My brother is a surfer.
My only cousin is a surfer.
Half of my childhood friends are surfers.
Surfer dudes were my ride to the beach and the fixation of half of my childhood crushes. While I was never interested in spending extended time floating in the waaaay too chilly Pacific in search of a wave, I gravitated toward the culture and the laid-back mentality like a moth to a flame.
However, even if you’ve never been around a surfing community, you’ll appreciate the story of Tim Stamps, a Huntington Beach surfboard designer. Tim is no ordinary designer; he has shaped over 14,000 boards and is often called “the hardest working surfboard shaper.” Stamps is a master craftsman who applies creativity and diligence which you can’t help but admire (and the beautiful film and sound work is masterful in its own right!).
In this three minute video, see how many of Tim’s principles apply to what you do.
Did you catch all of Tim’s wisdom?
I’ve watched this video half a dozen times and notice something new every time. Here are 11 insights in case you got stuck in “buffering” mode:
- Show up, even when it’s not glamorous.
- Recognize that what you create can make a big difference to others.
- Innovation happens with a pencil line, a fraction, or even a few inches.
- There’s value in creativity and “keeping it fresh.”
- Creativity can be “stopped” by “thinking too much.”
- Think about where you want to go, then stop thinking, start doing, and “let it flow.”
- Care for your “tools” if you want to do quality work.
- Take pride in what you create.
- Never do shoddy work.
- Work can be grueling, but that’s O.K.
- Embrace your life’s work for life
What I love about this film and Tim’s story is the clear nobility of hard work, focus, and excellence in a craft. For those of us who don’t make physical objects, the standard for excellence can feel squishy and ill-defined. And yet, the underlying principles hold regardless of our jobs.
I’ll never look at a surfboard the same way again.