Naval's ideas have shaped my thinking and mental models more than anything else I've come across in the past 6 years. Not only has his thinking challenged my belief systems and world-view, but his tactical advice has directly increased my daily happiness and peace.
Naval has changed my life trajectory and has made me more aware, curious, and a better decision maker. If there was one book (or set of ideas) that I could recommend to most people - it would be this one.
From following Naval, Tim Ferriss, and Nat Eliason I was aware that this book was being compiled - and from all of the positive reviews/tweets from people who had read it.
Anyone who is interested in becoming happier or wealthier. It sounds trite, but I believe most people, regardless of their position in life, would benefit from reading this book.
This book fundamentally challenges the daily struggles that many people view as unchangeable in their lives. Unhappiness, anxiety, jealously, desire, money - all of these themes are broken down in a logical way with accompanying mental models to improve your happiness.
In particular, I think people who are dissatisfied from the corporate rat race (especially in America) would benefit from reading this. Specifically, people in their late 20's who have experienced the perils of adult responsibilities and life's pressures.
How my life / behavior / thoughts / ideas have changed as a result of reading the book.
Steve Note on Highlights: I know I damn-near highlighted the whole book - it's that good.
Getting rich is about knowing what to do, who to do it with, and when to do it.
Seek wealth, not money or status. Wealth is having assets that earn while you sleep. Money is how we transfer time and wealth. Status is your place in the social hierarchy.
You’re not going to get rich renting out your time. You must own equity—a piece of a business—to gain your financial freedom.
You will get rich by giving society what it wants but does not yet know how to get. At scale.
Play iterated games. All the returns in life, whether in wealth, relationships, or knowledge, come from compound interest.
Learn to sell. Learn to build. If you can do both, you will be unstoppable.
Specific knowledge is found by pursuing your genuine curiosity and passion rather than whatever is hot right now.
Code and media are permissionless leverage. They’re the leverage behind the newly rich. You can create software and media that works for you while you sleep.
Study microeconomics, game theory, psychology, persuasion, ethics, mathematics, and computers.
Become the best in the world at what you do. Keep redefining what you do until this is true.
I’m not saying it takes decades to execute, but the better part of a decade may be figuring out what you can uniquely provide. 
Sales skills are a form of specific knowledge.
No one can compete with you on being you.
Specific knowledge is found much more by pursuing your innate talents, your genuine curiosity, and your passion. It’s not by going to school for whatever is the hottest job; it’s not by going into whatever field investors say is the hottest.
I think about the times when I get excited to solve a problem. Like how to set up a system or how data could work together
The most important skill for getting rich is becoming a perpetual learner.
But things change fast now. Now, you have to come up to speed on a new profession within nine months, and it’s obsolete four years later. But within those three productive years, you can get very wealthy.
If you have a sterling reputation and you keep building it for decades upon decades, people will notice. Your reputation will literally end up being thousands or tens of thousands of times more valuable than somebody else who was very talented but is not keeping the compound interest in reputation going.
when you find the 1 percent of your discipline which will not be wasted, which you’ll be able to invest in for the rest of your life and has meaning to you—go all-in and forget about the rest. 
Clear accountability is important. Without accountability, you don’t have incentives. Without accountability, you can’t build credibility. But you take risks. You risk failure. You risk humiliation. You risk failure under your own name.
It’s ownership versus wage work. If you are paid for renting out your time, even lawyers and doctors, you can make some money, but you’re not going to make the money that gives you financial freedom. You’re not going to have passive income where a business is earning for you while you are on vacation. 
Essentially, you’re working for somebody else, and that person is taking on the risk and has the accountability, the intellectual property, and the brand.
Owning equity in a company basically means you own the upside.
If you don’t own equity in a business, your odds of making money are very slim.
only really want to do things for their own sake. That is one definition of art. Whether it’s business, exercise, romance, friendship, whatever, I think the meaning of life is to do things for their own sake.
The less you want something, the less you’re thinking about it, the less you’re obsessing over it, the more you’re going to do it in a natural way. The more you’re going to do it for yourself. You’re going to do it in a way you’re good at, and you’re going to stick with it. The people around you will see the quality of your work is higher. 
You are waiting for your moment when something emerges in the world, they need a skill set, and you’re uniquely qualified. You build your brand in the meantime on Twitter, on YouTube, and by giving away free work. You make a name for yourself, and you take some risk in the process. When it is time to move on the opportunity, you can do so with leverage—the maximum leverage possible. 
