naval

Groups Search for Consensus, Individuals Search for Truth

Even smart people go along with society’s lies
What’s considered to be true is fought over. Individuals search for truth but groups search for consensus—and society is the largest group. So the biggest problem we run into is this: What society wants for you is not always what’s good for you. Even smart, critical thinkers go along with many of society’s truths, knowing deep down they are lies.  Here’s a simple example: “Money won’t make you happy” More

The Path to Peace Is Truth

When self-improvement fails, work on discovering the truth
The search for peace is really the search for truth. Try to see the advantage of understanding things by discovering the truth rather than by practice. Let’s say I’m trying to quit smoking. There are techniques I can try, but they’re always painful and difficult. Often, a moment will come when I see myself in a new way that allows the habit to disappear by itself. More

Happiness Is Peace in Motion

Peace is happiness at rest
In some ways, modern life is more hectic than prehistoric times. Our sources of stress are more chronic. Let’s define stress. In physical terms, stress happens when something wants to be in two places at one time. If I apply pressure to both ends of an iron beam, I create stress on the beam because one part wants to be north and the other part wants to be south. More

Breaking Addiction Is Socially Unacceptable

Addiction enables artificial relationships and activities
If you drink alcohol or take some kind of drug regularly, try the following thought experiment.  What events do you most look forward to? I’ll bet they’re the ones where you get to drink or do drugs. You look forward to dinnertime, an upcoming party or bar-hopping with friends. To see how artificial it is, resolve to abstain from drinking or doing drugs the next time you go out. More

Work the Least for It

Happy people don’t have to work as hard
The quality of our decisions is paramount in the modern age, because we’re all leveraged. You can be leveraged through code, community, media, capital, labor and other ways. If you’re smart, you leverage every decision you make.  If Warren Buffett makes the right decision 85% of the time and his competitors get it right 70% of the time, Buffett will win everything. More

Being Unhappy Is Extremely Inefficient

A peaceful mind makes better decisions
Besides “I’m too smart for it,” the other objection is, “I don’t want it to lower my productivity. I don’t want to have less desire or less work ethic.” Fact check on that is: True. The happier and more peaceful you are, the less likely you are to run out and change the world. More

If You’re So Smart, Why Aren’t You Happy?

You can increase your happiness without losing your drive
“Happiness is for stupid people.” That’s a common complaint I hear from smart overachievers. They think only dumb or lazy people can be happy. Entrepreneurs will say, “I don’t want to be happy because I want to be successful.” They worry that if they get too happy they’ll lose their desire and won’t work hard anymore. More