I recently finished two books by Silicon Valley investor Kamal Ravikant. The first one, “Love Yourself”, is a short and powerful read that centers around the practice of loving yourself. It’s a book you can finish in under an hour, but it details one of the most transformative exercises a person can invest time into mastering. 

“Love Yourself” is a fantastic read that will center your heart and mind, but that book is not the focus of this post. I will talk about some of my favorite ideas from his Kamal Ravikant’s second book, “Live Your Truth”. The book is a compilation of thoughts and experiences from Kamal’s time in a monastery. There are many stories he tells from that experience, the time leading up to it and the time shortly after. Within these stories are valuable lessons; explicit or implicitly stated otherwise. Here some of my favorite ideas and lessons from “Live Your Truth”.

  1. Theory isn’t enough. Action isn’t enough. You must investigate, understand and make it your own. Kamal says that, “Knowledge is never enough. Even action, if it’s just following a prescribed way, will never fully express your potential”. I’ve experienced this in my boxing, my writing and my physics studies. It’s one thing to know a jab is effective punch but it’s quite another to use it to dictate a fight. But you will never fully grasp it’s effectiveness if you don’t learn the best situations to use it. This is similar to something a physics professor once told me: “Don’t use a formula until you can derive it from scratch”. I should understand the underlying principles behind a formula instead of “plugging and chugging” the information into variables. 
  2. “We don’t stumble accidentally into an amazing life”. The life worth living does not merely happen. No matter what path you take in life, to make this path amazing will require more work and effort than you ever imagined. The work never stops, so learn to enjoy it. This is the path to an amazing life. 
  3. “When your sense of self and happiness comes from within and isn’t a roller coaster ride dependent on others or circumstances, you approach life differently”. When your feelings about the world are based on something solid and reliable, you become stable land in the violent seas of life. While the rest of the world is chaotically reacting to things happening in the world in which they have no control over, you will keep a steady mind and nothing will perturb you. This is one of the great secrets of happiness. 
  4. “The only rule is that the truth must empower you. Make you better in every possible way”. I call this practice “choosing your delusions”. The truth is a clever illusion designed to limit your wildest fantasy. Sometimes this is practical, but other times it stifles any greatest you could have in this life. You must choose what is true for you and then commit to it. It doesn’t matter what beliefs you decide to have for yourself. All that matters is that they make you betterin every possible way. 
  5. “Whatever you experience in your life, choose for it to make you grow in amazing and unbelievable ways”. Generally speaking, if you have to chose between two equal paths and time is not an issue, choose the one that is most difficult. Amazing experiences in life are disguised by challenging events. When a person leads a boring life, it’s because they haven’t done anything challenging. A challenge is anything that pushes you past your comfort zone. If you’re living life to it’s fullest, then you have to choose more challenging things each year to have an amazing life. Stagnation is death. Growth is life. 
  6. “Success is living and sharing your truth”. This is what is meant by expression. Living a life that aligns with the truths you’ve chosen for yourself. Only by living a life where you are aligned with your “useful delusions” can you feel satisfied and successful. Once you choose your truth and live by it, then it is impossible for you not to feel like you are successful in your life. 

These are the biggest ideas I took from the book. I strongly recommend everyone pick up a copy of Kamal Ravikant’s “Live Your Truth”. Or check out his blog for more of its writing and lessons.