Principles 2.7

"Understand your own and others’ mental maps and humility."


Most of us don't understand our own strengths and weaknesses.


We often overestimate our abilities in areas of superficial understanding. As we learn more we become more realistic about our expertise.


This is best represented by the Dunning-Kruger graph:




The graph shows that we quickly lose humility as we gain an initial understanding of a subject. Only as we dive deeper do we realize how little we know. With great knowledge comes great humility.


Dalio understands that humility is natural when we have zero knowledge. We know we know nothing.


As we begin to learn, we must fight the tendency to lose our humility.


Success only comes when we gain knowledge and maintain humility.




When we fall victim to the Dunning-Kruger Effect we must work hard to get off Mt. Stupid as fast as possible.


By taking a humble look at our knowledge and abilities, we can slide quickly down the mountain, throw on our boots, and start hiking up the slope of enlightenment.


Humility will allow us to get off the mountain.


Work and time will help us climb the slope.


Knowing where we stand is the first step up the hill.

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