Naval Ravikant Quotes
Who the Heck is Naval Ravikant?
|Born||November 05, 1974|
Books by Naval Ravikant
Best 208 Quotes by Naval Ravikant
“Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind.”
“'Clear thinker' is a better compliment than 'smart'.”
“A busy calendar and a busy mind will destroy your ability to create anything great.”
“A busy mind accelerates the perceived passage of time. Buy more time by cultivating peace of mind.”
“A busy mind can often rob you of peace of mind. The peace that we seek is not peace of mind, it's peace from mind.”
“A clear mind, leads to better judgement, leads to better outcome.”
“A contrarian isn’t one who always objects - that’s a conformist of a different sort. A contrarian reasons independently, from the ground up, and resists pressure to conform.”
“A critical, scientific approach separates truth from falsehood as you read.
Re-read the greats until absorbed. Number of books read is a vanity metric.
A modern foundation adds persuasion (communication) and computers to reading, writing and arithmetic.”
“A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought — they must be earned.”
“A great goal in life would be to not have to be in a given place at a given time.”
“A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.”
“A taste of freedom can make you unemployable.”
“A vacation is a very expensive way to schedule the time to read a book in peace.”
“All greatness comes from suffering.”
“All I care about is am I doing what I want to do, am I being productive, and am I happy. I really want to break away from this idea of forty hour weeks, or 9 to 5s, or roles, or jobs or identities. It just all feels like a straight jacket.”
“All the benefits in life come from compound interest - relationship, money, habits - anything of importance.”
“All the king’s horses and all the king’s men, could not drag me into politics.”
“An army of robots is freely available - it's just packed in data centers for heat and space efficiency. Use it.”
“An entrepreneur without drive is just unemployed.”
“Anything in your pockets that’s not a smartphone will be replaced by the smartphone.”
“Apply specific knowledge, with leverage, and eventually you will get what you deserve.”
“Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage. Specific knowledge is knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.”
“As you get older, you just realize that there's no happiness in material possessions.”
“Assigned reading is propaganda.”
“At heart I'm an entrepreneur and any day in which I solve the same problem twice in a row, I'm pretty unhappy. So by definition, I like to do something different every day. I think all humans are sort of meant to do that kind of thing.”
“Banks have privatised the gains and socialised the losses.”
“Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.”
“Behind every successful entrepreneur is a former failed self.”
“Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme.”
“Changing your interpretation of your past is often just as good as changing your past.”
“Choose the non-emotional response to any given situation and see how much easier your life becomes.”
“Code and media are permissionless leverage. They're the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.”
“Creativity is the last frontier. Automation over a long enough period of time will replace every non-creative job. That's great news. That means that all of our basic needs are taken of, and what remains for us is to be creative, which is really what every human wants.”
“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want, and I keep that in front of mind. Pick your one overwhelming desire. It's okay to suffer over that one.”
“Desire is a contract that you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.”
“Develop 'strategic incompetence' - people won't ask you to do things you hate to do, if you're bad at them.”
“Don't partner with cynics and pessimists. Their beliefs are self-fulfilling.”
“Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself. You'll always know.”
“Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.”
“Everybody wants to hire the best.
Very few actually pay them like they’re the best.”
“Everything you’re a winner at now in your life, you were a once a loser at.”
“Fortunes require leverage. Business leverage comes from capital, people, and products with no marginal cost of replication (code and media).”
“Forty hour workweeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes — train and sprint, then rest and reassess.”
“Founder mentality: If you think like an owner, and you act like an owner, it’s only a matter of time until you become an owner.”
“Good books are worth re-reading.”
“Happiness is also a choice. If you're so smart, how come you aren't happy? How come you haven't figured that out? That's my challenge to all the people who think they're so smart and so capable.”
“Humans are basically habit machines… I think learning how to break habits is actually a very important meta skill and can serve you in life almost better than anything else.”
“I don’t care how rich you are. I don’t care whether you’re a top Wall Street banker.
