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.
Every day you are faced with an infinite number of things that come at you. Let’s call them “dots.” To be effective, you need to be able to tell which dots are important and which dots are not. Some people go through life collecting all kinds of observations and opinions like pocket lint, instead of just keeping what they need. They have “detail anxiety,” worrying about unimportant things.
Sometimes small things can be important—for example, that little rattle in your car’s engine could just be a loose piece of plastic or it could be a sign your timing belt is about to snap. The key is having the higher-level perspective to make fast and accurate judgments on what the real risks are without getting bogged down in details.