How Simple Principles Can Change Your Life

Business Principle Books

Ray Dalio seems to think you can achieve almost anything with the right set of principles guiding you. That’s a big claim, but he does have some anecdotal evidence to back it up – his life.

Whether or not you can get anything (not everything) you want by putting solid, guiding principles in place in your life, the truth is, creating guiding structures will save you from a meandering, unsatisfying life. Or at least they have with me, and for the clients I work with. 

The problem, I think, is that principles seem too easy. So when life is good, we don’t think we need them, and when life is difficult, it’s too late. To get the most out of anything, you need to be consistent. Just like going for a walk every day will a make you healthier over time, even though it seems so simple, principles will help you achieve your goals if only you're consistent.

My Principles

As I’ve read the book, Principles and thought it thru, I’ve compressed what I’ve read into a few guiding principles that I’m going to take away and apply to my own life, and my business coaching:

  • You are responsible for your life. If you put the blame and responsibility on someone else, you’re giving control and power to them as well.

  • Pride, lying, pain – if you allow them, these things will get in your way. Strive to be humble, to be honest, and to be ok when things hurt.

  • What do you want? Rank each and pursue what you want most first. The rest will come, or not. But it’s better to fully chase what you want the most rather than let lower-level desires get in the way.

  • Where are you going? And how are you going to get there? Start with where you want to be, then create a plan by working backwards to where you are now.

  • The people around you affect your life. Look around yourself and see who’s only taking, and who is reciprocating. Good relationships will build you both up, and make everyone’s life better. Bad relationships only drain you and make both people in the relationship worse.

Principles are interesting. People assume you need complex answers for life, but Ray seems to think simple principles held tenaciously will get you through. And I agree.

What about you?