Picture of the gorgeous waves in Canggu, Bali, sprinkled with surfers waiting for the next ride to come
(5 min read)
Hi folks, from Canggu, Bali in Indonesia! I’ve always been a self-proclaimed sunshine and beach lover, so it’s no surprise that I chose Bali as my next hangout spot. Hello sunny skies, sweltering heat, gorgeous sunsets over the horizon, majestic waves, Bintang beer and my long-time lover, Nasi Goreng!
It’s interesting how life always gives you more than what you expect in the most unanticipated moments – while I was certainly looking forward to a laid-back time with plenty of space for crafting and creating, I never expected that being in one of the surfing capitals of the world would teach me a surprising ton about tenacity and mastery.
You see, although I love the beach and the sea, I am never the “surfer dudette” kind of woman. To be embarrassingly honest, my pompous and haughty alter ego didn’t understand the satisfaction the surfers get from “riding the waves” day after day, with seemingly no end goal in mind. I snobbishly and shallowly dismissed it as some “brainless dude activity”.
Until I spent a day out on the beach, watching the guys and the handful of girls do their stuff. And gosh, I wished I could eat my words up faster than I could chew them because I was so embarrassed by my earlier judgements. These guys taught me a great deal and I was in total AWE.
Watching them surf and do something they love so passionately for almost 2 hours had brought me invaluable insights to what the journey of mastery is about. How living our passions and dreams should look like. I have nothing but a bottomless pit of respect and admiration for them.
The observation work started out harmlessly. I watched them cradle their surfboards, decked in their characteristic boardshorts, heading out to sea casually. They paddled towards the waves. They waited for the next good wave to come. I know, sounds unexciting.
And then the one wave came and they did their thing. They got up, stood on their boards and drifted with the current. Some navigated their ways at high speeds, others not as fast. And then before you know it, the waves came crashing and they fell back into sea.
That’s the end of that ride.
They then waited for the next one.
And that’s what fascinated me. I had a 2-hour-long, slow-motion-jaw-dropping moment – I was amazed at the willingness of these surfers to repeat this same action over and over again, under the scorching sun, for an hour or two. Every single day.
They taught me so much about mastery and getting to where we want. The willingness to do the same thing, day in, day out, with only one goal in mind – getting better at riding the waves.
Moment after moment, they look for the opportunity to surf when the waves come.
Moment after moment, they seize the chance to get up and ride it. If they have a second of doubt, the moment will pass. They keep practising the ability of letting fears and hesitation go by just acting on it, regardless of the outcome.
Moment after moment, they navigate and trust themselves to go with the rolling waves. They play with their environments and enjoy the game.
And when the moment comes and the waves engulf them, they let go. There is no struggle. They just let it be. They let themselves and their boards fall into the water. They surrender to the moment.
Then, they get up and swim towards the next wave. They go again.
Day after day.
That same night, I raved to my landlord (an avid surfer himself) about what I’ve learnt and how amazing of a teacher surfing is. He just smiled and said, “yeah, that’s how it is. You don’t think, you just go.”
Damn, he’s right. You don’t think, you just go.
Many times, we find something that we love doing, but the journey of mastery can be a challenging and dampening one. The willingness to do the same things repeatedly with only one focus in mind is often interrupted by noises telling us that the efforts are futile and perhaps, senseless, especially when the results aren’t what we expected them to be.
However, like surfing, it is about keeping our eyes on the end vision of what we want to achieve. It is about getting up and doing it despite the noises in our heads. It is about scanning the environment. It is about taking the chances despite the fears and relishing in the moment. It is about knowing when to let go. It is about having the tenacity to get up and go again.
It is about the relentless pursuit of that goal we want despite all external factors.
I attended a great party over the weekend and met an eclectic mix of people from all over the world. Some are living amazing dreams – one has travelled the world and found her calling in human rights, while another has found her passion in marine conservation after being a dive instructor for years. Did their callings come immediately? No. But like surfing, they keep doing it day after day, until one day, they ARE riding the waves.
Regardless of what your goal is, getting there is really about allowing yourself to start doing.
Keep experimenting and finding what works and doesn’t. The journey of mastery has no destination. We do it because it is a practice to become better. And that’s why it is so important that we have people in our lives to remind us how and why we are in this journey, to keep us on track, to keep us in the game, to keep us focused, to keep us going. Find that extraordinary coach, mentor, supporter, friend, family member, etc, whatever that works for you.
However, if you don’t take the first step, the journey to empowerment and fulfilment cannot start. So go grab your surfboard, say hi to the waves and head out to sea now :)
Summary: 5 tips to achieving the dream goal you want
1) Don’t be eaten up by the negative voices in your head. Be in tune with your environment and stay focused on what you want to achieve. Say thanks to their feedback, throw them back into the closet, then go out and create what YOU WANT.
2) Courage is a RESULT of taking action. It doesn't come overnight or fall from the sky. We will never feel ready. The more you do the thing you want, the braver you’ll feel.
3) Take the first step today.
4) Take the first step NOW.
5) And do it every single day.
Do you have a burning desire to achieve a dream goal but are feeling unsure how to get started?
Let's connect and explore how we can work towards your dreams together.