Success Operating Principles
These are guiding principles that I’ve found helpful to live a more “effective” life. This is based on my own experience and definition of success so take that into consideration. Thank you to Ray Dalio and his Principles book for inspiring this list. I highly recommend making your own Principles list based on what's true for you.
- Never stop learning about yourself - the more you know about and accept who you are, the better your life decisions will be. Always ground yourself in reality and truth. I've found it helpful to look at every life experience as an exercise in self-discovery.
- People's reactions to your words and behaviors reveal their expectations of you. If you have a co-worker who is consistently praising your efforts in a sincere way, it's highly likely that they would want praise from you in a sincere way because they value it. As an extension, gifts people buy for you or others can give you a clue to gifts that they would want to receive (especially if the gift is something that you're not particularly interested in).
- Treat everyone with respect always. For those who are of a perceived “lower” status to you, show deference. For those who are of a perceived "higher" status to you, treat them like normal people.
- Master the ability to control your attention. Your quality of life is directly linked to what you pay attention to. This skill involves understanding where your attention is and shifting it purposefully.
- See everything that happens to you as feedback on your actions. Success is feedback. Failure is feedback. Only when you see how you fail, can you stop failing. Also, note that there may be a delay between your actions and your results. Just because something is not working now, doesn’t mean it’s not working.
- The effectiveness of your communication is determined by the response that you get. If you’re not getting the response that you want, change how you are communicating.
- What people see matters in the short term. Who you are matters in the long term. Maximize both. This means:
- Dress to impress
- Carry yourself well - manners, etiquette, civility, integrity, honesty, character
- Never stop working on yourself - knowledge, skills, awareness
- Your outside world is determined by how you see yourself on the inside
- When procrastinating, find any way possible to just get started. It works.
- You receive love by giving love first. To find the right person, you must be the right person. Feelings of love FOLLOW acts of love. Don’t wait for the feeling to show how much you love those around you.
- Your memories shape how you see, react to and interact with the world. Your memories are also reconstructed, not recalled. This means if you want to change how you experience life, believe in the memories that will help you be effective. The same is true for beliefs. You can’t prove if one belief is better or worse than another so just choose the belief that will help you live your life to the fullest.
- Principles I took away from Ray's book:
- Think for yourself to decide 1) what you want, 2) what is true, and 3) what you should do to achieve #1 in light of #2
- Don't worry about looking good, worry about achieving your goals
- Pain + Reflection = Progress