The final form of leverage is brand new—the most democratic form. It is: “products with no marginal cost of replication.” This includes books, media, movies, and code. Code is probably the most powerful form of permissionless leverage. All you need is a computer—you don’t need anyone’s permission. 
Probably the most interesting thing to keep in mind about new forms of leverage is they are permissionless. They don’t require somebody else’s permission for you to use them or succeed. For labor leverage, somebody has to decide to follow you. For capital leverage, somebody has to give you money to invest or to turn into a product.
Whenever you can in life, optimize for independence rather than pay. If you have independence and you’re accountable on your output, as opposed to your input—that’s the dream. 
For example, a good software engineer, just by writing the right little piece of code and creating the right little application, can literally create half a billion dollars’ worth of value for a company. But ten engineers working ten times as hard, just because they choose the wrong model, the wrong product, wrote it the wrong way, or put in the wrong viral loop, have basically wasted their time. Inputs don’t match outputs, especially for leveraged workers.
For me I think my intersection is solving real problems using systems - applying my systems mindset to a real problem that exists for business owners. Thats my sweet spot.
If you have specific knowledge, you have accountability and you have leverage; they have to pay you what you’re worth. If they pay you what you’re worth, then you can get your time back—you can be hyper-efficient.
All you care about is the actual work itself.
Forty hour work weeks are a relic of the Industrial Age. Knowledge workers function like athletes—train and sprint, then rest and reassess.
No one is going to value you more than you value yourself. You just have to set a very high personal hourly rate and you have to stick to it. Even when I was young, I just decided I was worth a lot more than the market thought I was worth, and I started treating myself that way.
My hourly rate, I used to say to myself over and over, is $5,000 an hour. Today when I look back, really it was about $1,000 an hour.
If you get into a relative mindset, you’re always going to hate people who do better than you, you’re always going to be jealous or envious of them.
Be optimistic, be positive. It’s important. Optimists actually do better in the long run. 
Status is a zero-sum game. It’s a very old game. We’ve been playing it since monkey tribes. It’s hierarchical.
The problem is, to win at a status game, you have to put somebody else down. That’s why you should avoid status games in your life—they
What is the most important thing to do for younger people starting out? Spend more time making the big decisions. There are basically three really big decisions you make in your early life: where you live, who you’re with, and what you do.
What are one or two steps you’d take to surround yourself with successful people? Figure out what you’re good at, and start helping other people with it. Give it away. Pay it forward.
I would rather be a failed entrepreneur than someone who never tried. Because even a failed entrepreneur has the skill set to make it on their own. 
What you really want is freedom. You want freedom from your money problems, right? I think that’s okay. Once you can solve your money problems, either by lowering your lifestyle or by making enough money, you want to retire. Not retirement at sixty-five years old, sitting in a nursing home collecting a check retirement—it’s a different definition.
Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow. When today is complete, in and of itself, you’re retired.
Apply some leverage and put your name on it. You take the risks, but you gain the rewards, have ownership and equity in what you’re doing, and just crank it up. 
Lusting for money is bad for us because it is a bottomless pit. It will always occupy your mind. If you love money, and you make it, there’s never enough. There is never enough because the desire is turned on and doesn’t turn off at some number. It’s a fallacy to think it turns off at some number.
I think the best way to stay away from this constant love of money is to not upgrade your lifestyle as you make money.
if you can hold your lifestyle fixed and hopefully make your money in giant lump sums as opposed to a trickle at a time, you won’t have time to upgrade your lifestyle. You may get so far ahead you actually become financially free.
I value freedom above everything else. All kinds of freedom: freedom to do what I want, freedom from things I don’t want to do, freedom from my own emotions or things that may disturb my peace. For me, freedom is my number one value.
For someone who is early in their career (and maybe even later), the single most important thing about a company is the alumni network you’re going to build. Think about who you will work with and what those people are going on to do. 
“In a long-term game, it seems that everybody is making each other rich. And in a short-term game, it seems like everybody is making themselves rich.”
This is really important when thinking about partnerships or clients - choose the ones who you want to play long term games with.
“The closer you want to get to me, the better your values have to be.” 
The most common bad advice I hear is: “You’re too young.” Most of history was built by young people. They just got credit when they were older. The only way to truly learn something is by doing it. Yes, listen to guidance. But don’t wait. 
People are oddly consistent. Karma is just you, repeating your patterns, virtues, and flaws until you finally get what you deserve. Always pay it forward. And don’t keep count.
