The Miracle Morning by Hal Elrod, chapter name The Miracle Morning Origin: Born Out of

The Miracle Morning Origin: Born Out of


Desperation is the raw material of drastic change. Only those who can leave behind everything they have ever

believed in can hope to escape.


To make profound changes in your life, you need

either inspiration or desperation.


I’ve been fortunate to hit what you might call “rock bottom”

twice in my relatively short life. I say fortunate because it was the growth I experienced and the lessons I learned—during the most challenging times in my life—that have enabled me to become the person I’ve needed to be to create the life that I’ve always wanted. I am grateful to use not only my successes, but also my failures, to help others in a way that can empower them to overcome their own limitations and achieve more than they ever thought possible.

My 1st Rock Bottom: Dead at the Scene

As you know, my first rock bottom was almost my last when, at age 20, I was hit head on by a drunk driver and died at the scene of the accident. (I wrote in detail about how I bounced back from my seemingly insurmountable adversity, as well as the 8 lessons I learned that will immediately improve the quality of your life, in my first book, Taking Life Head On: How To Love the Life You Have While You Create the Life of Your Dreams.)

My 2nd Rock Bottom: Deep In Debt and Deeply Depressed

My second plunge into the depths of despair was more difficult than dying in a car accident was.

It was 2008. The United States economy was in the midst of the worst recession since the infamous Great Depression of the 1930s. In the years after surviving my car accident, despite bouncing back to build a hall of fame sales career, launch a six-figure success coaching business, and write a bestselling book, I was again challenged. This time it was a complete mental, emotional, and financial breakdown.

Seemingly overnight, the successful enterprises I had built were no longer profitable. Over half of my monthly income disappeared. I was suddenly unable to pay my bills. I had just bought my first home.

I was engaged to be married, and we were planning our first child.

Buried in debt, behind on my mortgage, for the first time in my life, I became severely depressed.

I was at the lowest point in my life. Could things have been worse? Probably. But was this the worst they had ever been for me?

Absolutely. I had hit my rock bottom.

Why Debt Was Worse Than Death

If you were to ask me which was more difficult, my car accident or my financial struggles, I wouldn’t hesitate to tell you it was the latter, by far. Most people would assume that being hit head on by a drunk driver, breaking 11 bones, suffering permanent brain damage, dying for six minutes, and waking from a coma to face the news that you may never walk again would be hard to top. It’s a fair assumption that the physical, mental, and emotional pain from such a horrific wreck would be the lowest point in any person’s life. However, this wasn’t the case for me.

You see, after my car accident, I had people taking care of me. In the hospital, my family never left my side. I was constantly surrounded by visitors—friends and family coming by daily to check on me and shower me with love and support. I had an incredible staff of doctors and nurses overseeing every step of my care and recovery.

My food was prepared and delivered to me. I didn’t even have the everyday stresses of having to work and pay the bills. Life in the hospital was easy.

That wasn’t the case the second time around. Nobody felt sorry for me. I didn’t have any visitors. There was no one there to oversee my care and recovery. Nobody brought me any food. I was on my own this time. People had their own problems to deal with.

A domino effect led to struggles in every area of my life.

Physically, mentally, emotionally, and financially—you name it—I was a mess.

I had so much fear and uncertainty that the only comfort I found each day was my own bed. As pathetic as it may sound, what got me through each day was the peace of mind from knowing I could eventually crawl into bed and temporarily escape my problems.

Thoughts of suicide circled my mind daily. Not that I would ever have actually followed through with it. Suicide is not only one of the most selfish decisions someone can make (as it hurts so many other people), but deep down, I knew that no matter how bad life gets, there is always a way to turn it around. But the thoughts were still there. I just didn’t see a solution to my financial crisis. I couldn’t think of anything else that would put an end to my emotional pain.

The Morning That Turned My Life Around

Then, 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 took a friend’s advice and went on a run, to clear my head.

Now, make no mistake, I was not  a runner. In fact, running for the sake of running was one of the only things I can honestly say that I despised. However, my good friend, Jon, told me that whenever he was feeling stressed or overwhelmed, going for a run enabled him to think more clearly, lifted his spirits, and helped him come up with solutions to his problems. I was desperate. I had nothing to lose. I was going to go for a run.

So, that morning I laced up my Nike Air Jordan® basketball shoes (I told you I wasn’t a runner), grabbed my iPod so I could listen to something positive, and headed out the front door of my soon-to-be bank-owned home. I had no idea that, on that run, I would have one of the most powerful, profound, life-changing breakthroughs in my entire life.

Listening to a personal development audio from Jim Rohn, he said something that although I had heard before, I never really got it.

You know how sometimes you hear something over and over again without actually implementing it, but then one day it finally clicks for you? It just takes you being in the right state of mind to really get it?

