Naval Ravikant on Happiness, Reducing Anxiety, Crypto Stablecoins, and Crypto Strategy (#473)

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Proper examination should ruin the life that you’re currently living. It should cause you to leave relationships. It should cause you to reestablish boundaries with family members and with colleagues. It should cause you to quit your job. . . . If it doesn’t do that, it’s not real examination. If it doesn’t come attached with destruction of your current life, then you can’t create the new life in which you will not have the anxiety.

— Naval Ravikant

Naval Ravikant (@naval) is the co-founder and chairman of AngelList. He is an angel investor and has invested in more than 100 companies, including many mega-successes, such as Twitter, Uber, Notion, Opendoor, Postmates, and Wish. You can subscribe to Naval, his podcast on wealth and happiness, on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, or wherever you get your podcasts. You can also find his blog at

For more Naval-plus-Tim, check out my wildly popular interview with him from 2015, which was nominated for “Podcast of the Year.”

Please enjoy!

Listen to the episode on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Overcast, Stitcher, Castbox, Google Podcasts, or on your favorite podcast platform.

Brought to you by Wealthfront automated investing, Tonal smart home gym, and ShipStation shipping software. More on all three below. 

The transcript of this episode can be found here. Transcripts of all episodes can be found here.

#473: Naval Ravikant on Happiness, Reducing Anxiety, Crypto Stablecoins, and Crypto Strategy

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What was your favorite quote or lesson from this episode? Please let me know in the comments.


Want to learn more about cryptocurrency? Listen to the conversation Naval and I had with cryptographer Nick Szabo, in which we discuss the problems cryptocurrencies were designed to solve, wet versus dry code, quantum thought, future occupations, and the existential risks of blockchain governance.

#244: The Quiet Master of Cryptocurrency — Nick Szabo


  • Connect with Naval Ravikant:

Website | Twitter


  • Does Naval still agree to do this podcast — in spite of declining to appear as a guest on others — in hopes of capturing Podcast of the Year laurels that were snatched from his grasp by Jamie Foxx the first time around? [06:10]
  • Who is the person currently featured in Naval’s Twitter profile, and how has he inspired us (and countless others)? [08:02]
  • Why there’s no such thing as science with a capital S, and what Nassim Taleb recently said about what he considers to be the opposite of education, and what it’s easier to macro than micro. [11:32]
  • The problems that arise — in humans and in AI — when jargon masquerades as knowledge, and where the most practical life lessons are really learned. [17:03]
  • How to get rich (without getting lucky). [24:58]
  • In what ways has Naval’s own journey followed the aforementioned tenets of getting rich without getting lucky, and why are get-rich-quick schemes for losers? [33:27]
  • Where do most of Naval’s personal, pithy tweets take form? Example: “Imagine how effective you would be if you weren’t anxious all the time.” [39:10]
  • How has Naval learned to cope with and take control of his own anxiety? [44:57]
  • What should proper meditation give us the power to do? [48:58]
  • The philosophers Naval reads before he goes to bed. [51:19]
  • How Naval tries to process the thoughts that go through his head when he’s meditating. [52:25]
  • What Naval’s daily meditation practice typically looks like, and why he considers it “sheer joy” even if he can’t explain in words exactly what “it” is. [54:50]
  • Where might someone interested in checking out the philosophy that inspires Naval begin? [57:55]
  • Naval and I agree that the reading of philosophy is especially effective as a way to counter the toxic effects of social media and current events. [59:42]
  • “Crypto stablecoins: choose between blowup risk, censorship risk, and fraud risk.” What does this recent, cryptic tweet from Naval mean, and why does Naval believe that cryptocurrency has the potential to be “a whole new casino that’s better than Wall Street” in decentralized finance? [1:01:57]
  • How might an absolute beginner make an informed entrance into the world of cryptocurrency? [1:10:27]
  • How might cryptocurrency be utilized in the real world for practical purposes like paying rent, buying food, or hiring a contractor to put a new deck on your house? [1:17:12]
  • What does Naval see as the future of cryptocurrency as it gets adopted more and more by mainstream investors? [1:21:46]
  • What does all truly effective self-help boil down to? [1:30:06]
  • If the modern Devil is cheap dopamine, what was the ancient Devil? Some musings on the compound interest of long-term thinking. [1:31:47]
  • Why it’s important to forge relationships with people who don’t make your interactions seem like a job. Or, as the Navalmanack says, “The first rule of handling conflict is: don’t hang around people who constantly engage in conflict.” [1:36:14]
  • The reason to win the game is so that you can be free of it. But what is the game, what does it take to be free from it, and is the key in realizing that not wanting something is as good as having it? [1:40:22]
  • This quote from Richard Feynman reminds me of Naval: “The first principle is that you must not fool yourself, and you are the easiest person to fool.” How does Naval strive to ensure he’s not fooling himself, and what did he learn from a guy named Craig in Thailand about choosing happiness? [1:46:08]
  • Parting thoughts. [1:54:16]


