Every family has their phrases, and I bet you can think of a few that have followed you from childhood. 

For my family, classics include “to each his own” and “it takes all kinds.” Basically, we’re not going to call you stupid but uh… you do dance to the beat of your own drum, if you get my drift.

Recently, I caught myself repeating a phrase as I described my outlook on life. It’s one I’ve said many times…

I want to be the captain of my own ship.

It’s similar to poet William Ernest Henley’s lines, “I am the master of my fate, / I am the captain of my soul.”

I say that because I like knowing that what I do matters, that I can work for something and attain it. 

At the heart of it, I want the power to make my own destiny. But there’s a problem….

You can be the captain of your ship, but you can’t control the ocean. 

I like the illusion of control. That’s all it is, after all–a marble that looks like a pearl. I’m no more a captain than Hugh Hefner.

But you should want to be proactive in life, right? And if so, how do we build an intentional life while accepting we don’t have control? 

To answer this, I looked at the role of an actual captain. On a real ship, the captain is in charge of setting the course, determining speed, directing the crew members, keeping logs, maintaining procedures, and supervising cargo and passengers.

Similarly, in life, you get to pick your destination, set your course, and determine how you want to get there. 

While you can’t have total control, your actions matter. You are the captain of your ship.

Just remember though, you’re not in charge of the weather. 

To being better without pulling a Captain Ahab,