Billionaire hedge fund manager Ray Dalio is widely considered a rock star of the investing world.
But the source of his success has a lot to do with superstars of another sort: The Beatles.
Dalio was in his early twenties when he was inspired by the famous foursome to take up a new skill: Meditation.
Today, half a century on, it remains a constant of his daily routine, and one to which he attributes his greatest career wins.
"It was life changing," Dalio, now 70, told CNBC's Christine Tan in a recent episode of "Managing Asia."
The English rock band popularized a silent form of meditation — known as Transcendental Meditation — in 1968, following a two-month trip to India. The practice, developed by Maharishi Mahesh Yogi, involves the use of a mantra, such as "OM," to reach a state of subconsciousness.
Dalio, over the course of his five-decade career, has practiced the technique twice a day, once in the morning and once in the evening, for 20 minutes each.
That has helped him cope with the ups and downs of running the world's largest hedge fund, Bridgewater Associates, the company he founded in 1975, he said. That includes the near-collapse of the business in 1982 when Dalio mistakenly bet on the next financial downturn — a moment he has described as "painfully humbling."
"It works because it brings you into your subconscious mind and it gives one an equanimity. In other words, a centered-ness, a calm centered-ness in the middle of a storm," Dalio explained.
The practice also provides an opportunity for creative thinking away from life's daily distractions, which Dalio said has been vital for his personal development.
"It's like if you take a hot shower and the ideas come to you," he said. "That ability to reflect well and to be above those things that you're operating so you can navigate them well is a real great thing to have."
Like this story? Subscribe to CNBC Make It on YouTube!