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SMART as Hell Advice from Surfer Frosty Hesson

Posted by on March 27th, 2013 with 0 Comments

We’re in Half Moon Bay this week, celebrating a birthday and an anniversary.
Our hotel – the Oceano, which I highly recommend – is a stones throw from Mavericks: the biggest-barely-surfable waves on earth.

I watched the movie “Chasing Mavericks” on a flight home a few weeks ago, and enjoyed it.
It tells the story of the relationship between Hesson and Jay Moriarity – Jay’s the dude falling from this massive wave in one of the most famous surfing pictures ever taken (Credit: Bob Barbour) and was written by his coach/mentor Frosty Hesson.

What struck me most about the movie was what a thoughtful coach Hesson was/is (he still coaches in Santa Cruz), along with this line, “I can’t teach you to surf Mavericks; I can only train you to survive it.”.

Wow. That a great metaphor for life, isn’t it?

So, I bought Hesson’s book, “Making Mavericks” and have been reading it this week.
An early theme in the book discusses the importance of not delaying recognition until a goal is accomplished:

So you have to break down every goal into smaller, achievable steps, and acknowledge accomplishing each of them.
– Frosty Hesson, Making Mavericks

Missing out on the incremental victories can leave a performer feeling empty, as Hesson shares:

By discounting my little successes – shaving a second or two off my time, learning to breathe more efficiently, being able to swim a few minutes longer before the pain set in – al I was left with was, “I’m not where I want to be”.
– Frosty Hesson, Making Mavericks

Hesson then explains how breaking a goal into smaller components allows a performer to reflect on their performance for further improvement:

Your effort was never perfect; it was as perfect as what you could do at the time. That’s why you have to learn to review back. You go back to every stroke, every ten yards, whatever it is you can manage, and you start breaking down the race and putting it back together again to recognize what you could have done better.
– Frosty Hesson, Making Mavericks

This is the ‘A’ in  SMART.
In SMART as Hell language, I talk about the importance of a goal, action, or decision being Aggressively Attainable.
The end goal, or vision, has to be big, aggressive, impactful; while the steps to that goal must be attainable.

The attainable steps allow us to measure progress and evaluate our performance for recognition and feedback.
It’s what I do with my clients. It’s what I do for myself after every speech, workshop, or product development.

It’s SMART as Hell.

SMART as Hell Exercise:

  1. List: your current goals.
  2. Add: the incremental steps or components that will lead to your goal.
  3. Review: those for performance on each of those steps.
  4. Celebrate: your forward progress.
  5. Recognize: where you can still improve.
  6. Act: on what you’ve learned.
  7. Watch: “Chasing Mavericks” or read “Making Mavericks” to gain more surfing insights to goals and goal accomplishment.

Share your comments, questions, and insights below.

 

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