I don’t think I’ve ever done a book review here before. In fact, I don’t really read books. I polished off everything by Tom Robbins about a decade ago and have simply been more interested in climbing trees and getting tattoos of maps on my arm than falling asleep with a good book.
However, I was approached by a gentleman I find quite intriguing and certainly admirable simply for the way he lives his life. Colin Wright was kind enough to give me an interview last year for our article on minimalism and when his publishing house’s PR people approached me with a free copy of the book I figured it was the absolute least I could do to read it. At a brisk 56 pages I was able to knock it out this morning.
Act Accordingly is Colin’s philosophy on life. The book is all about living this one go-round we have to our maximum potential. He’s not saying we should all be olympians or scholars or famous or that everyone can be the President, or even should want to aim for that. The message of the book is simple: live for yourself. If you like to go fishing, go fishing with all of your heart. But don’t waste time floating down the mainstream if you’re passions rest at the top of a mountain after a long days hike. Find your path, and make a plan to walk it.
The second to the last chapter of the book sums up his style nicely. Much of what’s written in these pages is old hat for me, I am the choir and I suppose that might be one reason I was asked to review it (or perhaps I’m just on a mailing list…:P ). Colin talks quite a bit about seeing the world for what it is, or more so, for what it could be to you and only you in your particular circumstance, vs. just blindly going about our days filling them with senseless acts simply because “that’s the way it’s always been done.” Unlike many of his fellow minimalist modern day philosophers though, he does it without being condescending. He never really says “this is the way to be happy”, but says, “this is how I’ve achieved great happiness, wanna try?”
So with this attitude established, as the book nears to a close he speaks about logos. We all see thousands of them every day. We pay companies to wear shirts with their logo on them, I mean we’re paying the company for us to advertise for them. It’s crazy. Colin addresses this briefly, eloquently, in a way I’ve never really heard it put before. It is not the products we use that define us, it is who we already are which drives us to want to use certain products. Athletes wear a particular brand of sneakers, we love to play basketball, we work towards sinking free throws and building stamina on the court, we purchase the shoes to show that we’re a part of that “thing”, whatever it is, that indicates that we’re part of a group who strives to excel at our sport. Where anti-corporation types would call these people sheep or followers and criticize the consumer and the company, Colin simply helps to show a reality that is often missed at first glance.
June 25th the book drops. Likely, you’ll be able to get it here.
Even the first two sentences are worth the $3 price for the book. Colin himself is a fulltime traveler and it is precisely his theories on life which have made that possible for him, and so could for you.
I have not been paid or in any other way compensated for this review, nor does the link above have any affiliate ties. I just think you should read it.