15 Lessons I Learnt on Success, Happiness, Reading, Love and Life from Naval Ravikant

Life hacks to 10X your productivity, success and life

1. Success is attained on a long time scale

The best founders I’ve found are the ones who are very long-term thinkers.
Even decisions that maybe they shouldn’t care that much about early on, they fix it because they are not building a house, they’re putting bricks in the foundation of the skyscraper, at least in their minds.

2. Luck and timing play a huge role in success

“ Most entrepreneurial efforts fail, but great entrepreneurs don’t.”

3. Happiness is a skill

Happiness is the sense that nothing is missing.

4. Be a learning machine

“The reality is very few people actually read and actually finish books … I think that alone accounts for any material success that I’ve had in my life and any intelligence that I might have.”

“A really good book costs $10 or $20 and can change your life in a meaningful way. It’s not something I believe in saving money on. This was even back when I was broke and I had no money.

“I always spent money on books. I never viewed that as an expense. That’s an investment to me.”

“I don’t want to read everything. I just want to read the 100 great books over and over again.”

“I think learning should be about learning the basics in all the fields and learning them really well over and over.”

5. Treat books like blogs

6. Run your brain in debugging mode

7. The only moment that exists is the present — savor it while you can

8. What people say is love, is not love. It’s a transaction.

9. Habits are everything

I think human beings are entirely creatures of habit… they habituate themselves to things and they learn patterns and they get conditioned and they use that to get through everyday life.

Habits are good. Habits can allow you to background process certain things so that your neocortex, your frontal lobe, stays available to solve brand new problems.

To some extent, our attitude in life, our mood, our happiness levels, depression levels, these are also habits. Do we judge people? How often do we eat? What kind of food do we eat? Do we walk or do we sit? Do we move? Do we exercise? Do we read? These are habits as well.

You absolutely need habits to function. You cannot solve every problem in life as if it is the first time it’s thrown at you. What we do is we accumulate all these habits. We put them in the bundle of identity, ego, ourselves, and then we get attached to that… It’s really important to be able to uncondition yourself, to be able to take your habits apart and say, “Oh, okay, that’s a habit that I probably picked up from when I was a toddler and I was trying to get my parents attention. Now I’ve just reinforced it and reinforced it and reinforced it and I call it a part of my identity.

Is it serving me anymore? Is it making me happier? Is it making me
healthier? Is it making me accomplish whatever I want to set out to
accomplish right now?

10. Know your priority (just one) a.ka. your north star

Optimize for one thing in life — it helps determines the order of the rest of the things that are nice-to-have and to avoid entirely.

11. Life is a single player game

Socially, we’re told, “Go work out. Go look good.” That’s a multi-player competitive game. Other people can see if I’m doing a good job or not. We’re told, “Go make money. Go buy a big house.” Again, external monkey-player competitive game.

When it comes to learn to be happy, train yourself to be happy, completely internal, no external progress, no external validation, 100% you’re competing against yourself, single-player game.

We are such social creatures, we’re more like bees or ants, that we’re externally programmed and driven, that we just don’t know how to play and win at these single-player games anymore.

We compete purely on multi-player games. 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. It’s all single-player.

12. Learn principles and mental models to make better decisions

… (T)he brain is a memory prediction machine. It has a memory of things that worked in the past and what it’s read and it’s trying to predict the future.
A lousy way to do memory prediction is X happened in the past, therefore X
will happen in the future. It’s too based on specific circumstances. What you
want is you want principles. You want mental models.

The best mental models that I have found have come through evolution, game
theory, and Charlie Munger

Charlie Munger is Warren Buffett’s partner. Very good investor. He has tons and tons of great mental models. Nassim Taleb has great mental models. Benjamin Franklin had great mental models.

I basically load my head full of mental models. Different ones apply to every

13. Genius is explaining complex things in simple ways

I think the smartest people can explain things to a child. If you can’t explain it to a child, then you don’t know it.

I think it’s the mark of a charlatan to try and explain simple things in
complicated ways. It’s the mark of a genius to explain complicated things in
simple ways. Really they should be able to do it very, very, very simply.

The really smart thinkers are clear thinkers and they understand the basics at a very, very fundamental level.

14. Guard your time — it’s all you have

15. The advice he would give his 20 year old self

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Senior Sales Copywriter @Mindvalley. Forbes, Business Insider, TechInAsia. Writes about Personal Growth, Wealth Creation, Influence 🖋️ https://bensimblog.com/

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Ben Sim

Senior Sales Copywriter @Mindvalley. Forbes, Business Insider, TechInAsia. Writes about Personal Growth, Wealth Creation, Influence 🖋️ https://bensimblog.com/