4 resourcefulness examples to live by.

Hey Sentinels!

A long time ago, I watched a movie about a South-African boxer trying to make it into the international circuit. That alone could certainly stand as a very meritable goal. However, the fact that he was white and his trainer was black, and that they both pursued their dream during the height of apartheid in South Africa makes their story even more remarkable.

A true testament to courage, grit, determination, and resourcefulness.

For what is resourcefulness if not going beyond your natural skills and making the most of the resources you currently have at your disposal.

Listen to nature…

I don’t like boxing. Never have.

But I have enormous respect for anyone who decides to pursue the sport professionally. I am especially drawn to the creativity of some boxers to pull their limited resources together, in the majority of times, from very humble beginnings to mega-stardom, by not letting themselves be beaten down by lack of resources. This is one of four resourcefulness examples to live by.

Back to the movie.

I recall a thought that the boxer’s coach, an old and wise mentor, shared with his protege shortly before dying. It’s not textually accurate but it went something like this:

“…whenever you have doubts in your life, look to nature for the answers”.

It may not mean or resonate with most people. I get it. But then again, Sentinels are not like most people, right?

The message, in my case, did have a profound impact on my life.

It helped me gain clarity, allowing me to face some of life’s inevitable adverse situations with grace and humility. I was also lucky to realize this while living in one of the most naturally abundant places in Mexico: Riviera Maya. This beautiful stretch of sea, mangrove, and jungle had all the necessary elements for finding my answers.

It’s not my fault…it’s never my fault!

If you have been reading my posts for sometime time (thank you!), you probably know that lately, I have been facing emotional and economic challenges which have left me a bit perplexed and overwhelmed.

So, I did the predictable thing: I complained, pointing the finger at external reasons causing my misfortune, my excuses falling squarely on the lack of resources not available to me. You know the ones: got no money, no time for a second job, to late to go back to school, blaming them millennials for the audacity to think and do things differently…blah, blah, blah.

The internal discussion was harmful, to say the least. It also got very confusing, very fast. Overwhelm was getting the better of me. I felt I was slowly choking in doubts and fears. And then I remembered the message from the boxing coach, so long ago:

“… whenever you have doubts in your life, look to nature for the answers”.

I remember I spent the rest of the afternoon at a local beach, trying hard to listen to nature, letting her offer her wisdom.  And then, just as I was about to head back to my car, I had my answer. It happened so suddenly and with such clarity.

The ocean was calm, as it always is during May, I think it was, at the Riviera Maya. Waves lapped on the white-sand beaches of Puerto Morelos. I watched for a while as the waves came in and then receded.

And the then it came to me.

Like waves coming in and then receding,  external resources can just as easily swallow you up in a misguided sense of glory.

It’s not to say that it’s all bad. On the contrary. External resources are great and they do have a place in one’s personal journey, but here’s the thing: they are finite. They can provide a certain sense of security for a while.

But once depleted, resources can toss you out onto dry land leaving with you with nothing to show for.

It’s finally making sense!

Standing there, I now understood that, in the larger scheme of things, those resources were ephemeral and short-lived. Their tides depending on the comings and goings of circumstances and events.

I realized that they could also be great facilitators of excuses as to why we are not doing what we need to do to accomplish our goals and dreams.

I pondered further, recalling briefly my best friend’s son when he began to walk. As he was learning to walk, he would fall down over and over again, on his own. His natural persistence would eventually lead to the next stage of growth which was walking.

To his misfortune, he reached a time in his life that both my best friend and his wife began fostering a lack of self-responsibility and ownership to real-life situations.

Without realizing it, they began dismantling his natural resourcefulness, slowly taking away qualities like creativity, confidence, troubleshooting, self-esteem, pride and independent thinking.

And as if the universe wanted me to understand all of this in terms which I could better comprehend, it wisely sent me, as it often does,  a very clear and loud sign.

It came to me while driving home and listening to Tony Robbins (God bless him!) during one of his acclaimed Business Mastery conferences. To his electrified audience Tony said:

“Success is not about your resources. It’s about how resourceful you are with what you have”.

A-HA! moment anyone?

Coming out of a slumber…finally!

When you surround yourself with environments that encourage you to plan, strategize, prioritize, set goals, search for resources and track your development, you are on the fast track to learning resourcefulness.

These six skills are the building blocks which give us the ability to find and use available resources to achieve goals.

And that is exactly what happened to me.

Deciding to create Surfsentinel finally woke me from a deep slumber. And for the past 10 months, I have read, listened to, and engaged as much as my budget has allowed with thinkers and legitimate influencers in both the PD and long-form content marketing space, literally re-programming my mental and emotional hard-disk.

I have committed to feeding my mind with practical positivity as well as improving my mindset and productivity habits.

The only trouble was that my subconscious mind had been so full of crap for so long, I had to accept the fact that reprogramming it would take me at least as long, if not more, than all the time I had spent wasting away in the emotional and intellectual basement of my life.

So, are cognitive skills enough for being a resourceful person?

Outdoor activities for adults like going to Mars...
Elon Musk

I wondered and began researching biographical books about legendary entrepreneurs, people with an uncanny sense of resourcefulness such as Walt Disney, Richard Branson, Bill Gates and Elon Musk. My research also included personalities from our surf culture, individuals who broke ground in the surfing world by applying to a great extent the six building blocks mentioned above (more about that in a moment).

I found out that to be resourceful, you must have the ability to process information emotionally as well as intellectually.

I also discovered that resourceful people are not only better at reaching their goals but also handle stress better.

So what makes resourcefulness such a priced skill to have?

I believe it has to do a lot with how you focus and invest that focal power.

In other words, people focus more on their limitations instead of taking advantage of their resources.

Follow their lead…

Going back to our tribe, take Taylor Knox, for instance.

Taylor Knox

At age 15, Taylor suffered a devastating back injury while skateboarding. Doctors found a damaged lumbar vertebra. Anybody who has experienced serious back injuries knows how painful and debilitating an injury of this sort can be.

Doctors told Taylor that surgery would be necessary for his recovery, but that probabilities to get back to surfing were minimal.

Knox underwent a very intensive rehabilitation which lasted six months, his body in a full body cast.

During this difficult period, Taylor decided to dig deep into his internal resources, visualizing from the hardship of his recovery the way he would surf again once back in the ocean he loved so much.

Incredibly, only months after returning to the water, Knox left the middle competition behind and returned to the top ranks of the NSSA Open Season.

In the end, his hard work, determination, and relentless pursuit to improve his surfing earned him an opportunity in the international spotlight. I

n February 1998, Knox would gain worldwide notoriety by dropping into a 52 – foot monster wave at Todos Santos during the Reef Big-Wave World Championships.

He became an overnight sensation and an international hero.

His blue-collar approach to surfing has also earned him the respect and admiration from his peers, recognizing him as the surfer’s surfer of the actual WSL. No mean feat.

A second great example of how a person can use personal judgment and intuition along with any available resources to achieve a goal that would otherwise prove to be impossible is Jay Moriarty.

Jay Moriarty

Jay became a surfing luminary at the early age of 15 when he became the youngest surfer ever to ride giant Mavericks.

Two years before that fateful day, Jay began a journey that would test his strength and stamina as well as stretch his spiritual and mental fortitude to the very limit.

Along with his mentor, Rick “Frosty” Hesson, Jay underwent a two-year training program designed by Hesson which included visualization, swim hundreds of miles, and paddling hundreds of hours in open ocean.

Hesson also included writing essays on various topics related to desire, visualization, mindset, etc. Moriarty also ran, rode his bike, sailed, fished and played volleyball.

Tragically, Jay left us too early, passing away during training while free diving in the Maldives. His legacy remains as an inspiration to all.

 

Bethany Hamilton

Last but certainly not least is Bethany Hamilton.

If anybody had a reason to hang their hat of excuses not to accomplish their dreams, it should have been Bethany.

Losing an arm to a 14-foot tiger shark is a life-changing event, the trauma, and sequels of such an event leaving deep, permanent scars on anyone.

Going back in the water would be the last thing anyone would ever imagine of doing.

Bethany is not such an individual.

After her harrowing experience,  losing 60 approximately 60 percent of her arm, she underwent several surgeries. Once stabilized, Bethany was released after a few days.  Bethany saw this incident as a unique opportunity to thrive, taking her apparent tragedy and turning it around completely in her favor. She became laser-focused on getting back in the water as soon as possible.

Facing her challenging condition, Bethany had to re-think her entire life strategy. Her resourcefulness came from the necessity to discard some old rules for the sake of experiencing something new and much more significant.

In my opinion, it is also quite possible that, among other things, she eventually arrived at the following conclusion:

The ability to determine and shape her future would also contribute to her lifelong happiness and success.

Bethany was determined to keep on surfing, so much so, in fact,  that shortly after her release, she won the Explor Women’s division at the 2005 NSSA National Championships. In 2007, undaunted, she began her career in the pro circuit.

