🧘 The Almanack of Naval Ravikant
🪵 Seek wealth, not money or status
Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.
Wealth creation is an evolutionarily recent positive-sum game. Status is an old legacy zero-sum game. Those attacking wealth creation are often just seeking status.
Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it. You can work in a restaurant eighty hours a week, and you’re not going to get rich.
💡 You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity—a piece of a business—to gain your financial freedom.
Without ownership, your inputs are very closely tied to your outputs. You can’t earn nonlinearly.
Set and enforce an aspirational personal hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your hourly rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it.
Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. It’s more important than your friends. It is more important than anything. Your time is all you have. Do not waste your time.
if you’re not spending your time doing what you want, and you’re not earning, and you’re not learning—what the heck are you doing?
Don’t spend your time making other people happy. Other people being happy is their problem. It’s not your problem.
🏅 You will never be worth more than you think you’re worth
Be optimistic, be positive. It’s important. Optimists actually do better in the long run.
💡 Take rationally optimistic bets with big upsides.
Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now.
Figure out what you’re 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 - your patience will run out if you count.
💡 Impatience with actions, patience with results.
All benefits in life come from compound interest, whether in money, relationships, love, health, activities, or habits. I only want to be around people I know I’m going to be around for the rest of my life. I only want to work on things I know have long-term payout.
💡 Play long-term games with long-term people.
💪 I’m always “working.”
It looks like work to others, but it feels like play to me. And that’s how I know no one can compete with me on it. Because I’m just playing, for sixteen hours a day. If others want to compete with me, they’re going to work, and they’re going to lose because they’re not going to do it for sixteen hours a day, seven days a week.
Knowledge workers function like athletes—train and sprint, then rest and reassess.
💡 Inspiration is perishable—act on it immediately.
Ways to get lucky:
- Hope luck finds you.
- Hustle until you stumble into it.
- Prepare the mind and be sensitive to chances others miss.
- Become the best at what you do.
💡 Great people have great outcomes
If someone can train other people how to do something, then they can replace you.
New forms of leverage are permissionless. Coding, writing books, recording podcasts, tweeting, YouTube-ing, etc.
You start as a salaried employee. But you want to work your way up to try and get higher leverage, more accountability, and specific knowledge. The combination of those over a long period of time with the magic of compound interest will make you wealthy.
If you have specific knowledge, you have accountability and you have leverage; they have to pay you what you’re worth.
You should refine what you do until this is true. Opportunity will seek you out. Luck becomes your destiny.
Try everything, test it for yourself, be skeptical, keep what’s useful, and discard what’s not.
🧑🎓 The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner
Teaching forces learning. If you can’t explain it to a child, then you don’t know it.
When it comes to reading, make sure your foundation is very, very high quality.
Science is, to me, the study of truth. It is the only true discipline because it makes falsifiable predictions. It actually changes the world. Applied science becomes technology, and technology is what separates us from the animals and allows us to have things like cell phones, houses, cars, heat, and electricity.
Regardless of the social outcome, I will learn anything I think is interesting.
💡 Learn to sell 🗣️. Learn to build 🚧. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable 🚀.
Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.
Basic arithmetic and numeracy are way more important in life than doing calculus. Similarly, being able to convey yourself simply using ordinary English words is far more important than being able to write poetry, having an extensive vocabulary, or speaking seven different foreign languages.
🧘 Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion.
To me, happiness is not about positive thoughts. It’s not about negative thoughts. It’s about the absence of desire, especially the absence of desire for external things. The fewer desires I can have, the more I can accept the current state of things, the less my mind is moving, because the mind really exists in motion toward the future or the past. The more present I am, the happier and more content I will be.
The world just reflects your own feelings back at you. Reality is neutral. Reality has no judgments. To a tree, there is no concept of right or wrong, good or bad. You’re born, you have a whole set of sensory experiences and stimulations (lights, colors, and sounds), and then you die.
How you choose to interpret them is up to you—you have that choice.
There are no external forces affecting your emotions—as much as it may feel that way.
Real happiness only comes as a side-effect of peace.
A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.
I’m addicted to the desiring. I’m addicted to the idea of this external thing bringing me some kind of happiness and joy, and this is completely delusional.
💡 Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.
I try not to have more than one big desire in my life at any given time, and I also recognize it as the axis of my suffering.
Confucius says you have two lives, and the second one begins when you realize you only have one. When and how did your second life begin?
There’s a line from Blaise Pascal I read. Basically, it says: “All of man’s troubles arise because he cannot sit in a room quietly by himself.”
💡 Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion.
The enemy of peace of mind is expectations drilled into you by society and other people.
When it comes to medicines for the mind, the placebo effect is 100 percent effective.
At the end of the day, you are a combination of your habits and the people who you spend the most time with.
Maybe it’s politically incorrect to say you should choose your friends very wisely. But you shouldn’t choose them haphazardly based on who you live next to or who you happen to work with. The people who are the most happy and optimistic choose the right five chimps. Your life is a firefly blink in a night. You’re here for such a brief period of time. If you fully acknowledge the futility of what you’re doing, then I think it can bring great happiness and peace because you realize this is a game. But it’s a fun game.
All that matters is how you experience your reality as you go through life.
Whenever I get caught up in my ego battles, I just think of entire civilizations that have come and gone. For example, take the Sumerians. I’m sure they were important people and did great things, but go ahead and name me a single Sumerian. Tell me anything interesting or important Sumerians did that lasted. Nothing. So maybe ten thousand years from now or a hundred thousand years from now, people will say, “Oh yeah, Americans. I’ve heard of Americans.” You’re going to die one day, and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work.
💡 Most of our suffering comes from avoidance. Most of the suffering from a cold shower is the tip-toeing your way in.
What I find is 90 percent of thoughts I have are fear-based. The other 10 percent may be desire-based.
You don’t make any decisions. You don’t judge anything. You just accept everything. If I do that for ten or fifteen minutes while walking around, I end up in a very peaceful, grateful state. Choiceless Awareness works well for me.
The ability to singularly focus is related to the ability to lose yourself and be present, happy, and (ironically) more effective.
To have peace of mind, you have to have peace of body first.
Whenever we say we’re going to try to do something or try to form a habit, we’re wimping out. I say I want to do this, but I don’t really because if I really wanted to do it, I would just do it.
** 💡 When you really want to change, you just change.**
If you hurt other people because they have expectations of you, that’s their problem. If they have an agreement with you, it’s your problem. But, if they have an expectation of you, that’s completely their problem. It has nothing to do with you. They’re going to have lots of expectations out of life. The sooner you can dash their expectations, the better.
Courage is not caring what other people think.
If you walk down the street and there are a thousand people in the street, all thousand are talking to themselves in their head at any given point. They’re constantly judging everything they see. They’re playing back movies of things that happened to them yesterday. They’re living in fantasy worlds of what’s going to happen tomorrow. They’re just pulled out of base reality. That can be good when you do long-range planning. It can be good when you solve problems. It’s good for us as survival-and-replication machines. I think it’s actually very bad for your happiness. To me, the mind should be a servant and a tool, not a master. My monkey mind should not control and drive me 24/7.
💡 I don’t buy the everlasting afterlife answers because it’s insane to me, with absolutely no evidence, to believe because of how you live seventy years here on this planet, you’re going to spend eternity, which is a very long time, in some afterlife. What kind of silly God judges you for eternity based on some small period of time here? I think after this life, it’s very much like before you were born. Remember that? It’s going to be just like that.