The following is from Kahuna CEO, Frank Lunn and was featured in the Pantagraph – a newspaper of Bloomington Ill. See it here.
In life, nothing ever remains the same. Life is not static. It comes at us like the waves of the ocean. Sometimes the waves are soft and gentle with a soothing and tranquil feeling. Other times the waves rage and pound with potentially destructive and even catastrophic force.
The entrepreneurial business development company I work for is named Kahuna. This name came about somewhat accidentally as a brand idea more than a decade ago but has proven to be a good metaphor for creatively surfing challenges and opportunities in the business world.
The Kahuna brand combined with the surfing analogy helps us go into every situation and every relationship with an understanding that we are not really in control. Circumstances, relationships and many other outside conditions have the power to change the waves we face. It is really the same situation we all face in our lives. We all have waves of challenges as well as opportunities. Both have the power to either wipe you out or potentially to give you a tremendous ride.
The only real difference in the outcome of you versus your wave is in your approach and how you figuratively surf. Surfing is a good comparison for dealing with change because surfing is about flexibility and creative adaptability to the wave. In applying surfing to your life, it is the ability to take what is given to you and make the best of it.
Surfing is an individual activity; life is no different. Like life, surfing is more enjoyable when you are part of a larger community. However, no matter how supportive others are around you, only you can take on your wave. This is liberating because ultimately you are the only one who can surf the waves you are given.
Surfing is ultimately about personal responsibility. There’s a saying that goes, “If it is to be, it is up to me!” In our business we adapted this to become, “Your World. Your Wave!” This is the recognition of total personal responsibility for your actions and your life. No one else can do it for you.
Regardless of your employment status, you are still the boss of you! You are the only person who can live your life. You are the only one in control of the choices you make. In a job situation, if you have to be managed, you are the wrong person for the job. Certainly you should be provided leadership and clear responsibilities, but even if you have a manager, if you have to actually be managed consistently you limit your opportunities.
The cornerstone of your character is personal responsibility upon which the rest of your life will be built. Personal responsibility is essential to the foundation of your character and your integrity. Surfing and personal responsibility is a mind-set and an approach to life. It is also a skill-set which can be learned. It is a resolution to not just let life happen but rather to learn to navigate and surf the waves and adapt to whatever confronts you. It is a call to action learning to convert life’s challenges into life’s opportunities – learning to see lemons and think lemonade. Is this natural? Absolutely not, but it is a skill which can be developed to enrich your life.
We cannot always control our situations and what happens to us. Life will always provide waves of challenges and waves of opportunities and it is up to us to be prepared for both. When opportunity and initiative combine with personal responsibility it provides your best framework and approach to make the most of your waves… whatever kind they are. “Your World. Your Wave!”