Ray Dalio, is an American billionaire, hedge fund manager, philanthropist and founder of the investment firm Bridgewater Associates. He is listed in Bloomberg in 2018 as one of the world’s 100 wealthiest people alive.
His 2011, he self-published a book, Principles, a New York Times best seller which outlines his logic and personal philosophy for investments and corporate management and is based on a lifetime of observation, analysis and practical application.
In Principles, Dalio speaks of why he feels it is important to pass on the accumulated knowledge of his life by alluding to Joseph Campbell’s The Hero with a Thousand Faces.
Dalio points out that in Campbells analysis, heroes do not begin as heroes, they became them. The hero undertakes trials, battles, temptations, successes and failures; they are assisted by allies and mentors and learn how to fight their enemies. They overcome their fear of fighting by the determination they have to achieve what they want and they achieve their special powers from battles they endures and from gifts received such as advice from others.
Heroes always experience one very big failure – an abyss or a belly of the whale experience – that tests their resilience to come back and fight smarter. They undergo a metamorphosis, and through this, they lose their fear. The heroes biggest reward however is the boon – the special knowledge of how to succeed, which upon returning home they are able to pass on to others.
In Ray’s analogy, everyone is a hero. Everyone who endures the battle and is willing to learn the lessons of the journey and the battle and to bring home, as he does so well, the boon of experience to pass on to others.