Judging by their relaxed hairstyles and easy-going smiles, surfers seem to have the secret to a happy life figured out. Perhaps it’s being surrounded by the sea or the heavy dose of vitamin D; maybe it’s the exercise, simple lifestyle, or the early morning habits.
Living in the moment
Big wave surfing is about presence. It’s about the moment, where time has no beginning or end. The thrill of riding a big wave demands you call on all of your senses, your instincts and your unconscious skills gathered over time. Surfer’s describe their experience as slipping into a zen-like state, and in this dark and dangerous tube of rolling water, true peace lies.
Let life’s waves humble you
With one swift blow from a crashing wave, you feel the power of the ocean. Humbling, is wiping out on your board time after time, but paddling back in on your search for the perfect wave. Each failure is not time wasted. It’s an opportunity to learn—hone your instincts, where to look, how to position yourself, awareness of changing conditions, and when you should call it.
If you respond to life with frustration, hatred, betrayal, or anger—you lose. Every wave that comes at you in life is a chance for you to practice being humble. You remain open-minded and understand two very important lessons: You don’t know everything and you will be wrong many times.
Being humble brings you peace, because you accept your own strengths and limitations without defensiveness or judgment. You will also attract richer relationships, because a humble person, while accepting your own imperfections with compassion, accepts others imperfections too.
The waves of life
Just like surfing, in life you need the ability to control, understand, and overcome your fear, in order to move through life’s waves successfully. While some fears might be more conscious — like being taken under water — quite often we are unaware of our deeply rooted fears, and we let them unconsciously determine our actions.
Bringing those unconscious fears to the surface, through reflection, meditation, and awareness will help you better negotiate the ups and downs in your life. Fear is what brings reverence to your life. When you truly understand your situation, stand strong, and carry your momentum; the healthy fear will keep you leaning and moving in the direction of your desired trajectory.
Instead of letting fear hinder you, let it help you. Fear is a trigger for you to perform at your best—it emits endorphins and adrenaline into your system, makes your heart pump faster, and shoots oxygen throughout your body. Fear unleashes reserves of energy that normally remain inaccessible and allows your mind to process information faster than it normally can—it makes you a little bit superhuman! Your body is preparing you to have a positive outcome…
Opportunities come in waves
Time is like a wave, and when a moment passes you by there will always be another one coming. Therefore, when the next wave arrives, the opportunity is there again… if you’re aware, ready and open to it. The wave will come, and it’s your job to make sure you’re ready to ride it.
When you can adopt the patience and mindfulness of a surfer, you will be ready as each moment arrives, to take advantage if something special happens and allow the momentum of each moment to carry you.
It’s natural to be a little scared when taking risks, but the difference between risk and recklessness is the more knowledge you get, the more calculated you can be. Surfers mitigate risk where they can and understand what could happen if things don’t go as planned, and have an idea of what they’ll do in that situation.
Surfing a 60‑foot wave when you barely know how to swim, or sinking your life savings into a business you know nothing about is reckless. Surfing in the same geographic location as sharks, or choosing to expand your currently growing company is a risk…
Trust the tides of your life
If the circumstances aren’t right, good surfers will let quite a few waves pass them by. They focus on the horizon and wait for the right rhythm to begin. Only when the right wave begins to form, do they paddle with all their might and drop in.
Going through life frantically attacking everything that comes your way, or worrying whether another opportunity will come, is not going to bring you flow and won’t allow you to focus on the right things.
Only when you are calm, focused, and centred, will you notice when the winds turn and see your perfect wave rolling in. Trust yourself. Trust the process. Know when to wait and when to paddle like crazy…