Your real résumé is just a catalog of all your suffering. If I ask you to describe your real life to yourself, and you look back from your deathbed at the interesting things you’ve done, it’s all going to be around the sacrifices you made, the hard things you did.
What making money will do is solve your money problems. It will remove a set of things that could get in the way of being happy, but it is not going to make you happy.
The direction you’re heading in matters more than how fast you move, especially with leverage. Picking the direction you’re heading in for every decision is far, far more important than how much force you apply. Just pick the right direction to start walking in, and start walking. 
The really smart thinkers are clear thinkers. They understand the basics at a very, very fundamental level.
If you can’t rederive concepts from the basics as you need them, you’re lost. You’re just memorizing. 
Add this to the post about first principles
You can only make progress when you’re starting with the truth.
To see the truth, you have to get your ego out of the way because your ego doesn’t want to face the truth. The smaller you can make your ego, the less conditioned you can make your reactions, the less desires you can have about the outcome you want, the easier it will be to see the reality.
The more desire I have for something to work out a certain way, the less likely I am to see the truth. Especially in business, if something isn’t going well, I try to acknowledge it publicly and I try to acknowledge it publicly in front of my co-founders and friends and co-workers. Then, I’m not hiding it from anybody else. If I’m not hiding it from anybody, I’m not going to delude myself from what’s actually going on. 
It’s actually really important to have empty space. If you don’t have a day or two every week in your calendar where you’re not always in meetings, and you’re not always busy, then you’re not going to be able to think.
It’s only after you’re bored you have the great ideas. It’s never going to be when you’re stressed, or busy, running around or rushed. Make the time. 
Very smart people tend to be weird since they insist on thinking everything through for themselves.
Optimistic contrarians are the rarest breed.
Any belief you took in a package (ex. Democrat, Catholic, American) is suspect and should be re-evaluated from base principles.
How by traveling and living in different countries allowed me to reexamine a lot of my ego and what my identity is. Like what it means to be an american, why i care about certain things, what i value?
Facebook redesigns. Twitter redesigns. Personalities, careers, and teams also need redesigns. There are no permanent solutions in a dynamic system.
Almost all biases are time-saving heuristics. For important decisions, discard memory and identity, and focus on the problem.
I would combine radical honesty with an old rule Warren Buffett has, which is praise specifically, criticize generally.
Mental models are really just compact ways for you to recall your own knowledge. 
To me, the principal-agent problem is the single most fundamental problem in microeconomics.
if you want it done right, then you have to go yourself and do it. When you are the principal, then you are the owner—you care, and you will do a great job. When you are the agent and you are doing it on somebody else’s behalf, you can do a bad job. You just don’t care. You optimize for yourself rather than for the principal’s assets.
The more closely you can tie someone’s compensation to the exact value they’re creating, the more you turn them into a principal, and the less you turn them into an agent. 
In the intellectual domain, compound interest rules.
If you cannot decide, the answer is no. And the reason is, modern society is full of options. There are tons and tons of options. We live on a planet of seven billion people, and we are connected to everybody on the internet. There are hundreds of thousands of careers available to you. There are so many choices.
Simple heuristic: If you’re evenly split on a difficult decision, take the path more painful in the short term.
So you generally want to lean into things with short-term pain, but long-term gain.
Read a lot—just read. 
Reading science, math, and philosophy one hour per day will likely put you at the upper echelon of human success within seven years.
The means of learning are abundant—it’s the desire to learn that is scarce. 
Read what you love until you love to read.
“I don’t want to read everything. I just want to read the 100 great books over and over again.”
It’s really more about identifying the great books for you because different books speak to different people. Then, you can really absorb those.
“As long as I have a book in my hand, I don’t feel like I’m wasting time.” —Charlie Munger
The number of books completed is a vanity metric. As you know more, you leave more books unfinished. Focus on new concepts with predictive power.
What practices do you follow to internalize/organize information from reading books? Explain what you learned to someone else. Teaching forces learning.
It’s not about “educated” vs. “uneducated.” It’s about “likes to read” and “doesn’t like to read.”
If you start with the originals as your foundations, then you have enough of a worldview and understanding that you won’t fear any book. Then you can just learn. If you’re a perpetual learning machine, you will never be out of options for how to make money. You can always see what’s coming up in society, what the value is, where the demand is, and you can learn to come up to speed. 
we’re also taught from a young age to finish your books. Books are sacred—when you go to school and you’re assigned to read a book, you have to finish the book. Over time, we forget how to read books. Everyone I know is stuck on some book.
