September 11

Three Things I Learned from Captain Jack

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“Stop blowing holes in my ship!”

Trapped in the brig of the Black Pearl for the eighty-seventh time, an exasperated Jack shouts, “Stop blowing holes in my ship!” when a cannon ball blows through his cell.

Lately, I feel like Captain Jack in that moment. 

I had roughly a ten-year hiccup kicking off my young adult life. There were seasons during my late teens and into my twenties when due to my health, I simply wasn’t able to go-and-do as normal young adults did.

Normal is not only relative and a setting on your washer. It is quite simply, what works for YOU.

That being said, when my ability to function was limited because of my health, all I really wanted was to be normal. I felt trapped, stuck, hopeless, depressed, angry, nauseous and exhausted, much like most of humanity from March through whenever of 2020.

I worked diligently to re-enter life’s stage and build a lifestyle I could fully participate in. So as 2020 began, I was just getting my personal momentum going!

After ten-plus years of false starts, hiccups, setbacks and surprises, 2020 was going to be my year! Then BOOM! Yet another cannon ball barreled into my life. And yours.

At times, I want to tap-out and take an Elizabeth Swan dive out of my reality but,

I make more progress standing under the weight of it all. 

How?

I approach life’s uncertainties more like Captain Jack.

Here are three things Jack did that work for me.

One: Stay Resourceful

Like a cat, Captain Jack always seems to land on his feet. With all the inconsistency in life this year, I wish I could say the same of myself. I’ve spent more time on the ground or with my face in a pillow than I care to admit.

I love a good plan and when my plans are thwarted it takes me more than a hot second to pivot away from feeling trapped, thwarted and controlled into a more flexible state of resourcefulness. Captain Jack functions in a constant state of flexibility and resilience.

Two: Stay Focused

If you observe Jack too closely, his actions seem random and poorly planned.

When you take a few steps back off the plank, you begin to see his actions weave together to achieve his ultimate desire, getting his ship back.

His purpose is narrow. His perspective on how to get there is broad.

Our worlds expand through the Internet and social media. Distractions are everywhere.

Select your area of life focus with careful thought. 

Hang your actions on select core values. We amplify our impact in this world when we refrain from living wide and instead channel our actions with narrow purpose like Jack.   

Three: Stay Flexible

I love how Captain Jack walks and moves.

Originally, I thought it was all rum, but then I realized he constantly walks as if he is on the unsteady surface of a boat rocking with the water… even on dry land.

“Notice that the stiffest tree is most easily cracked, while the bamboo or willow survives by bending with the wind.” - Bruce Lee

Whether on the inconsistent footing of an ocean-tossed ship or firmly chained to the unbending consistency encased in dry land, Jack moves his body to stay flexible and creative on a dime. 

The truth is, whether rocking on a ship or standing on land, Jack benefits by his awareness of this simple fact: dry land is not truly steady, it's rather ocean-like itself.

All life, on land or sea demands we engage a fluid resourcefulness to endure.

We were comfortable and felt certain in our lives on land. Now we are noticing the merciless ocean in sudden and painful ways. 

We all feel the increase in uncertainty and loss of control in our lives, but the truth is, life has always been like that: unpredictable. 

Picture approaching life with Captain Jack’s fluid swagger. 

Engage the tools of resourcefulness, focus and flexibility.

Whether we swing from rooftops, duel on the high seas, or simply navigate the stormy waters of reimagining our lives, know it’s possible to prevail.

All the best to you my friend.

PS. If you are curious for more tools on how to engage resourcefulness check out Blair Dunkley’s free weekly webinar. A time of teaching Mind Models and engaging creativity for living. 


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