When the waves are good surfers usually jump right in, but a little preparation can exponentially enhance your wave-riding experience. When you watch professional surfers, who ride waves because their livelihood depends on it, you’ll notice intricate detail in their pre-surf preparation. Some sit in meditative silence, some listen to music to get psyched, some run through complex warm-up and stretch routines.

Before harnessing the waves of opportunity that spill into your life there are things you can do. Some are obvious. Being healthy not only extends your life but enriches your experience of it. When your body is functioning optimally you free your mind to be completely engaged in the conscious experience. You are more fearless, brash and you will be more likely to push yourself into situations beyond your perceived realms of comfort. It is beyond your comfort zone that the magic happens.

“You will lead a more courageous and graceful life when you are feeling well”

When you’re feeling good you will make decisions with clarity, you’ll embrace positive change boldly and rebound from failure quickly. You will lead a more courageous and graceful life when you are feeling well.

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Visualisation can be as powerful as doing and provides a method for embedding a goal more deeply into your subconscious. In studies, people who visualised an exercise gained the same muscle mass as those actually doing it (granted, they visualised vividly and with great effort).

Simulating situations mentally before they occur gives you a sense of confidence – you’ve been there, it’s not as scary. Surfers can’t help but imagine catching the waves of their dreams. There’s hardly a surfer for whom the right-shaped tree doesn’t become a gaping barrel or a steep slope a perfect wave. We’re always visualising our dream waves as well as watching other surfers catch them out in the water and in surf movies.

In life you can do the same. Visualise your interactions with others, especially those that will progress you towards your dreams. Do it positively, do it meditatively, do it with a smile. Even the interactions you dread usually turn out better than expected. Visualise what it will look and feel like to be riding that wave of happiness that you seek, be it in a relationship, career, attaining freedom, whatever. You don’t have to rehearse affirmations, mantras or behest the Universe’s participation.

“Just use your imagination, that’s what it’s for”

Just use your imagination, that’s what it’s for.

Finally, always keep visualisation and expectation separate. Don’t think you deserve your dream waves, for neither nature nor life can be controlled. Existence is a drunkard’s walk where so much of what happens occurs due to chance or being at the right place at the right time. What you can control is that when your chances come along you’re as prepared as you can possibly be.

You’ll never regret the time and effort spent developing yourself to be your best.


Preparation is the second chapter from Surfing Life Waves, a surf book about life, by Bradley Hook.