Naval Ravikant — The Person I Call Most for Startup Advice (#97)

The Tim Ferriss Show with Naval Ravikant

“Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want.” – Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the CEO and a co-founder of AngelList. He previously co-founded Epinions, which went public as part of, and He is an active angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including more than a few “unicorn” mega-successes.

His deals include Twitter, Uber, Yammer, Postmates, Wish, Thumbtack, and OpenDNS, which Cisco just bought for $635 million in cash.

BUT, even if you have zero interest in startups or investing, this episode is well worth your time.  This is really about the habits and beliefs of a highly successful (and happy) person.

Naval has refined his way of living in very unique ways, and you can borrow what he’s learned, read the books that have changed him, and experiment with the habits he has developed through trial and error.

Enjoy this conversation with a curious character!

#97: The Evolutionary Angel, Naval Ravikant


UPDATE:  This episode was extremely popular (and nominated for “Podcast of the Year”), so we did a round two with Naval. Here it is!

Want to hear another podcast on meditation and “spirituality”? — Listen to my conversation with Sam Harris, PhD. In the below episode, we discuss “spirituality,” neuroscience, his meditation practice, and more (stream below or right-click here to download):

Ep. 14: Sam Harris, PhD - Spirituality, Neuroscience, Meditation, and More

This episode is sponsored by 99Designs, the world’s largest marketplace of graphic designers. Did you know I used 99Designs to rapid prototype the cover for The 4-Hour Body? Here are some of the impressive resultsClick this link and get a free $99 upgrade. Give it a test run…

This podcast is also brought to you by Athletic Greens. I get asked all the time, “If you could only use one supplement, what would it be?” My answer is, inevitably, Athletic Greens. It is my all-in-one nutritional insurance. I recommended it in The 4-Hour Body and did not get paid to do so. Get 50% off your order at Athletic

QUESTION(S) OF THE DAY: What do you still want to know about investing, whether in startups or elsewhere? Or: What was your favorite takeaway from Naval? Please let me know in the comments.

Scroll below for links and show notes…


Selected Links from the Episode

AngelList | Startup Boy Blog | Twitter

Show Notes

  • On the intensity of Naval Ravikant [6:55]
  • On uncompromising honesty [16:54]
  • How AngelList and Venture Hacks came to be [20:09]
  • What Naval looks for when deciding to invest in a founder [25:24]
  • Common “wives tales” in venture capital [32:39]
  • What books, outside the startup world, have most improved Naval’s ability to invest? [36:54]
  • Greatest investing hits and misses [51:49]
  • When you think of the successful people, who is the first that comes to mind? [58:19]
  • Meditative practices [1:00:58]
  • How to replace bad habits with good habits [1:07:06]
  • On setting stakes and awards [1:24:49]
  • How to treat your life like a movie [1:34:44]
  • Overused words and phrases [1:39:39]
  • Early life education and the importance of “loving to read” [1:43:19]
  • Advice for his younger self [1:51:09]
  • Describing the first 60 minutes of each day [1:52:40]
  • If you could have one billboard anywhere, where would it be and what would it say? [2:04:19]

People Mentioned

The Tim Ferriss Show is one of the most popular podcasts in the world with more than 900 million downloads. It has been selected for "Best of Apple Podcasts" three times, it is often the #1 interview podcast across all of Apple Podcasts, and it's been ranked #1 out of 400,000+ podcasts on many occasions. To listen to any of the past episodes for free, check out this page.

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490 Replies to “Naval Ravikant — The Person I Call Most for Startup Advice (#97)”

  1. holy sh*t, only 20 minutes in… this already my (new) favourite.

    “If you want to be successful surround yourself with people that are more successful than you are, if you want to be happy surround yourself with people that are less successful than you are.”

    1. Thanks for listening! Naval is full of great observations. Just wait until you have finished the episode 🙂

      1. Thank you for your reply Tim! It made my day. I hope we never meet because I will fanboy the f out! Love everything you do please keep going and please take care of yourself.

        When I’m right I’m right, this was fantastic. Naval is incredibly thoughtful about everything in his day to day life, like a super effective Seinfeld.

        To paraphrase Jeff Daniels “Just when I think you couldn’t do anything more stupendous you go and do something like this… AND TOTALLY REDEEM YOURSELF!”


