About Hal Elrod
Hal Elrod is on a mission to Elevate the Consciousness of Humanity, One Morning at a Time. As the author of one of the highest rated books in the world, “The Miracle Morning” (which has been translated into 27 languages, has over 2,200 five-star reviews and is practiced daily by over 500,000 people in more than 70 countries)… he is doing exactly that.
What’s incredible is that Hal literally died at age 20. His car was hit head-on by a drunk driver at 70 miles per hour, his heart stopped beating for 6 minutes, he broke 11 bones and woke up after being in a coma for 6 days to be told by his doctors that he would probably never walk again. Not only did Hal walk, he ran a 52-mile ultra-marathon and went on to became a hall of fame business achiever, international keynote speaker, author, and grateful husband & father-all before he turned 30.
Then, in November of 2016, Hal nearly died again – his kidneys, lungs, and heart were failing, and he was diagnosed with a rare, and very aggressive form of leukemia.
After enduring the most difficult year of his life, battling cancer, Hal is now cancer-free and furthering his mission as the founder of The Miracle Morning book series, host of the “Achieve Your Goals” podcast, creator of the Best Year Ever [Blueprint] LIVE event, and Executive Producer of The Miracle Morning MOVIE – a documentary that reveals the morning rituals of some of the world’s most successful people.
Hal is grateful to be alive and living his mission alongside his wife and their two young children in Austin, TX.
To contact Hal about media appearances, speaking at your event, or if you just want to receive free training videos and resources, visit www.HalElrod.com.
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[00:03:52] Jon Vroman: Thank God man. So [00:03:54] Hal Elrod: [inaudible] No, I don’t. [00:03:55] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:03:56] Hal Elrod: [inaudible] And so you moved here and you live here and now we’re actually, I mean we’ve become really good friends, but really even in the last few months we’ve had some deep conversations and like, Hey, let’s take our friendship to, like the next level. And then the level beyond that. And then like, how could we be the best friends, right? Like two best friends that anyone could have with that come something. [laughing] [00:04:19] Hal Elrod: Um, but how can we be like, have a friendship, that, well, Jon, you said it right. You’re the one that put the word and it’s really from our other friend John Cain legendary. Like how can we have a friendship that is so authentic and vulnerable and deep and connected and mutually beneficial that stories will be written about it someday. Right? That like that we’re writing the handbook through the way that we live our friendship in a way that we can share with other people. Cause that’s one thing that I think you and I share in common, right? Is that we live our lives as examples. We’re trying to go through the fire and, and live our lives in a way that we can go first and learn the lessons through making a lot of mistakes and screwing up and, and, and reading a lot of books and learning from masters that have gone before us. And, and then how can we pay that forward and share it with other people? And so I think that recently you and I taking our friendship to that level and uh, yeah, man, it’s, uh, it’s really been awesome. [00:05:12] Jon Vroman: Well, when you think about being a great husband, being a great dad, and you think about what are the pillars of what makes that work, right? One of them has to be surrounding yourself with other great people that you can learn with and from in that space has to be. And then the other piece of that is I think sometimes you can just gel with somebody, you can just click and it feels more natural. But even in those situations you have to intentionally design what you want it to be about. Right? And you mentioned him, John Cain and I remember multiple times throughout the last 20 years. Our friendship goes spans back 20 years that he would come to the conversation with how are we gonna keep our friendship growing. Like it wasn’t just, hey, let’s get together and joke and hang out and have a good time. It was literally like he said, this is an important relationship to me. How are we going to get together? Let’s find time on the calendar. Let’s make this work. Right? Like this is too important to let go. And that type of intention and focus is really important. And even in our band, so anybody that’s not part of Front Row Dads Community yet or that you’re newer to our community, we have these small groups of like up to four guys and we call them bands. So, it’s a play on band of brothers and it’s play on literally being in a band, right?
[00:06:29] Jon Vroman: Our Band is called Blue Zone, right? As in the pockets of the world where people live the longest, happiest, healthiest lives. Well, in our band and our recent conversation, we brought the same question to the table. Who do we want to be for each other? How honest do we want to be? How do we want to show up for each other? If somebody has a concern about somebody else in the group, like, Hey, I, something’s going on, you might not be aware of it. How do you want to receive that information? So even as close as we are as friends, having those types of dialogues is critical. So [inaudible]. by the way that now I know I’m going to come full circle here that that’s why I know that things are going so well for you is we have these like open, honest, transparent dialogues. So, I want to get into that just stay input. And the biggest thing would be this, if you don’t know how, you got to check out The Miracle Morning book. That’s all I’m going to say about his bio is that The Miracle Morning book is an absolutely an extraordinary read. It’s taken the world by storm, published in, I don’t know how many languages,
