Book Review: Principles, by Ray Dalio

Ray Dalio's book, "Principles," is about decision making and its impact on personal and professional growth. We often go through life as a passive recipient of what is going on in the world instead of designing the world -- our job, relationships and life -- for the purpose we want it to have. Dalio teaches life is a series of decisions and through better decision making, we can all attain a better life. In doing so, we must challenge ourselves to discover and be vulnerable to the things which we do not know.

It's easy to get comfortable pursuing success equipped with what we know and what we may be good at. His opening line provides an incredible perspective on which I've spent a significant amount of time reflecting: "Whatever success I have had in life has had more to do with my knowing how to deal with my not knowing than anything I know."

I found his point to be very telling and something I have adopted in my own personal and professional life. Success doesn't come from having all the answers. Instead, I believe any success comes from allowing myself to be vulnerable to the fact that I don't have all the answers, knowing there is an answer out there, and it is up to me to find it. Whether that be seeking the help of others or taking the time to do my own research, knowing how to handle situations in which I am not sure of myself or sure of the answer is most important to growing as an individual. I think the beauty of Mr. Dalio's statement is it provides a challenge to us to focus on the things we are best at, experts in or that mean the most to us, but to know where to turn when we are outside our comfort zone.

Success comes from the decisions we make along our respective paths. If we aren't looking back at who we were a year ago and grimacing, we are not growing fast enough or spending enough time outside our comfort zone in an effort to make meaningful changes in our lives and/or careers. It's an indication we have not been vulnerable to the things in which we don't know.

I have challenged myself to continually ask this question of myself and our team at Cuba Financial Group: "Is there something we could be doing better?" If so, "How do we make it happen, and who do we enlist for help?" These simple questions are a constant reminder we don't have all the answers, and if we simply look around and allow ourselves to be vulnerable, success will follow. It comes down to nothing more than a choice we all have the ability to make each and every day.