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Principles by Ray Dalio

books Nov 30, 2022

Book - Principles by Ray Dalio

If you are anything like me, you probably love books, or let’s face it you would have passed this message long ago. Ever read a book that stops you in your tracks and makes you think about things in a  different way? One of those go-to books that you can refer to more than once? Me too, I have one of those for you. Principles by Ray  Dalio, it’s one of those desktop reference guides. There are so many golden nuggets in here for life and for business. In fact, there is a summary of principles broken up into those two categories.

Let’s take a step back and define what the book is about. The book is all about having principles for your life and business. Principles are defined as

“ fundamental truths that serve as the foundation for behavior that gets you what you want out of life” (Dalio, 2017).

What you want out of life? These are your bold goals, the biggest things you want to accomplish. These principles, when applied, get you there. Cool right?

What kind of principles are we talking about here? Here’s one example “Embrace Reality & Deal with It”. This principle is all about being radically open-minded, evolving, and going above yourself and really (like really) looking at things objectively to manage and shape things as they should be. I don’t know about you but this year has caused me to really embrace reality and deal with it. It’s not just about a pivot, it’s about reimagining everything to be successful. No spoiler here, but Dalio has a formula for success and a principle for every situation. 

Gold lies in the work principles, especially if you own a business during these times. How about this one “create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes and unacceptable not to learn from them” (Dalio, 2017). Imagine a place where employees (or you) felt they had the freedom to try new things and fail, then have honest conversations about the learning lessons. Also felt empowered and supported to get back out there. There is a principle and several steps to be able to achieve this.

How have I implemented this?

As a business owner, I have used the principle of Managing as Someone Operating a Machine to Achieve a Goal. Work is as simple as setting goals and then building the systems (or machines) to achieve those goals. Many times life gets in the way of goals and when we have a system in place this keeps our goals at the forefront of the business. As a business owner, you will encounter many problems and as you review the problem ask two questions 1) does solving this problem get me closer to my goal, and 2) how do I need to test my system to handle this problem in the future. As you handle more problems you build more automatic systems and improving your business. 

If you are looking for a book that will challenge your thinking, give you a set of guidelines for how to accomplish “all the things” and keep your goals at the forefront, check this one out. Fair warning the book is 567 pages and LOADED with content. It has become my desktop reference when I have something I am working on or if I feel things have gone off the rails a bit.

Grab the book today

Interested in diving in more?

Check out a podcast I was a guest on that talks all things Principles by Ray Dalio.

Sara Mayer joins the How to Change the World podcast today to discuss "Principles" by Ray Dalio Tune into Ep. 84 as they dig into the book and unearth a fountain of knowledge for creating impactful change and leading fulfilling lives.

Listen Here

Dalio, R. (2017). Principles. New York: Simon and Schuster. 



This post contains affiliate links. This means I may receive a small commission should you choose to purchase through one of my links. I only recommend products and services I personally use, like, know, and trust. 



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