Well, that morning I was in the right state of mind—a state of desperation—and I got it. When I heard Jim proclaim with certainty,

“Your level of success, will rarely exceed your level of personal development, because success is something you attract by the person you become, ”  I stopped in my tracks. This one philosophy was going to change my entire life.

The Success Parallel

All of a sudden, it hit me! It was like a tidal wave of reality that came crashing down, and I became present to the fact that I had not been developing myself into the person I needed to be to attract, create, and sustain the level of success that I wanted. On a scale of one to ten, I wanted Level 10 success, but my level of personal development was at about a two—maybe a three or a four on a good day.

I realized this is the problem for all of us. We all want Level 10

success, in every area of our lives—health, happiness, finances, relationships, career, spirituality, you name it—but if our levels of personal development (knowledge, experience, mindset, beliefs, etc.) in any given area are not at a Level 10, then life is always going to be a struggle.

Our outer world will always be a reflection of our inner world.

Our level of success is always going to parallel our level of personal development. Until we dedicate time each day to developing ourselves into the person we need to be to create the life we want, success is always going to be a struggle to attain.

I ran straight home. I was ready to change my life.

Our First Challenge: Finding Time

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.

This was the missing link that would enable me to become the person I needed to be able to consistently attract, create, and sustain the levels of success that I wanted. Simple enough.

However, my main challenge was the same as anyone’s: finding time. I was so busy just trying to survive my life and pay my bills, that the idea of finding “extra” time for my personal development seemed almost impossible. Maybe you can relate?

I love what bestselling author, Matthew Kelly says: “On the one hand, we all want to be happy. On the other hand, we all know the things that make us happy. But we don’t do those things. Why?

Simple. We are too busy. Too busy doing what? Too busy trying to be happy.”

So, I grabbed my planner, sat down on my couch, and committed to finding time— making time—for my daily personal development. I considered the options:

Maybe the Evening?

My first thought was that maybe I could make time in the evenings, after work, or maybe late at night, after my fiancé goes to bed. But then I realized that the evening was really the only time I had to spend with her during the day. Not to mention that late at night is rarely when I’m at my best. I’m usually so tired that focusing is even more of a challenge than it usually is. In fact, I’m hardly coherent, let alone in an “optimum” state of mind for personal development.

Evening was not going to be the optimum time.

Possibly the Afternoon?

Maybe I could schedule it in the middle of the day? Possibly on my lunch break, or somewhere in between, I could just find some

“extra” time. Well, that extra time just doesn’t show up and the day usually gets away from us.

Aw, Come on – Not in the Morning!

Then, I considered doing it in the morning—but I resisted. To say that I was not a morning person was a gross understatement. The fact was, I dreaded getting up in the morning, particularly waking up early, almost as much as I hated running. But the more I thought about it, the more a few things started to make sense.

First, by committing to my personal development in the morning, it would give me a positive motivational kick-start to my day. I could learn something new in the morning. I’d likely be more energized, more focused, and more motivated for the rest of my day. I remembered a blog post that I read on,  titled The Rudder of the Day. Steve, also the author of Personal Development for Smart People, stated: “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.”

Not to mention, by doing personal development in the morning, I wouldn’t have all of the excuses that accumulate during the day ( I’m tired, I don’t have time, etc.) If I did it in the morning, before the rest of my life and my work got in the way, I could guarantee that it happened every single day.

Finally, I just didn’t really see any better time to do it. Executing my personal development first thing in the morning was looking to be the most advantageous option, but it was already hard enough to drag myself out of bed every day at 6:00 a.m.—because I had to—so the idea of getting up at 5:00 a.m. seemed absolutely insane to me.

Feeling frustrated and a bit defeated, I was about to close my planner and forget the whole idea, when I heard the voice of my mentor, Kevin Bracy, in my head. Kevin always told me, “Hal, if you want your life to be different, you have to be willing to do something different first!”

Damn it. I knew Kevin was right, but that didn’t make waking up early any easier. Committed to making a change, I decided to overcome my self-imposed, life-long limiting belief that I was not a morning person and wrote into my schedule that I would wake up at 5:00 a.m. the next morning to do my first personal development routine.

Our Second Challenge: Doing What’s Most Impactful Then I encountered another challenge—what was I going to do for that hour that was going to make the biggest impact and improve my life the fastest? I could read, but I’d done that before, and I wanted this to be special. I could exercise, but again, that wasn’t getting my juices flowing. 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—at least never consistently. Activities like meditation, affirmations, journaling, visualization, as well as reading and exercise.

I chose the six activities that I thought would have the most immediate and dramatic impact on my life, assigned 10 minutes each, and planned to try all six the next morning. The interesting thing was, looking at this list got me feeling motivated! All of a sudden the idea of waking up early went from something I dreaded to something more and more appealing. That night, I could hardly fall asleep, I was so excited for the morning to come!

