Book Review: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur / investor. The Alamnack of Naval Ravikant is a distillation of some of his best thoughts on wealth creation, dealing with anxiety, and using your brain. These are my favorite takeaways.

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur / investor.

I don't always agree with him but I always appreciate how well thought out what he writes about is.

I highly recommend The Almanack of Naval Ravikant for anyone interested in wealth generation, fulfillment, and inner peace.

I've collected some of my favorite bits and takeaways from the book below - some of these are from Naval, some are thoughts that I've gathered while reading (and thus marked with K:).

Any inaccuracies are mine alone.

On Wealth Creation

  • What feels like play to me, but is a skill?
  • What can I produce in a niche that is authentic to myself and I can make money from while I sleep?
  • What does the world want a lot of that I can authentically give?
  • What are the things I am obsessed about that I can master? Is it taking large quantities of information and then clarifying / boiling it down?
  • Be uniquely knowledgable about a certain thing, and then get paid for that unique knowledge
  • It could take a decade to figure out what you're meant to be doing
  • Build a unique enough mindset/character/brand and luck will come and find you
  • Wealth creation is a positive-sum game (unlike status)
  • The returns in life come from being out of the herd - K: also applies to business ideas, maybe if everyone agrees with your idea, it's actually probably not an that you are going to make much of a return from (because it is likely that someone has already made that return/your gains are minimal because so many other people are simultaneously gaining)

On Clarity of Thought

  • Clarity of thought is extremely important; really smart thinkers are clear thinkers - if you can't explain it to a 5 year old, you don't know it
  • Make sure you understand the basics of things - those are the fundamental building blocks you need to understand anything. E.g. it's much more valuable to understand basic arithmetic than calculus.
  • Make sure you are forming your own conclusions based on things you know to be true, not just parroting someone else's opinion. Mimicry is easy. Is the idea falsifiable? Are you coming at it from basic principles that you understand?
  • The number one thing clouding us from being able to see reality is we have preconceived notions of the way it should be
  • Try to ask 'this is what this is, this is what this isn't' rather than 'I like this or I don't like this'
  • If you cannot decide between yes/no - the answer is probably no
  • Use Twitter as a tool to distill thoughts?
  • For old problems, old solutions are probably better (K: perhaps wisdom from Buddhism about how to live your life, find fulfilment etc. The Bible probably has a lot of useful things in it - but make sure these things are falsifiable, so you can judge them for yourself)

On Anxiety and Using Your Brain

  • Avoid doing anything you're not proud of or anything that will make you lose respect for yourself, repetition here will damage you - you can't hide the truth from yourself, and if you can't even love yourself first, who will?
  • Try to be in the present to get a sense of inner peace; don't let your 'monkey mode' (that's always anxious) control your mood all the time like a freight train
  • The ability to singularly focus is key to being in the present, content and more effective
  • K: Learning mental frameworks are basically habits of the brain and will free up thinking space/effort. You should get very good at trying different frameworks to see if one of them fits; remember that frameworks are just tools and may not apply to every situation
  • Framing things positively or negatively is also a habit
  • Inspiration is perishable! When you have inspiration you should act on it then and there (K: Same with momentum, motivation etc.)
  • Time spent undistracted and alone, in self - examination, journaling, meditation, resolves the unresolved and takes us from mentally fat to fit

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