The almanack of Naval Ravikant book summary

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant- Book Summary (+PDF)

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Book Summary: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

This is a book summary of The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson. This book summary contains my own thoughts, reflections, and direct quotes from the book.

Building Wealth

Making money is not a thing you do- it’s a skill you learn.

Understanding wealth 

Getting rich is not about working your ass off. It’s about directing your hard work. Unless you have figured out what to work on, you should not grind a lot.

Money and wealth are two different things. Wealth is the assets that earn while you sleep. It is the business, stocks, or even a computer program you own that’s running even when you sleep. Money however is how we transfer wealth. Money is something that you get for creating or providing value to society.

How to get rich without getting lucky?

Society will reward you for creating things it wants but doesn’t yet know how to create those things. So, if you want to be wealthy, your sole aim should be to figure out what you can provide for society and do it on a large scale

Build specific knowledge

Specific knowledge is something that you were doing or interested in as a kid almost effortlessly. It is something you don’t even consider a skill, but people around you notice. It is found by pursuing your innate talents, genuine curiosity, and your passion. It can’t be found by going to school or college or some kind of job.

When you do something because you are innately obsessed and naturally inclined to do it, you will be better at doing it than the rest. This will force society to keep paying your more than anyone.

If you have specific knowledge, no one can compete with you. You can escape your competition through authenticity by simply being you.

The internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers and most people haven’t figured this out yet. You can go on the internet, build your audience, brand, product, and wealth just by uniquely expressing yourself.

Be a perpetual learner

Being a perpetual learner is the most important skill for getting rich. You have to know how to learn anything you want. You can’t depend upon the old way of making money by going to school, getting a degree, and working for thirty years. Now you have to be a fast learner because most of the things you know today will be obsolete four years later.

Play long-term games with long-term people 

When you’re studying something, like a geography or history class, and you realize you are never going to use the information, drop the class. It’s a waste of time. It’s a waste of your brain energy.

99% of things you learn in life will be wasted, but it’s very hard to identify what 1% is. But when you find it, invest in it for the rest of your life. Go all in and forget about the rest.

Build or buy equity in a business

If you don’t own a piece of a business, you don’t have a path towards financial freedom. Without ownership, you’re not earning. When you are not working, You will only be paid for your hours.

When you are working for somebody else, they are only going to pay you the bare minimum they have to, to get you to do their job. Real wealth is only created by starting your own companies or even by investing.

Find a position of leverage 

Following your genuine curiosity is a better foundation than following whatever is hot right now. When you do something without obsessing with money and out of genuine curiosity and interest, the quality of your work is higher. That way you will have skills society doesn’t know how to train other people to do.

If someone can train other people how to do something, then they can replace you. If they can replace you, then they don’t have to pay you a lot.

If they can train you to do it, then eventually they will train a computer to do it.

There are three forms of leverage: Labor, capital, and technology. Technology is the best form of leverage where you can multiply your efforts without involving labor and capital, all you need is a computer.

Coding, writing books, recording podcasts, tweeting, YouTubing — these kinds of things are permissionless. You don’t need anyone’s permission to do them, and that’s why they have the most leverage.

Earn with your mind, not your time.

Prioritize and focus

You can do anything but not everything. There are endless opportunities that are out there in the world. But if you’d go after chasing each of them you will achieve none. You are mortal and time is limited. So, value your time.

Value your time at an hourly rate, and ruthlessly spend to save time at that rate. You will never be worth more than you think you’re worth.

Set a very high hourly aspirational rate for yourself and stick to it. It should seem and feel absurdly high.

There are mainly three decisions that you should make really early in your life: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do.

Find work that feels like play 

‘Passion’ ‘purpose’ are some high-fi words and make people confused. Life is about doing what you love. We no longer live in the 1900s. With the help of the internet, you can work for yourself, do what you love, make a living, and be happy.

When you find something you really enjoy and like, it will feel like a play to you but work to others. You are curious and genuinely interested in what you are doing. So, no one can compete with you on what you are doing.

Lust for money is Bad

There’s nothing evil about money. But the lust for money is bad. When you make more and more money, you want even more and become fearful of what you already have.