[00:07:25] Hal Elrod: 37 [00:07:26] Jon Vroman: 37 languages? Holy cow! 2 million practitioners around the world. And, uh, last I checked, it’s got the over 3000 reviews on Amazon, which is insane. And, uh, buddy, I’m just so proud of you for the work that you’re doing with the whole miracle brand and the new book, the miracle equation. It’s also great and you really live, you walk the talk, you know, uh, in a big way. So, uh, that’s all I’m going to say about that. But, uh, all you have to do is do a quick search for Hal Elrod and the Miracle Morning and you’ll have all the bio you need the last you a lifetime. [laughing] [00:07:56] Jon Vroman: But dude, let’s talk family life. Let’s get [inaudible]into it right away. And maybe I’m just going to leave it open ended because you like this and maybe this’ll be the only question I asked [laughing]. [inaudible] You can do this jog for the next 30 minutes. Why is it going well man, why the marriage? Why parenting right now? Why is it going so well? [00:08:13] Hal Elrod: Yeah, let me say this. I mean, as you know, I’ve been doing a lot of really like deep meditation, introspective work, like connecting to higher consciousness, spirituality. I feel like I’m on a different plane than I’ve ever been before. And I’ll give you an example. Last week, I woke up Friday morning and I was going to a city to speak and I had to, my flight was at 9:00 AM and I had to pack everything, and it was like 8:00 AM and I go, I have to record a podcast. I really like, I did hit me. I’m like, I don’t have a podcast. You know, I hosted podcasts called Achieve Your Goals and I didn’t have an episode? And I go, oh, crap! Man, what am I going to do? And I’m, I’m drawing on, I go, I got to record an episode. And so, I’m sitting there, and you know, my brain does not work very well on demand, right? So I’m like, what am I going to talk about, uhhh, I don’t know, I should talk about like human nature. You know, I’m just, I got writer’s block and I can’t get an outline, right? And I, uh, I’m going off on a little tangent, but it’ll circle back everybody. [00:09:11] Jon Vroman: [inaudible] everybody tangent. It’ll be great. [00:09:12] Hal Elrod: But anyway, I literally like, I just got real quiet and did like a little meditation and just, yeah, get like a little prayer. And I was like, God, I was like, I’m just going to hit record kind of like we did today. Right? But I go, I’m going to hit record and just speak through me, like whatever words the listeners, my audience needs to hear today. And I just had faith that it was gonna be[inaudible] great. And Jon, it was the best podcast I’ve ever recorded in my entire life, and so much so, that or I’m just delusional. It’s one of the two. [laughing]. So much so, and I’ll actually, I’m usually critical, right? We’re critical of our own work. So normally I’m like, oh, that was terrible. Right? But when I sent it to my podcast producer, I see seed five members of my team and said, hey everybody, this is the most important podcast episode I’ve ever recorded, and it is in case, I want everyone to listen to it. I’m, I’m asking, I’m inviting you to, but if you want to listen to it before the rest of the world, I’d love for you to now, it’ll come out this next Wednesday, right? Oh, it came out today actually. But anyway, so that’s how important it was. But the point of all of that is, I’m not coming from my head very much right now, right? [00:10:23] Hal Elrod: Like I’ve kind of surrendered to the, to my heart, if you will, to my soul, and I think that, yes, there’s gotta be head here. In fact, I’m actually, if you’re listening to this right now, I want you to know that I say this humbly and gratefully. My marriage is not just the best it’s ever been, but it’s better than I ever have imagined in my entire life that I could ever be in a marriage that could be this good. Like it’s that extraordinary. And as a father, my relationship with my kids is by far better than it’s ever been. And it’s not like it’s better. It was like crappy. And now it’s like, oh, kind of good. Like it is equally the best I could ever imagine it being. And two years ago, I was in the hospital fighting cancer and I didn’t see my kids very much for an entire year and I completely lost connection with them. Not completely, but, but I lost it for me I didn’t really lose it, but for them they were four and seven. And at that age you don’t, you know, you’re still developing a relationship with your dad. For me, I’m, you know, I’m all in. I could not see him for five years and love him just the same. But for me, my son wasn’t comfortable hugging me. You know what I mean? Like it was heartbreaking how I lost connection with them. So to go from the worst, our relationship had ever been. And with my wife too, because you know, cancer, I’m gone right to go from the worst my relationship had ever been with my wife and with my kids. [00:11:47] Hal Elrod: And that was probably, you know, a year, year and a half ago. And now it is the best it’s ever been. So I’m starting there and I want you to know, if you’re listening to this, I’m going to give you half. I’m going to give you actionable strategies and rituals and routines that you can implement into your daily life, your weekly life that will radically, that have allowed for this. You know, for me, I’m all about dumbing things down in simplifying and strategizing and making things simple and actionable. And I do that for myself. You know, what are the simplest, easiest things I can do that will move the needle in my life, in my business, and with my friendships, with my relationships. So I’m just giving you like the kind of the, the light at the end of the tunnel, the promise, like we’re going to end this thing with you. Having specific strategies that you can implement into your world, into your life, into your marriage, into your relationships with your kids that don’t take a lot of time, effort, or energy that we’ll pay you radical dividends, your return on investment will be extraordinary. So that’s where we’re going to go with this Jon. [00:12:50] Hal Elrod: I don’t know if I probably need to give more context around, [laughing] how my marriage is. I don’t even remember what were talk to you about, but let’s go on. [inaudible] [laughing] [00:12:58] Jon Vroman: That is what I love about you buddy, and this is always the case, and people could listen to us rant on the five habits episode as well. We had you on, we talked earlier about when was it last year sometime, I don’t remember what a year ago. [inaudible]. Yeah, about a year ago we had Hal on as well, episode number 11 you were a number 11. That’s a great… [00:13:17] Hal Elrod: Wow. [00:13:17] Jon Vroman: Great number of men. [00:13:18] Hal Elrod: The Front Row number, baby. [00:13:20] Jon Vroman: So here we are and I think this will be as we released this by the way, episode number 92 which is pretty cool. See it come this far. Why don’t we start recent, let’s start recent and let’s even talk about this summer and even since we’ve recorded the five habits podcasts, let’s talk about even the last four weeks, like you’ve been traveling, you’ve been with family, I saw you were in San Diego maybe or you were in Cali with the crew, right?
