This episode features Shaun Tomson - former world champion surfer, author, entrepreneur, father and husband. In this podcast he discusses his process detailed in ‘The Surfer’s Code – 12 Simple Lessons for riding through life’ and his number on best seller ‘The Power of I Will’. Shaun has been an academic and a motivational speaker who has toured the world discussing the power of purpose and choice in the lives of everyday people and how having solid foundations in attitude and direction can help empower individuals to lead their best lives.
When did it become clear to you that you wanted to become a pro surfer?
I love surfing and I was really passionate about competition and I really felt it was possible to develop this lifestyle that we love into a career, into a pursuit into an endeavour that would ultimately be able to build a life for me and really I think it happened in a very short period of time, where Bartholemew (Wayne "Rabbit" Bartholomew) and I were great friends but great rivals too and we began to think it would be possible to perhaps become pro suffers. It was at the end of pipeline in 1975 when I was going to go back to university and I asked him what he was going to do, and he told me ‘I’m going to become a pro surfer mate’. It was that statement that lead me to wanting to take things further and begin to build the competition into what it is today.
Talk to us about the code and how this framework exists to find their purpose?
I remember it didn’t take me long to write, maybe 30 minutes. I sat down and wrote 12 lines, all about commitment and each line starting with ‘I will’. They were 12 lines of commitment, 12 lines of essential lessons that surfing has taught me about life. After word of this got out and people started to want to know more, in search of a higher purpose and discovering their ‘why’ I started to realize the code was something much bigger than what I had written, I started to realize it was a calling perhaps for many people to write their own codes. After a lot of academic research and further learning I started to realize that there was something missing in the world that really boiled down to powerlessness, and when people found their purpose, they found their power.
What’s happening from a neurology point of view when people go through the process of the code?
I don’t know what’s happening from a neuroscience point of view, but our lives are a series of small and big decisions and what underlines all our decisions is our attitude and our purpose. Our attitude is how we feel about something and you can instantaneously change how you feel about something. Attitude is a fundamental choice in life, and attitude and purpose are fundamentally aligned. Attitude is how we feel about something; purpose is what we are going to do about something. They are inextricably linked. Do you know the biggest social problem in the world is choice? Bad choice. 1,000,000 people in the US die every year from bad choices. Whether that’s bad food, alcohol, drugs whatever. There are many deaths outside of choices, but if you can somehow fundamentally change the choice of people and show them, they are not powerless to keep doing drugs, keep drinking keep eating, they can change. With the code you can find your purpose and power, and with your power you can make a positive decision.