If the book is getting a little boring, I’ll skip ahead. Sometimes, I start reading a book in the middle because some paragraph caught my eye. I’ll just continue from there, and I feel no obligation whatsoever to finish the book. All of a sudden, books are back into my reading library. That’s great, because there is ancient wisdom in books. 
A calm mind, a fit body, and a house full of love. These things cannot be bought. They must be earned.
To me, happiness is not about positive thoughts. It’s not about negative thoughts. It’s about the absence of desire, especially the absence of desire for external things. The fewer desires I can have, the more I can accept the current state of things, the less my mind is moving, because the mind really exists in motion toward the future or the past. The more present I am, the happier and more content I will be.
This is what I mean when I say happiness is a choice. If you believe it’s a choice, you can start working on it. 
Happiness is what’s there when you remove the sense that something is missing in your life.
We think of ourselves as fixed and the world as malleable, but it’s really we who are malleable and the world is largely fixed.
Yeah. But it’s amazing how little it helps. [laughs] You can be a long-time meditator, but if someone says the wrong thing in the wrong way, you go back to your ego-driven self. It’s almost like you’re lifting one-pound weights, but then somebody drops a huge barbell with a stack of plates on your head.
A rational person can find peace by cultivating indifference to things outside of their control.
Happiness is a choice you make and a skill you develop.
Memory and identity are burdens from the past preventing us from living freely in the present. 
At any given time, when you’re walking down the streets, a very small percentage of your brain is focused on the present. The rest is planning the future or regretting the past. This keeps you from having an incredible experience. It’s keeping you from seeing the beauty in everything and for being grateful for where you are. You can literally destroy your happiness if you spend all of your time living in delusions of the future. 
We crave experiences that will make us be present, but the cravings themselves take us from the present moment.
“Enlightenment is the space between your thoughts.” It means enlightenment isn’t something you achieve after thirty years sitting on a mountaintop. It’s something you can achieve moment to moment, and you can be enlightened to a certain percent every single day. 
What if this life is the paradise we were promised, and we’re just squandering it?
How I combat anxiety: I don’t try and fight it, I just notice I’m anxious because of all these thoughts. I try to figure out, “Would I rather be having this thought right now, or would I rather have my peace?” Because as long as I have my thoughts, I can’t have my peace.
A happy person isn’t someone who’s happy all the time. It’s someone who effortlessly interprets events in such a way that they don’t lose their innate peace.
I think the most common mistake for humanity is believing you’re going to be made happy because of some external circumstance.
The mistake over and over and over is to say, “Oh, I’ll be happy when I get that thing,” whatever it is. That is the fundamental mistake we all make, 24/7, all day long. 
The fundamental delusion: There is something out there that will make me happy and fulfilled forever.
Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.
I try not to have more than one big desire in my life at any given time, and I also recognize it as the axis of my suffering. I realize the area where I’ve chosen to be unhappy. 
When you’re young, you have time. You have health, but you have no money. When you’re middle-aged, you have money and you have health, but you have no time. When you’re old, you have money and you have time, but you have no health. So the trifecta is trying to get all three at once.
Happiness is being satisfied with what you have. Success comes from dissatisfaction. Choose.
Confucius says you have two lives, and the second one begins when you realize you only have one.
The problem with getting good at a game, especially one with big rewards, is you continue playing it long after you should have outgrown it. Survival and replication drive put us on the work treadmill. Hedonic adaptation keeps us there. The trick is knowing when to jump off and play instead.
To me, the real winners are the ones who step out of the game entirely, who don’t even play the game, who rise above it. Those are the people who have such internal mental and self-control and self-awareness, they need nothing from anybody else.
There’s a line from Blaise Pascal I read. Basically, it says: “All of man’s troubles arise because he cannot sit in a room quietly by himself.” If you could just sit for thirty minutes and be happy, you are successful. That is a very powerful place to be, but very few of us get there. 
In reality, peace is not a guarantee. It’s always flowing. It’s always changing. You want to learn the core skill set of flowing with life and accepting it in most cases. 
Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion.
I’m trying to get rid of is the word “should.” Whenever the word “should” creeps up in your mind, it’s guilt or social programming.
The enemy of peace of mind is expectations drilled into you by society and other people.
The reality is life is a single-player game. You’re born alone. You’re going to die alone. All of your interpretations are alone. All your memories are alone. You’re gone in three generations, and nobody cares. Before you showed up, nobody cared. It’s all single player.
