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Life and Work
- Read in 12 minutes
- Audio & text available
- Contains 7 key ideas
Principles (2017) shares the insights that Ray Dalio has gained from his experience as one of the most successful businessmen on the planet. His advice shows us how solid-core principles can make decision-making an easy process, no matter what situation you’re in. With life being complicated enough as it is, these principles will keep you from second-guessing and provide you with the tools needed to be both highly analytical and highly successful.
Key idea 1 of 7
Look to nature and evolution in order to keep your eye on the big picture.
Sometimes life can be so overwhelming, with so many questions coming at you from every direction, that it feels like you’re trapped in a blizzard, unable to see more than a foot in front of your face. In such conditions, it’s impossible to tell which way you’re supposed to turn or what decisions you should make.
This is why having a concrete set of guiding principles in your life is crucial. Like having a compass in a blizzard, being equipped with such principles means you’ll always know exactly where you’re headed and which choices will keep you on that path, no matter the circumstances.
In short: having principles will provide you with fundamental truths that can be applied to any situation, allowing you to move toward your goals and the life you want to live.
When you’re figuring out what your guiding principles are it’s important to keep a realistic outlook on life. Don’t fool yourself into thinking that life won’t be messy and uncomfortable from time to time. The author is keenly aware that reality isn’t always pretty, and this understanding led to one of his principles: to always be guided by rational thinking, not emotions.
Sooner or later we all get reminded of the fact that life isn’t always ideal, and it’s important to keep this in mind.
Think of nature. It’s sad to see a beautiful gazelle get eaten by a pack of vicious hyenas. But this is just a natural fact of life – part of the balanced ecosystem that has evolved over time. If you were to deny this reality and try to intervene, it would have dangerous repercussions.
So remember that things will go wrong sometimes. And keep in mind that failure often provides a valuable chance to learn, adapt and evolve.
Any business that’s been around for a long time has had to adapt to change and bounce back from hard times, which is what you’ll eventually have to do, too. Take the hard times in stride, and always keep learning and improving.