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I like what I think you're trying to say...but:

> Once you understand this, though, it's easier to note that this piece is itself a bid in a status game -- it defines a set of values and sets them up as higher than a competing set of values. And the set of values he's advocating seems to be one by whose standards he would have a high status. ;)

I don't think this is actually true. As far as I can tell, Naval isn't setting up any particular set of values as higher than any other. He's not saying that you should or must want wealth. He's speaking to you on the assumption that you share this value. I don't think he's trying to justify that value being better or higher than any other set of values.

I felt like this got very close to what the parent was talking about:

  Work as hard as you can. Even though who you work with and 
  what you work on are more important than how hard you 
Realistically if the who + what is more important than the specific effort, I feel like the author is trending more into status/values because despite the relative importance, the last-place component of success there is the lede & focus here. I'd also contend that "work as hard as you can" is generally crappy advice, "work as hard as the situation demands" will leave you with more energy & the clarity that comes with understanding relative importance.

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