      2. Hello Tim

        I would like to have a talk with you on the phone

        Can you please contact me in PM


      3. Thanks for sharing Tim. . . I agree this is my favorite episode and I have been a long time listener. Thanks for sharing your circle of friends with us.

      4. Also book that has changed my view of the world, most dog eared, most highlighted… “50 Shades of the 4 hour Work Week”. Okay it’s just the 4 Hour Work Week” but man I sound like such a douchey brown noser.

    2. Totally agree, I already have that quote saved! Not many interviews where I stop walking to scramble and jot down notes.

    3. This exact same quote stuck in my head for a few days after listening to this episode. Also, a lot of other takeaways from this episode. This is the first episode where I stopped listening in the middle to look at the show notes.

  2. Would you be able to make your website use https not http? Ask Kevin or Samy why this is so important – especially because we’re leaving our emails with you 😉 Thankyou

  3. Thank you for sharing Naval’s simple wisdom. One of your best Tim. I highly recommend Susan Blackmore’s The Meme Machine.

  4. Tim!

    I hope you were able to take some well deserved time off!

    You’ve been crushing it these days and massive appreciation for your podcasts. Outstanding episode and chock full of great advice! Will listen to this one multiple times.

    Keep up the great work!

    Take care,


  5. Great podcast and great suggestion by Naval about putting down books that are no longer interesting. He shares a similar philosophy with John Mackey of Whole Foods.

    The most influential book in my life has been Common Sense by Thomas Paine. In the introduction he writes:

    “Perhaps the sentiments contained in the following pages, are not yet sufficiently fashionable to procure them general favor; a long habit of not thinking a thing wrong, gives it a superficial appearance of being right, and raises at first a formidable outcry in defence of custom. But the tumult soon subsides. Time makes more converts than reason.”

    Published in 1776 the above statement foreshadows Everett Rogers’ theory of the Diffusion of Innovation published almost 200 years later.

    Steve Jobs once said: “Everything around you that you call life was made up by people that were no smarter than you and you can change it, you can influence it…”

    Applying Jobs’ commentary to Paine’s ideas challenges us to look beyond technological innovation and work on challenges of societal and economic innovation.

  6. Really enjoyed this episode, even more so than usual! Very much resonated with Naval’s philosophy. Wanted to chime in – you already captured my favorite book ever (have had to buy multiple copies because I’ve worn them out) – namely, ‘Illusions’ by Richard Bach.

    But in the vein of surprisingly enjoyable fiction, I especially enjoyed the works of Erik Tarloff, ‘Face Time’ and ‘The Man Who Wrote the Book’. And now that I’m looking, appaently he has a new one out I need to go try.

    Thanks again for letting us eavesdrop on your informative and inspiring conversation!

  7. I’ve listened to every episode, but this is definitely one of my favorites. So much actionable advice! I especially liked Naval’s tip to read only what you find interesting and the importance of not feeling obligated to finish every book you start. It makes me feel a lot better about the mountain of half-finished texts on my shelf and less guilty about starting something new (will definitely check out Meditations). Keep rocking the show, Tim!

    1. I would have to agree. Easily my top 3. I’ve only re-listened to Josh Waitzkin (about 5 times!) but will re-listen to this one too. There is indeed a true visceral wisdom and passion from Naval. I’m glad he didn’t talk investing and all that jazz.

  8. Once you have an idea for a start up and are looking for a technical co founder. In a worse case scenario, how do you legally protect your idea from being stolen from a technical co founder once you explain your idea to them?

    1. Although many have argued the point that this actually happening is rare, many founders with an idea are often paranoid about this.

      You can protect yourself by drafting a Non-disclosure agreement (NDA) or similar legal document. Check or similar sites. You don’t need a law degree or to spend a lot of money on a lawyer, just simply put in writing that by sharing your idea the other party agrees that if they don’t move forward with you, or if they do, that they will not create a competing product to yours without your consent.

      Full disclosure: I’m not a lawyer :). But I play one on the internet (sarcasm).

      Remember as well, your idea might be great or it might actually turn out to be just so-so. Either way it will take time and effort to make it a reality, two things most technical co-founders are short on! So don’t be too worried about blabbing about your idea… you came up with it and have the best insight into how to make it work.

