Principles are ways of successfully dealing with reality to get what you want out of life.
Ray Dalio, one of the world’s most successful investors and entrepreneurs, cites principles as his key to success.
Remember: A dot is just a dot; what matters is how they add up. Think of each individual dot as an at-bat in baseball. Even great hitters are going to strike out many times, and it would be foolish to evaluate them based on one trip to the plate. That's why stats like on-base percentage and batting average exist.
In other words, any one event has many different possible explanations, whereas a pattern of behavior can tell you a lot about root causes. The number of observations needed to detect a pattern largely depends on how well you get in sync after each observation. A quality discussion of how and why a person behaved a certain way should help you understand the larger picture.
There are certain times, however, where what someone is like will be clear after very few dots. Like knowing whether someone can sing, it doesn’t take a lot of time. Sometimes a person only has to sing a few bars for you to hear how well they can sing. Reasoning is the same—it often doesn’t take a lot of time to figure out if someone can do it.