Josh Brage

Captain Jack’s Compass
July 12, 2006, 6:33 pm
Filed under: Uncategorized

This past weekend my dad took my family and I to see Pirates of the Caribbean 2: Dead Man’s Chest. We all loved the movie. It is funny, suspenseful, has enough plot to not be boring, but yet, doesn’t take itself too seriously. It is easy to see why this movie had the highest opening day grossing of all time. I highly recommend both this movie and the first one (and probably the third, but I won’t recommend it yet.)

This post is not a movie review. I want to pull something out that struck me as profound from the movie. Also, don’t worry there are no spoilers in this post, you will be alright.

Most of the plotline revolves around Captain Jack’s mystical compass. Captain Jack is having difficulty properly leading his ship and crew, due to this compass not giving him the proper heading. The empirical Lord Cutler Beckett is pursuing the good Captain’s compass and has sent the ambitious Will Turner to retrieve it. As you can imagine, anywhere Will goes Elizabeth is sure to be close behind and so we have ourselves a movie.

Now this compass is mystical. For one thing, it is broken. It doesn’t point north. It points at different times to all points of the earth and sea. It is the only way that Captain Jack navigates the great seas. Finally, we learn that the reason for all of this is that this mystical compass only points to the thing that the holder wants most in the world.

Wow, now that is a cool compass. That is how Jack Sparrow has lived his life for a while now. He follows a compass that points to the very thing that he wants most in the world. However, as I mentioned before, Jack is having difficulties because the compass is not pointing in the same direction. For the first time in his life, he doesn’t know what he wants most in the world.

At one point, when Elizabeth has caught up to Captain Jack and now they need to find Will, Captain Jack goes through this whole conversation with her to determine what she wants most in the world. When she decides, Jack asks her, “Is that what you want?” She says yes and then he hands her the compass. Now they have a heading.

To me this is profound. What a way to live your life. Following a compass that takes you to the thing you want most in the world. I think that we should live our lives that way. There are major things on the inside of us that we must chase. We need to learn to follow those things.

Too many times, we settle. We settle for what is easy or what makes sense. We settle for the wrong job. We settle for the wrong relationship. We settle for the wrong city. We settle because we are scared. We settle because our inner compass hasn’t decided which way to lead us.

When asked how to succeed in life, one of my great mentors, Phil Reasons, would answer, “find the thing that makes you pound the table and jump up and down during the day and doesn’t let you sleep at night. Then go do that.” This is so true. The only place that we are going to be successful is being who we are and doing what we most want to do.

Now, I am not suggesting that we throw caution to the wind and just start chasing anything that pops into our minds or hearts. (If I lived that way, I would have been in Amsterdam, South Florida, Saint Joseph, Missouri, Seattle, Colorado Springs, Washington D.C., Chicago and London all in the past six months.) But we must pay attention to those things that are big deals to us, in that we will find happiness and identity.

So here is what I want to do with my life. I want to spend some time finding what I want most in this world. I know a couple of things, but most of the time they are vague and unclear. That is alright. As I walk towards some of those things, they will come into focus. And if they don’t, I can always change plans. But I am going to find out what I want in this world. Then I am going to pick up that compass. And even if I have to pull into port after port riding on the top mast of a sunken ship, I am going to keep following that compass.


2 Comments so far
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“And even if I have to pull into port riding on the top mast of a sunken ship…”

Hoshi, I love you. This post was amazing. I think it is incredible that you and I are such radically different people, yet we have ideas like this which completely unite us.

Comment by Sean M. Brage

If you advance confidently in the direction of your dreams and endeavor to live the life which you have imagined, you will meet with a success unexpected in common hours. – Henry David Thoreau

“Some luck lies in not getting what you thought you wanted but getting what you have, which once you have got it you may be smart enough to see is what you would have wanted had you known.” – Garrison Keillor


Comment by Batman

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