Principles: Life & Work by Ray Dalio

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There is only one secret to success and that is  to understand how nature works. Evolution is a far greater and more powerful force in nature than an individual life. It is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything. As a result, you experience constant interaction happening around you. This interaction happening among the various stakeholders of the evolution is the vital force to determine the consequences in yours life.

More often these interactions turn into conflicts and chaos. Everything around you looks happening to cause you pain but if you try to understand the true side of reality then you can play this game of life and win it easily too. If you know what is reality of life, you become unstoppable.

Now, the question is how to find out the “true” reality. Author Ray Dalio has done this job impressively to help you understand how to seek that reality.

Reading this book is an amazing experience. If practiced properly what the author has laid out in this book, it will open the doors of immense opportunities for you with unending joy in life forever.

About the Author

A self made billionaire and one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs who developed, refined and used some principles over the past 40 years to create unique results in both his life and business.

He has toiled whole life to understand the root cause of every problem and learnt his way to avoid such problems from repeating again. He has written it down excellently in this book to help everyone to excel in life. The summary of his book is given as below.

Principles Life & Work – Summary

Embrace the reality and deal with it.

  1. Often we try to avoid understanding what reality is. We feel that we know enough of it. But there is always a limitation to our understanding which is founded on our poor senses and narrow thinking.
  2. Instead, we must try to find what is truth – an accurate understanding of reality. It is the essential foundation of any good outcome.
  3. Be open minded and radically transparent to know what is reality.
  4. Evolve with every truth that you find on your way to the progress.
  5. Every time when you suffer or get defeat or go thru the pain, reflect upon yourself. Find the root cause of the pain. There is always a cause-effect relationship. Find what you can do best to learn from that pain to avoid it in future.

Use the 4-step process to get what you want out of life (H-I-D-E)

  1. Have a clear goal – prioritize what you want the most-Don’t confuse goals with desires-never rule out the goal just because you or anyone else says it is unattainable- nothing can stop you if you have flexibility and self-accountability- knowing how to deal with your setback is as important as knowing how to move forward.
  2. Identify potential problems that can stop you from reaching your goal and rogue them out. 
    View painful problems as potential improvements that are screaming you – be specific in identifying a problem-don’t mistake a cause of a problem a real problem.
  3. Design a plan to overcome the problem –
  4. Execute and push through limits tocomplete it

Be radically open minded

  1. Recognize barriers to understand the reality i.e. i)Ego.   ii) Your beliefs.   iii) Your blind spots
  2. Practice radical open mindedness – talk to expert people – ask questions – know that your ability to deal with “not knowing” is more important than whatever you know already
  3. Always remember that you are looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself.

Appreciate the art of thoughtful disagreement.

  1. Understand that everyone is wired differently.
  2. There is constant conflict between feeling & thinking in everyone’s mind

Learn how to make decisions effectively

  1. Recognize that the biggest threat to good decision making is harmful emotions-
  2. Decision making is a two-step process: first, take in all the relevant information and then decide –
  3. logic, reason and common sense are your best tools for synthesizing reality and making decisions-knowing, when not to bet, are as important as knowing what bets are probably worth making.
  4. Prioritize by weighing the value of additional information against the cost of not deciding
  5. Simplify everything to enjoy the life.


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