Achieving Happiness | Naval Ravikant on Save, Planet, Get Rich with Samantha Ryan

Key Takeaways

  • “Your only power in life is to inspire other people and the only way you can inspire them is by living the most genuine and authentic life to yourself as possible”  – Naval Ravikant
  • “Wisdom is really about figuring the long-term consequences of your actions” – Naval Ravikant
    • “Taking a long-term outlook on things can make your life a lot easier”
  • “The ideal life would be one where you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you money, you had a hobby that as a byproduct kept you healthy, you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you smarter and more creative” – Naval Ravikant
    • The key is that it has to feel like a hobby, not work
  • Before you try to go out and fix the world, fix your own house
    • “Build your own garden…tend to your own household and make sure your household is a paragon before you go out and try to fix the world” – Naval Ravikant
  • “If you want to save the world, save your little corner of the world” – Naval Ravikant
  • (Hat Tip to @Slowwco for this tweetstorm on takeaways)

Intro

Update on Naval

  • What has Naval been doing lately?
  • Naval got tired of being on the podcast circuit so he took a break
    • He hasn’t been on a podcast for over a year
      • He wanted to help the New Zealand start-up ecosystem so he made an exception

Be Practical, Not Spiritual

  • Naval dislikes being associated as “spiritual” because it connotes magic and holiness.
    • “To me, wisdom is just understanding the long-term consequences of your action” – Naval Ravikant
      • If you understand the long-term consequences of your actions and you continue to behave that way, you will naturally appear wise
        • “Spirituality is entirely unnecessary if you’re healthy and happy and you’re wealthy and you have good relationships and you have a calm mind” 
  • When deciding where you’ll live and who you marry, take time to think through your decision
    • Naval disagrees with the concept that you have to work on your relationship
      • “Find a relationship where you, naturally being you, makes the other person happy. And the other person, naturally being the other person, makes you happy” – Naval Ravikant
  • If Naval is going to rely on authority for advice, he wants it to be scientific, logical and backed up by multiple sources
    • “I don’t take anything socially or second-hand, and that helps me stay in the bounds of what is true. It allows me to reason for myself and make decisions for myself.” – Naval Ravikant

Defining & Achieving Happiness

  • “I grew up poor, fat, and miserable. Now I’m rich…I’m very, very happy…I’m actually a lot healthier than I used to be in my teens and twenties”Naval Ravikant
    • However, Naval is fully aware he can lose what he has
      • “Any of these things can be snatched from me at any moment so what matters much more is internal happiness and peace than any external material attachments” 
  • You have to work to achieve happiness, but you don’t need to overwork yourself to get it
    • “It’s very easy for self-improvement to degenerate into self-conflict and self-conflict into self-misery”Naval Ravikant
      • “Happiness is a bad word, it’s like love, it’s overloaded, it means too many different things”
  • A question Naval used to think about a lot: If I’m so smart, why am I not happy?
    • Naval had wealth, fame, could travel anywhere, and eat fancy food, but still wondered why he wasn’t happier
      • People are designed to crave more and feel a brief level of satisfaction after reaching their goal, but soon they return to their baseline level of happiness and the process repeats over again
        • Naval realized that the solution wouldn’t be external, but rather internal
  • Don’t think of happiness as a box to check off
    • “You don’t want to spend 90% of your life trying to figure out how to be happy and 10% being happy, you want to be happy right now.” Naval Ravikant
      • “If you can’t be happy right now, what’s wrong with you? What is it that you’re missing, that you believe you will get that will make you permanently happy?”

The Best System Is The One You Love

  • The best diet is the one you love following
    • “The best health food is the one you actually find tasty” – Naval Ravikant
  • The best exercise is the one you enjoy doing
    • “That’s the one you’re actually going to do and it’s not going to feel like work” – Naval Ravikant
  • The books to read are ones you enjoy reading
    • “The most important thing is just developing a habit of reading which means enjoying it” – Naval Ravikant

