“We should always keep learning through the smartest person in the room”

“The road of life is long and it is a hard road but it’s our road. It is a road we must all go down and we must do this on our own; nobody else can do it for us”

“We were born breathing in the proper manner but along this road of life we forget and rapid shallow irregular mouth breathing takes the place of slow rhythmic deep breathing through our nose”

“The world we live in today has many distractions. I am sure you know losing focus is easy; concentration and staying focused is hard: a large part of attention is being able to be in the moment, right here, right now. You know, our minds drift back to the past so easily and nostalgia makes us sad or we worry about the future and we are not able to stay in the present. Moment is really all there is”

His Holiness the 14th Dalai Lama was once asked what surprised him most about humanity and he answered: “Man, because he sacrifices his health in order to make money and then he sacrifices his money to recuperate his health and he is so anxious about the future that he is not able to enjoy the present. The result being he does not live in the present or the future and he lives as if he is never going to die and then dies having never really lived”.

So, the message there is that life is for living: life is a series of moments all strung together, moment to moment. While it may not be possible to live every single moment to its fullest potential, if we keep that intention in mind we will get more out of life than if we are too consumed, too anxious, too distracted, too oblivious or simply not paying attention

“As every surfer in the audience knows, the attraction of surfing is the glide. There is a sensation that one feels from that the first time, from that very first wave. It is really as close to flying as humans can ever get. This feeling is fiercely intense but so fleeting that it compels most people to completely rearrange their entire lives and further pursuit recapturing this moment. This addiction to the glide never diminishes but, kind of like drugs, it never lasts long enough. So for most surfers, life becomes about all about that next wave”

“I am certain that this simple sensation of gliding, this feeling of unbridled emancipated freedom, for that is surely what it is, somehow unlocks or opens a door right into our heart and right into our soul. All of us have felt, perhaps during a particularly brilliant sunset or maybe at the sight of some stunning vista or maybe a moment of complete love with the newborn child, felt an awareness of something divine or holy or just shining special. I mean maybe if you have had a strong religious upbringing or beliefs you might not label it quite this way but I am talking about those moments that take the breath away, that leave our emotions just in a twister where we are not really sure exactly what it is we are feeling. This is when our souls are bared, this is when we are truly, maybe only momentarily, open and in touch with our inner self”

“The lessons that come from surfing are extraordinary and ongoing. Right off the bat one must learn to deal with being aware, being present and being spontaneous. Paying attention is really key in a liquid world fraught with distractions. Actually paying attention is key in any world, just more so in a liquid one where any loss of focus or concentration, even for an instant, usually results in a wipeout”

“Riding a wave is an absolutely spontaneous endeavor and this is because each wave is very much like a snowflake: uniquely individual and all is just a little bit different from any other. Of course, it is good to have a plan of action: clearly defined goals are always good to have in mind. Being human, however, we always make plans and set goals but all those well-laid plans and goals go right out the window when the wave comes and hopefully we are attentive enough to see it coming”

We should know where we are going so we will know if we get there”

“It is always easier to ride the horse in the direction it is going”

“We see this wave, we make a conscious decision that we are going to catch it and we kick in this supremely physical explosive effort towards accomplishing that goal; and depending on our experience, our equipment, our physical condition, the timing, good fortune, the other surfers in the water, a myriad of other factors, we may actually catch the wave if we manage to pop to our feet the right place on the board and the right place on the wave. I can tell you for sure that all of this is always a big surprise; then and only then do we have a chance to ride this wave: the effort years lock and everything else that went into that lead up to this moment are actually quite staggering, it is, however, all the work and frustration of getting to this point where the real value is found”

“In order to catch a wave one needs to be in the right position and that position is a function of a great many things, because in a wide open ocean there aren’t exactly signposts and the waves always come on their own schedule and never on yours. So the surfer waits trying to be exactly where he thinks that next wave will be”

“Just like in life, waves come in sets and after the set there is a period of calm called the lull. During this lull the surfer who kept his cool is able to regain his position in the lineup and with some first-hand experience of where the biggest waves break so he’ll be much better prepared for the next set”

Adversity of any kind is often difficult to deal with but getting caught inside especially in big waves can give us a playbook and understanding that no matter what happens, in the end we learn something that we did not know before. Good judgment comes from experience and a whole lot of that comes from bad judgment”

“I have tremendous respect for the mountains as well as for the oceans. There is majesty, a quality about both. It instills a sense of spiritual mess; there have been many mornings I spent looking at a freshly snow-covered mountainside or nice waves peeling through an empty lineup, feeling I was in the presence of something holy

“A difference I’ve observed in riding mountains as opposed to riding waves is that the mountains hold still for the ride. Surfing happens on a landscape, or I should say a seascape, that’s completely in motion. Out in the surf, everything is moving and this is why surfing becomes such a good metaphor for life. Life doesn’t hold still for us; if we don’t move with it, life just passes us right by. It doesn’t care: surfing teaches us to go with the flow smoothly and to be in the moment spontaneously. This way we get the most out of the wave as well as out of life”


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