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Ray Dalio Quotes

Raymond Dalio

Ray Dalio quotes: billionaire investor breaks us off a lil’ som’n som’n.

“The best advice I can give you is to ask yourself, ‘What do you want?’ then ask, ‘What is true?’ and then ask yourself, ‘What should be done about it?’  I believe that if you do this you will move much faster towards what you want to get out of life than if you don’t.”

“By and large, life will give you what you deserve and it doesn’t give a damn what you like.  So it is up to you to take full responsibility to connect what you want with what you need to do to get it, and then to do those things.”

“Success comes from knowing what you don’t know, more than coming from what you do know.”

“Success is achieved by people who deeply understand reality and know how to use it to get what they want.  The converse is also true: idealists who are not well-grounded in reality create problems, not progress.”

“I believe that for the most part, achieving success – whatever that is for you – is mostly a matter of personal choice and that, initially, making the right choices can be difficult.”

“When you think that it’s too hard, remember that in the long run, doing the things that will make you successful is a lot easier than being unsuccessful.”

“Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values.  Principles connect your values to your actions.”

“If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.”

“Life is like a giant smorgasbord of more delicious alternatives than you can ever hope to taste.  So you have to reject having some things you want in order to get other things you want more.”

“Life is like a game where you seek to overcome the obstacles that stand in the way of achieving your goals.  You get better at this game through practice.  The game consists of a series of choices that have consequences.  You can’t stop the problems and choices from coming at you, so it’s better to learn how to deal with them.”

“More than anything else, what differentiates people who live up to their potential from those who don’t is a willingness to look at themselves and others objectively.”

“Don’t worry about looking good – worry about achieving your goals.”

“The more you think you know, the more closed-minded you’ll be.”

“I believe that the biggest problem that humanity faces is an ego sensitivity to finding out whether one is right or wrong and identifying what one’s strengths and weaknesses are.”

“To be successful, we need everyone to think independently and work through disagreement to decide what’s best.”

“Don’t be a perfectionist, because perfectionists often spend too much time on little differences at the margins… at the expense of other big, important things.  Be an effective imperfectionist.  Solutions that broadly work well (e.g., how people should contact each other in the event of crises) are generally better than highly-specialized solutions (e.g., how each person should contact each other in the event of every conceivable crisis).”

“If you can stare hard at your problems, they almost always shrink or disappear, because you almost always find a better way of dealing with them than if you don’t face them head on.  The more difficult the problem, the more important it is that you stare at it and deal with it.”

“Remember that experience creates internalization.  Doing things repeatedly leads to internalization, which produces a quality of understanding that is generally vastly superior to intellectualized learning.”

“Mistakes are the path to progress.”

“Do not feel bad about your mistakes or those of others.  Love them!  Remember that, one: they are to be expected; two: they’re the first and most essential part of the learning process; and three: feeling bad about them will prevent you from getting better.”

“I learned that everyone makes mistakes and has weaknesses and that one of the most important things that differentiates people is their approach to handling them.  I learned that there is an incredible beauty to mistakes, because embedded in each mistake is a puzzle, and a gem that I could get if I solved it – a principle that I could use to reduce my mistakes in the future.”

“Nature gave us pain as a messaging device to tell us that we are approaching, or that we have exceeded, our limits in some way.”

“Unlike in school, in life you don’t have to come up with all the right answers.  You can ask the people around you for help – or even ask them to do the things you don’t do well.  In other words, there is almost no reason not to succeed if you take the attitude of: total flexibility – good answers can come from anyone or anywhere (and in fact, there are far more good answers ‘out there’ than there are in you); and total accountability – regardless of where the good answers come from, it’s your job to find them.”

“School typically doesn’t prepare young people for real life – unless their lives are spent following instructions and pleasing others.  In my opinion, that’s why so many students who succeed in school fail in life.”

“I believe that our society’s ‘mistake-phobia’ is crippling, a problem that begins in most elementary schools, where we learn to learn what we are taught rather than to form our own goals and to figure out how to achieve them.  We are fed with facts and tested and those who make the fewest mistakes are considered to be the smart ones, so we learn that it is embarrassing to not know and to make mistakes.  Our education system spends virtually no time on how to learn from mistakes, yet this is critical to real learning.”