      Ideas are like stocks… they should be shared.

      – Nimmy

  9. Book that most changed my life was “What to Say When You Talk to Your Self”, by Shad Helmstetter. It’s the definitive book on self-talk, a classic from back in the 80s, and pretty much popularized the term.

  10. Tim,

    Best show you have done to this point!! (Not to take away from past episodes)

    Tons of take aways and thoughts to ponder. Could you outline the morning work out routine that is mention in the episode or where to go to read more. Again , great show!


  11. The first quote is perfect Tim! I find myself wanting less and giving more these days. My shift occurred when I changed my intent. I wanted to not get stuff, but to free me, and to free my audience. I also ramped up my morning routine in a major league way, doing the icy cold shower bit, meditating and doing deep stretching. Toss in an hour of exercise every day and you have a high vibing guy who reaches up the energy ladder each day.

    Naval gets it. Simple counts most. I enjoy having less and giving more, and the irony is, the less you have cluttering your life, and the more freely you give, the more money you make and the happier you’ll become….if you are aligned with making money. I feel more detached each day and it’s because I just want to free me, and to free you, and to free my audience. The intent is what makes it all happen.

    Thanks Tim!


  12. For me, the one book that’s impacted me the most is Orson Scott Card’s Ender’s Shadow. The entire “Ender’s Universe” saga has deep philosophical undertones, but it seems that every time I read Ender’s Shadow, I come out of the experience seeing the way people interact with each other (and their underlying values) slightly more easily than before.

  13. Can’t believe how much this podcasts translates to my life–I’m on the verge of tears…at work. Thank you Tim and Naval.

  14. Fuckity fuck fuck. I’ll listen to this one again (and probably again).

    When Naval mentioned Illusions, I hollered YES! and gave my poor pups a huge startle. I buy used copies of that book and give it as a High School graduation present every year. Makes me want to go back and read it again.

    The Desire Map is an important book for me. Totally woo-y but also practical.

    It’s a different take on desire: the idea that knowing how you want to feel (and having specific words for those feelings) will help you create your life. The bit that struck me most was “want what you want with all of your heart, but don’t be attached to GETTING it.”

    It ties in well to the ideas you guys kept coming back to: You can be happy. It does take some work, and plenty of awareness.

  15. Hi Tim,

    Great post. I’m sure you have a million emails to sift through, but I’m hoping you saw mine about an interview opportunity with Seth Goldman, Honest Tea co-founder and CEO, who like Naval, is another success story.

    Next Tuesday, August 25th, the company will unveil the results of this year’s National Honesty Index, which lists cities from most to least honest based on a series of social experiments conducted across the country to test people’s “honesty.” I’d love to get your thoughts on talking to Seth about the National Honesty Index, as well as the business of building a multi-million dollar company from the ground up.

    The email I sent to bounced back. Is there another way to reach you? Thanks!

  16. Another great podcast I’ll recommend some great fiction to read, “The Walking Drum” by Louis L’amour great adventure and you may learn something as well

  17. A random fun read: “Yoga for People Who Can’t Be Bothered to Do It”,

    Geoff Dyer

    A collection of fun adventures from a slacker anit-hero but interesting as

    Richard Feynman.

  18. Lots of mention of Marcus Aurelius’s Meditations. This book personally doesn’t speak to me. For those who find the same to be true for them read Tao Te Ching. I find this infinitely more powerful and something I continually go back to. For a statistical perspective on the world, I have to add The Drunkard’s Walk: How Randomness Rules Our Lives by Mlodinow.

    Excellent podcast. Can’t wait to hear from “Victor.”

      1. There is a new and better translation of Meditations – translator is Gregory Hays. It’s almost a different book than the Penguin versions. Far more readable, and a great introduction too. Worth giving it a try, even if you’ve read the other earlier works and / or were put off by them.


    1. Thank you for this Doreen, I read it completely in one sitting, and it’s now one of my all time favorites.

      1. If you liked The Prophet you should check out Thus Spoke Zarathustra. The Prophet was based on this book.

  19. Hey Tim, I would love to know what the morning routine is that Naval was talking about. It seems like you knew the routine as well. Thanks and keep up the great work. I love your podcasts!


