In his excellent book, “The Miracle Equation,” Hal Elrod devotes an entire chapter on my favorite idea from his book. That is a lot of space so this post may be a little longer than others. Let’s take a closer look at his chapter four – Becoming Emotionally Invincible.”
“How is that even possible,” I thought, as I read the title to this chapter. Who has that kind of Superman power? According to Elrod, we all do, but he certainly has developed it in a way others have not.
It’s All Your Fault
The way I see it is, at the core, we are talking about personal responsibility here. Elrod makes a statement that is worth quoting. Actually he makes a lot of them and I will be quoting and quoting and quoting. Here is the first. “Every painful emotion the you have ever felt, are feeling now, and will ever feel in the future was, is, and will be self-created by you and is completely optional.” That last part is tough. Optional? You feel what you feel don’t you?
Hal says that we all “have the power to stop self-creating negative emotions and live free from emotional pain…that is what it means to be become emotionally invincible.”
Have you read, “The Five Second Rule,” written by Mel Robbins? Good book. You should read it, but it is not the rule we will be discussing here. There are lots of rules. Sometimes it is hard to keep them all straight.
Hal Elrod’s rule is the five minute rule. He says he came up with this rule after a car accident as he lay in his hospital bed. The light bulb moment was that he made a decision to accept his new reality unconditionally and it only took him five minutes to come to this acceptance. Then he remembered the five minute rule his old boss had taught him that states the you can complain for five minutes about something that went wrong, but that’s it.
So the idea is when something happens like breaking your leg. You can bitch and moan for five minutes and then you need to accept the reality of it. Hal’s boss said the when the five minutes were up you needed to say, “Can’t change it” out loud. Isn’t that powerful? How many times has something happened to you that you had no control over changing and you got all upset for hours? Days? Months? This is a wake up call for all of us.
Let It Go
You are gong to have positive and negative emotions your whole life. Any tools you can muster to manage the negative ones helps you. This is a bookish weapon the helps you stay on offense.
Hal says, “..”all emotional pain that we have ever experienced, are experiencing now, or will ever experience in the future is self created by our resistance to our reality.” He goes on to say, “…it is the degree to which we resist our reality-the degree to which we wish or want something that is out of our control to be different-that determines the degree of emotional pain we experience.”
The idea is to let it go. You don’t have to like it, but let it go. Besides, you have probably heard a version of the story about the farmer who had something unfortunate happen to him and is told by his friends that this is so bad. It turns out in the story the it was actually good. Then something else would happen that looked good and it turned out to lead to something bad. Hal says, “You can’t accurately judge an experience as “good” or “bad” in the moment.”
Hal asks how we can tell if something is out of our control and can’t be changed. It is anything that has already happened. So he says to accept life before it happens. Not just what has happened, but what will happen. Now when are you going to start using this?