When the alarm clock went off at 5:00 a.m., my eyes shot wide open and I sprung out of bed, feeling energized and excited! It was effortless, it was invigorating, and it reminded me of being a kid, waking up on Christmas morning. There had been no time in my life when waking up was easier, when I felt more energized and excited about my day, than I did as a kid on Christmas… until today.

The Morning That Transformed My Entire Life

Teeth brushed, face washed, and a glass of water in hand, I sat up straight on my living room couch at 5:05 a.m., feeling genuinely excited about my life for the first time in a long time. It was still dark outside, and something about that felt very empowering. I pulled out my list of life-changing personal development activities I had learned over the years but never implemented. One by one, I implemented each one.

Silence Sitting in silence, praying, meditating, and focusing on my breath, for 10 minutes. I felt my stress melt away, felt a sense of calm come over my body and ease my mind. This was different from the typical chaos of my hectic mornings. For the first time in a long time, I felt peaceful.

Reading Having always made excuses why I couldn’t find time to read, I was excited to make time this morning and start what I had always hoped could become a lifelong habit. I grabbed Napoleon Hill’s classic, Think and Grow Rich,  off the shelf. Like most of my books, it was one that I had started, but never finished. I read for ten minutes, and picked up a few ideas that I was excited to implement that day. I was reminded that it only takes one idea to change your life, and I felt motivated.

Affirmations Having never before harnessed the power of affirmations, it felt amazing to finally read the self-confidence affirmation from Think and Grow Rich aloud. The affirmation was a powerful reminder of the unlimited potential that was within me—

and within each of us. I decided to write my own affirmation. I jotted down what I wanted, who I was committed to being, and what I was committed to doing to change my life. I felt empowered.

Visualization I grabbed the Vision Board off my wall. I had created it after watching the movie The Secret. I rarely took time to look at, let alone use it as the visualization tool it was intended to be.

For ten minutes, my focus shifted from image to image, pausing at each one to close my eyes and feel, with every fiber of my being, what it would be like to manifest each into my life. I felt inspired.

Journaling Next, I opened one of the many blank journals I had purchased over the years. Like all of the others, I had failed to write in for more than a few days—a week at the most. On this day, I wrote what I was grateful for in my life. Almost immediately, I felt my depression lifting, like a heavy fog which had been weighing me down. It wasn’t gone, but it felt lighter. The simple act of writing down the things I was grateful for lifted my spirits. I felt grateful.

Exercise Finally, I got up off the couch, remembering what I’d heard Tony Robbins say so many times: motion creates emotion. I dropped down and did pushups until I couldn’t do one more. Then I flipped over onto my back and did as many sit ups as my out-of-shape abs would allow. With six minutes left on the clock, I inserted one of my fiancée’s Yoga videos into the DVD player, and enjoyed completing the first six minutes of it. I felt energized.

It was incredible! I had already experienced what was one of the most peaceful, motivating, empowering, inspiring, grateful, and energizing days of my life—and it was only 6:00 a.m.!

Nothing Short of a Miracle

For the next few weeks, I continued to wake up at 5:00 a.m. and follow through with my 60-minute personal development routine.

Then, so incredibly happy with the way I was feeling and the progress I was making as a result of my morning routine, I wanted more of it!

So, one night while getting ready for bed, I did what was unthinkable at the time; I set my alarm clock for 4:00 a.m. Falling asleep that night, I wondered if I was out of my mind.

Surprisingly, it was just as easy to wake up at 4:00 a.m. as it was 5:00 a.m., and waking up at either time was ten times easier than waking up on any day in my past, when I resisted waking up.

My stress levels dropped dramatically. I had more energy, clarity, and focus. I felt genuinely happy, motivated, and inspired.

Thoughts of depression were a distant memory. You could say I was back to my old self again—although I was experiencing so much growth, so rapidly, that I was quickly surpassing any version of myself that I had ever been in the past. And with my newfound levels of energy, motivation, clarity, and focus I was able to easily set goals, create strategies and execute a plan to save my business and increase my income. Less than two months after my first Miracle Morning, my income was not only back to the level it had been at before the economy crashed, it was higher than ever before.

I knew this powerful morning personal development routine was something I would eventually start sharing with my private coaching clients, so I needed a name for it. Considering that the transformation I was experiencing was so profound and happening so fast—having gone from broke and depressed to financially secure and excited about life, in less than two months—that it felt like a miracle, the only appropriate name was The Miracle Morning.

Hey, If Katie Can Do It…

A few weeks later, I was on a coaching call with Katie when she asked, “Hal, how do you start your mornings?” Although I beamed as I told her about The Miracle Morning and the benefits of waking up an hour earlier than normal, she resisted. “I don’t know if I want to wake up any earlier, Hal. Trust me, I am not a morning person!”

