Ten Life Lessons From My First Attempt At Surfing
Spoiler alert: not all waves are created equal
- To catch a wave, not necessarily the best wave ever, but any wave, you first have to paddle against the tide like there is no tomorrow. It is a work of faith.
- Water itself is neutral, a wave is water charged with power. Surfing is the ability to channel that power for as long as possible so that it can take you where you want to go. You are playing with power not water.
- The quality of the wave does not depend on you, low tide, no wind etc.., what instead is in your hands is your ability to select the best wave available and use it to its full potential. Roll up your sleeves & take responsibility.
- Some waves look big and intimidating but run out of power almost immediately, hence can not propel you. Choose your allies.
- Waves have their own rhythm and dance, sometimes it is all flat for a while, and then you are just overwhelmed by options, don’t lower your guard, stay ready.
- There are only two ways to find out if it is the right wave for you: either you jump on it and see for yourself, or you pass and look back. What will you choose?
- Like everything else in life, success comes from technique (not genetics), technique comes from practicing relentlessly. It helps if you actually enjoy doing what you do.
- Horizon scanning is an art, is not about watching, it is about searching with purpose for potentiality. Not what it is, but what it can become.
- Surfing is not like skiing, there is no ski lift to bring you back to the starting point. Before jumping on your board, it is better to invest one more nanosecond on horizon scanning. Choose you battles.
- Linked to point 9, jumping enthusiastically on any wave will exhaust you (don’t ask me how I know it, I just do :-). You will have to paddle your way back at every single attempt, you on your board paddling against the waves. Motion is not progress.
Bonus: 95% of surfing is paddling, yet nobody posts their pictures of paddling, falling, pancake diving, and more paddling. Did I mention more paddling?
Whether you decide to surf or not, waves will keep forming and crashing, the Oceans could not care less of you on your shaky board, you know, they got bigger plans. Stay humble.