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.
It’s important that you think independently and fight for what you believe in, but there comes a time when it’s wiser to stop fighting for your view and move on to accepting what believable others think is best. This can be extremely difficult. But it’s smarter and ultimately better for you to be open-minded and have faith that the consensus of believable others is better than whatever you think. If you can’t understand their view, you’re probably just blind to their way of thinking. If you continue doing what you think is best when all the evidence and believable people are against you, you’re being dangerously arrogant.
The truth is that while most people can become radically openminded, some can’t, even after they have repeatedly encountered lots of pain from betting that they were right when they were not. People who don’t learn radical open-mindedness don’t experience the metamorphosis that allows them to do much better. I myself had to have that humility beaten into me by my crashes, especially my big one in 1982. Gaining open-mindedness doesn’t mean losing assertiveness. In fact, because it increases one’s odds of being right, it should increase one’s confidence. That has been true for me since my big crash, which is why I’ve been able to have more success with less risk.
Becoming truly open-minded takes time. Like all real learning, doing this is largely a matter of habit; once you do it so many times it is almost instinctive, you’ll find it intolerable to be any other way. As noted earlier, this typically takes about eighteen months, which in the course of a lifetime is nothing.