Just Coasting, or How to Achieve Peace of Mind

I recently had a great surfing session. The waves were clean, long, and within my abilities. The sun was shining. The water had a beautiful emerald green color.

I was present.

I was content.

I was peaceful.

I felt light and without a care in the world. The ocean took a huge weight off my shoulders. For two hours, my overactive brain could rest. Life was simple. Only the waves mattered.

As I sat on my board and watched the soothing scene, I felt like myself for the first time in a long time. It’s as if the real, joyful, calm “me” was buried under several layers of hard ice that melted only for rare, brief periods of time.

We feel most relaxed when we’re fully engaged in our favorite pastimes. For some it’s surfing. For others it may be creating music, dancing, gardening, or playing with a dog.

Why tension is often our default state? Wouldn’t life be easier, more pleasurable, and more fulfilling if we defaulted to peace of mind?

I can’t help but think of Nathan Apodaca, known for his viral video of drinking cranberry juice while riding a longboard to the tune of Fleetwood Mac’s “Dreams.”

If he were to publish a book on how to achieve that inner ease, I’d be the first to buy it. But I doubt there are any secret strategies that made him the poster boy of the carefree attitude.

He radiates peace of mind because he’s not trying hard. In an interview for the Guardian, he said: “I always just live my life on the coast, you know? Just coasting.”

What if we chose to coast not only when doing our favorite activities, but in all that we do?


Share on facebook
Share on twitter
Share on pinterest
Share on linkedin

Sign up for the newsletter​

Get access to exclusive subscriber-only resources (80/20 Decision Making and a 5-day welcome series on the fundamentals of the 80/20 principle). You’ll also receive new blog posts via email.

Read Also:

Why Race to the Finish Line?

Books where you highlight entire paragraphs on almost every page are rare. They also need to find you at the right moment so that you’re open to their message. Exploring the topics of mindfulness and self-compassion, I’ve recently added a new such gem to my (digital) bookshelf: Radical Acceptance by Tara Brach.

Read More »

Are You Addicted to Your Inefficiencies?

We all have blind spots that make it difficult to practice 80/20 thinking. One source of these overlooked inefficiencies are emotional biases.

For example, status quo bias makes us prefer the current state of affairs. We perceive any change, even if meant to improve the situation, as a potential loss. This makes us reluctant to adjust the choices that might not be optimal anymore.

Read More »

Don’t Be Proud That You Work Hard

Smart work is the epitome of self-respect. Hard work is the embodiment of self-abuse. In today’s world of leverage, associating effort with a job well done is an absurd notion.

Being sore doesn’t mean you had a great workout. In fact, it means you overextended yourself. Working hard doesn’t mean you achieved great results, either. It’s often quite the opposite.

Read More »