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

Believability weight your decision making.

I have found triangulating with highly believable people who are willing to have thoughtful disagreements has never failed to enhance my learning and sharpen the quality of my decision making. It typically leads me to make better decisions than I could have otherwise and it typically provides me with thrilling learning. I urge you to do it.

To do it well, be sure to avoid the common perils of: 1) valuing your own believability more than is logical and 2) n ot distinguishing between who is more or less credible.

In case of a disagreement with others, start by seeing if you can agree on the principles that should be used to make that decision. This discussion should include exploring the merits of the reasoning behind the different principles. If you agree on them, apply them to the case at hand and you'll arrive at a conclusion everyone agrees on. If you disagree on the principles, try to work through your disagreement based on your respective believabilities. I will explain how we do this in more detail in Work Principles.

This sort of principled and believability-weighted decision making is fascinating and leads to much different and much better decision making than is typical. For example, imagine if we used this approach to choose the p resident. It would be fascinating to see which principles we would come up with both for determining what makes a good president as well as for deciding who is most believable in making such determinations. Would we wind up with something like one person one vote, or something different? And if different, in what ways? It certainly would lead to very different outcomes. During the next election, let's do this in parallel with our ordinary electoral process so we can see the difference.

While believability-weighted decision making can sound complicated, chances are you do it all the time-- pretty much whenever you ask yourself, "Who should I listen to?" But it's almost certainly true that you'd do it a lot better if you ga ve more thought to it.

Life Principle

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Learn to get more of what you want out of life.

Life Principles

Work Principles

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