Ray Dalio is the multi-billionaire founder of one of the world’s largest hedge funds, Bridgewater Associates. Having earned more than he could ever spend, he is now trying to pass on the methods that have made him successful, most notably in his book, “Principles.”
The concept of “Principles” is that Dalio has studied the decisions he’s made in his life and learned him. Both on the personal and investment side of the ledger, he has literally created rules, or “principles” about how past decisions have worked out, and converted that data into something like a computer algorithm so that on future decisions, there’s no agonizing…he just follows his principles.
In his book, Dalio demonstrates a relatively simple (not to be confused with easy) process for achieving any goal you want. It looks like this:
To work with this graphic, you follow this process:
#1. Have clear goals. This may not be as easy as it sounds as goals can get lost among desires, needs, and other close cousins. But goals in Dalio’s world are things you need, not just things you want. We could be talking about the same $5,000 watch, but there is a reason you want it and a reason you need it. If you don’t need it, it doesn’t qualify as a goal.
#2. Identify and don’t tolerate the problems that stand in the way of achieving those goals. I love this word, “tolerate.” To me it really gets to a visceral, emotional level at which there is no room for compromise. I used the example that I might be angry at a child of mine for being rude or skipping school, but I would not tolerate them using drugs. A refusal to tolerate indicates an existential position with no room for compromise.
#3. Accurately diagnose the problems and get to their root cause. What we think are problems, are often results of things that come before.
#4. Design plans that will get you around the problems. I use WordPress to host the designingprofits.com website. I have a goal of not having to worry about the frequent updates that are necessary. The problem is that I lack the technical skills (and thus the confidence) to do these myself. That’s the root cause and my designed plan is to find and hire a 3rd party service that will take care of this on a monthly basis.
#5. Do what’s necessary to push these designs through to results. Here’s where perseverance, talked about in a recent blog post comes in. If you really won’t tolerate these problems and their attempt to keep you from your goals, you will do whatever is necessary to push through them.
You must do all five steps to be successful…and you must do them one at a time…
and you must do them IN ORDER!
Why not think for a few minutes and find a goal, something that you need to achieve. Then apply Dalio’s five steps and see what you come up with. If you want more detail, I highly recommend his book, Principles. Good luck!