Stop Chasing Success Instead Look for Significance


I’m guessing to many of you type-a go getter, goal oriented people, the title of that alone makes you cringe. I feel ya.  Been there done that. We’re so conditioned to go after we want with so much intensity, yet sometimes that’s the very thing that keeps us from getting what we want.

Don’t Chase the Waves

I’ve written about my experience surfing at San Onofre once before when I discovered the 6 signs of being too attached to success.  For a while I found San Onofre to be a double edged sword. When I did catch a wave it was always an epic ride, but for some reason it didn’t seem to happen often enough. Then somebody told me “the key to San O is that you can’t chase waves.”  A take off point is the section of the wave where you paddle into it so you can stand up and ride it. Basically this wave has multiple takeoff points. But it breaks in each takeoff point at a different time. It’s also a huge stretch of beach.  So there’s a substantial distance between each of the take off points.

Nature Rewards Patience

The key to success on this wave seems to be patience. But, often I“ll find myself sitting in my spot and I’ll see what seems like a perfect wave start to form about 100 yards down, so I paddle like hell to get over there. When I get over there, the wave starts to break in the spot where where I was previously at. Essentially, lack of patience sends me into a frenzy of chasing waves, exhausting all my strength padding and not catching anything despite what seems like a tremendous amount of effort. But when I wait it out with with a bit of patience, I find myself continually rewarded with some of the best rides of my life and I’m not exhausted from the chase.

Nature in general appears to reward patience. A baby takes 9 months to be born, but not that long to be made (well, assuming you suck in bed). It doesn’t take long to plant the seeds for a tree, but some of the largest trees in the forest take over 100 years to reach that height. Waves come in sets. Between sets there is sometimes a lull. It can last up to 30 minutes, sometimes even an hour. But, when they do come and everybody else has disappeared they are yours for the taking. We’re patient about planting these seeds but we often are not about the seeds of success.

Chasing Success:

When you chase success it’s pretty similar to chasing waves. You get impatient, you start to exhaust your resources, and when time comes for you to shine in the limelight you’re not at the top of your game because you’re so exhausted from the chase.  Sound familiar?

Have you ever noticed how when you finally stop caring about something you’ve been trying really hard to accomplish it just kind of happens. We often forget that for the largest part of our journey in accomplishing a goal we’re not at the goal. But, if we keep going in the direction we’ll eventually get there.  The problem with chasing success is that it sends you in so many different directions that you end up right where you started.
How Do We Stop Chasing Success?

Well, this easier said than done. Or maybe it’s not. Maybe you should just stop. I think it’s important to have goals. I think you should write them down, I think you should review them. But, once you’re done with I think you should come to terms with why worrying is a complete waste of time and energy. So, here’s a few things to wrap it up

  1. Do what you can do to move in the right direction
  2. Be Patient
  3. Utilize your resources efficiently
  4. Enjoy your moment in the sun. It’s inevitable if you are not too busy chasing some other wave when yours comes.

    Article sourced here:


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