That same year she released Heart of a Soul Surfer, a documentary which told her story before, during and after the shark attack. The documentary would be made into a movie later on called Soul Surfer, released in 2011.

Her achievements went well beyond professional surfing, also encouraging a healthy lifestyle and sharing her story through conferences and non-profit organizations like Friends of Bethany.

As social media became better known, Bethany also participated in several platforms, allowing her to acquire a very large following, yours truly included!

She has authored books like Body and Soul: A Girls Guide to a Fit, Fun and Fabulous Life, published in 2014. Additionally, she was also involved in another documentary, Surfs Like a Girl.

Back in the water, she won first place at the Surf n Sea Pipeline Women’s Pro event in March 2014. Her most recent accomplishment was giving birth to her baby boy, Tobias on June 1, 2015.

Bethany is the truest example of never accepting your limitations and seeing every problem, difficulty, resistance, hurdle, and roadblock as an opportunity to grow and thrive.

Final thoughts…

We have all faced adverse situations in our lives at one point or another. When push comes to shove, life makes us discover what really works.

Like Bethany Hamilton, we try new ways to make things work when they don’t go our way.

Greatness at its most inspiring arrives when we come face-to-face with enormous odds. And resourcefulness is one of the cornerstones for achieving mastery in life.

Do you know anyone who has shown the abilities of a resourceful individual? What are the traits you think you could make your own to help you become more resourceful?

Please share your thoughts inside the comment box below. I answer all comments and I value your opinions very much

Thank you for reading! If you know someone who could benefit from this information, please share it with them. Thanks again!

Nail Art and Ocean Conservancy? You go girl!!

Ladies, ladies, ladies…this one’s for you!!

Ever thought of all the materials that go into making nail art? Never gave a second thought about this (as I rightly should!). HOWEVER…the video below is pretty awesome. I have a renewed sense of respect and appreciation for nail artists.

Even though Catherine Cronal is a novice (I have a hard time believing that!), it is pretty clear she is very skilled at her craft. She is also an advocate for finding ways to help the environment while doing her incredible art.

Below she shows how to make some amazing nail art while explaining ways on how to do do what she loves, sharing her views on environment and ocean conservancy. She also questions herself regarding best ways to recycle and dispose of nail polish, glitter, and plastic nails, which is just as well. Every bit helps!

Enjoy!

World Oceans Day was celebrated last Friday, June 8th. I thought this would be a good way to salute the amazing efforts being made by environmental heroes such as Sylvia Earle, Vandana Shiva, Isatou Ceesayand Sian Sykes.

To my fellow  Surfsentinel gents around the world, no worries!

Next week I will continue posting more manly articles for your viewing pleasure…but hey, my lady Sentinels also kick butt…so no surprises if you find similar articles in the future. You have been warned!

Happy Oceans Day 2018 everyone!

Nazare: how does it really work.

Its that time of the year again!

A few months have passed since our last sit-down at our favorite french coffee shop. Eduardo, or “Lalo” as I affectionately prefer to call him, is my best friend. And, like me, a big fan of anything that has to do with surfing and the WSL (the World Surf League).

I sit alone, half-way through my second chocolote caliente (yeah, I know, not very French). Lalo is off on a business trip to Chiapas. Last time I spoke with him was about two weeks ago. Said he was keeping busy and wouldn’s be back in time for coffee time. Shame. I miss our conversations. So I sit there and think about our last conversation in January when we last met to discuss anything and everything regarding our favorite sport…

It is the end of  January of 2018. The WSL is on a break and the XXL big wave riding tournament is THE topic now.

And why not.

Our discussion revolves around big wave chargers like Andrew Cotton, Mark Haley, Garett Macnamara and a few others. Their exploits riding the world’s largest waves always resulting in lively debates.

The winter storms are their playground.

Their time is now.

And even though we continue with our friendly discussion on who is the sickest, most extreme charger, Lalo and I agree on one indisputable truth: the heaviest big wave riding spot in the world continues to be Nazare, Portugal.

We both sit there, letting the name of the legendary break sink in our minds and imagination.

Nazare. Where, in winter of 2011, the world’s largest wave was ridden by big-wave riding legend Garett Macnamara. What a moment!

As Lalo reaches for his hot cup of Chiapas coffee, he hesitates for an instant.

“How does it work?” he asks, looking at the steaming cup of coffee.

His tone serious, almost reverent, taking me by surprise. He looks at me now, probing deeper.

“I mean, this place, Nazare…it’s unnatural…a freak of nature”. he says. Lalo sits back, folding his arms. Thinking.

“I’ve read about places like Ghost Tree, Todos Santos, Mavericks…but Nazare…Christ! How does a wave get to be that size? It’s insane! Is it the location? The storms that are out in the deep Atlantic? What is going on below water…”.

“Bathymetry” I add, trying hard not to sound like a nerdy know it all.

“Yeah, that’s it. Bathymetry. I wonder what’s the bathymetry of that place. What lurks beneath the water’s surface? And at what depth? Is it a reef? Rock? Sand?”.

I sit there, taking a sip of my chocolate caliente, giving pause to think about Lalo’s questions.

“Let me show you something which may help” I say finally.

Reaching for my mobile, I open the search engine and type “Grand Canyon”. Almost instantly, my query is answered with hundreds of images of Colorado’s mighty Grand Canyon. I pass my mobile to Lalo.

“That’s the Grand Canyon. What do you see almost in every image?”.

Lalo starts finger-sliding the images from left to right. “I see contours, ledges, cliffs, ravines, and a bunch of other stuff that geologists would probably call “eye-candy!”.

I laugh. Lalo’s sense of humor is one of his qualities which I most enjoy and look forward to in our conversations.

“Exactly!” I say, taking another sip of my chocolate caliente.

Lalo continues to explore the images. Again, making an effort not to sound academic, I continue on.

“The Grand Canyon is legendary for its vast abundance of geological “eye-candy”. Now, imagine all of that below water. Add enormous storms, sending huge swells over these enormous underwater formations and contours and…boom! You have the makings of Nazare. And as essential as all this is, it’s what’s happening below the water’s surface that is even more incredible. Lalo, it’s where the unseen magic happens…”.

So how does it work?

Giant waves are not that uncommon. Their size and mass depend directly on the size and power of the storm where they originate from. These are the waves that you typically watch in National Geographic documentaries, where large exploration ships come face to face with these monsters out in the middle of the Arctic Ocean or the deep Atlantic.

The dramatic images of one of these ships battling it out with nature’s fury never cease to amaze me. They often leave me wondering what the brave crews of these mighty vessels are going through, including the crewmember expressing his experience using very colorful language!

However, surfable waves of this scale are rare beasts indeed.

Many elements must first converge to create waves of monstrous proportions while still being rideable. Large storm systems are just one part of the mix. Location, bathymetry, and local winds are essential ingredients which also weigh heavily on the rest of the big-wave formula.

Location.

Let’s take these enormous storms and scale them down to more manageable terms.

Imagine you are standing in a regular pool. Now, you start “romping” in the pool, hitting the surface of the water repeatedly with your hands. Soon, its a frenzy of splashing and white water. As the frenzied surface of the water moves away from you, it acquires a more defined shape (concentric waves speeding away from you: the center of the storm). Eventually, the waves will reach the edge of the pool and disappear altogether.

Take that on a planetary scale, and you got the basic mechanics of how waves are formed. If waves don’t travel far enough from the storm (you), they will remain contorted and without any defined shape by chaotic conditions around them (splashing).

Bathymetry.

In one of my earlier posts, I explained a bit about bathymetry.

The ocean’s floors are anything but even. They are full of contours and, more often than not, these contours closely resemble those found on dry land. Ultimately, these underwater ravines, cliffs, and canyons are a critical component of a wave’s size and shape as it approaches the coastline.

I confess that, until recently, I was unaware of the importance of the contours found in the ocean’s floors, and the impact they have on large swells.

Now I understand that large, epic surf is heavily influenced by the bathymetry of each break…this is where it all happens.

Local Wind.

Four magical words that surfers around the world love to hear: light off-shore winds.

Wind, when it is generated locally, determines the quality of a wave. Giant waves get “combed” to perfection by good wind conditions.

If you have ever seen off-shore winds in action, you probably remember seeing the wave’s “mane”  being combed and groomed away from the crest. This is one of surfing’s most spectacular visual gifts.

When you are out in the water, in the receiving end, well…it’s hard to explain. The closest thing I can relate it to is being soaked by a drizzling, light rain… it’s pretty freaking amazing!

And so we come to the mother of all convergences. Those that have created Nazare’s legend and mystique.

Picture an eight-story-high building and you begin to comprehend the dimensions of such a wave. To date, Nazare remains unchallenged as the surf spot where the world’s largest wave ever was conquered.

