A Guide to Wealth and Happiness
By Eric Jorgenson
Find it on Bookshop
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant is a simple yet appropriate name for this compilation of quotes. Naval is a venture capitalist and angel investor, probably most well-known for founding AngelList. He has amassed a huge amount of wealth and become a sort of modern day philosopher. He has a lot to say about wealth, health, and happiness.
This book is simply a curated, organized list of things Naval has said. Jorgenson has sourced the contents from a variety of sources available online, such as Naval’s tweets, interviews, podcasts, and essays.
The book is short and extremely insight-dense. It’s best to consume in small chunks interspersed with walks or other restful activities to aid reflection and absorption. I listened to it as an audiobook from my library as I went for walks with my dog, which I would recommend.
This book is available for free! Go to navalmanack.com to read on the web or download a PDF, .mobi, or .epub for offline reading.
If you want to read the book and support me at the same time, buy it on Bookshop with my link!
Main Points from the Almanack of Naval Ravikant
Here are some of my favorite quotes from the collection:
The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.
Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.
Forty hour work weeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes—train and sprint, then rest and reassess.
Intentions don’t matter. Actions do. That’s why being ethical is hard.
Some other takeaways that really resonated with me:
- Let go of things that aren’t serving you. Cliche, but true. This holds for emotions, tasks, and possessions. If they’re not helping you be a positive, contributing human, don’t allow them space in your head or your house.
- Most actions are taken out of fear. Most judgement comes from a place of fear. Think about your reactions to things and what emotions are driving them. Then let them go.
- Radiate positivity. Negative emotions don’t serve yourself or other people. You will make yourself and your circle much happier just by responding to things positively. Catch yourself before you say something negative, and find the positive, however small.
- Drugs and alcohol are good for short term happiness, but very bad for long term happiness. People who use drugs are looking to escape reality, or at least to change their response to reality. You won’t want to use drugs if you can learn to control your own response to reality, and you will be much better off in the long run.
- There was a lot about work and success that really made me think and want to apply in my own life. In particular, there was some advice on not doing things you don’t want to do. Of course, if you have an employer you may not always have a choice, but sometimes you do and you don’t realize it. A lot of my work stress comes from me feeling that I need to do things but not wanting to do them, and then feeling badly about not having done them, even when there is no one giving me grief about not doing those things. So those are guilts I’m placing on myself. And that needs to stop.
This book is available for free online, and is easy to skim or read parts of depending on what you’re interested in. Here were some of the biggest general points that stuck with me:
- Value learning, for it’s your best way to grow as a human
- Prioritize rest time, don’t sprint from one thing to the next
- Most actions are taken out of fear
If you want more, the book ends with a list of Naval’s recommended reading. There’s something for everyone in there.
Want to read more? Find The Almanack of Naval Ravikant here: Bookshop
The quotes above were gathered using Readwise. It’s a truly amazing app to help you remember what you read. If you want to try it out, use my link and we both get a free month 🙂
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You might also like my notes on:
The Courage to Be Disliked by Ichiro Kishimi and Fumitake Koga
Zen in the Art of Writing by Ray Bradbury