Recently, a big wave rider took down an 80-foot wave (see it here) and said “I’m just so happy and this is the best day of my life,” Koxa said at the awards. “It’s a dream come true.” What a feeling that must have been. It was the incredible clash of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity presenting itself to a worthy individual. Think of all of the things that had to happen for Koxa to make this happen, a lifetime of failing at bigger and bigger waves. Practice, lifestyle, coaching — opportunity after opportunity ceased, either successful and confidence building, or unsuccessful and a new learning opportunity arises.
Every day we are faced with opportunities, often small ones throughout the day, but opportunities nonetheless. It is the accumulation of making the right decisions on these opportunities that will closely and intimately define your successes and your failures. Every so often though, we are lucky enough to have bigger opportunities slap us right in the face.
First, will you be prepared to recognize that this is even an opportunity? An example in the health space – that might mean sitting down and having dinner next to a world-class trainer & nutrition coach, and you’re experiencing multiple chronic diseases. The BEST person to help you fix your chronic disease is sitting right next to you…will you see that? Will you act on it? Or will you be shut off, closed-minded to new people and live the rest of your life not understanding why oh why you have IBS or ED?! Often times our biggest failures in missed opportunities are due to us not being present enough to recognize a potentially great thing / relationship when it presents itself.
Secondly, will the accumulation of ceased opportunities put you in a life situation that will allow you to address it? Using the same example, if I have chosen to take a job that has me work 80hrs a week and it stresses me out so much that I cannot find the time, effort or energy to exercise, then I won’t be excited or open to taking the coach up on fixing my issues. It could have been a long series of events and bad decisions that led me to working a job I hate that is making me sick…but it is another decision every day to stay there and not seek better opportunities. Often times, people will miss out on, or make the wrong decision on many previous opportunities and not learn from the result. If we take a new approach, fix our mentality then we will be more open to seeing these and attacking these opportunities. “Total failure” is missing the opportunity (or failing) and not learning from it…and it cripples people from believing in themselves.
“You either win or you learn.” Adopting this mindset is at the root of success. Total failure should never be an option you accept.
Lastly, will all of the failed opportunities and successful opportunities provide you with the knowledge and abilities to pull off this life-changing event. “In 2014, [Koxa] had a brush with death at the same beach. The experience sent him into a four-month slump where he had nightmares, didn’t travel, and got scared easily.” Without this failure, without this fear, and without growing and making it past this fear – Koxa could not have broken the record. Think of all the hours, all the years that go into riding an 80-foot wave (if you haven’t ever tried surfing, a 2-ft wave will give you great, humbling perspective). It was the accumulation of all of those decisions, everything that happened to him had to happen for him to be successful now.
Realize, that even if you are down and in a slump — there is something to be learned. Something strong and powerful to be taken away that will better prepare you for an amazing opportunity in the future. BUT you have to be aware of that. You have to be present to see it, you have to believe in yourself that you can accomplish things free from the fear of failure, and lastly you have to understand that everything that has happened up to this point is simply preparing you for major successes.
What we do at Friendship is a unique approach to health, nutrition and functional medicine. A lot of the work and things that I put out aim to help people build a stronger mental image of themselves and the world around them. Equipped with a better mentality to the challenges that face us, our athletes are present enough to attack new, challenging obstacles free from the fear of failure. It takes a community of support, smiles and laughter, maybe falling on your butt a few times (literally and figuratively) but in the end you come out strong, healthy and happy. What will be your Big Wave? Will you be present? Are you putting yourself in an environment or situations that will help you prepare?
Author Jeff Binek is the Owner of Friendship CrossFit. If you like reading please check out the Friendship CrossFit Podcast as well – where Jeff goes into more depth about Mental and Physical training!