      1. Daily practice, daily physical practice – the ‘5 Tibetans’ exercises, done daily, make a huge difference for me personally. Ignoring the crepe of ‘spiritual’ BS that may or may not be laid upon it.

        And then daily Ashtanga yoga = weight bearing + stretching and cardio and breath retention meditation – 20 years of this for me, but the results were clear after just a few months / . If those daily physical practices are part of your overall regimen, you’re golden.

        I recall some passing allusion to Ashtanga in the 4 hour body. One does not need to be flexible to do this (or any) yoga. The breath retention pieces of it are essentially what the Wim Hof meditations are as well. So you get it all in one package; but there are a lot of ‘teachers’ who muck up the original intent again with faux spiritual blather.

        A great thing about Ashtanga, or any daily breathing linked with movement practice, is that when you want to try to start meditation, you have the preparation for it from weeks, months, or years of breathing practice. And so suddenly one can slip right into a deep meditative state and practice, with very little effort. That was one of the many gifts of Ashtanga yoga (not to mention dense powerful muscles and great, uh, erotic abilities / possibilities). And one can just do the first 20 minutes of Ashtanga, and receive the full benefits; there’s your 80/20 rule / Pareto etc. Most of the benefit comes from 20% of the work.

        Thank you Tim for your work and thanks to Naval as well.

        Ivor M.

      2. Thanks! Just started on yoga, will take a look at Ashtanga and the “5 Tibetans.” Appreciate it.

  20. Hey Tim,

    My co-founder (MIT PHD) and I are working on a sleeping mask that uses a simulated sunrise to wake someone gradually. We are still in the beta stages (testing with about 60 people), but would love to connect (we are in SF) to have you give it a try.


  21. Neval, if you have yet to read Benjamin Franklin’s Autobiography you will probably love it. Favorite Quote: “He was a giving man but not having much to give, he gave expectations.”

    1. I have read and like “Poor Richard’s Almanack” – Ben Franklin was the original Tim Ferriss, hacking life as he went.

    1. Hi Tim,

      Thank you for the great podcast and also to Naval for sharing so much about himself, that’s a lot of talent in one family and two very different personalities.

      I was hoping that you could share the morning routine prescribed by Victor it seems to be quite effective from the way both of you described it. I am trying to refine and stick with a good morning routine. One that worked well for me was a 20 min skip or 3 rounds of 3 minutes when time was an issue, not sure if it gave my lymphatic system a kick start or the rebounding effect but it worked well. Also this is great for someone trying to drop some weight first thing in the morning before breakfast just a glass of water before.



      1. Great insights Naval. Changed my whole attitude on life which has been stuck in neutral for a while and this was the kickstart I needed. Got a few books from the list that you mentioned same day and Teppanyaki grill arrived house two days later 🙂 Life is a lot better now thanks to you and Tim for getting you on!

        On your ask on life changing book, “Zen and the art of motorcycle maintenance” by Robert Pirsig” is one of my all time favorites.

      2. I was wondering why it was so difficult to find the exercises you mentioned. Must me a new book coming?

  22. Most influential book I’ve ever read was “School of Gods” by Stefano Elio D’anna. Quite theatrical and imaginative but depends on how you interpret it.

    Amazing podcast again thank you so much!

  23. Influential Books: Cry, The Beloved County – Neil Patel, The World is Flat – Thomas L. Friedman, and Faith in the Halls of Power – D. Michael Lindsay

  24. A book that has moved me is a fiction book by James Redfield called Celestine Prophesy.

    I really enjoyed this podcast! Thank you both!



  25. Listening to Naval is like having a sensei of life. I was blown away to the point of printing the show notes so I’ll not forget everything I need to follow through on. Thanks Tim and Naval.

  26. The book that has changed me the most if James Joyce’s “A Portrait of the Artist as a Young Man.” The struggles that Joyce portrays in that book are some of the most universal, and Joyce is unparalleled in his command of words in crafting a story around them.

  27. Man, Naval is one smart cookie. Super interesting to see into the mind of a really successful angel investor.

    The book I’d like to recommend which I think will be right up Naval’s alley is Thinking, Fast and Slow by Daniel Kahneman. Absolute gem when it comes to thinking about thinking.

