The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

The Almanac of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson sitting on Coffee Table
Photo Credit: Accidentally Retired

Highlights and Quotes from The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness by Eric Jorgenson

I’ve been seeing The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson pop up as a must read for awhile now.

I like Naval. He is a brilliant guy, and I’ve listened to him on the Tim Ferriss Show, but for some reason the book never called out to me until now.

Naval Ravikant is an Indian-American entrepreneur and investor. He is the co-founder, chairman and former CEO of AngelList.He has invested early-stage in over 200 companies including Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, [..] and Clearview AI, with over 70 total exits and more than 10 Unicorn companies

Naval Ravikant Wikipedia Entry

The book is completely free to download and read via PDF on the book’s website and looks to be free as a Kindle eBook at Amazon.

I personally went with a paperback, so that I could mark up the book and take notes.

Anyways, I didn’t really realize until I had the book in hand, that this book was organized, edited and put together by Eric Jorgenson.

Essentially, Eric Jorgenson compiled all of Naval’s tweets, interview transcripts, blog posts, any other writings he could find, and weaved it all into this quick, insightful and overall great book.

While Naval can be a bit high brow at times, he is mostly a straight shooter, who has reason to be (see his Wiki entry above). He is extremely well read (more than I’ll ever be), and has figured out how to not only maximize his wealth and happiness, but concisely work to spread his insights to others.

And while much of Naval’s takes on wealth will resonate with the personal finance community, I strongly disagree with some of his opinions on not being able to get rich renting out your time. It has been proven by many, that you can indeed become rich off of your 9-5.

So while I do favor entrepreneurship and everything Naval highlights as a path to wealth, and I don’t personally want to be renting out my time – I don’t think there is anything inherently wrong with getting rich that via a 9-5. It simply takes more discipline and time.

All in all though, The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a quick, easy, and yet thought provoking read. It touches on everything from finances to happiness, reading to meditation, health to mental models.

I highly recommend. Plus, it’s FREE, if you don’t want a hard-copy. This is the type of book that I can see picking up again in the future to ponder some of his ideas and insights again, and again.

AR’s Book Score: 8 out of 10

Key book highlights from The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

The book is split into two parts, with smaller chapters within each, and then even more breakdown of basically anything from family to mental health, to reading, etc:

  • Part I – Wealth
    • Building Wealth
    • Building Judgement
  • Part II – Happiness
    • Learning Happiness
    • Saving Yourself
    • Philosophy
  • Bonus
    • Naval’s Recommended Reading

If you want a great sample of much of Part I, check out Naval’s famous “How to Get Rich (without getting lucky)” thread:

Best quotes from The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

Since many of Naval’s quotes are actually tweets, I will embed those here where appropriate. This section is also rather long, due to the pure quotability of this entire book:

Wealth is the thing you want. Wealth is the assets that earn while you sleep. Wealth is the factory, the robots, cranking out things. Wealth is the computer program that is running at night, serving other customers. Wealth is even money in the bank that is being reinvested into other assets, and into other businesses.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

If someone can train other people how to do something, then they can replace you. If they replace you, then they don’t have to pay you a lot. You want to know how to do something other people don’t know how to do at the time period when those skills are in demand.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Any end goal will just lead to another goal, lead to another goal. We just play games in life. When you grow up, you’re playing the school game, or you’re playing the social game. Then you’re playing the money game, and then you’re playing the status game. These games just have longer and longer and longer lived horizons. At some point, at least I believe, these are all just games. These are games where the outcome really stops mattering once you see through the game.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The punishment for the love of money is delivered at the same time as the money. As you make money, you just want even more, and you become paranoid and fearful of losing what you do have. There’s no free lunch.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

I value freedom above everything else. All kinds of freedom: freedom to do what I want, freedom from things I don’t want to do, freedom from my own emotions or things that disturb my peace. For me, freedom is my number one value.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

In a long-term game, it’s positive sum. We’re all baking the pie together. We’re trying to make it as big as possible. And in a short-term game, we’re cutting up the pie.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The only way to truly learn something is by doing it.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

If you cannot decide, the answer is no.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Read a lot – just read.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The world just reflects your own feelings back at you. Reality is neutral. Reality has no judgements. To a tree, there is no concept of right or wrong, good or bad.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

We accept the voices in our head as the source of all truth. But all of it is malleable, and every day is new. Memory and identity are burdens from the past preventing us from living freely in the present.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The idea you’re going to change something in the outside world and that it is going to bring you the peace, everlasting joy, and happiness you deserve, is a fundamental delusion we all suffer from, including me.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The real winners are the ones who step out of the game entirely, who don’t even play the game, who rise above it.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The reality is life is a simple-player game. You’re born alone. You’re going to die alone. All of your interpretations are alone.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Doing something because you “should” basically means you don’t actually want to do it. It’s just making you miserable, so I’m trying to eliminate as many “shoulds” from my life as possible.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Maybe it is politically to say you should choose your friends very wisely. But you shouldn’t choose them haphazardly based on who you live next to or who you happen to work with.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

The most important trick to being happy is to realize happiness is a skill you develop and a choice you make. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles. It’s just like losing weight. It’s just like succeeding at your job. It’s just like learning calculus.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

We don’t always get what we want, but sometimes what is happening is for the best. The sooner you can accept it as a reality, the sooner you can adapt to it.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Whenever we say we’re going to try to do something or try to form a habit, we’re wimping out.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

You’re going to die one day, and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. It’s more important than your friends. It is more important than anything. Your time is all you have. Do not waste your time.

– Naval Ravikant, The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

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