Perhaps one reason why yoga and meditation are hard to sustain is they have no extrinsic value. Purely single-player games.
All the real scorecards are internal.
It’s such a poisonous emotion because, at the end of the day, you’re no better off with jealousy.
One day, I realized with all these people I was jealous of, I couldn’t just choose little aspects of their life. I couldn’t say I want his body, I want her money, I want his personality. You have to be that person. Do you want to actually be that person with all of their reactions, their desires, their family, their happiness level, their outlook on life, their self-image? If you’re not willing to do a wholesale, 24/7, 100 percent swap with who that person is, then there is no point in being jealous.
Once I came to that realization, jealousy faded away because I don’t want to be anybody else. I’m perfectly happy being me. By the way, even that is under my control.
You can increase your happiness over time, and it starts with believing you can do it.
When working, surround yourself with people more successful than you. When playing, surround yourself with people happier than you.
The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle,
How does someone build the skill of happiness?
You can build good habits.
Essentially, you have to go through your life replacing your thoughtless bad habits with good ones, making a commitment to be a happier person.
Many distinctions between people who get happier as they get older and people who don’t can be explained by what habits they have developed. Are they habits that will increase your long-term happiness rather than your short-term happiness? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are generally positive and upbeat people? Are those relationships low-maintenance? Do you admire and respect but not envy them?
The first rule of handling conflict is: Don’t hang around people who constantly engage in conflict. I’m not interested in anything unsustainable or even hard to sustain, including difficult relationships. 
If you can’t see yourself working with someone for life, don’t work with them for a day.
The most important trick to being happy is to realize happiness is a skill you develop and a choice you make.
You decide it’s important to you. You prioritize it above everything else. You read everything on the topic. 
The obvious one is meditation—insight meditation.
Just being very aware in every moment.
I try to get more sunlight on my skin.
Every time you catch yourself desiring something, say, “Is it so important to me I’ll be unhappy unless this goes my way?”
I think dropping caffeine made me happier. It makes me more of a stable person. 
I think working out every day made me happier. If you have peace of body, it’s easier to have peace of mind. 
The more you judge, the more you separate yourself.
Tell your friends you’re a happy person. Then, you’ll be forced to conform to it.
Recover time and happiness by minimizing your use of these three smartphone apps: phone, calendar, and alarm clock. 
The more secrets you have, the less happy you’re going to be. 
Caught in a funk? Use meditation, music, and exercise to reset your mood. Then choose a new path to commit emotional energy for rest of day. 
No exceptions—all screen activities linked to less happiness, all non-screen activities linked to more happiness. 
A personal metric: how much of the day is spent doing things out of obligation rather than out of interest? 
It’s the news’ job to make you anxious and angry. But its underlying scientific, economic, education, and conflict trends are positive. Stay optimistic. 
Increase serotonin in the brain without drugs: Sunlight, exercise, positive thinking, and tryptophan. 
First, you know it. Then, you understand it. Then, you can explain it. Then, you can feel it. Finally, you are it.
In any situation in life, you always have three choices: you can change it, you can accept it, or you can leave it. If you want to change it, then it is a desire. It will cause you suffering until you successfully change it. So don’t pick too many of those. Pick one big desire in your life at any given time to give yourself purpose and motivation.
The phrase I probably use the most to myself in my head is just one word: “accept.” 
We don’t always get what we want, but sometimes what is happening is for the best. The sooner you can accept it as a reality, the sooner you can adapt to it.
One hack is stepping back and looking at previous bits of suffering I’ve had in my life. I write them down. “Last time you broke up with somebody, last time you had a business failure, last time you had a health issue, what happened?” I can trace the growth and improvement that came from it years later.
I have another hack I use for minor annoyances. When they happen, a part of me will instantly react negatively. But I’ve learned to mentally ask myself, “What is the positive of this situation?”
How do you learn to accept things you can’t change? Fundamentally, it boils down to one big hack: embracing death.
Your life is a firefly blink in a night. You’re here for such a brief period of time. If you fully acknowledge the futility of what you’re doing, then I think it can bring great happiness and peace because you realize this is a game. But it’s a fun game. All that matters is you experience your reality as you go through life. Why not interpret it in the most positive possible way?
You’re going to die one day, and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work. 