  28. Best. Episode. Ever.

    Seriously, the discussion between Tim and Naval is the reason why podcasting exists. Any form of media that namechecks Richard Feynman, Charles Darwin, Charles Duhigg, and Salvadore Dali is media worth paying attention to.

    Really looking forward to the chat with Kamal.

  29. Who am I? by Ramana Maharshi let me know self inquiry can be very simple.

    Tim, this conversation/episode is stellar. Thank you.

  30. The #1 book that has changed my life is the 4HWW

    But I know you’re looking for something else; another one that I’ve recently read that I found to be pretty awesome was ‘The Virgin Way’ by Richard Branson. He has a quote that goes along well with the pod cast:

    “You will never be ‘lonely’ as long as you truly enjoy the person you are alone with”.

    1. Just finishing reading the Virgin way and loved it, what a great man, so innovative but above all a caring person such integrity he has very rare today, would highly recommend everyone read

  31. Thank you, Tim & Naval. Great chat! Always love tuning in to your stuff. A book that most radically challenged the way I approached community was “Irresistible Revolution” by Shane Claiborne. Really easy read, but probably not for everyone. Tim, is there any way to share the basic structure to this 20-minute morning workout routine Naval refers to? Thank you for always challenging your audience to be better humans. 🙂 I’ll keep tuning in!

      1. How funny, that was one of the first books I’ve ever purchased . Huge fan of excellence . You model as Bruce would say “Honestly Express Oneself”

    1. I found a nice one made by “Tiger”. I bought mine in a Japanese/Chinese imported foods supermarket in Phoenix.

  32. To answer Naval’s question of the day: The book that’s had the greatest impact on my life is Siddhartha by Hermann Hesse. It sounds like you and Naval are both familiar with it already. I read Siddhartha when I was 16, depressed, and contemplating suicide. Siddhartha allowed me to look at my life from a wider angle. It lifted me out of my depression and sparked my interest in Buddhism and Eastern philosophy. I’ve re-read it several times since then, and find fresh insights each time.

  33. My book recommendation is Ecotopia by Ernest Callenbach.

    I read it in school more than 20 years ago and I still have it in mind.

    It is about a newspaper reporter who is officially the first visitor to Ecotopia, formerly known as Oregon and Washington, which was seperated for 20 years to establish a new kind of society.

  34. Thanks Tim- it was a great interview. I wish you’d continue the conversation longer and turned it into a ‘random shod’, or maybe a second episode with Kevin Rose?

    My “go to” book is Rumi. I take little sips of Rumi every evening to clear my mind. Even when I’m not listening to what he’s really saying, the text has a tricky way of sneaking into the unconsciousness to apply insight and push me back to the present moment.

    Blindness by Jose Saramago was eye opening in my teenage years and the metaphoric story never left me- it applies to many social situations and explains alot of social knots

    1. I like Rumi as well, but poetry loses so much in translation. If you read Farsi, Rumi is likely a great place to start.

  35. I’ve been a listener and fan since the beginning but this is my favorite podcast by far. I can finally let go of my guilt for unfinished books! 🙂

    Anyone have a link to the Japanese grill they discussed in the episode? Also would love to hear more about the workout routine discussed in the podcast.

  36. Tim,

    Please don’t ever stop doing these podcasts. They are invaluable.

    I love that you dive so deeply into the minds of such amazing people, such as Naval, Tara, Maria. Thank you.

  37. Hard question! So many awesome books.

    I want to write a giant list, but since you just asked for one:

    Jonathan Livingston Seagull.

    …And ‘The Gift’ by Hafiz

    (Impossible to stick to one 🙂

  38. Haven’t listened yet, but love that Sapiens is in the references. One of the great books for me, and definitely worth having Yuval Harari as a guest. He made me rethink, or notice, how much we live by constructed ideology. Fascinating talker too. I think Google had him lecture to them and you could feel the slight discomfort as some of the audience began to think about the ideological underpinning of what they were striving so hard to create.

  39. Hey Tim,

    Great podcast. Loving it so far.

    Can you please link to the easy workout/mobility exercises that your mutual polish friend got Naval into the habit of working out.



