Notes from Naval - Part 3

June 26, 2018    naval

From Naval’s Periscope Session on April 29, 2018:


“I don’t want anything from anyone, so boredom is the only thing that drives me to do anything” * Naval recommends Skin in the Game by Nassim Taleb * Rick and Morty is the only TV show he watches “Reality is really interesting for the most part” “TV’s just a slow method of consuming nonfiction. Reading is a lot faster.”

Why are so many people leaving SF?

  • A combination of the taxes, it’s not the cleanest city, and there’s a huge homeless problem
  • It’s a chosen home for the tech industry, and it’s not going to disappear anytime soon
  • With companies where everyone is working remotely, it’s hard to do creative work where everyone needs to synchronize


  • They have a lot of corruption, bureaucracy, and high taxes making it hard to build things there
  • It should be doing a lot better than it is with the large amount of STEM graduates
  • “The only way you can sell something, is if you yourself believe in it”
  • This is what Elon Musk does all day long
  • “If you truly believe in what you’re selling, no one can compete with you on that scale”


  • The education system is very industrialized
  • It was developed. and still is this way to some degree, to breed obedient factory workers
  • Educating people is very hard – especially when you need to do it cheaply, and all at the same time
  • Teachers are teaching a curriculum that’s been negotiated over decades and decided upon by politicians, courts, parents, and unions – this doesn’t make it efficient
  • Maybe it’s time we provide students with free tablets, that educate students about what THEY actually want to learn
  • We have the technology now, where the software can figure out you’re intellectual levels in different subjects (math, science, etc.)
  • Naval doesn’t manage his own crypto, he goes through funds > “Self conflict is a complete waste of time”
  • All judging, and arguing with yourself is pointless
  • Guilt is society’s voice speaking in your head
  • How do you put your brain in debug mode?
  • You won’t stop having thoughts, and you can’t control your thoughts, but you can stop them from running away like a freight train


  • “We didn’t evolve to be angry all the time”
  • Anger hurts YOU first and foremost
  • “Anger is a hot coal that you hold in your hand while you wait to throw it at somebody else”
  • Notice every time your angry, how much it hurts you
  • When you don’t want an emotion, it doesn’t arrive with the same intensity
  • To deal with procrastination, ask yourself – “Am I going to have to do this at one point or another?”
  • If the answer is yes, do it anyway
  • Another tip is to work on the second most important thing you’re doing
  • Ask why you’re procrastinating, really get to the bottom of it


  • A philosophical mystic that Naval has enjoyed reading

  • He’s a great thinker on enlightenment, peace, truth, and self examination

  • Check out the book The Sun Rises in the Evening

How did Naval meet Kapil Gupta

  • Kapil tweeted at him
  • Vegan food technology companies
  • It’s only a matter of time before we can either 3D print meat or create food that tastes enough like meat that causes society to slowly shift away from eating meat
  • When this happens, people in the future will probably judge us for killing so many animals for food

The Bay Area

  • A positive – Has the highest concentration of brilliant people, and also the natural beauty
  • A negative – the amount of the monoculture/ group think , the lack of independent thinkers
  • What makes someone smart?
  • Genetics is the biggest component
  • Intellectual curiosity is an important trait to cultivate
  • “If you’re just curious as to how things work, and are more concerned with figuring it out correctly than being right, then you put yourself in a very powerful position”

Kanye for president?

  • He has a very good shot at winning
  • Social media has really changed who can run for president
  • “We’re going to see celebrity presidents a lot more”
  • Presidents within decades will be wearing cameras, and we’ll be able to tune into the president’s channel to see what he’s up to
  • Naval has noticed the “blue check marks” on Twitter are the least interesting people > “Your mind isn’t unfocused. It’s just focused on something that another part of your mind wan’ts it to be focused on. This creates self-conflict.” > “Your mind is doing exactly what you want it to do at all times”

What would Naval tell his 23 year old self?

  • Do everything you’re going to do, but with less emotion and less angst


  • We’re the first generation with smart phones/the internet, but we’re probably the last generation before they figure out, or “crack”, longevity
  • “If there’s one thing that does kill you early, it’s stress. So chill out.”


