I learned to surf in New Jersey. Cape May, New Jersey. People have laughed about that, but we had a die hard surf and beach culture there. When I went to Hawaii the first time, I did just fine. So those guys in NJ must have known what they were doing.
This is a metaphor I have come back to time and again throughout my life. Surfing. Skiing. I've used another similar one, that of, Winter, Summer (I'm more of a Summer guy). But let's stick to the surfing format for this time.
I've always been a surfer at heart. A surfer rides a wave, tons of water with force and direction, and a chaos that you have to learn to deal with. Like shifting sands beneath your feet that you never really know what it will do next. When it changes, you change. And if you can master that, you can ride the waves of power throughout your life. Of course there are plenty of surfers that are total losers in life. But if you think of this as a philosophy, things change in how you handle things.
In skiing, you are going down a static run. Sure, it has surprises in it, but if you keep an eye out, you can see what is coming. And if you ski it again, its still there where you left it, ran over it last time, or crashed into it. If you are being pulled by a boat, water skiing, same things basically.
And I've met people in life that ran their life, just like they were surfers (fewer people that I've met) or skiers (many more people that I've met). The skiers seemed to have more difficulty in handles surprises. But are better at dealing with it, than those people that do not, either ski or surf.
So, I've always looked at difficulties in life as if I'm riding a big wave. Its taking me a long and I'm doing my best to stay on top, cut left or right, speed up or slow down as need be. Normally, it takes little thought. But when big things go wrong, with suddenly I'm faced with something that is throwing everyone else around me, I just dig in, and get ready for the change, to ride whatever direction it goes. But remember, you always also, have to know when to hit the surface, leap for your life. Because, its all the same thing, you have to know what to do, and ride it to the best conclusion possible. At nearly all costs, riding it in to shore.
So the next time you are gong along in life, and life turns into a monster, trying to slam you into the rocks, consider what you need to do, and rather than leap off, hit the bunny run, ask for the jet boat to pick you up, ride that wave until it expends its energy. Because, it always does.
And if you are a skier, remember, the bottom of the mountain is always down there, at the bottom.