The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

My recommendation: MUST READ

This book took its place in my annual re-reading list. Lots of common sense practices in this book. I especially liked how Naval emphasises the importance of being a perpetual learner and reader which I greatly value too. I also appreciate his approach to happiness that comes from inner "peace" than any external goods we accumulate.  An easy read I would recommend anyone to pick it up.


It's not really about hard work. You can work in a restaurant eighty hours a week, and you're not going to get rich. Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it. It is much more about understanding than purely hard work.

If you are fundamentally building and marketing something that is an extension of who you are, no one can compete with you on that. Who is going to compete with Joe Rogan or Scott Adams? It's impossible.

The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner. You have to know how to learn anything you want to learn.

Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.

You want to know how to do something other people don't know how to do at the time period when those skills are in demand.

What you want in life is to be in control of your time. you want to get into a leveraged job where you control your own time and you are tracked on the outputs.

If you want to be part of great tech company, then you need to be able to SELL or BUILD. If you don't do either, learn.

Figure out what you are good at and start helping other people with it. Give it away. Pay it forward. Karma works because people are consistent. On a long enough timescale, you will attract what you project. But don't measure, you patience will run out if you count.

The way to get out of the competition trap is to be authentic, to find the thing you know how to do better than anybody.

It's only after you are bored you have great ideas. It's never going to be when you are stressed, or busy, running around or rushed. Make the time.

If you can't decide, the answer is No.

Real happiness only comes as a side-effect of peace. Most of it is going to come from acceptance, not from changing your external environment.

When you are young, you have time. You have health, but you have no money. When you are middle-aged, you have money and you have health, but you have no time. when you are old, you have money and you have time, but you have no health. So the trifecta is trying to get all three at once.

If you are peaceful inside and out, that will eventually result in happiness.

I don't think life is that hard. I think we make it hard. One of the things I'm trying to get rid of is the word "should". Whenever the word "should" creeps up in your mind, it's guilt or social programming. Doing something because you "should" basically means you don't actually want to do it. It's just making you miserable, so I'm trying to eliminate as many "shoulds" from my life as possible.

When working, surround yourself with people more successful than you.

When playing, surround yourself with people happier than you.

Happiness Habits: The obvious one is meditation, insight meditation. Working toward a specific purpose on it, which is to try and understand how my mind works.

You always have three options: you can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. What is not a good option is to sit around wishing you could leave it but not leaving it and not accepting it. That struggle or aversion is responsible for most of our misery. the phrase I probably use the most myself in my head is just one word: "accept".

How do you learn to accept things you can't change?
Fundamentally, it boils down to one big hack: embracing death.

Saving Yourself:
Doctors won't make you healthy.
Nutritionists won't make you slim/
Teachers won't make you smart.
Gurus won't make you calm.
Mentors won't make you rich.
Trainer won't make you fit.

Ultimately, you have to take responsibility.

Save yourself.

Meditation is not hard. All you have to do is sit there and do nothing. Just sit down. Close your eyes and say, "I'm just going to give myself a break for an hour/ This is my hour off from life. This is the hour I'm not going to do anything."

The advantage of mediation is recognizing just how out of control your mind is.

I don't believe in specific goals. Scott Adams famously said, "Set up systems, not goals" Use your judgement to figure out what kinds of environments you can thrive in, and then create an environment around you so you are statistically likely to succeed.

If you have to pass down to your kids one or two principles, what would they be?
Number one: Read everything you can. And not just the stuff that society tells you is good or even books that I tell you to read. Just read for its own sake. Develop a love for it. Even if you have to read romance novels or paperbacks or comic books. There is no such thing as junk. Just read it all.  Eventually, you'll guide yourself to the thing that you should and want to be reading.

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