10 Operating Principles For Life

12 min readMar 7, 2022

Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.

Life is too short not to learn from the mistakes of others.

— Eleanor Roosevelt

Given how complicated life is, it’s strange that it doesn’t come with an instruction manual.

No wonder some people struggle to make the most of theirs.

It all stems from the fact that we acquire wisdom after the event when we really could have done with it beforehand.

Or, as the Danish philosopher Soren Kierkegaard once said, “Life can only be understood backwards, but it must be lived forwards.”

So what can you do to make your journey easier?

One way is to learn a set of time-honoured principles that can be applied to the different domains of your life.

They can help you make better decisions regarding your career, personal finances, health and relationships.

And better decisions lead to better outcomes.

Listed below are ten principles to get you started. Some you may already know whilst others will be new to you.

You may even have some of your own to add.

Either way, the most important thing is not just to read about them but to put them into action.

Good luck! 🍀

1. Compounding

Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.

— Naval Ravikant

What is ‘Compounding’?

How often have you heard the phrase ‘the rich get richer’?

Do you know why?

The answer is to do with something called compounding.

Compounding occurs when small actions add up to something greater than the sum of their parts over time.

For example, if you put £1,000 into a savings account with 10% interest, you will have £1,100 at the end of the first year (the initial ‘principal’ of £1,000 plus £100 in interest).


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