Naval Ravikant quotes
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.
Uncertainty, not outcome, is the root of stress
If two equally difficult paths, choose the one more painful in the short term. Choose the path that leaves you more equanimous in the long term
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.
Knowing how little you matter is very important for your mental health and your happiness
We prefer to see "winners" as "naturally talented" rather than "hard-working." Because if it were reversed, what would that imply about us?
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
IMHO the three big ones in life are wealth, health, and happiness. We pursue them in that order but their importance is in the reverse.
Naval Ravikant Short quotes ⇑
Reading is more efficient when at rest. Audio is more efficient when in motion
Ego is false confidence, self-respect is true confidence
If you can't code, write books and blogs, record videos and podcasts.
'Consensus' is just another way of saying 'average'.
You want to be rich and anonymous, not poor and famous.
Escape competition through authenticity
True reasoning is only possible when there is no motivation
You can't buy a real kiss.
Naval Ravikant Life quotes ⇑
Nothing like a health problem to turn up the contrast dial on the rest of life
'There Are No Adults' Everyone's making it up as they go along. Figure it out yourself, and do it
The reality is life is a single-player game. You're born alone. You're going to die alone. All of your interpretations are alone. All your memories are alone. You're gone in three generations and nobody cares. Before you showed up, nobody cared.
All the value in life, including in relationships, comes from compound interest
All the benefits in life come from compound interest - relationship, money, habits - anything of importance
No one can compete with you on being you. Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most.
Choose the non-emotional response to any given situation and see how much easier your life becomes
One reason to meditate is to prove to yourself how little you actually need out of life.
What if your life was a sacred responsibility? The body- a temple. Every motive- pure. Every glance- compassionate. Every word- true. Every act- right. Every moment- holy.
If you want to be great, walk the rope without a boss and without a net.
Babies and animals are interesting to watch because they aren't self-conscious at all.
Optimistic, grateful, truthful.
One can optimize for productivity or one can optimize for creativity, but it's hard to do both.
Religion, science, and spirituality help us make sense of the world. Life without at least one of them is a lonely and confusing place.
Life hack: When in bed, meditate. Either you will have a deep meditation, or fall asleep. Victory either way.
Naval Ravikant Happiness quotes ⇑
The only thing that will make you happy is choosing to be happy.
If you can buy happiness, buy it.
You're never going to be happy if you keep lying to yourself.
Tell your friends that you're a happy person. Then you'll be forced to conform to it. You'll have a consistency bias. You have to live up to it. Your friends will expect you to be a happy person.
It's a rare creative who dares to be happy.
Material progress doesn't make us happier. If it did, the ancients must have been a miserable bunch.
A happy person isn't someone who's happy all the time. It's someone who effortlessly interprets events in such a way that they don't lose their innate peace.
Naval Ravikant Freedom quotes ⇑
People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles can't fathom.
Free people make free choices. Free choices mean you get unequal outcomes. You can have freedom, or you can have equal outcomes. You can't have both
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.
Bitcoin is a tool for freeing humanity from oligarchs and tyrants, dressed up as a get-rich-quick scheme
The good life is the fruit of understanding, freedom from care, and effortless self-discipline.
If you want to live in the future, live in the freest place around. Because eventually, all of the innovators and creators will show up there.
Naval Ravikant Humor quotes ⇑
There are no 'get rich quick' schemes. That's just someone else getting rich off you.
Twitter is a way to broadcast messages to hundreds of millions of people to find the few dozen that you actually want to talk to
An early exit for your startup is a mirage in the desert. If you thirst for it, it disappears.
Technology is not only the thing that moves the human race forward, but it's the only thing that ever has. Without technology, we're just monkeys playing in the dirt.
If you don't want to go to the meeting right now, your future self won't want to go to it later, either.
A great reason to buy instead of rent is that you get to fire your landlord.
Tweet sober, reply drunk.
Doctors intervene & replace small, clear, present problems with large, hazy, future problems
In the court of social media, context is inadmissible.
Naval Ravikant Politics quotes ⇑
Political views can be expensive. When what you want to be true diverges from what is true, you'll make bad life decisions.
