"Evolution is the single greatest force in the universe; it is the only thing that is permanent and it drives everything."
This doesn't need much explanation. It's pretty obvious that the steam engine is no longer the height of technology or that the average MLB fastball laughs at 88. No one's dialing in to the internet or teaching their kid to 'finish in a fielding position.' Time passes. Progress occurs. Those who don't adapt and grow get left behind.
Dalio writes, "The world is littered with once-great things that deteriorated and failed; only a rare few have kept reinventing themselves to go on to new heights of greatness."
For example, Sears was Amazon before there was even a Wal*mart. They mastered rural distribution by rail in the late 19th century then evolved and transitioned skillfully to reinvent the department store in the early 1900s. But they were unable to continue their dominance, and by the late 20th century, Wal*mart had overtaken them as leaders in the retail space.
The problem with Sears was that they stopped evolving. They got stuck. Dalio suggests that "rather than getting stuck hiding our mistakes and pretending we’re perfect, it makes sense to find imperfections and deal with them." Sears didn't do that, leaving the door open for someone who would.
So how does this relate to coaching and playing?
As coaches and players, we must be aware that the frontier is racing forever ahead of us. We'll never catch it, and that's okay. But we must continue to try. We'll adapt, grow, evolve, and find a way to be better tomorrow than we are today.