The Ideal Life & Self-love

  • “The ideal life would be one where you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you money, you had a hobby that as a byproduct kept you healthy, you had a hobby that as a byproduct made you smarter and more creative”Naval Ravikant
    • The key is that it has to feel like a hobby, not work
  • Naval has always been his #1 fan, self-love isn’t in his vocabulary
    • “Self-love isn’t even in my equation…it’s the air I breathe and that water that I swim in”Naval Ravikant
      • Accept yourself for who you are, including the part that wants to improve
        • Don’t be so self-critical that you become miserable

The 4 Main Problems In Life

  • There are 4 main problems in life:
    • Money
    • Relationships
    • Health
    • Happiness
      • “It’s possible to get it all, but it’s not easy. It’s not free, it takes work.” – Naval Ravikant
  • Money isn’t going to solve all your problems but it will solve all your money problems
    • The good thing about money it that it isn’t a zero-sum game, you can get rich by creating value
  • With love, you get to give it but you don’t have the right to expect it
    • If you expect love, you’ve given up your freedom to them
  • To have happiness, you need to have a peaceful internal mind

How To Start From Nothing

  • If Naval was randomly dropped into a country and wanted to build wealth, here’s what he’d do:
    • 1) Find where the forward-thinking, intelligent people live and move to that area
    • 2) Find out what industry those people work in
    • 3) Find out what specific skills you can develop that don’t feel like work for you
    • 4) Find ethical, honorable, and open-minded people and go work for them for free or close to it for a month in exchange for letting you shadow them
      • At the end of the month, hopefully they will be blown away by your skills and hire you

Legacy Doesn’t Matter

  • Legacy is what strangers think about a person after they’re dead
    • “It’s a complete nonsense concept, you’re not going to be around. There’s no possible way you would know or care and these are strangers.”Naval Ravikant
      • “The only thing you can do is do your best work”
        • You have no idea what people will think about you after you’re dead and it won’t matter because you’ll be gone anyway
          • “The surest way to not get a legacy is to care about it”
  • Focus on doing something you enjoy and that’s honest rather than your legacy
    • “It’s very important to be honest with yourself so you can actually succeed without hurting yourself” – Naval Ravikant
      • Whenever you’re doing something that makes you feel guilt, determine whether that’s your voice talking or society’s voice

Fix Your House, Then The World

  • Before you try to go out and fix the world, fix your own house
    • “Build your own garden…tend to your own household and make sure your household is a paragon before you go out and try to fix the world” – Naval Ravikant
  • Everyone thinks they’re the good guys
    • “Everyone thinks they’re a good person…everybody is fighting for a cause…ISIS they’re blowing it up because they feel like their fellow Muslims are being oppressed” Naval Ravikant
      • “One man’s terrorist is another man’s freedom fighter…it’s all-white knights fighting each other”
        • The problem is the violence that comes from fighting for a cause
  • “If you want to save the world, save your little corner of the world” Naval Ravikant

Additional Notes

  • Suffering can be a good thing
    • “When you suffer you’re forced to see the truth for what it is, you can no longer put it off” Naval Ravikant
  • People are skilled at telling themselves false stories to avoid harsh truths about themselves, but it’s important to realize that you can change that narrative
    • “One of the most powerful things to realize is that you can change your own self-image and whatever your new self-image becomes, that you will follow” – Naval Ravikant
      • Also, realize that your true-self changes and you may be due for an update
        • “Most of us are carrying very obsolete self-images”
  • “Your only power in life is to inspire other people and the only way you can inspire them is by living the most genuine and authentic life to yourself as possible”  – Naval Ravikant
  • For something to hurt you, there needs to be a part of you that believes it
    • “For something to hurt you, for something to affect you, you have to let it and if you’re letting it that means a part of you believes it” Naval Ravikant
  • Why does Naval have a podcast if he’s so busy?
    • He likes to talk, it helps him think, and on some level, he likes the fame
  • The best winners are often those who have nothing
    • “Usually it’s the outsiders, the losers, the ones who’ve already lost, have the best chance of winning. If you start from a position of loss, you have nothing to lose further.” – Naval Ravikant
      • If something isn’t getting you to the top, don’t be afraid to start over and become a beginner once again
Save Planet Get Rich : , , ,
Notes By Alex Wiec

More Notes on these topics

Top Insights and Tactics From

31 Best Podcasts of All Time

FREE when you join over 12,000 subscribers to the
Podcast Notes newsletter

No Thanks