If somebody has to tell you when to be at work, what to wear and how to behave, you’re not a free person. You’re not actually rich.”
“I don’t like to self-identify in almost any level anymore. That keeps me from having too many of these so-called stable beliefs.”
“I don’t take notes. I’m reading because I like to read, not to 'learn'.”
“I like to think that if I lost all my money and if you drop me on a random street in any English-speaking country, within 5, 10 years I’d be wealthy again, because it’s just a skill set that I’ve developed and I think anyone can develop. In 1,000 parallel universes, you want to be wealthy in 999 of them. You don’t want to be wealthy in the 50 of them where you got lucky. So, we want to factor luck out of it.”
“I no longer track books read or even care about books read. It's about understanding concepts.”
“I probably read 1-2 hours a day, and that puts me in the top .00001%. I think that alone accounts for any material success that I've had in my life and any intelligence that I might have.”
“I think a lot of us learn as we get older that happiness is internal. Happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop.”
“I would define values, first of all, as a set of things that you will not compromise on. Foundational values to me are things that I’ve looked at very, very carefully about myself and I’ve deliberately chosen and said, “You know what, this is a habit. This is a way of life. I’m not going to compromise on it. I’m going to stay this way forever. I don’t want to live life any other way.”
“I'm always 'working.' It looks like work to them, but it feels like play to me.”
“I, and I alone, am responsible for everything I think and feel.”
“If germs won’t eat it, it’s not food.”
“If it hurts to hear it, look for the truth in it.
If it comforts to hear it, look for the lie in it.”
“If it is not making you happier, or healthier, or calmer, or having better relationships, or wealthier, then what good is it? It's useless. You can safely discard it.”
“If raising children was less rewarding than not doing it, the human race would have gone extinct.”
“If you can speed read it, it isn't worth reading.”
“If you can't code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.”
“If you can't decide, the answer is no.”
“If you eat, invest, and think according to what the ‘news’ advocates, you’ll end up nutritionally, financially and morally bankrupt.”
“If you hurt other people because they have an expectation of you that’s their problem. If they have an agreement from you that’s yours.”
“If you need a degree to do it, it’s not going to make you wealthy.”
“If you want to be a clear thinker, you cannot pay attention to politics. It will destroy your ability to think.”
“If you want to be great, walk the rope without a boss and without a net.”
“If you want to make the wrong decision, ask everyone.”
“If you want to operate at peak performance, you have to learn how to tame your mind.”
“Ignore people playing status games. They gain status by attacking people playing wealth creation games.”
“In almost any salaried job, even at one that’s paying a lot per hour like a lawyer, or a doctor, you’re still putting in the hours, and every hour you get paid. So, what that means is when you’re sleeping, you’re not earning. When you’re retired, you’re not earning. When you’re on vacation, you’re not earning. And you can’t earn non-linearly.”
“In an age of infinite leverage, judgement is the most important skill.”
“In every moment, in everything that happens, you can look on the bright side of something. So I used to do that forcibly and then I trained it until it became second nature.”
“Instead of treating events as wins or losses, ask “Did I learn something I can apply in the future?” If not, you must treat it as a loss.”
“It is the mark of a charlatan to explain a simple concept in a complex way.”
“It isn’t 10,000 hours that creates outliers, it’s 10,000 iterations.”
“It's easier to change yourself than to change the world.”
“It’s a contradiction that we all deal with. That we all want to be successful people, but we also want to be happy people. The two of those run in almost diametric opposites to each other.”
“It’s easier for a builder to learn sales than for a seller to learn building.”
“Knowing how little you matter is very important for your mental health and your happiness.”
“Labor means people working for you. It's the oldest and most fought-over form of leverage. Labor leverage will impress your parents, but don’t waste your life chasing it.”
“Lasting novels don’t come from literature departments. Successful businesses don’t come from business schools. Scientific revolutions don’t come from research universities. Get your education, then get moving. Find the loners tinkering at the edge.”
“Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.”
“Leverage is a force multiplier for your judgement. Judgement requires experience, but can be built faster by learning foundational skills.”
“Life is really a single player game. It's all going on in your head. Whatever you think, you believe, will very much shape your reality. Both from what risks you take and what actions you perform, but also just everyday experiences of reality.”
“Listening to books instead of reading them is like drinking your vegetables instead of eating them.”
“Live the life you want other people to live.”
“Making money through an early lucky trade is the worst way to win. The bad habits that it reinforces will lead to a lifetime of losses.”
“Management is the oldest, and most over-rated form of leverage. Capital, media, and code are the modern forms.”
“Mentors won’t make you rich.
Doctors won’t make you healthy.
Nutritionists won’t make you slim.
Teachers won’t make you smart.
Gurus won’t make you calm.
Trainers won’t make you fit.
Ultimately, you have to take responsibility.
“Money does buy happiness, if you earned it.”
“More drugs are taken to quiet the mind than to heal the body.”
“Most books should just be summaries so I leave most books unfinished and only make it all the way through a few. The best ones can’t be easily summarized.”
“Most of modern life, all our diseases, are diseases of abundance, not diseases of scarcity.”
“My definition of wisdom is knowing the long-term consequences of your actions.”
“Once you’ve truly controlled your own fate, for better or for worse, you’ll never let anyone else tell you what to do.”
“One advantage of getting older - you become more decisive.”
“Organization is the enemy of innovation.”
“Outside of math, physics, and chemistry, there isn't much 'settled science'. We're still arguing over what the optimal diet is.”
“Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion. You can convert peace to happiness any time you want, but peace is what you want most of the time. If you're a peaceful person, anything you do will be a happy activity.”
“People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles can’t fathom.”
“People who try to look smart by pointing out obvious exceptions actually signal the opposite.”
“Pick an industry where you can play long term games with long term people.”
“Pick business partners with high intelligence, energy, and, above all, integrity.”
“Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.”
“Play long-term games with long-term people. All returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.”
“Read (old) foundational books in science and philosophy and ignore society.”
“Read books that explore questions that you are genuinely curious about. Only you will know which topics.
If you’re reading too quickly, the book is too basic. If reading too slowly, it’s likely too advanced.
It’s like finding the right form of exercise and the right intensity.”
“Read books, avoid news.”
“Read what you love until you love to read.
Instead of memorizing, understand the basics so you can derive answers.
If you’re good at math and science, you won’t fear any book.
The means of learning are abundant, it’s the desire to learn that’s scarce.”
“Read what you love until you love to read.”
“Reading (learning) is a meta-skill and can be traded for anything else.”
“Reading is faster than listening. Doing is faster than watching.”
“Reading is more efficient when at rest. Audio is more efficient when in motion.”
“Relax. You’ll live longer *and* perform better.”
“Retirement starts when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. You retire by saving up enough money, becoming a monk, or by finding work that feels like play to you.”
“Returns are made on the way up.
Reputations are made on the way down.”
“School, politics, sports, and games train us to compete against others. True rewards — wealth, knowledge, love, fitness, and equanimity — come from ignoring others and improving ourselves.”
“Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.”
“Sequels are rarely good because the author that dumped decades of insights into the first book is suddenly given months to produce a second.”
“Set and enforce an aspirational personal hourly rate. If fixing a problem will save less than your hourly rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your hourly rate, outsource it.”
“Shorter feedback loops means more iterations, and it’s the number of iterations, not the number of hours, that drives learning.”
“Sing the song that only you can sing, write the book that only you can write, build the product that only you can build... live the life that only you can live.”
“Smart people talking to other smart people tend to have very short conversations.”
