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The Life Principles Part 1 (Book Notes)

based on the work of Ray Dalio

  1. Embrace Reality and Deal with it
    1. ) Be a hyper-realist
      1. (a) Dreams + Reality + Determination = A successful life.
    2. )Truth – or, more precisely, and accurate understanding of reality – is the essential foundation for any good outcome.
    3. ) Be Radically open-minded & radically transparent.
      1. (a) Radical open-mindedness and radical transparency are invaluable for rapid learning and effective change. – Learning is the product of continuous improvement based on real-time feedback loop in which we make decisions, see their outcomes, and improve your understanding of reality as a result. Put yourself out there and open for radical transparency.
      2. (b) Don’t let fears of what others think of you stand in your way. – you must be willing to do things in the unique ways you think are best and open-minded-ly reflect on feedback that comes your way.
      3. (c) Embracing radical truth and radical transparency will bring more meaningful work and more meaningful relationships.- Typically it takes about 18 months to change most habits.
    4. Look to nature to learn how reality works – we are incapable of designing and building a mosquito, let alone all the species and most of the other things in the universe. So, I start from the premise that nature is smarter than I am and try to let nature teach me how reality works.
      1. (a) Don’t get hung up on your views of how things ‘should’ be because you will miss out on learning how they really are. – It’s important not to let our biases stand in the way of our objectivity. To get good results, we need to be analytical rather than emotional. – Nature optimizes for the whole, not for the individual, but most people judge good and bad based only on how it affects them. What i had seen was the process of nature at work, which is much more effective at furthering the improvement of the whole than any process man has ever invented.
      2. (b) To be ‘good’ something must operate consistently with the laws of reality and contribute to the evolution of the whole, that is what most rewarded.
      3. (c) Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything. – evolution is good because it is the process of adaptation that generally moves things toward improvement.
      4. (d) Evolve or Die – the key is to fail, learn and improve quickly.
    5. Evolving is Life’s greatest accomplishment and its greatest reward.
      1. (a) The individual’s incentive must be aligned with the group’s goals.
      2. (b) Reality is optimizing for the whole – not for you. Contribute to the whole and you will likely be rewarded.
      3. (c) Adaptation through rapid trial and error is invaluable.
      4. (d) Realize that you are simultaneously everything and nothing – and decide what you want to be. – it is great paradox that individually we are simultaneously everything and nothing. Through our eyes , we are everything, but through the universe perspective we are nothing.
      5. (e) What you will be will depend on the perspective you have. – where you go in life will depend on how you see things and who and what you feel connected to.
    6. Understand nature’s practical lessons
      1. (a) Maximize your evolution – the consistent drive toward learning and improvement makes getting better innately enjoyable and getting better fast exhilarating. – Materialistic things are just bait.
      2. (b) Remember “no pain, no gain” – the stuff we chasing after won’t maintain our happiness.
      3. (c) It is fundamental law of nature that in order to gain strength one has to push one’s limits, which is painful. – As Carl Jung put it, “Man needs difficulties. They are necessary for health.”
    7. Pain + Reflection = Progress – your challenges will test and strengthen you. If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, your’re not maximizing your potential.
      1. (a) Go to the pain rather than avoid it. – growth and personal improvement is rarely fun, it usually a painstaking experience.
      2. Embrace tough love
    8. Weight second – and third-order consequences. – usually first-order consequences often have the opposite desirabilities from the second consequences resulting in big mistakes in decision making.
    9. Own your outcome – take responsibilities for the results of your decision making. Whatever circumstances life brings you, you will be more likely to succeed and find happiness if you take responsibilities for making your decision well instead of complaining about having things being beyond control.
    10. Look at the machine from the higher level (Bird-eye view)
      1. (a) Think of yourself as a machine operating within a machine and know that you have the ability to go alter your machines to produce better outcomes.
      2. (b) By comparing your outcomes with your goals, you can determine how to modify your machine.
      3. (c) Distinguish between you as the designer of your machine and you as a worker with your machine.
      4. (d) The Biggest Mistake most people make is to not see themselves and others objectively, which leads them to bump into their own and others’ weaknesses again and again.
      5. (e) Successful people are those who can go above themselves to see things objectively and manage those things to shape change.
      6. (f) Asking others who are strong in areas where you are weak to help you is a great skill that you should develop no matter what, as it will help you develop guardrails that will prevent you from doing what you should’t be doing. – something that everyone including myself need to develop.
      7. (g) Because it is difficult to see oneself objectively, you need to rely on the input of others and the whole body of evidence.
      8. (h) If you are open-minded enough and determined, you can get virtually anything you want.
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