Looking for someone to blame for polarization? There's no one to blame. The system is the problem
Engaging in politics habituates and rewires the brain to value agreement and signaling. It weakens the ability to reason independently and clearly.
Cancel culture brings high school politics to the adult world.
The actual political shift is that America is going from two political parties run by the elites to two political parties (temporarily) run by the masses.
As the elites get kicked out of each party, we are going from Republicans vs Democrats to Nationalists vs Socialists.
Two big places Mutually Assured Destruction has really worked - nuclear weapons and the ban on overtly targeting the heads of state that declare the wars.
Two types of Twitter users - those who are on Politics Twitter and those who have learned how to tune out Politics Twitter.
Naval Ravikant Success quotes ⇑
Whatever strengthens your ego weakens your judgment, and ultimately, your success.
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.
The larger the herd, the lower the returns
Founder-mentality means not caring who gets the credit.
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
It isn't 10,000 hours that creates outliers, it's 10,000 iterations.
In well-functioning teams, each individual has high accountability for their part.
Naval Ravikant Work quotes ⇑
If you can't see yourself working with someone for life, don't work with them for a day
You will be remembered for your best work, but followed for your average.
If the work doesn't require creativity, delegate it, automate it, or leave it.
The part of your work that's new every time is the craft. The part that's the same every time is the toil.
Working with who you want to work with, on what you want to work on, is actually just play.
The biggest advantage of working remotely is that you no longer have to pretend to work 60 hours a week.
For knowledge work, time spent has little to do with value created and the forty hour workweek is anachronistic nonsense.
Software is just an idea that can do work outside of the human brain. Ideas are impossible to ban or effectively regulate.
Naval Ravikant Truth quotes ⇑
Kids only pick fights with kids of their age and size. We only make enemies that we're capable of taking on. Goes to show how fictional and chosen our “enemies” are.
All systems insulated from feedback from free markets or natural forces eventually get corrupted.
The "aha" moment: the moment of understanding when two smaller truths connect and a greater truth is revealed.
If absolute truth exists, it must be available to everyone, everywhere, at all times. Therefore, the path to truth cannot require any knowledge or effort.
If it hurts to hear it, look for the truth in it. If it comforts to hear it, look for the lie in it.
Naval Ravikant Science quotes ⇑
One reason that freedom of speech is so important is that doubt is the foundation of science.
Building technology means you don't have to choose between practicing science, commerce, and art.
Science is the study of the knowable. Spirituality is the study of the unknowable.
“Artists” calling for censorship don't know what art is. “Scientists” citing consensus don't know what science is. “Teachers” indoctrinating students don't know what teaching is. “Journalists” parroting propaganda don't know what reporting is.
Social science is fake science.
If you want the truth, take no one else's word for it. Accept only science, reason, and direct experience. Start on solid ground. Mind each step.
Naval Ravikant Knowledge quotes ⇑
Knowledge is either from direct experience or from verifiable, falsifiable science. There is knowledge that is transmitted but not verifiable/falsifiable, and this knowledge is indistinguishable from that which is false
Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.
Knowledge is a skyscraper. You can take a shortcut with a fragile foundation of memorization, or build slowly upon a steel frame of understanding
Forty-hour workweeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes - train and sprint, then rest and reassess.
You get rewarded for unique knowledge, not for effort. Effort is required to create unique knowledge.
The Art of Twitter is to communicate compressed knowledge with clarity and precision.
Diversification is a hedge against a lack of knowledge.
Naval Ravikant Money quotes ⇑
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
The compound interest from many quick small iterations is greater than the compound interest from a few slow big iterations. Compound interest operates in most intellectual and social domains
When choosing between investments, ask yourself, “where is my dollar going to work the hardest?”
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.
If your idea of money is what it was yesterday, you will lose it to the people who know what money will be tomorrow.
Naval Ravikant Religion quotes ⇑
The hallmark of independent thinking is disbelief in the fashionable religions of the day.
Two kinds of fools - those who take religion literally, and those who think it has no value.
The modern secular religion casts humanity as the devil and the state as the savior.
The problem I have with organized religion is the belief that the afterlife is also run by old white men.
