Ultimate Fun In The Sun! My 10 Favorite Summer Songs For 2018.

Time for more fun & sun!

Hey, hey Sentinels around the world! It’s Luis here sharing more content with you regarding all things to do with action water sports, surf lifestyle and ocean awareness.

This week, I want to take it a bit slower, going for a lighter tone on my post. If you have been following my blog, you probably know that the last few weeks I have been writing about serious environmental issues, ocean conservation heroes, and intrepid cave rescues. Relevant and important topics, sure, but hey…

It’s the middle of summer!

What say we all get back to our favorite beach and continue having a great time? But wait, we need to take some awesome tunes with our beach kit, right?

Man, music is SO important to make memorable moments even better.

Why is that? What does music do to us? How does it manage impact our lives in so many positive ways, even after years go by, and still, we are moved, excited, happy? (or sad…but none of that here, please!).

Let’s take a closer look at this incredible and essential part of our lives. In my personal experience, I could not do without music, period. Especially during summer vacations. And I am happy to share with you my 10 favorite all-time summer tunes I never do without. Let’s get started!

But first…why is music so important to us?

It comes down to three factors: “self-actualization”, to “fulfill emotional needs”, and to “fulfill social needs”. Let me explain. When I mention self-actualization, I am referring to “the realization or fulfillment of one’s talents and potentialities, especially considered as a drive or need present in everyone”. It can also be understood as:

“The full realization of one’s creative, intellectual, or social potential”.

Music spurs our creativity in so many ways. It releases us from the challenges we face in daily life. It connects with the imaginative part of our brain. Music encourages us to dream and ponder and reflect. It makes you feel good, as mentioned before, by releasing endorphins, the feel-good hormones of our body. When you add to this to sunny days surrounded by friends and/or family in idyllic settings, it can be incredibly powerful, embedding and anchoring unforgettable moments that remain with us whenever we listen to this or that song.

What does music do to your state of mind?

“To fulfill emotional needs”…it’s a chemical thing. It goes back to the release of endorphins, as mentioned above. But what exactly are endorphins? What do they do to us and what are they really for? Take a look at this informal, but very helpful video. Endorphins are SO important and this is why:

So basically, Endorphins (and their close relatives, Enkephalins) are responsible for triggering that euphoric, feel-good emotion whenever we listen to an awesome tune, have sex (yay!) or do something that is pleasurable (like eating chocolate!). And this can affect our state of mind in so many positive ways. That’s why exercise can be so addicting when done regularly. “Runner’s high” is a good example of that.

“Stoke” is another good example and one more close to home.

“Fulfill social needs”…music integrates us, makes us come together, from love songs fro the love-struck couples to colossal music social events like Lola Palooza and beyond (think Pink Floyd or Bruce Springsteen concerts). Music gives us a feeling of belonging to an idea or concept expressed by these artists that we ourselves sometimes cannot express very well.

We rotate around “our tribe”, whether that be classic, metal, jazz, reggae, pop, rap, or an eclectic mix of all these. I personally find it an awesome moment in history where you can find so much musical wealth out there, and, most of all, it is so easily accessible, it blows my mind.

Where can you find the best music downloads?

So now that chemistry and sociology 101 are over, let’s get into the fun stuff. Where to get the best music downloads? As you may imagine, the answer, in this case, is: it depends. Have a look at this informative video from Android Police and you decide:

In the end, there are really two real choices here, although, honestly, I’m not much of a techie and gadgets person, so my personal favorite remains Apple Music.

Should you get a portable sound device?

Of course, listening to music can be a very personal thing. But come on, it’s summer, you are with friends and family. It’s beautiful out and the water is just perfect. You have got to share this moment with everyone! So, although mobiles are great for every day listening (commutes, workouts, standing in lines, etc.), portable sound devices are also an essential part of your summer kit. Whatever device you decide to get, I suggest you keep two main features in mind:

  • Sound quality
  • Portability

There are many portable speakers out there but it really is a matter of personal choice. For me, shelling out a bit more money for these two features is well worth it.

And the BOSE SoundLink Mini Bluetooth speaker has been, hands down, one of the best investments I have ever made. It’s not only the brand, which I’ve been a fan of for several years now. It’s also that Bose hits the features mentioned above right on the nail. If I sound excited about this product, it’s because I am.

In fact, as I am writing to you right now, I have my little speaker sitting unassumingly on my desk and the sound quality coming out never ceases to amaze me. If you want to check it out, here’s a review I wrote about his little wonder speaker.

So should you get a portable speaker for this summer? Definitely! It will make a huge difference in your vacation experience. Trust me on this!

So who is your go-to performer out there for this summer?

