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September 6, 2022

Direction, Not Speed

Read time —
2 Minutes

Shane Parrish neatly captures his principles for living into five points.

They are all valuable, but the first one is often perceived incorrectly. What is this first principle?

Direction Over Speed.

In a world where it feels like everything is accelerating, there is a temptation to join in. We’re inclined to choose speed over direction. Think of your meal last night. Did you consider direction, or did you consider speed when making your choice?

An evening meal chosen with direction in mind is one that honours the healthy, fit body you want. When it’s speed, direction rarely matters. The focus is more on Netflix or Twitter than on being healthy.

Surprisingly, we don’t choose speed.

No, often our environment chooses it for us as the demands of the internet age slither into our lives. When it comes to improving our one weekly decision, it’s time to challenge the comfort of speed.

Life is long. Direction allows us to play the long game.

Shane uses a train journey to make his point:

“Imagine sitting on a commuter train and your stop is near the end of the line. If you were certain that you were on the right track, you wouldn’t get off simply because the train stopped from time to time. You know that stops are part of the journey. You can learn a lot from them, and eventually, the train will start moving again.”

The point is this.

Being conscious of a goal gives you a direction to move in. All the time you’re moving towards your goal, you are making progress. Speed doesn’t matter. Yes, it is nice to move more quickly from time to time, providing it is in the right direction.

But, if it isn’t in the right direction, why bother?

It is a wasted effort. So, as you seek to improve one decision this week, ask yourself this:

What is my direction of travel?

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