Naval Ravikant is an Indian-American entrepreneur and investor.
I’ve been going through some travel blues lately, just coming from a long trip to Bhutan. When I’m feeling down or uninspired, I tend to turn to books. They’ve always been treasure troves of answers when times are uncertain.
So, here’s a little experiment: I’d like to see what will happen after reading 25, 50, 75 and 100 books. I’m not committing to a timeline of when I’ll hit the numbers. Instead, I promise to document my notes from these books for myself and the others who may find the lessons valuable. Then, I’ll share 10 ideas or fewer I’ve picked up.
The first book to kick off this ‘Blinkist’ experiment is The Almanack of Naval Ravikant. (Blinkist is an app that gives people 15-minute summaries of books.)
Why read this book?
- It’s a free resource. Anyone can read it!
- It’s a guide to wealth and happiness. Who doesn’t want to have money and be happy?
- Sometimes it takes us a lifetime to realize specific life lessons. Now, it’s spelled out for you in this book.
Idea 1. Play long-term games with long-term people.
He suggests three big decisions that young people need to consider carefully: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do. This golden triangle will determine your future.
I also resonated with the five chimps theory, where you can predict a chimp’s behavior based on the five chimps it hangs out with the most. Choose your inner circle wisely. Be with people who care for you and empower you. Avoid people who consistently engage in conflict.
Idea 2. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep.
It’s compelling to think you don’t need to be awake to make money. So I don’t have to work to make money? So I don’t have to clock in and clock out? I don’t have to go in an actual office?
The pandemic has shown us that things are changing. But, if we take it a step further, we can accumulate wealth in many ways: owning equity, having passive income, Bitcoin, etc.
Naval says, “You’ll get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get at scale.” So the question is: what would that be in the field you enjoy the most?
When I think of wealth, it’s not about spitting a number or a label. (Ex. I’m a millionaire.) It’s about having the freedom to be where you want to be at any given time. And for me, it’s about spending more time with people I love. I have no interest with ambition for the sake of it. I’ve done that and it was tiring. To have the luxury to take a walk with someone around nature with no pressure is priceless.
Idea 3. Smart thinkers are clear thinkers.
Reading was Naval’s first love. He says, “The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower” I couldn’t agree more. A book will give you more wisdom than you can ever get from Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, or TikTok.
Read as much as you can. Naval suggests reading science, math, and philosophy one hour per day to be ahead of anyone else. The goal is not to be book smart. It is to understand the basics and apply them in real life.
Idea 4. All the real scorecards are internal.
Naval shares a story about Warren Buffett, an American businessman, where he asks, “If you want to be the world’s best lover and known as the worst, or the world’s worst lover and known as the best?” (paraphrased) The point here is an intelligent person would choose the first option because they understand that the internal scorecard is the only thing that matters.
Idea 5. You have to be irrationally obsessed with something to make an original contribution.
Show your craft, practice your craft, and the right people will eventually find you. The Internet is this vast place where you can meet people, share what you do. If you are obsessed with something and allow your authenticity to come through, you’ll be able to help another person out there. And, people will be moved by your work.
Idea 6. Life hack for negative moments: ask yourself, “what is the positive of this situation?”
Life is not hard. We make it hard by looking at situations like it’s chaotic, end of the world, and worst case scenario. In moments of annoyance, the simple question can reframe our thinking from feeling like a victim to someone with a open mindset.
Why do people do drugs? (everything from alcohol to psychedelics to cannabis) They are doing it to control their mental state. They are doing it to control how they react.
If you end up reading this book, let me know what you think through Instagram. And if you’d like all my bullet points on this book, send me a message with your email, and I’ll send them to you.