[00:13:44] Hal Elrod: San Di. Four days with the kids in San Diego. Yeah. [00:13:47] Jon Vroman: Yeah. So maybe even talk about the last couple of weeks, like what’s been happening recently in your world that’s been working? Yeah. How’d these habits and new rituals and routines been playing out? [00:13:58] Hal Elrod: Alright, I’m gonna to ignore your question cause I just thought of a different way of [laughing] [inaudible] that’s the benefit of being great friends. [inaudible] Yeah. Thanks Jon. Right. And now you are doing, like interviews where when people go on, like talk shows, they know they only have a limited time. So, they just know what they’re gonna say and then they figured out how to spend the question. [00:14:15] Jon Vroman: Are you comfortable with each other? [00:14:16] Hal Elrod: So here’s the deal. I had some realizations a few months ago and it was the idea that as fathers and as husbands, we’re usually, many of us are providers, right? And not all, but many of us are providers, or at least we have jobs, right? I would say that’s true for most of us. We have worked, and especially if you’re an entrepreneur, right? [00:14:35] Hal Elrod: Your work takes on kind of like you’d never check in and checkout, right? You’re always thinking about work because it’s your business, it’s your right. And so… [00:14:44] Jon Vroman: I realize we are on vacation right now. [laughing] [00:14:46] Hal Elrod: What’d you say? [00:14:46] Jon Vroman: I say it has to be on vacation right now. So funny, is you say that, like this is my, you know, we’re on vacation. [00:14:46] Hal Elrod: Yeah, you’re on vacation working recording a podcast. [00:14:54] Jon Vroman: That’s right. [00:14:55] Hal Elrod: But some of the realizations that I’ve had that have led so, so I think that’s actually a good place to start, right? It’s like what are the realizations that I had that have led to the best marriage and the best, you know, relationship with my kids ever. Cause that’s the starting place because you don’t have to have my same realizations if you’re listening to this, but you got to have your own realizations and my realizations may inform your realizations and in fact they might even be the same. You might go, wow, that’s something I need to realize. I need to be aware of that. Right? So some things that I realize first and foremost, and this actually goes back to right before I got cancer. So this is a good place to start. The realization was around my wife, Ursula, we had one of the biggest fights of our marriage right before she was going on vacation with my kids to go camping. [00:15:41] Hal Elrod: And I was staying home because I had yet again another import, quote and quote air quote, important work priority. Right. Some sort of project was launching. I don’t remember what it was, but it was just shows you, it’s funny, I remember the family piece [inaudible] that I screwed up on royally, but I don’t even remember what the hell the work piece was. Right. If I had a book launching or something. So I said, I can’t go on this camping trip. You and the kids need to go. And we got into a huge blood fight right before she left and when she left she was gone. I came across an article called, uh, “something along the lines of why you should choose her”. It was something you will, I’ll just sum it up. It was the idea that this guy realized that the woman he was with and they weren’t married yet, are they? I’ve never got married. [00:16:23] Hal Elrod: In fact, he lost her. She left him and he realized afterwards that she was the one that got away and he should have done this the right way. And that was a wakeup call for me realizing I don’t want to screw up my marriage. The way he screwed up his relationship. And it was basically the idea that he realized he never fully chose his partner in the way that he always was focusing on what was wrong with her. And so when I say choose her, you can also, another way of putting that and probably a more accurate way, is he never loved her for who she was. He never loved her unconditionally. He was always finding faults and flaws and nitpicking this and that. And at that point he was always had one foot out the door because you know they weren’t married and he was always like, look, he was looking for greener grass.
[00:17:07] Hal Elrod: And I think that we do that in a few different ways. If you’re single and you’re dating someone, then looking for greener grass means you’re looking at the flaws in your partner and you’re thinking, man, I could find somebody better than her, right? Someone that doesn’t do this thing that annoys me, someone that’s more like me in this way. Right? So that happens when you’re single, greener grass is thinking, maybe I should ditch this gal and I should find somebody else. Now when you’re married, it could show up that way. You could be on the fence, maybe I should divorce this woman and find somebody more like me that doesn’t have the things about her that I don’t like in my wife. Right. But another way that greener grass shows up is that you might just be comparing her against the perfect version of the woman you have in mind. [00:17:55] Hal Elrod: And maybe you don’t have one foot out the door in terms of finding a replacement, but you have one foot out the door in terms of trying to change her, so you don’t have both feet committed to her. You’ve got one foot committed her and you’ve got one foot out trying to change her into the person that you want her to be. And that is not love. That is not commitment. At least that’s not unconditional love. So, I realized that I was doing that with my wife Ursula at the time that I had one foot out the door and I wasn’t going to leave her. I mean, I’m sure that that thought probably crossed my mind every once in a while in the heat of an argument or something, right? Like, ah, I can’t put up with this anymore. You know? Right. I mean, I think we all go through that at some level, but I definitely have the one foot out the door in terms of, man, if only she were a little more of this and a little less this and did a little bit like this and was a little like that one girl I used to date me and she was great in the way that she was like me. Right? [00:18:48] Hal Elrod: I had one foot out there, I wasn’t fully in. And I read that article and I realized I need to choose my wife. And then I realized she can feel this from me and my wife is a child of divorce and so she has a deep seated fear of, you know, that I might leave her the way that her parents left each other. Right. So that, that’s a very deep seated, because there was a lot of pain growing up from that. And what I realized was that by me having one foot out the door and always trying to change her, see, that’s it. Listen, fellows, are you always trying to change your wife in some way and are you always criticizing? Are you saying you should do this differently? You should raise the kids differently. You should be different on and on. And I realized that by me doing that, I was perpetuating her greatest, one of her deepest fears, which was that I would leave her. [00:19:37] Hal Elrod: And so I realized I need to choose her. The way this guy was talking about in this article, it, this blog post that he wrote had been read by like a million people, right? Millions of people. So I first wrote an affirmation, right? I, I put this into an affirmation so that I can read it every single day and reinforce, I need to make Ursula feel that I