Not many have heard about him, but this a truly inspiring story about Hal Elrod. Hal Elrod was born on 30th may 1979 in California, United States. Lacking any particular direction after high school, he was employed in a company that manufactured and marketed knives. Elrod attended sales training and loved it. In great hopes, of course, lie the seeds of great disappointment. When the time came to make actual sales, it didn’t work that way. He met the clients, made two-hour presentations, demonstrated the knives in all their slicing, dicing, paring, peeling magnificence, but in vain. He sold nothing! When Elrod told his boss that he was quitting, the boss was unimpressed. He said, “You’ve got two choices. Give in to fear and quit, or get back on the horse and be successful.”
Something hit him, and Elrod went back to work. In the next 10 days, he made 62 presentations, 42 of which resulted in sales. He was on cloud nine on Dec. 3, 1999, when the Horror on the Highway happened.
Elrod and his girlfriend were heading home to Fresno. Driving about 70 mph in his new Mustang, he was hit head-on by a drunken driver in a truck traveling 80 mph the wrong way on the highway. Metal crumpled, the windshield shattered and the car was thrown into oncoming traffic.
Hal’s girlfriend had a sprained wrist, and the guy in the truck who caused the whole thing was fine. But Hal was in terrible shape. His car was cut in half, and his body was pinned inside by the steering wheel. When rescue workers pulled the car’s twisted frame away from his broken body, they literally killed him. After being dead for 6 minutes (without a heartbeat) and 6 days in a coma, he woke to the devastating news that he had 11 broken bones and suffered permanent brain damage. He couldn’t walk, one arm curled back against his chest and his short-term memory was shot.
Perhaps the first thing Elrod did to recover was his positive outlook. He told in one of his interviews, “The doctors told me, I might completely recover or hit a limit,”. He continued, “I might never walk again. I resolved to accept the worst. If I was going to have to spend the rest of my life in a wheelchair, then so be it. I made up my mind to completely accept and embrace my reality. The doctors told my parents that they were concerned that I was in denial, but on the contrary, I was being realistic. There is no point in experiencing the negative emotion brought on by the nonacceptance of things, we can’t change and they are out of our control.”
How much Elrod’s positive outlook helped him is a matter of opinion, but the results were miraculous. Day by day he improved. Seven weeks after his accident, Elrod left the hospital. Soon he was back at work, although he was slowed up a bit. In the company’s first sales competition after his return, Elrod, previously a consistent winner, finished fourth among 500 contestants.
From his experience, he says he developed a 5-minute rule “When things don’t go your way, you can feel bad about it, but for five minutes. If you can’t change it, move on.”
In 2005, after a record-setting year at the cutlery company, he began shifting toward his next career as a life coach and motivational speaker. Although he wasn’t a natural writer, Elrod pushed himself to produce the book Taking Life Head On! (The Hal Elrod Story): How to Love the Life You Have While You Create the Life of Your Dreams. It was a huge success and he launched his new career. In 2012, he published another book, ‘The Miracle Morning’ which became the world’s bestselling book. In that, he suggests using what he calls his Life S.A.V.E.R.S. program.
Tall, lean and with a toothy, nearly constant smile, the 39-year-old Elrod went on to run a 52- mile ultra-marathon, is a motivational speaker, multiple times best-selling author, hip-hop recording artist and life coach. His courage and determination is a great inspiration for all of us.