Naval’s Periscope Session (10/9/18) – Part 1


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  • Naval is using a new mic – a Shure microphone
  • He’s mostly doing yoga these days, rather than the Happy Body Program
  • Naval hasn’t been Periscoping that much – he has a reason
    • “I’m a lot more calm, relaxed, and happy these days, and don’t want to ruin that with Twitter – that’s why I’m tweeting a lot less”
  • Twitter messes up your vibe
    • Everyone wants to signal how smart they are, or get outraged about something
    • Many people take things out of context
    • “It’s getting to be a very difficult place to hang out”
    • Naval recently deleted the Twitter app off his phone and iPad, in order to try and use it less
      • He lost many of his tweet drafts, on accident, not realizing that Twitter doesn’t store these things in the cloud
    • Another reason Naval has been using Twitter less – he doesn’t like the guru personality he’s developing
      • “It’s good for my ego, but it’s not good for me long term. It means that I can’t be as free in what I think and say”
      • Note from Podcast Notes – We realize that by posting these notes, we are only contributing to the “guru” personality. That being said, there is value in people hearing (or reading) what Naval has to say.
  • Naval recently read Skin in the Game by Nasim Taleb….very slowly, in order to full absorb everything
    • He read 2-4 pages at a time, and took lots of notes
    • Naval will be interviewing Nasim Taleb at Blockchain Con 2018 on 10/11- he’s very excited for it
  • “I don’t track the number of books I read, it’s not a relevant metric, at all”
    • Books read is just a vanity metric
    • If you read one book a year that changes your life, that’s all it takes
    • Reading books is a single player time
    • Skim many books, and dive deep into what interests you
    • Explore a lot of books until you decide there’s something there to exploit
  • How do you get smarter?
    • Read a lot
  • Discipline is over rated
    • “Discipline is just you fighting with yourself to do something you don’t want to do”
    • It’s more important to find something you want to do, that can be productive as well
    • Self-discipline isn’t really sustainable
  • Meditation
    • Naval has built a serious meditation practice recently – in this Twitter Q&A, he said he meditates for an hour in the morning
    • People use meditation to “show off” – it turns into a competition, but it’s nonsense – “Meditation is the ultimate single player activity”
    • Meditate because you enjoy it, not to accomplish or achieve something 
    • Meditating for only 20 minutes, doesn’t work for Naval – it took him meditating for about an hour or more each day to really experience the benefits
    • “I sit down now, and close my eyes for the sheer pleasure of it”
    • People have uncontrollable thoughts when they sit to meditate, because they have unresolved issues that they need to sort through and think about….and they’re not 
      • It may take months to sort through them, but when you do, the benefit is a clear mind
    • “If it was good enough for the Buddha to just concentrate on his breath, it’s probably good enough for you”
    • Naval’s system
      • Sit down for an hour minimum each morning, keep your back straight, and just surrender to whatever happens
      • “Don’t put any effort into it, don’t put any effort against it” – just accept whatever happens
    • “It’s like free happiness” – When your mind is clear, what remains is peace, and if you’re in a peaceful state, it’s almost equivalent to happiness
  • On fears and death
    • “All fears are children of the fear of death”
    • It’s a good question to ask – “Why do we fear death?” – You’re essentially dead every night during sleep, same thing if you’re under anesthesia
    • We’re afraid of death, because we fear we haven’t utilized our time here on earth wisely
      • If you were living your ideal life, and it was fulfilling moment to moment, then you wouldn’t fear death
      • “Life is actually really long, it’s just that we waste it”
      • “If you’re truly living life on your terms, and you are happy, you’ll find that you are less afraid of death”
      • “It’s not that we fear death, it’s that we fear not living the life we want”
      • Start living the life you want now…. don’t put it off
  • “The singularity is just religion for nerds”
    • It may happen, it may not…probably not
  • Hope is ultimately a trap
    • “Hope is you thinking things will be better tomorrow, and not really embracing things that you have today”
    • Hope is too much living in the future
  • Naval wishes he had an anonymous Twitter account, but he doesn’t want to build up a following again from scratch
    • The anonymous accounts are the ones that can tell the most truth, and freely express themselves
    • Social media is all signaling, and projecting an idealized imaged self – “My anonymous account would be a lot more honest, extreme, and controversial”
    • “Anonymity is key to free expression”
  • Crypto
    • Naval has slowed down crypto investing, and plans to take a passive/hands off approach for a while
    • It was more interesting to him before it got so mainstream
  • How do you start living the life you want, when you don’t have enough money?
    • “Not wanting something is as good as having it” – from a Twitter account Naval follows
    • Indifference is the ultimate super power – this works in negotiation, relationships, and business opportunities
    • “Detachment is necessary for peace, and peace is necessary for happiness”
    • Be passionate about one thing at a time, but have indifference towards everything else
    • Don’t be passionate about things you can’t control, like politics
  • Read about Girard’s Mimetic Theory – it’s a model that’s worth knowing about
    • The most important part to know about – our desires are often copied from other people
    • This is why Peter Thiel says to avoid competition – when you’re competing with people, you’re competing over desires you’ve most likely copied from them
    • Also, don’t scapegoat people
Check out the Notes for Part 2
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