Ray Dalio is the founder, co-chief investment officer and co-chairman of Bridgewater Associates, the largest hedge fund in the world with more than $160 billion in assets under management. He's currently worth more than $17 billion, according to Forbes.
And he says the best advice he could possibly give is to listen carefully to people who disagree with you.
"The most valuable 3 minutes of thoughts that I could possibly share with you are in this episode from Principles for Success. It's easy to watch and can radically improve your life, so I hope you will watch it and then think about it a bit," he tweeted.
The four-minute episode is titled, "Be Radically Open-Minded."
In the animated video, Dalio talks about the lesson that was his "holy grail" of business success: "I needed to replace the joy of being proven right with the joy of learning what is true," he says.
To learn the truth, as opposed to what Dalio believed to be true, he started soliciting opinions that were different from his.
Dalio started to "seek out the most thoughtful people I could find who disagreed with me. I didn't care about their conclusions, I just wanted to see things through their eyes and to have them see things through my eyes so that together we could hash things out to discover what's true," says Dalio in the video.
"In other words, what I wanted most from them was thoughtful disagreement.
"Going from seeing things through just my eyes to seeing things through the eyes of these thoughtful people was like going from seeing things in black and white to seeing them in color. The world lit up.
"That's when I realized that the best way to go through the jungle of life is with insightful people who see things differently from me," he says.
This "radical transparency," as Dalio calls it, is a hallmark of the culture at Bridgewater Associates. But he had to learn this lesson the hard way.
Dalio launched Bridgewater Associates in 1975 the hedge fund did well at first. Then he got arrogant — and it caused him to make a bad bet that almost ruined the firm. At one point he had to borrow $4,000 from his father to pay the bills, he said on, "WorkLife with Adam Grant: A TED original podcast."
He had to prioritize the truth over his ego and over being right, he learned.
"All you need to do is let go of your attachment to having the right answers yourself and use your fear of being wrong to become open-minded to these other views. In this way, you could point out the risks and opportunities that you would individually miss," Dalio says in the episode.
"In the past I would have always wanted to do what I myself thought was best, but now I sought out the strongest independent thinkers I could find. I still do.
"There is nothing better than be on a shared mission with extraordinary people who can be radically truthful and radically transparent with each other," he says.
If you can learn to do this, and with practice, you can, Dalio says, "you will radically improve your life."
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