"Getting rich is not just about luck; happiness is not just a trait we are born with."
I first read this book when it came out in 2020, and then I read it at least twice more. I don't know about you, but for me, there are very few books I read multiple times. However, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a book that keeps inspiring. Every time I'm reading it, I generate new ideas, find new inspiration, and learn something new about myself.
Who is Naval Ravikant?
Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur and angel investor based in the Bay Area. He is the co-founder of AngelList, a platform for connecting startups and investors.
Ravikant has been involved in several high-profile startups over the years; he has invested early-stage in over 200 companies, including Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, Wish.com, Poshmark, Postmates, Thumbtack, Notion, SnapLogic, Opendoor, Clubhouse, Stack Overflow, Bolt, OpenDNS, Yammer, and Clearview AI, with over 70 total exits and more than 10 Unicorn companies.
What makes Naval Ravikant such an inspiring figure is his dedication to helping others succeed. He is always willing to share his knowledge and insights with startup founders, and his advice is often quoted as being some of the best around. He truly believes in giving back to the community, and his work has helped countless entrepreneurs achieve their dreams.
Eric Jorgenson compiled Naval Ravikant's wisdom and experience as a guide to wealth and happiness. This comprehensive guide covers everything from earning more money to improving your mental well-being. According to Naval, the key to a happy and fulfilling life is to focus on adding value to the world. He believes that if you can find ways to do this, you will be financially and emotionally rewarded.
First-principles thinking is a clear and powerful way of reasoning. It's the ability to break down complex problems into their component parts and then rebuild them in a way that makes sense. First principles thinkers constantly question assumptions, look for ways to improve systems and find new and better ways to do things. This type of thinking is essential for innovators and entrepreneurs, who must constantly be pushing the boundaries of what's possible. First-principles thinking can be applied to any area of life, from business to personal relationships. It's a way of seeing the world that is always open to new possibilities. First-principles thinkers are never satisfied with the status quo; they are always searching for a better way.
Examples of wisdom you'll find in this book
- "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 a place in the social hierarchy.
- "Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games."
- "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."
- "Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest."
- "Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable."
- "Specific knowledge is the knowledge you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else and replace you."
- "Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others."
- "An army of robots is freely available—it’s just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it."
- "Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers."
- "Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching."
- "Work as hard as you can. Even though who you work with and what you work on are more important than how hard you work."
- "When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place."
Don’t take yourself so seriously. You’re just a monkey with a plan.
The three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness.
We pursue them in that order, but their importance is reverse.
- "Happiness is what’s there when you remove the sense that something is missing in your life."
- "A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control."
- "Happiness, love, and passion…aren’t things you find—they’re choices you make."
- "We crave experiences that will make us be present, but the cravings themselves take us from the present moment."
- "The fundamental delusion: There is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever."
- "Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want."
- "When working, surround yourself with people more successful than you. When playing, surround yourself with people happier than you."
- "If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day."
- "First, you know it. Then, you understand it. Then, you can explain it. Then, you can feel it. Finally, you are it."
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.
Trainers won’t make you fit.
Ultimately, you have to take responsibility.