What kind of Captain are you? (and what kind of boat are you on)

The word “captain” comes from the latin word caput meaning “head”; anything that you do using your head, assuming you are the sole master of your thoughts and actions, literally makes you a captain!

And no captain is a captain without a ship: weather it be your company or a relationship: anything in your life that has a direction and needs guidance is a vessel.

The Row-Boat

Sometimes you find yourself on a row-boat, its mostly about strength, stamina, endurance and momentum. Passengers are mostly dead weight if they cannot help, and if they do help, they are only “helpful” if you are in perfect sync, otherwise they could be pejorative. Outside conditions have a direct impact on you, even a small current shift can make your life much harder or easier, depending on your direction. You can go quite a bit on a row boat, but the speed and distance you can travel on it is very limited, on the other hand it builds muscles and experience about the sea and even if you are thrown overboard its easy to jump back on it. Agility is a big issue, you get immediate feedback on your turns but its cumbersome and slow to change direction, so you need to have a very clear idea where you are going from the start, draw a straight line and almost never look “back” but for small adjustments.

The row-boat is what’s given to you as a birth right. The beauty of it is that no one can take that away from you. It’s easy to fix, even to rebuilt when it is totally trashed. The row-boat is what should give you the confidence that even when you hit rock bottom, you always have what’s needed to come back afloat and go wherever you chose to.

The Motor Boat

The motor boat is an adventure, a thrill, a passion. It’s about finding all the fuel you can find and navigating through different islands mostly undiscovered in search for a treasure sketched on a map that is far from perfect. Coming in different sizes and speeds, motor boats are very agile, very fast and manageable. To be enjoyed with friends or like minded people but does not allow for too many. Not suited for higher seas or very long trips, they are the perfect means for short and tricky journeys. Reflexes at high speed are key on those rides, they easily tip off and once they do the engine is bust. Intuition and vision are other skills the captain of such vessels shall require: the burn rate is high and finding fuel in the middle of the sea is quite often a challenging task.

The motor boat is a start-up, an entrepreneurial endeavour, being personal or business: it’s about having a dream and chasing after it with a mighty force of will. It’s about discipline and learning or more likely applying that learning towards the achievement of a goal. The motor boat is the spark, it’s fun and easy to ride but it’s mostly short in lifetime. It is not very stable and does not do well against storms or unexpected conditions or obstacles. The beauty is that turning it around is very fast and easily done, as long as you can see that obstacle in due time.

The Yacht

The yacht is what you upgrade to, when you need to take longer and more stable trips across the sea. Still quite agile but not nearly as much as the motor boat: the feedback time from action to reaction is much slower but yet manageable. The yacht has the conforts of being bigger, softer, quieter and of much bigger range; on the other hand it generally requires more staff depending on the size and finding a good crew is what makes the ride enjoyable or sometimes not endurable. The longer the size and the range the more is required to travel: better planning, better skills, well defined processes and perfect execution.

The yacht is the mid-size company, the long term commitment, the monetary employment. The yacht is where you are stable and where the routes are fairly well known. It’s mostly routine if not for the eventual unexpected surprise. It’s the marathon man kind of a life. It’s dependable, enjoyable, not too high and not too low. Again depending on the size and quality, the yacht can provide a very decent life for most.

The Ship

The ship is a monster with a life of its own. It is not for everyone. The time between action and reaction is so slow that you need to become a mastermind strategist to deal with managing even the simple cruising. A ship can maintain many many families and all sorts of different skill sets are required within. Delegation is key and the crew is even more important and harder to manage because of the size. Its about inspiring through leadership. It’s about having mastered all kind of sailing skills and having been able to engrave those skills inside every aspect of this huge vessel.

A ship can touch and save many lives; but those many lives are also big responsibilities to carry, and being a fair and responsible captain is not easy task at all.

The Sail Boat

The sail boat is for when you have no rush, when you decide to sit back and enjoy the moment, watch the sun set, breath in the salty breeze and look to the horizon in high hopes. The sail boat teaches you about faith and about freedom. It teaches you when to open your sail fully, or to half… or not to open it at all. It teaches you about nature and to be one with the elements around you as they can be your best friend or your worst enemy. Its when you do not need to take sudden turns but work with your environment to reach your destination. It allows you to travel open seas if you are brave enough to take on the storm and still trust your ballast to keep you from sinking. A sail boat is about balance, symmetry, harmony and peace.

The sail boat is yet another  birth right, but this one is not “given” to you, it’s what you actually live to find, and once you do find it, it’s what is worth fighting for to keep. No matter what other type of boat you cruise, the sail boat is what you strive to come to as soon as you are done. Not having found your sail boat is like not having found your purpose. There will be times when the wind will be dead and you will need to wait for it; there will be storms, keeping you trapped in an uncomfortable interior. It will seem to you that other means of transport might give you the opportunity to skip those parts, take short cuts and boost away to nicer horizons. At the end, despite all of the adventure and ecstasy experienced aboard faster, more powerful or bigger vessels, you will find out that the dearest moments in your life are all lived while on a sail boat.

The Surf Board

The surf board is the wild night, the dance, the scream against the wind, the fling, the competition, the animal instinct… The adrenaline of riding the wave to the end. The worry less, stressless, thoughtless stolen single moments, engraved in our memories. Moments where we are no captains no more but simply kids, playing by the sea…

Oh Captain

It’s important to understand what kind of vessel you are on, and cruise accordingly. There are some mix cruise types in life, so sometimes it could be tricky. This is where the most important trait of being a captain comes in handy, have faith in yourself:

“It matters not how strait the gate, How charged with punishments the scroll, I am the master of my fate: I am the captain of my soul” ~William Ernest Henley

And don’t forget:

“If the highest aim of a captain were to preserve his ship, he would keep it in port forever.” ~Thomas Aquinas

Sadok Kohen

In truth, without deceit, certain and most veritable.






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