Directional Thinking - Where Is Life Taking You?

“The reason most people fail… is they trade what they want most for what they want at the moment.”

Napoleon Bonapart


Today’s Thought: Directional Framework

What got me thinking:

  1. 📚 Marcus Aurelius | Meditations (Complete)

  2. 📚 James Clear | Atomic Habits (Complete)

  3. 📚 Stephen R. Covey | The Seven Habits of Highly Effective People (WIP)


Four Core Propositions:

#1 - Change is inevitable.

“Is any man afraid of change? Why what can take place without change?… All things are changing: and you yourself are in continuous mutation and in a manner in continuous destruction, and the whole universe too.”

— Marcus Aurelius

I’ve learnt that nothing lasts forever. Change is the only constant - in life, businesses, relationships, industries, etc.

Don’t fear change - embrace it.


#2 - The critical link between now and the future is a direction.

Notwithstanding things outside of our control, the future state of everything is a function of the initial state, time, velocity and direction.

The time required to reach an outcome is impacted by the first three. But only the direction determines the nature of the ultimate result.


#3 - The present state is a lagging measure of the past trajectory.

“Your outcome is a lagging measure of your habits. Your net worth is a lagging measure of your financial habits. Your weight is a lagging measure of your eating habits. Your knowledge is a lagging measure of your learning habits. Your clutter is a lagging measure of your cleaning habits.”

— James clear

When forecasting, understanding the trajectory is probably more significant than the present reality.

Trajectories function as predictors in every sphere. We see trends in remote work, globalisation, political instability, AI, social networks, cryptocurrency, computing, etc. They’re driving the future landscape. Interpreted correctly, they help us pre-empt the future.


#4 - Directional thinking produces leverage.

True independence of character empowers us to act rather than be acted upon... If you wait to be acted upon, you will be acted upon.

— Stephen R. Covey

I used to save up money. I added to it nominally, whilst deteriorating in purchasing power. I fixated on its state at the moment of adding without realising it was being “acted upon” negatively.

Increased directional awareness would have made me invest it. This small directional shift let me leverage time positively.

Two fundamental forms of leverage:

  1. Personal: flowing from healthy habits and practices; and

  2. External: insights derived from trends.

The former creates leverage, and the latter identifies opportunities.


Final Thoughts

"To learn and not to do is really not to learn. To know and not to do is really not to know." - Stephen R. Covey

Self-awareness is key. Reading alone won’t change anything. You must be proactive and not reactive. Ask yourself:

  1. Where are your habits currently leading you?

  2. Are there trajectories I’m not currently leveraging?

  3. How can I shift the odds in my favour and benefit from time?

Now change your trajectory.


Do you see what I see? 🗞👀

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Hey, it’s Richard Awoyemi and thanks for reading The Startup!

I’m an Actuary, tech entrepreneur, self-taught engineer and angel investor. I muse about entrepreneurship, personal development and lifestyle design.