It’s rare for a billionaire legend to take his time to carefully outline his own personal “operating system” for achieving success and fulfillment in work and life, and that’s exactly what Ray Dalio has done with Principles.
Inside, you’ll find many of his ideas and procedures for many aspects of his professional and personal life, ranging from his definition of meaningful work to his recipe for turning pain into pleasure, his prerequisites for deep relationships, his “fierce intolerance” of badness of any kind, and much more.
Unlike similar books, Principles doesn’t try to entertain you with anecdotes or fancy prose or sell you with references to science or history. Instead, it simply presents Dalio’s thoughts, experiences, and practices in a clear and highly organized manner, which I appreciated because it allowed him to share an almost overwhelming amount of high-value information. By the end of this book, I had made a ridiculous amount of highlights and notes.
I also appreciated that Dalio also isn’t one to mince words. He professes an unwavering fidelity to discovering, facing, and embracing truth, and he communicates accordingly. His goal isn’t to make you feel better about yourself or help you justify your shortcomings, but to challenge you to change your core beliefs, attitudes, and behaviors for the better.
I also found his personal story rich and inspiring, and especially the period immediately after his first downfall. Imagine this for a minute: you and your growing team spend eight years working tirelessly to build an investment firm, which is well on its way to becoming a thriving enterprise, and then, in one very public and humiliating deathblow, you lose it all by betting the farm on a market downturn that never comes. Soon after, you’re borrowing money from your dad and selling your second car to feed your wife and two kids.
What would you do?
I won’t spoil the rest of the story for you, but Dalio not only didn’t give up (obviously), he applied one of his primary principles to turn the catastrophe into an invaluable learning experience that ultimately led to his development of a revolutionary new investment strategy that would catapult him to greater success than ever before and set the trajectory for the rest of his life.
So, if you’re looking for powerful but unvarnished and sometimes unpalatable advice on achieving more happiness and satisfaction in your life, then Principles is for you.
Would you rather read about my top 5 takeaway from Principles by Ray Dalio? Then check out this article!
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