skyNext/ShutterstockSuccess is in your head—but shouldn’t go to your head. What do we mean? Your own ego is preventing your success, according to billionaire Ray Dalia, who founded one of the largest hedge funds in the world. His advice: Be wholly open-minded, instead.
Although your own opinion might appear to be the best possible path, good decision-making requires exploring different points of view and possibilities—even if it means you’re wrong. And good decisions lead to success more often than not. In fact, successful people are the ones listen when their ideas are challenged, ask more questions than they make statements, focus more on understanding others than being understood, and possess a deep sense of humility. Successful people break these conventional life rules all the time, too.
Dalia considers successful decision-making to be a two-step process: First, you must absorb any and all relevant information. Then, you make a choice. And while you’re deciding, “remember that you’re looking for the best answer, not simply the best answer that you can come up with yourself,” he wrote in his new book Principles. That means seeking advice from friends, family members, and co-workers—and being a good listener when they share their honest thoughts.
If their perspective happens to clash with yours, avoid your natural instinct to ignore or disregard it. Instead, look at disagreement as an opportunity to learn and improve, rather than a threat. Personal improvement can lead to rewards down the road. “People who change their minds because they learned something are winners, whereas those who stubbornly refuse to learn are the losers,” Dalia wrote.
Once you establish an open mind for yourself, you’ll also begin to recognize them in others. Then, “surround yourself with the open-minded ones,” Dalia recommends. Being surrounded by this mindset encourages it in yourself, and pretty soon, you’ll be on your own path to success. Here’s what 10 more billionaires had to say about their definition of success.