am fully committed to her, that I love her exactly as she is. And if she never changes, I will not love her any less. In fact, I’m gonna to love her more from now on and I owe her an apology that I have not loved her and chosen her fully. And so I wrote an affirmation and I decided, I started reading it every single day while she was on vacation. I sent her a few texts and left a few voicemails letting her know, you know how like communicating. That’s her. [00:20:22] Hal Elrod: then I thought, you know what? I’ve been screwing her over by not choosing her and loving her unconditionally and wishing she were a little bit different for the last however many years we were married at that 0.5 years or so. And I thought, that means I’ve been reinforcing her fear, as I said, for five years, me sending her a text message and leaving her a voicemail, probably not going to undo the harm that I have unconsciously done. Right? [00:20:47] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:20:47] Hal Elrod: I’ve got to do a hell of a lot more than that. And so I took my affirmation and I went on to shutterfly or shutter, is it shutterfly, or Shutterstock where you can maybe photos or [inaudible] coffee cups. What is it? [00:21:02] Jon Vroman: I think it’s Shutterfly, isn’t it? [00:21:03] Hal Elrod: I think it’s shutter. Yeah, Shutterfly, you know, I think you’re right. Shutterfly, s, h, u, t, t, e, r, f. l. y. And by the way, everybody on this podcast, you should be all the men. You should be using shutterfly.com and I’ll give you one quick tip. This is a little bonus tip. You can go make placemats for your family. Each of my kids has a placemat that has their name in the middle of it, and it’s surrounded by a collage of pictures of me and my wife and them. Just really fun memories. And every single day when they sit down to dinner, they get to look at memories of our family, creating memories together. So just a little bonus. It was one of the greatest gifts that I’ve given them. And it’s a cool gift, not only for your family, but actually just for your family’s fine. I don’t want you to realize I’m probably going to send one of the Romans and pictures of them and [laughing] their [linaudible] for Christmas letting you, that’s a cool gift. [00:21:56] Jon Vroman: Funniest. [00:21:57] Hal Elrod: So bonused tip. But here’s what I did. I went onto Shutterfly and I chose, I think it was one of, if not the largest image that they had that I could write texts into. It was an 11 by 14 image and it was a beautiful white framed with a white background that on the paper it was framed by heart and I titled it my forever pledge. I believe it was our forever pledge. It’s in my bathroom. If I could tear my computer, I would go show it to your, it’s on our, yeah, it’s on our, on our wall. But it was my, our forever pledge and it was to Ursula, my wife for life from Hal your husband until the end. I’m getting emotional saying this. I don’t know why, but anyway, and I basically took my affirmation and I reworded it so that it was about her. [00:22:50] Hal Elrod: I said, Ursula, this is my commitment to you for the rest of our lives. There is nothing that you can do or not do to change, but I will never leave you. And I basically thought through the lens of her fears and what I’ve done to perpetuate those. And I basically, I tried to imagine what would give her a sense of rock solid security and feel chosen by me and loved by me unconditionally. And I signed it. I actually created like a, a pdf, you know, like I signed on my computer and then I printed my signature on the document. The letters were each like a half an inch. I mean, you know, it was a large documents with a big thing and I put a nail in the wall right next to her bedside and I hung it at eye level so that every morning when she wakes up, that’s the first thing she would see when she woke up. [00:23:50] Hal Elrod: And the last thing before she went to bed and I put it on her eye. I hung it there and uh, sorry I’m getting emotional. But this was the start of the most extraordinary marriage that we now have. That was the turning point. That was the first. And here’s the deal, fellows, I made a decision that I was committed. This is my second decision, Jon. I shared this at the Front Row Dads Retreat a few years ago. But I made a decision that my mission in life, in my personal life, I’ve got a professional mission that separate, but my mission in life, at least in my marriage, was to make her life amazing. And that’s a real generic. We’re amazing. Well, but I had in my mind, in my affirmations, I had written what bullet points of what that meant. That meant for her to feel loved and cherished. [00:24:41] Hal Elrod: And that’s the word, by the way, pay attention to the words your wives be used for years that you just fucking did. Sorry. Pardon my French. That you just dismiss. You fight like I do that I do. I already do that. You’re so you’re ungrateful. They right. Like that’s what we do. That’s what I do. At least my wife, I realize has been telling me for years that she wants this. She wishes I would do more of this. And what I do in my brain is I automatically get defensive and I search for the areas that I already do that I’m like, but I do that. I do that for you and I get upset. I can’t believe you’re complaining that I don’t make you feel cherished when I do this and I do this and I do this and I do this. Damn it! [00:25:20] Hal Elrod: If that’s not enough, you can still cherish I and I throw my hands up. I don’t know what I have to do. I don’t know what I can do. And then I changed that and went, wait a minute, maybe I do those four things, that in my mind are fulfilling on what she tells me she needs. But if she’s not feeling fulfilled in that need, then I need to do something different. And I’d encourage you to ask yourself that. Consider that. What is your wife been telling you that you have been getting defensive about and justifying that you’re already doing things that should make her feel that way. That she’s not feeling. [00:25:56] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:25:57] Hal Elrod: And I’m telling you, you need to do something different. [00:26:00] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:26:00] Hal Elrod: And ideally ask her what that is. And if she says no, it says, I don’t know. Don’t throw your hands up. Don’t ever throw your damn hands up. [laughing]. That’s the key to a shitty marriage. Got It. [00:26:11] Jon Vroman: [laughing] Unless it’s in victory. [00:25:57] Hal Elrod: And the Front Row symbol. [00:26:14] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:25:57] Hal Elrod: No, but be a man for your kids, for your husband, for out your husband. Well, maybe your husband, I don’t know for your wife, right? Be a man and step up and figure it out and keep trying until, until she feels fulfilled. She feels cherished. She feels loved. She feels heard. She feels supported. [00:26:31] Jon Vroman: Yeah. [00:26:31] Hal Elrod: And so for me, I decided my mission is to make her life amazing. And that is do things every day that make her life easier. Do the dishes, watch the kids, let her go to bed early, let her a bath while I make dinner, while I order dinner, while I do things that I don’t have to do, I shouldn’t have to do. I work all day. I provide for you. Great. You want to be a mediocre husband, have a mediocre marriage. Keep justifying mediocrity. [inaudible] And so Jon, for me, I decided I’m