For those of you who don’t know, Naval Ravikant is a tech entrepreneur and an angel investor in the Silicon Valley, most notable as the founder of AngelList. He is very respected, not only because he is good at what he does, but in the words of the author:
Naval is broadly followed because he is rare combination of successful and happy.
Eric (the author) has written this book as a permanent home to a collection of various tweets and interviews Naval has given over the years. As the title suggests, this book talks about the nuggets of wisdom Naval has provided over the years on how to be wealthy and happy - and in my experience those two goals of life seldom ever meet. This book is divided into various chapters that cover the Wealth part first followed by happiness.
Following are the key learnings I got from the book distilled into points in my own words, followed by reflection and what I made out of it.
I used to despise the world of startups and how commercial it has become. Raising money, unicorn valuations, billionaires. But through this book I realized that true entrepreneurs want to solve problems at the core, and that is their mission, money is just the side effect of it. The rest around it is just marketing noise and media. Ignore it and focus on core principles and learn to appreciate it.
I’ve always had this view that time is the real thing to be mastered in this world. These days, people just say there is never enough of it. But, our mind doesn’t understand time, it only perceives it. (reason why boring lectures feel long but a party doesn’t). So, if we can trick our mind into perceiving time the way we want to - this can create a lot of good things in life.
Capitalism and consumerism are so ubiquitous that they numb the mind of people by keeping them on the hedonic treadmill. When you’re in a constant state of desire, you never really appreciate the present.
The key is to break out of it, retrospect every desire that you have and really think if that desire will really make you happy. The mental model I’ve built around it is to already imagine (when you’re meditating) that you’ve achieved what you’ve desired, and then think about the next steps of how it will make your life better than it already is. 8 times out of 10, it won’t. It makes you appreciate your present much more, and that tricks your mind into the perception that there is a lot of time.
Naval also said something that my mom has been saying all my life - to me, to my dad and to my wife after we got married - keep your requirements to a minimum no matter how much money you earn and you’ll (mostly) never feel the lack of money. There maybe such nuggets of wisdom that our family may have that we never appreciated, and this book just wanted me to connect with my family and talk about a lot of these philosophies, something that is rarely a topic of conversation on the dinner table.