The one big thing

Have revisited Ray Dalio’s Principles. He talks about the “the one thing” to focus on. This is not a novel concept but I have mostly seen it talked about in the context of opportunities. Warren Buffet has a similar idea where he talks about two lists. One where all your life long career goals are listed. The second list is basically the top five of those life long lists. The idea is to complete drop the remaining 20 and ruthlessly focus on the 5.

Ray Dalio’s idea applies the same principle to eliminating your biggest weakness. Your top weakness. If this is not already obvious to you, he recommends looking at your past mistakes and pains to see if there is a common thread that caused these. Once you know your biggest weakness he recommends 2 paths to fixing it. First one is working on it yourself and the second one is finding people who are good at what you are weak in and getting their help. The second route is more effective as everyone has natural areas of strengths and weakness. It’s hard to fix a weakness naturally embedded in you with your own effort alone.

In short, this statement underlines a couple of core ideas which are useful to revisit:

  1. Focusing and going deep in top opportunities/projects/weakness
  2. Accepting natural strengths and weaknesses and picking a career that leverages your natural strengths
  3. While it’s not realistic to fix all your strengths and you’d be better off improving in areas you are naturally good at  fixing your top weakness pays off.

What’s the one weakness you’d want to eliminate going into 2019?

Principles as a whole is a great read as well. Check it out.


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