going to make her life amazing. And here’s the caveat. Everybody listens to this really important despite how she responds. Very crucial. Yup. Because we’re programmed in our behavior and in our response, and we have been for a long time. Her behavior is not going to change overnight just because yours does. And I acknowledged that thankfully on the front end. Here’s a caveat to the caveat. I went, okay, I’m committed to making her life amazing every day in all the ways I just listed in more, regardless of how she responds. And then here’s how I went even further. I said, so especially if she is rude to me, I will try even harder. Right? So if she responds not the way I want, and that’s what we do, we make a little wimpy effort and then she doesn’t, she’s not grateful or she or she’s still upset or whatever. [00:27:54] Hal Elrod: And then we throw our hands out. We’re like, yes see, I did exactly what you told me you wanted, and you didn’t give me the perfect response. So, F you, I’m done with you, right? No! F, control your temper, read a book on emotional intelligence guys and control your shit. And if she is a bitch to you, try harder and keep trying and keep your unwavering commitment to make her life amazing. And it might take three months before she responds the way you want her to because she needs to see that consistency from you over an extended period of time. That is your extraordinary effort. And I’ll tell you, it took awhile, right? She, she didn’t respond right away. Uh, it probably it took a few months, you know, and gradually I’d start to see it, but she didn’t, you know, she, she wanted to, and I think often women test you. [00:28:44] Hal Elrod: She was like, all right. Yeah, you’re giving a little effort. Let’s see if you’re really committed. Right. They’ll test you because they’re afraid and they want to really see that you’re committed no matter what. Unwavering commitment, unwavering, unconditional love. And so I meant to spend five minutes on that. But Jon, as you said. [00:29:02] Jon Vroman: [laughing] I called it, man. Yeah, there you go. [00:29:05] Hal Elrod: But I feel like, I mean, you know, obviously you feel a passion for me because I feel so convicted in how important this is for you and this is the springboard to the most extraordinary marriage that you can have. And here’s the thing for you to be the best dad, it starts with being the best husband. [00:29:21] Hal Elrod: It absolutely starts with you getting your marriage right because if you work on the kids and you don’t work on the marriage first and make it your number one priority, you’ll be a kick ass divorce dad. You follow? You’ll be a kick ass dad, who is divorced because yeah, you put your energy into the kids, but you didn’t put the energy into your number one relationship. And as you’ve heard this before, the kids are gonna to grow up real fast. They’re gonna move out, and then you’re going to be staring across the dinner table from that woman that you’ve ever invested in, making your best friend and the woman of your dreams and become the man of her dreams because that’s going to be the rest of your life. [00:30:01] Hal Elrod: The kids thing. That’s true. That’s a short window. And we can wrap up by the way with a few actionable strategies to both as I promised be a great dad in simple, easy ways and a great husband Jon, but if you want to, I can go a little longer if you want to ask any like follow up questions or comments or thoughts on what we’ve talked about and then I can give the actionable hacks. [00:30:21] [inaudible] [00:30:22] Jon Vroman: Hey guys, I want to take a second to tell you about our Front Row Dads Retreat. If you would value connecting with a brotherhood of likeminded and likehearted guys who want to deepen their sense of purpose and meaning as fathers and within their families and to talk about and share the best practices and the strategies for ultimate family success, then this event might be for you if you would value being around high performing guys without the big egos, guys that believe in being family men with businesses and not businessmen with families. You might enjoy our Front Row Dads Retreat twice a year. We’re getting together in person, small groups, cool locations, guest experts, and so much more for these events. We’ve now done this multiple times. It has sold out every single time and if you’re excited about it, make sure to check it out at frontrowdads.com where you can apply for the next retreat. Now, hey! one of the things you might be wondering is, does leaving my family make me a better dad or husband? The answer is for many of you, I know you travel a bunch, you do other things and the idea for this one is you have to retreat to advance. You have to take a step back to gain that perspective so that we can go back and crush it within our families. This is the same concept that works in business where you take a moment, you think, you plan, you strategize, you work on your family so that you can be better in your family. If that all sounds good, check it out frontrowdads.com [00:31:41] [inaudible] [00:31:42] Jon Vroman: Yeah, no, this is great man. And I should mention that a, it’s funny is if we were on your boat tomorrow morning and you were telling me this, it would have sounded the exact, [laughing] I just want everybody to know nothing is different. If I’m with Hal, it is just the two of us, it would be the same type of conversation. [laughing] Same type. I always say it’s like, dude, if he’s talking to two thousand fifteen thousand people or just me, I get the same intensity. Hey, so a couple of things I want to reflect back. There was a lot of gold in there, right? And so a couple things. One, this idea of choosing your wife is just, that’s a big reminder for all of us, right? Even if somebody is like, I, I’ve heard that, right? Make a choice, step up, but to be reminded that was something we always need to be doing to choose again, to choose daily. [00:32:29] Jon Vroman: Right? It’s practice. The practice of choice. Right. That’s what I think. That’s awesome. The forever pledge is awesome. I heard you say, I thought through the lens of her fears and immediately when you said that I was reminded also how? why you’ve been successful it professionally is that if I go back as far as I can remember back to the very first days when we started working together and hanging out and talking about life, you’ve always been great to then turn the conversation to well how does that land for other people? Whether you’re titling a book or you’re about to give a speech or whatever, you were very good at being audience centric or you know, if you’re selling something or trying to make an impact or whatever it might be. You just, you’re good at saying, let me think about it from their perspective, which I think is great. [00:33:17] Jon Vroman: You did that very well and I just wanted to bring attention to that. You also said what would give her a sense of security and that she’s being chosen by me and I think that you posed that question is really cool. One that we can all sit with. Right. I really liked that. I also was laughing when you said that you would make dinner and then you corrected yourself to order dinner. [laughing]. [00:33:37] Hal Elrod: That’s right. I think that’s really got a good catch. [laughing] [00:33:41] Jon Vroman: Doing all of these things despite how she responds is very powerful and you also said her behavior is not gonna