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Principles: Life and Work Principles: Life and Work by Ray Dalio
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“If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Having the basics—a good bed to sleep in, good relationships, good food, and good sex—is most important, and those things don’t get much better when you have a lot of money or much worse when you have less. And the people one meets at the top aren’t necessarily more special than those one meets at the bottom or in between.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“I just want to be right—I don’t care if the right answer comes from me.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“the happiest people discover their own nature and match their life to it.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Every time you confront something painful, you are at a potentially important juncture in your life—you have the opportunity to choose healthy and painful truth or unhealthy but comfortable delusion.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Look for people who have lots of great questions. Smart people are the ones who ask the most thoughtful questions, as opposed to thinking they have all the answers. Great questions are a much better indicator of future success than great answers.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Imagine that in order to have a great life you have to cross a dangerous jungle. You can stay safe where you are and have an ordinary life, or you can risk crossing the jungle to have a terrific life. How would you approach that choice? Take a moment to think about it because it is the sort of choice that, in one form or another, we all have to make.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Listening to uninformed people is worse than having no answers at all.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Because our educational system is hung up on precision, the art of being good at approximations is insufficiently valued. This impedes conceptual thinking.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“If you can’t successfully do something, don’t think you can tell others how it should be done”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful. Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Principles are fundamental truths that serve as the foundations for behavior that gets you what you want out of life. They can be applied again and again in similar situations to help you achieve your goals.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“first principle: • Think for yourself to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true, and 3) what you should do to achieve #1 in light of #2 . . . . . . and do that with humility and open-mindedness so that you consider the best thinking available to you.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“It’s more important to do big things well than to do the small things perfectly.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“I saw that to do exceptionally well you have to push your limits and that, if you push your limits, you will crash and it will hurt a lot. You will think you have failed—but that won’t be true unless you give up.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Unattainable goals appeal to heroes,”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Time is like a river that carries us forward into encounters with reality that require us to make decisions. We can’t stop our movement down this river and we can’t avoid those encounters. We can only approach them in the best possible way.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“The most valuable habit I’ve acquired is using pain to trigger quality reflections. If you can acquire this habit yourself, you will learn what causes your pain and what you can do about it, and it will have an enormous impact on your effectiveness.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Remember that the only purpose of money is to get you what you want, so think hard about what you value and put it above money. How much would you sell a good relationship for? There’s not enough money in the world to get you to part with a valued relationship.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“To be effective you must not let your need to be right be more important than your need to find out what’s true. If you are too proud of what you know or of how good you are at something you will learn less, make inferior decisions, and fall short of your potential.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“My approach was to hire, train, test, and then fire or promote quickly, so that we could rapidly identify the excellent hires and get rid of the ordinary ones, repeating the process again and again until the percentage of those who were truly great was high enough to meet our needs.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“The most important thing is that you develop your own principles and ideally write them down, especially if you are working with others.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure. For me, great is better than terrible, and terrible is better than mediocre, because terrible at least gives life flavor. The high school yearbook quote my friends chose for me was from Thoreau: “If a man does not keep pace with his companions, perhaps it is because he hears a different drummer. Let him step to the music which he hears, however measured or far away.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Remember that most people are happiest when they are improving and doing the things that suit them naturally and help them advance. So learning about your people’s weaknesses is just as valuable (for them and for you) as is learning their strengths.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Meditate. I practice Transcendental Meditation and believe that it has enhanced my open-mindedness, higher-level perspective, equanimity, and creativity. It helps slow things down so that I can act calmly even in the face of chaos, just like a ninja in a street fight. I’m not saying that you have to meditate in order to develop this perspective; I’m just passing along that it has helped me and many other people and I recommend that you seriously consider exploring it.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Thoughtful disagreement is not a battle; its goal is not to convince the other party that he or she is wrong and you are right, but to find out what is true and what to do about it.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“Remember that in great partnerships, consideration and generosity are more important than money.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“I also feared boredom and mediocrity much more than I feared failure.”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work
“When a problem occurs, conduct the discussion at two levels: 1) the machine level (why that outcome was produced) and 2) the case-at-hand level (what to do about it).”
Ray Dalio, Principles: Life and Work

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