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

Systemize your decision making.

I discovered I could do that by expressing my decision-making criteria in the form of algorithms that I could embed into our computers. By running both decision-making systems--i.e., mine in my head and mine in the computer--next to each other, I learned the computer could make better decisions than me because it could process vastly more information than I could, and it could do it faster and unemotionally. Doing that allowed me and the people I worked with to compound our understanding over time and improve the quality of our collective decision making. I discovered that such decision-making systems--especially when believability weighted--are incredibly powerful and will soon profoundly change how people around the world make all kinds of decisions. Our principle-driven approach to decision making has not only improved our economic, investment, and management decisions, it has helped us make better decisions in every aspect of our lives.

Whether or not your own principles are systemized/computerized is of secondary importance. The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and ideally write them down, especially if you are working with others.

It was that approach and the principles it yielded, and not me, that took me from being an ordinary middle-class kid from Long Island to being successful by a number of conventional measures--like starting a company out of my two-bedroom apartment and building it into the fifth most important private company in the U.S. (according to Fortune), becoming one of the one hundred richest people in the world (according to Forbes), and being considered one of the one hundred most influential (according to Time). They led me to a perch from which I got to see success and life very differently than I had imagined, and they gave me the meaningful work and meaningful relationships I value even more than my conventional successes. They gave me and Bridgewater far more than I ever dreamed of.

in these two books, and I will be done with this phase of my life.

Find a Meaningful Principle for You

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

Life Principles

Work Principles

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