change overnight just because yours does and I think that’s a really important piece. You know when, and I’ve shared this with the group that when I was going through stuff with Tatyana almost a year and a half ago, and I get you’re married, you’re always going through stuff, but it was a really big storm. [00:34:03] Jon Vroman: I wrote my affirmation that you don’t need other people’s permission to treat them well and I was specifically relating to my wife that I don’t need her permission to treat her with excellence. I don’t need my kids’ permission or participation to treat them well. You don’t need somebody to respond a certain way for you to act with integrity or love or whatever word you want to insert there. You can do it because it’s who you are, because that’s what you were born to do. That’s the life that you are born to live, you do not know. I get you’re impacted by other people. Nobody’s impervious to that, right? Like we all get affected by people. But if we remember to claim our power to own our space, and this is my last piece and then I got a question for you. [00:34:47] Hal Elrod: Yeah. [00:34:47] Jon Vroman: When you, you said it like you’ve really got to nail the husband thing, right? And the reason why you’ve got to nail the husband thing is because when you get that right, the part of the relationship that will challenge you the most part of your family life, that could potentially challenge you the most. But when you figure that out, when you own your space there it naturally leads you being a better dad, it actually, when you unlock that door, when you have the keys to the kingdom there and your relationship, you’ll automatically gain a few things for being a dad. And part of that is just your personal power, owning your world, right? And not pointing the finger and blaming anybody else, but really stepping up. I see a lot of high powered businessman who are great at leading their teams, but sometimes when they get home they fall apart. They’re absolutely, they have no spine at home. And I’m not talking about dominating people, I’m talking about powerfully being a presence with people. [00:35:38] Jon Vroman: You can walk into a room and not say much, but people know you’ve got power, right? Because of the way you carry yourself. And it’s not a dominant, it’s not being a tyrant. It’s somebody who has confidence because they know who they are. And that like certainty is very attractive to your wife and it really allows you to lead your kids. So, it’s just something that, uh, I wanted to bring the attention to. Now here’s a question for you and then let’s get to the actionable stuff. [00:34:47] Hal Elrod: You said, I thought you would never stop, you’re so long when to go ahead. [00:36:09] Jon Vroman: laughing] Was it? [00:36:10] Jon Vroman: I want to go back. When you got emotional talking about Ursula, why, I mean I like seriously, right? Like what was coming up for you there? Why the emotion? [00:36:22] Hal Elrod: I think because I don’t know. So I’ll answer intuitively, right? Like, I mean, I didn’t have a, like, uh, a real thought of, here’s why I’m emotional, but I think it was, I would just in touch with her feelings in that moment, right? Like that she was, she had a deep-seated fear of me leaving her because she grew up as a child of divorce. And how just kind of meaningful it was for me and for her to be able to address one of her deepest fears. And honestly, the other side of the coin of her deepest fear was her greatest desire, which was just to be love unconditionally by someone who she knew would never leave her. And I’m getting emotional again so that I think I’m on the right track. But someone who would never leave her, you know, and uh, and just cause that was a great, if your greatest fear is to be left and not love, then your greatest desire is to be loved and cared for. And she, she always used the word cherish, you know, so. [00:37:14] Jon Vroman: Well there’s something really special about a commitment for life in any relationship, a friendship or a marriage, anything transforms when you realize that this is, I want to do this forever, I just, it transforms it from the get-go, it transforms any business. Right? [inaudible]. Any, anything that you’re involved in. All right. Actionable stuff, buddy. What do you got? [00:37:36] Hal Elrod: So as far as the actionable on a, the wife stuff, you’ve heard this before. Right, so, but I’m gonna try to share it in a quick, in a way, and maybe give some context, but weekly date night, but here’s the deal. Weekly date night, uh, you got to actually treat it like a date. And here’s what I mean, we were doing weekly date night for a long time. [00:37:52] Jon Vroman: So you just had one, right? [00:37:53] Hal Elrod: Oh, I just had our overnight. That was our best ever, dude. It was off the chain. Yeah. But as far as weekly date night, so yeah, so we do, so here’s the deal.
[00:37:59] Hal Elrod: Here’s what I recommend. Weekly date night, and monthly, overnight date. Now if you cannot, if money is tight right now and you’re like, oh, we can’t go stay at a hotel like once a month, like we don’t have that extra budget or whatever. Or even even even every week you’re like, oh, we can’t afford to eat out right now. Whatever. Go in the backyard and eat by a candlelight in the backyard. Just a different setting than you eat dinner at every night, right? House swap with your friend and be like, Hey, let’s do a weekly date night every other week, right? We both get a sitter and then we swap houses, right? Or whatever, right? I’m just, you know, just different ideas. Get creative. Don’t use money as an excuse. How about weekly date night with your wife? [00:38:35] Hal Elrod: And what I encourage you to do is, talk about what you’re grateful for in the relationship, what you’re excited about, and then ask, what can I do to be better for you? What can I do to be a better husband for you? So, we’ve given a simple three-part framework to guide the conversation. It’s what are we each grateful for? Take turns on that. What are we excited about in the future? And by the way, if you’re like, I don’t know, well then damn you, you need to think of something that you need to create something to be excited about, looking forward to. Right? And then number three, how can I be better for you? It doesn’t need to be back and forth, right? Meaning you don’t need to say, all right, I asked you, now you asked me, right? [laughing]. [00:39:19] Hal Elrod: Ask me how you can be better for me, sweetie. I don’t know. Again, this is you going first. This is you being an amazing husband regardless of how she responds. So weekly date night, make it meaningful. And then overnight date, once a month is ideal, where somebody watches the kids and you guys can be free from responsibility. You can just be together. We go out to dinner, do something fun and stay at, uh, like the Western hotel in Austin. So it’s 20 minutes away. It’s super simple. We have a sitter for the kids, we come out and the next morning we do breakfast, we’ll go paddle boarding, we’ll do whatever, right? But so weekly date night and monthly date, overnight, and the monthly overnight. By the way, we’ve only done that for a few months now and it has been a game changer in us being really connected. Right. And then as far as the kids go, [00:39:57] Jon Vroman: hey, how, why the overnight? What’s so different about that? [00:39:59] Hal Elrod: I think it’s the amount of time and