Ep. 202: Kamal Ravikant – Maybe a Pilgrimage Can Save Your Life

kamal ravikant

Kamal was totally lost. His father had died. His job over. His relationship gone. He felt adrift, depressed, broken.

He was so lost he wandered the world trying to find his way back.

Twenty years later he wrote the novel about what happened “Rebirth.”

The novel is about how he discovered for himself the ancient art of the pilgrimage. How to be a wanderer.

How to be lost in a world with too much GPS raining down.

Would a pilgrimage, a wandering, solve his problems?

I read Kamal’s book. The book comes out today. I had him on my podcast (also out today). I wanted to find out how even in our daily lives we can go on a pilgrimage.

Even if I’m in a cubicle, can I break free, can I become a wanderer

Sometimes I also feel stuck. But I don’t want to go away for months at a time. I want a pilgrimage in my life right now!

From what I can gather from reading the book, “Rebirth,” and talking with Kamal, a pilgrimage has several parts:

A) Seeking an answer

Something happened. Something confusing. Something that wasn’t in the plan.

You have to get off the regular path. Try a new one. Try one that takes a bit of courage and discipline. To meet stranger along the way

B) It takes time

I’m not a believer that you have to go to a far location.

But take time for yourself each day to do something you’ve never done before. Think about things you never thought about before.

Find the places in your life that you never looked before. They are there every day. The pilgrimage awaits.

Do a dare you never would have dared to before.

C) Struggle

Maybe some people find life easy. I don’t.

Life is filled with worries about money, about relationships, about (for me) kids, about decisions, about the people who hate you, who annoy you, who scare you. Anxieties, regrets.

Every pilgrimage begins with the struggle. And every journey is a struggle.

The struggle doesn’t stop. It just changes. It changes into one where you are lost to one where you have vision.

Where the struggle is not being trapped in the vision of others but for the unique impact that you want to create.

D) Benefits of a pilgrimage:

  • You see more clearly: Everything you see on a pilgrimage is different from “normal life”. Enjoy them. Learn from it. Even a single day, a single meeting, can be a pilgrimage. What is your takeaway from it.
  • You meet people. I like to pretend everyone has a fortune cookie to give me. A little bit stale, a little bit crunchy, with a folded message inside. Read it.
  • There’s an end. We’ve made pilgrimages too easy. We can go to a museum and see 2000 works of art.

It used to be that people would travel a 1000 miles to see one painting hanging up in a chapel. Then you can really appreciate what you see.

The more you appreciate the people, the things, the emotions around you, the more you are a pilgrim.

Come back changed. A pilgrim doesn’t just fly a plane from LA to NY. A pilgrim changes because of the journey. You do that by using your senses: listen more, see more, taste more, observe more.

The convenience of modern society comes at a price. It’s too difficult now to be a pilgrim because everything is two taps away on our phone.

There is an “otherness” to being disconnected for a bit. To search. To wander.

And finally, to give up looking. To surrender to the results.


It’s freeing to give up, even for a few minutes, everything you ever knew. To become a Wanderer.

To look around and see everything as if it were new.

“Rebirth,” by Kamal Ravikant, got me thinking about these things. He went on his pilgrimage. He met people. He went on an adventure, a journey, and reading his book showed me how.

I need to leave. To struggle. To find an answer.

And then to completely give up all hope of ever finding one. To find again the beauty of being completely lost.

If I get lost enough, maybe I can find something worth looking for.

Listen to my full conversation with Kamal here:

Timestamps:

  • Years ago, I learned from Kamal  you can self-publish your own book and it doesn’t have to be 200 pages. It can be 10 pages, it can be 40 pages. You can write a short book, right now and have it published in a week. It’s possible. I’ve seen it. Hear how Kamal did it [6:20]
  • Kamal says, “If you want to learn life lessons, but want to do it really quickly go…” do this (listen at [15:42]
  • “Everyone’s interesting,” Kamal says. He explains how to make the most interesting parts of you come alive [23:00]
  • “What should someone do when it feels like everything’s falling apart?” Kamal’s told me how to deal with fear and how to move forward  [24:30]
  • Kamal talked to a monk. He asked him, “How do you find peace?” The monk said, “Easy question, huh?” “If I’m going to ask a question, that’s the question,” Kamal said. The monk gave him three answers. And I didn’t understand. I kept asking, “What do you mean? What does that mean?” He kept explaining, and I learned the number one philosophy for a peaceful life. Kamal lives by this rule. I struggle with it. You can try it. Hear it [48:40]

Links and Resources:

Also mentioned:

  • Goddess of Wisdom

    Feeling and being lost was hard – hell, but what a journey!
    I’ve had to dig in so Deep (I was sinking!) and discover aspects of my self that I never knew existed in the process – WOW!
    Yet, I’m still feeling lost.
    After all of that.
    I’m the Eternal Pilgrim.
    Yeah.
    I hate it.
    I love it.
    Expect the unexpected.
    Toss the rest!

  • csilva11

    Hey James – u need to put dates on your posts so we know when theses things were written. Thanks!

  • Lilly

    Oh this one is so good! Thank you James for interviewing Kamal. Now to find my “mini” Pilgrimage. I’ve faced a lot of fears last year and I’m ready for the tipping point in my life. I’ll be saying yes to life! Keep these great podcasts coming. I am loving every word.

  • GaganBansal

    How to stop background music?

  • Isabella

    Step by step … bird by bird … thank you James ! This is one of the best podcast ever for me. That is because in 2 months I will be out of my office life and a few months ago I had decided that I would have done the Camino de Santiago from Paris (about 1800 km) after spending 2 months around France house sitting and studying French and other trips. Everything he said resonated so much in me. The fear and the need to move forward anyway, the necessity of getting rid of etiquettes and titles and just BE .. and many more points raised during the interview. I feel that the synchronicity between this post and the present of my life is a sort of confirmation that I am on the right path… or not.. but it’s my path, my journey! Thanks again

    • Whoah! Isabella, congrats!

      • Isabella

        Thank you James!

        • I got paid $104,000 in last twelve months by freelancing on-line a­­n­­d I was able to do it by w­o­r­k­i­n­g in my own time f­o­r 3 or sometimes more h each day. I was following a business model I came across online and I am so thrilled that i earned so much extra income. It’s very newbie-friendly a­­n­­d I’m just so happy that i discovered it. Here’s what I do… http://statictab.com/5rq2qty

          • Isabella

            mmmm i am curious to know what james think about this. I have seen it already and it looks like a total scam to me…

    • The Sacred Agency

      Best of luck to you on your pilgramage

      • Isabella

        thanks a lot

  • Kamal is amazing, his tone of voice alone makes you want to be better at Life! Thank you, James!

  • Khan

    Jim – drop the piano loop music it’s so damn distracting and annoying!
    I dig your writing and thought processes – so whoever coached you into the piano loop was wrong.
    Oh and btw once I got to the interview- great stuff man.

  • The Sacred Agency

    This was an incredible conversation. Love the way you roll. Thank you for your deep questions and deep diving into the beauty of life.

  • Sam Browne

    Really want to buy this book for kindle, but strangely it’s not available. I wonder why not?