Tim Ferriss had the guy who he say's he calls the most for start-up advice on his podcast in January. This was the second time Naval Ravikant was invited onto his show, after his first episode with him quite simply blew many people away with the wisdom that came from the man.
For those who have not come across Naval before. He is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions, which went public as part of Shopping.com, and Vast.com. He is an active angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies. His deals include Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Postmates, Wish, Thumbtack, and OpenDNS, which Cisco just bought for $635 million in cash. So he is a guy who has had some serious business experiences but more interestingly a pretty clear idea on how to live a fulfilled existence.
This was one of my all time favourite episodes and I wanted to share the nuggets of wisdom with you. To set the scene, Naval was given a list of questions from the Tim's audience - his answers were mind blowing.
1. You do not need to work for the NY Times to be a great journalist. Naval see's the future evolving in such a way that a personal brand, built in a creative way is going to be a wonderful way to generate a living. It is less easily replicable that traditional products or services. Start writing. Just start.
2. He mentions that having achieved material success and witnessing those around him follow suit, he was taken back by just how unhappy they were. He has come to the realization that all success is internal. True happiness comes from peace. You can find peace, by among other things, acknowledging where your attachments are.
3. Say yes to life. Stop judging - it leads to suffering when you resist life. Accept the way things are. Be in harmony with the way things are.
4. When you catch yourself desiring something, ask yourself 'will I be unhappywithout this'?
5. 'Happiness is a skill you develop and a choice you make. You choose to be happy and you work at it'
6. Tell your friends you are a happy person - you will be forced to conform to it - this is the consistency bias in action.
7. Do not be afraid of death. Naval mentions how he believed this fear he previously had for death came from the idea he was on a quest for immortality. He manages this irrational need by reminding himself that we are nothing in the grand scheme of things - we are but 'monkeys on a small rock orbiting a small backward star'. Our existence he goes on to say is like a firefly blinking in the night. It will fade. Everything will fade. You have 70 years of 70 billion...life is a kind of game...it's precious.. sleep well at night and look after other people but don't take yourself too seriously.
8. Never stop growing and learning.
9. Do not forget we are habit machines. Be aware of your habits and know how to break them. This is an important meta skill. Try to break one bad habit a year and create a good one. This will be success.
Listen to the full interview here.