Everyone that I know, who seems to be content, fulfilled & happy, has their moment of awakening. There is always that moment or moments where you get to understand that “this is it”, it is now or never. I have a few of those, but it all started with one thing. The moment when I understood that I was not happy.
It was the time when I was spending hours in the gym, because it felt like the only safe space where I did not think about my reasons of unhappiness. We are talking about mid year 2018. Do not get me wrong, I have always been an athlete & I really started living healthy 9 years ago. I have completely quit drinking alcohol & started going to gym almost everyday, to stay healthy and to become the best version of myself. Furthermore I was insecure about being skinny, so I needed to bulk up a bit. However in 2018, the healthy living lifestyle started to become therapeutic – I was not ready to face my reasons of being unhappy & I was burying it down in the gym. During those days, right before starting psychotherapy with a professional, my friend from New York advised me a book. The book that changed my life, yes! Just like that.
It was exactly the right kind of book, to help me start the reading habit. It was the perfect book to drag me from the emotional bottom. It was the kind of a book which became the most influential book of my life.
In my worst moment as an adult, I did not reach out to alcohol, irresponsible relationships, drugs, intoxicating habits or anything that would not serve me well long term. I grabbed a book thanks to a 24 year old friend. His name is Janik, he always calls me a big brother but at that moment he gave me big brotherly love. By strongly advising me to read the book by Ray Dalio – The principles.
To me, that book is perfect – to be honest I do not want to re-read it. I want it to stay in my memory the way it is depicted as perfect. Do not want to see its flaws or imperfections.
If you do not know already you might ask, who is Ray Dalio?
Ray Dalio is an investor, a billionaire and is the founder of Bridgewater Associates – a multibillion investment firm. He is also one of the guys who is overshadowed by Warren Buffet & Charlie Munger. However, to me Ray is a mentor whom I would love to meet one day. Ray has been featured on every business related publishings & truly is a whale on a global arena.
As a person who is esthetic, who likes structure, perpendicularity, systems & simplicity – I liked how he divided the book into 2 major parts, Work principles & Life principles. Ray wrote this book at a late age, in his late 60s. It is a book of philosophy and guidance to me. He helped me reshape the kind of a person I am and going to be, furthermore it gave me dozens of tricks & hints on how to better run my company. I especially like the ideas of radical truth, brutal honesty, radical transparency & idea meritocracy. All of which became part of ATL’s vision and philosophy. Check out the wall in our office & if you have read the book you will understand the resemblance.
If we Segway back to me personally & my learning curve, I would like to share a surprising fact about my interaction with that book. Authors like James Clear, Joe Dispenza, Will Durant, Richard Dawkins, Adam Grant, Yuval Harrari, David Eagleman, Jordan Peterson & so many others were discovered by me thanks to Ray Dalio. I have read every book, that Ray mentions in “The principles”.
It’s amazing how a book recommendation can cause such a huge snowball effect in someone’s life. You might think that I was a reader my whole life, sadly no. I wish I was exposed to readers at a young age, however I wasn’t. Every time I was picking up a book in my youth, I would fall asleep after 2 pages of reading. However today, reading is one of my most rewarding habits, along with sleeping well, meditation, healthy nutrition & exercise. Every year, I ask my network about book recommendations, I just hope that something that big would occur again in my life. Evidently nothing comes close, these days it is all about human interactions for me, it is all about understanding the life and events evolving around me, it is all about feeding my curiosity, it is about kindness, love & gratitude. I am very curious about the life ahead of me. The domino effect or the awakening back in 2018 led me to so many life changing experiences, the beauty of which I cannot describe in an article.
“The happiest people discover their own nature and match their life to it.”