The Surfer’s Guide to Taking Risks | 99u |Srinivas Rao

I’m so excited about this article. I immediately sent it to my dad and brother, who are also surfers. (once a surfer, always a surfer, right?!) I love surfing and ocean metaphors – one I use to describe my time and effort investment and decision making is the need to match the speed of your paddle with the wave when surfing. If you paddle too fast or slow you will miss the wave (and sometimes get pumbled). The best set up is to match its speed. Similar to life – you have to be careful to not get too far ahead and live in the future or not sit around waiting and not be prepared for situations or opportunities that come along. You need to operate at the speed of presence.

Rao’s guide to taking risks includes:

  • Get in the water
  • Understand and accept the fear

“Like the whitewater, you will face obstacles that seem like they’re there to keep you from getting to your goal. But you have to realize they’re just a part of taking risks.”

  • Go for it
  • Embrace uncertainty
  • Enjoy the bliss
  • Reflect on the choice
  • Do it all again

“The wipeouts of life and business are inevitable, but they’re never as bad as you think. It’s all just a part of surfing – and a part of living.”

The Surfer’s Guide to Taking Risks by Srinivas Rao



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