The Naval Podcast – Envy Can Be Useful, or It Can Eat You Alive

Check out Naval’s Episode Page & Show Notes

This podcast clip is part of a conversation between Naval Ravikant and Babak Nivi. Unless otherwise noted, quotes are from Naval. For reference, check out Naval’s famous How to Get Rich tweet storm.

Key Takeaways

  • What menial jobs has Naval held in the past?
    • Naval used to wash dishes in his college cafeteria until he got sick of it and sweet talked his way into a teaching assistant job for a computer science professor (even though he was completely unqualified)
      • “The job forced me to learn computer algorithms, so I could TA the rest of the course”
    • He had a prestigious internship at a NYC law firm and got fired for surfing Usenet
      • Naval says the job was extremely boring (this was pre-iPhone – “Thank God for Steve Jobs for saving us all from unending boredom”)
      • On being fired – “I was unhappy… for all of an hour. Ultimately, it’s one of the best things that ever happened to me. Otherwise, I would have ended up a lawyer. Not that I have anything against lawyers; it’s just not what I was meant to do.”
    • In high school, Naval worked for an Indian food catering company
      • One day, he had to serve at a birthday party for a kid in his class & a bunch of his classmates
        • “That was incredibly embarrassing. I wanted to hide away and die right there.”
  • Sometimes it takes the suffering of doing the wrong work to motivate you enough to do the right work
  • “Envy can be useful, but envy can also can eat you alive if you let it follow you around your entire life. But there are points in your life when it can be a powerful booster rocket.”
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