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My muscles did not obey my brain anymore… Hands were starting to turn off. Muscle failure, I think they call it. I definitely had that.
The sun was burning my face, but in a good way, and water beneath me looked beautifully turquoise blue. I took a second to rest my body before I start again.
“Relax! Light paddle, light paddle… Follow!” he said with a smile, as he swished effortlessly past me.
I put my forehead on the board, clenched my teeth and paddled behind him.
“Why the f**k do we need to go so far?” were my thoughts but I realized I should just trust him.
He seemed to know what he was doing. I paid 300,000 Indonesian rupiahs for the hour-long lesson to listen to him and not to be a smart-ass (no need to google… It’s 20 EUR 😉).
He was a local. Slim guy, messy black hair (gray one here and there), thick pyramidical mustache and a wide smile on his face all the time. I would guess he was somewhere in his 50s. Maybe a bit younger, but definitely the oldest one from the group of surf instructors that worked at a surf rental shack on Batu Bolong beach in Bali.
“You can call me Mr. Push.” he said when I was putting my rash guard on. “Your first time?”
Mr. Push. Nice nickname. Memorable. He seemed like an experienced guy and, for that, an appropriate instructor for a wannabe surfer like myself.
We finally(!) stopped and I was able to sit and rest on my board. He was looking at the waves as they were coming towards us.
I was eager and wanted to ride each wave that came. But Mr. Push stopped me every time… “Patience.”
“OK, OK.” I can be patient, just not for long.
After two minutes of scanning the horizon, he turned to me with a wide smile and said, “This one.”
I got into the position and started paddling towards the shore. I felt like I was moving nowhere. I paddled harder.
“Paddle, paddle!” I heard Mr. Push yelling behind me.
I paddled even harder.
I started to feel the wave beneath me, but I could quickly feel I was starting to lose it. I was not moving fast enough. I was not paddling fast enough.
Then I suddenly felt that something had pushed me and my board forward. Everything started to move faster.
I was still holding my board with both hands, but I was actually riding a wave. It felt amazing! I stood up and rode it all the way to the shore… On my very first wave.
Mr. Push was smiling and waving from afar.
His nickname made sense now.
Starting anything is hard
“In which direction should I paddle?”
Do you know the importance of starting something? Like going to the gym or running for the first day. That day is by far the most important day — because without it, there would be nothing. If the first (starting) day doesn’t exist all others fall into nonexistence like dominoes.
But it’s very difficult to start something without help. Or without guidance, if you will.
Imagine the frustration you would feel if you would have to learn to drive a car by yourself, without any external help.
Imagine yourself and a car. Somewhere without people preferably.
No instructors from the driving school, no parents giving you a chance to go for a spin on the empty parking lot, no prior knowledge or experience regarding cars. Oh, and no Youtube or internet in general.
You. The car. And all the buttons, openings, pedals and levers.
How would you figure out how gas and brake pedals work? Or the transmission? How to put it in reverse? And don’t get me started on the all the rules you simply have to know to drive safely. The process would take you forever. Well maybe not forever, but more than needed for sure.
You would not know where to start.
I’ve had many Mr. Pushes in life
I’ve been lucky. People changed my life.
We all need someone or even something that paves or at least shows us the way. They give us the confidence when we are not sure of ourselves or our actions. They give us the courage to do the most important thing — to start.
They don’t have to be cliche mentors that give you a one-way advice all the time — well they could be. But I’m talking about something else. Many people are Mr. Pushes and an inspiration to others but don’t have a clue that they are.
They can give you the push you needed with something they did or even with something that they are if this makes sense.
They are the individuals who helped you ride your “first wave”. They were there when you didn’t know when to paddle, how to stand up, or which wave to take. But most importantly, they gave you the push you needed.
Being Mr. Push for someone is gratifying and it feels good. But for it to feel good you have to know that you are. So let individuals, that changed the course of your life or career, know that sometimes.
Help someone today
Yeah, I know — this seems like it should be a bumper sticker on a VW bus parked in the Love Pageant Rally parking lot, sometime in the 1960s… But, research shows that helping others can produce a 29% boost in feeling your life is meaningful.
And I want my life to be a meaningful life.
Selfishly put, I want to be that individual that helps at least one young person with getting their career rolling. Like many people did at the start of my own life and career, or like Mr. Push did for me when I was learning to surf.
I want to give young people that first push they need, to get out of the vicious experience loop I was also in 5 years ago.
Breaking the Experience loop
Yep — just 5 years ago I was really struggling with getting my first job in the advertising industry. The industry I was in love with. I started off with no experience, no formal training or education (still don't have it), and no network whatsoever… Of course no one was crazy enough to give me a job.
I had nothing tangible to show except for my puppy eyes & promises that I am super passionate and a quick learner (aren't we all?).
Only when I started applying marketing principles, I was learning in the meantime, to my own brand and online presence, my career started to go somewhere.
And I want to start helping young people do the same.
Being Mr. Push
My passion for visual design and experience in marketing can unchain young people from this vicious loop. I want to offer my skill set and to be of service to society — particularity to young people that are just getting started. Those who just need a little push.
I’m launching Your CV Project
Your CV Project will help young people with providing them a free design of their very first CV—the most important one. When they lack relevant experience, it’s very important for them to be above average in some sense—so they can get that experience.
This is just the start.
Later I’m planning to expand the project to go beyond resume designs. To inspire young people and give them the tools they need, to cash in on their passion in a new world we are living in. Someone needs to do it. Their parents and teachers, sadly, don’t have a clue.
Want to check out Your CV Project? Go here:
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