Black and white portrait of Ray Dalio: Narrator and Creator of Life Principles

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.

Life Principle

Keep in mind both the rates of change and the levels of things, and the relationships between them.

When determining an acceptable rate of improvement for something, it is its level in relation to the rate of change that matters. I often see people lose sight of this. They say "it's getting better" without noticing how far below the bar it is and whether the rate of change will get it above the bar in an acceptable amount of time. If someone who has been getting grades of 30s and 40s on their tests raised their scores to 50s over the course of a few months it would be accurate to say that they are getting better, but they would still be woefully inadequate. Everything important in your life needs to be on a trajectory to be above the bar and headed toward excellent at an appropriate pace. The lines in the chart below show how the dots connect through time. A's trajectory gets you above the bar in an appropriate amount of time; B's does not. To make good decisions, you need to understand the reality of which of these two cases is happening.

Life Principle

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Life Principles

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