Book Review & Summary Principles of Life and Work by Ray DalioBook Review & Summary Principles of Life and Work by Ray Dalio

Book Review & Summary 2023: Principles of Life and Work by Ray Dalio

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Updated: 20/12/2022


When it comes to success, everyone has their principle for helping to make better decisions in both personal and financial aspects of your life. The principle is considered a benchmark for a person to achieve greater goals in life because they use it as a parameter to weather through some significant life challenges.

Ray Dalio, the author of the book “Principles of life and work”, expresses his strong opinions and advice to younger generations about the importance of setting goals to achieve greater things in life. You will continue to evolve if you know how to open your mind wisely and make necessary changes for improvement.

In this post today, we’ll take a review and summary of several important aspects of this book which includes the viewpoints of the author towards success, and how he used principles to become who is he today. We shall jump to each section of the book review and summary for more detailed information.

Key Points

  • The author used personal stories and history to illustrate the reason behind his early failure and overcome those obstacles.
  • The importance of setting life in principles.
  • The author emphasizes the influential role of principles in achieving greater goals in life.


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1. The importance of Principles in life and work 

Let’s get a touch on brief information about the author, Ray Dalio is an American billionaire investor, philanthropist, hedge fund manager, and founder of Bridgewater Associates. He is considered one of the most successful investors of all time besides Warren Buffett.

By spending most of his adult life doing what he loves and setting his life in principles, he had overcome some significant failures in his life and successfully established the world’s biggest hedge fund firm, Bridgewater Associates.

Due to his success, he is also well known as a popular author for releasing several best-selling books about economics and investing, one of them we are talking about today is Principles of life and work.

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In this book, the author emphasizes the importance of creating goals for both life and work, which you can set as a benchmark to make better decisions and weather through challenges in your life. In particular, the most vital aspect of achieving success in life is to face the reality, which allows you to understand the reason behind it, and then you can make a plan to better cope with it effectively.

The author brilliantly explains why we need to have goals to succeed in life by illustrating his own experience. For example, he mentions that we can use principles to avoid similar mistakes in the past, which allow us to evolve and make better decisions over time.

In terms of the work aspect, creating a positive culture is the key element for building a winning team when it comes to radical transparency and openness. One of the examples the author uses in this book is you must consider mistakes are just part of the learning process, admit what you did wrong and find ways to overcome those issues.

Related reading: Best Books On Stock Market in 2023

2. The recommendations and viewpoints of Ray Dalio toward success

First and foremost important is the author uses his real-life experience as an example to explain how he came across implementing principles in life, which allowed him to deal with things that he didn’t know the way to solve his current obstacles and issues.

The author explains the main ground for his success that is based on principles because it helps him to figure out the correct formula to deal with each problem and issue. And, he uses those formulas to deal with similar problems and issues that he may face again in life.

We all face different situations and concerns, which require us to deal with them individually and the result may be varied from time to time. For this reason, the author suggests people may group those situations into types that enable them to create principles to deal with each type of problem. Thus, it helps you to make better decisions in terms of personal and financial aspects of life.

Moving into the life aspect, the writer suggests that you should get familiar with the ” 5 step processes, which allow you to achieve what you want to achieve in life. This can be broken down as follows:

  • Set your own goals
  • to determine the current problems and obstacles that may hinder your success
  • Must spend time reviewing and reflecting to figure out the root causes of the issues.
  • Based on problem identifications, you can set out to design your own life plan to overcome those issues.
  • Take action as a necessary step to achieve better results.

Based on my reading experience, this is by far the most important tool that I follow in Ray’s advice because it helps me to set a model to achieve what I want to do in life. In case, it may have to deal with different problems, then I use the “5-step processes” in this book to highlight the issues and make a plan to solve them in an effective manner.

In terms of the work aspect, the author writes a list of suggestions and advice to help people achieve great things as a team. But he also mentions that people may value those important things based on personal expectations and requirements. Thus, it is totally up to each person to highlight the important aspect that they want to achieve in the workplace.

Some of the significant aspects of work aspect that you may consider learning are as follows

  • ” Trust in radical truth and radical transparency”
  • ” Cultivate meaningful work and meaningful relationships”
  • ” Create a culture in which it is okay to make mistakes and unacceptable”

I won’t mention all of them in one place, and if you want to get familiar with all the life and work advice from the author, then you should continue to read the full version of this book.

Related reading: Tony Robbins Books: Unshakeable Summary & Review 2023

3. Review and Reflect on your current processes

The author explains in the book that he created his principles based on the number of mistakes he made in the past. In particular, he experienced too many painful failures, which caused him almost to give up on the goals that he want to achieve.

However, Ray used those painful mistakes as a part of his learning curve, where he came across and create his own principles to prevent him from following the same mistake again, and be able to make a change necessary for improvement.

One of the best pieces of advice the author mentions in the book is that you must accept your most painful errors and failures well because those errors will allow us to take a reflection and find a way to not fail again in the same trap.

In addition, take time to review and reflect on your current process by learning and improving your past mistake, which will open more opportunities to see the world from a broader perspective. In this case, the author highlights how he became an “independent thinker” based on principles, which allows him to make better decisions in his life and work. 

Related reading: The Intelligent Investor By Benjamin Graham: Book Review 2023

4. Ray Dalio Books

The author has written several besting selling and popular books that are relevant to investment and personal finance. The following Ray Dalio books you may consider having on your bookshelves in 2022.


By Jiro Nguyen. 

The content is only based on the author’s personal opinion. It is for informational purposes only, and it does not rely on as a comprehensive or a substitute for professional advice.


Ray Dalio books

The following books from the same author you may consider to have on your bookshelves. 1. Principles Life and Work 2. Big Debt Crises 3. and the latest one, The changing World Order

What are the main principles Ray Dalio mention in the book?

Principles of Life and work: the author emphasizes the influential role of principles for achieving greater goals in life. Ray Dalio used personal stories and history to illustrate the reason behind his early failure and overcome those obstacles.

Why principles are so important in life and work according to Ray Dalio?

The author expresses his strong opinions and advice to younger generations about the importance of creating principles to achieve greater things in both life and work.

By Jiro Nguyen

Jiro Nguyen is a highly driven and skilled business management professional with an MBA in economics and management. He is also the founder of Moreover, he has a passion for writing and over 4 years of copywriting experience.

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