Two equally strong men engaged in a competition to determine who could cut the most trees in a single day. Armed with identical axes, one of them relentlessly exerted himself throughout the day, while the other strategically took a break every hour to rest. Surprisingly, when they tallied the trees cut at the end of the day, the one who had taken breaks had doubled the productivity of his tirelessly toiling counterpart.

Curious about the remarkable outcome, the fatigued man inquired, "What's your secret?" The victorious man, who had achieved superior results, responded, "Every hour, I take a moment to replenish my strength, and during that time, I sharpen my axe."

We all face decisions. Big ones, small ones, agonizing ones, mundane ones. But how do we navigate this constant crossroads and ensure we're making choices that propel us forward, not just side-step the moment? Let’s look at Naval Ravikant's "razors": two mental shortcuts designed to cut through the indecision and sharpen your decision-making blade.

Naval Ravikant is an American entrepreneur and investor. He is the co-founder, chairman and former CEO of AngelList.

Naval's Razors says,

If you have two choices to make and it's 50/50, take the path that’s more painful in the short term. If a task is worth less than your ambitious hourly rate - outsource it, automate it, or delete it.

Those are two of Naval Ravikant's well-known "razors"—mental shortcuts for decision-making. Let's unpack them:

1. Uphill Decision Razor:

This razor encourages choosing the harder option, even if it seems painful or inconvenient in the short term. The logic is that difficult choices often lead to greater long-term gains. Overcoming the initial discomfort or resistance can build skills and resilience and ultimately lead to personal or professional growth. Think of it as investing in your future self by taking on the uphill climb early.

2. Hourly Rate Razor:

This razor promotes efficiency and maximizes your time. It suggests that if a task doesn't pay at least your desired hourly rate (based on your ambitious goals), you should either delegate it, automate it, or simply eliminate it from your responsibilities. This frees up your valuable time for activities that offer higher returns and align with your aspirations.

Both razors, when applied thoughtfully, can help you make better decisions about your time, energy, and resources. However, it's important to consider the context and nuances of each situation.

Sharpening Your Decisions

Remember, these razors are tools, not rules. Apply them critically, with nuance and context. Not every uphill path leads to Everest, and not every task needs an algorithmic assassin. But by keeping these razors in your mental toolbox, you can start making decisions that:

  • Prioritize growth over comfort.
  • Respect your time and your ambitious vision.
  • Lead you towards a future brimming with possibilities.

Life is a series of choices. With Naval's razors in hand, you can approach each crossroads with clarity, purpose, and a fierce commitment to carving your path toward the peak.

Now, it's your turn. How will you wield these razors in your own life? Share your thoughts and experiences in the comments below, and let's sharpen our decision-making blades together!

🎙️ Leverage, Luck, and Happiness with Eric Jorgenson
David speaks with Eric Jorgenson, the CEO of Scribe Media. He also has a rolling fund investing in pre-seed and seed-stage tech companies, and is the author of two books: The Almanack of Naval Ravikant: A Guide to Wealth and Happiness; and The Anthology of Balaji. They talked about: 🤓 Working

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