In ‘What a Life Surfer Sees’, I talked about the things a Life Surfer sees when observing reality. I also expressed that an extraordinary life is not that difficult to achieve: one just needs to have more positive experiences and less negatives ones. It’s important to realize that experiences are not meant here as results. One can have a fantastic experience with a more or less negative result. Running a marathon with great joy and still finish above your intended time is perfectly possible.

It’s the tool of true observation that a Life Surfer uses to get his main ingredients for making a game plan. Observations of a Life Surfer go from the outside to the inside which allows him to see the invisible. A game plan works itself out in the opposite direction, thus from the inside out.

Here again, I will compare the Life Surfer with how a wave surfer approaches a surfing session to make the principles behind it clear so that we can use them to surf our very own Life Waves.


Intention check

Is this what I am looking for? After carefully observing and seeing the possibilities of the waves that are shown to him from a distant, the surfer can make up his mind to go for it or to check out some other surfing spots. A surfer knows what he wants and he will recognize it when he sees it. Is he looking for some me-time, then the waves might not play the biggest role in making the decision, as he will first have an eye for how much people are surfing the waves at that spot. Sometimes a surfer might look for big waves but without success. In such cases, where the circumstances don’t match the intentions of the surfer, the surfer is still able to change his own intention so that it will match the circumstances that are given to him at that point.

Similar, a true Life Surfer is aware of his intention and has the power of TRUE perception. He will project his intention onto the circumstances to see if it will match or not. A Life Surfer knows that an experience is positive when the circumstances are allowing to realize the set intention, and that an experience will be negative when the actions (!! not the results !!) that one can make are not up to expectations: a wave surfer will be (hugely) disappointed if he thought he could barrel some waves, while in truth the waves turned out to be too small to barrel.

Understanding the waves

The waves are there, right in front of the surfer. He looks at them and thinks at the same time which one of his boards will be the best to use. Being aware of his intention, he knows that using the right tools and skills will be important. He knows that he isn’t the one who creates the wave, but it’s how he handles the wave that might unlock its full experience potential. Any board will give an experience and all will be different. He who understands the waves, knows what they potentially have in store and how that full potential can be unlocked using skills and tools. 

Here too, a Life Surfer recognizes a wave and understands the potential a wave has and what will be necessary to unlock that potential. It might be a skill, it might be a tool or it might even be a total change of environment. A Life Surfer understands that physical circumstances are only a layer hiding its treasures inside. A Life Surfer trusts his learning abilities to manage the Life Wave that has been chosen. 

Imagine that you fall in love with somebody who lives on the other side of the globe, and you face the choice to go live overthere in an unknown land. You, as a Life Surfer, will see and understand the almost overwhelming potential of that wave: learning new language, new habits, different foods,…  Do you have the skills and tools do unlock the potential or do you have the learning ability to make it happen?

(Not all) Waves are there for you

Understanding waves lets the surfer also recognize when a wave is truly meant for him and when they are meant for others. This involves two categories. First, a surfer will see if the waves have the potential to realize his intention, an item that already has been discussed here above. Secondly, a surfer will also check if the waves are within his (potential) range of ability without risking his life. This is where emotions and intuition come into play. 

A Life Surfer has a ‘feel’ for the wave he’s looking at. A well-tuned Life Surfer will know if a wave coming his way is truely meant for him or is just passing by on his way to someone else. Catching a wave that is not yours to be isn’t a bad thing, but it most likely won’t deliver the things you are looking for. There might be a struggle from beginning to the end, or there might just be nothing but an empty feeling when riding that wave. 

In the same point of view, a Life Surfer knows that catching each and every wave is not an option. There is only one wave at the time and each wave needs the focus and energy of the Life Surfer. A wave is not created by the Life Surfer, but the Life Surfer is the one who chooses the wave. It’s how the Life Surfer handles the wave that will give him the experiences, big or small. It’s not about making big efforts to build a wave, it’s a matter of feeling the wave and being in control of the ride you have chosen to make. 

Adjusting slowly or letting go fast

When a wave surfer gets into the water, he knows that his efforts to be in a good position count. It’s the preparation that consumes the most energy, the riding of the wave is energized for him. To fully understand and know that, it means that catching a wave that doesn’t deliver the experience you were looking for and riding it out till the end is a waste of prescious energy that could have been used for a better opportunity. When a wave surfer sees that the wave is also taken by someone in a position that allows him the ride (depending on the wave roll), he lets go fast, saving energy and allowing the other to ride the wave without being obstructed.

A Life Surfer will notice when a wave is not the right one. Either the wave doesn’t match the intention or the wave is meant for someone else. Based upon that, he will let go immediately. However, when a wave still holds the potential, the Life Surfer will hold on for another moment. Letting go is not the same as giving up. Letting go means creating space for another experience to come. Giving up is stopping to create opportunities to realize that experience. When does a Life Surfer know what to do? As long as the circumstances are still under his control and can be changed, it’s worth while another moment. When the circumstances are beyond his control of changing it, he will let go and search a better timing or space to live out his dream. Changing circumstances (other board, search better angle to get into the wave, …) takes time and every detail counts. That’s why slow adjusting is the approach that a Life Surfer uses when trying to turn the tide.