What motivates people to take the giant leap? Surfing has taught me a precious lesson in this regard. On days when the waves are really big, I fear for my life. Paddling out, I face one giant wave after another, crashing 20 feet in front of me like a two-story building crumbling into foam. I dive underwater, hold onto my board for dear life and wait desperately for my next breath.
If I can hang in there, the waves will eventually switch off just long enough for me to catch my breath and paddle beyond the break. From outside the break, I get to watch these graceful beasts rising out of the ocean, a rainbow-colored spray blowing off their peaks... it's indescribable beauty. My whole body surges with the anticipation of riding one of these monsters.
It took me years to build up the stamina and experience to navigate strong currents and big waves. The same is true with my career. I spent years in disciplined training before I landed some of my biggest career opportunities.
My motto: Preparation yields payoff. It's the small steps that prepare us to take that giant leap and taste the extraordinary.