Manuel Brandt

Book Notes: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant

These are my notes after reading the book “The Almanack of Naval Ravikant“.


  • ⭐ “Seek wealth, not money or status.”
  • ⭐ Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep.
  • You need to acquire specific knowledge, like being good in selling, or good in organizing.
  • To find your specific knowledge, figure out what you were doing as a kid or teenager effortlessly. Something you didn’t even consider a skill. 
  • “Most of life is a search for who and what needs you the most.”
  • “If you’re not 100 percent into it, somebody else will be and outperform you.”
  • Foundations are key. It’s better being a 9/10 at foundations than getting super deep into one thing. You still need to get deep into 1 or 2 things.
  • “All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.”
  • ⭐ Financial freedom requires owning a piece of a company. 
  • ⭐ Think about what product or service society wants but does not yet know how to get. You want to become the person who delivers it and delivers it at scale. That is really the challenge  of how to make money. 
  • ⭐ You don’t have to work 40 hours a week. Modern workers work like athletes. Training a few hours a day, rest and reasses.
  • “Earn with your mind, not your time.”
  • Learn to sell and build to become unstoppable.
  • Treat your time as money. Let’s say you set your hourly rate of 50 EUR and it takes you one hour to return a device that is worth 20 EUR. Then just save the time and give it to a friend for free. Be strict about it and outsource your to-dos.
  • ⭐ He works in bursts of energy when he’s really motivated about something and doesn’t force himself to work.
  • Creating businesses and making money can be seen more like a creative process/an art.
  • “I can create a new business within three months: raise the money, assemble a team, and launch it. It’s fun for me. It’s really cool to see what can I put together. It makes money almost as a side effect. Creating businesses is the game I became good at. It’s just my motivation has shifted from being goal-oriented to being artistic. Ironically, I think I’m much better at it now.“
  • “I value freedom above everything else.”
  • Networking is a waste of time. Be someone who build great stuff and the right people will find you.
  • Picking the right direction you’re moving to is far more important than how fast you’re moving there.
  • It’s only after you’re bored that you have great ideas. So make free time.
  • He cares a lot about the principal-agent problem, which basically means that someone who cares, e.g. the owner of a company, the principal, will do a better job then someone who gets the task to do something, the agent. The smaller the company, the more everyone feels like a principal. Make people feel like a principal to make them care and to get good results.
  • ⭐ Reading a lot will quickly put you in the upper echelon of human success.
    • It’s okay to skip boring chapters and skip through books.


  • Happiness can be learned.
  • Happiness is a choice you make and a skill you develop.
  • Happiness is the default state. Happiness is there when you remove the sense of something is missing in your life.
  • ✏️ The less desires I have, the more I accept the current state of things, and the happier I can be.
  • “Real happiness only comes as a side effect of peace. Most of it is going to come from acceptance, not from changing your external environment.
  • “When most people say happiness they mean joy, but I mean peace.”
  • “The only way to get inner peace is to give up the idea of problems.”
  • “Every desire is a chosen unhappiness.”
  • Nobody has everything. If there’s a person and you would not change 100% of their lives with yours, why are you jealous?
  • When working surround yourself with people more successful than you. To be happier, surround yourself with people more happy than you. You can learn the skill of happiness by surrounding yourself with happy people. That’s something I realized myself while I was in Vietnam. 
  • Become happier by replacing bad habits with good habits.
  • “Most of your suffering comes from avoidance.”
  • ✏️ Try choiceless awareness meditation. Try meditating when going to bed.
  • ✏️ He would have done everything in his life again the way he did it. The only thing he would do different is that he would do things with less fear and anger. That is something I can learn from.

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