Doctors won’t make you healthy. Nutritionists won’t make you slim. Teachers won’t make you smart. Gurus won’t make you calm. Mentors won’t make you rich. Trainers won’t make you fit. Ultimately, you have to take responsibility. Save yourself.
I never met my greatest mentor. I wanted so much to be like him. But his message was the opposite: Be yourself, with passionate intensity.
No one in the world is going to beat you at being you.
Certainly, listen and absorb, but don’t try to emulate. It’s a fool’s errand.
Your goal in life is to find the people, business, project, or art that needs you the most. There is something out there just for you.
To make an original contribution, you have to be irrationally obsessed with something.
My number one priority in life, above my happiness, above my family, above my work, is my own health. It starts with my physical health. Second, it’s my mental health. Third, it’s my spiritual health. Then, it’s my family’s health. Then, it’s my family’s wellbeing. After that, I can go out and do whatever I need to do with the rest of the world. 
Nothing like a health problem to turn up the contrast dial for the rest of life.
When everyone is sick, we no longer consider it a disease.
Most fit and healthy people focus much more on what they eat than how much. Quality control is easier than (and leads to) quantity control. 
Ironically, fasting (from a low-carb/paleo base) is easier than portion control. Once the body detects food, it overrides the brain. 
When it comes to medicine and nutrition, subtract before you add. 
World’s simplest diet: The more processed the food, the less one should consume.
The harder the workout, the easier the day.
What habit would you say most positively impacts your life? The daily morning workout.
“I don’t have time” is just another way of saying “It’s not a priority.”
What you really have to do is say whether it is a priority or not. If something is your number one priority, then you will do it. That’s just the way life works.
What I did was decide my number one priority in life, above my happiness, above my family, above my work, is my own health. It starts with my physical health. 
One month of consistent yoga and I feel 10 years younger. To stay flexible is to stay young.
The important thing is to do something every day. It doesn’t matter what it is. The best workout for you is one you’re excited enough to do every day. 
“Easy choices, hard life. Hard choices, easy life.”
Basically, if you are making the hard choices right now in what to eat, you’re not eating all the junk food you want, and making the hard choice to work out. So, your life long-term will be easy.
If you make the easy choices right now, your overall life will be a lot harder. 
Your breath is one of the few places where your autonomic nervous system meets your voluntary nervous system. It’s involuntary, but you can also control it.
Relaxed breathing tells your body you’re safe.
I highly recommend listening to the Tim Ferriss’s podcast with Wim Hof.
most of our suffering comes from avoidance.
Meditation is intermittent fasting for the mind. Too much sugar leads to a heavy body, and too many distractions lead to a heavy mind. Time spent undistracted and alone, in self-examination, journaling, meditation, resolves the unresolved and takes us from mentally fat to fit.
I’ve identified and tried at least four different forms of meditation. The one I found works best for me is called Choiceless Awareness, or Nonjudgmental Awareness. As you’re going about your daily business (hopefully, there’s some nature) and you’re not talking to anybody else, you practice learning to accept the moment you’re in without making judgments.
What I find is 90 percent of thoughts I have are fear-based. The other 10 percent may be desire-based.
As you watch your thoughts, you realize how many of them are fear-based. The moment you recognize a fear, without even trying it goes away. After a while, your mind quiets.
It pops us out of the story we’re constantly telling ourselves. If you stop talking to yourself for even ten minutes, if you stop obsessing over your own story, you’ll realize we are really far up Maslow’s hierarchy of needs, and life is pretty good. 
Life-hack: When in bed, meditate. Either you will have a deep meditation or fall asleep. Victory either way.
Another method I’ve learned is to just sit there and you close your eyes for at least one hour a day. You surrender to whatever happens—don’t make any effort whatsoever. You make no effort for something, and you make no effort against anything. If there are thoughts running through your mind, you let the thoughts run.
Over time, you will resolve a lot of these deep-seated unresolved things you have in your mind. Once they’re resolved, there will come a day when you sit down to meditate, and you’ll hit a mental “inbox zero.”
The attraction of drugs is spiritual.
People chasing thrills in action sports or flow states or orgasms—any of these states people strive for are people trying to get out of their own heads. They’re trying to get away from the voice in their heads—the overdeveloped sense of self.
The first thing to realize is you can observe your mental state. Meditation doesn’t mean you’re suddenly going to gain the superpower to control your internal state. The advantage of meditation is recognizing just how out of control your mind is.
You have to see this mad creature in operation before you feel a certain distaste toward it and start separating yourself from it. In that separation is liberation.
