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

In order to be great, one can't compromise the uncompromisable.

Yet I see people doing it all the time, usually to avoid making others or themselves feel uncomfortable, which is not just backward but counterproductive. Putting comfort ahead of success produces worse results for everyone. I both loved the people I worked with and pushed them to be great, and I expected them to do the same with me.

From the very beginning, I felt that the people I worked with at Bridgewater were a part of my extended family. When they or members of their families got sick, I put them in touch with my personal doctor to make sure that they were well taken care of. I invited all of them to stay at my house in Vermont on weekends and loved it when they took me up on it. I celebrated their marriages and the births of their children with them and mourned the losses of their loved ones. But to be clear, this was no lovefest. We were tough on each other too, so we could all be as great as we could be. I learned that the more caring we gave each other, the tougher we could be on each other, and the tougher we were on each other, the better we performed and the more rewards there were for us to share. This cycle was self-reinforcing. I found that operating this way made the lows less low and the highs higher. It even made the bad times better than the good ones in some important ways.

Think about some of your toughest experiences in life. I bet it is as true for you as it has been for me that going through them with people you cared about, who cared about you, and who were working as hard as you were for the same mission, was incredibly rewarding. As hard as they were, we look back on some of these challenging times as our finest moments. For most people, being part of a great community on a shared mission is even more rewarding than money. Numerous studies have shown there is little to no correlation between one’s happiness and the amount of money one accumulates, yet there is a strong correlation between one’s happiness and the quality of one’s relationships.

Work Principle

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Life Principles

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