Firstly I’m writing this at 10:10 am, I tried to follow Hal’s advice and get up an hour early, but I’ve got a seven month old daughter so that would mean getting up at 4:30 am today. Not happening.
Let me rewind a bit.. As most of you won’t know what I’m on about…
The first book I’m going to be reviewing is Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning: The 6 habits that will transform your life before 8am. Now let me start off by saying that I think this is a great book with some really interesting theory and practical application behind it. It’s not perfect, but hey what is. Hal is a fascinating guy, the premise behind the book is at aged 20, when he was juggling a successful sales career and near perfect life, he was hit head on by a drunk driver and died for six minutes.
What follows is a remarkable story of self discovery and a journey back to success, developing the ‘Miracle Morning’ (MM) on the way. The idea behind the MM is quite simple; in order to be the best we can be and no longer settle for our ‘average’ selves, we need to focus on self development but who has time for that right? Que the MM, an hour each morning where you dedicate yourself to improvement, in six simple steps. There are some cool points here though, such as; if you were to read a self-help/business book for 15 minutes each day you’d average 18 books a year. Now you’d have to get atleast a little bit better after that right? I actually think it’s a pretty good point.
Hal breaks down this hour in the morning into six simple steps, what he defines as – S.A.V.E.R.S
- Silence (spend five minutes sitting in silence… not in bed as you might fall asleep again)
- Affirmations (spend five minutes writing down your affirmations for the day/life)
- Visualisation (following this, five minutes of visualising your goals, as part of your upcoming day etc)
- Exercise (20 minutes of exercise – yoga works well, but whatever works for you)
- Reading (20 minutes of reading, approx 15 – 20 pages. However this time isn’t for the latest Harry Potter, it’s for business/self-help material)
- Scribing (5 minutes pulling that all together and writing down either something you’ve learnt from your reading, keeping a journal etc)
He even gives you some simple tips to drag yourself out of bed in the morning (they are a little bit obvious, but I’m sure they work for some) for example, move your alarm clock to where you can’t reach it. To be honest when I try that, I just turn it off, move it closer and hit snooze…and I love self development!
Fair play to you if you can do it, certainly the image he presents of tens of thousands of people rising an hour earlier each morning to self improve is a powerful one and I love the idea of it, but I think I can fit most of it in around my normal day thank you very much. Now he does offer you another option and this is the one thing I’m not sure about. For those who want all the benefits but lack the time to commit you can do it all in six minutes. Now I’m not sure about this, surely if you’re going to commit, you commit, how much can you realistically achieve in six minutes? (I tried it and didn’t get very far) I think it’s a bit of a get out of jail free card, an attempt not to alienate those readers who are thinking ‘who on earth has an hour to do this kind of stuff?’ In truth we probably all do have time, but when you do it is up to you. You’re also most likely doing a lot of it already, but sometimes just being concisely aware of what you are doing really does make the difference.
So what have I learnt from reading this book:
- Understand what your goal is and make sure each day you are clear on how whatever it is that you’re doing is taking you one step closer to achieving it.
- Exercise. One of the key things Hal talks about is Yoga, now I tried this and loved it. I don’t think it matters what exercise it is, but let’s be honest any kind of exercise is going to be good for you across the day, whenever you fit it in. I like to fit it in at lunchtimes.
- Read more. Now hopefully if you follow my blog, I can help you in this area. However, I think it can be broader than this, by just being open to learning and that can take the form of many things. Just be proactive to learn something once a day.
- Limit your limiting beliefs. Now I haven’t mentioned this yet, but Hal spends a good bit of time discussing limiting beliefs and how they can impact your journey to a ‘better you’. I actually think this is well thought through and wholley accurate. Don’t let what you have done in the past impact your future belief’s around what you can achieve now. When you really think about it it makes a whole lot of sense.
This book is great, and gave me the inspiration to create this blog (I’m going to spend 30 minutes a day working on it) and helped me really focus on what I want to get out of my professional life… I’m just not going to do it at 5:30am. Sorry Hal.