What lies beneath…

What is truly remarkable about Nazare is that it is a sand bottom beach break. Unlike other legendary big-wave breaks around the world, where the bathymetry is made up of underwater reefs or points, and where swell energy is dependent on their respective contours, Nazare depends on unique underwater dynamics to make it work.

If it existed without these dynamics, the majority of the swells, especially large ones like the ones arriving at its shorelines every winter, would be hopeless close-outs.

But that’s not Nazare.

In fact, the dynamics which are at play here make this sand bottom beach break a stand-alone in the world of big-wave riding.

And the great facilitator for this extraordinary distinction is the Nazare Canyon, Europe’s longest submarine canyon.

It begins about half-a-mile out, at the continental shelf, at a depth of 50 meters and then plummeting down to the Iberian Abyssal Plain, to a depth of 5,000 meters, just off-shore.

The canyon’s bathymetry allows the creation of very large, powerful surf through drastic, rapid change in ocean depth, resulting in swell amplification. This is directly attributed to the canyon head:  the actual location where the canyon starts.

Check the image below from the GEBCO Gazetteer, an online index that compiles the names of underwater features.

The importance of the canyon head’s location cannot be overstated:

1. It focuses extra swells, especially on longer period swells, into the region.
2.It allows swells to greatly increase in size as they approach the coastline.

In other words, very large swells refract from deep water towards shallow water, where they transform into huge swells, packed with unparalleled oceanic energy. Welcome to Nazare.

To make things a bit more interesting…

Because it is a beach break, offshore shallow points weigh heavily on the creation of better waves with crossed-up breaks v.s. huge close-outs. This makes Nazare incredibly challenging and extraordinarily dangerous…especially when it’s big! I found a review by legendary Surfline.com forecaster and surfology expert, Sean Collins, on swell mechanics present in October 2011, during the Rip Curl Pro Portugal.

Back to the future…

The coffee shop is busy, loud, and the people sitting on other tables around me go on with their own discussions.

I smile.

It’s so strange and strangely gratifying, talking about something that is so foreign, so different and so removed from the lives of the great majority of people here.

It is a privilege.

And it is also our little secret.

Sitting at my table in silent contemplation, I savor the moment. The allure and awe of Nazare is ours alone. And as I finish my last bit of chocolate caliente, I smile again because no one here understands this. Not really.

Which surf spot inspires you most? Lalo mentioned a few that still manage to stir our imaginations: Cortez Bank, Todos Santos, Ghost Tree. But there are others which are just as famous and awe-inspiring.

And hopefully, many more still remain to be found. It’s a big ocean out there.

What’s been the largest wave you have ever seen or experienced? Please share in the comment box below so other sentinels may read about your encounters and exploits! We would love to hear from you!

Thanks for reading and talk soon!

 

Learning from failure is never easy, but it is often necessary.

Hi Sentinels!

This week I’m sharing something a bit different with you.

If you’ll indulge me just this once, I would like to give you a behind the scenes look at my progress regarding Surfsentinel, strictly from a marketing point of view. I will return to posting great action water sports vids, pictures as well as valuable content for you as of next week. Here we go…

It hasn’t been easy, that’s for sure. Learning from failure, however, has given me the self-analysis and clarity I needed to persevere on this journey. Lessons have been learned and implemented so you and other Sentinels around the world may continue to find Surfsentinel not only entertaining but relevant and informative. (You’ll notice that I often mention the WA. This is short for Wealthy Affiliate, an online digital marketing academy where I have been learning the all about digital and affiliate marketing. They have a terrific community, always willing to lend a hand to get met unstuck. And that’s been quite often!)

The curtains pull back…

So I’m glad to say that I’m back on track (again!) and this time it’s been so much better than the last couple of times.

Beyond the fact that my absence at WA on both occasions was for personal reasons which unfortunately demanded my attention, the other reason why it was so challenging to get back on the horse again was simply that I became distracted with many other “shiny objects” out there.

At the forefront was the sudden urgency of building my email list (and EVERYTHING that is involved in this activity).

So off I went, researching on how to start my email list.

And it’s embarrassing to admit. Even though I knew that there was probably excellent information regarding this topic here at the WA, I just got dazzled by other offers out there that, in the end, led me nowhere. Now, let me clarify that it was not my virtual mentors’ fault, or the email service providers’ fault (a.k.a. MailChimp or ConvertKit). No, they are exempt from any wrongdoing.

The fault fell squarely on my shoulders.

You see, I wanted to run before learning to walk. Sounds trite, I know. But in my case, it’s been a real eye-opener.

Take a look below and you’ll see what I mean:

I mean, C’mon! Really?? In four months 472 visits…and to add insult to injury, I subscribed with ConvertKit where I am currently paying a monthly fee to have access to their emailing services…with laughable traffic…Sheesh!!What was I thinking!?! (No complaints to CK. They have awesome resources and it’s my go-to source for learning how to build my email list from scratch…when I eventually get around to it).

Pretty sad numbers right? I know.

Conclusions and actions…

BUT…it was a huge wake-up call for me (however delayed). Whatever I had been doing so far was simply not working. I decided to take a long hard look at my website’s traffic progress (surfsentinel.net). I came to a very humbling conclusion: it sucked.

It was rough. I grudgingly realized that all the time and effort I had invested in the past nine months had resulted in extremely scant results. This realization forced me to come to terms with two things:

1. I needed to go back to basics.

Back to the foundational source of successful blogs and websites: Content. But not just any kind of content. I would now have to pour all my writing and intellectual endeavors into creating (and you may want to take note of this) VALUE-FIRST CONTENT. So crucial to understand this.

See, before launching yourself into “shiny objects” like social media engagement and building your brand through Facebook Ads, Facebook Live, Instagram Stories, Twitter, Pinterest, (and learning to drive traffic effectively to your site, down your funnel, to eventually achieve conversions), you must first offer your readers value-first content.

I revised my posts and pages, some of them going as far back as June of 2017. I cringed when I re-read some of them. Talk about fluff! During this time, I learned a concept that is becoming more and more common among content creators: re-purposing. Taking old material, adding new images, content, links, etc. and re-launching the same article, making it easier and more attractive to read, and most importantly, with much improved and targeted value.

This is where I am currently at in my website.

And it’s a lot of work.

But in the end, I’m confident it will be well worth it.

2. Acceptance.

I needed to accept that when I first started this journey, my digital marketing and entrepreneurial skills were located somewhere beyond the basement level.

Also, that my personal learning curve has been quite steep. Not like Mount Everest steep, but more like Kilimanjaro steep.

Daunting. Uncertain. At times scary. But still reachable and without the need of an oxygen tank.

“Steady as she goes Mr. Zulu…”

One step at a time, folks! Again, trite, I know. But so true. You cannot expect to build your “tribe” of raving fans if you do not offer them valuable content first. And to do this, we must do something completely inconceivable to many: we must first help our readers.

Consistently. And selflessly.

Good examples of this, especially for you ladies and gents who are newbies here at the WA community:

Kyle’s first 10 lessons here at the WA, Ray Edwards’s blog at rayedwards.com, Vishen Lakhiani’s website at mindvalley.com, Michael Hyatt’s site at michaelhyatt.com, and Pat Flynn from smartpassiveincome.com.

Pay particular attention to how all of these respected and established marketers and communicators first offer TONS of valuable content before pitching their products. They are true masters of their craft and you can learn a lot from them.

Additionally, if you wish to subscribe to their email listing, you’ll get an invaluable lesson on the proper way to nurture an audience.

But be aware. As previously mentioned, they also offer a LOT of great content and you may find yourself easily distracted by all the awesome “shiny objects” they offer! (no affiliate earnings for me here…just good ol’ information for you).

Here are their links again:

Ray Edwards: rayedwards.com

Vishen Lakhiani: mindvalley.com

Michael Hyatt: michaelhyatt.com

Pat Flynn: smartpassiveincome.com

When you reach a wall and you simply cannot go through it, do not despair. Always know that there is help available if you know where to ask:

At the WA.

At the above links.

Also look for online resources:

Youtube and Pinterest have awesome “How To” guides.

Quora and Answer The Public are also pretty amazing for any questions or queries you may have.

A final thought…

Anthony Robbins, one of my all-time favorite life-coaches and motivational speakers, once asked a member of his audience (Al Gore) why he thought he had failed at reaching the US presidency. Mr. Gore’s answer was “…due lack of resources”. To which Tony replied to him: “No Mr. Gore, it wasn’t because of lack of resources. It was because of you not being resourceful”. You can imagine the audience’s reaction.

It’s not exactly the same quote, but it’s pretty close.

The message is clear, though.

Don’t focus on the resources not available to you. Focus all your efforts and attention on being resourceful with the abilities, skills, and gifts you have been given to acquire those resources.

Thanks for reading. I hope you liked this article and you found it useful. If you know someone who may also benefit from this content, please share it with him or her.

Thanks again and talk soon!

The art of living…

Hello.

First, I would like to apologize to all of you, Sentinels around the world, for my long absence. I have recently gone through the passing of my father.

