Naval Ravikant – The Joe Rogan Experience – Podcast Notes

Alright. I’m super late to the party, and I finally managed to watch Naval Ravikant’s appearance on the Joe Rogan Experience last week, and I was blown away! There’s so much wisdom packed in the span of two hours that it is impossible to comprehend in one go.

While I am sharing the notes of the ideas discussed, I strongly urge you to watch or listen to the podcast episode because the notes honestly don’t do the justice to the intellectual discourse between Joe Rogan and Naval Ravikant.

Link: The notes below are not verbatim and I couldn’t really keep track of who said what because I didn’t intend to collate them in a blog post when I was watching the episode.

With that out of the way let’s dive in!


  • People get interested if you combine if they don’t want to see combined. For example, Bruce Lee fused martial arts and mindfulness to create something new
  • As Naval’s friend says, “Specialization is for insects.” Strive to become multifaceted
    (Edit: A Redditor pointed out that the above quote was originally said by Robert Heinlein – an American sci-fi author)
  • Don’t be afraid to start over. That’s what Elon Musk did
  • Maintain the beginner’s mind. Focus on incremental progress and keep looking for the AHA! Moments

You can watch the interview of Bruce Lee where he discusses philosophy and martial arts below:

On Reading

  • People have become suckers for TL; DRs. “Don’t give me the lecture, give me the book. Don’t give me the book, give me the blog post. Don’t give me the blog post, give me the tweet. Don’t give me the tweet, I already know!
  • Reading a book to its completion is a vanity metric. Your aim with reading should be to understand the concepts and satiate your curiosity
  • Read the top hundred books over and over again until you understand them thoroughly rather than reading every single book on the planet
    (Dang! I am right about something then!)

On Social Media

  • Social media is about signaling. Rather than looking at yourself, you tend to look at how people are looking at you
  • Social media is making us celebrities, and celebrities are the most miserable people in the world because of the strong self-image that gets built due to compliments

On Happiness

  • Just like fitness or nutrition is a choice, similarly, happiness is also a choice
  • You can teach yourself to be happy. If you are so smart then why come you aren’t happy? You need to figure out how to be happy. If you can’t, you’re not that smart
  • Social contracts are powerful. Tell your social circle your goals and behavioral changes
  • Desire is a contract you make with yourself to be unhappy until you get what you want
  • Don’t copy desires blindly
  • Depression puts your mind on a treadmill
  • Don’t load your mind with non-stop information, and avoid getting overworked with every little thing
  • A happy mind is a clear mind, and a clear mind leads to better decisions

On Building Wealth

  • Be rich and anonymous, not poor and famous
  • Don’t take pleasure in being miserable 
  • The world isn’t linear. Hard work doesn’t entitle you anything 
  • Hunt like lions
  • Train → Sprint → Rest → Assess → Repeat
  • Working 9-5 won’t guarantee wealth. You won’t get rich by renting out your time. Have a business. Owning equity is the first step towards financial freedom
  • Being poor will make you unhappy, but being rich won’t make you happy
  • Retirement is when you stop sacrificing today for an imaginary tomorrow
  • Working for things is a trap we fall into
  • Read the following Twitter thread by Naval

On Coding, AI, and Technology

  • People need not get worked up over automation taking their jobs. Automation will free-up time to create things. It’s a nonsolution to a non-problem
  • Coding is thinking
  • Every intelligence is contextual. It depends on the environment
  • The internet creates one giant aggregator (i.e. search engines, e-commerce giants, etc.) and small intermediaries 
  • People writing algorithms for social media platforms are the smartest people because they’re rewiring our brain

On Peace and Meditation

  • What you suppress finds other ways to express
  • All diseases today are diseases of abundance, not scarcity
  • Smartphone killed boredom
  • Meditation is self-therapy. It’s a long-run effort. It’s the art of doing nothing
  • Peace is happiness at rest, and happiness is peace in motion
  • When you memorize something, it’s an indication that you haven’t understood it
  • The solution to making everyone happy is to give them what they want
  • Learn to develop peace FROM mind
  • Don’t put happiness on the other side of the cognitive horizon. (Naval said something along these lines. So, I used a quote of Shawn Achor from one of his TED Talks.)
  • Get out of the victim mentality
  • The more you judge, the more you separate yourself from the world. The reality is neutral
  • Gratitude rewires your brain

I missed out on a lot of points when Naval and Joe discussed media, capitalism, etc. because I just zoned out when those topics came up.

To conclude the article by adding an engagement bait, feel free to add the takeaways that resonated with you the most in the comments below.

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