New Principles for a New Year

Adnan Zai
5 min readJan 6

If you are like most people, when the clock struck midnight on the first of the year, you vowed to change your life in some positive way. The year 2022 is in the books, and though for most people it was not the best year on record, there is just something about humanity that makes us hungry for the next year and the positive changes it can bring us. The turning of the page to 2023 is no different. Although the economy is rocky and the pandemic still lingers, there is just something special about a fresh start. If you are looking for a guidebook to help you do better in business in the coming year, and be a more rational thinker, then Ray Dalio’s book Principles: Life and Work is the book for you.

The Man

Although the name Ray Dalio may not be as well-known in the business world as Jeff Bezos or Elon Musk, he is an entrepreneur that has made a big impact. As the founder, co-chairman, and co-chief investment officer of Bridgewater Associates, he has risen from his middle-class Long Island neighborhood where he played the stock market at age 12, to an extremely successful businessman running the largest hedge fund in the world. After starting Bridgewater in his apartment in the 1970’s, he learned a big lesson when he lost everything after some questionable market predictions in 1982. This changed his mindset and taught him not to be too confident.

From his failure and his ultimate ability to bounce back, he created his set of principles which were later detailed in his book Principles: Life and Work. This book is geared toward the role that truth has on decision making, and how a person’s emotions, ego, and other personality traits can get in the way of being successful. One of Dalio’s mantrashas always been “Strive for a lot, and fail well.” By taking a more rational approach to the world of business like Dalio, people will ultimately be more successful in their pursuits.

The Premise

In his famous book, Dalio uses the first three chapters to help the reader understand where he is coming from. Everyone has a story, and he spins his tale to help others to become the best versions of themselves. In order to set other entrepreneurs up for success, the first chapter “Independent Thinking” expounds on how people need to think clearly, and he even uses some examples…

Adnan Zai

As an Advisor-In-Residence, Adnan particularly focuses on strategy, deal pipeline, and structuring.