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10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Originality, habits, and being our best

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)
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Turn your life around by getting guidance from the right books!

Today’s book recommendations are from someone who began investing at the age of 12. He grew up to be the founder of the world’s largest hedge fund. His name is Ray Dalio. The company he founded is called Bridgewater Associates.

Ray Dalio has also written many books, sharing his work and investment philosophies with the world.

As we know, all great people read. So does Dalio.

Below is a list of books recommended by him. Each of them will teach you something unique about life and success.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Learn from the best.

Don’t we all wish for great mentors?

Those who have done it all and can teach us to do the same. Look no further because this book has the key.

“Often, all that stands between you and what you want is a better set of questions.”

The author has interviewed more than 130 people, all of whom have reached the top.

The names include Ben Silbermann, Noah Yuval Harari, Andrew Ross Sorkin, and Mike Maples Jr.

The author asked each of them a set of 11 questions.

“Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are.”

We learn a lot by reading the interviews and the author’s reflections.

You’ll notice some common themes in the interviews such as prioritizing health and sleep, staying committed, and not letting failure dissuade you.

Time Ferriss also has a podcast by the name of Tribe of Mentors.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

The rise of humans.

As a child, Yuval Noah Harari stood out because of his intelligence. At college, he pursued the subjects of history and international affairs.

“One of history’s few iron laws is that luxuries tend to become necessities and to spawn new obligations.”

As of now, Harari serves as a professor in the Department of History at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem.

‘Sapiens’ was published in Hebrew in 2011. It was based on 20 lectures from a world history course that he was teaching an undergrad class. It was released in English in 2014.

This book also threw Harari into the public spotlight.

“Is there anything more dangerous than dissatisfied and irresponsible gods who don’t know what they want?”

Harari traces the emergence and rise of Homo Sapiens in this book. From hunter-gatherers to modern societies a lot has gone on in between.

The author talks about the cognitive revolution, the agricultural revolution, and the scientific revolution.

This book will acquaint you with a lot of interesting phenomena from the human world.

For example, our tendency to believe in collective myths, the limitations of human culture, and concepts such as happiness.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

What can corporations learn from Netflix?

The authors tell us about the organizational culture of Netflix.

It is so unique that it almost sounds wrong at first. I mean lots of freedom? Aren’t employees meant to be controlled?

“Embrace change and continually adapt to new challenges and opportunities.”

Netflix’s policy is to build high talent density by hiring the best and paying them the top of the market.

An important part of company culture includes candor. It means honest feedback.

Improvements are made through honest feedback at all levels.

Another interesting aspect is removing all useless policies. This includes policies about vacation and expenditure. There are no approval procedures.

Netflix allows greater freedom to employees. And with great freedom comes great responsibility hence the employees make good decisions.

“Promote a balance between freedom and responsibility.”

Parts of this book will make sense to you. Other parts will make you wonder, is it truly possible?

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Habits power our lives.

Through them, we structure our day and can achieve great things. This book is a scientific exploration of habits.

“Change might not be fast and it isn’t always easy. But with time and effort, almost any habit can be reshaped.”

Getting rid of a bad habit is hard. But what’s achievable? Changing a habit.

Habits serve us by taking the load off our brains. Instead of consciously having to make a decision, our body follows the already set pattern. This reduces our reliance on willpower.

“Willpower isn’t just a skill. It’s a muscle…”

As it turns out, willpower can tire out like a muscle. And when it does, it is hard to take the right step.

The author teaches us about the habit loop. First, there is a trigger. Then, there is the routine. In the end, there is a reward.

The book calls exercise a keystone habit. Because those who exercise not only start eating better, they become more productive, and patient as well. Exercise leads to a wide range of benefits.

Honestly, I can’t agree more.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Roadrunner or coyote, our brain has both modes.

The main thing this book shows is the two thinking systems in our brains. One of them is fast and impulsive. The other one is slow and thoughtful.

Through this premise, the author shows us the working and effect of these systems. In addition, he also shows us how our moods and emotions affect our decision-making.

“Mood evidently affects the operation of System 1: when we are uncomfortable and unhappy, we lose touch with our intuition.”

The author tells us about the various heuristics and biases that humans inevitably fall prey to.

We usually think we are going by our rational and logical brain. But as the book shows us, we are flawed thinkers.

We are unable to think statistically most of the time.

“People tend to assess the relative importance of issues by the ease with which they are retrieved from memory — and this is largely determined by the extent of coverage in the media.”

By understanding the decision-making process and learning about its pitfalls, this book will empower you to make the right decision at the right time.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

In the world of copycats, be you!

