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Siddhartha at the beach (Lessons from surfing #6)

“…Everyone takes, everyone gives, such is life.”

“But if you don’t mind me asking: being without possessions, what would you like to give?”

“Everyone gives what he has. The warrior gives strength, the merchant gives merchandise, the teacher teachings, the farmer rice, the fisher fish.”

“Yes indeed. And what is it now what you’ve got to give? What is it that you’ve learned, what you’re able to do?”

“I can think. I can wait. I can fast.”

“That’s everything?”

“I believe, that’s everything!”

“And what’s the use of that? For example, the fasting—what is it good for?”

“It is very good, sir. When a person has nothing to eat, fasting is the smartest thing he could do. When, for example, Siddhartha hadn’t learned to fast, he would have to accept any kind of service before this day is up, whether it may be with you or wherever, because hunger would force him to do so. But like this, Siddhartha can wait calmly, he knows no impatience, he knows no emergency, for a long time he can allow hunger to besiege him and can laugh about it. This, sir, is what fasting is good for.”

Herman Hesse – Siddartha

You can’t surf well in a hurry: so much depends on being (on getting into) the right place at the right time, and you can’t force it.

You might move with urgency to get into exactly the right place to catch a wave, but if you haven’t looked at the swell and sought out a good spot ahead of time – if you’re not pretty much in position when the wave comes – hurrying won’t make it so.

Hurrying causes you to waste energy thrashing for waves you’re unlikely to catch, leaving you tired and less likely to catch the next one. If you do catch one in a hurry, you’re more likely to be off balance and fall once you’re on it.

When you’re in a hurry – too hungry – you take the first wave that comes your way instead of the better wave coming just behind it. You end up out of position at exactly the wrong time. You have to fight back through the good waves to get back to the lineup. You get tired. You get frustrated. You snatch at the next first thing that comes along. You run out of power. Your head goes down.

It’s better to rest a bit after you paddle out – think, wait, fast – knowing that you don’t need to rush, that there will be more days and more waves.

Move into position when you’re rested and ready and when you know where ‘in position’ is, put in a few strong strokes in the right direction at the right time, and receive a thousandfold return on your effort.

See also:

Move to get a better view
Making your own waves
Boardroom: Lessons from Surfing (1) – In the Water
Boardroom: Lessons from Surfing (2) – Whose Fool?
Boardroom: Lessons from Surfing (3) – Dings and Scars
Boardroom: Lessons from Surfing (4) – Tao, Timing, Vectors

As You See (Lessons from Surfing #5)

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