Naval Ravikant Society quotes ⇑
Self-image is the prison. Other people are the guards
You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale
The price that society is paying for political correctness continues to go up.
Tune out society and its endless and noisy demands.
Lockdown is rehab for society to break its addiction to unnecessary commuting for unnecessary meetings.
Modern society will shame you for earning money, shame you for being happy, shame you for being raised well, shame you for having children, and ultimately, shame you for existing.
Naval Ravikant Change quotes ⇑
The greatest superpower is the ability to change yourself.
Changing your interpretation of your past is often just as good as changing your past
Naval Ravikant Love quotes ⇑
True, unconditional, love is the province of parents and saints.
A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought - they must be earned.
Naval Ravikant Time quotes ⇑
Trade money for time, not time for money. You're going to run out of time first.
You don't get rich by spending your time to save money. You get rich by saving your time to make money.
Time spent has nothing to do with job done.
Naval Ravikant Learning quotes ⇑
The skills you really want can't be taught, but they can be learned.
The internet is the best school ever created. The best peers are on the Internet. The best books are on the Internet. The best teachers are on the Internet. The tools for learning are abundant. It's the desire to learn that's scarce
The best jobs are neither decreed nor degreed. They are creative expressions of continuous learners in free markets.
The number of iterations drives the learning curve
It's easier for a builder to learn sales than for a seller to learn building.
Naval Ravikant Desire quotes ⇑
Free education is abundant, all over the internet. It's the desire to learn that's scarce.
Get what you want. Don't want what you can't.
We study science to learn how to get what we want. We study philosophy to know what to want in the first place.
Naval Ravikant Education quotes ⇑
Social media is an exit from mass media. Homeschooling is an exit from industrial education.
If you need a degree to do it, it's not going to make you wealthy.
Naval Ravikant Mind quotes ⇑
When it comes to healing the mind, placebo effects are completely valid.
The modern mind is overstimulated and the modern body is understimulated and overfed. Meditation, exercise, and fasting restore an ancient balance.
A busy calendar and a busy mind will destroy your ability to create anything great.
The quality of your mind is the quality of your life.
All Naval Ravikant quotes ⇑
The leader doesn't take charge of the tribe. The leader takes responsibility for the tribe.
We try and make every good experience repeatable, and then run away from the resulting boredom.
Be like family to your friends, a friend to strangers, and a stranger to your enemies.
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
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.
We are biological machines programmed to survive and replicate. Happy is anti-evolution
The question “why do you want this job?” is also a sales tactic. The candidate will be forced to articulate good reasons out of politeness - and the desire for internal consistency will make them believe these reasons.
Persistent, non-specific anxiety is the result of wanting so much, talking so much, and doing so much that you lose touch with the quiet joys of solitude
Unnecessary meetings (and most are) are a mutually-assured-destruction of time. Learning how to avoid them is a prerequisite of doing anything great.
Ubiquitous streaming cameras with remote storage will eventually end almost all physical criminal activities
Networking is overrated. Become first and foremost a person of value and the network will be available whenever you need it
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
Doctors won't make you healthy. Nutritionists won't make you slim. Teachers won't make you smart. Gurus won't make you calm. Mentors won't make you rich. Trainers won't make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.
A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control
The first rule of handling conflict is don't hang around with people who are constantly engaging in conflict.
Blockchains are now sucking in top-tier Silicon Valley tech talent faster than any boom since the Internet
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
The fundamental insecurity - most people need faith in something - religion, government, academia. Few are comfortable with decentralized systems
There's a theory that I call 'the five chimps theory'. In Zoology, you can predict the mood and behavior patterns of any chimp by which five chimps they hang out with the most. Choose your five chimps carefully
If you are leveraged with capital, code, or people, and own equity, then good decisions have a much larger earning impact than hard work
Your closest friends are the ones you can have a relationship with about nothing
Founders run every sprint as if they're about to lose, but grind out the long race knowing that victory is inevitable.
Smart partners negotiate fair deals because they know that lopsided deals are fragile and that most value accumulates in long-term trust relationships. You can tell a lot about a potential partner by their opening offer.
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.
Once you've truly controlled your own fate, for better or for worse, you'll never let anyone else tell you what to do.
