The Formula for Success by Ray Dalio [Pain Plus Reflection Equals Progress ]

After seeing how much more effective it is to face the painful realities that are caused by your problems, mistakes, and weaknesses, I believe you won’t want to operate any other way,

ray dalio – book ‘principles by ray dalio’

Our tendency is to avoid pain at whatever cost! We are wired for this.

But is it the right thing to do?

More often than not, our moments of pain define what we become! It’s in pain that we learn. When you have experienced, it’s time to reflect on the pain and what caused this pain and find solutions. Great achievers do this all the time.

Thomas Edison failed roughly 10000 times prior to inventing light bulb. If he had given up due to failure the 9999th time, can you imagine what would have happened? What came next time was profound from Edison. I haven’t failed, I have just found 10000 ways that won’t work.

I have also heard wise men say, that if you have not failed, you have not pushed the limits. When you face a failure, you basically have two ways:

  1. Reflect on what has happened and work towards a new path
  2. Run the other way leaving everything behind

Most of us are part of the second path. We run away from problems, failures, responsibilities the moment we know pain is coming.

I am no different! When I started my first entrepreneurial venture, things did not go as planned for me The first thing I did was to run away from the failure. Maybe I was young. But that’s an excuse I could give for a long time. I did not give myself time to reflect on my decision before running the other way.

Ray Dalio has taught me a great lesson in his book, Principles by Ray Dalio. He has laid out a clear formula for Progress. This could be applied to any part of your life: Personal, Business, Education, Relationships, Finances, and so on.

Pain + Reflection = Progress

broken heart love sad
Photo by burak kostak on

When you face any challenges (pain) in life, remember to pause for a moment and reflect on what went wrong. Gather your thoughts, reflect deeply. Pain is an important part of your life. Your life without pain is boring. Pain teaches us valuable lessons.

Name any great personality who has not faced failure in their lives:

  • Mother Teresa faced numerous hurdles in her life while working for the downtrodden;
  • Nelson Mandela faced prison for long many years fighting apartheid;
  • Elon Musk almost went bankrupt trying to change the world;
  • Very few people trusted Jeff Bezos and his vision;

Great men and women have faced trials on their way to success. And Pain was an important aspect to it. They Reflected on their failures and sprung back into action and achieved great Progress during their lives.

Getting out of your comfort zone and getting into the ‘discomfort zone’ will make you a better person. The discomfort zone will teach you great new lessons in life. It’s not going to be easy. It’s going to be challenging.

But it will make you stronger today than you were yesterday. Challenge yourself with hard choices. Look for ways to learn more. Learn new skills. That’s why I have made my life motto: Easy Choices, Hard Life. Hard Choices, Easy Life.

Almost nothing can stop you from succeeding if you have flexibility and self-accountability.

ray dalio

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