Man, this is a hard one to answer. I will confess that I am no longer on top of today’s current music trends. I guess I gravitate towards rock, big time. Not to say that there are some pretty awesome indie and rap bands out there, but again, it’s old school for me.

There, I said it!

So I try to watch out for new bands on Itunes, Spotify, Youtube and even the Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon. I know, I know, borderline lame, right? Also, Later…with Jools Holland keeps me pretty much up to date with the European scene.

Lately, these are the bands that have made me stop and listen:

  • Florence and The Machine
  • Steep Canyon Rangers
  • Jaden Smith
  • Billie Ellish
  • Chris Lane
  • Card B (really!)
  • Five Seconds of Summer
  • Rex Orange County
  • Sting & Shaggy
  • Arctic Monkey
  • Foster The People
  • Christine and The Queens

There are so many more! It’s one of the highlights of the evening, and a perfect way to end my day.

My summer playlist!

And finally, we come to the nitty-gritty. Without further ado, here’s my top ten 2018 summer playlist

 1. Better Together (Jack Johnson).

This is such a soulful and mellow song. It’s one of my all-time favorite love songs. Great to play it with a beautiful sunset and a warm summer breeze!

2. Out In The Open (Steep Canyon Rangers).

I have been listening to country lately and found some pretty awesome bands. Steep Canyon Rangers sort of remind me of Eagles with their vocal range. This song is perfect for any summer road trip. Play it loud!

3. Three Little Birds (Bob Marley).

‘Nuff said!

4. Love Will Find a Way (Eagles).

Notice a pattern developing here? Yeah, mellow love rock is big for me. This song, though, is so special. Eagles bassist Randy Eisner’s voice is so incredibly heartfelt and true, it never fails to amaze me. That and the band’s impeccable vocal harmony makes this song an instant summer classic. Add to that a side order of Tequila Sunrise and Desperado and see where the evening takes you!

5. Free Bird (Lynyrd Skinnard).

The live version at Oakland Coliseum Stadium in 1977 – c’mon…you know you want to hear it all!!  (and yeah, Sweet Home Alabama also rocks!).

6. Bad to the Bone (George Thorogood).

If there is one song that conveys “badass” to me it is this song. I first saw the “Bad to the Bone” video on MTV back in the 80s. It immediately blew my mind away. Hey, anyone who can beat Bo Diddley in Pool is a total badass!

7. Thunderstruck (AC/DC).

So many jewels and so little time! Highway to Hell, Back in Black, Shoot to Thrill…all of them awesome. But  Thunderstruck is my other ultimate road song. Especially when I’m feeling a bit sleepy!

8. Funky Kingston (Toots and The Maytals).

Happy, uplifting and unabashed. I just heard this reggae band a few days ago and I just had to add them to my official feel-good summer playlist. Whenever you want to get in a happy groove almost instantly, just play a few of their Jamaican, sun-drenched tunes!

9. No Tears Left To Cry (Ariana Grande).

Yep! Pop’s cool too! Especially coming from such an incredible talent as Ariana Grande. She is also hilarious…a natural comedian and performer. And did I mention she has an unbelievable vocal range? Grande can sing pop, country, gothic rock and many other music styles with such ease and grace it’s scary.

10. Girls Like You (Maroon 5 ft. Cardi B).

I confess I wasn’t much of a fan of Maroon 5 (the whole high pitched voice thing just didn’t rub on me the right way), but this song is an extremely catchy song and, hey, Cardi B features in it…pretty cool collaboration.

11. Don’t Make Me Wait (Sting & Shaggy)

Holy crap!! Talk about an unlikely collaboration working beautifully! The entire CD is amazing and so “beachy”. It’s perfect for blissfully swaying along with palm trees as the sun is setting…soft, warm ocean breezes gently blowing by…so cool! And also check this Shaggy classic, also with Sting…so fun!!

12. Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole (Somewhere over the Rainbow).

Hawaiian music has always been a favorite of mine. That includes traditional music, including songs from Dennis Pavao, Amy Hanaiali, George Kahumoku, Jr. and Keali’i Reichel, as well as more modern contemporary island artists such as The Brothers Cazimero, Makaha Sons, Hawaiian Style Band and  Israel “IZ” Kamakawiwoʻole.

I have two additional favorites which I am going to include here which I can pretty much listen too, not only during summer, but all year long: “Live a Little” from Hawaiian Style Band and “ Ku’u Home O Kahalu’u”, interpreted by the Brothers Cazimero.