  40. Favorite book- See You At The Top by Zig Ziglar

    This book influenced my younger self the most. Say up to 35 years old.

    Unlimited Power by Tont Robbins – from 44-55

    Currently (I am now 70) “Resilience,” by Eric Greitens

    How books influence different stages of your life is interesting.

  41. Amazing interview – Thank you!

    Best book :

    ‘The MAGIC of Believing’ – Claude Bristol

    Classic read on the power of intention …and yes Tim – even a Chapter on ‘The Mirror Technique’ and yes – IT WORKS!

    I Wish All of You Success in All Things.

  42. So many books, so little time. One that comes to mind (and one I have gifted) is The Gift of Fear by Gavin de Becker. An excellent book on why fear is important and how to use it to live a fuller life.

    There were several follow-ups, but I would stick with the first.

  43. Book that has most changed me: Fingerprints of the Gods by Graham Hancock. A little dense at times but put into perspective our small place in the history of our planet and our small space in the universe.

  44. My favorite leadership book is the Audacht Morainn (The Testament of Moran) written in Ireland c.700 CE:


    “…Bring him with every word this lasting Truth.

    Let him preserve Truth, it shall preserve him.

    Let him raise truth, it will raise him.

    Let him exalt mercy, it will exalt him.

    Let him care for his tribes, they will care for him.

    Let him help his tribes, they will help him.

    Let him soothe his tribes, they will soothe him…”

  45. Damn Naval is a cool cat. This was my favorite podcast you have ever done Tim. Thanks for constantly putting out such great material. A couple of books that most changed me: “Man’s Search for Meaning” by Victor Frankl and “Fear and Trembling” by Soren Kierkegaard

  46. One book that has influenced me the most is the 4HWW by Tim.

    Coming from a conventional Asian school system, reading the book opened up my perspective of the world, that there’s actually alternatives to living other than working the 9-5 until retirement.

    Learning about the 80/20 principle provided a framework for my thoughts and learning process. Looking forward to a lifelong student of the world.

  47. Thank you Tim and Naval…..this is one of my favorite episodes. I really enjoyed listening and just bought some of the books you mentioned. The book that changed my life was Ken Wilbers “Sex Ecology Spirituality” Its is a bit heavy but somehow opened up my interest to understand, grow and learn….

  48. This is probably the 7th time I’ve been recommended to read Meditations & Influence. I’ve gotta get them now. Which version of Meditations would you recommend?

  49. This is probably the 7th time that Meditations & Influence have been recommended to me. Which version of Meditations would you recommend? If you recommended 1 chapter to start with, what chapter would it be?

    1. So far I would recommend The Meditations (Hackett Classics) translated by GMA Grube.

      Gray cover. Available on Amazon

  50. I recommend “Brief History of Everything” from Ken Wilber. It is deeply philosophical, yet readable and offers a coherent worldview that integrates all worldviews.

  51. Thanks Tim for a fantastic podcast. I think you’ve raised the bar so high on this one, we’ll forever be disappointed. More takeaways than anything I’ve listened to in recent memory, so thank you for that.

    As far as books… Of course, mentioning just one is impossible.

    The first life changing book I can remember is one I read about 20 years ago. You Can Work Your Own Miracles by Napoleon Hill.

    Again, it seems like quite a few years ago, but the Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle came to me when I needed it most.

    And finally, the latest biography on Elon Musk opened my eyes as to what we are capable of, both as individuals and a species.

  52. Book that changed my life: Buddhism Without Beliefs

    Experience that changed my life: My second and final trip as an Uber driver. I drove Naval’s co-founder, Babak, around LA for an hour looking at real estate. Even chatting about relatively unimportant things, I could feel that this guy has figured something out. I quit Uber immediately after and have accomplished more in the time since than ever before.

    Thanks so much for this episode, Tim.


  53. One of the best episodes yet! Incredibly diverse, deep, and thoughtful all at the same time. So many books!

    One of my all time greatest reads: Kishido; The way of of the western warrior by Peter Hobart. Great anecdotes told in the stories / theme of a traditional martial arts student and his master. Great stories on their own, but so deep and so much to learn from. I find myself re-reading it over and over getting new gems every time.

