Bookmark Website  | Free Registration  | The Team
The Lounge  | Champions  | The Wire |  Schedule |  Audio  |  Arcade  |  The Top Ten  |  Historical  |  Email  |  Video

When Life Gives You Waves, Learn to S.U.R.F.

Would you like to learn a skill set and technique so powerful that you could learn to recycle every failure, disappointment, setback and discouraging situation into a steppingstone for your success? Would you like to go into every situation with confidence knowing you will have the skills to convert it into an experience with a positive benefit?

Imagine skilled and highly trained fighters going into a difficult and scary situation. They don't go looking for it, but when it comes, they are ready and prepared. They realize it will probably be very painful and even scary, but with their training and developed skill set, their odds are favorable.

You have an opportunity to use the same approach to adversities and difficulties entering our lives. We don't go looking for adversity; it finds us. We can't necessarily avoid pain or suffering, but if we use our training, we have a better chance for survival and eventually find some benefit or lesson we can take and claim a victory.

Change, difficulties and adversity will happen. Your only point of control is the surfing skill set you develop to adapt and make the best out of whatever comes your way. It is not really what happens to you that matters as much as your response to what happens. Your response determines your outcome. Think of change and adversity as waves of the ocean, then consider your response to those waves. Success is not necessarily in your talents and abilities, but in the choices you make in application to the waves. You can't change or fight the wave. Your only real choice is to adapt to it.

Apply the S.U.R.F. Strategy? to Make the Best of the Waves

The S.U.R.F. Strategy is a simple, quick strategy to adapt and positively respond to whatever waves come your way. This keeps your attitude as an ally working for you rather than an adversary working against you. You cannot control the waves; you can only control your response and develop the skills to adapt to whatever comes your way.

The Four Steps of the S.U.R.F. Strategy

The S.U.R.F. strategy involves four steps:

Survey the situation
Understand your options
Respond based on your goals
Forward focus in action and attitude

1. Survey the Situation

When you are tumbled by a wave (adversity), you have to regain your bearing and figure out exactly where you are. Leave emotion behind and survey your situation. What new opportunities might be found or developed? Now is the opportunity to create a new plan. It might be tempting to get caught up in the heat of the moment and feel like you are without options. Take a step back to gain perspective. With an understanding of where you are and what choices you have, you can make the most of the opportunities.

2. Understand Your Options

After you know where you are, begin to assess options for moving forward. Focus only on solutions. After you survey your situation, it's time to make way for positive solutions and options. Ask questions like: "What can I gain?" or "What contacts can I make?" Maintain a positive outlook regardless of the situation - even if you do not immediately see the opportunity. Stay focused on the outcome you want and where you want to go.

Look optimistically for creative ways to use the situation for good - don't lament your misfortune. The opportunity may be hidden. Learn to look for it. This is a creative success habit, and it only comes with practice. Become an opportunity farmer. Look for the hidden benefits behind each change and every situation.

3. Respond Based on Your Goals

Now assess the options in front of you. Some may be better than others. Some may be more complicated or difficult to see. Weigh the pros and cons of each option. You might find your best option right now is to persist in your current situation. You may find yourself riding a wave bigger than you think you can handle. It may be a wild ride, but at least it will be interesting.

Remember, you always have choices. The only thing you can control is your attitude. Regardless of the wave, you have the power to choose. Make sure your response is in line with your goals.

4. Forward Focus in Action and Attitude

You can't surf yesterday's wave. The past is the past. Now it is time to think creatively toward the future. Take positive action. Don't let things happen to you. Create the conditions and outcomes you seek! Now that you are surfing the wave, maintain focus on where you want to go and what you want to do. Maintain a vivid mental image of your successful future finding ways to keep taking action in that direction.

When Bad Surf Happens to Good Surfers

As you surf life's waves, you will see good waves and bad ones. You will have some awesome rides and some gnarly wipe outs. You will meet fellow surfers who want to help you out and those who would rather beat you down. There will be sunny days to enjoy the beach. There will also be storms that take away your enjoyment and opportunity as the sea becomes unstable and unsuitable for your purposes. Injustice, rude people, hardships, difficulties and even some bad things will happen in your life. We cannot control those. The only thing we can control is our attitude and the actions we choose to take in response.

Living is not about playing it safe. Test yourself. Learn the full measure of your surfing ability. Do not hide from the waves. You can learn from both your great rides and your wipe outs. Opportunity does not come to the passive. Be active and create your opportunities. Sometimes opportunities only come through difficult situations. Adversity doesn't build character, it reveals it. How you choose to respond to adversity reveals your true character. Your true character is uncovered in the actions of your response and in the choices you make. Your character is revealed in the promises you keep and in the convictions you hold true. Ultimately, your character is a mirror of the guiding principles in your life. What you do and say reveal to the world who you are.