He left us last February of 2018.

My dad was a great guy. He was my mentor and my best friend. He took the art of living to a whole new level. But what I will miss most is his laughter, his good humor and, most of all, his unwavering faith in me.

As you can imagine, the loss of a loved one can create very loud ripples in anybody’s family.

Our case has been no different.

What has followed after my dad’s departure has been nothing less than life-altering.

I am currently looking after my mother, in San Miguel de Allende, Mexico, a beautiful colonial town, but as far away removed from the ocean as you can expect a Mexican colonial town to be.  My dearest wife Monica has remained back home, “taking care of the fort”, as it were until things settle down a bit over here.

So, my apologies friends. I will try to continue to publish as often as I can, which in the past was normally on Thursday. No promises, though.

Gotta get my heart and head on straight again and that will naturally to take some time.

Thanks to all of you again for following my website, even if it is a small readership. My grattitude to Sentinels living here in the American continent and especially those who have visited from as far as India, Australia and Ukraine. I appreciate you all very much.

Take care Pop...

Take care dad…te quiero mucho!

 

3 ways to break the fear barrier and find what lies beyond.

The truth is…

Fear is uncomfortable. Period.

Anyone who decides to practice action water sports on a regular basis will eventually come face to face with fear at one point or another.

It is a simple part of the sports we enjoy practicing and many times, it is in fact, the one ingredient that we seek so we may find ways to overcome it and, by doing so, become stronger, more experienced.

Wiser.

A bit of perspective…

A good example of this is the Billabong Pipe Masters, normally celebrated from December 8th to December 20th. For those who are not acquainted with this very special event, it is one of three events that make up the Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing, held at the end of the WSL(World Surfing League) season, in the island of O’ahu, Hawaii.

The Pipe Masters, on its own, is made up of two events, the Pipe Invitational, where local and foreign talent are invited to compete for a coveted spot for the main event, the Pipeline Masters, second part of this event, and considered by many the Superbowl of surfing.

Right, so what does all of this have to do with the 3 ways to break the fear barrier? Well, lets just consider the actual spot where this tournament is held. The North Shore of O’ahu.

A primer on Pipeline mechanics…

In winter, huge storms from as far as the Aleutian islands churn and send on a regular basis very large, powerful swells towards the Hawaiian Archipelago during this time of the year. These swells travel, unobstructed, for thousands of miles, carrying with them tremendous amounts of oceanic energy. In their path, stand the Hawaiian islands, in particular, a stretch of beach, 7 miles long, where all of this energy rises over shallow reef, and is released in one single, incredibly powerful moment.

This stretch of beach is known as the “Seven Mile Miracle” and begins at Sunset Beach, extending all the way to Waimea Bay. The stretch has many famous surf spots but none hold more respect, fear and mystique than the legendary Banzai Pipeline.

Located in Ehukai Beach Park, in Pupukea, the Banzai Pipeline (or more commonly known as Pipeline), is home to the best tube riders in the world. It is also one of the world’s deadliest waves, rising almost vertically over very sharp reef, carrying with it tremendous amounts of water and energy. Taking off from the wave is nearly impossible, almost suicidal.

Hence, the name Banzai Pipeline.

The wave here is so intimidating and powerful that it was only conquered barely 50 years ago, when surfing legend, Butch Van Artsdalen, made tube riding popular, putting in on the map, and bringing surfing into a totally new age. According to many experienced Pipeline surfers, the most intimidating aspect of this wave is the energy it releases when it finally breaks over the reef. That, and what lurks just below the surface of the water.

John John Florence, 2017 World Champion, describes it vividly as a large concrete court, pocked marked with caverns and lava spires which, on a given wave, can hold you down indefinitely. Falling on this surface, Florence adds, is similar to falling on a concrete bed, first taking damage from the impact, and then dealing with the reef’s sharpness, spires and caverns. All this while being churned all over like a giant washing machine.

It is a well-known fact that Pipeline has broken bones of many an experienced surfer. Death is not unheard off at the Banzai Pipeline. Jon Mozo and Tahitian Malik Joyeux are very unfortunate examples of Pipeline’s raw and dangerous power.

Take a look at this aerial view here…notice the shadows and boils of the reef.

These are known as Pipeline and Backdoor. From the perspective of a watcher on shore, Pipeline (First Reef) is ridden when taking off and riding it to the left, where sharp, apparently unmakeable bottom turns must be made to place the surfer just right so that he/she can get barreled in deep, cavernous barrels, in essence, what surfing Pipeline is all about.

Equally famous is legendary Backdoor, which gets its name from skilled surfers entering through the “backdoor” of the barrel and coming out the other side, hopefully, in one piece. Check this video out. Watch exactly what I’m talking about, starting at 00:36 (Pipeline) and then 00:40 (Backdoor).

At 12 feet plus, another reef (Second Reef) starts breaking with longer walls and much heavier waves. Even further out is an extreme size area where huge waves are also ridden. Following is another great video clearly showing (00:60) First, Second and Third Reef (Outer Reef)in full action.

For deeper look at the mechanics of Pipeline, click here.

Faint of the heart need not apply…

Pipeline, Backdoor, Off The Wall, Sunset Beach, Waimea Bay…all legendary surf spots…and all open only to an exclusive elite of fearless, experienced wave chargers.

And yet, even then, ask any of these seasoned surfers and they will all agree that disrespecting these awesome surf spots by showing senseless amounts of bravado and recklessness can only lead to very serious trouble.

A very fine line exists between a burning passion for the pursuit of that one perfect barrel ride, and crossing that line into the realm of irresponsibility and disaster. And in the middle, within that very fine thin line, I believe surfers charging these incredible waves, find transformation.

It’s also what is come to be known as “stoke”.

Ask any surfer or action water sport practitioner, at whatever level, how he feels after getting barreled, or going down that turbulent river ride, or making that ultimate wake boarding jump, or asking a windsurfer or kite boarder about that freestyle jump, or white-knuckled ride, where board, wind and skill just “clicked” somehow, making that one single moment indelible for the rest of your life.

And feeling good all over, even hours after you’ve left the water.

That, my friends, is stoke.

And even after the most harrowing of accidents, like Andrew Cotton’s colossal wipe out in Nazare, Portugal, last 8th of November 2017, or more recently, Dusty Payne’s horrific wipe out at Pipeline, the stoke remains so strong that these super athletes keep coming back for more, even after months of rehabilitation and recovery.

Living life from an unexpected place…

They go back to the same places where they looked at death straight in the eye. And, in spite of the fears they faced at the moment of their unfortunate accidents, they get back on the saddle again, indomitable, showing us that the way to gain that confidence again is doing something that makes them feel good about themselves, and, sooner or later, many of them realize that they are living life from a place of love.

Love for the sport, for the ocean, for the friends and camaraderie, for the wonder and awe that is intrinsic with all action water sports.

This is not to say that they will not be afraid again.On the contrary.

I believe they will feel fear more tangibly now than ever before because they have been through something that only a handful of people have ever experienced. They know the risks involved better than anybody. This gives them a distinct edge.

Each step they take to reach their goal is further strengthened by the activity they love. And here is the funny thing that happens as a direct result of acquiring this attitude. You may want to take note:

Focusing in the things that they are passionate about keeps their fears at bay.

This is the way to be a champion. In sports, in business, and in life. Focus on the things that you love and have that be the major theme in your life.

Now look at the fears that are troubling you…got it? Ok. Now, order them to sit their ass back on the bench!

It’s a mental game. It most certainly is a mental game.

Breaking the fear barrier…

Lets consider the workplace for a moment and compare it to what professional surfers face when competing in an event like the Pipemasters.

At the work place, many times you are caught in a trap of self-doubt. You begin to sabotage your career, falling into bad patterns like self-doubt and comparing yourself to others.

Now consider the professional surfer about to enter the most dangerous surf spot in the world. Self-doubt, and comparing himself to other competitors, not only could leave him out of the tournament. It could lead to catastrophe, resulting in severe injury or even death.

To some measure or other, extreme action water athletes have come to accept and understand the undeniable existence of a fear barrier and also three very powerful ways to get over this barrier.

1. Fear forces you into making decisions.

When facing fear, you have two very clear options. Either act and decide to make your fears go away, or decide to sit back and do nothing. You can go either way, but the fact remains that fear demands that you make a decision.

2. Fear pushes your limits, making you stronger.

Remember the first time you paddled out and, to you, it was “huge” out? Or that time the wind was blowing so hard, you thought you sail would catapult you or launch you in the air, 10, 15 or even 20 meters above the water? And yet, you managed to keep it together, controlling your fear, making millisecond adjustments that came to you almost super-naturally?

Through experience and paying your dues in the water, you realize that fear is now your ally, albeit a fickle ally, always ready to take you down.

