Throughout the entire franchise, Captain Jack Sparrow always managed to get out of tight spots no matter how hard things were. He went inside a cave full of his rival’s crews, managed to stay calm when his boat sunk, and even gain the trust of nobles despite his occupation as a pirate. But most of all, he finally became the Captain of the Black Pearl again. Call it a movie but his way can actually work.

Therefore, in this article, I want to discuss how Captain Jack to set his goals straight in order to gain what he wants.

Note: Most of his traits, that will be discussed here, are in the first movie. As for the movies after, ultimately in the final movie, he gets what he wants.

1) Mark your goal(s)

You know why pirates always have a treasure map? It’s because they want to set their destination straight. Treasure. In order to get that, they need to know the location, and see what they may be up against. In the franchise, Captain Jack and other pirate captains always have a map to many different places to acquire what they want: The fountain of Youth, Up is Down, etc.

So have your own map. Coordinate where you want to go in the future, ensure what you need in order to get there, which takes me to the next point.

2) Take Actions

“The only rules that matters are these: What a man can do and what a man can’t do.” Captain Jack Sparrow, Pirates of the Caribbean: The Curse of the Black Pearl

You know why most Pirates always get what they want? It’s because they immediately do it. They finish their stuff and make sure that all their strategies work out well to get those treasures.

In this scene, Will wanted to kill Jack. Jack could’ve just let Will drown so that he won’t get a higher chance on getting killed, however, he knows that he cannot sail the stolen ship by himself. So he is being reasonable and planned his tactics. In the end, it’s what you can or can’t do.

So, can you open that business? Yes you can! What do you need? List them out! What can’t you do? Do you need a partner to help you open that business? Plan out these attributes well. Can you start now? YES!! Because as Captain Jack said:

Lesson: There’s no such thing as the perfect moment, JUST DO IT!!

3) Keep going no matter what

There are times when you may be at your lowest or hit hard down. Most successful people had been through those: Elon Musk failed some of his Space X flight, Jack Ma rejected countless times from KFC, JK Rowling rejected multiple times before Harry Potter can even be published, and many more. The question is, are you still willing to keep going?

Jack gave the perfect example here, his little boat sank before he could even land. But hey, at least he arrived. He kept believing that he will obtain back the right to be a Captain even when he was defeated, but that didn’t stop him to still become who he is today. At the end of the movie, he was able to acquire the Black Pearl and captain it.

So no matter what, believe in yourself and don’t give up on your goals/dreams.



4) Work smarter, not harder

There are many ways to solve a problem, the question is how will you handle it.

There was a scene where he was able to acquire the Interceptor without killing anyone or even breaking a sweat. He managed to trick the soldiers into thinking that he wants to steal A ship, when really, he was eyeing on the Interceptor.

Another example aside from Captain Jack is the Red Wedding from Game of Thrones. Tywin Lannister was trying to save war cost, which is why he managed to plan the Red Wedding, even when if it is brutal. Then again, there are no rules that said that you shouldn’t only fight in a battlefield.

So, find a good solution to solve your problem, don’t just work hard, work smarter.

5) Own your true value, not just physical ones

As Captain Jack said, not everything is all about treasures, value the things you really have and need.

In business, there is always two things that needs to be considered when running it: Tangible & Intangible values. Tangible value is something physical like money. Intangible is not something physical but more to future promises such as goodwill. If you are a student or employee, your intangible value can be your skills so that companies are willing to hire you. So as you can see here, not everything is about money, it’s about your core value as well.

For Jack, you barely actually see him a lot with treasures. He admire them, but his famous quotes were always about: Rum, Oceans, and the Black Pearl or Ships to command. Those things are always what he is after, sometimes treasures as well, but it was barely mentioned. That’s his tangible value.

His intangible value is the feeling to live in the wide open ocean, his worth (which is why his enemies cannot kill him just yet because he negotiates with them very well), and strategies to reach his goals. Notice that no matter how ‘poor’ Jack was, everyone is always looking for him, because he has something that he has that no one has. Plan, strategies, his cunning skills to negotiate his way out of death. That’s how he is able to differentiate himself from other pirates.

6) Celebrate little wins

This is important, otherwise you will only procrastinate your way. It’s like a video game where you earn rewards as you play along the way.

For Jack, his reward is rum. Every time he got something, rum helps him think without much pressure, that’s why you rarely see him under pressure unless when his rum is gone.

Now I am not saying that you should drink rum until you get drunk like Jack, but try rewarding yourself something that makes you happy at the moment. Remember, you are investing yourself for the long-term, so you need something to be motivated about to keep on going.

In Conclusion…

As you can see here, Captain Jack isn’t as pathetic as other characters thought he’d be. He actually taught us a lot of things in the movie, summarized here:

  1. Mark your goal(s)
  2. Take actions
  3. Keep going no matter what
  4. Work smarter, not harder
  5. Own your true values, not just the physical ones
  6. Celebrate little wins

Now Jack is a sneaky manipulator and sometimes he’s a bit selfish. But you have to admit that he is a master in handling situations under pressure and we can’t help but admire that side of him. Pirate or not, he got what he wanted in the end…savvy?

Author: Laurentia Nicole Sudjono