Kamal Ravikant: Love Yourself Like Your Life Depends On It Book Summary





The Book in Three Sentences

  1. It there’s one lesson Kamal can share from his experience it’s to share your truth.
  2. When you share your truth, the world responds in ways you could never have imagined.
  3. Kamal’s truth is to love himself like his life depends on it.

The Five Big Ideas

  1. In simplicity lies truth. In simplicity lies power.
  2. Loving yourself is a practice and requires commitment.
  3. It doesn’t matter if you don’t like or love yourself in the beginning—what matters is you focus on one thought repeatedly until it becomes top of mind.
  4. “The Practice”: (1) Mental loop (2) A meditation (3) One question
  5. The most important relationship we’ll ever have is with ourselves.
  • James Altucher on writing: “I don’t do a post now unless I’m worried about what people will think about me.” (Sam: James discusses this further in Choose Yourself.)
  • In simplicity lies truth. In simplicity lies power.
  • Loving yourself is a practice.

Kamal was in a bad way. He was miserable out of his mind and there were days where he would lay in bed, too depressed to even open the drapes. One day he hit his “emotional threshold” (an idea Anthony Robbins discusses in Awaken the Giant Within), got out of bed and wrote himself the following:

This day, I vow to myself to love myself, to treat myself as someone I love truly and deeply—in my thoughts, my actions, the choices I make, the experiences I have, each moment I am conscious, I make the decision I LOVE MYSELF.

  • Kamel didn’t know how to love myself. All he knew was that he’d made a vow—something far greater than a commitment, bigger than an I-wish or a nice-to-have.  A vow.
  • Kamal didn’t believe he loved himself in the beginning. What mattered more, though, was he was committing to the practice and in the simplest way, he could think of: focusing on one thought repeatedly until it was more top of mind.
  • “Imagine the feeling of catching yourself loving yourself without trying. It’s like catching a sunset out of the corner of your eye. It will stop you.”

The Practice

  1. Mental loop
  2. A meditation
  3. One question
  • It doesn’t matter if you don’t love or even like yourself—it’s okay to build up to it.
  • “Darkness is the absence of light.  If you remember this, it will change your life.”
  • “Any negative thought is darkness.”
  • “Imagine you’re in a dark room and it’s bright outside. Your job is to go to the window, pull out a rag, and start cleaning. Just clean. And soon enough, light enters naturally, taking the darkness away. It’s that simple. Each time the mind shifts to darkness—fear, worry, pain, you name it—when you notice, clean the window. Light will flow in.”
  1. Mental Loop
  • Often, we’re running familiar patterns and loops in our head. When we replay these loops, they trigger feelings. It’s automatic to the point where we believe we don’t have a choice. But we do.
  • Kamal compares a thought loop to a groove in a rock created by water: “If you had a thought once, it has no power over you.  Repeat it again and again, especially with emotional intensity, feeling it, and over time, you’re creating the grooves, the mental river.  Then it controls you.”
  • “Take this one thought, I love myself. Add emotional intensity if you can —it deepens the groove faster than anything. Feel the thought. Run it again and again. Feel it. Run it.  Whether you believe it or not doesn’t matter, just focus on this one thought. Make it your truth.”
  1. A Meditation
  • Kamal meditates for seven minutes every day.

In his own works,

I sit with my back against a wall, put on my headphones, listen to the music, and imagine galaxies and stars and the Universe above, and I imagine all the light from space flowing into my head and down into my body, going wherever it needs to go. I breathe slowly, naturally.  As I inhale, I think, I love myself. Then I exhale and let out whatever the response in my mind and body is, whether there is one or not. That’s it. Simple.

How to Meditate

  1. Step 1.Put on music. Something soothing, gentle, preferably instrumental. A piece you have positive associations with.
  2. Step 2.Sit with back against wall or window. Cross legs or stretch them out, whatever feels natural.
  3. Step 3.Close eyes. Smile slowly. Imagine a beam of light pouring into your head from above.
  4. Step 4.Breathe in, say to yourself in your mind, I love myself.  Slowly. Be gentle with yourself.
  5. Step 5.Breathe out and along with it, anything that arises. Any thoughts, emotions, feelings, memories, fears, hopes, desires. Or nothing. Breathe it out. No judgment, no attachment to anything.  Be kind to yourself.
  6. Step 6.Repeat 4 and 5 until the music ends. (When your attention wanders, notice it and smile. Smile at it as if it’s a child doing what a child does. And with that smile, return to your breath. Step 4, Step 5.  Mind wanders, notice, smile kindly, return to Step 4, Step 5.
  7. Step 7.When music ends, open your eyes slowly. Smile. Do it from the inside out. This is your time. This is purely yours.
  8. One Question
  • On dealing with others and reacting to their negative emotions with his own: “If I loved myself truly and deeply, would I let myself experience this?”
  • The answer to the above is always no.
  • Rather than solving the emotion or trying not to feel it, Kamal will just return to the one true thing in his head, “I love myself, I love myself, I love myself.”
  • “Here we are, thinking that one needs to be in love with another to shine, to feel free and shout from the rooftops, but the most important person, the most important relationship we’ll ever have is waiting, is craving to be loved truly and deeply.”
  • “Beautiful irony. Fall in love with yourself. Let your love express itself and the world will beat a path to your door to fall in love with you.”

Another Meditation

  1. Step 1.Set a timer for 5 minutes.
  2. Step 2.Stand in front of a mirror, nose a few inches away. Relax. Breathe.
  3. Step 3.Look into your eyes. Helps if you focus on one. Your left eye. Don’t panic, it’s only you.  Relax.  Breathe slowly, naturally, until you develop a rhythm.
  4. Step 4.Looking into your left eye, say, “I love myself.” Whether you believe it that moment or not isn’t important. What’s important is you saying it to yourself, looking into your eyes, where there is no escape from the truth. And ultimately, the truth is loving yourself.
  5. Step 5.Repeat “I love myself” gently, pausing occasionally to watch your eyes. When the five minutes are up, smile. You’ve just communicated the truth to yourself in a deep, visceral way. In a way, the mind cannot escape. If anyone ever looked in your eyes, knowing that you loved them, this is what they saw. Give yourself the same gift.
  • When life goes well for a while it’s easy to believe it’ll stay that way (it won’t). And when you believe that, you become complacent. Your practice becomes something you assume rather than something you work on. You stop truly loving yourself. Kamal calls this “coasting”.
  • If you begin to coast, ask yourself, “If I loved myself, truly and deeply, what would I do?”
  • “The goal, if there is one, is to practice until the thought you chose becomes the primary loop. Until it becomes the filter through which you view life.”
  • “Real growth comes through intense, difficult, and challenging situations.”
  • “What we believe, that’s what we seek, it’s the filter we view our lives through.”






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