And yet, when fear pushes your limits, when it takes you to the edge, but you still remain in control, internally, mentally, spiritually, something amazing is happening. You are growing stronger. And the more you do it, the more you want to repeat the feeling. It’s scary how addicting it can be.

3. Fear makes you feel alive.

Lets go back to you first paddle out when it’s huge out.

What is the thing you remember most?

Perhaps it’s your heart beat racing as you duck-dive that first massive swell, adrenaline pumping, your senses heightened to levels you had never felt before. It’s that pervading sense of fight-or-flight that invades your stomach and fills it up with “butterflies”.

And yet you press onward, now remounting another wave, impossibly, unrelentingly, larger than the last.

Until at last you make it to the take off zone.

When you arrive, the fear gradually lessens and suddenly it is replaced with a feeling of triumph and euphoria. And now you wait until the horizon becomes dark again.

A wall of water approaches, higher and higher, and then, in an instant, you turn around and start paddling frantically, all muscles and senses primed for immediate action.

And inevitably, the leap of faith, the take off, committing to whatever the ocean throws at you. And also in an instant, you are riding the face of wave and in one incredible moment, the wave’s lip starts crashing down behind you.

You adjust your speed just at the right moment and what happens next is in slow motion, or at least that’s how it feels to you. The curtain of the crashing wave covers you, and you are in the tube, chandeliers and white water trying to catch up with you. You stabilize, again making millisecond adjustments on your balance, footing and stance.

All of a sudden, the white water finally catches up with you and attempts to throw your balance by exhaling a huge spit ball; but your technique, for that one moment, is perfect.

You come out of the barrel, in one awesome, synchronous exhale, spit ruffling your hair. You are out and the wave rewards you with a clear ramp to exit the face.

As you paddle away, you feel more alive than ever. A sense of accomplishment fills you and you feel exhilarated and complete. You have just crossed the fear barrier and found what is on the other side: FEELING ALIVE!

Acceptance leads to transformation…

So why embrace fear? Really, consider this for a moment.

As I mentioned in the first few lines of this article: fear is uncomfortable. So why should we welcome it?

The fact is that if you want to expand your personal boundaries, stretch your limits and grow as an individual, you actually need fear to add spice to your life. This will set you up on a path of self-discovery which could also open doors to new opportunities. When this happens, and believe me, it will happen, accept it and, better yet, learn from it.

So what are your fears? How has fear held you back from reaching your goals and finding out what is on the other side? We all have personal fear barriers to conquer…which one is yours?

If you want to be more than you are, welcome a little fear. It could very well be that “special sauce” that could set set you on a different path. When it happens, the results can be pretty awesome. Embrace it!

I hope you liked this article and found it useful.

Please leave your thoughts below and share it if you know someone who you think might benefit from this information. I read all comments and will gladly take the time to reply. Thanks for reading!
 

Does Procrastinating Mean That I Have No Sense Of Accountability?

The squirrel did it!!

Hey Sentinels! Happy New Year to all of you and the very best wishes for health and abundance for 2018!!

So it finally happened.

Got caught in the procrastination trap. My last post was back in November. Initially I felt terrible about it but then decided to research a bit about what makes us procrastinate. T

The results were self-revealing and I am very happy to share them with you here.

I’m presently digging myself out this hole.

It’s so easy to fall victim of the “squirrel syndrome” when starting a business, any business, brick and mortar, online or otherwise.

These distractions can be so varied and all of them have one thing in common: they steal away focus.

You lose focus, you start paying attention to other sparkly things that initially look great, but eventually the sparkle wears off for some reason or other.

These distractions can also be just things, moments, incidents, that life just throws at you, and they can have just as much distracting power (many times more!) than that sparkly thing you saw in the internet (a webinar, a product, an offer, a course, etc.).

And once your focus is somewhere else, procrastination makes its unwelcome appearance and, before you know it, you are trapped, and suddenly you are looking at the work you haven’t done in weeks.

Does procrastination mean I have no sense of accountability

You think “how the hell am I going to catch up with all that I have to do?”.

And you look at your laptop, silent and waiting, and you ignore the calling, making some excuse not to continue.

You turn away from your work desk, feeling guilty, overwhelmed, and yes, even a bit fearful.

And you think “I’m caught. Procrastination’s finally got me good”.

But since you have no one to answer to but yourself, you add another unproductive day under the rug, so no one can see.

But you know it’s there.

And though you may make every effort to not see it, you can certainly feel it, there, in your gut.

You’re in deep…STOP DIGGING!

Time to put the shovel down and stop digging.

So…does procrastinating mean that I have no sense of accountability? It can be very easy to come to that conclusion.

You have no boss. You can do what you want, when you want. Stop and go as you please.

It’s a false sense of liberty.

You want all these things but you want them at no expense to you. Mistake

number one.

With freedom comes responsibility.

And for us that wish to own, create, innovate, and influence others for the better good, it goes beyond responsibility. The name of the game is accountability. Your results depend on you. In typical 9 to 5 work environments, it’s easier. You have your boss cracking the whip to keep you accountable.

If you do this well, you are good with your boss.

But even if you do this half-way decently, which is unfortunately where many companies around the world are, even then, you still get your paycheck and company benefits.

True, this won’t last if you keep half-assing around. But you have the company environment there to give you fair warning.

As an independent business owner, entrepreneur, etc. you don’t get that luxury.

If you decide to procrastinate, you have to own the results of your decision.

Blogging has a very clear-cut result of procrastination. You don’t publish regularly, you lose readership.

You lose readership, you lose your chances for subscribers and eventual buyers of whatever product, service or recommendation you can offer them in the mid and long term.

 

But most importantly, I think, is that you also lose the unique opportunity to interact and create relationships with them. That’s big.

Procrastination is not a Members Only club…

But here is the thing.

Procrastination, I’ve found, is a malady that serious online entrepreneurs face often.

It is not uncommon and we are certainly not alone when we fall in its trap.

The reason it is more common with online biz owners than traditional brick and mortar owners is the isolation factor.

As an online marketer/entrepreneur, you are dealing with many intangibles.

Once you become seriously involved with the subject matter, the truth is the great majority of the people that surround you just don’t get it.

So you become a bit of a loner.

There are very effective ways to stop the isolation but that is something we will explore in another post.

The point is that procrastination is not an isolated occurrence.

It happens to all of us, at every level of our journey, whether you are a newbie or seasoned veteran.

Here’s the great news, though: you can learn how to break procrastination habits.

Quick story…

A few years ago I took a Life Guarding Certification course. I knew how to swim pretty well, and I felt I was in pretty good shape. So in I go into the pool. The instructor tells all of us candidates that warm up begins with a brisk 20 laps.

Ok, no problem. I got this.

After my third lap, the instructor calls me over and tells me, in layman terms, that my swimming technique pretty much sucks.

I took the constructive criticism to heart and asked him for some tips. He tells me that he would be doing me a disservice by giving just a couple of tips and sending me on my way.

That if I was really serious in making the most of the Lifeguarding certification course (which I had already payed for), that we needed to get to the root of my swimming problem.

And that problem stemmed from my faulty breathing technique.

We worked on it for a few days, learning new habits and techniques. Swimming skills for life guarding are all together different from recreational swimming.

And so, with the help of my instructor and focusing on my root problem, I was able to finish and earn my lifeguard certification.

We are going to do the same with procrastination.

Following are 10 strategies that will help you break away from procrastination.

We will discuss the first 5 on this post and conclude this article with the following 5 strategies on a post which I will publish next week.

Yes, I could give you a few tips on how to handle this bad habit and send you on your way. But to really learn how to break procrastination habits, we must go deeper.

We will identify, own and get to the root of the matter.

1. Getting clarity…

Consider the subconscious for a moment.

Powerful stuff. It can go north or south, and many times you are not even aware of it.

With procrastination, it is no different.

You may have procrastination so embedded in your subconscious that you don’t even realize it. Your subconscious stores the good and the bad, either way. It is totally impartial.

So you may store good things that you are supposed to do and that you know are good for you, but because of procrastination, you keep them there, locked away, and don’t pay attention to them, until there is just too much to do.

You are overwhelmed and so you try to ignore it again, but more things, ideas, projects, keep adding up. When this happens, stop.

Pinpoint where this is coming from.

Write down a list of the things that you have to do.

You may not get to them all immediately. But it really helps to see them on paper.

It restores control and gives you a sense of direction as to what steps you are going to take next.

2. Shine light into the darkness.

The dark, that’s where our fears lie. Ever since we were small, they were always there. The monsters below our bed, in the closet.

As we grew up, the monsters transformed and now they appear as the unknown, as uncertainty.

We all face these fears daily. As entrepreneurs, even more so. Dealing with uncertainty is one of the traits that defines us.

If you are faced with the unknown, with uncertainty, shine light on the darkness.

Why are you afraid of the unknown?

Get to the source of your fear and make it go away by understanding it.

