In this part of the interview, Naval tells me about a few people in his life that he greatly admires, and why he does. I think these people represent certain ways of viewing life that he looks up to.
Here are the other three parts of the interview:
I hope you guys enjoy!
"You're going to die one day and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work."
What is the importance in developing habits to happiness?
At the end of the day, you are a combination of your habits and the people who you spend the most time with.
When we're kids, we have very few habits. Over time we learn things that we are not supposed to do. We become self-conscious. We start forming habits and routines.
A lot of the distinction between people who get happier as they get older and those don't can be explained by what habits have they developed. Are they habits that will increase your long term happiness rather than your short term happiness? Are you surrounding yourself with people who are generally positive and upbeat people? Are those relationships low maintenance? Do you admire and respect, but not envy them?
There's the 5 chimps theory where you can predict a chimp’s behaviour by the 5 chimps that it hangs out the most with. I think that applies to humans as well.
Maybe it's a little politically incorrect to say that you should choose your friends very wisely. You shouldn't choose them haphazardly based on who you live next to or who you happen to work with. The people who are the most happy and optimistic chose the right 5 chimps.
You've spoken about certain people who stepped out of the rat race. And you mentioned two people: a Polish personal trainer and an unknown older gentleman. Could you talk about them a little bit more?
The people that I want to absorb and integrate from are people who are happy and secure of themselves. They're not really influenced by external circumstances.
I've had two amazing physical trainers who ended up becoming more mental coaches. There's Nate Miyaki. He's like a little Buddha. He's one of the happiest people I know. It's effortless for him.
Nate writes books and he exercises, but other than that he has very little desires in life. He has such peace of mind that it converts into peace of body. He doesn't have any addictions. He doesn't drink. He eats exactly what he needs to and nothing more. His workout is very regimented and very regular. All of his happiness is internal.
Nate once said something to me that completely blew my mind. This was when I realized that he was more of a cheap psychotherapist than a physical trainer. We were talking about happiness, and I said I'd be happy if I had so and so thing. Nate turned to me and said, "I'd be happy living in a garbage can." And he meant it. It blew my mind. He wasn't saying it to brag. He wasn't saying it to put me down. He just blurted it out. He immediately apologized because Nate is a very humble guy. But he just carries that core radiant happiness inside of him.
Another guy that I've used as a trainer in the past is Jerzy Gregorek. Jerzy invented this system called The Happy Body. He's an incredible guy. He's in his sixties and incredibly fit. He's well under 10 percent body fat. He has perfect self-discipline. He holds multiple medals in Olympic power lifting, as does his wife. He also trains professional athletes for the Olympics.
What he has accomplished is amazing. He was one of the leaders of the Solidarity movement in Poland. He risked his life and fled to the US and built his life from scratch.
When he has you over, he'll read you poetry and serve you tea. He's like a Samurai lord. He ranges from being a powerful human being to being a beautiful human being. I think of him as a lion but also at peace.
He'll just look up and say, "Stop asking why and start saying wow." The world is such an amazing place.
There's another friend of mine, a Persian guy named Behzad. He just loves life, and he has no time for anybody who is not happy.
If you ask Behzad what's his secret? He'll just look up and say, "Stop asking why and start saying wow." The world is such an amazing place. As humans we're so used to taking everything for granted. Like what you and I are doing right now. We're sitting indoors, wearing clothes, well-fed, and communicating with each other through space and time. We should be two monkeys sitting in the jungle right now watching the sun going down, asking ourselves where are we going to sleep.
When we get something, we assume that the world owes it to us. If you're present, you'll realize how many gifts and how much abundance there is around us at all times. That's all you really need to do. I'm here now, and I have all these incredible things at my disposal.
You're going to die one day and none of this is going to matter. So enjoy yourself. Do something positive. Project some love. Make someone happy. Laugh a little bit. Appreciate the moment. And do your work.
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