  54. There’s couple books that have changed me but the most recent one is called The Power of Awareness by Neville Goddard. Powerful and if understood it would change yours as well. Btw, one of the best podcast I’ve heard and so many good insights on so many different topics. GREAT JOB!!

  55. The book that has impacted me the most is “The Denial of Death” by Ernest Becker. It’s a hauntingly honest look at life and mortality from the perspective of a brilliant cultural anthropologist, and it inevitably changes the reader forever.

  56. The book that changed me was Ben Franklin’s Autobiography. Amazing book that you have to take with a grain of salt. He just makes it look so easy to be a genius. Hey look you can do this too.

  57. Hey, I always look forward you these podcast because there are always stuffed with great take-aways, examples, and are never ever boring. Growing up my favorite book was Ayn Rand’s Fountain Head and Aldous Huxley’s Brave New World. I always considered Ayn Rand as deeply romantic and invested in a person creating at the cost of anything else. However she portrays a philosophy that is too cold. She dissociates from emotions instead of understanding emotions. I never quiet understood this difference until I read Karen Mclaren’s The Language of Emotions. This book made me understand why we stay stuck in traumas and patterns when we cope by dissociating and how common and encouraged dissociating from emotions is in both western norms and eastern norms. How animals never dissociate and that is one reason why we always feel comforted by them. I had so many light bulb moments during her book that made a lot of contradicting ideas finally slot into place and make sense to me I can not recommend it enough. Of course Huxley’s book portrays the dystopia of a world of a drugged society. One where there are no highs or lows; no great pains and no great loves. A clinical world were everything is pre-set and there is no freedom and no desire to be free because there are no strong emotions no sense of humanity at all. That has always stuck with me and goes with what Naval says of the school that was created and then dismantled because the creator did not want to manufacture another system.

    I can talk about favorite books all day long. It is impossible to say one has had the biggest impact. I love psychology and neuroscience and a great read and light introduction is Norman Doige’s Brain That Changes Itself. This book fascinated me with how plastic the brain is and how quick and available changes are. Another book that I know Tim has read is Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s book Fooled by Randomness and his black swam theory which made so much sense to me. This book was a great book about probability, markets, investments, and emotions.

    Lastly one book that changed my worldview is Ken Wilber’s History of Everything. I thought he did a great job of merging eastern philosophy and western psychology and fulling in where they diverge and converge. Sometimes he can get a bit repetitive and wordy, but I agree 100 % with his worldview and how consciousness rises over time and the issue with modern day is economic and scientific realms are considered superior even thought these are “flat” sides to humanity. They are great tools and good to have to help growth and innovation but there is no soul or beauty and science without soul/ethics is the Nazi’s cold interpretation of science. Also Ken dismissed romantics who have this strange belief that everything was better back in the day with the tribes that were more in tune with nature. He talks about levels of consciousness for the individual verses the society. I loved by he talks about psychosis and neurosis in the DSM and places them on a very easy scale of how consciousness grows and how that growth can work and where different political philosophies and beliefs fit on that scale. I better wrap this up before I remember any other great books.

  58. My 3 most-returned-to books:

    “On the Shortness of Life” by Seneca

    “Vagabonding” by Rolf Potts

    “The Miracle of Mindfulness” by Thich Nhat Hanh. The phrase “washing the dishes to wash the dishes” has stuck in my head as a reminder.

    2 throwbacks that I find myself returning to for fun:

    “The American Boys Handy Book” by Daniel C. Beard (First published in 1882. Emboldens the imagination of what you can accomplish with a little elbow grease. Especially for kids. It’s an interesting snapshot of time.)

    “507 Mechanical Movements” by Henry T. Brown (Ingenious, simple inventions from the Industrial Age. First published in 1868. Some of them provide a good mental exercise in imagining how they work.)

  59. This is probably one of the best pod cast ever. It does feel like it can go on forever. Tim, have you thought of trying a pod cast marathon where the conversation don’t end. Just keep going till there is absolutely nothing else to say. My favorite book is Awaken Mind by Anna Wise. She was an EEG pioneer with technology and higher consciousness. There is such a thing of a top performing mind vs an average mind. So we can focus on the daily practice of meditation.

