I just went to Maui with my wife and son for a fun family vacation. During our trip, I had the opportunity to try surfing for the first time. I’m a very strong swimmer (competitive swim team during high school) and body boarder (grew up in LA going to the beach). Interestingly enough, I had never tried my hand at surfing before. I was honestly somewhat apprehensive as a taller guy. That said, my wife, Nicole, convinced me and I’m so glad she did. Today’s post highlights some of my top takeaways (applicable to life and business) from my surfing experience.
- Run towards challenge. These days, I’m blessed to have a variety of mentors in my life. The consistent theme I always hear is that you should do at least one thing that’s uncomfortable and challenging each and every day. When you embrace challenge, you truly grow. I overcame my concern of getting hurt while surfing (falling off the board and/or having a collision with other surfers) and had the time of my life.
- Wait for the right pitch. In surfing, it’s all about waiting for the right wave. Sometimes, that wave will come right away. Other times, you have to wait quite some time. In business and life, it’s important to exercise patience. Wait for that right pitch, that right deal, that right opportunity. Don’t rush. The best investors have the willpower to wait for the perfect opportunity. Also, they have the willpower to stick to their strategy during turbulent times if the long-term fundamentals are there.
- Don’t look back. If you look down at your feet while surfing, it’s likely you’ll fall off the board. At least, that’s what I personally experienced. However, when I looked forward, toward the horizon, my balance was incredible. In life and business, don’t get too caught up in the past. It’s all about the future.
- It’s okay to ask for help. Being my first time surfing, I took a lesson. Without my instructor’s help, I wouldn’t have successfully surfed multiple waves during my first surfing outing ever. I embraced the help, and benefitted from the knowledge of my mentor. No matter how far along you are in business, there are always areas where you can improve. Actively solicit the help of others, stay humble.
- Follow a routine. I learned this from my son. Life is so much easier when you have a routine. Of course, routines evolve and you have to challenge yourself too (point 1). However, an overarching routine is pure gold. When surfing, I always found success when following the steps my instructor outlined. When I lost track of the steps, I was fast to fall off the board. Routines and rhythms are the key to business.
- Pace yourself. Paddling a heavy long board out to sea can be exhausting, especially when you’re new to surfing. It’s all about pacing yourself and conserving energy. The same can be said for business. Stress too much in the short run and you may run out of energy when you really need it. You may burn out. Pace yourself because business and life and all about the long term.
- Take time in nature. As a running enthusiast, I always enjoy getting out there and experiencing the great outdoors. Surfing offered a completely different perspective, in the beautiful Maui oceans. If you’re a business leader, make a concentrated effort to get your team out of the office. There’s a beautiful and energizing world out there!
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