The best way to avoid yourself lusting for money is not to upgrade your lifestyle as you make money. If you do this for a few years, you may get way ahead to become financially free. And there’s nothing above freedom.

How to get lucky

There are basically four types of luck: blind luck, luck through hard work and persistence, luck by being very good at spotting it, and luck by being the best at what you do.

The first kind of luck is the only one that is out of control. It includes fortune, fate, etc. but for the other three, you have to work for it, hustle for it.

Have patience, but still keep doing great things

When you are doing something great, great outcomes will come. But you will need to have patience. 

One of the common bad advice that’s out there is “you’re too young”. But most of the history was built by young people. They just got credit when they were older. 

You have to do things that are really hard. Because they are also the most rewarding.


Building Judgement

We are in the modern economy. How hard you work doesn’t matter unless it is moving in the right direction. Knowing the long-term consequences of your actions, and making the right decision is what wisdom is.

The direction you move in is more important that how hard you move.

Shed your identity to see reality

We all have egos constructed by our environment, our parents, and society. We spend our whole life trying to make our egos happy. To be honest, you have to speak without identity. We continuously need to redesign our identities.

Learn the skill of decision making

The better you be at decision making the more non-linear returns you get in your life. The best decisions are the ones that don’t rely on your memory and prejudices.

If you can’t decide, the answer is no 

We all face difficult choices in life. And if you can’t decide, the answer is no. Modern society is full of options. Some decisions are very long-lived such as marrying a partner, starting a business, etc. Therefore, it’s extremely important that we only say yes to things we are certain of.

Easy Choices Makes life hard, Hard Choices Makes Life Easy

If you have two different paths of relatively equal choices, choose the harder that is more painful in the short run. There’s a simple philosophy of life i.e. Easy choices will make life hard, hard choices will make life easy.

When you choose the easier path in order to avoid the short-term pain, you trade off your future.

If you are reading a book and get confused, it’s like your muscle getting tired when working out. In the short run, you may feel discomfort, but in the long term, you are actually getting smarter. So, you basically lean into things with short-term pain, but long-term gain.

Read, a lot 

Read what you love until you love to read. Reading a book isn’t a race — the better the book, the more slowly it should be absorbed.

I don’t actually read a lot of books. I pick up a lot of books and only get through a few which form the foundation of my knowledge. 

“As long as I have a book in my hand, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time.”- Charlie Munger

The best way to learn and remember what you read is to teach it to others.


Happiness

The three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness. We pursue them in that order, but their importance is reverse.

Don’t take life seriously. You’re just a monkey with a plan.

Just like everything else, happiness is a skill that can be learned. Happiness is not about positive thoughts. It’s about the absence of external desires. The fewer desires you have, the more happier and content you are. Happiness is about embracing the present moment and the reality of what is, and the way it is.

Reality is neutral. Nothing external affects your emotion. How you chose to interpret them is up to you. We think of ourselves as fixed and the world as malleable, but it’s really we who are malleable, and the world is largely fixed.

Happiness, love, and passion aren’t things you find — they’re choices you make.

Success doesn’t make you happy

Happiness is being satisfied with what you have. On the other hand, success comes from dissatisfaction. Happiness is internal. It has very little to do with external circumstances.

“All of man’s troubles arise because he cannot sit in a room quietly by himself.”- Blaise pascal

If you could just sit for thirty minutes and be happy, you are successful.

Happiness is about being at peace, inside and out.

Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion. You can convert peace into happiness anytime you want. But peace is what you want most of the time. If you’re a peaceful person, anything you do will be a happy activity.

Envy is the enemy of success

Jealousy and envy are human emotions that are hard to overcome. One way to overcome them is to realize that all people you are all jealous of, you can’t just choose the little aspects of their life.

You can’t say you want his body, you want her money, you want his personality. You have to be the person. The question you should ask is: 

Do you really want to be that person with all their desires, family, routine, self-image, etc. If you are not willing to do 100% swap with the person want to be, then there’s no point in being jealous.

