Teahupoo is a wave zone off the coast of southwestern Tahiti. But, it isn’t just any kind of wave. Described with phrases like “the grinding eye of doom” and “liquid napalm”, Teahupoo boasts a handful of nasty features.
To start, the wave moves in a unique pattern, “detonating laterally, producing a barrel that has accurately been compared to the Lincoln Tunnel,” writes Stephen Kotler in his book Rise of Superman. Add in the fact that it breaks in extremely shallow water with sharp coral reef sitting just below and you have an absolute monster.
The issue with riding Teahupoo isn’t so much finding someone crazy enough to catch and ride the wave; there are plenty of those in the surfing community. Rather, it’s being able to catch the wave in the first place.
Waves like Teahupoo and other giants that tower 60 feet and higher move much faster than any human can paddle. Previously, this limitation forced surfers to top out at 25-footers. That is until Darrick Doerner and surfing legend Laird Hamilton set out on a mission to tame Teahupoo in 2000, a ride that would change the game of surfing forever. 1
Last Tuesday, after running errands, sitting in traffic, and finishing a normal work day–I still had time to read for nearly 2 hours and 45 minutes. In just one day, I finished nearly half of Essentialism by Greg McKeown. With this kind of speed, my Amazon Wish List would be toast within weeks.
Now comes the confession: I wasn’t actually reading. I was listening. Essentialism was my first audiobook. It felt a bit like cheating, like audiobook listeners couldn’t really call themselves hardcore readers. Another problem? While I easily finished the book, I doubt I remember half of the information.
This led me to explore the science behind reading retention. It’s easy to blame technology for what appears to be our growing lack of retention. But perhaps we’ve been asking the wrong questions. Instead of asking on what we should be reading, we’re much better off solving the issue of retention by asking how we should be reading.
One might assume that Isaac Newton was hard at work in his laboratory when he stumbled upon gravity. Such a monumental discovery surely occurred in a room where he was surrounded by books, diagrams, and mathematical equations.
You’d be wrong of course.
When Isaac Newton saw the apple fall from the tree, he was sitting idle in his garden daydreaming. This wasn’t the only time either. In fact, Isaac Newton, a physicist and mathematician instrumental in helping us to get where we are today, made it a point to sit in his garden regularly and do nothing.
When was the last time you just sat and let your mind wander?
With our crazy to-do lists, digital devices, social networks, and social circles, we’re constantly trying to eek just one more ounce of productivity out of our day. The thought of just sitting down and staring off into space is so foreign it sounds ludicrous.
Isaac Newton was on to something early on. Those hours of sitting in his garden weren’t hurting his productivity. They were sparking original ideas and encouraging creativity. They’re crucial for keeping your mind healthy.
Let’s explore why doing nothing is more beneficial to your health than you would ever imagine.