The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

I had never heard of Naval Ravikant. Suddenly “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness” kept popping up on my radar. When the universe calls, you listen.

Read the book

An excellent book that is full of wisdom. In this blog, I will cover topics at random (from my own filter bubble). My advice is to buy the book and read it (maybe read it a few times).

Here it goes:

  • Wealth is a skill set.
  • Seek wealth, not money or status.
  • Focus on specific knowledge. Specific knowledge is the knowledge you cannot be trained for. It cannot be outsourced or automated. Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. 
  • Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products.
  • Write books and blogs and record videos and podcasts if you can’t code. The new generation’s fortunes are all made through code or media. Joe Rogan is making $50 million to $100 million a year from his podcast.
  • There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.
  • Intentions don’t matter. Actions do. That’s why being ethical is hard.
  • Embrace accountability and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage. Accountability is a double-edged thing. It allows you to take credit when things go well and to bear the brunt of failure when things go badly. Skin in the game (he is a fan of Taleb too).
  • Inspiration is perishable—act on it immediately
  • In 1,000 parallel universes, you want to be wealthy in 999 of them.
  • Patience. Immediate doesn’t work.
  • People are oddly consistent. Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve. Always pay it forward. And don’t keep count. Karma management.
  • If you want to get rich over your life in a deterministically predictable way, stay on the bleeding edge of trends and study technology, design, and art—become really good at something. 
  • The definition of wisdom is knowing the long-term consequences of your actions.
  • It’s only after you’re bored that you have the great ideas. It’s never going to be when you’re stressed, busy, running around or rushed. Make the time.
  • Facebook redesigns. Twitter redesigns. Personalities, careers, and teams also need redesigns. There are no permanent solutions in a dynamic system.
  • If you can’t decide, the answer is no.
  • If you’re evenly split on a difficult decision, take the path more painful in the short term.
  • The world just reflects your own feelings back at you. Reality is neutral. Reality has no judgments. You always have three options: you can change it, accept it, or leave it.
  • When everyone is sick, we no longer consider it a disease.
  • World’s simplest diet: The more processed the food, the less one should consume.
  • What habit would you say most positively impacts your life? The daily morning workout. I decided my number one priority in life, above my happiness, above my family, above my work, is my health. To have peace of mind, you have to have peace of body first.
  • Your breath is one of the few places where your autonomic nervous system meets your voluntary nervous system. Read “Breathe” 
  • Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind.
  • You’re dying and being reborn at every moment. It’s up to you whether to forget or remember that. 

About time

  • Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. 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. You just have to set a very high personal hourly rate, and you have to stick to it. Always factor your time into every decision.
  • Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true. You can only achieve mastery in one or two things. It’s usually things you’re obsessed about
  • If you’re not 100 per cent into it, somebody else who is 100 per cent into it will outperform you.
  • Following your genuine intellectual curiosity is a better foundation for a career than following whatever is making money right now. 
  • Escape competition through authenticity.

About entrepreneurship

  • Without ownership, your inputs are very closely tied to your outputs. Owning equity in a company means you own the upside. You have to work up to the point where you can own equity in a business. You could own equity as a small shareholder where you bought stock. Everybody who really makes money at some point owns a piece of a product, a business, or some IP. 
  • There are almost 7 billion people on this planet. Someday, I hope, there will be almost 7 billion companies. Entrepreneurship is the future.
  • What you want in life is to be in control of your time.

About freedom

  • What you really want is freedom. You want freedom from your money problems. One way is to have so much money saved that your passive income (without you lifting a finger) covers your burn rate. The second is you just drive your burn rate down to zero—you become a monk. A third is that you’re doing something you love. You enjoy it so much, and it’s not about the money. So there are multiple ways to retirement.
  • Part of being free means I can say what I think and think what I say.

About reputation

  • Compounding in business relationships is very important. Compound interest also happens in your reputation. If you have a sterling reputation and you keep building it for decades upon decades, people will notice. Having a reputation will make people do deals through you.
  • If you are a trusted, reliable, high-integrity, long-term-thinking dealmaker, when other people want to do deals but don’t know how to do them in a trustworthy manner with strangers, they will literally approach you and give you a cut of the deal just because of the integrity and reputation you’ve built up.

About reading

  • Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching. Learn to love to read. I probably read one to two hours a day. That puts me in the top .00001 per cent. When someone mentions a book to me, I buy it. At any given time, I’m reading somewhere between ten and twenty books. I’m flipping through them.
  • Any book that survived for two thousand years has been filtered through many people. The general principles are more likely to be correct. 
  • You know that song you can’t get out of your head? All thoughts work that way. Careful what you read.

About happiness

  • Happiness is not something you inherit or even choose, but a highly personal skill that can be learned, like fitness or nutrition. 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.
  • Real happiness only comes as a side-effect of peace. Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion. Most of it is going to come from acceptance, not from changing your external environment. 
  • I have lowered the chattering of my mind. I don’t care about things that don’t really matter. I
  • Envy is the enemy of happiness.
  • Happiness is built by habits.
  • Recover time and happiness by minimizing your use of these three smartphone apps: phone, calendar, and alarm clock. 
  • A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest? 
  • Increase serotonin in the brain without drugs: Sunlight, exercise, positive thinking, and tryptophan. 
  • 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. 

The thinking

There is something deliberate about Naval Ravikant’s thinking. It is also very clear. First-principles. Stoicism. Habits. Choices. And keeping it simple. It is an entrepreneur version of “Solve for happy“. Which is also a cracking book. 

sensemaking cover


Sense making; morality, humanity, leadership and slow flow. A book about the 14 books about the impact and implications of technology on business and humanity.

Ron Immink

I help companies by developing an inspiring and clear future perspective, which creates better business models, higher productivity, more profit and a higher valuation. Best-selling author, speaker, writer.

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