space. If you go have a date night for a few hours, you’ve still got, we got to go home. Maybe even put the kids to bed, right? Like it’s not a lot of space to connect. It’s a very finite amount of time. [00:40:14] Jon Vroman: [inaudible] Sometimes date nights, not special. Right. And when you think about like you just go to dinner, you’re like, we do this a lot. We go to dinner a lot. Right. [00:40:20] Hal Elrod: Thank you. That’s what I was, I started to say that and I forgot which is I realized that we were doing this regimented, boring date night every week. Same old, same old. One of you different restaurants. Treat it like a date, get dressed up. That’s something we just started doing a few months ago too, is going from just like me and my work clothes, grabbing the car keys, going to a restaurant, coming home. That was our date night. That’s a shitty date, right? Imagine if you’re dating a woman that you’re courting like that you’re, you’re single, you’re dating her and she’s like, wow, you’ve taken me on three dates and they were all at the exact same restaurants and then we just went back to your house and you tried to have sex with me. [00:40:57] Hal Elrod: Like I’d like to break up with you now and I’m going to go date of, oh my prince charming cause you suck buddy. Right? [inaudible] Like that’s how we did our lives. That sucks. [inaudible]. You need to treat it like a date. You both need to get dressed up. You should try a different restaurant every week. You should find ways to surprise her. You should get her flowers. You should call ahead and have the right like do special stuff. Surprise her, make it fun, dress up. Yeah. Jon and thank you for, for pointing that out. So yeah, I’ve done it the wrong way, the right way. And then as far as the kids go. [00:41:29] Jon Vroman: Hey! Let me ask, let me ask, can I ask [inaudible] like I want to stick on that if we don’t get it. [inaudible] [00:41:32] Hal Elrod: Yeah, yeah please. Sorry. Yeah, yeah, go ahead. [00:41:34] Jon Vroman: We don’t get to the kids thing. It’s okay. [00:41:35] Hal Elrod: I liked it. [00:41:34] Jon Vroman: Guys. Look where we ended up with talking marriage. [00:41:39] Hal Elrod: Actually yeah, you know what? Let’s save the kids for the next podcast. [00:41:40] Jon Vroman: We’ll do another podcast. Right. [00:41:42] Hal Elrod: There you go. All right, cool. [00:41:43] Jon Vroman: When it comes to the marriage part, how much do you think it matters that like the overnight that like let’s get real here, right? Like I feel that with, and I’ve shared this on the podcast that Tatyana and I, our sex life improves dramatically when we got a lock for the inside of our bedroom door that cannot be picked. Even with the, like the standard house door lock that you can see, put a little clothes hanger in and pick the lock. There’s a bit of a fear with like the kids walking in and we have a 10 -year you can pick a lot, right? So you never totally feel safe. And safety is a huge part of having a great sex life, you know, or being able to fully relax. And so when we got this lock for the inside of the door, that was a big win. And I think that being in a hotel is very similar to that in the sense that you’re completely removed. There’s no triggers, by the way, especially with a hotel like in your home, even if you don’t know it consciously, you’ve gotten into a fight in your bedroom before you’ve gotten into a fight in the bathroom before you, you look around and you’ve got responsibilities, things that pop up, you’re like, oh, that laundry basket needs to be attended to. Or there’s all these triggers, right? [00:42:49] Hal Elrod: Yup. [00:42:49] Jon Vroman: So how do you feel that that environment, that hotel room has helped shape your connection in that space? [00:42:56] Hal Elrod: So think of it this way. Something that I recently realized in my own life, but really in my marriage, because I’m, you’re a student of Tony Robbins, you know, we all have our six human needs and variety is one and certainty is one. And some of us value one over the other, some ones low, ones high, etcetera. Right? So for me, my need for variety in January, you know, I meet it in certain ways, but for the most part, you know me, right? I can eat the same thing every day. I can go to the same places every day. Like I don’t need much variety. My wife’s different, right? But I’m always wanting to go to the same restaurants and so on and so forth. But if you think about it, this is true for all of us and what we use a song for an example.
[00:43:33] Hal Elrod: But anyway, new stimuli create some motions in us that are very positive. Call them excitement, call it infatuation, right? And so like a new song, you know, a new song like, Oh yeah, this is that new song that right? Eventually that new song becomes an old song. And yes, it might be an oldie but goodie, but it does not stimulate you emotionally the way that it did the first 10 times that you heard it on the radio, you follow. And in the same way for us to keep our marriage exciting and meet our wife’s need for variety, we have to use different stimuli, new restaurants, new places, new environments, right? So it could be going to a park that you don’t normally go to or you only go there every so often. So it’s a positive anchor, but it feels new cause you don’t, you only go there once a month or whatever, right? You could even camp in your backyard if you’ve never done that before. And that is a new environment, you and your wife, it allows you to connect while you are leveraging the benefit of the positive emotions that the new stimuli create. So that is my scientific explanation of why it is important to change your environment up and create new stimuli with which to enjoy with your wife. And I’ll, I’ll share one last thought on that. Being that I don’t need variety. I don’t care about travel, right? I travel all the time speaking and most people that love travel, they like that. They think I’m crazy. I go from the airport to the hotel, give my speech, worked in my hotel room, go back to the airport and go home. I don’t care if I’m in, I did that in Italy. I mean I, for the most part, I do it anywhere. I don’t care. I literally, my wife has to say like, I was in Italy and I would have stayed and not, she goes, you have to go see something. [00:45:20] [laughing] [00:45:20] Hal Elrod: But I don’t care, but here’s, this is exciting for me. So, my wife, when we retire, she wants to travel. And I’m like, oh, that sounds terrible. What a pain in the butt. I don’t want to walk around and see leaning Tower of Pisa and like, la la, I don’t care. Right. But here’s where I got excited. When I had the realization about the value of experiencing new stimuli with your wife. I went, oh, I don’t give a shit about traveling. But I am excited when we retire, when the kids move out for us to experience new stimuli all over the world, that every time we go somewhere we’ve never been. We are sharing a first together and we are mingling our experience of life by sharing those emotions that new stimuli presents. And that’s what our life’s going to be about, a big part of it for the rest of our lives. [00:46:19] Hal Elrod: And so all of a sudden I told my wife, I’m like, Hey, I can’t wait to start traveling. She’s like, what? I’m like, here’s why. And she was like, oh, that’s interesting. You say, Hey, whatever the hell it takes to get you to want to chapel with me, I’m in. You know? So yeah. So really