“So you came here through an unbroken chain of your ancestors from tadpoles till now that all replicated, are you literally gonna be the first ones to miss that branch? Yes, of course my ancestors are dead and I will never communicate with them, but I just can’t even imagine the thought that I have great grandfather’s and great-great grandfather’s who suffered all kinds of misery and hell to survive and to replicate… and I’m gonna say oh yeah, I couldn’t be bothered I was having too good of a time it’s actually passed the genes along.”
“Social media has degenerated into a deafening cacophony of groups signaling and repeating their shared myths.”
“Social science is fake science.”
“Solve via iteration. Then get paid via repetition.”
“Sophisticated foods are bittersweet (wine, beer, coffee, chocolate). Addictive relationships are cooperative and competitive. Work becomes flow at the limits of ability. The flavor of life is on the edge.”
“Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.”
“Stop asking why and start saying wow. The world is such an amazing place. As humans, we’re used to taking everything for granted.”
“Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.”
“Success is the enemy of learning. It can deprive you of the time and the incentive to start over. Beginner’s mind also needs beginner’s time.”
“The biggest mistake any performer can make is to look at the audience.”
“The first rule of handling conflict is don't hang around with people who are constantly engaging in conflict.”
“The fundamental delusion - there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.”
“The greatest superpower is the ability to change yourself.”
“The idea that we repeat ourselves, and we specialize and we pigeon
hole ourselves is a modern invention created through specialization
of labor in the Industrial Revolution. And hopefully, as more and
more people move up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, we’re going to
be able to define ourselves much more loosely.”
“The Internet has massively broadened the possible space of careers. Most people haven't figured this out yet.”
“The measure of wealth is freedom.
The measure of health is lightness.
The measure of intellect is judgment.
The measure of wisdom is silence.
The measure of love is peace.”
“The modern mind is overstimulated and the modern body is understimulated and overfed. Meditation, exercise, and fasting restore an ancient balance.”
“The more people in the conversation, the harder it becomes to speak the uncomfortable truth.
Social media puts everyone into the same conversation.”
“The most important trick to be happy is to realize that happiness is a choice that you make and a skill that you develop. You choose to be happy, and then you work at it. It’s just like building muscles.”
“The older the problem, the older the solution. How to eat well is one of the oldest problems.”
“The overeducated are worse off than the undereducated, having traded common sense for the illusion of knowledge.”
“The people who succeed are irrationally passionate about something.”
“The purpose of having money is so that you don't have to be at a specific place at a specific time doing anything you don't want to do.”
“The reason to win the game is so that you can be free of it.”
“The reason you want wealth is because it buys you your freedom. So, you don’t have to wear a tie like a collar around your neck. So, you don’t have to wake up at 7:00 AM, and rush to work, and sit in commute traffic. So, you don’t have to waste away your entire life grinding all the productive hours away into a soulless job that doesn’t fulfill you.”
“The secret to public speaking is to speak as if you were alone.”
“The selfish reason to be ethical is that it attracts the other ethical people in the network.”
“The skills you really want can’t be taught, but they can be learned.”
“The smarter you get, the slower you read.”
“The three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness. We pursue them in that order but their importance is in the reverse.”
“The universe is rigged in such a way that if you just want one thing and you focus on that, you will get it. But everything else, you got to let go.”
“The way to get out of the competition trap is actually to be authentic.”
“The way to retire is actually to find the thing that you know how to do better than anybody. And, you know how to do that better than anybody because you love to do it.”
“The way to survive in modern society is to be an ascetic. It is to retreat from society. There's too much society everywhere you go. The only solution is turn it off.”
“The way we think you get peace is by resolving all your external problems, but there are unlimited external problems. So, the only way to actually get peace is on the inside by giving up this idea of problems.”
“The world is full of teachers but devoid of students.”
“The world just reflects your own feelings back at you. Reality is neutral.”
“Their pessimism is your opportunity.”
“There are no get rich quick schemes. That's just someone else getting rich off you.”
“There is no failure, only feedback.”
“There is no skill called “business.” Avoid business magazines and business classes.”