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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20 Replies to “Naval Ravikant on Happiness, Reducing Anxiety, Crypto Stablecoins, and Crypto Strategy (#473)”

  1. The entire podcast in a single framed text (thanks Tim and Naval!): “Proper examination should ruin the life that you’re currently living. It should cause you to leave relationships. It should cause you to reestablish boundaries with family members and with colleagues. It should cause you to quit your job… If it doesn’t do that, it’s not real examination. If it doesn’t come attached with destruction of your current life, then you can’t create the new life in which you will not have the anxiety.”
    — Naval Ravikant

  2. Good stuff! I made some mindset changes that led to leaving a job very recently. It is new territory to navigate without the routines and paycheck I was used to. Not sure if it is a time of life thing or what, but it’s nice to hear it does not have to be a temporary shift. It’s interesting that valuing my life and purpose only required deciding to value them. It took deciding to many times over in order to see my most difficult experiences were because I thought someone else could better determine and value those things. I have a gift of not having to work just yet, and learning to invest, re-educate, etc. I find myself recognizing more things in myself that have to do with the head roommate referenced in the podcast. It’s early on in this shift, but it seems what I have heard is true in that God accommodates the truth you feed. The negative things are just as true, but if you choose to feed the positive truths, things open up to grow and feed more of the positive truths. The same happens with the negatives. Moving back and forth between feeding positive and negative truths is where most people are, I think.

  3. Long live sequels ! 🙂
    Thanks guys.
    Always a pleasure to listen to you 2.
    Very inspirational as usual.
    Also lots of good books and follow up action.
    Keep going strong.

  4. Thanks you both and everyone in Tim’s Ferris show. Authentic, information dense and full of wisdom. Been listening for at least two years now. I’m happier, calmer and aware. Now working on wealth creation that’s totally off my intrinsic nature. Simple hardworking husband and father doing labor job all my life. Your models are my guide. I’m excited to get back to you guys when I built my own system for wealth creation.

  5. Tim, I love receiving your emails. They sit amongst the most valuable and concentrated sources of information I have ever found! Here is something I have recently edited that I felt you may enjoy reading:

    [Moderator: link removed due to link policy.]

  6. I loved that Naval could just talk about the really simple stuff that he knows and how he lives and likes to live and without the pressure of discussing the whole 30 years in an hour spiel.

    I really liked the point about learning isn’t understanding, understanding is knowing.

    It got me started on wondering about these titans who are so relatable but seemingly so inaccessible to the people who really need to be in touch with them.

    Tim you talk to all these super popular people who have done amazing things and made massive change in peoples lives and it leaves you feeling like you want to sit and talk with them yourself, but how?

