Early on in the book, Dalio, talks about the idea that whenever we solve a problem, the universe rewards us with what he calls a “reality gem.”
It’s a “gem” because it’s valuable. What used to be a problem no longer is or will be, thanks to our new friend.
It’s like changing a tire. Once you’ve done it once, you can do it again, forever.
And the more “reality gems” you collect, the easier problem solving becomes. Especially with *real world* problems, which are the most valuable ones to solve.
But Dalio would be the first to tell you, the trouble with real-world problems is that they’re invariably difficult to crack, otherwise they wouldn’t still be problems. They would’ve already been solved by someone else.
In other words, the universe doesn’t give us reality gems for free.
The best way to gather reality gems, according to Dalio, are through virtues like the ability to be objective, to be aware of one’s own weaknesses, to be clear about what you want and what the goals are, and to practice “radical transparency” with other people (i.e to see things as they actually are, not the way we wish them to be).
And how do we acquire such useful virtues? By acquiring more reality gems.
Solving problems is your friend, both collectively and individually.