interesting. And also, by the way, there’s a bigger picture lesson of how the way you think about, like Wayne Dyer said. That when you change the way you look at things, the things you look at change. When I changed the way I looked at travel, travel completely changed. I’ve always hated camping because I don’t like camping. And then I had, I changed the way I looked and realized, wait a minute, this is a way for me to be away from electronics and connect with my family at a deep level where there’s nothing to do except talk and share experiences like hiking. And all of a sudden I literally read it, create an affirmation that said I love camping. And again I’ve shared with my wife and she was like, what the hell is happening to you? You’re like, you’re this different person and anyway, so yeah, for what it’s worth there, there’s some, some consideration on why you should regularly, not when you’re retired in the future, not only once a year but every week and every month. Share new stimuli with your wife and it will radically enhance your marriage. [00:47:30] Jon Vroman: That’s awesome man. Hey, uh, I want to give a resource to today. [00:47:31] Hal Elrod: We don’t have any time Jon, sorry we ran out of time. I talked too much. [laughing] [00:47:38] Jon Vroman: You guys, your action. One big action here is get that weekly date night set up and also your get an overnight set up. You know, cause I think that might be a lot of you are doing date night. Oh, or at least a lot of you talk about doing date night. But uh, the overnight I think is something that we’ve all really need to get in the habit of like a monthly overnight. And, uh, also on the topic of like getting to know your wife and dating your wife. Check this out buddy. I don’t think I shared this with you. Share it. The book is called 3000 questions about me and what came up recently for Tatyana and I was, uh, that I think she feels, and she said this in various ways that I don’t really know her, right? Like she’s alluded to the fact that I might know, you know, that she’s from Russia and that she like the basic things, but then I don’t know her soul, right. That like all the things about her. Well, this book, I didn’t get a chance to sit and ask her questions. Right. And it’s just like, I mean, dude, throw me a number, anything between one and 20,000, [00:48:42] Hal Elrod: 23. [00:48:43] Jon Vroman: So one in 3000. Okay. So number 23 here’s what number 23 is. Number 23 says, uh, what is your most marked characteristic? What is your most marked characteristic? I’m not even sure I know how to interpret that one. [00:48:58] Hal Elrod: I don’t even know what the hell that means. [laughing] [00:49:00] Jon Vroman: But I like it. You can figure it out together. [00:49:02] Hal Elrod: All right, number 24, [laughing]. [00:49:04] Jon Vroman: What do you most value in your friends? Who are your favorite writers? Who is your hero of fiction? Oh, here’s something crazy. Dude, you might not know this. I just learned or relearn that Tatyana had a book published about her. Uh, do you know back in Russia? Dude, she had a book of poetry. She was the only kid in the school. They’ll, they chose her poetry and decided to publish a book. [00:49:24] Hal Elrod: Wow!
[00:49:25] Jon Vroman: So things like that. Um, we’ve been married for 10 years together for 13, and I’m still learning things about my wife, but I’m excited to take this book out and start asking some questions so guys, get the date night set up, get the overnight set up. Buddy. This was a great conversation, man. Is there anything you want to say to wrap this up? [00:49:40] Hal Elrod: No, I just, just that I just added 3000 questions about me, the book to my shopping cart. So thank you. [00:49:45] Jon Vroman: Awesome, man. [00:49:40] Hal Elrod: I’ll say one thing. I want to acknowledge you brother. And I actually, I acknowledged you personally about this earlier today I think, uh, and I was wanting to acknowledge you in front of uh, your Front Row Dads, your listeners. And that is, and really for everybody listening out, I’d encourage you to consider what mark you can leave on the world. And you know, Jon, you and I years ago, you realize the number one priority in my life is my family. And why wouldn’t I align my work with that? And so you launched Front Row Dads, you know, this was once a goal, a dream of yours. And my mission professionally is to elevate the consciousness of humanity one person at a time. And as I told you earlier today, you are, well, you might not word it that way, but you know that you’re elevating the consciousness of dads on the planet. And that is therefore elevating the consciousness of the entire family that that doubt is a part of. [00:50:34] Hal Elrod: And so I just, I want to honor you and thank you because, uh, this is my most important role and you’re a big part of making your realize that being a father is my most important role. And, and being a husband, I guess though, you’re kind of neck and neck, it’s a tie. So thank you for that. Thank you for the work that you’re doing. It’s making a huge impact in the world. And uh, you’re just getting started man. I can’t wait till every doubt on the planet is a Front Row Dad. [00:50:54] Jon Vroman: Thank you so much man. It’s fun to build with friends. Uh, and guys, I hope all of you can get out there this week and not only do it, we’ve asked you to do with this, to set up a date night and an overnight, get that done. Check out this book, 3000 questions about me. It might be a fun addition to one of those date nights and uh, and also to find somebody to connect with. Like to have a brotherhood, you know, whether it’s one person, two people, some way to stay connected, right? Somebody to, to help elevate you because of how they’re living, right? And find that person. I’m really grateful for our friendship Hal. Thanks for being on the show again man. And uh, I’ll see you tomorrow for wake surfing. [00:51:30] Hal Elrod: Love you brothers. See you tomorrow. [00:51:33] Jon Vroman: Hey guys, if you haven’t already done so, go right now to front row dads.com/facebook and join the conversation that’s happening right now online. We designed this group for guys who are entrepreneurial in their thinking that are high performing guys with low egos. We’re looking for the dads that believe in teaching their kids how to think, solve problems, and be real leaders. We’re looking for guys who believe in being family men with businesses, not businessmen with families. We’re looking for the fathers who have great knowledge but also believe that they have so much more to learn. And we’re looking for men who want to add value by sharing their wisdom and those that are willing to ask the questions that we all need and want answers to. That’s frontrowdads.com/facebook or simply go to Facebook, type in Front Row Dads and you’ll get to our group and what we put in there, links to all the podcasts and videos and other resources that you can’t get access to anywhere else except for in this group. We want to give you the best ideas to help you with your marriage, balancing work, and family life, communication strategies with your spouse and also your children, travel ideas, and even suggestions on the latest gear that would save you time and help you be more effective. We’ve got updates on upcoming events and so much more. Go right now to frontrowdads.com/facebook and join the conversation. I’ll look forward to connecting with you there.