Lessons Learned Outdoors

Staying Consistent Amid Unpredictability

Life is unpredictable and it is important to find ways to create consistency in our worlds while the world around us changes and challenges.

The Roque Wave

Lessons Learned Outdoors
Hawaii Sunrise

Over the last two weeks, much of Utah received a great deal of moisture from several sequential snowstorms. While it was snowing here, I was visiting the islands of Hawaii. 

Wherever I go, I am always anxious to view nature, wildlife, sunrises and sunsets. On this trip we viewed over 50 humpback whales moving in the warmer waters between the islands.

Whales - Hawaii

Early one morning last week, I ventured down to the eastern shoreline of the Big Island of Hawaii. This island was, and continues to be, created by volcanic activity, and has two active volcanoes. The shoreline I visited is an area with lava formed cliffs. where large waves can come crashing against these cliffs. I was in a quiet spot, a long way away from any other people. Sometimes the wind carries the ocean spray from these crashing waves onto the lava shelf behind the cliffs. This morning, there was a light breeze that kept the ocean spray from landing on the lava shelf where I was walking.

Lava Walls - Hawaii

I watched as the waves would come rolling in and crash against the lava wall. Much of the spray from the waves would barely rise above the wall where I was standing. But occasionally a large wave would smash against the wall and explode straight up in the air 20-30 feet above the lava shelf.

Hawaii Waves - Big Island

I decided to launch a very small and quiet drone out over the inbound waves. I positioned it about 90 feet out over the ocean and about 10' above the rolling inbound waves. I pointed the droned video camera straight back at the shore.
I wanted to walk along the lava shelf perpendicular to the camera and have the spray from a large wave completely obscure me from view. I thought that would be a very interesting and creative scene to capture.

Hawaii - Big Island Waves

Several times I unsuccessfully attempted to capture a large wave crashing against the wall as I walked. Between each separate attempt I would stop and start the video and check on the position of my drone to ensure it was in a safe spot. At one point I even raised the height of the drone a couple of feet to give it more space above the waves.

Consistent Waves

Finally a large wave came crashing in just as I hoped, as I was walking along the shelf. It was so large that, after it hit, I forgot to keep walking because I wanted to ensure my drone was safe. What I didn't count on was the energy from this large wave as it returned back out against an oncoming in-bound wave. This outbound water collided with a new inbound wave and the result was an unpredictable combination of energy that pushed the wave higher than expected.

Big Wave - Hawaii - Big Island

You can predict what happened to my drone. It was engulfed in water and taken to the bottom of the ocean.

Drones have a tracking beacon that shows their location. I could see on my tracking map on my controller screen, where the drone was. But it was in a location that was too turbulent to attempt to dive down to recover.

Rogue Wave - Hawaii

Lessons Learned

So what are the lessons learned?
Life is unpredictable. But our consistent efforts to stay high above rogue and unpredictable waves will make life more consistent. On the other hand we can severely test the limits of safety by getting too close to things that are risky such as addictive Alcohol, Drugs, Gambling, Pornography, Social Media, Video Gaming, or many others. We may also be inconsistent and unpredictable in our actions with a spouse, family, co-workers, neighbors, friends. With these types of challenges then it is predictable that our behavior will have undesirable consequences. A rogue wave, or our unpredictable and inconsistent behavior will take us down.

Consistent - Downed Drone Image

One of our goals in this life is to be consistent.


Synonyms to this are the words...


Perhaps we can all take a minute today to consider how we can be more consistent in our lives and less unpredictable.

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