3 Things We Can Learn From Surfer Mick Fanning’s Shark Attack

It was only a few short weeks ago, that the world began buzzing about that Aussie surfer who was attacked by a shark in Jeffrey’s Bay ( J- Bay), South Africa. What caused the event to go viral, included the fact that the attack was caught live on television, a first in surfing history, together with the fact that Mick Fanning, likely saved himself by punching the shark on the nose!
The world appears to go as crazy over shark stories, as much they do over sex or the Kardashian’s it seems! However, there are 3 insightful takeaways from this event, that we believe can be useful to us all.


In those few brief seconds on live tv, the world watched on in horror, as Mick Fanning a world renowned surfer who makes millions of dollars a year, stared death in the face.  As a wave toppled over both him and the shark, Mick lost his board and onlookers could no longer see whether he was alive, or taken under the wave by this gigantic shark.
Thankfully Mick was saved by the quick response time of the event team on jet skis and was quickly taken back onto dry land. He will live to tell the tale, however it was completely evident during his interviews with the media directly after, that he was well aware how close to death he had really come.
The takeaway: No matter your perceived status in life, no one is immune to death. In a world we we are so caught up with materialism and wealth, this is a reminder that money cannot buy everything, especially what is important. To to live in the moment and fully embrace that your life is truly happening in the here and now.


We have seen this time and time again, whether someone survived a shark attack like Fanning, or any other event where a person has experienced coming nail bitingly close to death and has survived. Many of these people are awakened, with a new found meaning and purpose for life, which causes them to evaluate what is truly important to them.
After nearly being eaten alive by a shark, Mick revealed to the interviewers back on land, that not only did he have no desire to go back out there and finish the competition, he was not sure whether or not he ever wanted to compete in pro surfing  again. In the hours and days after the event, Mick expressed his gratitude to be alive and felt has though he had been given the greatest gift of all, a second change at life.
The takeaway: Thankfully most of us will be lucky enough that we won’t ever have come close to a near death experience, however it’s important for us to take stock now and take a good look at our lives, without having to be staring at deaths door. Take some time in a quiet place and ask yourself the following question :
If I thought I was going to die today and was given a second chance at life, would I come back and live life the exact way I am doing now? If the answer is no, it’s important to start making some serious changes today!


Mick Fanning made it clear that surfing and competitions, money and accolades were no longer at the forefront of his mind. He continued to reference his fellow surfer friend Julian Wilson, who courageously swam out to save him and how he wanted focus his attention on the support and love from family and friends.
Mick immediately phoned his mother after getting back safely to shore and he also couldn’t wait to get back to his wife, back home in Australia. He spent the following days after the attack embracing friends who rallied round him, who were also clearly shaken, in recognition that they almost lost their friend in the water that day.
The takeaway : Don’t wait til tragedy hits, to acknowledge and spend time with friends, family and those we love. Life keeps us busy and far too often focused on obtaining material positions and wealth. However, remember that the love and time we put into our relationships is priceless and its an investment that we all should be doing as much as possible, starting now!
( Photo credit : Trevor Moran)

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