I recently read Hal Elrod’s The Miracle Morning, and man, was it incredible. He talks about how waking every day with purpose and starting it with tasks that make you a better person is the key to getting what you want out of life.
Where you are is a result of who you were. But where you go depends entirely on who you choose to be.
– Hal Elrod
The Miracle Morning is all about having a “Level 10” life by developing successful habits and having the proper mindset that brings you closer to the person you want to be.
These habits start with waking up early each morning so you have time to yourself to practice Hal’s Life S.A.V.E.R.S. These are exercises that help you experience the spiritual, physical, intellectual and emotional benefits of Silence, Affirmations, Visualization, Exercise, Reading and Scribing. By doing these daily you’ll feel more energized, focused and less stressed so you can accomplish more each day than you would without.
Let’s look at each aspect of Hal Elrod’s S.A.V.E.R.S. for how this will benefit poker players.
Purposeful silence, through meditation, prayer, reflection, deep breathing or practicing gratitude can help to reduce levels of stress. Being a poker player is very stressful; trying to earn enough for rent and food, dealing with variance, sitting in front of a computer screen or at a table in a card room all day (or all night) and getting inadequate sleep all add to our stress levels.
Silence also has the added benefit of bringing calm, giving you clarity and peace of mind to help you to stay focused on your goals every day. The skills that you gain by purposeful silence every morning can also add to tilt control during your sessions.
By starting your day with Silence, you’ll be one step ahead of those starting theirs with social media or TV.
Affirmations allow you to develop the mindset and the determined focus you need in order to get to the next level. You repeat them aloud to yourself once or twice a day, preferably during your Miracle Morning and just before going to bed. Say it with true emotion and feelings to make it more real and impactful on your subconscious mind.
One of the things we can do to become successful is follow in the footsteps of greatness, and Muhammad Ali is one of the greatest ever. Muhammad Ali said over and over again to himself and to others, “I am the greatest!” on his way to actually becoming the greatest. He is also quoted as having said:
There’s a simple formula that Hal Elrod uses for affirmations, and it goes like this:
I am committed to (activity you want to do that will produce the ideal result) , (specific frequency) , so that I can (ideal outcome) by (target date).
Here’s one that I use currently:
I am committed to studying one topic every week for at least one hour per day so that I can become adept in that specific topic (Mastery vs Overload), and I’ll put what I’m focused on into play each session so that I can hit my $18,000 bankroll goal by September 2016.
Visualization is the active process of imagining what you want out of life, and envisioning how you’re going to achieve it. All star athletes and highly successful people from all walks of life practice it: Tiger Woods, Bill Gates and Tony Robbins just to name a few.
You can just sit quietly and envision what you really want out of life and your poker play and visualize the things you need to do to get you there. You can also create a Vision Board to help; place on it pictures or images that symbolize the things you want, the person you want to become and what you want to do.
Here as my visualization board with things I want to do, places to go, who I want to be:
Bonus: Create an Action Board to go alongside your Vision Board. This is where you’ll put pictures or images of the things you need to do to achieve your visions.
Visualization goes hand in hand with Affirmations. Putting these two practices together in your Miracle Morning can bring your performance to new levels.
Click here to get your copy of The Miracle Morning.
The Mayo Clinic lists seven benefits of regular exercise: controls weight, combats health conditions and diseases, improves mood, boosts energy, promotes better sleep, puts the spark back in your sex life and it can be fun.
Exercise stimulates the brain and leads to clearer thinking and improved mood, two things that all poker players need to play at their optimum. There’s no ‘A-game’ without calmly thinking through your decisions and avoiding tilt.
If you’re too busy to hit the gym every morning (or just lack the motivation), download one of the many 7-minute workout apps available on your smart phone. I have one I use every morning that puts me through intervals of 30 seconds work and 10 seconds rest. It has exercises like squats, jumping jacks, push-ups, wall-sits, planks and a few others.
Reading is the fastest way you can acquire new knowledge. If you want to learn about poker (of course), history, self-improvement, playing the guitar… anything, there are plenty of books that can teach you what you want to learn. And, many books teach you via stories of failures as well, so you can learn what not to do.
When you’re done reading a book, it shouldn’t look physically like you’ve never touched it. It should be highlighted and underlined, should contain scribbled notes throughout, and have plenty of dog eared pages and a broken spine. It should look worn and used. Those are the signs of a good book, one that you learned from and can refer back to your notes and highlights later to refresh yourself on the important lessons it imparted.
Reading alone isn’t enough, though. You need to put the knowledge you’ve learned into practice. If you read Moorman’s Book of Poker and don’t try to implement his pot control tactics, multi-way cbetting, or how to represent a flush, then you’re not getting the most from his book. Check out my post on including FOCUS Sessions into your play for help in doing this.
If I didn’t put into practice the things I’ve learned in the Miracle Morning, than the three hours it took me to read it would be a huge waste of time.
Scribing is just another word for Writing. Putting your thoughts down on paper is a good way to relieve stress, get new perspectives on what you’re going through, or just a way to record for posterity what your thoughts are. You can write down your insights, ideas and inspirations to help you flesh them out and to bring them to life in other aspects of your life.
There are many ways to put Scribing into your Miracle Morning:
- Blog Writing
- Letters to family and friends
- Writing a book
- Writing a strategy guide
Make one or more of these a habit, and day by day, you’ll see improvements in your thought process and implementing of your ideas.
Waking up before the rest of my family and doing my own Miracle Morning has led to some great improvements in my life. I have more energy, am more focused during my morning study sessions and throughout the day, and I feel more ready to take on the world each day.
I can’t recommend enough to you to begin your own Miracle Morning.
If you’ve read The Miracle Morning, what were your thoughts? What are your affirmations? What are you reading and writing about to bring you to the next level? Please let me know in the comments below.
Until next time, study smart, play hard and make your next session the best one yet!
Muhammad Ali photo courtesy of Cliff