Waves offer so much insight into energy and motion.

I was recently inspired by a podcast with my friend Josh Painter to investigate this a bit further. He offered some awesome perspective around what we can learn from ocean waves.

Lets look at a wave’s lifecycle –

First, it starts quite calm and peaceful. Ocean water is at rest in its default state. It doesn’t really move unless something sparks change.

So then it starts to move from change or external forces of nature. This can be wildlife, wind, human activity and other factors.

Soon it starts to build momentum. The movement and gravity creates enough energy to push the water towards something. It needs a destination.

Then it grows as it builds, builds, builds. The water rises and takes massive shape as the energy evolves into a powerful wave.

And then it crashes! Boom. The wave reaches its destination and releases all that energy.

Now there is peace until the next wave comes.

Sit with that for a moment. There is so much beauty and education in that natural process. I think it matches the same kind of process we deploy for larger projects in our lives.

Our Life Projects

Consider the projects we take on in 5 similar phases.


Our default state is rest. We do it every single day, and sometimes we do it for long periods or seasons. We don’t pursue a project unless something sparks change from this rest.


Eventually, external forces come along. People, ideas, desires all start to move us out of this restful state. We start to move.


Soon this movement starts to build momentum. An idea becomes a priority. Focus is created and draws us towards a destination. There is a goal or outcome for the project.


The energy around this project grows as it builds, builds, builds. It evolves and rises into this powerful force with resources, strategy and communication.


And then it crashes! Boom. The idea is launched and realized.

Now there is peace until the next project comes.


This is so relevant to how we execute projects in our lives. For example:

  • Writing a book (like Josh)
  • Starting a new business
  • Launching a course, podcast or website
  • Big home improvements
  • etc.

Each project has unique complexity and duration, but they all follow the same process. They all go from rest to release with degrees of movement and rise in between. They all reflect our drive to take energy from idea to realization.

Thank you, Josh, for the inspiration and deeper awareness here.

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Ali Jafarian

Ali is a creator and coach who's passionate about guiding people to their truth. That's a fancy way of saying he wants to help people realize their most authentic life. He's a family man, entrepreneur, conscious technologist, explorer, podcast host and many other things that inspire him to stay curious and learn. He's also a huge advocate for nature, hiking, adventure, testing physical limits and experiencing the natural world.