Riding the wave of inspiration

As you can see from the infrequency of my posts, I am not a prolific writer. I have a lot of admiration for people who can write something meaningful every day.

At this moment, I am in a Starbucks in Huntington Beach, CA hoping inspiration for a blog will magically pop into my brain or at least stroll by.

Fat chance.

The only things strolling by are surfers heading to the beach—but as far as I can see, the waves are, at best, about 2 feet high, it’s 55F and cloudy—so I’m not about to get inspiration from people facing off against the raging ocean and conquering towering waves.

But, on second thought, maybe I am.

I would guess that 9 out of 10 surfers that I have seen this morning are older than 60 years old. And it’s cold, by southern California standards; I’m wearing a coat and wool scarf. As the waves are so small, I also guess that the surfers will do a lot of waiting around, sitting on their boards out in the ocean. How much do you have to love something to sit in a cold ocean, in gloomy weather, hoping for one great wave to ride to shore?

To me, this is inspiring.

People doing what they love, even when it’s not easy or as rewarding as they would hope. People who show up, day after day, because this has meaning for them—they get satisfaction from the “doing” and not just the outcome.

On some level, isn’t work like this? There are a lot of days of “just showing up” and doing what needs to be done. Not every day at work can be a red-letter day when you win a big customer or complete an important project. So, maybe one of the keys to being happy at work is to find inspiration in the day-to-day events. I’m not saying that you should settle for sitting on your surfboard, gently bobbing on little waves. I’m saying that when we can find inspiration and satisfaction in the actions we take as well as the outcomes we achieve—this can make us happy at work and in life.

Surf’s up! Cowabunga!

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