Book notes
The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

The Almanack of Naval Ravikant by Eric Jorgenson

Read in December 2022

"Don't take yourself so seriously, you're just a monkey with a plan."


You should not grind on hard work until you figure out what you should be working on.

How to get rich, without getting lucky

Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn money while you sleep.

You're not going to get rich renting out your time.

You'll get rich by giving society what it wants, but doesn't know how to get.

Pick an industry where you plan long-term games with long-term people.

Play iterated games. All returns in life comes from compound interest.

Learn to sell, learn to build. If you can do both, you'll be unstoppable.

Arm yourself with specific knowledge that society can't jsut train someone else and put instead of you. This is your genuine curiosity.

Building specific knowledge (often technical or creative, can't be outsourced or automated) will feel like play to you, but work to others.

Judgement requires experience but can be learnt and built faster by foundational skills: microeconomy, game theory, psychology, persuation, ethics, math, computer science.

without ownership:

  • input -> output
  • you're not earning while you're sleeping

While working for somebody else, they are the ones who're putting theirselves out there, takin the risk. So they can just pay the bare minimum to you.

Productivize yourself: leverage, uniqueness, specific knowledge, accountability

Become the best in the world at what you do.

Specific knowledge cannot be taught, but it can be learned. It can be what you were doing as a teenager effortlessly.

Very often, the specific knowledge is at the edge of knowledge. It's hard to figure out, or just being figured out.

If you're not 100% on it, someone who is will outperform you.

You can achieve mastery in one-or-two things that you're obsessed about.

Things change fast now. Foundations and ability to learn is crucial. If your curiosity leads you to a field where society eventually wants to go, you'll get paid well.

Find work that feels like play. School game, social game, work/money game, status game... they're the classic loops, hedonic treadmills.

Long term games, long term people

When you find right thing to do and right people to do, invest deeply.

  • Where you live
  • What you do
  • Who you're with

Think about those, they really matter.


  • from people working for you: the oldest form, and hard to manage.
  • from money: you gotta ear, or borrow it.
  • permissionless: code/media - books, podcasts, youtube, twitter.

You don't need anyone's permission to achieve permissionless leverage. You can multiply your effors without needing money or people to work under you.

You'll never going to get rich by renting out your time. Optimize for independence rather than pay.

specific knowledge + time + freedom => multiplied outputs.

Learn to sell and build

  • Build -> design, develop, produce.
  • Sell -> marketing, recruiting, inspiring, communication.

Set a high hourly rate, argue doing or not doing stuff based on that rate. Outsource stuff, or don't do it.

If you can hold your lifestyle fixed while increasing the money you've earned, you'll eventually become financially independent.

Status game: zero-sum-game

  • One winner / one loser.
  • You have to put someone else down.
  • Makes you angry, combative person.


Be a maker of something interesting and you'll eventually find people who are interested, and also interesting.


  • Fortune, fate
  • Hustle, hard-work
  • Spotting luck via experience
  • Build a unique character, and it finds you

Determinism eliminates the need for luck.

Build a character in a certain way, then luck becomes your destiny.

Building judgement

Without hard work, you'll neither develop judgement or leverage. You have to put in time, but the direction is more important.

Clear thinking

Understand the fundamentals. Get your ego out of the way to see the truth.

Make time to get bored, have time to think.

Ego / identity

Trying to change external world to make it more how I'd want to be!

Is this bad?

There are no permanent solutions in a dynamic system (Bruce Lee, injured athlete becomes something else)

  • Praise spesifically -> whoever done the work.
  • Criticize generally -> the approach or class of activities.

The best content to read is the one you're excited about reading all time. Start by reading the originals first in a topic instead of the interpretations.


Don't take yourself so seriously, you're just a monkey with a plan.

Nature has no concept of happiness or unhappiness, a tree doesn't know what is wrong, good or bad.

How you interpret things are up to you.

Happiness is the state when you feel nothing is missing. It's about the absense of desire, especially the desire of external things. Embracing the present moment and the reality.

If you don't put yourself at the center of the universe, you won't get disappointed when it doesn't bend over to make you satisfied.

If you view yourself as a ? and consider all of your work is like building a sand castle...

Lowered identity, lovered chatter of mind. Doesn't care about things that don't really matter. No politics. Doesn't hang around unhappy people. Values the time. Reads philosophy.

NEXTing makes you anxious. That anxiety disturbs you and prevents to be in the moment and just do "nothing". (IDK WHAT TO DO WITH IT)


The real winners are the ones who stepped out of the game, risen above it.

  • internal mental state
  • self-control
  • self-awareness
  • needs nothing from anybody else

Whether you're more or less something from someone else doesn't affect your internal state.

The reality is a single-player game, you born alone, you die alone, all your memories are alone.

Before you showed up, nobody cared.

It's all single player.