29 June 2023

Success Principles for Life - The Wisdom from East & West - From Ray Dalio to i-Ching

I have been compiling the success principles from the rich and famous, ancient philosophers and gurus. Such posts include the following:

The Integrated Success Principles Version 6 29 Oct 2011
Focus - The Key to Productivity and Excellence 3 Nov 2011
Map Your Way to Greater Success from the Keys of the Super-Rich 30 Nov 2011
Success Principles from Li Ka Shing Quotes 22 Mar 2012

Recently, I came across Ray Dalio's books. His 
Principles by Ray Dalio
 contains many principles for life and work. It is quite a comprehensive and wonderful work. It reminded me of I-Ching 易经 The Book on Change. I-Ching is the ancient Chinese Philosophy on teaching us how to manage change for our fortune while avoiding disaster. It contains many unchanging principles categorized into 64 hexagrams and 386 stage lines of advice on our actions and the resulting outcomes under various situations. Ray also published a youtube video on Principles For Success by Ray Dalio (In 30 Minutes). I recommend it highly.

I created the following mind map to summarize Ray's principles and also link it to corresponding iChing Hexagrams. 

I reproduced the referenced Hexagram descriptions from my book 
to show you the principles covered. 

"The Call to Adventure" 
    Embrace Change & Fear Not  - Follow i-Ching principles to blessing without disaster.
    Anything that is alive will change. Growth is Change

1 "Embrace Reality & Deal with It"
    #25无妄 Not Bizarre - Face Reality & Follow Principles
We must follow the principles and seasons of working of Heaven and earth in our relationship with others and with nature.
        We must be watchful, practical, and realistic.
        Breaking the principles will bring forth calamity.
        Don’t be fooled by short-term success. We will eventually have to pay back and in a much greater amount.
        Even if a misfortune happens, we should not move away from sticking to the basic principles.
    1. Get started by following the principles of life.
        Be realistic and practical. Don’t be bizarre and be not building a castle in the air.
        It does not mean that we can’t have high aspirations. It is just that we need to achieve our high aspirations with practical steps and in due time.
    2. No shortcut. Consistent ‘Step by Step’ to success.
    3. Misfortunes beyond our control happen. Don’t be too quick to judge and blame. Stick to the foundational principles.
    4. Continue the good work. Don’t quit.
    5. Misfortune not caused by us will pass. Don’t overreact. The strong foundation will bring you through.
    6. Reach the plateau and don’t know what’s next. Don’t take bizarre action. Stick to the foundation that brings you success and act wisely.

2 The Five-Step Process
    #20观 Observation - Discover & Improve
Observation includes the Scientific Method for acquiring knowledge. The scope is much wider than the usual physical science.
        It includes social science and all things related to human beings, as individuals and in groups.
        It is a sacred activity for discovering the truth.
        We must be objective, wide, and depth in scope,  for physical and human, understanding the ways of the universe and nature.
    The process is:
        observe -> learn -> apply to transform -> reflect and improve for things -> myself -> country men -> all others
    1. Observe far and wide with curiosity like children and in depth, looking below the surface like adult.
    2. Observe carefully - don't peep; don't be too narrow and too quick.
    3. Observe your own life - make wise decisions
    4. As leaders, observe your nation and corporation - get wise men to help.
    5. As leaders, observe the lives of your own and others with you(family, corporation, country) and see you have no regrets
    6. As leaders, observe other lives (global), expand your scope.

3 "The Abyss"
    #18蛊 Worm - Removing Disorderliness
Admit and face the reality of the bad situation.
        Begin to change with planning, continued monitoring during implementation, and reviewed until the change is stabilized and internalized. It becomes the new corporate culture.
    The stage lines add the following wisdom for any transformation program:
    1.  Inherited a bad situation. Face it, Change it and Continue to completion.
    2.  Kill the “Holy Cows”. But go for Win-Win for all. Have a balance between too tight and too loose.
    3.  Some pains are unavoidable, continue the change, the whole culture to the end.
    4. Review, change if needed,  and continue.
    5. Yielding results, continue.
    6. Do the right thing, not the good (according to us) things.

    #29坎 Pit & Danger - Be Watchful & Righteous
    Always be on the alert and watch out for impeding danger.
        The safest and surest way is to hold on to integrity and honesty.
        Instead of being afraid of danger, we can use the dangerous obstacles for our protection.  Convert any threat to opportunity.
        We should teach others to be righteous and alert too.
    1. Stay away from Dangers / Temptations else you will fall into them.
    2. Probe and move cautiously if you fall into it.
    3. Dangers everywhere, just stay at rest. Wait for help.
    4. True friendship is seen in times of trouble. They come to help.
    5. Core integrity strength not fully developed yet got out of danger due to external help. Take heed to develop internal strength.
    6. Stay righteous – the sure way to prevent and keep out of danger else back to stage 1 of imprisonment.

4 Everything is a Machine
   The 64 Hexagrams of iChing are the principles.

5 Your Two Biggest Barriers - Get around ego & blindspot
    #47困 Boxed- S1 In Darkness

47困 Boxed-In - Have Faith & Breaking Free
    Rejoice in adverse circumstances.
    Don’t believe in the negative and discouraging messages.
    Maintain your positive attitudes.
    They are designed to strengthen you. You can come out stronger.
    Great men are willing to die for their causes.
    1. Boxed in darkness. Stay calm. Get help. Get wisdom. Reflect and find a way out.
    2. Boxed in pleasures. Wake-up. Be thankful and share your wealth.
    3. Boxed in stones & thorns(Difficulties & Persecutions). No help even from the wife. Pray & trust God.
    4. Boxed in riches. Break free quickly. Slowness will bring blame.
    5. Boxed in the political power play. Stay righteousness and trust God, not men.
    6. Boxed in an entangled mess of anxiety. Repentance and change bring fortune.

