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5 Signs That You are Truly in the Zone

Russell Winter ~
Creative Commons License Photo Credit: Allan England via Compfight


“Waves are like toys from God. When I’m in the water I’m just playing.” – Clay Marzo, Professional Surfer

The ocean is  like a canvas. Each wave  a color, and every turn, and every moment like the stroke of a paintbrush enabling me to paint this masterpiece  called life.  I can’t really tell you who I was before it because I can’t remember. When I look back at my life before the pursuit of waves, it’s a haze of meaningless conversations with strangers in bars, and weekends that only served to escape the torture of the week before.

Who are we without a passion that lights our eyes up?  To me nothing but a cluttered canvas, a picture out of focus, that makes us question the purpose of it all. I’m not the person I thought I’d be, but then again who really is?

As you paddle, drop into a wave and pop up on your board, you’re overcome by this sense of bliss that makes you feel alive in away that makes you wonder if you’ve been going through life asleep at the wheel this whole time. And in that moment you experience the power of a thoughtless mind, and you can’t help but smile because nothing else matters and you’re in the zone.

I found myself there after my most recent surf session and realized that you don’t have to surf to find yourself in the zone. All you have to do is recognize the signs in your life  and follow them.

1. Time Loses its Significance

Time has a funny way of losing its significance when you’re in the zone. Hours seem like minutes, and minutes like seconds.  As they say time flies when you’re having fun. This is why I never wear a watch in the water. I don’t give a damn what time it is and I don’t want to know.

2. The Mind is Quiet

As you know by now you can’t always trust the voice in your head, since it never seems to shut up. But when you’re in the zone it’s powerless and imprisoned by your bliss. You catch a wave, paddle back out to the line up and the only thing on your mind is the next one.

3. Everything Feels Effortless

When you’re in the zone everything seems effortless. You don’t  just know that the more waves you go for the more you’ll catch, you embody it in everything you do. There’s no hesitation to take a leap of faith and you continually land on your feet or in my case  on a wave.

4. The World Around You Disappears

Like the aperture setting on a camera, the background seems to fade when you’re in the zone.   When you’re in the water the shore seems like a distant memory with little to no significance.  There’s truly no place else you’d rather be.

5. You’ve Got Nothing Left to Prove

I have a habit of counting the number of waves I catch in a session. But the best sessions are the ones where I lose count. When you’re in the zone you stop keeping score, and play the game as if you’ve got nothing to lose. I surf for my love of waves and write for my love of words.  The rest is insignificant because I’ve got nothing left to prove.

So now you have to ask yourself, when  have you been in the zone? What  is it that makes you feel alive? Why aren’t you doing that as often as possible? 

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