Perhaps you are not sure as to how to proceed or get over a certain obstacle. Well, guess what. You just turned on the light in that dark room. Sure, there are still a few dark corners but just recognizing that you have a problem with a certain aspect of your business, life, personal relationship, is a powerful way to start.

Now that you have your problem identified, bring in the big guns to shine even more light.

Research and inform yourself as to how you can breach the problem.

Give yourself pause and take the time to think how you are going to crush your obstacle.

Perhaps the solution needs a new, different angle. You may have to think out of the box, but believe me, the answer is out there. And once you realize this, it is incredibly empowering.

You are back in control.

However long it takes, hopefully not too long, you will find the answer for that problem.

Once you do, the monsters will disappear until another challenge comes your way. Remember to shine the light into the darkness.

3. Remember your “WHY”.

So important. And SOO easy to forget.

Remember when you wrote in a piece of paper somewhere, or perhaps in you notebook, why you are doing this?

Why are you putting up with all the doubters and the naysayers?

Why are you dealing with all the ups and downs of becoming who you know you were meant to be, the challenges, the bad days, the frustrations, the isolation, the steep learning curves along the way, and all that is yet to come?

Why do you do it? In my case, I have a list of about 30 “WHYs”. All of them are relevant. When I find a new WHY, I added it to the list.

I also try to read them as often as possible to keep myself  motivated.

You may have one WHY and that’s fine. Let it fill. Get laser focused on WHY you do what you do.

4. Don’t beat yourself up.

 

Hey, it’s alright to screw up once in a while. Really.

Don’t be so critical with yourself. You are learning new skills, including a new way to look at things. You are learning a new mindset.

And that, my friends, takes time to learn.

Expect bumps along the way. It’s ok. Just accept your mistakes, brush yourself off, and move on.

Be humble. Ask for help. The key is to keep moving forward.

5. Time to get serious. No excuses.

Self explanatory here.

You want more time to do the things you enjoy most, and earn passive income on the side, you have to get serious and commit in body and mind to whatever business model you want to be successful at, online or otherwise.

It’s that simple.

Here’s a guy who knows a thing or two about comitting body and mind to the accomplishment of a goal…

Once you begin, you have to commit to being a finisher.

6. Own it.

Ok so you have challenges in your business and some of these challenges you have brought upon yourself.

We go back to accountability on this one.

Your decisions. Your results, for better or worse, are your responsibility. Own up.

This is one of the greatest lessons you will learn from leadership.

It’s a tricky business.

Your decisions will affect you, positively or negatively. Eventually they will affect you and your team.

You are the leader. You must own up your to successes and your failures.

7. Be aware of your work environment.

Look around your work area.

Is it tidy? Does it inspire you? Perhaps you have nice view to your garden. That’s great!

Many of us, however, have challenges keeping our work areas tidy.

The better you feel in your work area, the more productive and motivated you will feel to sit down and commit to those two or three hours of solid work you promised when you decided to develop whatever project you had in mind.

A quick recap…

For now, it is plenty to ponder and reflect on.

Next week I will have the second part of this article ready for you with more useful, practical information.

In the mean time, try to apply some or all of the strategies mentioned here.

Remember, get clarity first…pinpoint the source of why you are procrastinating. You do that, you are already well ahead of the crowd.

Shine the light on your fears. They are normally not as bad as you think.

When feeling unsure of how to overcome an obstacle, remember why you are doing this. So important. And instant fuel you can always rely on.

Decisions will always be part of your journey. Some will be good. Others not so much. By far. You have got to own up, learn from that experience and keep moving. It’s a huge part of being a leader. And it’s not as simple as it sounds.

Be tidy in your work surroundings. This will not only improve the quality of your work, but it will also allow you to increase your productivity, helping you keep motivated.

I hope you liked part one regarding procrastination and how to deal with this very insidious habit. Please, if you have found some of this information useful, leave me your comments below or share with someone you feel might benefit from this article. Thanks again and see you next week for part two!

These are NOT your typical outdoor activities for adults…

Step into the rabbit’s hole please…

Flyboarding, coasteering, creeking, ice swimming. Definitely not your typical outdoor activities for adults. Yet, the lure for risk, danger and the reward for that one moment of pure adrenalin, have made these very unusual sports ever more popular.

These activities demand a very different approach for their practice.

The expression “thinking out of the box” has very fertile ground here, where alternative activities such as these can not only grab hold, but flourish.

Enter wave surf skiing, for instance.

Put two water skis together, two poles, one super conditioned waterman, and some of the world’s biggest waves, and you have a new, spectacular sport as a result. Check this out:

The dare devil/waterman in the above video is Chuck “The Ripper” Patterson. He excels in big wave surfing, SUP paddle boarding, kite surfing, and snow skiing (off cliffs 100+ feet high).

And now, wave surf skiing.

The Journey Begins…

It all began with an idea shared with long time friend (now passed) Shane McConkey. Together, they came up with a “why not” moment: using water skis to surf waves.

Patterson’s versatility as a water and alpine athlete made this experiment even more feasible.

First tries were done with jump water skis. The experiment took place in a Central California break, off 12 mt. slabs. Patterson did very well, going on for 20 more successful take-offs.

Convinced that he could take the experiment to the next level, Patterson traveled to Maui, to face one of the world’s biggest and most dangerous waves: Pe’ahi (a.k.a. Jaws).

With support from respected watermen like Robby Naish and Dave Kalama, Patterson was able to complete 3 rides in massive Pe’ahi, in front of an unbelieving crowd. Later, he would reflect about his very first ride in Pe’ahi:

“The first drop was nuts – I barely made it, and dropped the lip just like a cornice, going faster than I’ve ever gone. I got three rides and called it a day. The next day we went back to smaller but cleaner waves and just had a blast – big S-turns, fading back into the wave…”

And when asked how do the wave skis work, Patterson explains:

“Much like snow skis when you’re skiing powder. The big difference is you’re steering from the middle of the boot to the back of the ski, not using the whole ski like you do in skiing. The front of the ski is out of the water”.

This sport, as mentioned before, requires definite out of the box thinking. Specially where Patterson wants to take it next. Balharra, France, and Teahupoo, Tahiti. “This”, he says, “would be the pinnacle”.

Thinking out of the box…

Who is out there, now, leaving a mark in the rabbit’s hole? Think about that for a minute. Elon Musk? Richard Branson? Michio Kaku?

Outdoor activities for adults like going to Mars...
Elon Musk

This group of very special people are the vanguard of innovation and invention. They are also immensely successful, both financially and in their personal lives.

 

They all have one thing in common and that is their willingness to think

Virgin Galactic and Outdoor activities for adults...
Richard Branson

outside the box, regardless of what other naysayers may think. The following quote from Eleanor Roosevelt sums it up very nicely:

 

 

Do what you feel in your heart to be right- for you’ll be criticized anyway. You’ll be damned if you do, and damned if you don’t.

And in the water realm, where we feel most comfortable, who or what has left (or is currently leaving) a wake of innovation and vanguard? Here are just a few examples of some of our heroes, leaving their mark on this very exclusive club:

outdoor activities for adults in an endless summer.The Endless Summer

Surf travel and the search for perfect uncrowded waves in exotic surroundings, some very, very far away, like Cape St. Francis, paved the way for traveling surfers around the world. But more importantly the impact this visionary movie had on Africa would be felt for decades to come.

From balsa to foam.

Old timers may hold a nostalgic view about their heavy, wooden boards, times gone by, including uncrowded beaches. But the fact is that if polyurethane foam hadn’t come about, modern surfing (and all its derivatives) would never have existed.

 

O’Neill, Bev Morgan, Bob and Bill Mistrell…

Creators of closed-cel neoprene rubber wet suits and vests. Later on this would evolve into the O’Neill front zip seal suit.

The surf leash.

Many take credit for the creation of this accessory, but in fact, functional versions were originally designed in Santa Cruz, by Steve Russ and Pat O’Neill, in the early 70s .

Today, surf leashes are a mainstay part of any surfing quiver, beginner, or otherwise.

Fins.

The introduction of fin technology revolutionized the surfing industry. No other accessory has impacted or innovated surfing as much as this tiny, unassuming accessory. Fins influence mobility, stability and the overall “feel” of the board and also allow for much better control on the wave’s  surface. Getting into more technicalities regarding how fins work would take another article altogether.

Fins have been, and continue to be, that all-important accessory for any surfboard.

Tube riding.

So…who stepped out of the box (which at the time was the bowl at Ala Moana, in the island of Oahu Hawaii), and set the stage for modern tube riding as we know it?

Gerry Lopez? Rory Russell? Buttons K? Shaun Thompson?

Gerry Lopez

Even though these legendary surfers were the elite of the Banzai Pipeline during the 70s, the real pioneers were early barrel riders Conrad Canha and Sammy Lee.

Conrad Canha
Sammy Lee

 

 

 

 

 

For surfers around the world, tube riding became the holy grail of surfing, going to the ends of the earth in search for that elusive moment found between the lip and the face of the wave.

outdoor activites for adults in new zeland
Somewhere in New Zeland…

Once again, The Endless Summer only made this search even more mythical.

