Same goal, different tactics

Yesterday I went surfing. Now, when it comes to surfing, I’d say I’m an intermediate. I’m not a beginner, I can catch waves, stand up and even ride along the wave a bit. But I’m by no means a pro.

As an intermediate, I’m still figuring things out and each day I go out, I try and do a little better. When I was out yesterday my goal was simply to get better. My tactic was to try and catch a “breaking” wave and ride along it (you know, so that you stay just ahead of the breaking part).

This approach didn’t really work. I caught maybe one wave like this, but the waves were fickle and I often wasn’t in the in the right position.

The waves were weird. They were breaking then sort of losing momentum and re-breaking again. But I watched as one girl caught an already broken wave, stood up and rode the whitewater until the wave sort of broke again (I hope this makes sense).

So I changed my tactic and copied what she was doing. I didn’t worry about riding along the breaking part of the wave and instead just got up rode the waves in a straight line.

By switching my approach I made more progress in 10 minutes than the entire time I’d already been out. The good things was that because the wave would break again, I would often be able to ride along the wave as I’d originally intended.

It just goes to show, there’s usually more than one way to reach your goal and if something isn’t working, you should pivot quickly and try something else. Often you may be surprised by how much more progress you can make if you’re willing to try something different.

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