12 Smart Useful Phrases To Talk About A Sense of Direction

Talking about paths and clear direction helps you and others to be guided appropriately. It keeps you on the same page with everyone and makes you more motivated to know where you are heading. You can focus on progress because you see a clear goal. If there is no sense of direction, it can be confusing and leaves you feeling stagnant and leading nowhere. Moreover, having a clear direction makes it easier for you to create an action plan for career growth or business advancement. Plus, it makes you feel more involved. Check out our list of useful phrases about paths and roads so you can use them for your following conversation or presentation about direction.

On the right track

Doing the right thing saves you time and future hassle. This allows people to progress and achieve their goals earlier than others. The earlier you determine the right track, the better. Following the correct course of action or reasoning when you approach a particular task or problem will likely lead you to success.

“On the right track” is a phrase you can use when you want to say that you are doing something correctly, and it helps you progress or bring good results. On the contrary, if you’re going to say that you are  far from achieving your goal because your approach is not appropriate or effective,  you can use the expression “wrong track.”

Example: The new product was quickly launched in the market because we were on the right track in finding the right formula on the get-go.

High road

Successful businesses usually follow best and ethical practices as this helps them to stay away from future problems. Although an easier route option is available, they opt for diplomatic and positive action. Others, however, choose the shortcut even it means not behaving morally. Wise entrepreneurs and professionals know that some shortcuts can provide a quick fix, but doing something unethical can result in even more significant problems in the future.

If you are doing a course of moral action and can help you to most likely achieve a result, use the expression “high road”. On the other hand, if you want to describe a wrongful or undignified course of action, you can use the term “low road”.

Example: We know that ABC Company is taking the high road in their production, that’s why we chose them to be the supplier for our raw materials.

Right up my alley

Being open about having conversations regarding other businesses and industries can benefit you because it allows you to see more opportunities. Knowing different possibilities provides you with better choices. Trying something that interests you enables you to see the results it can bring to you.

If you want to describe something similar to your tastes or suited to your interests, use the phrase “right up my alley.” When using this phrase, you can also replace the word “alley” with “street.”

Example: Graphic design is right up his alley. I think he might accept the job if you offer it to him.

Lose track

Doing different activities makes you focus on newer or more urgent tasks. It can prevent you from paying close attention to other projects. However, it’s still good to remain updated with other tasks or projects, especially if you need to get back to them soon or regularly monitor them to provide feedback. This prevents future problems that happen because of inadequate monitoring.

If you are saying that you have stopped being informed or aware of how something is changing or doing, use the expression “lose track.”

Example: She lost track of time because she rushed to finish the presentation for tomorrow’s event.

Middle of the road

Staying in the safe zone and avoiding extremes can be your preferred course of action if you want to avoid drastic changes. This prevents you from facing a significant impact if things did not work out the way you want them to be. Staying in the safe zone does not mean you are a coward. It only means you are calculating risks, and you want to make sure that if you are going to make a big step, it’s something that you are sure will bring good results.

If you opt for a moderate choice that is ordinary or not too popular to avoid extremes, say “middle of the road.”

Example: The voting result for the new project strategy reflected that there are several middle-of-the-road members.

Off the beaten track

Some strategies, courses, or trends are unpopular because their counterparts have been highly advertised, widely known, still new, or not yet well researched. But this does not mean that these rarely used strategies are not effective.  When looking for the strategy or a course to implement, look for the most effective one. You might even be surprised that some less popular ones are even more effective if you look closely.

Although this is often used when talking about places that are not well known or frequented, some use this to talk about activities, projects, strategies, and business plans that are not popularly used.

Tip: It is expected that native speakers replace the word “track” with “path.”  Moreover, if you want to talk about something that is commonly used or known to people, then say “on the beaten track.”

Example: Our team is not afraid to try off-the-beaten-track strategies for our marketing strategy. We welcome new, weird, or even old ideas as long as they can inspire or make people interested.

Bump in the road

Setback and roadblocks naturally occur in the workplace. They are inevitable due to changing circumstances, resources and manpower unavailability, unforeseen events, and other factors that arise. It can cause delays or interferes with progress. However, with the right approach, these hurdles can be overcome and teach you how to face them the next time.

To talk about a not very serious problem but can delay or temporarily prevent the progress use “bump in the road.”

Example: Our submission for the sample was delayed because we hit some bumps in the road during the presentation’s preparation.

Get this show on the road

Careful planning and preparation are required to achieve good results. Implementing it is another task that must also be done appropriately. Hence, starting right and ensuring that everybody is focused and committed is vital to achieving positive results.

“Get this show on the road” is an expression commonly used if you want to talk about beginning an activity that has been planned. It could also mean leaving for someplace new.

Tip: Native speakers would sometimes replace the word “get” with “keep.” So you can also say, “keep the show on the road.”

Example: After three months of conducting product research, they are now finally focusing on producing the new product.

Cross your path

Meeting essential people in your industry may it be through networking events or accidentally meeting them, is beneficial. You’ll have the chance to introduce yourself to them, have small talk, and even share contact information. Exchanging conversations with them can lead to partnerships or projects that you can collaborate with. Exchanging contact details is also good because it allows you to keep in touch with them. You can easily get connected just in case you need to work with them in the future.

Use the expression” cross your path” if you come into contact with someone unexpectedly.

Example: I crossed paths with the CEO of ABC Electronics in today’s event, and I was able to have a quick conversation with him about our product.

At a crossroads

Making important decisions is expected in your professional life, and you may even find yourself in a dilemma to choose between two different options. The decision can be difficult because both options have risks, or you are uncertain which one could bring a more favorable result. Doing some research, comparing past performance results, looking at the current trends, and consulting from experts can help you determine which one is best for you to choose.

A crossroads is a point where two roads meet each other and intersect. If you are traveling, it is a point where you have to decide which road to take. In the same way, crossroads is a stage where you have to critically make an important decision to proceed.

Example: The manager faces a crossroads. He wants to think of the best decision, that’s why he hasn’t given any instructions yet.

Hot on the trail

Finding the right people helps businesses to grow. There are different reasons you’ll need to pursue people to keep your business performing well or make your workplace more organized and productive. To make sure business plans are correctly implemented, you have to follow up or update others. To close a deal, you have to eagerly connect with your target clients. To find the right person to do the job, you need to encourage people with the right expertise to work or collaborate with you. Without the eagerness to pursue, people can make you lose opportunities or hamper your growth.

“Hot on the trail” is a well-suited expression if you want to say that you are very close to catching or finding someone.

Example: We are hot on the trail of the famous visual artist. We are hoping we’ll get him to design our following collection.


Giving people a clearer perspective about the path you are planning to take with them enables them to relate and feel connected. It helps you be more bonded and keep you on the same page with others in outlook, understanding, and agreement about situations, activities, and goals. May it be in writing or in your conversation with others, use the phrases above to add flavor to your messages when talking about your plans and direction. This will make your audience realize that together you can reach the target destination. Plus, they’ll also see that opportunities to develop and contribute are waiting for them along the way.

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Kaycie Gayle is a freelance content writer and a digital publisher. Her writings are mostly about, travel, culture, people, food, and communication.