Nivi: The last tweet on the topic of working for the long-term is: “When you’re finally wealthy, you’ll realize it wasn’t what you were seeking in the first place. But that’s for another day.”
Naval: That’s a multi-hour topic in and of itself. First of all, I thought it was a really clever way to end the whole thing. It disarms a whole set of people who say, “What’s the point of getting rich?” There are a lot of people who like to virtue signal against the idea of wealth creation or making money.
It’s also true. Yes, money will solve all your money problems. But it doesn’t get you everywhere.
The first thing you realize when you’ve made a bunch of money is that you’re still the same person. If you’re happy, you’re happy. If you’re unhappy, you’re unhappy. If you’re calm and fulfilled and peaceful, you’re still that same person. I know lots of very rich people who are extremely out of shape. I know lots of rich people who have really bad family lives. I know lots of rich people who are internally a mess.
A calm mind, a fit body and a house full of love must be earned
I would lean on another tweet that I put out. When I think back on it, I think it’s my favorite tweet. It’s not necessarily the most insightful. It’s not necessarily the most helpful. It’s not even the one I think about the most. But when I look at it, there’s such a certain truth in there that it resonates. And that is: “A fit body, a calm mind, a house full of love. These things cannot be bought—they must be earned.”
Even if you have all the money in the world, you can’t have those three things. Jeff Bezos still has to work out. He still has to work on his marriage. And his internal mental state still very much won’t be controlled by external events. It’s going to be based on how calm and peaceful he is inside.
So I think those three things—your health, your mental health and your close relationships—are things you have to cultivate. They can bring you a lot more peace and happiness than any amount of money ever will.
Practical advice for a calmer internal state
How to get there is a tweetstorm I’ve been working on. I have probably 100 tweets on it. It’s very hard to say anything on the topic without getting attacked from 50 different directions, especially these days on Twitter. So I’ve been hesitant to do it. I want to target it for a very specific kind of person.
There’s a bunch of people who don’t believe working on your internal state is useful. They’re too focused on the external. And that’s fine, there’s nothing wrong with that. That’s who the “How to Get Rich” tweetstorm is for. There’s a bunch of people who believe the only thing worth working on is complete liberation. Like, you become the Buddha. They’ll attack anything in the middle as being useless. That’s fine, too. But most people aren’t there.
I want to create a tweetstorm that offers practical advice for everyday people who want a calmer internal state. A set of understandings, realizations, half-truths and truths, that if you were to imbibe them properly—and, again, these are pointers to ideas you already have and experiences you already have—that if you keep these top of mind, slowly but steadily it will help you with certain realizations that will lead you to a calmer internal state. That’s what I want to work on.
Fitness is another big one, I’m just not the expert there. There are plenty of good people on Twitter that who are better at fitness than me.
A lot of divorces happen over money, a lot of battles happen over internal anger
I think a loving household and relationships actually fall naturally out of the other things. If you have a calm mind and you’ve already made money, you should have good relationships. There’s no reason why you shouldn’t. A lot of divorces happen over money. Unfortunately, that’s just the reality of it. Having money removes that part of it.
A lot of external battles happen because your internal state is not good. When you’re naturally internally peaceful you’re going to pick fewer fights. You’re going to be more loving without expecting anything in return. That will take care of things on the external-relationship front.
Nivi: To summarize: Money solves your money problems. Money buys you freedom in the material world. And money lets you not do the things you don’t want to do.
Naval: Yeah. To me the ultimate purpose of money is so you don’t have to be in a specific place, at a specific time, doing anything you don’t want to do.