Things I’ve Learned From Naval Ravikant On Wealth And Happiness

Reading Time: 4 minutes

Naval Ravikant is an entrepreneur, investor and is the co-founder, chairman and former CEO of AngelList. I’ve recently finished a book written by Eric Jorgenson called “The Almanack Of Naval Ravikant” where Eric summarises years of Naval’s wisdom on Wealth, Health and Happiness.

This is a new book published on 15th August 2020 and it has received excellent reviews since then.

I have no idea who Naval Ravikant was so I searched him up online after I saw many retweets about him. On his Twitter account, he tweets many interesting, wise and knowledgeable tweets and many people who I respect such as Tim Ferris, James Clear and Ali Abdaal are following him.

Then, I realised Eric Jorgenson wrote a book about him and I immediately picked it up.

I’ve never regretted my decision and it was an interesting read. Here are the thing’s I’ve learned from The Almanack Of Naval Ravikant.

On Wealth

3 key points Naval focuses on throughout his years on building wealth are gaining Specific Knowledge, Accountability and Leverage.

Specific Knowledge

Specific Knowledge is something that’s found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now. Building Specific Knowledge will feel like play to you but will look like work to others. When this kind of knowledge is taught, it’s through apprenticeships, not schools.

For the most part, Specific Knowledge cannot be trained and it is often highly technical or creative. It cannot be outsourced or automated.

The advantage of pursuing your Specific Knowledge is that, you become irreplaceable. Everyone’s work and “play” are totally different and that can only be achieved by pursuing your own passion and curiosity. If society can train you, it can train someone else and replace you.


As you learn more things and get better at them, you will naturally be more accountable as you take on more roles and responsibilities. Without accountability, you cannot build credibility.

When you become accountable for more things, you risk failure and humiliation but that’s what gives you power and wealth in the long run. However, it can act as a double-edged sword, you take credit when things go well but you bear the responsibilities when thing go south.

But the thing with accountability in a business context, the only downside is failures and people will usually forgive failures if you were honest, on top of that, society rewards you with responsibility, equity and leverage.

And the good thing about failing? You fail to learn if you haven’t learn to fail.


Leverage is required to achieve wealth.

Capital and labour are such leverages but they are known as permissioned leverage.

Capital leverage can only be applied when you receive money from someone or work long enough to build capital, while Labour leverage is when someone is working for you and as impressive as it may sound, it requires the permission of the people.

Naval however, emphasises the implementation of permissionless leverage.

Permissionless leverage is code and media, they’re the leverage behind the new rich where you can create software, systems and media that works for you while you sleep.

Some suggestions from Naval are, Coding, Books, Blogs, Videos or Podcasts.

Take a look at my previous articles on the benefits of coding and learn how to code for free.

On Happiness

It can get overwhelming with the pursuit of wealth, especially if its uncertain and you’ll never know when or if ever, achieve the kind of wealth you are seeking.

This is one of the culprits and irony in maintaining a balance of wealth and happiness. Ever since I started learning Forex and started this blog, I always thought to work as hard as I could.

But after reading this book. I’ve learned that the best way to stay away from the constant love of money is to not upgrade your lifestyle as you make money.

Many times, we are constantly aiming to make money to upgrade our lifestyle and not make money to create wealth. This is the creation of unhappiness that all of us needs to understand. Having wealth is having freedom, the understanding that you are able to afford anything you want at any time.

But the most important thing about having wealth is having your time back.

The lack of this understanding makes someone chase money and find themselves constantly unhappy as they continue to upgrade their lifestyle as they make more money.

My Top Takeaways

All benefits in life come from compound interest, whether in money, relationships, love, health, activities, or habits.

Impatience with actions, patience with results.

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.

You don’t get rich by spending your time to save money. You get rich by saving your time to make money.

Just from being marginally better, like running a quarter mile a fraction of a second faster, some people get paid a lot more—orders of magnitude more. Leverage magnifies those differences even more.

Earn with your mind, not your time.

Probably the most interesting thing to keep in mind about new forms of leverage is they are permissionless.


In conclusion, this is a great book in making you reflect on your goals and makes you focus on the things that truly matter such as achieving happiness while building wealth by implementing permissionless leverage.

In my very first article, I remember talking about how much money you need to be happy and this book has definitely changed a view or two.

I hope you’ve enjoyed this article and if you’d like to learn more about the book, you can take a look here.

I would also recommend everyone to follow Naval Ravikant on Twitter where he shares a lot of wisdom every now and then which has motivated me and made me think deeper about life.

You can also take a look at Velda’s previous article on the 10 Best Productivity Apps For Students which is currently the article with the most views!

Thank you and see you in the next one!