  60. This podcast really inspired me to get back into reading! The book that most changed my life: “The Glass Bead Game” by Hermann Hesse

  61. Tim – absolutely loved this podcast. Naval is a stud. I was listening to the podcast series weekly and got a bit behind. Launched this episode and got right back into the awesomeness.

  62. Quit smoking with Alan Carrs book The Easy Way to Stop Smoking, it just works. It’s completely different to the normal methods, and I can’t understand why it’s not more publically known.., it’s got a fantastic success rate.

    [Moderator: link removed]

  63. A book which changed me most recently was, The Rock Warriors Way by Arno Ilgner. I was going on a reading binge about rock climbing (a new hobby of mine). Arno makes the point that rock climbing is fundamentally a mental rather than physical challenge, most people are physically capeable of climbing way harder than they do, becuase of mental constriants. Arno applies concepts of warriorship, stoicism and zen to try to help budding climbers unlock their limits.

    I think the applied nature of the book struck me in a such a way that it resonated. I then went on a binge reading books on warriorship, such as, Way of the Peaceful Warrior by Dan Millman, and eventually to taking inner health and peace more seriously in my life.

    As someone just out of college, this was an important step to me, to own up to making the curriculum for the rest of my life. When I was in college I once got a fortune cookie which said “Program yourself or life will program you”, and this is probably the most important thing I have learnt over the last few years.

  64. Packed, wise, wise episode! Some deep wisdom in here, with highlights for me being:

    – Naval’s relationship with books and accessing nuggets of wisdom, in a world of ubiquitous information and commentary

    – how honesty nurtures presence

    – how Naval’s angle on success has evolved

    – and the perspective of choice awareness meditation.

    Thanks Tim and Naval

    – P.S. I have been working on a Personal Operating System (concept kudos entirely to Timbo) in quiet moments as a milestone birthday looms. Thus far 10 principles with which I like to live by entirely in the next 40 years…several of which are sourced from 4HP. Meaningful. A privilege to be in the audience and it was fun waiting and waiting for this episode (I like the weekly, or less content release 🙂 ).

  65. Tim, avid listener! Love the podcast! Thanks so much! A small request – please make the conversations longer! Also would love to hear another Josh Waitzkin episode soon. Thanks for doing such an amazing podcast.

  66. Wow! what a powerful interview! Naval is amazing and his words and view on life resonate with me so much! I’m trying to practice the non-judgmental meditation but oh that’s not easy 🙂

    One of the most memorable books for me was Lolita by Nabokov that I read quite some years ago but still remember it and fascinated by the language 🙂

    Among the new books are ‘10% happier’ by Dan Harris and ‘Waking up’ by Sam Harris.

    Also 4 hour work week made a great impact on me. It created a chain of events that eventually had a great effect in my life.

  67. The book which has most influenced me would have to be “Think And Grow Rich” by Napoleon Hill, as well as the more In depth version “The Laws Of Success: From The Mastermind To The Golden Rule”. “As A Man Thinketh” by James Allen is a close second.

  68. Your podcast adds a little “ether” to my gas tank. I love the concept of picking the brains of actualized people. We all can use a little help in life to make things better….in whatever form, shape or color that entails. Your podcast helps to keep me out of autopilot mode. I’ve learned a lot and have implemented a great deal into my life. Thanks for that. Sorry, but I don’t have one book that jumps out at me. I’d say, maybe….as weird as Eckhart Tolle is, his writings contain many nuggets. I’ve read his “Power of Now” several times. Now, I’m really into Sam Harris…his latest book Waking Up is a book to be studied rather than just read. Thanks to Maria Popova (on your show), I now have the Journals of Thoreau on my desk. One book that I’d highly recommend (should be an integral part of high school education) is “Mistakes Were Made” by Carol Tavris and Elliot Aronson. This treatise clearly lays out the phenomenon of cognitive dissonance, how humans are layered with it, and the things that we do to justify our actions. A must read. I also really enjoyed PIco Iyer’s The Art of Stillness.

    One last thing…a suggestion (that I’d love to see implemented). In your podcast you are great about asking people what they’re reading (books and blogs). I’d also love it if you’d ask what podcasts they listen to.

    Keep up the great work.

    Chet Scerra