Before you can be successful in life whether in business or in your personal relationships, you’ve gotta learn how to hang-ten. Really I can’t think of a more perfect analogy for this coaching tip that I’m about to share with you right now!!!
I grew up in the Coastal Carolinas, between Emerald Island, Surf City, Wrightsville and Carolina Beach. EVERYONE surfed boys and girls, it was just part of our local culture… My aunt, my sister, my school teachers and even our preacher at church. It was just a way of life for us and surprisingly it taught me 3 good lessons that I was able to apply to life hacking.
It’s a Simple as 3 Easy Steps…
Life comes at you fast, just like that wave. You gotta get pointed in the right direction, be in the right position and paddle like hell to catch it.
I started playing in the shore-break when I was a toddler. Roughly around 4 years old, such a young age that it just came naturally to me. Everyone who grows up playing around in the waves can instinctively feel the undertow and just where and how the wave is gong to break.
We get a lot of tourist to our beaches and therefore, I’ve tried to teach many people how to surf but always watched them get clobbered and wiped out by the waves.
When I was around 14 years old, a marine from nearby Camp Lejeune paid me $20 to teach him and let him ride my board. He ended up getting flipped ass-over-head and the board popped back up to strike him in the forehead! I still feel horrible these 30 years later because he had to go to the hospital and get 8 stitches.
I just couldn’t wrap my head around why people have such a hard time learning how to surf because for me it was just second nature.
Then I realized that they just didn’t understand the motion of the ocean and the dynamics of how waves build up and break so I broke it down like I’m doing now.
Motion of the Ocean
The 3 things you need to learn about a wave before you try to ride one…
Direction: A wave usually breaks at a peak and can break to the left or the right. There can also be two peaks or waves that break into each other and that’s called a closeout. You gotta know which way the wave is breaking and point the nose of your board in that direction otherwise, your gonna be getting tumbled over like in a washing machine!
Position: This also means you need to paddle yourself left or right to get on the correct side of the peak. Not only left and right but you also need to position yourself just behind the wave so you can catch it as it passes rather than being underneath it while it crashes on your head.
Momentum: As a wave is building up it sucks the water up in the trough front of it and then pushes it back out as it crashes and moves forward. If you don’t paddle like hell with your feet and your hands to build up momentum before it reaches you, that wave is going to just suck you in and flip you over. If the current is pulling you 4 knots, you need to try to paddle at 3 to 5 knots to overcome it.
Now Lets Apply this to Life
Direction: Not having direction in your life can be just as dangerous as when you’re on that board in the ocean.
You must have a target in life and point yourself in right direction. Don’t go through life aimlessly just waiting for “prince charming” to come along or for millions of dollars to just magically drop in your hands.
If your target is to find a good man or that trad wife and settle down, then visualize exactly what kinda guy/gal you want to meet and identify those qualifications that would make you say the words, “I Do.” Don’t just wait for the next smooth talker or good time to cross your path. Instead, look specifically for the kind of person who will make you happy and who will make a good spouse and parent.
If its a career or business goal, the same applies… target your goals exactly. Do you want to become an expert in an awesome new field of work? Do you want to seek a management or executive position in a successful company? Do you want to open your own thriving business?
Find the direction you want to go and then make that your ultimate focus point! You gotta get specific about what you really want to achieve in life and you gotta keep your eye on the target. Where you look is where you will go!
Position: Lets say you finally found the direction, goals and targets that you want to achieve, now it’s time to put yourself in the right position to make that happen.
As the old expression goes, you gotta be in the right place at the right time.
You’re less likely to meet Mr./Mrs. Right on a hook-up dating app or in the disco. If you want to have a healthy and happy relationship, find out where people with healthy and happy lifestyles hangout. Stop dating around with just anyone and get more picky. Become the kinda girl that your high value man would like to be with.
If you want to be successful in a certain field, hangout with other successful professionals in that line of work. Always jump at the opportunity to network with the right people and build up contacts. Develop good habits. Start learning the lingo and more knowledge in that field. Become that kind of colleague, that one would like to hire or partner with. That way when the opportunity comes at like a big wave, you’re well positioned to catch it!
Momentum: If you’re just “lollygagging” like my grandpa would say, then that wave of success is just gonna crash on your head when it comes. Life comes at you fast, just like that wave. You gotta get pointed in the right direction, be in the right position and paddle like hell so when that wave comes, you already have enough momentum to catch it.
Get up everyday and create a routine. Start off each day with a few minutes of reflection to focus your thoughts. Make your coffee or tea and before you read the news or start any of your daily tasks, give yourself some time to think about your direction, position and what you can do this day or this week to build up momentum.
Next, building momentum means you have to constantly improve yourself. If you can be just 1% better each day, you’ll be 365% better each year! Always learn new skills that will help you in your endeavors. Read, watch videos, attend workshops, take online courses and network with the right people who can give you advice and opportunities.
If you come to me for a job or a business partnership, I will want to see that you have already been working on the prerequisites that are required for me to work with you. I don’t want work for someone who is just sitting around waiting for some opportunity nor someone who feels entitled to receive something without effort. But if someone approaches me who has done their homework and I can see that they are eager and wiling to put in the effort, I will be much more likely to give them a chance.