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Reading Notes 2: Principles by Ray Dalio – Philip Mott

I’m elaborating on these notes a bit more since other people are reading them. Please let me know if you have any questions and I will make my best effort to provide more context!

We continue the section from yesterday from Principle 3: Be radically open-minded. There are two parts to this book: life principles and work principles. Dalio plans to release another book in a year or so on two more parts of the entire series called Economic principles and Investment principles. I’m very interested in reading the upcoming work because this book has been so rich. In the spirit of Dalio’s recommendations, I think it would be appropriate to search for a writer who disagrees with Dalio, but I must admit that I don’t care to do that just yet!

Be a Problem Solve, not a Product Maker

page 193 As I’m reading I’m thinking of the importance of paying thoughtful attention to problems in the world and looking for opportunities to solve these problems for others. What I have a habit of doing instead is choosing something to do or a product or service to create. Then, I share my product or service with close friends who often do not have a problem that this product would solve. After the initial slew of declining interest I get, I conclude that this product is a waste of time. In actuality, the product may have been a waste of time but only because I did not put the resources into finding an audience for it and gave up on it. Had I paid more thoughtful attention to the problems people were sharing with me and trusting me to solve, I may have developed a product that was more suitable to their needs.

Surround Yourself with Believable People

Page 194 Triangulate the problem with believable people. An emerging thread in this book is “believability.” There is a lot of emphasis on approaching problems by asking questions and not by making more statements. Triangulating takes time and effort! It’s easy to just ask someone we trust to help us solve a problem but it may often be better to find several people we trust to provide perspective into the problem.

Pay Attention to Signs of Closed-mindedness

page 198 Keep note of rising feelings of annoyance, anger, irritability; these are signals of “closed-mindedness” This idea came up in a section about using pain to guide me toward quality reflection. I see the value in this but I’m not exactly sure how to know I’m doing it. I’m wondering to myself if there are sometimes reasons to close our minds; however, if we are in constant search of the truth then we would always want to be open to greater revelations.

Page 200 “Be able to point to facts believable people would not dispute.” I think in terms of self-directed learning, a philosophy I’ve become attracted to over the last several years. But, in my advocacy of this philosophy, I may be ignoring facts or data that believable or trustworthy people in the field agree on. This may be a challenging practice when I’ve already committed myself to something! But, I should remain open if there is a more complete philosophy out there.

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