"There will come a time when you believe everything is finished. That will be the beginning."
As I receive postcards and letters from Terry Hill from Mexico, I often glance up at a photo of him on our kitchen wall, from Mexico, from many years ago, when we were down in Mazatlan, drinking beer, and acting wild as always ... fighting waves as they came in … he and I and Fred Knipe going into the water and actually trying to battle the waves and turn them back out to sea. (Hunter Thompson would get this immediately … the importance of being a wave-fighter.)
Then came this missive from Hill while he was in in Sayulita ... hand-written and not designed for a book but for my eyes and Kathy's (to whom I have not sufficiently explained the importance of wave-fighting) … I laugh as I read it, and drop it down to the coffee table then later hear her laughing while reading it, so I insist that I put it here, because it is about death … about death's opposite, Dylan Thomas's request that we not go gently, that we rage against the dying of the light:
Do not think I did not hear the whispers.
He is sixty, they said; he has lost the
alertness, perhaps the courage too. The
waves look bigger when one gets older.
And these last three years he has only
fought in fresh water, which is not
the same is it?
And yet, as I stepped on the beach
in Sayulita to once again fight Pacific
Waves, I saw my duty clearly and
felt the strength within me rise.
The waves are relentless, but so too
the wave fighter. I did my job. How
well? That is for others to judge. But
let me just say that had I been in
Indonesia at Christmas, I believe
hundreds, if not thousands, of lives
would have been saved."
Yours in the brotherhood,
Terrence N. "Terry" Hill
WFI - Wave Fighters International
33 years service - and counting.
Our book TWO GUYS READ THE OBITUARIES studied many obituaries for the secret of death. Terry and I woke up each morning and read them and wrote about them. Some were terrifying. Some were inspiring.
Here's an obituary that I read this week!
THE ECONOMOST in London, "IF, ON any day over the past few decades, you had chanced to be strolling in the early morning at Lyford Cay in the Bahamas, you might have seen a wiry, determined figure power-walking in the sea. Keen as a whippet, his thin arms pumping, he headed into the prevailing swell. In his 80s, he would do an hour of this. In his 90s, he still managed 25 minutes.
Sir John Templeton spent his life going against the flow. In September 1939, when the war-spooked world was selling, he borrowed $10,000 to buy 100 shares in everything that was trading for less than a dollar a share on the New York Stock Exchange. All but four eventually turned profits. In early 2000, conversely, he sold all his dotcom and Nasdaq tech stocks just before the market crashed. His iron principle of investing was “to buy when others are despondently selling and to sell when others are greedily buying”. At the point of “maximum pessimism” he would enter, and clean up."
TWO QUESTIONS SOMEONE ASKED ME:
Q. When we are speaking to our staff, what is a better word to use than "should""....ie: You should have....."
"Another way I've seen that done is..."
"I used to do it that way, but what I discovered is that......"
"Can you see any other ways that it might be done that would help us to....?"
By the time you learn all the words of victimization, you will begin to realize that the spirit of victimization is just as important as the words. Any language that sends the message of criticism and "you're doing it wrong!" will make staff less likely to warm up to the suggested changes (or to you). Any time you can allow staff to discover for themselves, in conversation, what a better action might be, you are way ahead of the game. Any time you can share your own personal experience with how you used to do it ineffectively, but now do it more effectively, you have made a more supportive communication. If all else fails, try this: "My recommendation, based on my experience, is that we do it THIS way.....anybody else have ideas on this? My goal is to support you in getting this done in ways that are more efficient and easy for you. But I don't need to be right about it. Anyone see a better way than this?"
Q. How do you manage time?
SC: People really don't manage time so much as they own their energy. They make investments of energy based on taking OWNERSHIP of their commitments and agreements and, especially, promises of achievement they have made to themselves.