You Cannot Control the Weather

Neither you nor I can control the weather. We cannot control what it will be today and we cannot affect in any way what it will be tomorrow. It is what it is. The same weather will make some people joyous and others miserable. When there is a snow day that shuts down everything, kids rejoice, while parents who need to miss work or scramble for child care do not. Rain is great when the farmers need it for the crops and devastating when the river peaks the levies. Hot sunny days are fantastic for people to enjoy a picnic, yet miserable when you are in the field working.

Weather in itself is neither good nor bad. It is up to us in our decision of how we choose to weather our personal storms and whether they leave us stronger and more resolute or weakened and cowering until the next one. In the same way, adversities are going to come your way, just like the waves of the ocean. All you can really do about them is learn to surf . . . and convert challenges, difficulties and hardships into opportunities.

Frank F. Lunn is President and CEO of Kahuna Empowerment, Inc., and author of the E-book, "Blessings In Adversity: Convert Challenges, Difficulties an Hardships Into Blessings and New Opportunities." Download it for free, and find out more about the Blessings In Adversity Campaign, at


Harvard Business Review

How Company Culture Shapes Employee Motivation
Harvard Business Review
In a recent strategy meeting we attended with the leaders of a Fortune-500 company, the word “culture” came up 27 times in 90 minutes. Business leaders believe a strong organizational culture is critical to success, yet culture tends to feel like some ...

Dallas Morning News

Texas Tech prediction: Final home showcase dominates motivation, fuels Texas ...
Dallas Morning News
Texas Tech during the first half/ second half of an NCAA college football game, Saturday, Nov. 7, 2015, in Morgantown, W.Va. (AP Photo/Raymond Thompson). By Mike DuPont Follow @MikeDuPont_ Special Contributor.

and more »

ESPN (blog)

Gus Malzahn's preseason jab all the motivation Alabama's defense needs
ESPN (blog)
TUSCALOOSA, Ala. -- Gus Malzahn may wear a visor to pay homage to Steve Spurrier, but he is no Head Ball Coach when it comes to delivering verbal jabs. Which is why, back in August, it was so surprising to see Auburn's notoriously humdrum coach take ...
Alabama's Extra Motivation to Beat Auburn in 2015 Iron BowlBleacher Report
CECIL HURT: If Alabama takes care of business, the future will take care of itselfTuscaloosa News (subscription)

all 410 news articles »

Cumberland Valley's Felix Belga finds senior motivation in disappointing end ...
The good news is that he grew from the experience and has plenty of motivation heading into his senior campaign with the Eagles. “I was cutting a lot of weight to begin with,” Belga said. “The way I look at it … it's just like any other part of the ...

BellaVista Promotions reveals top motivation tips for business owners
Motivation can be a struggle for some entrepreneurs, says Haidee Tucker, Managing Director of BellaVista Promotions. Entrepreneurs are hugely motivated when it comes to launching their business but when it comes down to the everyday tasks of actually ...


Boosting Employee Motivation With Gratitude
When we talk about ways to foster gratitude and motivation in the workplace, we'll often talk about manners. And these go beyond saying please and thank you. Manners are nothing more or less than how we treat the people around us — whether or not we ...

Boston Herald

Victim's pal could show motivation by Philip Chism
Boston Herald
Victim's pal could show motivation by Philip Chism. Judge will decide if jury will hear story. Laurel J. Sweet Tuesday, November 24, 2015. Photo by: Herald Pool. EERIE MOMENT: The video frame, left, presented in court yesterday, shows Philip Chism in a ...

and more »

Irish Times

The Grit Doctor: Don't let your motivation to exercise run out of steam
Irish Times
However, there is a flaw in relying on external factors, temporary “reasons” or events for helping to motivate us to commit to our exercise/diet/lifestyle regimes. When the perceived problem is dealt with – the weight reached, the blood pressure down ...

Medical Xpress

New theory integrates dopamine's role in learning, motivation
Medical Xpress
"We provide a new theoretical account for how dopamine affects learning (what to do later) and motivation (getting fired up to go now) simultaneously," said study lead author Hamid, U-M neuroscience doctoral student. For many years, researchers have ...

and more »

Lexington Herald Leader

Kentucky's Lewis on the mend with bowl game, NFL as motivation
Lexington Herald Leader
“And even now, I've noticed him more in the background, not as much of a vocal, out front leader, more in the back, patting guys on the back, getting them motivated, so it's been good to see.” Getting back with the team has been good for Lewis, too ...

and more »

Google News


Section Site Map - Submit News - Feedback - Comments - Advertise with Us

Copyright LLC. All rights reserved.