Principles by Ray Dalio — Summary and Application

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Q1: Why did the author write this book?

Q2: What are the “Principles” in this book?

Q3: What are the main ideas of the book?

“Meaningful work and meaningful relationships aren’t just nice things we choose for ourselves, they are genetically programmed into us.” — Ray Dalio

“Meaningful work and meaningful relationships were and still are my primary goals and everything I did was for them. Making money was an incidental consequence of that.” — Ray Dalio

“The end result of these two barriers is that parties in disagreements typically remain convinced that they’re right — and often end up angry at each other. This is illogical and leads to suboptimal decision making. After all, when two people reach opposite conclusions, someone must be wrong. Shouldn’t you want to make sure that someone isn’t you?” — Ray Dalio

“Radical open-mindedness is motivated by the genuine worry that you might not be seeing your choices optimally. It is the ability to effectively explore different points of view and different possibilities without letting your ego or your blind spots get in your way. It requires you to replace your attachment to always being right with the joy of learning what’s true.” –Ray Dalio

“Open-mindedness doesn’t mean going along with what you don’t believe in; it means considering the reasoning of others instead of illogically holding onto your own point of view.” –Ray Dalio

“In a thoughtful disagreement, your goal is not to convince the other party that you are right — it is to find out which view is true and then decide what to do about it.” –Ray Dalio

Closed-Minded vs. Open-Minded People

“When a problem stems from your own lack of talent or skill, most people feel shame. Get over it. I cannot emphasize this enough: Acknowledging your weaknesses is not the same as surrendering to them. It’s the first step toward overcoming them.” –Ray Dalio

“Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what you shouldn’t be doing.” — Ray Dalio

“While it is up to us to know what we want, others may know how to get it better than we do because they have more strengths where we have weaknesses, or more relevant knowledge and experience… Knowing when not to make your own decisions is one of the most important skills you can develop.” –Ray Dalio

“One of the most important decisions you can make is who you ask questions of. Make sure they’re fully informed and believable… Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.” –Ray Dalio

“While almost all of us agreed on the principles intellectually, many still struggled to convert what they had agreed to intellectually into effective actions. This was because their habits and emotional barriers remained stronger than their reasoning.” — Ray Dalio

Example of Navigating Levels of a Decision

Q4: How have I applied this book in my life?

Example Baseball Card

Q5: What is my opinion on the book?



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