Welcome to our monthly series, “My Soulful Life”. Through 13 life-affirming questions - inspired by the points on The Art of Soulful Living compass - we’ll ask one luminary we admire to reflect on and reveal their true self
This month, we’re talking to former professional surfer Jon Rose, who founded the organisation Waves for Water to bring clean drinking water to those who need it around the world. In the past 10 years, Waves for Water has implemented 155 clean water programs in 48 countries, impacting an estimated 3,750,000 people. In addition to the primary focus of providing clean water to those in need, Waves for Water also coordinates and executes natural disaster relief efforts around the world. Jon’s combined passion for wellbeing and making a change makes him the perfect fit for The Art of Soulful Living. Learn more about Jon through the 13 life-affirming questions below.
When in the day are you at your most reflective?
“In the early morning hours. I wake up early before the sunrise and I try to watch the sunrise every morning, this really calibrates my day. In those 15 minutes, I watch the sun come up over the mountains and I’m incredibly reflective.”
What one person, place or thing is guaranteed to give you joy?
“Nature, without a doubt! Earlier in my life, I was incredibly passionate about surfing and being in the ocean. Nowadays I live in the mountains, and I’m in nature every single day and it puts a huge smile on my face. Being in nature, it’s an instant infusion of joy.”
Do you think it’s more important to forgive or forget?
“Both are valuable tools, it depends on the situation. Forgiveness is a beautiful tool to evolve and find personal growth in a challenging situation. But in some cases, forgetting something and not taking yourself and others not too seriously is also a valid response.”
Which moment in your life are you most grateful for?
“For today. To be here on this planet, surrounded by the people that I am and living this life that I’ve created for myself. I’m in a place now where I realise how lucky I truly am.”
Have you found your life’s purpose yet?
“I don’t believe that there’s one purpose. I definitely found a few of them like Waves for Water, that’s definitely one of my callings. I’m incredibly excited about the new purposes that I will embark on as my life progresses.”
Do you believe that compassion can be taught?
“Absolutely! We’re such adaptable creatures, that given the right tools, timing and environment we can learn anything and compassion is at the top of that list.”
What do you wish you could do more mindfully?
“Being more mindful about slowing down and finding more balance in this fast-paced life. I’m directing that specifically to the use of our smartphones, and social media. It’s shocking sometimes how fast we move, how much we’re doing per day and how much is expected from us. It’s a constant practice in slowing that pace.”
How would someone know that you love them?
“I direct so much energy at them, it’s almost like a laserbeam of love. It’s quite undeniable that I love them.”
Which 3 words describe your authentic self?
“Commitment. Passionate. Dreamer.”
Are you faithful or fickle with your passions?
When in your life have you most needed a positive mind-set?
“Around 2015, 2016. At that point I was around five to six years into my work for Waves for Water. I’d been working almost entirely in disaster and conflict zones. I just got back from Afghanistan, and I lived in Haïti. I remember feeling very disconnected with reality, almost numb. As if I wasn’t participating in the same round as everyone else was. Almost that no-one could see me. That’s how I felt after spending so much time surrounded by pain and suffering, and it got me to a place that I disconnected from myself. I not only needed a positive mindset, but a positive reset. Almost a reconnection with the world around me, and luckily I got that.”
What is always guaranteed to grab your awareness and keep you in the moment?
“I’ve been an athlete since I was 10 years old, and perfoming at a professional level during my teens and twenties. I identify with that mind-set, whether I’m riding motorcycles, or surfing or snowboarding or rock climbing, all these extreme sport activities have this level of consequence to them that forces me to be in the present moment.”
What was the last random act of kindness you did or witnessed?
“This morning. When I got up and kissed my wife’s forehead. It’s just a small act but it’s something I do every single day. She's still sleeping and it’s sort of a ritual.”