Brady F. Anderson

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

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My Notes

Hard work is crucial, but good judgment is even more critical. Don’t work hard until you’ve figured out the right things to work on.

Wealth has its problems. But if you despise it, you will not be able to discover good, meaningful ways to achieve it.

Financial freedom: underspending your income + income uncorrelated to your time

Play long-term games with long-term people. Compound interest is the world’s most powerful force. Apply it to your relationships, wealth, and knowledge.

Some activities feel like play to you but work to others. These are the activities no one will be able to compete with you on. No one can work all day, but you can certainly play all day.

You’re only competing with people when you’re trying to do the same thing as them. So don’t. Redefine what you do until you’re the best one doing it. This approach lets you use your authenticity and uniqueness as your greatest asset.

Leverage and accountability are catalysts for success.

You’ve got three big decisions to make in your life: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do.

Retirement is when you stop doing things for the sake of the future. When you’re able to spend all your time doing things for their own sake, you’re retired.

The most interesting things you’ve done have all been painful, difficult, and involved sacrifice. Lean into those kinds of experiences to look back on a better life later.

We have a plethora of bad habits that we treat as part of our identity, and thus struggle to move past them. Overwriting those habits is essential to accomplishing the goals you have.

Whether you have incentives or not depends on whether you are a principal or an agent. The principal has accountability, while agents do not.

Claims must be falsifiable to stand up to scientific muster. You can’t prove something true if you can’t run a counterexample. That’s why macroeconomics is pseudoscience.

Our brain avoids short-term pain at all costs, even if it causes long-term pain. Prevent this sort of mental hijacking.

You feel happy when nothing feels missing. I call this content.

You’re just a monkey with a plan.

Memory and identity restrict present experiences.

Comparison, in particular from the past to the present, yields unhappiness.  

Our internal monologues are often focused on what happens next.

It’s easy to be envious, but you can’t just cherry-pick other aspects of a person’s life. If you’re not willing to take on their burdens, flaws, and complete identity as well, then there’s no point in being envious. At the end of the day, I would rather be me than someone else.

Most suffering comes from avoiding expected pain. Choose pain instead.

We chase exciting experiences because they remove us from our overdeveloped sense of self. Reducing the influence of your identity lets you see the world with childlike eyes, in the present.

Remove “going” from your vocabulary. If you want to be doing something you’d be doing it, not telling others you’re going to.

Goals are useless. Focus on putting yourself in environments where you’re bound to succeed instead.

Age changes how you see freedom. When you’re young, it’s all about having the freedom to do whatever you’d like. When you’re old, it’s about having freedom from the hindrances that prevent happiness.

Puberty is when humans start thinking long-term about things they want and become drenched in desire.

There is no endpoint to becoming more enlightened. Getting better at it is the reward.