There are few modern day thinkers who have contributed more actionable concepts to my life than Naval Ravikant.
Naval Ravikant gained significant attention in the last few years with his popular tweet storm titled “How to get rich without getting lucky”. For those readers who have yet to read this collection of tweets, check them out here.
Following that tweet storm, Naval gained further notoriety with his appearance on Joe Rogan’s podcast.
Between his media appearances and twitter threads, Naval has created a library of content that can apply transformational change to your life path. Recently, Eric Jorgenson pulled this library together in the form of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant.
Seeing this unembellished content enables every reader to interpret and apply their learnings to unique circumstances.
This article compiles 14 Naval Ravikant quotes out of The Navalmanack that you can take with you on your journey of personal growth.
- “No one in the world is going to beat you at being you. You’re never going to be as good at being me as I am. I’m never going to be as good at being you as you are. Certainly, listen and absorb, but don’t try to emulate. It’s a fool’s errand. Instead, each person is uniquely qualified at something. They have some specific knowledge, capability, and desire nobody else in the world does, purely from the combinatorics of human DNA and development. Your goal in life is to find the people, business, project, or art that needs you the most. There is something out there just for you. What you don’t want to do is build checklists and decision frameworks built on what other people are doing. You’re never going to be them. You’ll never be good at being somebody else.”
- “Advice to my younger self: “Be exactly who you are.” Holding back means staying in bad relationships and bad jobs for years instead of minutes.”
- “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.”
- “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 became happy and they might learn from it, but you are not responsible for making other people happy.”
- “I think [loss aversion is] why the smartest and the most successful people I know started out as losers. If you view yourself as a loser, as someone who was cast out by society and has no role in normal society, then you will do your own thing and you’re much more likely to find a winning path. It helps to start out by saying, “I’m never going to be popular. I’m never going to be accepted. I’m already a loser. I’m not going to get what all the other kids have. I’ve just got to be happy being me.””
On making the ‘hard’ choices:
- “[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 choice 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.”
- “If there’s something you want to do later, do it now. There is no “later.””
- “Basically, whenever you throw any so-called good habit at somebody, they’ll have an excuse for themselves. Usually the most common is “I don’t have time.” “I don’t have time” is just another way of saying “It’s not a priority.” What you really have to do is say whether it is a priority or not. If something is your number one priority, then you will do it. That’s just the way life works. If you’ve got a fuzzy basket of ten or fifteen different priorities, you’re going to end up getting none of them. 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 work out, and however long it takes is how long it takes. I do not start my day until I’ve worked out.”
- “[Most] of our suffering comes from avoidance. Most of the suffering from a cold shower is the tip-toeing your way in. Once you’re in, you’re in. It’s not suffering. It’s just cold. Your body saying it’s cold is different than your mind saying it’s cold. Acknowledge your body saying it’s cold. Look at it. Deal with it. Accept it, but don’t mentally suffer over it. Taking a cold shower for two minutes isn’t going to kill you.”
- “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.”
On creating peace:
- “To have peace of mind, you have to have peace of body first.”
- “The first thing to realize [about meditation] is you can observe your mental state. Meditation doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to gain the superpower to control your internal state. The advantage of meditation is recognizing just how out of control your mind is. It is like a monkey flinging feces, running around the room, making trouble, shouting, and breaking things. It’s completely uncontrollable. It’s an out-of-control madperson. You have to see this mad creature in operation before you feel a certain distaste toward it and start separating yourself from it. In that separation is liberation. You realize, “Oh, I don’t want to be that person. Why am I so out of control?” Awareness alone calms you down.”
- “As you get older, the sum of preferences you’ve accumulated is very, very large. These habitual reactions end up as runaway freight trains controlling your mood. We should control our own moods. Why don’t we study how to control our moods? What a masterful thing it would be if you could say, “Right now I would like to be in the curious state,” and then you can genuinely get yourself into the curious state. Or say, “I want to be in a mourning state. I’m mourning a loved one, and I want to grieve for them. I really want to feel that. I don’t want to be distracted by a computer programming problem due tomorrow.” The mind itself is a muscle—it can be trained and conditioned. It has been haphazardly conditioned by society to be out of our control. If you look at your mind with awareness and intent (a 24/7 job you’re working at every moment) I think you can unpack your own mind, your emotions, thoughts, and reactions. Then you can start reconfiguring. You can start rewriting this program to what you want.”
- “Life is going to play out the way it’s going to play out. There will be some good and some bad. Most of it is actually just up to your interpretation. You’re born, you have a set of sensory experiences, and then you die. How you choose to interpret those experiences is up to you, and different people interpret them in different ways.”
If you resonate with these quotes, Eric Jorgenson published the entire Almanack of Naval Ravikant free online. Alternatively, a hardcopy is available for purchase where you buy books.