Catch what moves you
Many people search a lifetime to find their passion. Graham Guess, age 50 from Santa Barbara, CA, discovered his when he was 10 years old.
Back then, he would sneak out of his parents’ house, bike to the beach and practice standing on a surfboard. Forty years later, he’s surfed competitively, succeeded in a second career as a model and ridden the best waves on every continent.
“I knew early on that having the option to go surfing would always be important to me. It’s driven nearly every major life decision for four decades – from where I live to what I do to the relationships I chose.”
Part of Graham’s intrigue with surfing is the challenge of controlling “moving energy.” Unlike sports with a court, track or other solid surface, riding a moving wave on an 8-foot board is never the same twice. If pressed to explain the experience, surfing might be like downhill skiing … in an avalanche … with no protective gear… and sharks.
Beyond the athleticism, surfing is an identity and lifestyle. “There are dues to pay,” says Graham. Along with technical skills, a person needs to learn the etiquette and social rules of the community. “Surf spots are generally free, accessible to everyone, and don’t take reservations. It’s common to navigate a busy lineup containing a range of skill levels. Knowing when it’s your turn and how to handle yourself requires showing up, repetition and earning respect for your skill and commitment.”
Live passionately. Plan persistently.
While knowing early that surfing would be important, Graham also knew that making a living at it was unlikely. Proving that “how you do one thing is how you do everything,” Graham applied the dedication and discipline he learned surfing to his career in financial services, the charitable boards he serves on — and the financial plan that makes living his dream possible.
Where will your next wave take you?
Having a plan for retirement will make it easier for Graham to keep living life on his terms no matter what his age. What drives you? Will you paddle out and find the perfect wave? Are you ready to dive in or need help putting a toe in the water?
Take our retirement personality quiz to discover your “more.” Start your adventure by finding what moves you.