Surfing is a challenging sport that requires perseverance and risk. Srinivas Rao, writing for productivity and ideas blog the 99u, found it to be an apt metaphor for the risks we need to take in life. You never know where the waves will hit and when you’ll ride them or be crushed beneath them. Still, surfers keep trying because they know the rush of success.
Image: Jim Bahn (Shutterstock).
Among several other points, Rao points to the importance of uncertainty:
There’s a moment on a wave known as “the drop”. It’s the moment when either our hopes are crushed or our hard work comes to fruition. It’s also the most uncertain moment of a wave. A wave’s shape is in constant flux and the surfer must adjust accordingly. But the shape also has a tendency to disappear or “close out”, meaning that a seemingly perfect wave can crumble into whitewater, leaving a surfer scrambling.
Nothing in life is guaranteed and living your life according to a predetermined formula is not a guarantee of success. You can’t predict your company will succeed, your art will fly off gallery walls, or your love will be returned. You have to embrace the uncertainty of it all and remember that the more waves you go for, the more you’ll catch.
We’ve always promoted the benefits of uncertainty, as planning out every little detail leaves no room for creativity or possibility in your work. Although frightening, if you embrace uncertainty you gain the potential for much greater things.