“It’s Easier to Stand Up in White Water” (aka “Abandon the Quest for ‘Perfect Conditions”)

First, my apologies: I spent last week somewhere warm. If reading that makes you want to punch me in the face, I get it.

Let’s move on.

Among the available activities at my warm weather destination was surfing. Before you roll your eyes thinking this is going to be a messianic surfing manifesto, read on: I did not surf. (In this world, some of us “do” and some of us “observe”. I am in the latter category.)

One phrase that caught my attention as I observed others’ surfing, however, was the instructor’s reminder that, “It’s easier to stand up in white water.”

Now that’s the kind of commentary that floats my board.

Why? Well, it seems that in surfing (as in life) if you wait and wait for the “perfect” conditions to arise, you’re far less likely to achieve what you’ve set your heart on—whether that’s ‘hanging ten’ or tackling a daunting project.

I’ve decided to take this advice out of its watery realm—and I’m hoping you will, too.

In my case, I’m applying it to a new book project I’m working on: on an entirely new subject, in an entirely new style, within an entirely new genre. (“Why?” you might ask. I admit, there are days I’m inclined to answer, “Who the hell knows?” It’s a beast and a beating.)

What I do know, however, is that if I wait for the ‘perfect’ writing conditions to arrive, I will never do a thing– that it’s more important to sit down at my computer and take a crack at it every single day.

And I’m asking you, “Is there’s something in your life that you’re not starting because you’re waiting for the ‘perfect conditions’?” Is there a job you want to apply for but you’re telling yourself you’ll never get it? Is there a business you want to start but you’re waiting for someone to tell you you’re qualified? Is there a conversation you want to have? A passion you want to pursue?

I don’t know the answers to those questions but I do know it’s important to leverage the white water, no matter how messy/amateurish/uncomfortable that feels, because that’s when momentum occurs.

And when we’ve both done that, drinks are on me. If it suits your fancy, I’ll even spring for ones with paper umbrellas.