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My Principles for Life and Work

Inspired by the book “Principles” by Ray Dalio, I’ve been reflecting on the principles of life and work that have led my personal and professional life so far. Several months after finishing the book, it was possible to me to write my own principles.

It is a constantly evolving list, showing the behaviors and beliefs that worked for me. I don’t believe it is a list to be copied by other people, but I think it may serve as inpiration for those who have not yet reflected on their own principles.

Being the protagonist of one’s own life

  • Accountability: don’t blame others.
  • Achievements require sacrifices.
  • Time is a matter of prioritization.
  • Learn from mistakes.
  • Objectives must be achieved through goals (be measurable and with a defined timeframe). - Plan -> Run -> Refine.
  • Bless the success of others.
    • You cannot have something that you curse.
  • Focus on opportunities, not obstacles.
  • Act despite fear.
    • Courage is not the opposite to fear, but the ability to act despite fear.
  • Doing what needs to be done, not necessarily what you would like to do.

Know that you didn’t achieve anything alone

  • To get where you arrived, there was support from others.

Always seek balance

  • Seek balance in all areas of your life.
    • Achieving exceptional results may require a momentary breakdown of balance, which should not become permanent!
  • Self-promotion YES! Distort it or make up your skills to make them look better, NO!
  • Do not confuse “self-promotion” with “showing-off”
  • Be careful with false dichotomies!
  • No progress is worth breaking ethics!
  • Seek for more sustainable solutions.
  • Do not settle for less, but also do not wait for perfection that never comes.
  • Admiring other person work does not necessarily mean admiring that person.
    • “Be less curious about people and more curious about ideas.” ― Marie Curie

Continuous Learning

  • Learn at least one other language in addition to your own.
  • Reading / Studying / Taking courses (not necessarily through formal education).
  • Searching deeper into a subject cannot mean becoming alien to the rest.
  • Look for people who inspire you.
  • Try to practice what you learn.
  • Disagreements and high-level discussions are enriching.
  • Knowledge in different areas enrich the solutions.

Help others

  • Always be willing to help others.
  • Do not allow people to be dependent on you, but encourage them to become protagonists too.
    • Encourage them to be multipliers (helping others too).
  • Don’t forget that everyone has their own time.
    • As Ray Dalio says: “Understand that people’s circuits are very different from yours”.
  • Contribute to society.
    • Donating time and / or money is a good thing.
  • Your words must match your actions (the best teaching is through example)
    • When that doesn’t happen, you lose credibility with others.

Consistency is important

  • Having consistency is more important than punctual actions when looking for a goal.
    • Examples of this are reading a book, learning something new, financial investments and physical exercises.

Physical and mental health are essential

  • Train the physical, mental and spiritual.