However, Katie is always a good sport. She committed to waking up at 6 a.m.—one hour earlier than normal—and giving The Miracle Morning a try. I offered her some encouragement and wished her luck.

On her coaching call one week later, Katie was on fire! When I asked if she actually woke up at 6 a.m. every day to do The Miracle Morning, I got an unexpected reply. “Nope. I woke up at 6 a.m. the first day, but you were right—I had such an awesome morning that I wanted to do it even earlier! So I woke up at 5:00 a.m. the rest of the week! Hal, it was amazing!” Wow. I had to tell my other coaching clients about this.

Within a few short weeks, dozens of my clients were sharing with me that they were experiencing the same types of life changing benefits during their own Miracle Mornings. Some of my clients told their friends and co-workers about how The Miracle Morning was changing their life. It spread through the online world like wildfire.

People start posting about The Miracle Morning on Facebook, tweeting about it on Twitter, and even proudly posting videos of themselves on YouTube, up early and doing The Miracle Morning.

Crazy, right?

Who In the Hell Is Joe?

I started to realize there was something to this whole Miracle Morning thing. I was on YouTube TM one day looking for one of my videos, and I put my name in the search. (Don’t judge—you know you’ve Googled yourself before.)

A video popped up that was titled “Miracle Morning at Joe’s.”

It’s of some guy that I’ve never seen before in my life. My first reaction was not very positive: “Who in the hell is Joe and who does he think he is copying my Miracle Morning?”  I got a little defensive

—not one of my finer moments. I just didn’t know what to think. Boy, was I about to be pleasantly surprised.

I hit play on the video and this is what I saw: “Hello, it’s your friend, Joe Diosana. Let’s look at the time…”  (Joe shows his alarm clock, which reads 5:41 a.m.) “It is 5:41 in the morning, on Sunday, and you must be wondering, ‘Dude, Joe, what in the world are you doing up at five-forty-one in the morning on a Sunday?’ Well, check o u t   That’s . Look at the information and download (the free audio). It feels like Christmas to me, honestly, and I’ve got a lot of energy. It’s like Christmas every day now. Check it out, and I hope your life will be blessed.”

(You can see Joe’s infamous 43-second video now at—just click on “Success Stories.”) As I sat staring at my computer screen, mouth open, I was in awe, almost in tears. This is the moment I realized that The Miracle Morning is truly life-changing and I had to share it with the world. It became clear to me that, while I never intended for it to be anything more than my little morning routine, I had a responsibility to share The Miracle Morning with as many people as possible, so it can transform their lives the way it did for me. Although, at this point, I still have no idea just how big it’s going to be.

A Movement? Or is it an Awakening?

It’s been nearly five years since I told Katie about The Miracle Morning and since I watched Joe’s video on YouTube. I continue to receive hundreds of emails from people, all over the world, expressing their gratitude and enthusiasm for what  The Miracle Morning has done for their lives. The Miracle Morning has become a worldwide movement—a global awakening—made up of individuals ranging from corporate executives to stay-at-home moms, all dedicated to waking up every day and giving themselves the gift of personal development. I now see the bigger picture, how The Miracle Morning can impact the world by enabling each of us become who we need to be to create the lives that we want; to positively influence the lives of others, and change the world around us.

I’m passionate about this mission: to empower people to transform their lives, their families, their communities, and the world by waking up every day and transforming themselves with The Miracle Morning. Every day, more and more people are joining the awakening. Whether it’s by simply sharing the

website with their friends and family so they can get two free chapters of The Miracle Morning book (plus the free video and audio programs) or by inviting them to join The Miracle Morning Community at  I am still amazed at how many lives are being so deeply affected.

Many are even following Joe’s lead and recording videos of themselves up early, living The Miracle Morning (which usually includes a proud shot of their alarm clock—proving that they are up early). I was inspired by Joe’s video to start recording my own Miracle Morning video blogs, which, to my pleasant surprise, have become very popular and are being viewed by thousands of people on The Miracle Morning channel at

I am honored and extremely grateful to have the opportunity to share The Miracle Morning with so many people, in so many different capacities. In fact, The Miracle Morning has even become one of my signature keynote messages and workshops, helping corporations, non-profits, salespeople, teachers, and high school and college students to increase their productivity, motivation, and performance.

The workshop is a fresh approach that helps employees increase their productivity while improving their happiness and attitude in the workplace. As you might guess, The Miracle Morning workshop is appropriately done in the morning, usually before the actual conference begins.

This book is an invitation and an opportunity to become the person you need to be to create everything you want for your life. It will give you purposeful time to work towards your most important goals. By starting now, and making consistent, daily progress towards the life you truly want and deserve, your success—and the life of your dreams—is inevitable.