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
Impatience is a virtue. Self-discipline is another form of self-conflict. Find things that excite you
Read what you love until you love to read.
It's becoming easier and easier to be social, but exceptional people are built in solitude.
The most important question is not "How do I get what I want?" - it's "What do I want?"
The paradox of inflation is that employment, investment, and wealth all boom before the whole house of cards collapses.
Admit possible mistakes to friends, without seeking validation. Get past the embarrassment so that you can freely admit them to yourself.
The highest status people in human history are those that asked for nothing and gave everything.
The price of trying to make everyone else happy is making yourself miserable.
All self-help boils down to "choose long-term over short-term."
The more seriously you take yourself, the unhappier you're going to be.
Optimists thrive but pessimists survive.
The strongest intellectual foundation is built upon science, math, and philosophy, as they are the search for universal truths.
A leader operating in enemy territory should always project positivity and optimism.
Envy Can Be Useful, or It Can Eat You Alive
If raising children was less rewarding than not doing it, the human race would have gone extinct.
The opposite of a jungle is a vegan restaurant. In a jungle, animals masquerade as plants to avoid being eaten. In a vegan restaurant, plants masquerade as animals to be eaten.
When given power over others, our ego justifies it by assuming we are smarter.
No one will value you more than you.
Build a reputation that makes other people do deals through you.
We thought the Internet would unite humanity. Perhaps first it'll cluster people by groups and break nations built across tribal boundaries.
The modern conceit - educated people think they can outsmart complex systems like evolution, capitalism, weather, biology...
Twitter is television for intellectuals
Teaching is pure, the urge to teach is not.
Scalability isn't important, until it suddenly is. Decentralization isn't important, until it suddenly is. Privacy isn't important, until it suddenly is.
Good product branding is good art - a little subversive and a little radical. Can't be done by committees.
In the modern world, don't minimize your risks - maximize your opportunities
The enduring legacy of a college degree is that recurring nightmare about missing all of your classes.
The basic, pre-conditioned consciousness peeking out from behind everyone's eyes is exactly the same. The weaker your identity, the more clearly this shines through.
The most powerful military will belong to the country that goes all out in promoting technological innovation while preventing technology transfer - the Apple model applied to building a nation-state.
Crypto is the first amendment - the right to build. Bitcoin is the second amendment - the right to bear arms.
Like hyenas encircling the wounded members of the herd, Russia, China, and Iran are signaling to each other, trying to coordinate their upcoming moves against the former protectorates of the American empire.
Bitcoin is simply a technology that, if adopted, moves society to an economic coordination point that can't be controlled or diluted by the powers that be.
The US is spending a generation's wealth in a few years, but since foreigners hold around half of all dollars, it gets free leverage on the trade.
Remote work starts with eliminating commutes and cubicles, moves through mass offshoring of white-collar workers, and ends with globally mobile employers and employees.
The right to vote doesn't give you power; power gives you the right to vote.
The food pyramid has been upside down for thirty years.
Can you define the word “country” without using the concept of a border?
Pure democracies can degenerate into autocracies. Republics are what you want.
The people working on finance, games, art, social networking, and the metaverse, but who still don't get crypto, are in for a surprise.
Humanity will eventually eradicate all viral diseases, as our memetic defense evolves much faster than their biological offense.
When intermittent fasting, it's easier to eat healthy in the daytime than in the evening, before willpower depletion and social pressures set in.
Pessimism Seems Like an Intellectually Serious Position
The problem with modern culture is that atheism finally reached the masses.
Theories Are Explanations, Not Predictions
A good employer willfully overcompensates you.
Probability Is Subjective
There's a certain pride to playing the victim.
There is far more speculative investment money in cryptocurrency than there is in traditional venture capital.
Be good at marketing and you'll never need sales.
Good judgment is the product of a calm and curious mind, reasoning without motivation and attachment.
If you're interested now, you'll be interesting later.
Good investors don't sell investment advice.
There's no need for conspiracies when incentives will do.
Imagine how effective you would be if you weren't anxious all the time.
Cool people are considered “cool” because they break the rules and get away with it.