How to build the skill of happiness 

Just like eating clean, exercising, reading, and writing, happiness is also a skill. Here are few questions you should ask yourself: 

  • Will your habits increase your long-term happiness rather than short-term happiness. 
  • Are you surrounding yourself with people who are generally positive and happy?
  •  Do you admire and respect the people you are surrounded with and not envy them.

It might be politically incorrect to say that you should choose your friends wisely. But you should not choose them haphazardly based on who you live next to or who you happen to work with. You have to choose people who are happy and optimistic.

If you can’t see working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.

Be grateful

As humans, we take everything for granted. We’re sitting indoors, wearing clothes, well-fed, and communicating with each other through space and time. Instead, we should be two monkeys sitting in the jungle right now watching the sun going down, asking ourselves if we’d survive till tomorrow.

We forget how many gifts and abundance we have around us at all times. Just realizing this and being grateful for all of these things we have is a trick to being happy.

Try to be an optimist

Adopt the happiness habits

Work out, get sunlight, judge less, meditate.


Saving yourself 

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. 

Save yourself.

What you should do is what you want to do. No one in the world is going to beat you at being you. You’re never going to be as good as being me as I am. There is certainly something out there waiting just for you. Your goal in life is to find people, businesses, projects, or art that need you the most.

Your health should be your no.1 Priority

Your physical, mental and spiritual well-being should be your first priority. You should be physically active. We are not meant to have clothes that keep us warm all the time. We’re meant to have some cold exposure. It boosts your immune system.

Ditch the extremists and any food invented in the last few hundred years.
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, then your long-term life will be easy. You won’t be sick. You will be healthy.

World’s simplest diet: The more processed the food, the less one should consume. The harder the workout, the easier the day.

Most of the human suffering comes from avoidance. 

Most of the human 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 cold is different than your mind saying cold.

Most of the time we just want to skip something because it feels hard or uncomfortable to do. 90% of the thoughts we have are fear-based. When you are just inside your mind and try to avoid something, it brings more suffering. You have to stop judging and start accepting everything that’s out of your control.


Choosing to Build Yourself

If you say, “I’m going to do this”, “I’m going to do that”, you are just putting things off. If you want to do something, you just have to do it.

Whatever you want to do, just do it. You’re not mortal. Your life is slowly slipping by. Change is hard and most people don’t want to go through that pain. In this case, you can carry yourself out with a smaller change that isn’t painful at all.

We all are hit by inspiration at different times. But if you say you want to do that some times later in life, you’re never going to do it. Why? Because inspiration is perishable. When you have inspiration, act on it right then and right there.

Choosing to grow yourself 

The odds of you being the richest man in the world are very few. But you can be the best version of yourself. You can design a system where you can thrive in. The current environment programs the brain, but the clever brain can choose its upcoming environment.

Everyone’s motivated at doing different things. If you want to be the best version of yourself, you have to find your thing and stick to it.

The best returns in life comes being out of the herd.

Read, read and read

The no. 1 key to your success is your habit of reading and learning. You have to read everything you can Not just the stuff that society tells you is good. You have to read for your own sake. You have to develop a love for it.

You can learn almost anything if you develop the habit of reading and read voraciously.

Choosing to free yourself

The hardest thing is not doing what you want — it’s knowing what you want.

You have to find your own path, picking, choosing, and discarding as you see fit. Figure it out yourself, and do it.

Value your time 

Time is all you have. You came alone and go alone. What you have in the middle is time. It’s the most important thing. It’s more important than money, your friends and anything else. Use your time in doing things you love and enjoy.

Stop spending your time to make other people happy. Be self-aware. Know your emotions and how you can manage them.


The modern struggle:

The modern struggle is this and you are alone: 

Lone individuals summoning inhuman willpower, fasting, meditating, and exercising…Up against armies of scientists and statisticians weaponizing abundant food, screens, and medicine into junk food, clickbait news, infinite porn, endless games, and addictive drugs.



Download Almanack of Naval Ravikank PDF

The PDF and e-reader versions like .epub, .mobi, etc are free to read. They can be downloaded from this website, Navalmanack.

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Prakash Joshi Pax
Avid Reader| Writer| Observer| On a journey to be a Better Self| If you follow, you will never feel hollow.
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