Ray Dalio’s Principles of Life and Work: What Are They?

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What are Ray Dalio’s Principles of Life and Work? How can you use the Principles of Life and Work to succeed?

The Principles of Life and Work by Ray Dalio were developed to help his company, Bridgewater. Dalio argues that following the Principles leads to a more successful company, and a more fulfilling work life.

Read more about the Principles of Life and Work below.

What Are The Principles of Life and Work?

What are principles? Principles are the fundamental truths that determine how you behave. They reflect your inner character and values. 

If you consistently operate by a set of principles, then you are a principled person. People know what you stand for and how you behave. In contrast, if you don’t have clear principles and have inconsistent behavior, then you’ll be seen as a “phony.” Phonies lose people’s trust and respect.

Principles help you deal with the complexity of life. Every day, you face new situations that require our response. If you had to decide what to do at each point in time, you’d react impulsively and be exhausted. Instead, your fundamental principles help you figure out what situation you’re facing and how to deal with the situation. 

We all have principles. Successful people adopt principles that help them be successful. 

People who share their values and principles get along. People who don’t will have constant conflicts and misunderstandings.  The Principles of Life and Work by Ray Dalio are specific principles to help you reach your goals.

Ray Dalio’s Principles

He learned his principles the hard way, by failing repeatedly and learning from his mistakes. He refined his principles over time in an iterative loop—he set audacious goals, made mistakes, reflected and learned new principles, then set even more audacious goals. Over time, he collected a set of principles that he believes addresses pretty much any situation you can run into in life or work.

The author is adamant that each person needs to discover his or her own principles. Each person’s principles should be different depending on her goals and natures. 

  • Dalio’s principles center around success as he defines it—being an independent thinker, a successful financial trader, and working alongside a team that thinks likewise. They also center around his personality and nature—someone who doesn’t like following other people’s instructions and instead prefers to figure out things himself.

Therefore, you shouldn’t take the principles in this book on faith. Instead, question his ideas, see if they make sense to you, then walk away with the principles that fit your goals the best. This is how you use the Principles of Life and Work by Ray Dalio.

Ray Dalio’s goal is to share the principles that have worked for him throughout his life and contributed to his success. 

Ray Dalio’s Principles of Life and Work: What Are They?

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Here's what you'll find in our full Principles: Life and Work summary:

  • How Ray Dalio lost it all on bad bets, then rebounded to build the world's largest hedge fund
  • The 5-step process to getting anything you want out of life
  • Why getting the best results means being relentlessly honest with everyone you work with

Carrie Cabral

Carrie has been reading and writing for as long as she can remember, and has always been open to reading anything put in front of her. She wrote her first short story at the age of six, about a lost dog who meets animal friends on his journey home. Surprisingly, it was never picked up by any major publishers, but did spark her passion for books. Carrie worked in book publishing for several years before getting an MFA in Creative Writing. She especially loves literary fiction, historical fiction, and social, cultural, and historical nonfiction that gets into the weeds of daily life.

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