Episode 11: Corey Vaughn; Putting a life jacket on self-doubt to live his dream as a pro water skier

From the minute we started the conversation, it was evident that Corey Vaughn is a philosopher. He also calls himself the “hippie husband” of his wife Amelia. It was almost surreal to reconcile the deep thinking man I was speaking to with the fact that he’s one of the best in the extremely intense sport of water skiing. And he is a really, really good water skier. He’s one of only a handful of skiers to have run all 6 buoys in the most difficult (41 off) pass, and he’s been on the podium in countless tournaments from Nationals to Pro Tour events. He knows a thing or two about performance under pressure and after learning that you can get burned out even when working on a passion, he’s pretty darn good at balancing his life. In this episode, he shares his practices on dealing with pressure, working through self-doubt and what it takes to keep showing up.  

Additional subjects and links for show notes 

Key topics: 

  • What is the pandemic trying to teach us about nature and operating in the natural world 
  • The nature of control and what we can’t control 
  • The potential for synergy in the current situation  
  • The early questions that caused him to question his “indoctrination” 
  • Developing a sense of curiosity, questioning and skepticism 
  • The huge choice he made to follow his water skiing dreams instead of focusing on a traditional career 
  • Putting a “life jacket on his self doubt 
  • His primary tool in overcoming fear of failure 
  • Learning to turn the volume knob on the sensations of survival mode 
  • Meditation and other ways of being still and challenging his mind 
  • His core life philosophies – including everything from Taoism to Stoicism to Buddhism and more 
  • Where he feels the most pressure 
  • Skiing with his granddad  
  • In skiing, “you can love the people more than the performance” 
  • The events that surrounded his running 41 off in a tournament 
  • The challenges of working through plateaus and the feeling of being stuck 
  • Even with that achievement, looking to test his limits on the ski 
  • Some of the thinking and comparing traps it is easy to fall into 
  • His awareness of his own mortality – at the age of 34  
  • Life as a dance 
  • Water skiing as a mirror to life  

Corey's contact information: 

Website: https://www.peaceloveandwaterskiing.com/ 

Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/peaceloveandwaterskiing/ 

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/corey.v.humburg 

Other links mentioned in show: 

Wim Hof Method 

Brooks Wilson 

Radar Skis 

Joe Rogan Podcast 

Alan Watts 

Jordan Peterson 

Yuval Noah Harari 

Sam Harris 

Jon Travers 

Andy Mapple