6 Be Radically Open-Minded - the ideas meritocracy system
    #45萃 Congregation - Teamwork & Culture Leadership
The congregation has great potential to do great things.
    It must be guided by righteousness, with wise leaders who lead by examples, reporting to a board of mentors.
    Members willingly follow the leadership.
    There must be continued renewal and preparedness for the unforeseen.
    It will produce a culture of integrity and excellence for sustainable high performance.
    1. Set clear goals, then communicate clearly and execute to the achievement of targets.
    2. Get mentors to help. We must show good examples and integrity in little things.
    3. Some complaints exist but do not stop the main flow.
    4. Company with the right culture can have weaker leadership and yet prosper.
    5. New Leader needs to pursue righteousness and build trust that lasts.
    6. Face up to the reality of no more progress and planning for it(succession and retirement) has no-fault.

7 Struggle Well - Continued Growth with Others
    #58兑 Lake - Joy of Togetherness
58兑 Lake - Joy of Togetherness
    58兑 同欢共乐,和悦相处
        兑- exchange ; heart 心+兑=悦 joy  speech 言+兑=说 talk.
        Interacting and conversations with one another bring joy.
        Ancient Chinese tends to equal 说 and 悦.
    Joy comes from a strong principle-centered inner life and a soft and supporting exterior.
        be your true self + be kind and speak with respect).
        It is a positive inner attitude that brings hope and joy to others.
            How people feel after talking with you?
        Joy is about togetherness. It enables people to overcome hardship and life-threatening challenges with confidence and vitality.
            Are you encouraging and helpful?
        Learning and growing together bring joy.
            What wisdoms are being shared? Do they learn something after your conversation
        Togetherness is about right conversations that build relationships. How to talk is taught here.
            You can use Zoom, WhatsApp. etc.
    1. Harmonious Joy. There are no suspicions. Good fortune.
        The purpose of any conversation is to build relationship and harmony
    2. Trusting Joy. There are confidence and trust. Good fortune.
        Relationships must be built with trust - authentic conversations. Be truthful and real. No ulterior motive to manipulate nor cheat.
    3. Externally derived Joy (Happiness). Don’t rely on external things to have joy. You will be addicted and end in disaster. Externally derived pleasures suffer from the law of marginal returns - needing more and more to get the same amount of kick.
        Watch out for flattery. Develop inner security & not seek people's praises & acceptance.
    4. Deciding Joy. Forget about seeking joy from external things and decide to build joy from within.
        Start having authentic conversations to discover ourselves and others.
    5. Joy betrayed. Trust with watchfulness. Not everyone is trustworthy. Betrayal kills joy.
        Learn to discern truth and lies. Be careful what we say to others. Our words could be used against us.
    6. Attracting Joy. Don’t be man-pleasers and lose your own identity.
    It will never get true joy. Be a pleasant person but have your own identity.
        Don't lose your own identity and values just to please others, especially our bosses and those with power. They can read us well and our insincere flatteries will only despise us further in their minds.

Lessons Learned:
  1.  The ancient Chinese Philosophy i-Ching, though 5000 years old, is still applicable today. It has been tested over thousands of years. It is one of the four ancient civilizations that survive to this day. It is the wisdom behind the rapid rise of China. We must learn it.
  2.  The top brains in the West had independently discovered the wisdom that is similar to the teaching of I-Ching. 
  3. No one has exclusive rights to wisdom. Wisdom is out there for us to discover.
  4. If we are no genius, it is much easier and faster for us the study Ancient Chinese Wisdom which had been proven over thousands of years than for us to discover and learn by the school of hard knocks. 

Integrated Success Principles version 12 Incorporating Ray Dalio's Principles (30-minute Summary)

Lim Liat (c) 29 June 2023

21 June 2023

New CEO Leadership Attributes and Ancient Chinese Wisdom

Is Ancient Chinese Wisdom still applicable in the new world? This question has been of most interest to me. When there are new articles and new books about the new things we need to learn, I will check the new wisdom against the Ancient Chinese Wisdom to find out whether the ancient is still relevant.

With the increasing uncertainty, polarization, and tensions, there are many studies on the new leadership attributes that are needed. A recent article. The five new foundational qualities of effective leadership (in “strategy + business - a pwc publication"), present the new qualities for this new world. I made a mind map to capture the essential points and rephrased the five questions into qualities for easier comparison with ancient teaching on leadership.

The Ancient Chinese Wisdom I used will be from iChing and Sun Zi's Art of War. 
Please read the following for details:

The New and the Ancient, the West and the Chinese, are shown in the mind map below:

We can see that the Ancient Chinese teaching on leadership attributes is very much still applicable in the uncertain world.  This should not be surprising because iChing is the study of change, or more specifically, how to embrace change and adapt to it to come out better than before. It is about using unchanging principles to face the ever-changing world.

To know more about Ancient Chinese Wisdom, please see:
Here is a mind-map showing more leadership attributes from the Ancient Chinese Sages and other Western thinkers and gurus:

Lim Liat (c) 21 June 2023