Principles : life and work

"If you can think for yourself while being open-minded in a clearheaded way to find out what is best for you to do, and if you can summon up the courage to do it, you will make the most of your life. If you can’t do that, you should reflect on why that is, because that’s most likely your greatest impediment to getting more of what you want out of life.—Ray Dalio (from Principles: Life and Work)


Ray Dalio is one of the most successful investors and entrepreneurs in the world. In his book Principles: Life and Work, Ray goes below the surface of the successful reputation of his stock brokerage company, Bridgewater, to reveal the universal truths that he relied on to bring his business from the bottom to the top. In the same way that these principles were vital for his own success, Ray believes they can be harnessed by anyone to experience better results for their business or personal life as well.

5 Principles for life and work

According to Dalio, there’s a 5-step process that anyone can follow to achieve what they want from life. Here’s how it goes:

  1. Set clear goals:Be audacious and pursue anything you care about, even if it seems unobtainable. As you move towards what you want, the path forward will emerge. But remember, hitting the target of the wrong bull’s eye won’t do you any good. It’s essential to have a clear focus on what you want to reach for so that you can identify when you are making progress.
  2. Identify problems and don’t tolerate them:Too many people are content to live with less than their best, and they allow lingering issues to continue to cause problems. By taking the time to call these problems out by name and work towards eradicating them, you will be in the upper tier of successful people.
  3. Diagnose your problems to find root causes:It’s important to identify the biggest problems first when reaching for goals. For example, “I can’t get enough sleep” isn’t the problem, the problem is your performance at work because you can’t sleep. Not getting enough sleep is one of the root causes that leads to a whole host of problems, one of which is poor performance at work. To make any progress on your issues, you need to hold yourself accountable to them. Think of every failure as a personal failure, and strive to be more creative, flexible, or whatever else it takes to improve. Look at your problems, find the root causes. Often times, finding and eliminating/alleviating/addressing a single root cause can solve several problems.
  4. Design solutions to get around problems:Often, this requires being willing to go to others with your flaws and have them hold you accountable for improving. Make others comfortable with pointing out your weaknesses, and you’ll be on a fast track for progress.
  5. Do the tasks required to completion:Prioritizing the roles and goals in your life - breaking them down and crossing them off as you achieve them. By establishing clear metrics of success for yourself, it will be simple to see when you are following your path productively.

PS: Wanna get the full book summary of Principles by Ray Dalio? Check it out here

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