Colin Wright’s book Act Accordingly is in some ways a collection of essays and ideas written by Wright that all focus around the idea of living a full life with the limited time we have on this planet. The fifth chapter of his book centers on confidence, and he starts the chapter with the following quote, “Confidence means knowing the value of your knowledge, while maintaining awareness of how much you have left to learn.” What I love about this quote is the focus on continued learning and an ever growing knowledge base combined with a self awareness to focus on areas where our mind can still grow.
Wright continues to explain that knowledge will allow us to get to where we want to go by giving us the opportunity to participate in more areas and have greater input in the world. One way in which greater knowledge translates into a more connected and engaged life is through confidence. When we are confident we are able to more freely participate in discussions, activities, groups, and events because we have knowledge related to what it is we are participating in. We can better connect with others and provide more value to the world. This confidence is brought on exclusively by knowledge and familiarity in the world, but it can lead to a downfall of hubris,
What Wright also advocates for is a strong sense of self awareness to be able to reflect on what we know well, and what we do not know. For me I find myself discussing various topics, and often times the discussion will move in directions I am not familiar with. I will catch myself spreading information that I never truly understood, or even making up information based on assumptions and conclusions that I have drawn from other things that I have been told. In this situation Wright would argue that it is best to move into a purely listening mode and avoid interjections made with a lack of confidence. By recognizing these areas I can see where I can read and study to become more well rounded in my knowledge. This also helps prepare me for future conversations, building my confidence.