Surfers: Let your gut be your guide


Everyone makes choices all day long, whether they are conscious of them or not. Surfing is full of choices. Do I go out surfing or not? Should I take this wave or that wave? Surf over here or over there? The choices everyone makes are endless, as are the ramifications resulting from them. With all these choices to make, how can a surfer be sure he is making the right ones?

Some choices are no-brainers. Say the waves are eight feet, glassy and perfect. It won’t take most surfers much time to decide to go surfing. But now say the surf is eight feet, glassy and no other surfers are around. For some surfers, the decision gets a little bit tougher. A surfer may think, “What if I get hurt?

There will be no one around to help.” Now, the choice to go surfing alone in perfect eight-foot surf gets really tough when the surfer notices the waves are eight feet, glassy and perfect, but there are a few rocks sticking up out of the water that could present a dangerous hazard. The choice of whether or not to go surfing for most surfers would be very difficult to make. Do I yield to temptation and go surfing despite the obvious risks, or listen to reason and not risk injury in pursuit of happiness?

The more predictable the results of a choice are, the easier it is to make. If every surfer knew one hundred percent he could go out and ride the waves successfully without wiping out or falling off the surfboard, there would be no second guessing to making a decision at all.

In addition to predictability, the amount of what is at stake goes into the decision-making process. The higher the stakes are, the harder the decision to make will be. It’s a lot easier to think about surfing eight-foot waves when they are breaking over soft sand rather than sharp rocks.

There are three ways a surfer can tell if he is making the right decision or not. The first is emotional and comes from the heart. A surfer first listens to what his heart is telling him. If his heart says go and his mind says no, emotions just may sway the way.

The heart and its emotions are extremely loud and powerful.

Fortunately, mankind is blessed with a head that sits above the heart. It’s the mind that helps keep the heart in check. Where emotions tend to scream, the mind quietly assesses the situation and keeps the heart and emotions in check. The heart being emotional is tempered by the mind, which is analytical. Though the heart and emotions are powerful, the mind can overrule them. The mind is that voice that whispers in our ears and tells us this may or may not be a good idea.

The next time you have an important decision or choice to make, make sure you listen to what your gut feelings say. There can be no greater council when it comes to making the right choices than one’s own personal conscious. What is your conscious saying to you? What are your gut feelings telling you? When it comes to making the right choices in life, the heart is important but it is not always reliable and the mind does not always have the answers. The only sure way to be sure you’re making the right choice or decision is to trust and listen to your gut. Aloha.