Patagonia Founder Shares Words Of Wisdom

Patagonia Founder Yvon Chouinard, who has and will surely again be featured in TransWorld Business and numerous national publications, was given a recent platform to discuss his thoughts on surfing, the environment, owning a business, and life in general. His advice and overall attitude do not conform to society’s norms and are refreshing and inspirational to anyone, no matter what your age or place in life. Take a look at what he has to say:

Patagonia Founer Yvon Chouinard. Photo: Entrepreneur
Patagonia Founer Yvon Chouinard. Photo: Entrepreneur

The secret to happiness is to be working at your passion. If you want to be miserable, lead a desperate life like everybody else where they drag their asses to work everyday because they hate their job.

My wife and I give 50 percent of our salaries away to charity. I don’t need the money. I don’t hang out with other businessmen. I’m a surfer for God’s sake. The only reason I hang on to this company is that I’m totally pessimistic about the fate of the planet. I feel like I couldn’t sleep at night unless I felt like I was part of the solution.

What’s wrong with just accepting the fact that there’s a beginning and an end to everything? I’m perfectly comfortable that I’m going to die.

I just live right now. You ask me about the past, you ask me about the future, the only way to be happy is to be living right now.

Everybody I know who’s studying the fate of the world is totally pessimistic. There’s no reason to be optimistic. We’re not going to get a handle on global warming, we’re way too late for that. It’s just a matter of knowing that you’re doing what you can, and so be it.

It’s not too late to start. I give talks to young people, and I can just see what’s going on in their heads. They’re thinking, “Oh yeah, when I get rich, I’m going to give a bunch of money away.” But it’s all relative. Ten dollars given away now is worth more than a hundred given away ten years from now. So you don’t have to be rich to be a philanthropist, or to do good.