‘Be original!’

‘I want to be original’

‘Originality is important.’

How many times have you heard the above phrases in different contexts?

This book explores the concept of being original in great detail.

“Creativity is allowing yourself to make mistakes. Art is knowing which ones to keep.”

Being original, challenging the status quo, and standing out of the line is not an easy thing. But those who do it, reach success.

The author also talks about how originals don’t just come up with one good idea.

Instead, they come up with lots of ideas. This is how the odds of producing a great one increase drastically.

“Having a sense of security in one realm gives us the freedom to be original in another.”

Comedians rely on being rebellious and original. The more rebellious a comedian is, the more the chance of him succeeding professionally.

Another important thing Grant touches on is making the move at the right time by mitigating risks.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Learning is life.

Humans are suboptimal thinkers, the author says in one interview.

The age of artificial intelligence is coming and we need to step up our game.

“Environments of uncertainty, ambiguity, and change require exploration, invention, experimentation, and adaptation, all of which require learning.”

This book combines research from many different fields to make its case. The author teaches us how we can, as individuals and as an organization step up our performance game.

In order for a true learning mindset, empathy, and open-mindedness are needed. One cannot approach learning from an arrogant and egotistical standpoint.

Hess also mentioned the system 1/system 2 model of the brain’s decision-making and warns us of the pitfalls of relying on system 1.

“To be good critical thinkers requires intellectual humility and a healthy respect for the magnitude of what we don’t know.”

The message of this book is simple. Learn to improve or be wiped out by your competitors.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Is reality real?

My sister and I are true crime fans. Recently, we had a bit of a tussle. I said that anyone who is continuously doing evil must have something wrong with his/her brain.

She however insisted that evil exists. And we need not find its root in brain function.

This book supports my argument.

“Our reality depends on what our biology is up to.”

Among many examples, the book tells us about a type of epileptic seizure that is focused in the temporal lobe of the brain.

The effect is not the person twitching or convulsing, as one might think when we think of epilepsy. The effect is what the author calls a ‘cognitive seizure’. This is marked by an obsession with religion, a false sense of external presence, and hearing of voices.

Anti-epileptic meds make this go away.

You know what this made me think of… The documentary ‘Sins of Our Mother’.

I haven’t been able to get that out of my mind. No sane person behaves the way Lori Vallow did. But based on what this book says, she might have the same issue in her brain.

“Evolution is smarter than you are.”

The author tells us not to trust our senses. Just because we know something is true, doesn’t mean it really is.

Eagleman also tells us that societies need a balance of emotions and rationality to function. An extreme shift towards either side would be disastrous.

“Behavior is the outcome of the battle among internal systems.”

This book is an interesting look at the hidden processes of the human mind.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Artificial intelligence, humanity’s aide, or a threat?

AI is coming, and we all know it. We are part scared, part excited.

This book tells us how AI will change our world in the coming two decades.

“… believe it’s indisputable that computers simply “think” differently from our brains.”

It shows us both the good and the bad of AI takeover. It does offer us hope.

The authors say that whenever a new technology comes to be, the initial reaction is fear. But in time, technology becomes a part of our lives. Not only that, it improves our lives by leaps and bounds.

AI will save us time and provide efficiency. The book predicts humans and AI working together. AI will contribute to quantitative analysis and optimization. Humans will provide creativity and innovation.

Sounds good to me.

“In the story of AI and humans, if we get the dance between artificial intelligence and human society right, it would unquestionably be the single greatest achievement in human history.”

The authors also tell us that a blending of real and virtual is soon to take place.

10 Recommended Books by Ray Dalio That Will Expand Your Brain (No, I’m Not Kidding)

Let’s learn from the best teacher of all.

This book combines the patterns and lessons from the history of the world.

The authors show us how humans have not changed. Outwardly, their habits and culture might seem different but at the core, they are the same as their ancestors.

Have you ever heard of the phrase, ‘Winner writes the history’? Meaning the way history is recorded and narrated is biased.

“History as usually written…is quite different from history as usually lived.”

The authors say that history, in part, is guesswork and the rest of it is prejudice.

They also tell us how morality changes over time. In hunter-gatherer communities, fighting, hunting, and killing were needed. Due to this men died more. And as a result, they took on multiple sexual partners.

This was not considered a bad thing.

“Economic development specializes functions, differentiates abilities, and makes men unequally valuable to their group.”

This book is an interesting commentary on human history.


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If you enjoyed these book recommendations, check out the rest of my book lists on my blog-

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