“For every mistake that you learn from you will save thousands of similar mistakes in the future, so if you treat mistakes as learning opportunities that yield rapid improvements you should be excited by them.  But if you treat them as bad things, you will make yourself and others miserable, and you won’t grow.”

“Be wary of the arrogant intellectual who comments from the stands without having played on the field.”

“Ask yourself whether you have earned the right to have an opinion.  Opinions are easy to produce, so bad ones abound.  Knowing that you don’t know something is nearly as valuable as knowing it.  The worst situation is thinking you know something when you don’t.”

“Know what you don’t know.  Be comfortable with understanding your mistakes and weaknesses.”

“Distinguish open-minded people from closed-minded people.  Open-minded people seek to learn by asking questions; they realize that what they know is little in relation to what there is to know and recognize that they might be wrong.  Closed-minded people always tell you what they know, even if they know hardly anything about the subject being discussed.  They are typically made uncomfortable by being around those who know a lot more about a subject, unlike open-minded people who are thrilled by such company.”

“People with good work habits have to-do lists that are reasonably prioritized, and they make themselves do what needs to be done.  By contrast, people with poor work habits almost randomly react to the stuff that comes at them, or they can’t bring themselves to do the things they need to do but don’t like to do (or are unable to do).”

“One of the things meditation gives you is creativity because creativity really comes from the subconscious brain – intuition, imagination – so it’s not like you can go there and say, ‘I’m going to go be creative now.’  Maybe you can, but the real way you get creativity is, you know, you’re taking a hot shower and great ideas come to you from the subconscious.  Essentially, meditation opens a pipeline between the conscious and the subconscious.”

“What matters most is that the people you work with share your values.”

“There is nothing to fear from truth.  Being truthful is essential to being an independent thinker and obtaining greater understanding of what is right.”

“Watch out for people who think it’s embarrassing not to know.”

“People who confuse what they wish were true with what is really true create distorted pictures of reality that make it impossible for them to make the best choices.”

“Forget about what the technology is.  Just understand the motivation behind it.”

“To make money in the markets, you have to think independently and be humble.”

“In order to be successful as both an investor and an entrepreneur, one has to be an independent thinker and bet against the consensus and be right.  Because the consensus is built into the price, and if you’re not an independent thinker in the markets, you won’t succeed.  And if you’re not an independent thinker as an entrepreneur starting out, you’re not going to bring anything special.”

“The biggest mistake investors make is to believe that what happened in the recent past is likely to persist.  They assume that something that was a good investment in the recent past is still a good investment.  Typically, high past returns simply imply that an asset has become more expensive and is a poorer – not better – investment.”

“I have been very lucky because I have had the opportunity to see what it’s like to have little or no money and what it’s like to have a lot of it.  I’m lucky because people make such a big deal of it and, if I didn’t experience both, I wouldn’t be able to know how important it really is for me.  I can’t comment on what having a lot of money means to others, but I do know that for me, having a lot more money isn’t a lot better than having enough to cover the basics.”

“Pull in your belt, spend less, and reduce debt.”

“The greatest gift you can give someone is the power to be successful.  Giving people the opportunity to struggle rather than giving them the things they are struggling for will make them stronger.”

“It is a law of nature that you must do difficult things to gain strength and power.  As with working out, after a while you make the connection between doing difficult things and the benefits you get from doing them, and you come to look forward to doing these difficult things.”

“So I learned that the people who make the most of the process of encountering reality, especially the painful obstacles, learn the most and get what they want faster than people who do not.  In short, I learned that being totally truthful, especially about mistakes and weaknesses, led to a rapid rate of improvement and movement toward what I wanted.”

“Once you accept that playing the game will be uncomfortable, and you do it for a while, it will become much easier (like it does when getting fit).  When you excel at it, you will find your ability to get what you want thrilling.”

“It’s more important to do big things well than to do small things perfectly.”

“He who lives by the crystal ball will eat shattered glass.”

“I learned that if you work hard and creatively, you can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want.  Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.”

“Nature is a machine.  The family is a machine.  The life cycle is like a machine.”

“Treat your life like a game.”

Related: Carl Icahn quotes.

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