I know, the whole Pirates of the Caribbean things is long gone, but I had an interesting meeting yesterday and I was asked, “what has held you back Michael?” I stared back at the guy and tried to explain it away with a couple excuses and he saw right passed it.

I told him it was a question that I would probably lose sleep over, and I was right. So as I started to think about the path my life has taken I tried to find the answer to my new friend’s question. Being a movie buff, I tried to think of characters who somehow never lived up to their potential —something was holding them back and until they broke through that barrier, they were stuck. And by the title, you’ve guess it, I thought of Jack Sparrow and Will Turner.

Am I a Captain Jack?

Jack Sparrow, the most famous pirate no one has ever heard of (at least in his world)— a person who gets out of just enough trouble than he gets into. He rides the lines of right and wrong and does it with style. He isn’t afraid to say what he’s think or take what he wants and while he drinks too much, he can handle himself in most situations. He lives in the gray areas of life and is comfortable with that.

To be honest I think most guys want to be Jack Sparrow and most women find a guy like Jack Sparrow attractive — at least in the short term. In fact, I would like to think I’m like Jack, but only when the stakes aren’t high — when I’m in a situation I’m comfortable in. Does this make me come off as a jerk in those situations? God I hope not, but maybe in the past that’s been what’s held me back.

something was holding them back and until they broke through that barrier, they were stuck

Am I a Will Turner?

Will Turner, the dutiful blacksmith who is always doing the right thing — a person who is afraid to take the one risk that would set him free from the life he is trapped in. Things for young Will are black and white and he would give his life to uphold words like honor and love.
In most situations, I’m probably more like Mr. Turner — especially if I am uncertain of my surroundings or if I don’t know for sure how things will turn out. I can be tentative and may come off as lacking confidence to those around me? Have I not stepped up when I should have because I didn’t think I had what it took? Maybe that’s what has held me back?

The good news is that these two characters have the hero drawn out of them by some extraordinary people and circumstances. Jack finds his way through Will. Will finds his purpose through Elizabeth (there’s always a damsel involved isn’t there). I too find myself in the midst of extraordinary times and surrounded by extraordinary people.

My hope is whether I’m a Jack or a Will, I can become who I am meant to be. How about you? Are you a Jack or a Will? Let me know with a comment below.

michael aldea go left marketing imageJan Michael Aldea is a jack of all trades finally making good at being well rounded. His background in marketing, consulting, business coaching & training, real estate, fitness, parenthood, marriage, and life makes Michael ill equipped to be in a cubicle, but very equipped to help transform people and companies one (sometimes humorously awkward) step at a time. He is the president and director of business development for Go Left Marketing based out of Charlotte, NC.

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