The exact moment my life changed

I can recall this day so vividly. I was on the streetcar somewhere in downtown, Toronto. And I was preparing to listen to this exact podcast, where Shane Parish interviews Naval Ravikant. The second I clicked play, everything changed.

It was my first “real” podcast.

I was introduced to a completely new world. A world of podcasts and smart people. For the first time in my life, I was learning from the smartest people in the world.

I remember listening to the podcast and my mind was blown. Everything Naval said made sense. He helped me find a purpose in my life.

In this podcast, Naval mentions loving the novel sapiens. I couldn’t help but run to the store and get myself a copy. This book also changed my life. Read about that here.

The world of podcasts would introduce me to the key lessons of the smartest people on this planet. Crazy stuff happens next.


Over the next few weeks, I listened to many many more podcasts, read tons of books, and grew into a constant state of happiness.

My life went from a constant mediocrity to a constant high. And the event that precipitated this all, was learning about Naval.

(I hope you liked the poetry)

Here’s how I turned MY life into MY bitch, with the help of Naval Ravikant

You know you’ve reached a consistent state of happiness when you can’t remember the last time you were unhappy.

I did this by taking control of my life, building purpose and creating my optimal day.

Before this life-changing podcast, I did none of that. My life was basically wake up eat eat eat eat social media some work eat eat sleep repeat.

Now my life is wake up have a freaking awesome day* sleep repeat

*subject to change daily

It all started with the podcast, so here are my favourite portions

Lesson #1: Reading

Everyone always told me to finish the book so you extract all the value. Well, what if I didn’t like the book? I would still read it. This was stupid, I read books to finish books. I didn’t read books to learn

This was stupid. I do not do this anymore. I have learned to classify what’s valuable vs what isn’t.

This isn’t just applicable within books, it correlates with literally anything.

Coincidentally, the same day I finished the podcast, I also had a late night networking event. However, it sucked. Normally, I would stay through the whole thing, even though I was extracting zero value. This time I got my ass out the door and left.

Now, If anything in my life gives me no value, I’m out the door.

Back to books. They are superpowers because they have so much knowledge. However, there are so many freaking books in the world, if one book sucks, put it down there are a million others.

Naval’s tip: read like crazy.

Isabella before life change: Read somewhat

Isabella’s life before: meh

Isabella post-life change: Reads like crazy

Isabella’s life after:

Thanks, Naval.

This guy knows his stuff

Lesson #2: Have good habits and learn about your bad ones

We all do shitty things.

Examples of Shitty things:

  1. Drinking Coffee
  2. Too much reality television
  3. Soda/pop
  4. Obsessively checking e-harmony
  5. Cracking Your Knuckles
  6. FORTNITE
  7. Biting Your Pen (guilty 😞)
  8. Overspending
  9. Overmedicating (call your doctor)
  10. Skipping Breakfast
  11. Not Protecting Yourself From The Sun. (If sunscreen was a religion, I would be part of it 100%)
  12. Negative Self Talk / Self Criticism
  13. Procrastinating
  14. Forgetting Names Of People You Meet
  15. Eating Past 8 P.M
  16. Eating Cookies Every Damn Day
  17. Licking Your Lips (I bet you licked your lips)
  18. Eating when you’re bored

The list becomes very long. I am definitely guilty of a few of these, but just because I do shitty things doesn’t make me a shitty person.

Unless you’re a teenage boy playing fortnite, then you’re a shitty person.

Naval made me realize that I do dumb stuff. I need to be aware of the stupid stuff I do in order to control my life.

So I took control.

I wrote down all of my bad bad bad bad bad habits. Habits like comparison, constant negativity, jealousy, and found a way to get rid of them.

I also did the impossible, I quit caffeine. No one believed in me. I went from 7 cups a day to 0. My health and wallet are happier than ever. Starbucks lost a valued customer but my bladder regained its health.

I also began developing good habits. Such as: doing yoga more often, reading, spending more time with people I care about and setting good goals.

The understanding of my habits helped me take control of my life.

As I am writing I’m realizing that I am making it seem like I was a recovering drug addict. No that is not the case. I just turned my life from ok to “fucking amazing”.

I went from going to bed and waking up in the morning to going to bed and having a reason to wake up in the morning. A feeling of purpose is achieved by setting good goals and living a worthwhile life. A life that you’re in charge of.

