About to pick up this short and famous book by Ray Dalio, “Principles” – but I stop here for a sec as I have thought of principles before and want to get them out before I read more about them.
I didn’t really understand the need for principles in practicality before I had crossed a threshold of stepping into the same bucket of shit. You know, enough is enough.
Only THEN did I bother to make a short list of some things which would be acceptable for me (and that, back then, mainly in the territory of what kind of a partner I want). Now, some time later I discover how much more useful and powerful such list is when you, instead of imagining you can be certain about what you want or find acceptable (or what kind of friends, partners, deals, jobs) – an even better one you reach with Via Negativa – you do some mental accounting on what you definitely don’t want. You make a list of things that you don’t want, all things unacceptable.
But Such a list of principles is also useless when you don’t have (or aren’t aware of) any alternative options – when you can’t walk away the second you see an unacceptable offer – what’s the real use in having principles anyway? Maybe less of a self-torture to not think of principles at all as long as you strongly believe you only ever have the very limited options someone else (while also never failing to mention how generous it is of them) places on your lap.
In this sense there is no use having Principles™ without applying Via Negativa™ and without having an actual option to Wawk Away™.
Sure, we can have one of them without the others in theory, we can freely daydream about it in our heads – but in practice, no matter how assertively we express ourselves, or no matter how obnoxiously we demand like proper fooking spoiled kids that someone better not cross a line again – everything outside our will (or won’t!) will call it a bluff, and that’s what it is.