In his book Act Accordingly Colin Wright dives into the ideas of self awareness and alignment and how we need to have both to ensure that we are moving in the right direction. Wright explains that it is necessary to be aware of what we are working towards and allow our path to change as we grow, learn more about ourselves, and discover new perspectives. In regards to reaching the place we want to go, he explains that our path should not be a straight shot but that it should have bends and turns as we begin to understand ourselves and the world in new ways. The author writes, “It may be that the shortest distance between you and your ideal lifestyle is halfway down one path, a third of the way down another, a tenth of the way down another, and so forth.”
For Wright, all of these changes in paths mean working towards more flexibility and greater alignment with your true motivations and goals. If you are not self aware and lose focus of your interactions and life surrounding your big goals, then the paths that you chose will not be in alignment with what is best for you, and you may not be happy with the paths you start down. Wright advocates that we avoid paths that “fall into habit prisons”. This means we should look to maximize agency and flexibility in our lives, which includes our mental perspectives as well as our available time.
What I really like about Wright’s quote is that it shows how non-linear our trajectories can be when we set out to reach a point in life that we desire. We do not have to know immediately upon exiting college or school what we wish to do, but if we focus and apply ourselves in a direction that is aligned with our true self, then we will have new opportunities to take paths that better align with who we are. I am often stressed that the path I am on won’t deliver the end goals for my life that I would like to see, but after reading Wright’s quote I know that is ok. My path may just be leading me towards a new intersection where I can find another path that will be more direct and aligned with the vision of success that I have for myself. However, as I move down new paths it is important that I understand what I am aiming at. I have spent a lot of time thinking about and redefining success in my mind. The vision that I have of success is now much more in line with who I am than my previous ideas of large houses and fancy sports cars. Understanding my end goal helps me evaluate paths along my constantly evolving journey.