While out in San Diego at Loring Ward’s National Education Conference, I was privileged to be able to log some miles in the early morning running along the beach of the Pacific ocean. There is always something serene and calming about running in the morning (which is why I almost always run in the morning), but when you’re running along the beach on Coronado Island, that’s an added bonus.

There are times when the environment or weather that I’m running in will inspire some ideas or thoughts on life and business, and this time was no different. As I was running along, listening to the waves crashing down on the beach, I got to think about the genesis of each one of those waves. Looking out over the calm, slightly-undulating ocean, one would never picture that the amount of energy needed to create those waves is present.

But we know that waves are created not by the ocean but by energy. When the amount of energy that is contained in the ocean comes in contact with resistance (such as the decreasing depth of the ocean) or an obstacle (the shore), the energy “breaks through” and is expressed/transferred into the wave crashing onto the shore.

So what does this observation have to do with business and how can it be applied to our practices?

The immediate parallel or comparison that came to mind was the genesis of an idea caused by a thought about something you experienced. An idea usually starts out as a result of us thinking about something small. An observation after a client appointment. A conversation with one of your team members. A wandering of your mind after reading an article or a passage in a book. Personally, some of my best ideas and business strategies have come while on a run. In fact, if you don’t have a normal exercise routine, you may be limiting more than your physical health…studies suggest that we have some of our best ideas and cognitive power during and after exercise.

However, given enough time to build up energy in our minds, ideas can explode onto and into our lives and practices with a great deal of force. But this usually takes time, focus, and intention.


Think about all of the ideas that you’ve had for your business. Do you have them written down? Are they “curated” in an organized fashion? Do you periodically reflect on them to see how they could benefit your practice or your clients?

Equally important are the types of ideas and thoughts that you have. Are they positive or negative? Are they limiting or expanding? Are they self-demeaning or self-inspiring? What are you telling yourself?

Just as waves can either be a thing of beauty, serenity, and rhythmically therapeutic, they also have the potential to cause havoc, devastation, and destruction.

The same is true for thoughts and ideas.

Be careful what you tell yourself…you’re listening either way.