Book Reviews, Value Investing

Ray Dalio Featured In A New Book Called Super Mind

Super Mind

A couple years ago I was in NYC and was invited to a talk on TM (Transcendental Meditation). Ray Dalio, probably its most noted practitioner was the featured speaker. It was a fascinating discussion and to be honest, I have never given it a single thought until that day. Now, I can’t say I am a practitioner now as having 4 very active  kids under 14 leaves little “quiet time” to make a honest go of it but I can say I’ve become increasingly aware if the benefits of it. I will also say that I do try and set aside what time I can to relax my mind and on day I am able to do that, I do notice a difference, a positive one.

Because of that this  book Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life Through Transcendental Meditation is going to be mandatory  summer beach reading for me. I mean, what better place to read a book about meditation than on a beach listening to the waves? I think everyone should try to read this also. Think about it, if so many really successful people are doing something, shouldn’t one at least investigate it? Think about it. We will read books on people’s technical/fundamental investment process and try to mimic it. why, then, shouldn’t we investigate how they think and how they prepare their minds for the same thing?  In a way it is now different that looking at an athlete’s training regimen without understanding how they mentally prepare themselves for games.

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Super Mind - From the Yahoo article:

Dalio is featured in a new book called “Super Mind: How to Boost Performance and Live a Richer and Happier Life.

Written by noted clinical psychiatrist and best-selling author Dr. Norman E. Rosenthal, M.D., “Super Mind” explores how the practice of Transcendental Meditation has helped business leaders achieve a super mind state of consciousness.

Our every day lives tend to be lived in three states of consciousness — wakefulness, sleep, and dreaming. However, through Transcendental Meditation there’s a “fourth state of consciousness” that “lies deep within the mind of every human being,” Rosenthal writes. That fourth state is “Transcendence.” Beyond this stage, though, lie even more states of consciousness, which Rosenthal refers to collectively as the “Super Mind.”

Rosenthal describes the “Super Mind” as “an experience of not only heightened aptitude and problem-solving ability, but also a state of emotional sensitivity, empathy, perspective and diplomatic skills.”

“It is the mind in peak condition not just momentarily – as we have all experienced – but with a consistency that may grow over time,” Rosenthal writes.

For the book, Rosenthal surveyed 600 practitioners of Transcendental Meditation. What he learned is that there are those who are “super-performers” in their respective fields and that’s not an accident.

“I now think that all high performers have in common, knowingly or unknowingly, qualities and characteristics of the Super Mind. That is, they are calm under pressure and uncannily resilient to stress. They take care of their health, set high standards of innovation and creativity, and are not only intensely engaged in their actions, but also capable of detaching when need be. They choose their projects carefully, keep the big picture in mind and ignore trifling details,” Rosenthal writes.

Moreover, Rosenthal is convinced that almost anyone can achieve this super mind state through the practice of Transcendental Meditation. Most practitioners of Transcendental Meditation do it for twenty minutes, twice a day. Rosenthal found that a habit of meditation affects the daily consciousness, unlocking this super mind state.

“It is not necessary, however, to be a super performer in order to develop your Super Mind. What matters is to reach your own potential, not some idealized standard.”

For more on Dalio and Bridgewater, here are Bridgewater’s Principles (pdf)

Later in the article:

Dalio isn’t the only Wall Street professional mentioned in the book. Wealth managers Mark Axelowitz, a managing director at UBS private wealth management, and Ken Gunsberger, a senior vice president at UBS, are also practitioners of Transcendental Meditation.

There are many others not mentioned by name in the book who work in financial services. In fact, it’s not uncommon to come across a hedge fund with a meditation room.

Rosenthal asks Axelowitz if he thinks meditating can help people get rich. According to Axelowitz, who’s an actor and a philanthropist outside of the office, it helps in all areas of life, including investing.

I think it will because I think TM helps in general, no matter what you want to do, whether it’s manage money, teach, be a doctor. If you think clearer in life, you’re going to make better decisions. When you’re stressed out and emotional, you’re not going to make the proper decisions,” Axelowitz says.

“In fact, one of the greatest money managers of all time, working in the 80s and 90s, was Peter Lynch from Fidelity. He had a saying: To master investing you need to master your emotions. You cannot get emotional in making investment decisions. And the same applies in life every day, with regard to all kinds of decisions: Should I cross the street right now? Should I run across the street because I’m late for an appointment? If you make an emotional decision because you’re late and you run across the street when the light is red, you can get killed. So I think TM helps you think and see clearer, and certainly with investments.”

Super Mind
Super Mind