Surf forecasting.

Trial and error was the name of the game in the pioneering days. Also, a big part of the mystique of surf travel. Nowadays, Surfline and Windguru let you know before you go.

Stand Up Paddle Boarding.

At first glance, SUP boarding would appear dull, boring and too passive for the active waterman.

But its versatility for casual users, yoga enthusiasts and open water paddle boarders around the world have made it incredibly popular.

SUP boarding also has recently acquired a mean, extreme streak, having being tested at Pe’ahi and Teahupoo, resulting in wide acceptance as full fledged action water sport.

Surf resorts.

Nicaragua, El Salvador, Mexico, but heading the list since 1986, Fiji’s Tavarua Island. If you have the cash and the time, Tavarua has the perfection and resort services you are looking for.

Personal water craft.

Essential for water rescue and tow in on some of the world’s heaviest waves, the wave runner has also allowed surfers and watermen alike to break away from the limitations of traditional surfing, allowing them to really step out and look beyond the box (a.k.a. Teahupoo, Shipsterns Bluff and Nazare).

Hydrofoil Surfing

Riding an unbroken wave for nearly an indefinite time, across vast distances. Now that is going deep into the rabbit’s hole. In fact, you are now looking outside of the hole itself, if that can be even interpreted.

And the person spear-heading this concept is none other than Laird Hamilton, waterman and innovator.

In words we can understand, the concept of hydrofoil surfing is similar to whales gliding on an ocean swell. Hamilton has reached speeds of up to 80 km/h.

Like minds think alike…

People who think out of the box are certainly a breed apart. Their minds are wired a bit differently than the rest of us.

Some can be wacky, even eccentric. Many, like Albert Einstein (king of the rabbit hole!), are natural loners.

That is not to say that there your exceptions. Richard Branson comes to mind.

Shedding light inside the rabbit’s hole…

The good news is that you can retrain your mind and make this skill your very own.

Follow these few simple tips:

  1. Once you have the solution of a problem insight, don’t stop there. Search for alternative solutions that allow for a different approach to solving the problem.
  2. Don’t be afraid of criticism. In fact, do the opposite: embrace opposition and critique.
  3. This one is a bit of a challenge for most of us. Try to change your daily routine.
  4. Creativity is a very important part of outside of the box thinking. Try to give your creativity the opportunity to grow and expand by doing things you aren’t very good at.
  5. Mind your thoughts. Be flexible. Avoid saying things like “This is the way it is” or It’s always been done that way”.
  6. Go back to an old project and try renewing it using a completely different methodology.
  7. Enrich your mind by watching and reading articles and programs that you usually wouldn’t read or watch.
  8. Dare to be experimental with music, food, art, etc. Explore and reward your senses.
  9. Failure will happen. It is a part of growth. When this happens, write down all that you have learned from this failure as soon as you can. Reflect and make the pertinent adjustments in your journey.

 

Let’s think about the above tips for a minute. I would venture that some parts of our life style go hand in hand with at least one or more of these tips.

“Naturals” at thinking outside the box?

I think watermen and surfers around the world who love the ocean, and are actively a part of it, are constantly thinking outside the box.

It’s the environment where we display our creativity and skill.

The ocean requires that we shift, move, change and adapt to its rhythm.

And that is also thiking outside of the box.

It is good.

It is growth.

And it is free for the taking.

Hope you liked this article. Please leave your comments ans/or critiques below. I will be very glad to read them and get back to you. Thanks again for reading!

 

 

 

Define Triumphant: Gabriel Medina Hossegor 2017

Hot coffee, buttery croissants and sexy sandbars…

I sat down on my usual spot, at a local french patisserie, waiting for a freshly made cup of coffee and hot, buttery croissant. As the waiter arrived with the steaming cup of Chiapas magic, my friend Eduardo joined me, also asking for another cup.

The patisserie, a lone star and true survivor of a notoriously fickle restaurant market, has been our spot for well over two years now. Tuesday is normally our day off. Weekends in Cancun are mainstay working days. So yes, Tuesday coffee and croissants, in Cancun, may be bit corny. But it’s the company that makes this quarterly get together work.

Eduardo and I have known each other for almost 12 years now.

We have families and understanding wives who know a thing or two about this “guy thing” going on between my best friend and I. And so, we sit down, drink our hot coffee (and croissants) and talk about our week. We both continue to work for the vacation club industry in Cancun, which gives us plenty to discuss.

But our thing is talking about anything that has to do with our real passion: surfing and action water sports.

Exhilarating win for Brazil and Latin America!

As the croissants arrive, Eduardo goes for the butter and jam, spreading it over half of the roll, previously sliced in tidy halves. This by habit. Never fails. I go “viking style”, breaking the roll in two and spreading butter and jelly generously over the croissant. We both know that something quite extraordinary has transpired over the weekend.

As I look at Eduardo, I ask him: “Lalo (term of endearment for Eduardo), define triumphant for me”.

As he finishes putting half of the roll in his mouth, Eduardo pulls out his cel and shows me a picture of an exuberantDefine trimphant: Gabriel Medina Hossegor 2017 surfer, arms up in the air in victory, his face clearly showing signs of happiness, relief and exhaustion. I recognize the picture immediately. Gabriel Medina.

“Just won Hossegor again!” Eduardo informs me, putting the cel down, beside the bread plate holding half of the croissant waiting to be eaten. I sit back and think for a minute at Gabriel’s feat. At barely 22 years of age, Gabriel Medina is the only Brazilian (indeed, the only Latin American) to ever win the Quick Silver Pro France for the third time.

He also made history by being the first Brazilian ever to win the Hawaiian Triple Crown of Surfing in 2015 and landing a first ever “back flip” which earned him another historical first and a perfect score of 10 on May 14, 2016, during the Oi Rio Pro.

The very same year, Medina won his seventh WCT event, and his second in heavy Cloudbreak, in the Fiji Islands. He is considered as the most victorious Brazilian surfer of the WCT at age 22.

So what defines a champion?

What characteristics, traits, attributes, sets these individuals apart from the rest?

As we continue drinking our coffee, Lalo adds an interesting bit of information to Medina’s journey to victory. “Kelly Slater had Andy Irons…Medina has JJ Florence”.

I look at him, understanding in part what he is implying.

“Competition can drive you to become better at literally any activity” Lalo stated. “You are right”, I conceded. “Nothing to do with surfing, but in F1, Senna had Prost.They were excellent examples of true competition. Again, away from the water, current, legendary rivalries, like Nadal and Federer, are invaluable for the individual and great for those watching!”.

I take my cel out and look for the WSL site. The image of Medina comes up again. I think for a minute. “You know, a lot of it I think also has to do with your background. Where you come from and the challenges you have had to overcome to reach your goals. This has a lot to do on how successful you will be in your adult life”.

“Take Gabriel, for instance”.I continued, taking a small sip of my coffee.

“His life from early on, was competitive surfing. Did you know he began surfing at 9 years of age and at 11 he won his first national championship? From there, he began his rising career, facing the challenges and financial struggles that all would-be pro surfers face when aspiring for sponsorship and ranking at the highest level”.

Lalo considered for a moment. Then questioned:”If you had to choose a trait that sets not only Medina apart, but really, other champions apart from the rest of the heap, what would that be?”.

I thought about his question for a moment.

Deconstructing the profile of a champion.

“I would have to say mindset, Lalo. The power of the mind is everything. We are barely tapping it’s full potential. And already look at what has been accomplished. Mindset has allowed us to finally conquer impossible waves like Teahupoo, The Right and Shippies. It has allowed surfers like Garrett McNamara to ride the biggest wave ever recorded in Nazare, Portugal. It’s put Peahi on the map. Its gone as far as finally allowing Maverick’s to be included in the Big Wave Circuit for 2017 and 2018. And this is all due to mindset. How we control and master our emotions when facing risk, adversity, insurmountable odds, and such. Yeah. Mindset wins out. Everytime”.

 

Lalo took a sip of his coffee. He sat back on his chair, reflecting and considering my emotional explanation of mindset and champions.

Making a case for discipline and consistency…

“But Xavier, isn’t discipline and consistency just as important? I mean, just look at any world champion today. Let’s say, Roger Federer, for example. Sure, nothing to do with surfing, but it still remains relevant since singles tennis remains an individualistic sport. Federer has mindset, agreed. A steely mindset that has helped him win many grand slam tournaments. But he couldn’t have had such success without iron discipline and consistency. I mean, look at the guy. He just beat Nadal again this last Sunday, at the Shanghai Masters, in one hour and 12 minutes! And the guy is 36 years old! Mindset, sure, but discipline and consistency weigh very heavily on the end results, in sports, at work, man, in life!”.

