Be The Captain of YOU

“Disguising incompetence doesn’t alter the basic condition. But incompetence can be overcome. If you’re in a job that requires talents you do not possess, don’t spend time covering up your lack of talent. Spend it looking for a job that will enable you to use the talents you do have.

Think about William Ernest Henley. He didn’t have a lack of talent. He had the lack of a leg. At age twelve, he lost on of his legs right below the knee because of tubercular arthritis. He went on to become an editor, critic, and poet, who excelled at his craft. More than a century ago he wrote, “I am the Master of My Fate, I am the Captain of My Soul.” Those are fourteen words to by which to live… — Nido R. Qubein

To know the meaning of incompetence will be very important as many may differ in what incompetence means. Webster’s Dictionary says: “not legally qualified; inadequate or unsuitable for a particular purpose; lacking the qualities needed for effective action; unable to function properly. With that as a base, we now have something on which we can all agree.

To try to cover up for being incompetent, is something most of us have done at one time or another in our life. It might have been during elementary or high school or even at college. It might even have been at our last job, or we may be doing it now at our current job. If you do not believe yourself to be competent in what you do, hiding it is not the answer. Developing your skill set is the answer.

It is true it is best to have a job utilizing your natural talents however, this isn’t the real world in which we live. For most of us, we had to take the first thing that came along. With that in mind, it is important to learn to develop some skills for which you may not have any natural talent. In other words, you may have a natural propensity or talent for something you are not doing, but if you will work on your skill set for what you are doing NOW, you will find this will also help you when you are able secure the job you desire.

Mr. Qubein mentions William Ernest Henley who lost a leg as a child, but went on to become something of value to those around him. There are thousands that have done the same. They did not allow the troubles, calamities, and misfortunes they faced to overwhelm them. They did not allow this to keep them from doing what was necessary to become a person of competence even though they may have suffered physically or psychologically during their life’s journey. Helen Keller, who due to an illness as a child became blind and deaf, went on to become a celebrated author and speaker as well as an inspiration for all to overcome whatever they face.

Stephen Hawking, a renowned theoretical physicist was diagnosed with ALS, shortly before he turned 21. Given two years to live, he went on to become a celebrated author, lecturer and professor and was one of the top physicists in the field. Franklin D. Roosevelt was stricken with polio at the age of 40. This drastically limited his ability to use his legs. After this he became governor of NY then went on to become president of the United States.

There are countless more with stories of greater hardships, not only in how and where they lived, but in their physical maladies as well. Yet, they continued to push themselves and in doing so they proved that which was written by William Ernest Henley in one of his poems:

It matters not how straight the gate
How charged with punishments the scroll
I am the Master of My Fate
I am the Captain of My Soul

We are truly the Masters of our Fate and the Captains of our Soul. What Ralph Waldo Emerson said was similar when he wrote in his Essay on Compensation. Make life pay you what it is you want out of it. Both knew you cannot let life happen to you, you must determine what will happen and life will reward you for the effort.

Best of LUCK as you
Labor Under Correct Knowledge…


Rick Cox