Turn Your Life Around: The Miracle Morning Story

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "The Miracle Morning" by Hal Elrod. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you need to turn your life around? Are you headed in the wrong direction, or just feeling stuck and spinning your wheels?

Hal Elrod was at rock bottom. Then he turned his life around by committing to a personal growth and development plan that ultimately became the Miracle Morning routine. The Miracle Morning and the story behind it provide inspiration for you to turn your life around as Elrod did.

Read more to learn the inspiring background to the Miracle Morning.

Lessons From Rock Bottom

The Miracle Morning method of personal growth and development grew from lessons Elrod learned from two “rock bottom” experiences in his life. The lessons from his story—and the routine he developed—truly can turn your life around.

When the first “rock bottom” experience occurred, Elrod was a successful 20-year-old salesman for a large marketing company and was climbing the corporate ladder. Suddenly, a devastating car accident changed his life

As he drove home from a speech and dinner, his car was struck head on by a pickup truck and then struck again by the car behind him. He sustained serious head injuries and eleven broken bones, and his heart stopped beating for six minutes at the scene. Rescuers revived him, but he faced a long rehabilitation and the possibility he wouldn’t walk again.

He eventually recovered, returned to his sales job and set performance records. He later began speaking to high school and college students about overcoming adversity, became a life coach, and wrote a book, Taking Life Head On

His message was that it’s pointless to wish things were different. The only thing to do when encountering adversity is to focus on having a fulfilling life going forward. He chose to be grateful for what he had and take responsibility for creating the life he wanted

Elrod concluded that everything happens for a reason and it’s up to us to choose the most empowering reasons for our challenges and circumstances. Ultimately, he viewed his accident as a positive because it changed his life for the better. Elrod’s story provides inspiration that you, too, can turn your life around.

After recovering from his accident, Elrod suffered a second rock-bottom experience six years later—this time, financial ruin during the 2008 recession. He pulled himself out of depression by developing a morning routine that motivated him to get out of bed. On a friend’s advice, he started his days with running, while listening on earphones to motivational speakers, in order to feel better and think more clearly.

His depression began to lift and he continued to develop his morning routine, experimenting with his sleep schedule and various personal growth and development methods, such as affirmation and journaling. He came up with a daily sequence of six practices. The routine was so successful in helping him turn his life around that he began calling it his Miracle Morning and sharing it with coaching clients and friends, who also found it transformative.

To share it more widely, Elrod wrote The Miracle Morning, which became an Amazon best-seller and led to the creation of a website, Facebook community, and a series of additional books. The book is a practical guide that can help you turn your life around.

A Journey of Discovery

Here’s how Hal Elrod used the Miracle Morning to advance in less than a year from his lowest point—a failing business, debt, and depression—to renewed financial success, achieving his dream job, and even completing an ultra-marathon.

Although he’d recovered from a debilitating car accident, he found overcoming financial failure, debt, and depression to be more difficult. After his accident, he had family, friends, and medical professionals taking care of him and encouraging him. In contrast, when financial disaster struck, he didn’t have anyone feeling sorry for him—others had their own problems as a result of the recession. 

It was a struggle to get out of bed until a friend suggested that running would lift his spirits and help him think more clearly about his problems. With nothing to lose, he went for a run, during which he listened to a personal growth and development talk by Jim Rohn. He experienced a breakthrough when he heard the message: Your level of personal growth and development determines your level of success; you attract success by who you become. This philosophy changed Elrod’s life. It’s a philosophy that can help you turn your life around, as well.

The First Try

Elrod knew that he needed to determine how best to use the time he was setting aside. In the first hour of his day, he wanted to engage in activities that would have the greatest impact in the shortest amount of time.

He decided to use six tried-and-true personal growth and development tools—meditation, affirmation, visualization, exercise, reading, and journal writing. He assigned ten minutes to each one and planned to try all six the next morning, waking up an hour earlier than usual. He woke up feeling excited and motivated, the way he felt when waking up on Christmas morning as a child.

After starting with silent meditation, he read from the book Think and Grow Rich, picking up a few useful ideas for the day. (Shortform note: Read the Shortform summary of Think and Grow Rich here.)

Moving on to affirmations, he wrote and repeated affirmations based on what he wanted in life, the kind of person he was committed to becoming, and what he was committed to doing to change his life (see one of Elrod’s affirmations in Chapter 7). He then visualized success. In a journal, he wrote down things he was grateful for. As exercise, he did pushups, situps, and yoga. When he finished, he felt calm, motivated, and empowered.

Miracle Morning Takes Off

Elrod continued to follow through on this routine. He started even earlier—at 4 a.m. instead of 5—and found to his surprise that waking up wasn’t difficult. With newfound clarity, he was able to conceive and implement a plan to save his business and income. In fact, less than two months after his first Miracle Morning, his income exceeded what it had been before the economy crashed.

He shared the powerful routine with his life coaching clients; they experienced the same benefits and shared it with friends and coworkers. As the idea spread, people started posting Miracle Morning videos on social media. A movement began to take shape, which continues to grow.

Ready to Turn Your Own Life Around?

This book is an invitation to start now to turn your life around by committing to personal growth and development—making consistent daily progress toward becoming the kind of person who can create the level 10 life you want to live.

Turn Your Life Around: The Miracle Morning Story

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Hal Elrod's "The Miracle Morning" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full The Miracle Morning summary:

  • How getting up early and following a simple, daily routine can empower anyone to transform any area of their life
  • How Elrod's "Life S.A.V.E.R.S." routine can help you feel energized and motivated
  • Why hitting the snooze button is comparable to resisting your life

Elizabeth Whitworth

Elizabeth has a lifelong love of books. She devours nonfiction, especially in the areas of history, theology, science, and philosophy. A switch to audio books has kindled her enjoyment of well-narrated fiction, particularly Victorian and early 20th-century works. She appreciates idea-driven books—and a classic murder mystery now and then. Elizabeth has a blog and is writing a creative nonfiction book about the beginning and the end of suffering.

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