    I am always left with the feeling that I have so much to offer the world but it is such a big job to get my content/knowledge heard, so I am always left asking… how can I get in contact with this person, who I know could help me. But how could I ever contact someone like Naval in a way that he can take my life vision seriously and see the potential that I see for spreading that knowledge through the world, because as you say, you have 1000+ emails to sift through each day, how do the revolutionary ones get heard, not just the noisy ones. How could this change? How can the people with the original knowledge get in contact with the people who have the capabilities and resources to actually catapult them into the world?
    Great podcast!!

  7. Fantastic session Tim, and welcome to my hometown — Austin! So glad you made the jump to ATX. Listened to the your Szabo session too after this one. Curious how Quantum Computing may change blockchain? Could quantum computing make the blockchain less secure, given the potential limitless computational power these computers will have…and possibly thereby remove the secure nature of a blockchain based transaction? Admittedly I’m a rookie at best in the crypto and blockchain space, but I am digging in and learning more thanks to you and your discussions on the matter. Thanks for inspiring us all to relentlessly live a life of constant learning. BB-

  8. Tim or Naval, who was the Indian man, you alluded to on the show that taught or inspired you to do the 60min/day? Was it JK?

  9. Hey Tim, I enjoyed this episode and know that both yourself & Naval are fans of the Happy Body program, as am I. I would love to know if the Tonal system you have as a sponsor of this episode would be capable of the Happy Body Program?? Would love to know your thoughts as Tonal is not available in Australia. Keep up the inspiring work you do, Cheers Adrian.

  10. Thanks Tim and Naval, I appreciate a lot of the subjects you have treated here.

    In regards to this one, “Proper examination should ruin the life that you’re currently living.”

    I agree with this concept wholeheartedly. It would be an extremely unlikely coincidence that after serious examination of our situations, we would end up choosing to keep much of what we have looked at. There are many issues and even perils to overcome though, because our deepest concepts tend to be the most hidden from our own view and are the most difficult to examine. So our “whole new life” ends up being built on a faulty foundation. This way, “Mastery” of our lives becomes dominated by the quest for control. Control is helpful for managing many life events, but it is 100% antithetical to discovering the actual energy that keeps us alive. In relation to this we have zero control. While our life seems new and fulfilling for a while, eventually the repetition will make itself known.

    Based on some of the honest evaluations you have put forth from time to time about the state of your inner life, I think you understand this Tim, I think anyone with some self-honesty understands this phenomenon. So how do we penetrate these deepest held concepts and beliefs? It seems impossible to do while we are on the winning side of things. Of course, no one wants to give up winning. But winning is a product of control and luck. How do we keep our perspective of humility while prospering and helping others to prosper in life too? I thought the [Moderator: name of YouTube video removed.] to be a humorous way to explore some of these ideas. I’m curious what you think. C T

  11. Great listen and advice! Just one question regarding 60 min morning meditation. I am a working mum and need a tip, how do you do it regularly when you have small kids? Naval has a kid(s), so maybe some advice from his experience on this front as well…thanks

  12. I have little doubt this will be a great podcast.

    I would, by now, know for certain, was it not for the fact that I mistakenly downloaded the Nick Szabo podcast, the link to which is conveniently placed on the same page, and looks almost identical to the one I was aiming for.

    Imagine my joy, as I crank up the eight track, and sit back for a long drive, only to find out, that once again, I’ve downloaded the wrong podcast………

  13. Agree with the quote “An unexamined life is not worth living.” He seems to have become a lot more open as the interview progressed. Haven’t listened to everything yet. Thank you.

  14. First of all, thank you for this interview!
    The book I love a lot is Momo by Michael Ende a Book.

    I took a few things home:
    Not to read a book until the end if I don’t feel it – something I already did but with a bad conscience.
    Starting and reading how and where I want to.
    Always talking the truth.

  15. Probably one of the best podcasts ever thanks Tim and Naval. I’ve listened to this one several times now.

  16. Funny that Naval talks about social science as not a science or worthy of study, but then talks about human nature.

    Naval has many great things to say, but he doesn’t know everything, and putting down legitimate science without taking the time to examine is it really science takes away from the great things that he does say.