Success Secrets From Surfers – Balance Speed with Deliberation

The Universe Loves Speed!I’m sure you’ve heard that before. I was on a conference call with Joe Vitale recently when he reiterated the importance of speed.

While I agree with that statement in theory, in practice, I am discovering the importance of balancing speed with deliberation.

Have you ever been so excited about something new that you just couldn’t wait to jump in and get started?

Have you ever been struck by a creative idea that was so compelling you dropped everything else to start working on it?

Excitement is a great thing! There is a sense of rightness and purpose that can provide the catalyst needed to get started on a new project. But excitement alone cannot provide the sustained energy needed to see your goals through to completion

And when excitement completely overrides reason it can lead to some big problems.

Excitement needs to be harnessed, tempered and directed by reason.

As Deliberate Creators one of the critical lessons we need to learn is the balance between excitement and reason, speed and deliberation.

Too much speed and excitement and you may end up being “ahead of your time.” But deliberate for too long and you could end up “missing the wave.”

I’ve never surfed, but I enjoy sitting on the bluffs overlooking our frigid Northern California ocean and watching the surfers bob up and down in the distance as they wait to catch a wave.

Good surfers understand the importance of balancing excitement and reason, speed and deliberation.

If they attempt to jump up onto a wave too early, it will not have the power and momentum to lift them up and carry them.

But if they wait too long, the wave may have too much power and knock them right off. Or if they do catch a fully formed wave, it may be so close to the peak that they only get a brief and unsatisfying ride.

But when a surfer gets it just right, when they find the sweet spot of that wave at the moment when it’s just becoming strong enough to lift them up, they seem to become part of the wave, part of the flow. The energy and power of the entire ocean seems to surge up through the wave and into the surfer, carrying him or her as effortlessly as a draft horse would carry a young child.

Even standing on the shore, watching, you can sense the connection, the ease, the flow that happens during those “perfect” rides.

So how can we apply these lessons in our lives? How do we balance the need for speed with the importance of reason? How do we create a perfect “ride” in our life?

The only way that I know of is to get out there and take action. You’ve got to practice.

Just like surfers learning to catch the waves, we have to discover what it feels like when we jump into action too quickly and watch the wave slip out from under us leaving us behind.

We have to learn what it feels like trying to jump onto a fully formed wave that bucks us and throws us over the top to crash back down into the water.

And we also need to taste that tease when we jump onto a wave after it has peaked, feel the thrill of the ride for just a brief moment, and then, too quickly, sink helplessly back into the water as the wave dies out under us.

We have become familiar with all of those experiences before we will be able to time it just right and create a “perfect” ride.

Last week I had an opportunity to get a taste of acting too fast.

On Day 5 of Mark Joyner’s 7-Day Business Turnaround Program we created a product out of “thin air.” Going through the process, I came up with a few possible thin-air products, but none of them felt quite right.

And then, as I was reading a bit of Loral Langemeier’s book The Millionaire Maker’s Guide to Creating a Cash Machine for Life which follows a 7-week template, I had an “Aha” moment.

If you could turn your business around in 7-days and build a cash machine in 7-weeks, why couldn’t you turn your life around in 7-weeks?

And I got totally jazzed because I knew that you could!

So I started creating the 7-Week Life Turnaround program.

I could see the 7-weeks of specific, actionable steps. I could feel the catalyzing nature of bringing a specific life goal into a finite timeframe. I could sense the power of 7-weeks of intensive, deep, individual and group support.

And the more I thought about it and planned it the more excited I became. I got so excited about the program that I wanted to jump right in and start now!

And at the height of that excitement I acted. I sent an email to my list looking for the “Lucky-7” who would go through the beta run of the program at a significant discount.
My excitement was palpable and powerful and I had every expectation that the 7-spots would fill up immediately.

However, when I acted at that peak of my personal excitement I did not take into consideration the state of the “wave” that I was trying to jump on.

And in my desire to jump onto that wave I set the program start-date just two-weeks away in the height of the summer vacation season with the Labor Day holiday falling right in the middle of the 7-weeks.

If I had taken just a little step back from my enthusiasm and explored it from a space of reason I would have recognized the need for a bit of patience on my part. I would have seen that the wave did not yet have the power and momentum to carry me to shore.