Sorry for going Moana on all of you but I honestly think I have some Polynesian in my blood…I just love island music! If you want to find out a bit more about Hawaiian music, here’s a couple more artists which I can recommend:

In conclusion…

So there you have it. My 10 favorite songs for summer 2018. Some are not so well known, I know, especially the ones from the islands. But, hey, I’ve learned that keeping an open mind can lead to pretty amazing places (musically speaking).

So get out there, give free rein to your musical likes and start making memories over this summer. Because, in the end, memories are the one thing that remain and become truly priceless

What are your ultimate summer songs? Which your memories or moments have been influenced by songs during your summer vacations? I would love to hear your stories, anecdotes or memorable accounts. Or simply share your favorite song or songs in the comment section below.

Thanks for reading and let’s all continue listening and making unforgettable memories this summer. See you in the water!!

Does Procrastinating Mean I have No Sense Of Accountability? – Part 2

Hey sentinels! Happy New Year to all of you wherever you may be reading my blog, for which I am ever so greatful!

It has been an incredible 7 months now since I started Surfsentinel and blogging about all matters relative to self development, action water sports and ocean conservancy.

It is now time for setting new goals for 2018 and making every effort to make those goals come true.

Tony Robbins

I would like to share with you a quote from one of my favorite life coaches ever, Tony Robbins. I feel it fits in perfectly with starting the new year with a clear and powerful message:

Does procrastination mea I have no sense of accountability.

We continue with part two of strategies on how to break away from procrastination. It is so essential to understand and apply these strategies now that you have some of your goals ahead of you.

Please read on and make sure you give me your comments below. And more importantly, share this information with someone you think might benefit from this article. Here we go:

8. Take bold action. Have absolute certainty.

Tony Robbins says it best. The key for incredible success is:

1) Have absolute certainty in what you are doing.

2) Take massive action.

That’s it! Sound easy, right? Well, for many of us it is a bit harder than that.

You may have absolute certainty but you are unsure as to how to take massive action.

In my case, I’m pretty much of an introvert. Networking and going out of my way to meet new people has always been a big challenge. But once I shined the light on that dark room, it wasn’t so bad.

I looked for online communities with like interests. Not all of them are welcoming, it’s true. But I took the time to look for the ones that would.

I now have acquaintances and friends on action water sports self development and digital marketing communities in FB, Twitter and Google+. I have yet to get into Instagram but I will eventually get to it.


9. Set real goals

My suggestion here is to be realistic with setting your goals.

Apply the S.M.A.R.T. strategy when creating your goals. Make them Specific, Measurable, Achievable, Relevant, and Timely.

Also, try to share them with a friend or loved one. Have them be your accountability buddy. This really helps a lot to keep focused in achieving your goals.

Here is a blog post from Darren Rowse, at Pro Blogger, with additional advice on how to have SMART goals.

Also, have a look at this site, Goals On Track, for daily advice on how to reach your goals. It’s a pretty awesome site with tons of great tips. No affiliate commission here. Just great useful info.

10. Face the music everyday

So today was not perfect. You feel like you accomplished nothing. You don’t understand the new lesson, skill, code, or whatever it is that is making you feel crappy right now.

Hey, remember not beating yourself up above? Well there you go.

Facing the music every day goes hand in hand with that. You will face good days and bad days. That’s just what life does. If it throws crap at you, spread in your face, body, and all around. ACCEPT IT.

And the rest throw it at the wall, clean yourself up and keep going. Hopefully, you can find the inspiration you need to face the music every day.

11. Get radical in your habits

Not a morning person? Work out in the morning, before going to work…are you crazy? ABSOLUTELY!

This is getting radical with your habits.

You must shake the foundations a bit to attract the changes you desire in you life.

No time in the morning, ok then, make the effort in the afternoon. Here’s one that can bring quick results:

Eliminate all sodas and soft drinks in your diet.

Eat well and have your normal meals. Sodas and soft drinks simply do not exist. See how you feel in one week.

Or try this one:

Substitute your morning coffee (whaaat??) with glass of warm water and half a slice of lime. Changes your PH, helps eliminate morning breath, gives you an almost immediate energy boost (I drink it before working out), and promotes good digestion and fat loss. Pretty powerful stuff. And so easy to make.

Try it for at least 10 days and you will feel a big difference in your morning start up.

12. Revise your tool chest

Perhaps you have a book or a magazine where you read once read about tips on how to beat procrastination. Maybe you heard or watched a video on YouTube about this topic.

Go back and read or watch the article again.

We live in incredible times, where great information is out there for the taking, much of it free.

Subscribe to authors, bloggers, or people that have been there, where perhaps you are right now; they don’t necessarily need to be experts and PhD’s.

If what they have experienced resonates with you and they can offer a solution for your problem, then accept and learn from their teachings.

