Naval Ravikant Will Make You More Intelligent with These Tiny Quotes Full of Incredible Wisdom

Heavily curated short sentences full of ideas to interrupt your programmed thinking that’s often stuck on auto-pilot.

Tim Denning
Sep 15 · 6 min read
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Image Credit: Kyle Johnson/WSJ

Naval Ravikant is the wise Gandhi of this era.

If Ryan Holiday was my stoic father then Naval Ravikant would be the father who made me feel like Luke Skywalker when he discovered “The Force.”

Don’t underestimate tiny quotes written by people like Naval who don’t seek attention, fame or popularity. A single sentence of text can be all it takes to get you out of your head and back into reality.

Naval manages to change how I think with his tweets. He grabs ideas people take as gospel and flips them on their head. He can make you damn clever with the way he elevates consciousness.

Outside of Naval’s favorite habit of posting short sentences on Twitter that change how you think, he founded a website called AngelList. He’s most well-known for being an investor who put money into 200 companies including Uber, FourSquare, Twitter, Wish.com, and Yammer.

This is a highly curated list of Naval’s thoughts to help rewire your thinking.

Your worldview is your world.

If you think the world is screwed, then that’s a problem you own. The good news is you can change it.

The difference between sounding smart and being smart is “I don’t know.”

Ever been in a meeting where every go-getter pretends to have the answer? They didn’t get the memo.

The loudest person in the room or the person with the answer isn’t going to win a career prize or climb the ladder to nowhere faster.

If you can’t decide, the answer is no.

It’s an easy way to make a decision and feel a lot less regret. It’s okay to have no idea and just say no. You can always change your mind, too, and change your no into a yes.

Subtract incentives from advice.

Follow the trail of incentives. If you want to become a puppet then listen to experts who charge you money, and then be blind to the irony.

The ability to stay calm during conflict is a superpower.

Reacting to every damn thing shows a lack of discipline.

You don’t have to have the answer straight away when chaos breaks out. You can just sleep on it, wake up tomorrow, and see how you feel. Solutions find you while you sleep and when you relax more.

The modern devil is cheap dopamine.

The game, Candy Crush, is the best example. Facebook, Twitter and Instagram are other great examples.

The allure of the shiny red notifications is messing up your dopamine levels. You’re craving dopamine without realizing it. Study what cheap dopamine is.

Do a dopamine fast to hit the reset button.

You may not be tired after all; you might just be exhausted from playing dopamine tennis with your brain.

Internal happiness is reward from being in flow.

— Create, meditate, love, play. It clears the mind & leaves us in peace.

Worship habits you do in flow. Do them more often.

Notice flow. Practice flow. Get into flow.

Feel the sense of fulfillment you get from doing the work and putting in effort, without chasing shortcuts that lead nowhere. Notice the timeless feeling of your flow states too.

Every single tweet [social media post] costs nothing and has the potential to reach the entire world.

— It’s the best lottery ever made.

Creating content is a lottery. You never know who you will reach and how you’ll change the world. Anyone can be a content creator — even you.

Get started creating content by sharing your thoughts in the form of videos, audio, writing or images.

I don’t have time is just saying it’s not a priority.

Notice when people say that to you. Don’t be angry. Take a look back at your pitch and see if you thought deeply about them in your ask.

Chances are if you’re getting this answer a lot that you didn’t think about the person whose time you want.

Smart money is just dumb money that’s been through a crash.

Recessions show you the danger of hype and overconfidence.

As fast as you can make a million bucks, you can lose the lot. Study recessions. See how important psychology is when it comes to investing and managing your money. Focus on fundamentals not inflated stock prices or sensationalist headlines.

Money doesn’t buy happiness — it buys freedom.

Freedom to do what you want when you want. Freedom to use your time doing work you enjoy, rather than work you do to pay off debt, for stuff you probably don’t need.

You make your own luck if you stay at it long enough.

Staying power is the best competitive advantage. Many people give up way too soon. Keep going when everyone else has stopped.

Keep going when everybody else is looking for hacks that don’t exist and shortcuts that don’t produce the results they promise.

There is no shortcut except doing the work.

It’s the mark of a charlatan to try and explain simple things in complex ways and it’s the mark of a genius to explain complicated things in simple ways.

There are entire industries built on adding complexity so that companies can charge money to decode the complexity puzzle.

The world doesn’t have to be complex.
You get to choose to embrace simplicity.

Mute the nitpickers, block the outraged, like the kind, follow the insightful.

This is how to use social media in one sentence. Treat people well online and offline and you’ll attract all the right people into your life.

The world doesn’t need another outraged social media profile run by a person who hasn’t had a nap.

A Personal Metric:

How much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest?

A feeling of obligation to go to an office and do some form of work is soul-crushing. Do your best to find work you enjoy.

If you can’t find it right away then at least choose work you enjoy as a side-hustle, first. Then see if you can make that work your main source of income.

Naval’s Practical Advice in a List

  • Build, sell, write, create, invest, and own.
  • Read, reflect, love, seek truth, and ignore society.
  • Avoid debt, jail, addiction, disgrace, shortcuts, and media.

Naval Wisdom That Needs No Explanation

( Sorted by Category)

Self

  • Before you can lie to another, you must first lie to yourself.
  • I, and I alone, am responsible for everything I think and feel.
  • The fundamental delusion — there is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.
  • The more seriously you take yourself, the unhappier you’re going to be.
  • Don’t do things that you know are morally wrong. Not because someone is watching, but because you are. Self-esteem is just the reputation that you have with yourself.
  • All greatness comes from suffering.

Work

  • If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.
  • Time spent has nothing to do with job done.
  • The people who succeed are irrationally passionate about something.

Money

  • You’re never going to get rich renting out your time.

Time

  • A busy mind accelerates the perceived passage of time. Buy more time by cultivating peace of mind.

Education

  • The overeducated are worse off than the undereducated, having traded common sense for the illusion of knowledge.
  • If you need a degree to do it, it’s not going to make you wealthy.

Social media

  • Yelling at strangers that you will never meet is a mental disorder.
  • The human brain isn’t designed to process all of the world’s emergencies in realtime.
  • The larger the group, the worse the conversation.
  • Social media has degenerated into a deafening cacophony of groups signaling and repeating their shared myths.

Peace

  • Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind.
  • Hope is the belief that this moment isn’t good enough.

How to Choose People to Spend Time With

The first rule of handling conflict is don’t hang around people who are constantly engaging in conflict.

Final Thought From Naval

“We’re not really here for that long and we don’t really matter that much. And nothing that we do lasts. So eventually you will fade. Your works will fade. Your children will fade. Your thoughts will fade. This planet will fade. The sun will fade. It will all be gone.”

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Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. www.timdenning.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 120,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

Tim Denning

Written by

Aussie Blogger with 100M+ views — Writer for CNBC & Business Insider. Inspiring the world through Personal Development and Entrepreneurship. www.timdenning.com

The Ascent

A community of storytellers documenting the journey to happiness & fulfillment. Join 120,000+ others making the climb on one of the fastest-growing pubs on Medium.

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