Branweb Blog

Thoughts on The Almanac of Naval Ravikant

You can find the almanac for free here .

The almanac is partly general life advice, partly career advice.

Life advice

Make Space

Make time to learn and think. Time used well is more valuable than money. Have 1 day per week to think, 1 hour per day to read.

Figure out your values

The point of learning and thinking is to discover your version of the well-lived life. You need to know what makes you happy, what you want to avoid, what motivates you, who you want to marry, where you want live, what you want to do for work.

Most people neglect to think seriously about these questions, which hinders them from reaching their goals. As the saying goes: “If you don’t know what port you’re sailing for, no wind is favorable.”

This is the key step in this whole process, so don’t rush it. Take a year to decide, a day to act. Think of yourself as a navigator charting a course. Make a mistake and you’ll find yourself in Antarctica for all your efforts.

Live a principled life

Once you know your values, use them to make decisions. For any choice, ask: does this align with my values? Does this bring me closer to my goals? If you do this, your life will have direction and your decisions will get easier. You will gain a huge advantage over most people, who are unclear about what they want and therefore make decisions that lack cumulative force.

Periodically reassess

Do your actions still align with your values? Have your values changed?

Career Advice

Find a career

Explore things that interest you. Some of those things, you’ll be good at. Pursue those, focusing first on the fundamentals and then specializing. Get really good, and once you are, figure out how to charge for your skills. Finally apply leverage.

Apply leverage

What is leverage? Think about a man moving a huge boulder using a pry bar. What the man has done is decoupled input from output: he exerts a little muscular force and moves a boulder that would otherwise take 10 men. It is the same with your career. In most jobs, money is a linear function of time invested–you put in more hours, you make more money. Leverage means changing that relationship. You want your income to grow geometrically (or better!) as your hours grow linearly.

Leverage is more important than hard work. A ditch-digger works hard but has no leverage. He can start a ditch-digging company and hire people to dig ditches, and that’s leverage. If hires 5 people, he can dig 5x more ditches. But people are messy. A better way to get leverage is to write code. You write a program once, distribute it widely and virtually no cost, and it earns for you. So choose a career that let’s you apply leverage.