Ray Dalio Principles

June 9, 2014

We’ve been reading Principles by Ray Dalio over the past few days and have come across some really solid passages that highlight some great perspectives on how to think about life. For those of you who haven’t heard of him, Ray Dalio founded Bridgewater Associates in 1975, which in 2012 became the largest hedge fund in the world with over $120B assets under management.

In 2011, Dalio published Principles, a 123 page manifesto about his philosophies on life, business, and leadership. You can read it online here, but we recommend printing it so that you can highlight it and take notes (as recommended in How to Read a Book).

We won’t even attempt to go into a full summary of Principles, but here are some key highlights we found to be insightful:

I believe that life consists of an enormous number of choices that come at us and that each decision we make has consequences, so the quality of our lives depends on the quality of the decisions we make. (p. 15)

You have to push your limits in order to become stronger:

It is a fundamental law of nature that to evolve one has to push one’s limits, which is painful, in order to gain strength—whether it’s in the form of lifting weights, facing problems head-on, or in any other way. (p. 17)

Instead of worrying about appearing good, focus on actually being good:

People who worry about looking good typically hide what they don’t know and hide their weaknesses, so they never learn how to properly deal with them and these weaknesses remain impediments in the future. (p. 19)

Always hold yourself accountable to things, regardless of the outcome:

Successful people understand that bad things come at everyone and that it is their responsibility to make their lives what they want them to be by successfully dealing with whatever challenges they face. (p. 21).

Whenever anything happens or you have / hear a thought on something, ask yourself:

Ask yourself, “Is it true?” …because knowing what is true is good. (p.18)

We’re huge fans of Dalio’s work. Have a read through Principles then leave a comment and let us know what you find most interesting.

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