Principles – Ray Dalio | Book Summary

Book Name- Principles

Author- Ray Dalio

Sometimes life can be very tough and it may leave you confused and stuck.

Every day you may face some questions coming at you from every direction that you may feel like you’re trapped in a snow storm.

When these situations arise, it seems impossible to tell which way you’re supposed to turn.

This is one of the main reasons you’ll need guiding principles in your life.

Having a life equipped with guiding principles act as a compass in the snowstorm.

Being equipped with such principles means you’ll always know exactly where you’re going and what choices will keep you on that path.

Ray Dalio is among the world’s wealthiest people. He has shared his secrets in his book “Principles”. You’ll be able to learn from him and his experience with this book.

You will understand that anyone can lead a successful organization or personal life by having a set of core principles that are always there to keep them on the right path.

No matter the circumstances, having a life based on principles will give you the power that you can apply to any problem you’ll face through your journey.

Major takeaways from this amazing book “Principles” are as follows-

1- You Must Embrace Reality

principles book summary
  • You must embrace reality and learn to deal with it.
  • Dreams + Reality + Determination = Successful life.
  • Don’t be fooled that life won’t be messy and frustrating sometimes. Life is always full of surprises.
  • This is why you must know that you have to be guided by your rational thinking, not by your emotions.
  • You must know the things may go wrong from time to time.
  • So control only those things that you can actually control like your actions, reactions, and most importantly the Principles.
  • The most important thing at this moment is that you have to know that failure often provides ways to take a small break.
  • So in those situations learn your lessons, adapt, and get back together. This is the way to evolve.
  • Remember that in our life there’s always a way to learn and improve.

2- Have An Ultimate Goal

principles book summary
  • The author suggests that we all need to have an Ultimate goal in our minds.
  • The best way to conquer this goal is to prioritize and narrow things down. This way your ultimate goal can be realized in your day to day life.
  • Most people are making the mistake of reaching for too many goals all at once.
  • This will only distract you from doing things that actually matter.
  • The best thing that you can do is choose wisely by looking for your ultimate goal. Then complete goals one by one.
  • If you feel that you don’t have such a goal right now. No worries It’s never too late for you to learn some new skills to start a new education or to improve your current skills.

3- Have Radical Truth And Transparency

principles book summary
  • Having truth and transparency is one of the key factors to be successful in personal or social life.
  • This basically means being open about the kind of behavior and work that management expects from employees and vice-versa.

4- Be Open-Minded

principles book summary
  • If you want to have similar success as the author Ray Dalio, you must be radically open-minded.
  • You must know that your ego is your barrier and you must overcome your ego if you want to be open-minded.
  • The only thing that matters here is achieving your goal and not listening to your ego about looking good in front of someone. Remember that!
  • You should not stubbornly hold to something. Learn to let go of your ego and listen to other’s points of view as well.
  • Whenever you are on the way to any task ask yourself if you are a disciple or the master?
  • When you are a disciple, you must be focusing on asking questions.
  • When you are the master, you must be the one making statements.

5- Create Principles- Write Them Down

principles book summary
  • Create the principles you want your life to be based upon. Write down on paper.
  • This will allow you to focus your energy on things that really matter in your life.
  • It will help you to systemize your decisions, no matter what the circumstance will be.
  • The author suggests to create principles for everything in life, that will give you a sense of control on whatever happens in your life.


Having core principles will help you to make decisions at any time in your life when things are doing good and also when things are looking really bad.

You can take his principles or you can create your own principles. This depends on your personal preference.

Remember that every day you have a chance to learn something new. You have the chance to get better at what you’re doing and you can learn from the mistakes you make.

This is the way you’ll achieve your ultimate goal and will fulfill your life.