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  • Writer's pictureLars Christensen

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson ~ 8 minute read

I finished the book in March 2021. I recommend this book 10/10

It's important to point out that this is not an ordinary book. The book is a collection of podcast interviews, Naval's Twitter feed, and probably other resources. A huge thank you to Eric Jorgenson for putting this book together in such a wonderful collection.

Naval is most famous as an investor in Silicon Valley, but as you can find by reading this book, Naval, has such a pleasant view of life in general. In Eric's book, you will learn: about creating wealth, judgment, happiness, and wisdom you can implement in your life. You can get your copy here.

My notes and thoughts:

  • P40- Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.

  • P44- If you are fundamentally building and marketing something that is an extension of who you are, no one can compete with you on that.

  • P48- Always think long-term when you work with people. When you find the right thing to do when you find the right people to work with, invest deeply. Sticking with it for decades is really how you make the big returns in your relationships and in your money. So, compound interest is very important.

  • P52- There's not really that much to fear in terms of failure, and so people should take on a lot more accountability than they do.

  • P60- Coding, writing books, recording podcasts, tweeting, Youtubing—these kinds of things are permissionless. You don't need anyone's permission to do them, and that's why they are very egalitarian. They're great equalizers of leverage.

  • P70- Value your time at an hourly rate, and ruthlessly spend to save time at that rate. You will never be worth more than you think you're worth. No one is going to value you more than you value yourself. You just have to set a very high personal hourly rate, and you have to stick to it. Even when I was young, I just decided I was worth a lot more than the market thought I was worth, and I started treating myself that way.

  • P71- I would argue with my girlfriend, and even today, it's my wife, " I don't do that. That's not a problem that I solve." I still argue that with my mother when she hands me little to-do's. I just don't do that. I would rather hire you an assistant; This was true even when I didn't have money.

  • P74- 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.

  • P78- Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you're retired. One way to get there is to have so much money saved that your passive income covers your burn rate. A second is you just drive your burn rate down to zero—you become a monk. A third is you're doing something you love. You enjoy it so much; it's not about the money. So there are multiple ways to retire.

  • P87- One thing I figured out later in life is; generally, great people have great outcomes. You just have to be patient. Every person I met at the beginning of my career twenty years ago, where I looked at them and said, "Wow, that guy or gal is super capable, smart and dedicated"..all of them, almost without expectation, became extremely successful. You just had to give them a long enough timescale. It never happens in the timescale you want, or they want, but it does happen.

  • P88- Everybody wants to get rich immediately, but the world is an efficient place; immediate doesn't work. You do have to put in the time. You do have to put in the hours, and so I think you have to put yourself in the position with the specific knowledge, with accountability, with leverage, with the authentic skill set you have, to be the best in the world of what you do.

  • P97- The hard thing is seeing the truth. To see the truth, you have to get your ego out of the way because your ego doesn't want to face the truth. The smaller you can make your ego, the less conditioned you can make your reactions, the less desires you can have about the outcome you want, the easier it will be to see the reality.

  • P130- Nature has no concept of happiness or unhappiness. Nature follows unbroken mathematical laws and a chain of cause and effect from the Big Bang to now. Everything is perfect exactly the way it is, It is only in our particular minds we are unhappy or not happy, and things are perfect or imperfect because of what we desire.

  • P131- What you're left with within that neutral state is not neutrality. I think people believe neutrality would be a very bland existence. No, this is the existence little children live. If you look at little children, on balance, they're generally pretty happy because they are really immersed in the environment and the moment, without any thought of how it should be given their personal preferences and desires. I think the neutral state is actually a perfect state. One can be very happy as long as one isn't too caught up in their own head.

  • P134- At any given time, when you're walking down the streets, a very small percentage of your brain is focused on the present. The rest is planning the future or regretting the past. This keeps you from having an incredible experience. It's keeping you from seeing the beauty in everything and for being grateful for where you are. You can literally destroy your happiness if you spend all of your time living in delusions of the future.

  • P136- You'll notice when I say happiness, I mean peace. When a lot of people say happiness, they mean joy or bliss, but I'll take peace.

  • P141- The reality is life is a single-player game; you're born alone. You're going to die alone. All of your interpretations are alone. All your memories are alone. You're gone in three generations, and nobody cares. Before you shoed up, nobody cared. It's all single-player.

  • P145- You can increase your happiness over time, and it starts with believing you can do it. It's a skill. Just like nutrition is a skill, dieting is a skill, working out is a skill, making money is a skill, meeting girls and guys is a skill, having good relationships is a skill, even love is a skill. It starts with realizing they're skills you can learn. When you put your intention and focus on it, the world can become a better place.

  • P148- The most important trick to being happy is to realize happiness is a skill you develop and a choice you make. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it; it's just like building muscles. It's just like losing weight. It's just like succeeding at your job. It's just like learning calculus.

  • P149- I think working out every day made me happier; if you have peace of body, it's easier to have peace of mind.

  • P152- Even one is hard enough. Being peaceful comes from having your mind clear of thoughts. And a lot of clarity comes from being in the present moment. It's very hard to be in the present moment if you're thinking, "I need to do this. I want to do that. This has to change." 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 would change it a bit, not change it, 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 to myself in my head is just one word: "accept."

  • P155- 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.

  • P165- What I did was decide my number one priority in life, above my happiness, above my family, above my work, is my own health. It starts with my physical health. Because my physical health became my number one priority, then I could never say I don't have time. In the morning, I workout, and however long it takes is how long it takes. I do not start my day until I've worked out; I don't care if the world is imploding and melting down; it can wait another thirty minutes until I'm done working out.

  • P167- "Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life" Basically, if you are making the hard choices right now in what to eat, you're not eating all the junk food you want, and making the hard choices to work out, So, your life long-term will be easy. You won't be sick. You won't be unhealthy. The same is true of values. The same is true of saving up for a rainy day. The same is true of how you approach your relationships. If you make the easy choices right now, your overall life will be a lot harder.

  • P189- Don't spend your time making other people happy. Other people being happy is their problem. It's not your problem. If you are happy, it makes other people happy. If you're happy, other people will ask you how you become happy, and they might learn from it, but you are not responsible for making other people happy.

  • P190- People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyle can't fathom.

  • P202- There is actually nothing but the moment, No one has ever gone back in time, and no one has ever been able to successfully predict the future in any way that matters. Literally, the only thing that exists in this exact point where you are in space at the exact time you happen to be here.

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