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.

Work Principle

Recognize that having an effective idea meritocracy requires that you understand the merit of each person's ideas.

Having a hierarchy of merit is not only consistent with an idea meritocracy but essential for it. It's simply not possible for everyone to debate everything all the time and still get their work done. Treating all people equally is more likely to lead away from truth than toward it. But at the same time, all views should be considered in an openminded way, though placed in the proper context of the experiences and track records of the people expressing them.

Imagine if a group of us were getting a lesson in how to play baseball from Babe Ruth, and someone who'd never played the game kept interrupting him to debate how to swing the bat. Would it be helpful or harmful to the group's progress to ignore their different track records and experience? Of course it would be harmful and plain silly to treat their points of view equally, because they have different levels of believability. The most productive approach would be to allow Ruth to give his instructions uninterrupted and then take some time afterward to answer questions. But because I'm pretty extreme in believing that it is important to obtain understanding rather than accepting doctrine at face value, I would encourage the new batter not to accept what Ruth has to say as right just because he was the greatest slugger of all time. If I were that new batter, I wouldn't stop questioning Ruth until I was confident I had found the truth.

Work Principle

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

Life Principles

Work Principles

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