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Creator of ‘The Miracle Morning’ Hal Elrod Walks You Through Achieving Level 10 Goals

In this edition of our Corporate Competitor Podcast, leadership speaker and storytelling expert Don Yaeger sits down with Miracle Morning creator Hal Elrod to discuss why the sky is literally the limit for change-minded leaders. 


When Hal Elrod was 20 years old, he was hit head-on by a drunk driver. His heart stopped beating for six minutes, and his doctors said he would likely never walk again and spend the rest of his life in a wheelchair. 

While recovering in the hospital, Elrod’s doctors, friends and family were concerned that Hal was still smiling and happy all the time—they thought he was rejecting his reality. When his dad sat him down to express these concerns, Elrod remarked, “I thought you knew me better than that. I live my life by the five-minute rule. Remember, it’s been two weeks since the car accident, my five minutes are up.”

Elrod was referring to a lesson he learned as a salesperson at Cutco, which sells knives. His manager at Cutco told him salespeople typically faced a lot of disappointment, rejection, adversity and hardships, so Elrod would need to learn how to manage these emotions if he wanted to be successful. And his manager recommended that he give himself five minutes to feel sorry for himself and “moan, complain, cry, vent or whatever,” but once those five minutes were up, to say important words to himself: “I can’t change it.” Then he was to let it go.

The rule has served Elrod well in life. Not only did Hal not fulfill the doctor’s prediction of lifelong impairment, a decade later he ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon. Far from rejecting the “reality” of suffering, he accepted the reality of moving forward to meet the challenges of rehabilitation. “When you accept reality exactly as it is, you give yourself the gift of inner peace,” he said in the podcast.

Driven by a passion to motivate others, Elrod dedicated himself to understanding how successful people think and behave on a daily basis. Then he distilled his learnings into a book called The Miracle Morning: The Six Habits That Will Transform Your Life Before 8am. The book has influenced the lives of some 3,000,000 people across 70 countries and is coming out in an expanded edition this month. 

In the podcast, Elrod explores the connection between the commitments we make to living our best lives and the degree of success we enjoy as a result of these commitments. “I asked myself, ‘If I were a perfect 10 out of 10 in this or that area of life, what would it look like,’” he explained. Then, he developed pathways to reach his “level 10” goals, a journey he shares with listeners through lessons such as these: 

• Why your level of success will seldom exceed your level of personal development.

• Deploying the SAVERS (silence, affirmations, visualization, exercise, reading and scribing) into your daily routine.

• How to take your goal setting to the next level… times 10!

Level 10 thinking explains why Elrod, when asked by a friend who founded the nonprofit Front Row Foundation to train for a marathon that would benefit the Foundation, got excited. Not because he loved to run but because he hated to run. “I realized that when I set my level 10 goal for exercise, it involved running a marathon,” he said. “And once you run 26 miles, why not shoot for 52?”


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