13. Celebrate your successes

Pretty clear cut here. It’s not all uphill, my friends!

When you reach a goal, celebrate it!

Give yourself a pat on the back.

Share your success with friends and loved ones, ideally with the ones that understand what you are doing.

If that’s not available for you yet, then share your success with your online community. Believe me, many of them will congratulate you sincerely.Like you, they have also gone through what you just went through.

They know the feeling of reaching that goal. So share it and let them know!

14. Delegate

Also very clear.

If you definitely find something you are not good at, or that you simply do not like or enjoy doing, find someone who does.

Outsource and delegate.

Fiverr and UpWorks are good outsourcing online resources which you could try when you arrive at this point, and you will get there, sooner or later.

Don’t stop. Don’t be afraid to reach out for help. If you have financial means to get help from content, copy or design freelancers, go for it!

Finally out of the hole…

Procrastination. Not doing what you know that you have to do. It’s a bad habit. One of the worst.

And I’m sorry to say, one the most pervasive. Like a chronic malady, it’s always there, waiting for a wrong move to pinch a painful nerve.

The good news is that you can always identify it whenever you feel it creeping back into your life again.

Remember to pause. Be aware of that feeling in your stomach. Got to get it done! Ok, there it is. Now that you know you have to get it done, whatever that is, go to the source.

Why aren’t you getting it done?

What’s holding you back?

Got it?

Ok, now shine the crap out of it and make the source of your problem visible, as bright as day. Make the monsters go away. All of a sudden you realize, hey, it’s not so bad. That’s right. It rarely ever is.

I really hope you enjoyed this article…

Procrastination is a bad habit that I have faced throughout all of my life. Fortunately, I am not alone. It is something that everyone experiences regularly in one’s life.

The key is knowing how to break away from this terrible habit.

Have you had bouts with procrastination? Share them here and let me know how you managed to get out of it. What did you learn?

And thanks for staying with me this long. Hopefully you have found something here that you can use in your daily life.

This is the first of four articles of how the power of fear can place limits on achieving our dreams. Next week, I will be sharing with you advise and strategies on how to finally break the fear barrier to find what is on the other side. See you then!

Just have fun!

Hey Sentinels!

Just have funJust got through watching “Surf’s Up!” yesterday evening. For the seventh time! Yeah, well, I just love this movie!

I hadn’t seen it in quiet a while. And it got me thinking: is it possible that we have forgotten the reason why we first tried surfing (or anyother action water sport for that matter) was simply to just have fun?

If you guys recall, and for those who have not seen it yet (spoiler alert!),the movie highlights the protaganist’s journey, Cody Maverick, from Shiverpool, Antarctica to Pen Gu Island, his mis-adventures competing at the Big Z Memorial Surf Off, aided by his mentor, Geek, who later turns out to be life-long hero and legendary surfer Big Zeke Topanga.

Along the way, he meets Big Z’s nemesis, Tank “The Shredder” Evans. Through out a Cody’s adventure in Pen Gu Island, he is assisted by his trusty, forever-stoked friend, Chicken Joe, from Sheboigan, Michigan, and Lani, Zeke’s fiesty and lovable niece.

Just have fun...

Big Z and Cody learn the importance of virtues like respect, perseverance and accountability.

The animation is incredible and the surfing scenes are spot on. The movie even has vignettes of  Kelly Slater and Rob Machado, each with their respective penguin counterparts.

The documentary format in which the movie is filmed is also pretty awesome.

But for me, honestly, it is that feeling of loss and re-discovery, portrayed by Big Z’s story, of how fun a certain activity can be, and how easy it can be to loose touch with the things that really matter:

“I got lost…but with this kid’s help here,  I found my way back”.

No competitions. No sponsorships or big name contracts. Just loving the ocean and the sport he had loved and lost for so long.

I think this is one of the strongest messages from the movie. One memorable scene says it all. It only lasts a few seconds:

Big Z, Cody and Lani are lying on their surfboards, resting after a long, fun-stoked session. It is almost sunset and the whole ocean is tinged with reds, oranges and pastel pinks (again, the scenes are visually stunning). Big Z turns to Lani and Cody, and simply says:

“This is what it’s all about”.

Yes Big Z. Absolutely on board with you. Good friends. Good waves. Good times. This IS what it really is all about.

Please check out the movie if you still haven’t. It’s a regular on Netflix. Or better yet, buy it on DVD here (Disclaimer: if you choose to make a purchase, I will earn a commission from Amazon. This commission comes at no additional cost to you), and add it to your classics collection.

Watch it whenever you have land-lock blues, or just want to have a laid-back experience, watching a great movie and just having fun. That’s what it’s all about!