Three Take-Aways: Principles

Reading Time: 2 minutes

“Remember that everyone has opinions and they are often bad.”  – Principles (pp. 375)

The second time is a charm.

I tried to read this book, Principles by Ray Dalio, back in 2019 and failed.  Unsure why.  It might have been a little too deep or hit a little too close to home.  I also happened to be buried neck deep in work.

However, the second attempt was much more enjoyable and successful.  There are some really interesting personal and organizational concepts presented throughout the book. 

This is one of those books that you should flip through at least once a year.  It’s up there with the Hard Things About Hard Things and High Output Management.

Three take-aways from the book:

  1. Go Slow & Creatively Look For Options

“There is almost always a good path that you just haven’t discovered yet, so look for it until you find it rather than settle for the choice that is apparent to you.” (pp. 38)

“I felt about this fork-in-the-road choice the way I felt about most others – that whether or not we could have our cake and eat it too was merely a test of our creativity and character.” (pp. 72)

“And it reminded me that when faced with the choice between two things you need that are seemingly at odds, go slowly to figure out how you can have as much of both as possible.”  (pp. 63).

Sometimes I tend to react fast.  Or make fast decisions.  Or jump to the outcome that I think is most likely.  Or just, in general, want to come up with solutions quickly.

     This is a good reminder to go slow.  Get creative.  Look for options.

  1. Figure Out Where You Are Rather Than Try To Forecast The Future

“In other words, rather than forecasting changes in the economic environment and shifting positions in anticipation of them, we pick up these changes as they’re occurring and move our money around to keep in those markets which perform best in that environment.” (pp. 42)

This made so much sense to me.  I know enough about forecasting to know that you really should not base much of your income on your ability to forecast market movements.  But really understanding where you are in the market cycle and continuing to adjust to new developments really makes a lot of sense.  Easier said than done.

  1.  Identify & Solve Problems

“Most people would rather celebrate all the things that are going well while sweeping problems under the rug.  Those people have their priorities exactly backward, and there is little that can be harmful to an organization.” (pp. 473)

I love to solve problems.  Which is good, because as an executive in a small company, I seem to be faced with a constant stream of them.  The philosophy that problem identification should be rewarded vs. punished is important in a company.  And problems should be made visible, so they can be solved.  Each problem solved makes you that much better.

P.S. I would like to take the personality test at some point.

A few other recent book reviews:

  1. That Wild Country
  2. Superforecasting: The Art and Science of Prediction
  3. Essentialism: The Disciplined Pursuit of Less
  4. Fortune’s Formula
  5. The Hard Thing About Hard Things