We both sat there, each considering each other’s views. One thing was certain. Unlike many sports, surfing had one unique aspect that set it apart from other sports with worldwide appeal. The environment in which the sport actually takes place in. The ocean is unpredictable and always in motion, demanding a healthy amount of creativity, adaptability and cojones!

We both laughed, agreeing in between guffaws, clearing our eyes from laughter tears. This remained the one true aspect of the activity we loved so much. In this point in particular, we both really felt no other sport in the world could hold a candle to it.

“So we agree, then” Lalo said. “To be a champion, to set yourself apart from the rest, you must, first and foremost:

Have the right mindset.

Fixed Mindset:

Basic qualities, like intelligence or talent. Qualities are documented and not developed.

Growth Mindset:

Basic abilities can be developed through discipline and hard work.

Discipline:

Jim Rohn once said that discipline is the bridge between goals and accomplishments. Think about this for a minute. Now think of the incredible people that have reached success by being disciplined individuals. Who comes to mind? How about this guy:

 

Or this gal:

Consistency:

Doing something, whatever that is, over and over again, regardless of the challenges or obstacles that may present themselves. This will temper your character and yield great results.


“Humor!” Lalo said out loud, breaking the silence between us. “A good sense of Humor is fundamental as part of a champion’s profile. Taking any sport too seriously is a mistake, I think. Those athletes that don’t take themselves too seriously usually do better than others. Just consider some of these champions: Taj Burrow, Peter Mel, and, lo and behold, his Highness himself: Kelly Slater!”. We both agreed, no argument there. You must be able to laugh at yourself. Otherwise, you risk going crazy!

 

Lalo and I finished our last cup of coffee. We looked outside the window. Outside was a typical Cancun autumn day: still hot and humid, with a slight breeze. Things were starting to cool down a bit.

And we both looked wistfully beyond the heat, the humidity, beyond the borders of our minds, letting our imaginations carry us to windswept beaches, hollow a-frames, red wine, cheese and baguettes; we dreamed of sexy sand banks and La Graviere and experiencing the whole surfing scene, french style.

 

At that moment, Lalo and I made a pact that we would be there, at Hossegor, in two years time. Drinking coffee and hot, buttery croissants at a local patisserie at La Graviere. Add one to our bucket list.

 

 

If you have liked this post, please comment below. Share it and also tell me what being champion means to you. What sets these individuals apart from the rest? Give us your thoughts below. I read all comments, positive and critical. I would be glad to share opinions on this topic with you. Talk soon!

Transformation: Accepting The Laws Of Change

“Hell hath no fury…”

Hey everyone! Been away for a while. My apologies for that. See, where I’m from, earthquakes are a very serious matter. They are dangerous and very deadly. And we just had two of them a few weeks ago.

I live in the Mexican Caribbean. Our concern is more centered in tropical storms and hurricanes, of which 3 of the later, have already impacted on US territory, mainly Texas and Florida.

And Let’s not forget the brutal pummeling that Puerto Rico, Dominica and the US Virgin Islands got with Irma and Maria, this last one having the dimensions of a 50-mile wide tornado, destroying anything and anyone that stood on it’s way.

Transformation: The Laws of Change
No town, no city, indeed, no island or country could withstand such unbridled energy. Puerto Rico took it in the chin…twice.

And meanwhile, back in my country, 3 states got hit with a 7.5 earthquake, and then the big one happened in Mexico City, which even today we are still recovering from both psychologically and emotionally.

Blind eye to the laws of change...
Many people have died.

The news media try to keep the numbers under control. But the truth is that the exact death toll will never be known.

What makes this disaster even more painful in the psyche of many Mexicans, is the fact that many of the victims were children and teenagers, caught in this disaster while attending school.

Of course, questions remain in regards to structural integrity of collapsed buildings, especially the schools where whole roofs collapsed on top of innocent students. Who is to blame? Who is responsible?

Who will pay for the suffering of the broken families left behind?

As is the case in many Latin American countries, no one knows, no one takes responsibility. At times, it would seem that the authorities involved have turned a blind eye to the undeniable laws of change…

“Time may change me but I can’t trace time” – David Bowie

And so, it made me think a bit about life, how precious, and fragile it can be, against nature’s wrath. It may sound dramatic. But I think wrath is the right choice of word here.

My wife and I went through Wilma, back in 2005, and got our first taste of a category 5 hurricane. An experience which I would encourage anyone to avoid, both before, during and after the storm.

Anyway, life is precious and short. Buddha once wisely said “The problem is that we think we have time”.

My friends, time we have, but it is finite. We must make the most of the time we have here, surely live the present, but also prepare for the future.

Take an active stance towards what is important to us, our ocean-loving community, and how to impact positively in the now and in the future.

This blog has been an attempt to appreciate, understand, and enjoy all the goodness that comes from safe responsible practice of ocean water sports. The last 10 posts published have thus far made up this blog and it is my hope is that this at least has been accomplished.

It is now time to turn to more valuable topics which I sincerely hope will help you in your personal development and growth. Action Water Sports (AWS) have influenced my life in a very positive manner. Many of you have experienced this growth, this “stoke”, after a great barrel, planning on your kite or windsurf board, or doing a perfect bottom turn.

Something very special happens at that moment when everything “clicks” and you are in the zone, deep in a barrel, flying high above the waves, or diving deeper than you ever had before.

I believe this is the growth part of the activities we so cherish. So entranced and excited are we, that we can’t wait to tell our friends and loved ones what just transpired in our lives in those few, brief seconds. Whether they understand it or not is besides the point. But growth is like that.

Sometimes it is only something that you, and you alone, understand.

Surfsentinel…overhauled!

In the next posts that I will be publishing, you will find continuation of interesting articles about the AWS. This will always be so. Surfsentinel, above all else, will remain a blog about AWS found around the world.

From Mexico to Argentina, from Hawaii to Morocco (yes indeed, and you will be amazed how active the surfing community is there), from Australia to Mentawais, Sumatra, Java and beyond.

This blog will also be a bridge of communication, focused on educating and involving “sentinels” around the world who also share a deep love and respect of our planet’s oceans.

Self Development through Action Water Sports

But you will now also have access to articles, posts and videos that will help and inspire you to reach your full potential, strive for that goal, that dream that, for some reason, you have yet to accomplish.

Think about this for a minute. Where would you like to be at this precise moment. Really. If you had a passive income stream that allowed you to be anywhere in the world, without having to worry about where the next pay check is coming from, where would that be? What would you be doing? Where would you go next?

It sounds inviting and, I know, for some of you, it might be the time when you are saying “OK, here we go with another pipe dream. Luis, please stick with the cool videos and AWS articles. Heard all before. Not interested”.

Ah, but here is the thing, my fellow Sentinels, this lifestyle can be yours. There is no doubt in my mind. No doubt whatsoever. It all comes down to MINDSET. And together we will reach for this star, for this objective.

Together, through trials and tribulations, failings and accomplishments, we will get there.

“Calm seas do not make an able mariner…”

You need skills.

Attributes that will help you guarantee the continuation of your lifestyle, even when you are away from whichever activity you enjoy most.

Like I mentioned before, life is short and precious. We must take care of our bodies and minds being ready for that next dive, that next barrel.

We must also remain mindful of our emotions. We must learn to be masters of our emotions. This will give us great power over ourselves and enhance our relationships with others we know and love to no end.

Financial independence. This is the key to the lifestyle we want to achieve. Perhaps many of you have already achieved it. Kudos! Now, think of ways to guarantee its continuation. For the rest of us, the path to financial independence is financial education.

Think of your health. You must invest time and discipline to maintain a healthy body to function properly in the water. Healthy eating habits goes hand in hand here. What will you do to fuel your body properly and help avoid injury?

Think of your financial IQ. The mind is the largest organ of the human body. You must develop it just like any other muscle. You will now find posts and articles that deal with improving your financial IQ. Mind you, I am not a financier, but over the years, I have read quite a bit about personal finances and strategies on how to improve our financial IQ.

I will be happy to share this valuable information with you.

Strategize and apply…

Passive income. Another cornerstone that will allow us to enjoy the lifestyle we want.

Simply put, passive income is income you are creating while doing other activities, hopefully activities you greatly enjoy, like AWS!

Passive income can come from activities as varied as learning how to invest in the stock market, investing in real state and collecting rentals from tenants, or having different income streams from different online business models.

We will touch on all these at a later time. But the fact remains that, whichever passive income strategy you choose to implement, to have success, you must be BRUTALLY CONSISTENT!

 And so we turn the page…

So there you have it. A bit of a change, to be sure. But the winds of change are here to stay, and many times, they bring good things.

It is my heartfelt wish that the information I will be providing you in the near future will be of some value to you, Sentinels around the world.

Surely, sometimes I will tend to ramble on a bit (perhaps I’m already there!). But it is with the best of intentions. Please offer your comments, your critiques. It’s OK. I will gladly follow your advice whenever it is offered to improve the content I publish. Thank you and talk soon!