“Oh, I don’t want to be that person. Why am I so out of control?” Awareness alone calms you down. 
Insight meditation lets you run your brain in debug mode until you realize you’re just a subroutine in a larger program.
Then the next moment, I’m off to thinking something else. I have to look at my brain again and say, “Do I really need to solve this problem right now?”
Probably the most important thing I've realized over the past 6 years - always asking myself is this a problem i need to solve right now?
Ninety-five percent of what my brain runs off and tries to do, I don’t need to tackle in that exact moment. If the brain is like a muscle, I’ll be better off resting it, being at peace. When a particular problem arises, I’ll immerse myself in it.
The ability to singularly focus is related to the ability to lose yourself and be present, happy, and (ironically) more effective. 
serves incredible purpose, but I try not to activate the monkey mind until I need it. When I need it, I want to just focus on that. If I run it 24/7, I waste energy and the monkey mind becomes me. I am more than my monkey mind.
We don’t live enough in our awareness. We live too much in this internal monologue in our heads. All of which is just programmed into you by society and by the environment when you were younger.
Meditation is turning off society and listening to yourself. It only “works” when done for its own sake. Hiking is walking meditation. Journaling is writing meditation. Praying is gratitude meditation. Showering is accidental meditation. Sitting quietly is direct meditation.
The greatest superpower is the ability to change yourself.
Life is going to play out the way it’s going to play out. There will be some good and some bad. Most of it is actually just up to your interpretation. You’re born, you have a set of sensory experiences, and then you die. How you choose to interpret those experiences is up to you,
I’m trying to learn from that and do the same things I think are the right things to do but without anger and with a very long-term point of view.
To have peace of mind, you have to have peace of body first.
I started realizing it’s all about habits. At any given time, I’m either trying to pick up a good habit or discard a previous bad habit. It takes time.
Commit externally to enough people. For example, if you want to quit smoking, all you have to do is go to everybody you know and say, “I quit smoking. I did it. I give you my word.”
It’s important to be honest with yourself and say, “Okay, I’m not ready to give up smoking. I like it too much, it is going to be too hard for me to give up.”
When you really want to change, you just change. But most of us don’t really want to change—we don’t want to go through the pain just yet. At least recognize it, be aware of it, and give yourself a smaller change you can actually carry out. 
Impatience with actions, patience with results.
As Nivi said, inspiration is perishable. When you have inspiration, act on it right then and there. 
“Set up systems, not goals.”
The current environment programs the brain, but the clever brain can choose its upcoming environment.
I just want to be the most successful version of myself while working the least hard possible.
If there’s something you want to do later, do it now. There is no “later.”
The returns in life are being out of the herd.
Grind and sweat, toil and bleed, face the abyss. It’s all part of becoming an overnight success.
If you had to pass down to your kids one or two principles, what would they be? Number one: read. Read everything you can. And not just the stuff that society tells you is good or even books that I tell you to read. Just read for its own sake. Develop a love for it.
Related to the skill of reading are the skills of mathematics and persuasion. Both skills help you to navigate through the real world.
Having the skill of persuasion is important because if you can influence your fellow human beings, you can get a lot done. I think persuasion is an actual skill. So you can learn it, and it’s not that hard to do so.
The hardest thing is not doing what you want—it’s knowing what you want.
Advice to my younger self: “Be exactly who you are.” Holding back means staying in bad relationships and bad jobs for years instead of minutes.
Courage isn’t charging into a machine gun nest. Courage is not caring what other people think.
Value your time. It is all you have. It’s more important than your money. It’s more important than your friends. It is more important than anything. Your time is all you have. Do not waste your time.
Don’t spend your time making other people happy. Other people being happy is their problem. It’s not your problem. If you are happy, it makes other people happy. If you’re happy, other people will ask you how you became happy and they might learn from it, but you are not responsible for making other people happy. 
Observe when you’re angry—anger is a loss of control over the situation. Anger is a contract you make with yourself to be in physical and mental and emotional turmoil until reality changes. 
People who live far below their means enjoy a freedom that people busy upgrading their lifestyles can’t fathom. 
A taste of freedom can make you unemployable.
To me, the mind should be a servant and a tool, not a master. My monkey mind should not control and drive me 24/7.
I think just being aware you’re a rat in a race is about as far as most of us are going to get. 
The modern struggle: Lone individuals summoning inhuman willpower, fasting, meditating, and exercising… Up against armies of scientists and statisticians weaponizing abundant food, screens, and medicine into junk food, clickbait news, infinite porn, endless games, and addictive drugs.