If your opinions line up neatly with those of your friends and colleagues, they're not your opinions.
The ability to stay calm during conflict is a superpower.
Giving unconditional love is just as good as getting it.
In the startup olympics, first place gets a monopoly, second place gets a medal, and there is no third place.
The human brain isn't designed to process all of the world's emergencies in real time.
If Twitter did ever end up representing the real world, the world would end.
Just hope that the upcoming war between governments and big tech doesn't destroy startups too.
The people who control the chokepoints through which information flows are the most powerful people in the world.
Everyone has good intentions. Everyone believes they're doing it for someone or something else. The only true measures are actions and results.
The modern caste system is built around the university diploma.
The two biggest investing mistakes are panic buying and panic selling.
Young children are at their most mesmerizing when they aren't self-conscious at all.
Bless the haters, because when they disappear, so do the fans.
The only opinion of us that matters is our own. The only time that it matters is now.
Creativity arises behind the conscious mind.
Can you focus on something so completely, that you stop thinking about it?
The modern mental illness is anxiety. The symptom is inability to fall asleep. The evidence is pills, meditation apps, opioids, and sleep trackers. The causes are over-socialization and overstimulation.
If you create it for yourself, it's art. If you create it for others, it's business.
If you want to be rewarded, you have to be irreplaceable. If you want to be irreplaceable, you have to be unique. If you want to be unique, you have to be authentic. If you want to be authentic, stop listening to everyone and everything else.
Working with a friend can cost both a business and a friendship. It can work if the friendship came after working together. It won't work if the friendship came before and competence is merely assumed.
The gate to heaven is sealed with paradox.
Hiking is walking meditation. Journaling is writing meditation. Praying is gratitude meditation. Showering is accidental meditation. Sitting quietly is direct meditation.
Meditation is turning off society and listening to yourself. It only 'works' when done for its own sake.
The smarter you get, the slower you read.
In an age of abundance, the pursuit of pleasure for its own sake leads to addiction.
Local environmentalism is to personal spirituality as global environmentalism is to organized religion.
Spirituality is a luxury good. In olden times, you had to lower your wants, first. In modern times, you can raise your means instead.
The economic returns to living in a city that's living in the future are increasing.
I don't know if this generation is the last mortal generation, or the last one before we blow ourselves up.
It's increasingly clear that the wealth and power of any given nation-state will be proportional to its ability to create and utilize new technology.
If you think like an owner, and you act like an owner, it's only a matter of time until you become an owner.
If fixing a problem will save less than your rate, ignore it. If outsourcing a task will cost less than your rate, outsource it. Get comfortable disappointing people whose expectations will eat your life up, one hour at a time.
Organization is the enemy of innovation.
Better to have people work with us than for us.
Debate rather than dictate.
Each new generation has to inflict more and more cultural horrors on their parents to actually shock them.
Time spent undistracted and alone, in self-examination, journaling, and meditation, resolves the unresolved and takes us from mentally fat to fit.
Small deals rely on promises and contracts. Big deals rely on alignment and trust.
Clear thinkers appeal to their own authority.
The endpoint of drone technology is guided bullets.
Cynicism is easy. Mimicry is easy. Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.
One of the most damaging and widespread social beliefs is the idea that most adults are incapable of learning new skills.
We never stop playing make-believe as we get older. The fantasies just become more private and more frequent.
We each have a contrarian belief that society rejects. But the more our own identity and local tribe reject it, the more real it likely is.
The harder the workout, the easier the day.
The current environment programs the brain but the clever brain can choose its upcoming environment.
Wonder if Twitter has the highest average IQ, and therefore the lowest ad revenue of the major social networks.
Encryption is that rare technology that favors the defender over the attacker. The foundation for human rights in the modern age.
The Internet will obsolete the industrial education system, just like it's obsoleting every other physical purveyor of information goods.
The relationships most worth cultivating are those between peers with mutual respect. The rest are unstable over long timescales.
An entrepreneur without drive is just unemployed.
Everyone starts out innocent. Everyone is corrupted. Wisdom is the discarding of vices and the return to virtue, by way of knowledge.
I love Twitter for the same reason that I love poetry - every word matters.