“There’s always someone higher up the stack. So the success driven mentality drives you to unhappiness and if you want to be successful, surround yourself with people who are more successful than you are. But if you want to be happy, surround yourself with people who are less successful than you are. So this is the contradiction that we deal with all day long because we’re also told that the American dream will bring you happiness, and it will not. ”
“To be honest, speak without identity.”
“To the experts, what looks like hard work from the outside, is play from the inside.”
“To write a great book, you must first become the book.”
“Total honesty at all times. It’s almost always possible to be honest & positive.”
“Truth is timeless.”
“Twitter is television for intellectuals.”
“Understand that ethical wealth creation is possible. If you secretly despise wealth, it will elude you.”
“Using creativity to solve problems cannot be taught, and it’s ultimately what free markets pay for.”
“Watch your mind all day long. You can meditate 24/7. Meditation is not a sit down, close your eyes activity. Meditation is just basically watching your own thoughts like you would watch anything else in the outside world.”
“We are going from bread and circuses to cannabis and video games to psychedelics and VR.”
“We prefer to see winners as naturally talented rather than hard working. Because if it were reversed, what would that imply about us?”
“We study science to learn how to get what we want. We study philosophy to know what we want in the first place.”
“We waste our time with short term thinking and busywork. Warren Buffett spends a year deciding and a day acting. That act lasts decades.”
“Wealth creation is an evolutionarily recent positive-sum game. Status is an old zero-sum game. Those attacking wealth creation are often just seeking status.”
“We’re not really here for that long and we don’t really matter that much. And nothing that we do lasts. So eventually you will fade.
Your works will fade.
Your children will fade.
Your thoughts will fade.
This planet will fade.
It will all be gone.”
“What you want to get everyone to is retirement... Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for some imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you're retired.”
“When building habits, choose consistency over content.
The best book is the one you can’t put down.
The best exercise is the one you enjoy doing every day.
The best health food is the one you find tasty.
The best work is the work you’d do for free.”
“When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools. Specific knowledge is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated.”
“When you combine things you're not supposed to combine, people get interested.”
“When you have children you learn to love something more than you love yourself… and you can talk about that all day long but you’ve never had that feeling until you’ve had a child, and it’s very important for all of us I think to experience that feeling.”
“When you're finally wealthy, you'll realize that it wasn't what you were seeking in the first place.”
“Would I still be interested in learning this thing if I couldn't ever tell anybody about it? That's how I know it's real. That's how I know it's something I actually want to know.”
“Write tweets, read books.”
“You can escape competition through authenticity, when you realize that no one can compete with you on being you.”
“You can learn microeconomics in your spare time and by running a business.”
“You don’t get rich by spending your time to save money. You get rich by saving your time to make money.”
“You get paid for being right first, and to be first, you can’t wait for consensus.”
“You have social statisticians, scientists, and researchers in lab coats, literally the best minds of our generation figuring out how to addict you to the news. And if you fall for it, if you get addicted, your brain will get destroyed.”
“You have to surrender, at least a little bit, to be the best version of yourself possible.”
“You know that song that you can't get out of your head? All thoughts work that way. Careful what you read.”
“You should be too busy to “do coffee," while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.”
“You want to rest your mind. You want to learn how to settle into your mind. Now, I look forward to solitary confinement. You leave me alone for a day, it will be the happiest day I've had in a while. That is a superpower that I think everybody can attain.”
“You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.”
“You'll do better work if you're bored rather than busy.”
“You're born, you have a whole set of sensory experiences and stimulations and lights and colors and sounds, and then you die. And how you choose to interpret that is up to you. You do have that choice.”
“You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity - a piece of a business - to gain your financial freedom.”
“You’re spending time to save money when you should be spending money to save time.”
“Your closest friends are the ones you can have a relationship with about nothing.”
“Your goal in life is to find out the people who need you the most, to find out the business that needs you the most, to find the project and the art that needs you the most. There is something out there just for you.”
“Your real resumé is a painful recounting of all of your struggles.”