Principles: What Guides You?

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Back in November I bought my husband a copy of Principles by Ray Dalio. Honestly, I didn’t know much about Dalio, and only knew that he was a hedge fund manager and that his book was a top read for anyone in business. As my husband and I are both trying to read more, for personal development, I got him the book to help him grow his business mindset. Since then, I haven’t thought much about the book or the author, until this week.

In my daily life, I like to listen to podcasts and make use of NET time. Tony Robbins explains that No Extra Time (NET) is great for personal development. Listening to podcasts while I’m driving or doing laundry or other activities is a great way to utilize No Extra Time. Sure I could be watching Bravo and finding out what all the housewives are up to (and I do), but hey a little bit of personal growth never hurt anyone.

While driving from my hometown to where I currently live, I had a 3.5 hour drive, which felt like 35 with two yelling honey badgers in the back seat. During this drive, I was listening to the Tony Robbins Podcast and came across a two-part interview with Ray Dalio. Being as this months focus is money, and Dalio is a self-made billionaire, I felt like this was a good opportunity to learn about someone I knew little about, and also focus on my Happiness Project.

Dalio is so much more than a self-made billionaire, whose hedge fund is worth more than his closest two competitors combined. He is a thoughtful business man, who has experienced success and failures and learned to use failure as a tool to reach “audacious goals” set for oneself.

Throughout the podcast he and Tony discuss various life events which have influenced him to become the success that he is. He gives a brief outline of how he establishes his guiding principle which have not only helped him succeed after failures in business but also in his personal life.

Dalio explain you need to find the smartest person you can who disagrees with you and triangulate together, to stress test the problem. Meaning, surround yourself with people who you may not agreement with, but have a deep understanding of what you are going through. This could be applied to personal situations not just business, where you can look to someone who has been there and has the knowledge to help you move forward. Everyone will encounter problems and failure. When this happens he uses failure to establish a guiding principle to help succeed in future situations by:

(1) Diagnosing the problem.

(2) Designing a solution.

(3) Push through it! Just do it and get it done!

(4) Understand and conceptualize what worked and what didn’t in the situation.

By doing this you can create principles to guide you, so that when future problems occur, (and we all know they will) you have a plan of action and not a reaction to a problem. This is true for not business and personal relationships, and also when learning to master money. Example: If I have an emergency fund, then when a problem or unexpected bill comes up, I can have a pre-set plan of action of exactly how I will use my principles to guide me.

This got me thinking, do I have a set of principles that guide my interactions without knowing? Personal principles? Financial principles? How have I used failure as a learning tool to be better? Do you have a known set of principles? Write them down! Lets share them and figure them out together!

You can buy your copy here: Principles: Life and Work

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