Three Important Life Questions from “Principles”

Ray Dalio’s book “Principles” is a very good read. It delivers early on, too. Within the first few pages Dalio offers three important questions that anyone can use to help them make better decisions in their life. Indeed, if you only remember these questions, you could get a ton of value from this book. The three questions Ray Dalio asks you to ask yourself are: What do you want? What is true? Considering #2, what are you going to do to accomplish #1? So simple, but so important. The questions…

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Freedom and Debt

Some people just have a lot of interests. And it can be hard to whittle them down. Such a big world. So much to know and do… Why not be a philistine? Accept, though, that if you’re unfocused you will have a hard time generating income. So stay away from debt. Because debt can make the process of finding, and doing, what you love much harder. I saw the quote below, attributed to Tom Rothman, former President of Fox Filmed Entertainment, which sums it up: “The trick is from the…

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The Greatness Trap

It’s easy to psych yourself out when you’re starting something new… You imagine all the people watching you learn. Watching the mistakes you’ll make. The discomfort of the learning process. The unknowns. How long it will take to transform yourself into whatever you envision is “great”. It can be daunting to think of the amount of time it will take for you to become great at this new thing… However, this type of thinking is a trap… Greatness starts immediately. It starts the moment you commit to do the work…

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The Perfect Failure

The irony of perfectionism is that you may never give yourself the opportunity to get good at anything at all. Fears of being tested, of ridicule and of failure all love a perfectionist. So, at least enjoy the excitement of coasting your way to the bottom. And once you arrive there, you’ll have achieved a perfect record of never having known victory or defeat.

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Coasting to the Bottom

Coasting is awesome. You’re having a blast… The wind at your face. Time flies. You’re moving fast. No effort and no work necessary. Next thing you know, you start slowing down. You’re at the bottom… You look up the hill… You think, “Jesus. What the fuck?” How did I get here? Coasting. Having coasted awhile, you’ve forgotten how much work it takes to pedal. So, get used to the pain of pedaling… And practice a little pedaling every day, even if it sucks, like your life and sanity depended on it.…

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Thinking 50 Years Ahead

You will have ideas that don’t go anywhere. Some ideas just won’t work. Other ideas you will consider to be failures, when others might find value in them. Very few will be successful. One or two may be wildly successful. You can also be too early. Being early means you’re thinking ahead, which is a good thing. The smartest, most successful people and families think 50 years ahead. The challenge, then, is surviving that 50 year period, living with yourself, and struggling through difficulties you’ll encounter before you get there.

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Highest and Best Use

In real estate appraisal, the concept of “highest and best use” contemplates the factors that result in the real estate’s highest value. In order to arrive at this ideal, four factors are considered: Legal permissibility Physical possibility Financial feasibility Maximum productivity To create a plan for our own personal “highest and best use” we can use a similar approach. Is what we’re working on legal? (Let’s hope). Is it physically possible? Most things these days are physically possible. We don’t have to do much manual labor anymore… And will be…

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