Takeaway??

Develop good habits + Battle bad habits + Take control of your life = “fucking amazing”

Naval opened my eyes to how a good life should be lived. He’s so successful. Great family, health and job. He’s the CEO of Angel List for christ’s sake. An amazing growth platform for startups. One thing he’s keen on doing every day is learning. He blocks off so much time to read and learn.

“If you’re not learning something new every day, you’re doing something wrong”

Naval is so invested in the future. He loves learning about the world. His passion for learning drives him to make a difference in the world.

Learning is one of the best habits one can have. Naval learns daily, I learn daily, you should too.

Lesson #3: You’re going to die anyway

Don’t spend your time doing stuff that doesn’t matter.

Cut people out.

Don’t spend time with short-term people. Develop long-term relationships that matter.

Life is like a pizza with every single possible topping. Remove the artichokes and red peppers, no one likes them anyway. Also, make sure it has tomato sauce and not like pesto or something.

Make your pizza (aka Life) valuable with only the best toppings, have lots of *warning unpopular opinion* pineapple.

Side note: pineapple is great on pizza end of story.

Get rid of the crappy toppings (people that add no joy to your life, bad habits, useless emotions like anger and jealousy) and savour the good toppings (health, family, purpose)

We need to work towards achieving health, family and purpose.

With the intelligence and guidance of Naval, I was able to get my perfect pizza, with lots of pineapples.

In the podcast, Naval mentioned that he spends a lot of time prioritizing his health and his family. He wakes up every morning and does a workout. Dedication.

We use time as an excuse.

“I don’t have time to work out” just means it’s not a priority, so if it’s a priority, make time for it.

I started to do this. I understood my priorities and made time for them — no excuses.

Do stuff in your life that matters.

Be Present

One of Naval’s biggest piece of advice. Be here, right now, not tomorrow or yesterday.

This is so important. Enjoy your moment because it’s not going to last forever. Extract value from that moment. And spend your time accordingly, because you have a finite amount of moments.

Don’t spend time worrying about yesterday. The past is done, you should’ve enjoyed it in the present.

Being here and now, is something I do day to day. It has made me appreciate everything in my life.

Naval’s twitter is a gold mine

Knowledge bomb central.

One of my favourite threads.

This thread is a map on how to live life properly.

After reading this I changed a few things. First, I changed the people I surrounded myself with to ensure they’re supporting my growth and they’re optimistic. Maybe not change, but revise. I made sure the people I had were either adding value or just made my life better. I only spend time developing long term relationships (inspired by Naval).

“Embrace accountability, and take business risks under your own name. Society will reward you with responsibility, equity, and leverage.”

Risks. Some of the best things that’ve happened to me have been risky at one point. I’m not perfect at this one *yet*. Working on it.

“You should be too busy to “do coffee,” while still keeping an uncluttered calendar.”

It’s crazy how much joy I get from popping out my calendar. You will never see someone smile harder when sending a calendar invite than me. I love managing my time. I am the perfect amount of busy. All inspired by Naval.

I’ve started to:

  1. Spend time doing what I love, and working hard
  2. Surround myself with my favourite people
  3. Eat fewer cookies because fitness is important 🙄

Oh… this is also a pretty cool thing he tweeted…

Naval’s nice way of saying that school isn’t teaching us the right things

“Arm yourself with specific knowledge, accountability, and leverage.”

“Specific knowledge is the knowledge that you cannot be trained for. If society can train you, it can train someone else, and replace you.”

“Building specific knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others.”

“When specific knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.”

Emphasize on the not schools

Since I’ve officially taken over my life (turned my life into my bitch if you recall from before), school is my “side thing”. And my upfront thing is my specific knowledge. I’m constantly learning about things I actually enjoy. Knowledge is everything. It’s a superpower.

I realized school wasn’t giving me as much value compared to everything else.

Naval also inspired me to start asking these questions every day:

“what am I doing differently than the people beside me”
“How am I going to do something good today”
“What is a good use of my time and what are my priorities”

These questions; inspired by Naval’s mindsets and morals, transformed my life from good to great, and they can transform yours too.

Remember:

  • be present, always
  • develop good habits
  • Have good people in your life
  • read like crazy
  • Clap this article and connect on LinkedIn

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