- Audible Audiobook
- Listening Length: 16 hours and 5 minutes
- Program Type: Audiobook
- Version: Unabridged
- Publisher: Simon & Schuster Audio
- Audible.com Release Date: September 19, 2017
- Language: English
- ASIN: B074B2CZJG
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank:
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Principles: Life and Work Audible Audiobook – Unabridged
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In the second part of the book, the author gets into the stuff that's incredibly important, but difficult to implement. In short, he provides a roadmap and tools (via algorithmic means) to accomplish anything you want in life. There's a ton of substance, definition, & practicality on how to action your objectives. He has a five-step process to achieve what you want out of life, and it couldn't be more understandable and reasonable. The tricky part for most people (in my humble opinion) is finding a goal or objective that they can focus and remain passionate about for an extended period. If that's not your problem, then Mr. Dalio's advice in the second part of the book is significantly profound.
In the third section of the book, the author teaches you how to build the mastermind group/organization that's going to achieve the goals/mission you outlined in the second part of the book. The knowledge and thought that went into these 300 pages of the book are quite impressive. In short, the reader needs to get the culture right, get the people right, and then build and evolve the protocols that run the organization at a fundamental level. There's so much granularity behind those core concepts that it'll keep you busy trying to absorb everything.
In my humble opinion, MBA programs should be designing management courses around the information contained in this book. It's extremely thorough, practical, and organized.
Negatives. The book is a long read. If you're looking for something that's quick and easy, you're in the wrong place. The book is so organized (which I personally liked) that some might find it too programmatic. If you're looking for surprises and adventurous stories with your learning, you won't get that in the last two parts of the book. Dalio is all business.
In general, I'm so impressed the author took the time and effort to teach the world everything he has learned. You can tell he truly wants to help others be successful. The book has taught me the importance of trying to understand the fundamental building blocks of my own life. I now have an appreciation for trying to understand how things work and how I can model success habits around those principles. I've started to list my own principles, but it's hard identifying unique ideas beyond those found in the book (because it's so thorough). But the important part is that I'm aware of developing my own list and co-opting or creating new principles. This book has had a profound impact on me - it's definitely worth more than 5 stars.
The book is split into his autobiography and his life and work principles.
The most salient points in his autobiography are that he wants you to think he is like Steve Jobs (but not as great) and that his life follows the story arc of a hero (but he's not a hero). Otherwise it's a pretty standard history of a baby boomer from New York who becomes Elite--he goes from talking about being part of the hippie culture of the 60s and 70s to brown-nosing China and their leaders. You wont learn anything new here if you are familiar with 20th century history and current events. To his credit, he has a great writing style (if he wrote this himself) and he appears to be a persuasive force (probably a key factor in his success).
His principles are meant to be the reason you bought the book, so let's give his autobiography a pass. Overall, his principles are strong, but they are recycled ideas. For example, one of his life principles is "Use the 5-Step Process to Get What You Want Out of Life" about having clear goals, recognizing your real problems, and finding solutions to overcome the problems and achieve your goals. Tony Robbins, Dale Carnegie, and I'm sure many others provide much more useful thought processes and examples to do the same thing. It's clear he's also out of touch in his examples: are you bad at accounting? Hire an accountant. Need to hire people? Find the right headhunter! He also seems to dabble in psychology for being a more effective/principled person. I agree with him that it's important. However, he doesn't seem to fully grasp how it works, and gets attached to pop psychology. For example, praising the Myers Briggs Type Indicator, which has received a lot of criticism from experts.
There's nothing seriously wrong with this book. There's just nothing in it that would make me recommend it to anyone. The book covers a lot of subjects, and for each subject I would recommend reading another book.