Two Tips for Becoming a Soul Surfer

Soul Surfer /sohl serf-er/ – noun; 1. A term coined in the 1970s, used to describe a talented surfer who surfs for the sheer pleasure of it. Although they may still enter competitions, a Soul Surfer’s motives go beyond winning.

There have been a few stories in my 40 years of living that have truly inspired my life. What is even more rare is hearing one that compels me to take action on that inspiration. Soul Surfer has done exactly that.

I read the amazing story of Bethany Hamliton back in 2005. How one could have such courage and passion to want to return to surfing only one month after a horrible shark attack was beyond me. Even more touching was her positive attitude towards God and life after suffering the loss of her arm. And she was a teenager!  I don’t know about you, but when I suffer a traumatic event I don’t want to do anything that has to do with what happened. Heck, if I just get kicked in the shin playing soccer, I fear getting back on the field at all. Bethany thought differently; she was BORN to surf.

So many of us let our passions die because we’ve either been hurt in the process of pursuing them or have experienced failures. Then there’s those of us who have only chased a goal or dream for money or winning or recognition – reasons that are not truly worthy of our time or focus. It’s here where I want you to take away two things from this post.


If Bethany Hamilton could have the courage to go back into an ocean filled with sharks and uncertainty, and with what others may have considered a handicap, then you can too! You were made to ________________ (surf, paint, teach, build cars, be a missionary, etc) and you need to fulfill that calling. Setbacks and failures are normal but you have to have the right attitude to rise above them and to press forward to catch your wave.


I am guilty of chasing ideas only because the opportunity of money or recognition. I’m very competitive and want to win. Because of this shortsightedness I have robbed myself of time, pleasure, joy, and doing the things I love to do. I am changing all that NOW before it’s too late. You and I have one life to live. We will not get more time when our time is up. Start “surfing” for the sheer pleasure of it — not just because you can win a trophy. Besides, you will be more committed to making your dreams a reality if you sincerely feel them in your soul.


I will no longer let my fears subdue my calling anymore and I won’t chase the waves I am not supposed to ride. If a teenage girl can change the world around her, I can too. The question is will you do the same?

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