Why Thinking and Acting like a Pirate Can Change the World


In my recent TEDx talk, I mention the importance of thinking and acting like a pirate. We must rethink many ways we approach learning, work, and life. And acquiring a pirate mindset will help young people tackle the world’s problems better and more efficiently.

Before I dive into what I mean by that, I believe we all agree on one fact: Our world needs leaders who take action, act responsibly, and take necessary steps toward a sustainable future for our planet and society. Yes? Great. 

Now, what do I mean by thinking and acting like a pirate? Obviously, I don’t want young minds to hijack ships or commit any other crimes. But what I like about that metaphor and the pirates’ mindset is that…

  • Pirates always have the goal in mind. They are determined and don’t give up halfway.
  • Pirates are risk-takers and dare to do things differently. They don’t follow the rules set by others. 
  • Pirates are courageous and lead by example. It takes courage to make a difference.
  • Pirates have fun, but they are disciplined when necessary. They get their work done.

And this mindset and set of values are necessary to stand out in today’s society dominated by followers. As we established before, our world needs leaders – people who are thinking like pirates.

Now, speaking from my personal experience… For too long, I have played by the rules of others. I rarely questioned them. I took beliefs and necessary behavior as set in stone. But I was wrong. And I assume I was not the only one.

As Albert Einstein said, “We cannot solve our problems with the same thinking we used when we created them.” So the world needs a new way of thinking. And that’s where the pirates come into play. 

5 Tips on How to Think and Act Like a Pirate

Let me give you 5 tips on implementing little steps into your daily life to think and act like a pirate.

Whenever someone tells you, “we have always done it this way,” run! 😀 The alarm bells should go off immediately. Always handle such advice with care. Question it. Do your own research. And dare to find your own (and likely better) way to do things. Dare to think like a pirate.

Dare to do things differently and step away from naysayers.

Most of the time, those people want to protect old patterns they have adapted to. It gives them a feeling of comfort. It’s a phenomenon you can observe among CEOs close to their retirement. They avoid risks out of fear of failing with a new and unknown approach. They like to play it safe. 

But, to move forward, we need to surround ourselves with the right people who are not afraid of stepping out of their comfort zone. 

Find a mentor who can guide you, share their experiences, and encourage you to take risks.

Most of us grew up in an environment where we falsely learned what we couldn’t do. Think about how often you were told: “You can’t do that because….” We grew up with a set of limitations in our heads that hinder us from achieving greatness. 

Don’t ever let people tell you that you can’t.

How many people in your surroundings complain a lot? According to them, everything is bad. They navigate through life in victim mode – all the bad stuff happens to them. We need to change our minds to “life happens for us.”

Approach life with positivity and optimism and allow yourself to have a lot of fun.

We need to accept that things will not always go our way. Eventually, we will fail with some of our projects and attempts to create impact. Every fail gets us one step closer to our next win. So, go and embrace it, celebrate it, and start over. The more failures you encounter, the higher the chances of hitting the jackpot on your journey. 

Don’t be afraid of failure. Only those who stop failing become a failure in the end.

Well, that’s what it takes to think and act like a pirate. And that’s what I also touched on in my TEDx talk. You can check it out here:

I hope you can implement some of the tips to act and think like a pirate for your own life!

Want to learn more about what it means to think like a pirate? Read more about it here.

Enjoyed reading this article? Ever invited a pirate for a coffee? Now’s your chance.

Tagged as changemakers, entrepreneurship, mindset, tips

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