Life Principles

Work in Progress: This page is the earliest of drafts! I have hundreds of notes full of principles and quotes to review and incorporate here as time permits…

You can have just about anything you want, but not everything you want. Maturity is the ability to reject good alternatives in order to pursue even better ones.” - Ray Dalio Prioritize

Business & Work

“It doesn’t matter how many times you fail. It doesn’t matter how many times you almost get it right. No one is going to know or care about your failures, and neither should you. All you have to do is learn from them and those around you because all that matters in business is that you get it right once. Then everyone can tell you how lucky you are.” - Mark Cuban

“In business, to be a success, you only have to be right once.” - Mark Cuban

“Everyone has got the will to win; it’s only those with the will to prepare that do win.” - Mark Cuban

“Work like there is someone working 24 hours a day to take it all away from you.” - Mark Cuban


“Know your core competencies and focus on being great at them.” - Mark Cuban


“The only difference between who you are, and who you want to be, is what you do.” - Mark Cuban

“Success is about making your life a special version of unique that fits who you are—not what other people want you to be.” - Mark Cuban

  • Knowing when not to bet is as important as knowing what bets to make
  • Remember the Pareto Principle (the 80-20 rule) and identify the 20%
  • Fall in love with the problem, not the solution
  • Fall in love with the journey, not the destination
  • Live in the present. The past is a memory, and the future is a fantasy. You can only act in the present, so be present.
  • Cultivate a growth mindset.
  • Surround yourself with people who are continually learning.
  • Understand the impact of compounding and invest early in things that compound. It doesn’t matter so much how much a person knows today as long as they are continuously learning.
  • Understand the difference between desires and goals. Goals are things you want to achieve (e.g. start a business, earn a six-figure salary, retire by age 65), while desires are (often short-term) things you want (e.g. health, money, comfort, security, etc.). The key to success is to reconcile your goals with your desires. Have clear goals

Where to work

  • Most adult learning occurs on the job. Look for a job that uses the skills you want to develop, and look for a company that’s great at the skill you want to develop. What to become a good manager? Work at a place with great managers. Want to be a great investor? Work at a place with great investors. Want to become a great software engineer? Etc…
  • Life is short, and we spend most of it at work.
  • You become like the people you associate with most closely. Many of these people are coworkers. Choose those people carefully.
  • Prioritize working with good people.
  • Don’t work for jerks. Don’t work with jerks. Don’t hire jerks. (But remember, people are not their behavior. Do I need to refine this principle? Since this is a draft, I consider a “jerk” someone who repeatedly and consistently demonstrates a pattern of jerk-like behavior and disregard for others.)
  • If you are a high achiever, seek to work in a place that values accountability.

Continuous Learning

“Read 500 pages… every day. That’s how knowledge works. It builds up, like compound interest. All of you can do it, but I guarantee not many of you will do it.” - Warren Buffett

  • If you can optimize for one thing, optimize for learning. It doesn’t matter how wrong you are today as long as you continually learn.
  • You can’t prove something is true. You can only fail in your attempt to prove it’s false. So document your principles and theories and beliefs and apply the scientific method and invite others to try to disprove them. The ones that withstand the most scrutiny are the ones you should trust most.

“If you’re not failing, you’re not pushing your limits, and if you’re not pushing your limits, you’re not maximizing your potential.” - Ray Dalio

“When you’re memorizing something, it’s an indication that you don’t understand it. You should be able to re-derive anything on the spot and if you can’t, you don’t know it.” - Naval Ravikant

“Your resume is just a catalog of all your suffering.” Nothing worthwhile in life comes without pain and suffering of some level


You want to be rich and anonymous, not poor and famous.” - Naval Ravikant

“I don’t care how rich you are. I don’t care whether you’re a top Wall Street banker, if somebody has to tell you when to be at work, what to wear and how to behave, you’re not a free person. You’re not actually rich.” - Naval Ravikant

There are two great addictions: heroin and a monthly salary.” - Nassim Taleb


“Success is getting what you want. Happiness is wanting what you get.” - Dale Carnegie

“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want” - Naval Ravikant

“It’s in responsibility that most people find the meaning that sustains them through life. It’s not in happiness. It’s not in impulsive pleasure.” - Jordan Peterson

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Copyright © 2023 Richard Morgan.