Let My People Go Surfing by Yvon Chouinard

“Let my people go surfing” the education of a reluctant business man..by Yvon Chouinard the founder and owner of Patagonia is a book worth reading as a true American success story and we recently read and discussed this book at our Women’s Council of Realtors first 2016 book club meeting.

My wife Judy loves books…her career began as a teacher and 28 years ago became a realtor in Santa Cruz because on a teachers salary at the time she could not afford a home. While skiing in Aspen Colorado staying at a friends house in the bathroom laid this book…and like most all books that make it to that designated reading spot, it is a good one. Going shopping later in Aspen she bought the book and we both enjoyed reading it.

I re-read the book again yesterday. It has some amazing stories of the ups and downs of the business and the authors commitment to the environment. Those who know and love the wilderness “get it”. We should take care of it. Human Beings he points out are the only animal that actually destroys it’s own living space.

As I read the book, I took away from it the question, ” Am I living my life in alignment with my values?”. One of the qualities I pride myself on is not waiting until later to appreciate the now…as the now, just like now, is gone and we are always onto a new present. I try not get somewhere else and miss out on where I am now.

In these days of kids 3-4 years old knowing how to search the internet and play games on their smart phones better than I have thought recently about how in each generation the youth are pushing boundaries the “establishment” just does not get. Long hair and loud music my parents did not get. Being at the dinner table, with 4 out of 6 of us on the phone I don’t get, but I get that I am just older now and more stuck in my antiquated ways.

Yvon to me is the quintessential ” man’s manly man”. It ‘s like in the new Rocky movie “Creed” the actor must pay a right of passage and Sylvester Stalone has the actor who played Creed knocked out, during boxing practice to be part of the club. Scaling half dome in Yosemite or the Mountains of Korea, hiking, surfing and all this author lives his life….they key word in this sentence being “HIS” life.

He is not trying to fit into the expectations of someone else’s pre-ordained destiny for him like a Jewish mother does for her son “you would be such a good doctor or lawyer” but instead follows his own path regardless of societal expectations and in fact leads by trusting his gut knowing he is in alignment with his core values. His leadership team and affiliations with other like minded people create a harmony in business and life that are intertwined.

The book is historical, philosophical, a simple easy read that in part is also inspirational. What kind of mark am I going to make on my journey until I die? What kind of mark are you going to make? Am I living my life in alignment with my core values? are you?

As a realtor in this phase of my life, I find that engaging genuinely with my clients/who often become my friends that helping them navigate the sale or purchase of their home is a real privilege. It may sound corny or old fashioned, but being trusted feels pretty dam good..Just like when one rappels down a mountain, knowing your buddy has your back makes you trust the fact you can do what you may never have thought possible, given you give yourself the chance.

Ok…enough about me, and let’s sum this up….have not written about a book before, this one is a easy read that you may not know about so if you get inspired….

Pick it up and I feel confident you will enjoy it.

the title…is a metaphor for all of us…let me people go surfing. Enjoy!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.