The fact that 2-people signed up for the program is more a testament to the attraction power of my positive expectation than to the clarity, intelligence and reasoned nature of my offer.

This response, while wonderful, did not match my expectation and gave me the opportunity to step back and examine what had happened and why the program had not filled up immediately.

And when I stepped back I realized that I had just been blessed with a taste of acting with too much speed and not enough deliberation. I jumped on that wave too soon and it slipped out from under me because it did not have the power to lift me up and take me for a nice long ride.

So just like a surfer who misses a wave, I paddled right back out to try it again! Because that’s the beautiful thing about life: You always can try again. If you make a “mistake” you can get back out there and catch another wave.

In this case, I learned from my mistake and rescheduled the start of the program for the second week in September. A second email to my list attracted another 3-people to the program. And with 6-weeks before the start of the program I know that those last two-spaces will be filled.

So did I make a mistake sending out that first email? Sure I did. And did I learn from it? Absolutely.

But I never would have gotten that taste if I was not willing to act!

If you don’t get out there and start taking action, you’ll never have the chance to find the balance between speed and deliberation. It’s not something you can learn from books or by having someone else explain it to you.

It’s just like surfing.

Sure you can learn some “techniques” and concepts, but until you’re out there in the water, you’re not really learning to surf!

If you want to learn to surf, you’ve got to get out in the water and you’ve got to be willing to fall off your board!

If you’re willing to do that, to get out there and take actions, you’ll miss some waves and you’ll get thrown off your board a few times.

But every once in a while you’ll hit it just right and get up onto a wave for one of those “perfect” rides. And when you do, all those missed waves and all those crashes will most definitely have been worth it!

So let me ask you this: When you make decisions, do you usually act with too much speed or too much deliberation? What do you think would happen if you shifted that and tried moving to the other end of the continuum? Are you willing to try?

Leave a comment and lets begin exploring the balance between speed and deliberation together.

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      7 Responses to “Success Secrets From Surfers – Balance Speed with Deliberation”

      1. Quint Jensen on July 25th, 2007 12:04 pm

        In the past, I have been guilty of acting with too much speed. I think this is the common ailment of the entrepreneurial. We get really excited about an idea, and don’t want to wait. We expect that others will be just as excited as we are, or that the market has been waiting with bated breath for us to show up with our product, service or idea.

        I am learning to slow down and examine the market. I am learning to think ideas through and do a little bit of planning ahead of time. I am also learning a little about listening to my intuition. As you showed so clearly in your example, timing can be crucial to the success of an enterprise. Hitting that wave at the right time is the experience we are all looking for.

      2. Edward Mills on July 25th, 2007 2:04 pm

        Quint: I’m with you. My M.O. tends to be jumping in too fast. However, I’m not convinced that all entrepreneurs fall in on that side of the equation. I’ve seen many entrepreneurs take, days, weeks, and months, deliberating and “getting all the details right” before realizing that the window of opportunity had closed.

        I’m very interested to hear where other readers find themselves on this continuum.

      3. Henry Atigogo on July 25th, 2007 2:45 pm

        I agree completely with you on balancing excitement and reason, or speed and delibration. Every success story or business that I have heard about have taken a little bit more time to establish and many have made mistakes which they have learnt from. In almost all instances, they have come up with a better way they would have preferred to do business, having learnt by experience and by mistakes made. The perfect business model is what new entrants try to do but end up with some mistakes along the line. I agreed with that “Excitement needs to be harnessed, tempered and directed by reason.”.

      4. Hazel on July 26th, 2007 7:36 am

        I do agree that speed is crucial in starting a business. The world is changing so fast that 1 new idea becomes obsolete the next day. In order to catch the wave, we need to go out to ride it.

      5. Edward Mills on July 26th, 2007 9:14 am

        Henry, you’re pointing out the need to temper excitement with reason while, Hazel, you’re pointing out the need for speed! I’d be interested in knowing what your personal experience is with this balance. Do you tend to act too quickly or not fast enough?

      6. Edward Mills on July 26th, 2007 2:18 pm

        Marc: That’s an incredible statistic but it makes so much sense! And you’re right, that 9-month period of planning and “gestation” can’t be a coincidence!

      7. Evolving Times » Some Way Overdue Link Love on July 28th, 2007 7:20 am

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