What a Big Wave Surf Icon Can Teach You About Becoming A Firefighter

Laird Hamilton prepares himself constantly to be ready for the moment that “life” gives him the opportunity to seize his dream.  He’s done this for years and years, and as a result, he’s considered one of the greatest “Watermen” of all time.  He surfs the biggest, most dangerous waves in the world with a power, flow, and seeming oneness with the water that is awe inspiring.

Getting a job in the fire service is much like catching the perfect wave.  Its not easy.  Its not frequent.  It appears before the candidate due to the intersection of a vast number of unknowable variables.  It demands that you be prepared to grab that moment without hesitation while refusing to offer more than a little specific guidance as to its appearance as a true opportunity.  Huge life changing rewards…No guarantees.

This’ll give you an idea of what Laird’s world is all about:
Laird Hamilton – The greatest big wave surfer to have lived?

Part 1 of the interview is here:
Charlie Rose – Laird Hamilton 1

Part 2 of the interview is here:
Charlie Rose – Laird Hamilton 2

Take aways:

1.  If its your dream, then put it above all else outside health and family until you’ve achieved it.  He places himself in the position to succeed in his quest without compromise.  He has a clause in all contracts that he signs that states if the waves are above 30 feet somewhere he can reach…He’s gone.

2.  Focus on being prepared for the gift of opportunity.  There is no better feeling than realizing that you just knocked it out of the park when all of the stars aligned to offer you a shot at your dream.  Opportunity, much like a wave, doesn’t care what you do…It just shows up and forces you to rise to it.

3.  Realize that although it might happen quickly for some, its probably going to take alot longer than you want it to and get over it NOW.  At one point in the videos, Laird talks about how he might go five seasons (read:  years!) without seeing truly great waves, and in a great season, maybe 3-4 epic opportunity days.  It took me 4 1/2 years to get picked up.  Ask me if it was worth it now that i’ve been on the job for 13 years…

Best of Luck AND Preparation.


Be Sociable, Share!
Be Sociable, Share!

Comments are closed.