A really unbounded, big question: what is the meaning and purpose of life?
Answer 1: It’s personal. You have to find your own meaning. Any piece of wisdom anybody else gives you, whether it’s Buddha or me, is going to sound like nonsense. Fundamentally, you have to find it for yourself, so the important part is not the answer, it’s the question. You just have to sit there and dig with the question. It might take you years or decades. When you find an answer you’re happy with, it will be fundamental to your life.
Answer 2: There is no meaning to life. There is no purpose to life. Osho said, “It’s like writing on water or building houses of sand.” The reality is you’ve been dead for the history of the Universe, 10 billion years or more. You will be dead for the next 70 billion years or so, until the heat death of the Universe.
I think after this life, it’s very much like before you were born. Remember that? It’s going to be just like that.
The more complex system you create, whether it’s through computers, civilization, art, mathematics, or creating a family—you actually accelerate the heat death of the Universe. You’re pushing us towards this point where we end up as one thing. 
Honesty is a core, core, core value. By honesty, I mean I want to be able to just be me. I never want to be in an environment or around people where I have to watch what I say.
Anyone around whom I can’t be fully honest, I don’t want to be around.
Another example of a foundational value: I don’t believe in any short-term thinking or dealing. If I’m doing business with somebody and they think in a short-term manner with somebody else, then I don’t want to do business with them anymore.
Another one is I only believe in peer relationships. I don’t believe in hierarchical relationships. I don’t want to be above anybody, and I don’t want to be below anybody. If I can’t treat someone like a peer and if they can’t treat me like peer, I just don’t want to interact with them.
 I think everybody has values. Much of finding great relationships, great coworkers, great lovers, wives, husbands, is finding other people where your values line up. If your values line up, the little things don’t matter. Generally, I find if people are fighting or quarreling about something, it’s because their values don’t line up. If their values lined up, the little things wouldn’t matter. 
As investor Charlie Munger says, “To find a worthy mate, be worthy of a worthy mate.” 
The older the question, the older the answers.
If I can’t verify it on my own or if I cannot get there through science, then it may be true, it may be false, but it’s not falsifiable, so I cannot view it as a fundamental truth.
Try everything, test it for yourself, be skeptical, keep what’s useful, and discard what’s not.
I would say my philosophy falls down to this—on one pole is evolution as a binding principle because it explains so much about humans, on the other is Buddhism, which is the oldest, most time-tested spiritual philosophy regarding the internal state of each of us.
How do you define wisdom? Understanding the long-term consequences of your actions. 
If wisdom could be imparted through words alone, we’d all be done here.
There is actually nothing but this moment. No one has ever gone back in time, and no one has ever been able to successfully predict the future in any way that matters. Literally, the only thing that exists is this exact point where you are in space at the exact time you happen to be here.
The truth is, I don’t read for self-improvement. I read out of curiosity and interest. The best book is the one you’ll devour.
Read enough, and you become a connoisseur. Then you naturally gravitate more toward theory, concepts, nonfiction.
Thing Explainer: Complicated Stuff in Simple Words by Randall Munroe
The Sovereign Individual: Mastering the Transition to the Information Age by James Dale Davidson and Lord William Rees-Mogg
Poor Charlie’s Almanack: The Wit and Wisdom of Charles T. Munger by Charlie Munger (edited by Peter Kaufman)
The Book of Life by Jiddu Krishnamurti
I’m pretty much always rereading something by either Krishnamurti or Osho. Those are my favorite philosophers. 
The Book of Secrets: 112 Meditations to Discover the Mystery Within by Osho
The Tao of Seneca: Practical Letters from a Stoic Master My most listened-to audiobook. The most important audiobook I’ve ever heard.
How to Change Your Mind by Michael Pollan
Striking Thoughts: Bruce Lee’s Wisdom for Daily Living by Bruce Lee
The Prophet by Kahlil Gibran
Ficciones by Jorge Luis Borges
Stories of Your Life and Others by Ted Chiang
I always spent money on books. I never viewed that as an expense. That’s an investment to me. 
“The Day You Became a Better Writer” by Scott Adams Even though I am a very good writer and I’ve been writing a lot since I was young, I still open up that blog post and put it in the background anytime I’m writing anything important. It’s that good.
Anger is a hot coal you hold in your hand while waiting to throw it at someone else. (Buddha)
Health, love, and your mission, in that order. Nothing else matters.