Surf fans have likely already seen the video of Garrett McNamara, a 44-year-old Hawaii native, breaking the Guinness World Record for largest wave every ridden. Caught in Nazare, Portugal, the wave was measured by an independent panel of experts at a jaw-dropping 78 feet. Apparently McNamara almost missed out on this wave because he was so exhausted from the previous day of riding waves that, according to the professional surfer, “were a little bigger.” This is not breaking news – but I’m highlighting McNamara’s accomplishment because it is clear that Garrett has achieved, as my friend Robert Greene talked about on chasejarvisLIVE recently, Mastery of his work. [see that episode here.] How did he do it? By wiping out. A lot.
When most of us creative types talk about following a passion and making a creative career, doing so rarely means putting your life on the line. But the fear of taking that next step to live a creative life can sometimes feel like dropping into a monster wave like this one. But we need to consider, as my buddy Tim Ferriss has articulated [also on chasejarvisLIVE here], “What is the worst case scenario?” Often times, the worst case is not really all that bad. Along the way you WILL wipe out. You might fail. You might be embarrassed. Your work will probably be rejected. Case in point, McNamara won Billabong’s Biggest Wave Award with this ride (and $50,000) — but he ALSO won the Wipeout of the Year [see below]. Garrett was quoted as saying,
“If you can’t have a great ride might as well have a good wipeout. I guess I’m good at wiping out.”
Being good at wiping out, and the understanding that taking your licks is a part of the process, is critical to success. And it prepares you for the ultimate ride – the big opportunity. Had McNamara taken a spill on the 78-foot monster…,well, let’s just say the headlines could have been quite different. But it’s his experience with failure, with wiping out, that gave him the confidence to drop into this death-defying wave. And he rode out with a new world record. Talk about the ultimate commitment to one’s craft.
This 2-minute clip above is packed with great take-aways:
_Do what you love, because you love to do it. Awards and accolades should [will] be a by-product.
_Wiping out is a part of achieving mastery – be good at wiping out.
_Patience, hard work and practice will allow you to recognize an opportunity…and drop in on it.
_If you’re doing what you love – fear will not stop you
_If the challenge ahead inspires fear within you, it’s probably worth taking on.
_You’re never to old to ____
_Make sure you capture and share the moment or you’re left with…”you should have seen it yesterday…”