A New Performance Paradigm: Part 3

Alive, exhilarating, free.

That’s how it feels when you catch a wave. And there’s nothing quite like it.

Although I grew up skateboarding and dabbled in snowboarding, surfing is different. The ocean is dynamic and alive—full of energy. And you harness that energy to propel your body through space.

It’s a spiritual experience. It was for me, anyway (I’m prone to that sort of thing when in nature).

Puerto-Rico-James-with-surfboard
An old pic from when I lived in Puerto Rico

The Surfer is the 3rd archetype in our framework. The Zombie is at one end of the spectrum, the Surfer is at the opposite end.

In general, being a Seeker is a pre-requisite to becoming a Surfer (unless you were lucky enough to be raised as a Surfer).

Think of it like stages of growth. You don’t get to adulthood without adolescence.

And you don’t become a Surfer overnight.

You’ll continue to be a Seeker having Surfer moments—deeper experiences and insights that allow you to see the connections between things. Those moments when your mind is afire with insight and you’re able to flow with just the right balance of effort and letting go.

But I bet you already know what I’m talking about because you’ve started having some of these experiences.

Like real surfers bobbing in the sea, watching the weather, tides, currents, and sets of incoming waves, you’ve started picking up on patterns—clues to some bigger reality that you can’t quite wrap your head around yet.

Follow the white rabbit, Neo.

Being a Seeker was great. It got you this far.

But there comes a time on the path when you must reorient, changing your relationship with external knowledge and tools. And instead of always trying to find more out there, you learn how to access and harness the power and wisdom that comes from deep within you.

The way of the Surfer is about taking what is valuable from out there, integrating and  transforming it, and creating something new and better through the lived expression of your truth.

As the Surfer, we embrace our role as creator and become less of a consumer.

And those creations are not just material (or digital) things. The Surfer knows how to create powerful moments of presence. Moments that enrich and elevate everyone around him.

He is an alchemist. Learning how to transmute mental, emotional, and physical energy—first in himself, then in others—eventually becoming masterfully empathetic and influential.

The Surfer doesn’t fear the depths.

He oscillates between the heights and depths of his experience, giving him access to a deep well of wisdom, energy, and power.

And he uses this to propel him forward, all while having a blast.

The Seeker approach, once valuable, becomes a hindrance as we outgrow it. And by doubling down on our old ways, we exaggerate our imbalances by neglecting the growth of other important dimensions of our being.

Imagine a guy with MASSIVE arms and skinny legs. He loves working on his arms. They’re big and strong, and he’s good at it. So he never works legs.

Functionally, he’s not as strong as he could be because his legs are the limiting factor. He is a whole person, after all.

A system.

Building up his legs would be a struggle at first, but he’d eventually become the strongest dude around.

Similarly, you keep doing more of what you know—strengthening what’s already strong. But, if you worked on other facets of your mind and body, you would become far more effective. You would become a real bad motherfucker.

By strengthening these neglected facets, you gain leverage and level-up the whole.

You can upgrade your ability to think, feel, and perceive, learning how to work with your endocrine system and nervous system to promote expansive, connected states of mind that allow you to generate those “aha” moments practically on demand.

And those anxious, overwhelmed feelings that come from perennially falling short of your potential fall away, replaced by feelings of fulfillment, peace, and power.

Being a Surfer is not just a state of mind, it’s a way of life.

Wave-riders cultivate a strong body-mind connection, and just like a real life surfer, you need to develop a well-tuned perceptual awareness to respond creatively and effectively to a dynamic, challenging environment (life).

Not only are you propelled forward, but every movement you make is a unique and creative expression of your inner truth. Every ride is art—an expression of your character, state of mind, and your physical abilities.

Seekers have a growth mindset. But the Surfer has a depth mindset. Not afraid to go into the dark and difficult places, able to extract wisdom and power from those depths.

And while the Seeker aligns with the principles, values, and codes of other great men, the Surfer does one better and becomes clear and aligned with his own core values and code.

Ultimately, the Surfer enjoys what I call Deep Integrated Performance or D.I.P.

Deep Integrated Performance is a state of expanded awareness, heightened focus, abundant energy, inspired action, tenacious courage, and true inner-strength. A dynamic, adaptable, and creative state.

D.I.P. is born out of the ability to oscillate effectively through life’s highs and lows—to navigate one’s inner world as proficiently as the external. It is a holistic approach to expanding our mental and physical bandwidth that creates a strong foundation for achieving and sustaining more in life.

I know, there’s a lot jammed into those last few sentences (probably too much). Those ideas need to be unpacked, explained, and expanded on. But it’s time to wrap this up for now.

Want to learn more about the way of the Surfer and how to achieve Deep Integrated Performance?

Ready to shift into your next evolution of performance, productivity, and potential?

Enter your name and best email address below, and we’ll continue down the rabbit hole. 

See you on the other side.