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Principles by Ray Dalio


by Ray Dalio

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A review of Ray Dalio's 2011 publication, “Principles.” I read the first 55 pages; the second half of the document is like a principles appendix.


Three Parts:

1) The Importance of Principles
2) My Most Fundamental Life Principles
3) My Management Principles

Principles, a definition:

"Your values are what you consider important, literally what you “value.” Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values. Principles connect your values to your actions; they are beacons that guide your actions, and help you successfully deal with the laws of reality. It is to your principles that you turn when you face hard choices."

Risks with adopting principles:

"Adopting pre-packaged principles without much thought exposes you to the risk of inconsistency with your true values."

Design Process:
* Set Goals
* Identify and don’t tolerate problems
* Diagnose the problems to the root causes
* Design a plan for eliminating the problems
* Do what is set out in the plan

Two most important aspects of a successful enterprise:
* Culture
* People


I like what Ray’s put together here. I see it as the businessman’s approach to Holistic Goal Setting.

Dave Jacke says that events are teachers, not people; this is mirrored in Ray’s principles.

The Gurdjieff Work has an emphasis on conscious labor and intentional suffering, as well self observation, and that we’re somewhere in the middle of a greater energetic food chain. These ideas are mirrored in Ray’s values of progress, pain, and objectivity.

I feel that Ray has underestimated the importance of emotion and intuition, but then again, he has different goals.

I also think that Ray’s interpretation of money - that how much money someone is able to earn is roughly correspondent to their ability to fulfill the needs of the world. Ray can feel that there’s a hole in his logic here as well, in his later comparison of wants versus desires. One of our issues is that money tends to feed desire above all else, and the world isn’t composed of progression-oriented people like Ray.

I appreciate that Ray turns to nature for insight.

Overall, I think it’s a great and useful document, although Ray’s time in the world of finance has led him to a worldview that lacks a certain nuance and aesthetic. ( )
  willszal | Jan 3, 2016 |
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