  • “It’s basically one monkey putting another monkey in a cage.”
  • Maybe we can create another solution – perhaps we have an exile society where we can put prisoners

Tips for public speaking

  • Record and watch yourself to catch your flaws
  • Know your subject cold, and don’t feel the need to rehearse
  • If you know your subject, just talk

Tips for marriage

  • Marriage is not dead – it’s the institution you enter into to have children. If you’re not going to have children, you should really think twice about marriage.
  • Get married based on compatibilty of values


  • Naval is not doing any public speaking this year
  • He only wants to speak on platforms he can control

Self confidence vs. IQ vs. Emotional Intelligence

  • IQ can be traded for Emotional Intelligence – if you’re really smart you can figure out your emotions > “An intelligent person, over time, will end up confident”

  • How does Naval deal with failure?

    • These days, he tries not to have too many goals
    • “If you don’t have goals, you can’t fail to meet them”
  • You don’t have to deal with anyone you don’t want to – just walk away

  • “The trick to doing anything, is first cultivating a desire for it”

  • Mathmatics is the language of nature

    • It’s human beings reverse engineering things encoded into nature
  • Humans have no overarching responsibility or purpose for living

    • We all can create and follow our own meaning
  • “I’m not trying to do anything important. I’m just doing what I feel like. If I like it, I’ll be good at it.”

  • Yoga and reading – “If you want to find me, I’m usually on my yoga mat with a book”

  • Naval doesn’t watch movies

    • At some point you realize your life is limited, do you want to waste it watching a movie?
    • “Your emotions may get taken for a ride, but once your emotions get taken for a ride a bunch of times… you know the feeling already”
  • Can only one cryptocurrency survive in the end?

    • There will be many survivors, but the economic value will be concentrated at the top
    • The most valuable cryptocurrency will be more valuable than all the others
    • The second most valuable cryptocurrency will be more valuable than third through the last put together
  • Intelligence and hard work will get you very far

  • Stop thinking in terms of “careers”

    • Develop skills, and do what you want to do at that time to get paid
    • The idea of a having a lifelong career is going away
  • If you want money – “Give the world something it wants that it does not yet know how to get”

    • You have to like what you’re doing though – if you don’t like it, someone who does will out compete you
  • Everyone should know how to sell

    • You can probably tell who’s going to be a good sales person when they’re 10 years old
  • Reading Jiddu Krishnamurti has made Naval realize how little he knows about himself

    • Naval has recommended Total Freedom in the past
    • Naval recommends The Power of Now
    • Check out the book Siddhartha
    • Naval is really enjoying The Sun Rises in the Evening by Osho
  • How to have a good relationship

    • Be totally selfish
    • If you can’t keep doing it 50 years from now – don’t do it today to impress someone
  • Blockchain Technology is the most inetresting thing right now

  • Happiness is something we can learn

  • You shouldn’t count on life after death

    • You’ll probably be happier in this life if you don’t expect it
  • It’s worth the investment to have a good “proposal story” with your girlfriend

  • In a sense, life is indistinguishable from a dream – everything eventually disappears

    • This reality will one day be gone
  • Are we living in a simulation?

    • It doesn’t matter and it wouldn’t change your life
  • Naval really loves his Airpods

    • Some people think they might somehow cause brain tumors, but Naval thinks it’s unlikely
    • There’s no scientific evidence

How do you find your life partner?

  • Be worthy of a worthy mate – work on yourself

  • The data shows the life of the average person throughout the world is getting better

  • A lot of unhappiness comes from comparing current events to past events

  • Intermittent fasting has worked very well for Naval

    • He doesn’t think he does it often enough, but when he does, he’ll only eat dinner
    • The benefits really start after 16 hours of fasting
  • Best way to learn how to learn?

    • Read a lot and read things you like


  • Naval does the happy body routine for his workouts
  • Check out Stories of Your life and Others
  • Naval sleeps about 5 hours a night