Tribe of Mentors: Naval Ravikant, Susan Cain, and Yuval Noah Harari | The Tim Ferriss Show

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Key Takeaways

  • “Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.” – Naval Ravikant
  • “Inside suffering is the seed of change”Naval Ravikant
    • Suffering provides clarity and makes it hard to ignore reality, it also forces you into undergoing uncomfortable but necessary change
  • What would Naval put on a billboard?
    • “Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want” Naval Ravikant
  • “The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower” – Naval Ravikant
    • We live in an age where information is abundant, it’s the desire to learn that is scarce
  • Susan Cain’s advice to college students:
    • “I do not believe that your best creative work is done when you’re stressed out because you’re teetering on the edge of bankruptcy” Susan Cain
      • Instead, set up your life so that you’re comfortable and happy
        • Being a corporate lawyer gave Susan a financial cushion which allowed her to pursue writing full-time even though it took her longer to complete a book
  • Yuval Harari’s advice to college students:
    • “Nobody really knows what the world and the job market will look like in 2040…it is likely that most of what you currently learn at school will be irrelevant by the time you are 40.”Yuval Noah Harari
      • So, focus on personal resilience and emotional intelligence
        • “By 2040, …the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves again and again” 

Intro

Books Mentioned

  • Tim’s first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was rejected by publishers 27 times
  • Tim wrote Tribe of Mentors because he wanted to ask 100+ brilliant people the questions he was struggling with in life
  • Here are the most popular book recommendations from Tim’s guests:
  •  Total Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti
    • “The ‘spiritual’ book that I keep returning to” – Naval Ravikant
  • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
    • “A history of the human species…that will have you looking at history and your fellow humans differently”
  • Everything by Matt Ridley
    • “They’re all great” 
  • It took Susan 7 years to write her book  Quiet
  • What books have greatly influenced Yuval’s life? Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    • “I think it is the most prophetic book of the 20th century, and the most profound discussion of happiness in modern Western philosophy” – Yuval Noah Harari

Introduction

  • Tim’s first book, The 4-Hour Workweek, was rejected by publishers 27 times
  • A question Tim likes to ask himself when there’s a lot going on: What would this look like if it were easy?
  • Tim wrote Tribe of Mentors because he wanted to ask 100+ brilliant people the questions he was struggling with in life
    • About half of the people on Tim’s list didn’t respond or declined his interview invitation but he still got responses from a ton of amazing individuals
  • “Life punishes the vague wish and rewards the specific ask” – Tim Ferriss
  • Here are the most popular book recommendations from Tim’s guests:

Naval Ravikant

  • “Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You’ll always know.” – Naval Ravikant
  • Which books have greatly influenced Naval?
    •  Total Freedom by Jiddu Krishnamurti
      • “The ‘spiritual’ book that I keep returning to” – Naval Ravikant
    • Sapiens by Yuval Noah Harari
      • “A history of the human species…that will have you looking at history and your fellow humans differently”
    • Everything by Matt Ridley
      • “They’re all great” 
  • “Inside suffering is the seed of change”Naval Ravikant
    • Suffering provides clarity and makes it hard to ignore the truth of a situation, it also forces you into undergoing uncomfortable but necessary change
  • What would Naval put on a billboard?
    • “Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want” Naval Ravikant
  • “The genuine love for reading itself, when cultivated, is a superpower” – Naval Ravikant
    • We live in an age where information is abundant, it’s the desire to learn that is scarce
  • Happiness is a skill you can develop
    • “The mind is just as malleable as the body” – Naval Ravikant
  • Naval’s advice to college students
    • Follow your intellectual curiosity 
    • Ignore the news and angry people
    • Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong
    • The only way to truly learn something is by doing it

Susan Cain

  • Susan left her job as a corporate lawyer to pursue a career in writing
    • “I had always wanted to be a writer. So I started writing that very evening. The next day I signed up for a class at NYU in creative nonfiction writing.” – Susan Cain
  • It took Susan 7 years to write her book  Quiet
    • “I didn’t care how long it took…I felt good about the investment of time regardless of the outcome because I felt so certain that writing in general, and writing that book in particular, was the right thing to do.”Susan Cain
  • Susan’s advice to college students
    • “I do not believe that your best creative work is done when you’re stressed out because you’re teetering on the edge of bankruptcy” Susan Cain
      • Instead, set up your life so that you’re comfortable and happy
        • Being a corporate lawyer gave Susan a financial cushion which allowed her to pursue writing full-time even though it took her longer to complete the book

Yuval Noah Harari

  • What books have greatly influenced Yuval’s life? Brave New World by Aldous Huxley
    • “I think it is the most prophetic book of the 20th century, and the most profound discussion of happiness in modern Western philosophy” – Yuval Noah Harari
  • Yuval’s book Sapiens was a bestseller in Israel but when he tried to sell it to publishers in other countries he got rejected
    • He tried to self-publish it on Amazon in English but the quality was dreadful and it only sold a few hundred copies 
      • Finally, Yuval decided to stop trying to do everything himself and hired professional help. It wasn’t long after that that Sapiens became an international bestseller.
        • “From the initial failure, I learned the limits of my own abilities, and the importance of going to the experts instead of looking for shortcuts” – Yuval Noah Harari
  • Yuval’s advice to college students
    • “Nobody really knows what the world and the job market will look like in 2040…it is likely that most of what you currently learn at school will be irrelevant by the time you are 40.”Yuval Noah Harari
      • So, focus on personal resilience and emotional intelligence
        • “By 2040, …the only way for humans to stay in the game will be to keep learning throughout their lives and to reinvent themselves again and again” 
  • It’s better to control technology than to have it control you
    • “You must make technology serve you, instead of you serving it. If you aren’t careful, technology will start dictating your aims and enslaving you to its agenda.” – Yuval Noah Harari
  • “Know who you are and what you really want from life” – Yuval Noah Harari
    • It’s important to know who you are because today most corporations and governments know more about yourself than you do, and they can control and manipulate you without you realizing it
  • One of the best investments Yuval has ever made was a ten-day Vipassana meditation retreat
    • “For years I lived under the impression that I was the master of my life and the CEO of my own personal brand. But a few hours of meditation were enough to show me that I hardly had any control of myself.” – Yuval Noah Harari
      • “It was a humbling and eye-opening experience”
  • Since taking that meditation course, Yuval has been practicing Vipassana for two hours every day each year and takes a month-long meditation retreat every year
    • “Without the focus and clarity provided by this practice, I could not have written Sapiens and Homo Deus” 

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Notes By Alex Wiec

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