Book Review – Act Accordingly by Colin Wright

Act Accordingly by Colin Wright
Asymmetrical Press (2013)
Available on Amazon

You have exactly one life in which to do everything you’ll ever do. Act accordingly.

As described on Amazon:

Act Accordingly is a philosophical framework written to help people become the best possible version of themselves. Rather than proposing a one-size-fits-all code of beliefs or behaviors, the ideas presented in this intentionally concise book encourage readers to question their long-held biases, their definition of confidence, their level of self-sustainability, and the degree to which they allow themselves to evolve their beliefs over time.

Upon reading this latest work from Colin Wright, a realisation comes a few pages in that the aim here is to raise more questions than provide answers (a positive in the context of this book). Providing a framework of reference for evaluating your personal beliefs and views on your place in society is the biggest strength of this concise, but thought-provoking work (at 80 pages, you will get through this in an hour).

In a market flooded with self-help and motivational “how to” guides, this provides the “why” in a way that allows you to determine for yourself how it all fits together and relates to your own situation. The biggest criticism I have of many books on these types of subjects is they apply one rigid framework to many a varied situation. There is generally little to be gained from trying to hang a rectangular artwork inside a square frame.

Personally, I have always held the view that most people set out to portray themselves, or act in a way that demonstrates, the best version of themselves. Too often this is somewhat dismissed by societal expectations, and as a result, we consider a persons best version of themselves as insufficient or even plain wrong, simply because the version is different to our own. I myself am guilty at times of having a lower threshold of acceptance for certain behaviours (behaviours which are not wrong, and may only be marginally different from my own), simply because they may not sit exactly where I would like them in my frame of reference.

One of the real strengths of Act Accordingly is not only in providing questions to guide your thinking in reviewing your own belief system, but also (and possibly of greater value) providing questions that will allow you to reconsider how you view and respond to others belief systems. For example, on others opinions:

After all, they’re basing their beliefs on the best information available to them, their personal history, and experiences. The same as you.

And again, in acknowledging these differences, and seeking to exert positive influence:

Exemplify the ‘right’ you want to see, and allow others to follow. Expecting others to live according to your own standards can be just as wrong as the ‘wrong’ things they do.

Other sections of the book look at confidence and applying yourself to the things that will make a difference to you, and how you are not a label, nor a logo, though people will try to identify you in this way.

The key thought here is that you can develop your own philosophy to live by, not ascribe to someone else’s. Where do the tenets of this philosophy come from? The answer is one that only you will know, even if you are not yet fully aware of it, and in the words of the author, consider the following:

Am I living this? Or just telling myself I am?
If the answer to the first question is ‘no’, develop a philosophy you can say ‘yes’ to. Then act accordingly.

In summary, Act Accordingly will stimulate you to assess your own standards, values and beliefs, and consider how they determine your path in life. This is not a cookbook – there no recipes to blindly follow, which is precisely why I would recommend this as definitely one to read.

Act Accordingly by Colin Wright
Asymmetrical Press (2013)
Available on Amazon

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