66: Laird Hamilton: Force of Nature

Laird Hamilton is an athlete, surfer, model and television host. He is one of today’s best known big wave surfers.

Surfline once wrote: “There is no bigger set of balls in the universe than the pair in Laird Hamilton’s shorts.” Well, no argument here. Whether we’re talking about his co-invention of tow surfing, his epic ride for the ages on the Millenium wave, or his well-deserved reputation as the most accomplished living waterman, Hamilton has repeatedly set and reset the high bar for what’s achievable in the ocean.

Favorite Success Quote

“Disobedience is the true foundation of liberty. The obedient must be slaves.” – Henry David Thoreau

Key Points

1. Count Your Blessings 

Each and every day when you wake up, you are blessed.

The simple fact that you can draw in a breath while you are reading this, the simple fact that you are alive is a blessing.

Think of everything that could have gone wrong.

Ponder for a moment how unlikely and improbable your very existence was.

And then express your gratitude.

Because the simple fact that you woke up this morning is a miracle.

Count your blessings and learn to appreciate the small joys of life.

2. The Presence of Death Will Inspire You to Live 

The closer you are to death, the more alive you feel.

Life wasn’t meant to be lived in our safe little bubble.

We weren’t meant to sit in front of a computer all day, typing until our fingers become sore.

We were meant to hunt to fight to run to climb… to live.

One of the reasons that so many people lose sight of the value of life is because they are so removed from the possibility of death.

They are never scared, they never wonder if they will make it, they never get so close to death that they can almost taste it.

And so they never truly live.

If you want to truly start to live life, then you need to step out of your comfort zone, embrace your fears, and get closer to death.

I don’t mean that you need to become a big wave surfer or a base jumper.

But taking on simple challenges that push you and have some minor physical consequences will remind you of the blessing that is your life.

So get out there and get scared.

3. You Need to Reach Flow on a Regular Basis 

One of the reasons that people are so unhappy is that they are not experiencing flow on a regular basis.

Whenever you get yourself into flow, your brain releases a slew of amazing neurochemicals that boost your happiness and your body’s well being.

But because most of us never push ourselves, we never change up our routines, and we never put ourselves in challenging situations, we never experience flow.

And this is a shame.

If you want to upgrade your life, then you need to start finding ways to experience flow on a regular basis.

Push yourself to take on new responsibilities at work, take up a new hobby, get out in nature and get active.

Do whatever you need to do, but find ways that you can get into flow more regularly and you will find your life will start to improve in every way.

4. Fears are Always Worse in Your Head 

Something that most people never realize is that the worst case scenario of any given situation is always worse in your head than it is in practice.

For example, let’s imagine that you quit your job to start a business.

In your head, you are probably thinking about how terrible it will be if your business fails, how you will have to live on the street, and how embarrassed you will feel.

In reality, however, if your business tanks, the likely outcome will not be nearly as bad as you imagine.

You will probably have to return to a couple of crummy serving jobs, will almost definitely have to suffer through a few “I told you so’s”, and you will likely be eating beans and rice for a few months as you dive into your net venture.

While this outcome might not be great, it is far from the end of the world.

Realize that the worst thing that can happen to you is rarely that bad.

And the best thing that can happen? It might just change your life.

5. If You Are Not Growing You Are Dying 

Plain and simple.

If you are not pushing yourself to new levels, escaping your comfort zone, and pushing the envelope on what is possible every single day of your life, then you are dying.

Each day when you wake up, ask yourself how you can become 1% better than you were the day before.

When you approach life with a mentality of constant growth, you will find that doors will open up and life will present opportunities you never imagined.

Influential Books

The Holy Bible

Lord of the Rings by J.R.R Tolkien

Conan the Barbarian by Jason Momoa

Connect with Laird Hamilton


Force of Nature by Laird Hamilton

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