Principles For Success: Chapter 2 by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio is the Founder, Chairman and Co-Chief Investment Officer of Bridgewater Associates. He started Bridgewater out of his two-bedroom apartment in New York in 1975.

The book Principles covers Ray’s various principles to success in business and also in life.

Adopting principles without giving them much thought can expose you to the risk of acting in ways inconsistent with your goals and your nature.

Ray Dalio’s best-selling book Principles is now an animated ultra-mini-series adventure in 30 minutes and 8 episodes.

Episode 2: Embrace reality and deal with it

“The path you take in life is your most important decision. In my case, I wanted my life to be great and I feared boredom and mediocrity more than I feared failure.

Since I didn’t start out with money, and I didn’t need much more than a bed to sleep in and food to eat, I could skew my decisions to pursue my adventures.

So ever since I was a kid, I ran after the things I wanted, crashed, got up and ran again, and crashed again. And each time I crashed I learned something, got better, and crashed less. By doing that over and over again, I learned to love this process, even the crashing part of it. Through it, I encountered reality, and I learned how to deal with it, which inspired another one of my most fundamental principles which is that truth is the essential foundation for producing good outcomes.

By truth, I don’t mean anything more than the way the world works. I believe that we were given the laws of reality by nature. Humans didn’t create them, but we can use them to foster our own evolution and achieve our goals.

Realizing that made me a hyper-realist, by which I mean I became someone who has discovered the great rewards of deeply understanding, accepting, and working with reality as it is and not as I wish it would be.

When I say I’m a hyper-realist, people sometimes think I’m saying that dreams can’t come true. That’s absolutely not true. Without pursuing dreams, life is mundane. What I mean is that to me, hyper-realism is the best way to choose one’s dreams and then achieve them.

Having big dreams plus embracing reality plus having lots of determination will bring you a successful life. I believe this formula is true for everyone, but what does a successful life look like?

We each have to decide for ourselves what success is. I don’t care whether you want to be a master of the universe or to live under a palm tree or anything else. I really don’t. Each of us chooses goals based on our values and decides on the best path to achieve them, but we all need approaches to making decisions that work well, especially when facing problems, mistakes, and weaknesses that stand in our way.

To succeed, we must embrace all our realities, especially the harsh realities that we wish weren’t true.

At first, looking at these harsh realities caused me a lot of pain, but I learned that this pain was just psychological and that by seeing things differently made all the difference.

I came to view problems like puzzles that would reward me if I could solve them. They would help me deal with the problem at hand, and they would give me principles for dealing with similar problems in the future. I learned to treat pain as a cue that a great learning opportunity is at hand, which led me to realize that pain plus reflection equals progress.

Meditation has been invaluable in helping me see things that way. I found that when I calmed myself down and embraced my realities and dealt with them, the rewards brought me pleasure and the pain faded.

Each of us has the unique capability to think logically to reflect on ourselves and our circumstances and to direct our own personal evolution.

Doing this well is just a matter of following a simple five-step process. In episode three, we’ll explore what that process is and how to use it.”

More in the series

Episode 1: The call to adventure

Episode 2: Embrace reality and deal with it

Episode 3: The five step process

Episode 4: The Abyss

Episode 5: Everything is a machine

Episode 6: Your Two biggest Barriers

Episode 7: Be Radically Open-Minded

Episode 8: Struggle Well

For more information!