Principles I live my life by

Your values are what you consider important, literally what you “value.” Principles are what allow you to live a life consistent with those values.
Do you have principles that you life your life by? What are they? What do you value most deeply?
Principles by Ray Dalio

Finally after reading and dipping in and out of this book at least 5x in my life, I decided to write out some of my most important principles.


  1. Approach life with an attitude of fun and curiosity

Fun — because it’s good for you, and why not?

Curiosity — especially to things I (1) think I already know and (2) don’t think I need to know.

An attitude of (fun+ curiosity) is how I prefer to get results — by balancing fun and maturity (NOT nonchalant / YOLO / “it doesn’t matter) — without taking myself too seriously.

2. Everything is my fault, and therefore within my control to improve.

  • Phone got pickpocketed? Why did I bring it in a shady place?
  • Boss sucks? Why didn’t I figure that out before I joined the company?
  • Debilitated from a loved one’s death? Why didn’t I cultivate a more effective attitude towards death, isn’t humanity’s mortality rate 100%?

3. No ego — Not winning arguments or proving I’m right, but asking what outcome I want and behaving in a way that lets me achieve that.

4. On making progress: not being a hero / focusing and prioritizing / bird by bird

5. Being a net positive everywhere I go — whether it’s by taking the training 10x by showing through example what’s possible, opening doors for my friends through my connections, being an example of good habits and good principles, exhibiting an attitude of fun, curiosity, and wonder for the world, etc.

6. Courage — getting leverage in productivity and decision-making by being more courageous (NOT working longer or being cheaper or having a better resume, etc.)

7. I can do anything I set my mind to — especially if it’s not normal. I mean, what’s so special about rocket science? I bet it’s not so hard.

8. Rigging the game in my favor or playing a different one / being different, ex — never responding to job ads and never applying with a resume.

9. Health — physical, mental, emotional — is a priority. Without my health, I am nothing.

10. Training is 80% managing our pyschology (fear, frustration, boredom, etc.), not the technical skill.

11. Empathy — never stuck in my head. Each person thinks she is the most important person in her life — I believe and respect that.


I believe that I am the average of the five people closest to me.

  1. Finding rooms where I can be the dumbest person in the room.
  2. Not changing people — but running as fast as possible away from toxic people and environments.
  3. Belief — in the people I choose (I don’t believe the best in everyone, so 80% of the work here is in being selective about who I work with, not just how I work with them) to work with, and in myself.

These principles did not come from just me of course. They came from reading and learning from mentors and from stress-testing them in my life.

In the future I will write about the stories of how these principles have brought success to my life, how not adhering to them have brought failure, and how I came to know and eventually adopt them. Let me know if you want to hear about anything specific.