waste the morning. They start the day with procrastination by hitting the snooze button and they don’t have the self discipline to get out of bed, let alone create the life that they say they want.

So when that alarm goes off, that’s life’s first gift to you and by turning the alarm clock off and getting out of bed, first and foremost you’re telling yourself, you’re telling the universe that you are committed to doing what’s necessary to create the extraordinary life that you really want.”

For the next two months, apart from being far from a morning person, Hal was able to wake up an hour earlier than normal and create a powerful morning routine for himself. This routine allowed him to double his income, overcome his depression, pay off all his debt and get into the best shape of his life in about two months.

But not everyone is a morning person. Waking up early in the morning is harder than most things for some people, as a former person who hated mornings, Hal had the following advice to offer:

1. Set your intentions for the next day the night before. A “miracle morning” doesn’t actually start in the morning, it actually starts the night before when you’re about to head to bed. You’ve got to be clear on what time you’re waking up and why you’re waking up.

“…most people wake up not because they want to, they wait until they have to wake up, right? Have to be somewhere. Have to do something. Have to answer to someone else. And so this is the idea that you set the intention. I’m going to wake up an hour before I have to be up for work and I’m going to develop myself into the person that I need to be, to create the life that I really want. I’m going to read books. I’m going to exercise. I’m going to feed my mind. I’m going to write in a journal. I’m going to meditate. I’m going to do some visualization. I’m going to do the practices that the world’s most successful people do every day.”

2. Move your alarm clock as far away from the bed as you possibly can, but put it where you’re still going to hear it.

“…if the alarm clock is on your bedside table, then when it goes off you’re still half asleep. And I don’t care who you are, myself included, I will lose that battle nine out of ten times. Even in The Miracle Morning guide, I wake up at 3:30 in the morning, seven days a week. That’s my wake up time. Most people don’t do it at that time but I’m kind of crazy so I wake up 3:30 AM seven days a week. If my alarm clock is by our bedside table which it is because I’m constantly traveling, I put it on a hotel nightstand. So the alarm clock has to be half way across the room, that way I’m forced to get out of bed and create that motion, that energy. You know motion creates energy, getting out of bed wakes you up.”

3. Drink a full glass of water first thing in the morning.

“I mean think about it- we are dehydrated after six to eight hours without drinking any water. So in the morning our minds can’t think because we are dehydrated. I drink a full glass of water. I down it like I was the tallest kid at a stag party drinking the beer, right? I just have a glass of water right next to my alarm clock, it’s sitting right there. [It’s] the first thing I do, and then I brush my teeth, wash my face, and go downstairs and do my miracle morning.”

For a man that gone through many tough trials, including facing death and losing everything he’s worked for, most people would take a long time to handle it and bounce back. For Hal, it seems he’s been able to perform quick comebacks no matter what the odds were. What made Hal different? One of his secrets is quite simple and he calls it “The 5 Minute Rule.”

“The five minute rule simply says that when things don’t go your way, when you experience rejection or failure or defeat or whatever, there’s no point in dwelling on it. But sometimes you’ve got to vent, you’ve got to be a little negative and let it out, but not for longer than five minutes. You set your timer for five minutes and I would literally set my timer on my phone for five minutes. And you’re allowed to bitch, moan, complain, punch a wall, punch your best friend, whatever you’ve got to do to like release the pent up physical, physiological, and emotional [stress]; let it go. And when the timer goes off after five minutes, three magic words “can’t change it.” You completely accept whatever has happened because you can’t go back in time to change it. It has happened. So you accept all things you can’t change and then you can be at peace. and then you can focus on what you can control.”

Since the success of “The Miracle Morning,” Hal is nowhere near slowing down. He’s currently co-authoring a number of books, including the “Miracle Morning for Sales People,” “The Miracle Morning for Real Estate Agents,” and “The Miracle Morning for Network Marketers.”

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Follow Hal on Twitter @Halelrod and check out his book “The Miracle Morning.”

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