Think Like A Monk – Jay Shetty

Jay Shetty is a social media influencer and former Indian monk who served for three years. Many people know Jay Shetty through his motivational and inspirational videos on social media platforms. Jay Shetty also has a Number 1 Podcast – On Purpose, which has lots of his wisdom and insights having spent time as a monk. Subsequently, he distilled the timeless advice and tips into a book: Think like a Monk. Jay doesn’t mean people to be a monk but thinks like a monk. Accordingly, he brings out the deepest understanding and wisdom to live our life on purpose. Thinking like a monk is not a practicing long-hour meditation technique. It is the way of approaching true compassion, peace, and healthy relationships in this modern world. I will cover and summarize all the topics included in this book so that you can apply these knowledge at the moment.

Who Should Read it?

If you are one of those who are struggling to find peace and purpose currently that is filled with uncertainty, this book will help clarify your thinking, regain control, and provide a new perspective to give you a life more aligned with your purpose and find calmness within yourself.

Table of contents

  • Introduction
  • Part-1 Let Go
  • Part-2 Grow
  • Part-3 Give
  • Conclusion

Do we have any reasons to think like monks? If you wanted to know the way of influencing the basketball court, you might go and ask Michal Jordan; for innovation, you have to ask Elon Musk and if you wanted to perform well, you need to explore Beyonce’. So, do you want to train your mind to find peace, calm, and purpose? Here monks are the experts. The goal of monk thinking is a life free of ego, lust, anxiety, anger, baggage. To the author, adopting the monk mindset isn’t just possible ___ it’s necessary.



We don’t notice that we are trying to build unreal identity. The truth is, our families, friends, society, media__ we are surrounded by images and voices telling us who we should be and what we should do. To foster our life meanings, we need to filter out that noise and look within. When we disregard the opinions, judgment, expectations, and obligations of the world around us, we begin to hear ourselves. We have to take stock of the values that currently shape our lives and reflect on whether they are in line with who we want to be and how we want to do. (I recommend checking this book to dive into how to create space for reflection.)


Negativity often springs from a threat to peace, love, and understanding; a fear that bad things are going to happen (loss of peace), a fear of not being loved (loss of love), or a fear of being disrespected (loss of understanding). These feelings evoke complaints, comparisons and criticisms, and other negative behaviors. Negativity is contagious. The more negativity that surrounds us, the more negative we become. If your environment is enveloped with complainers, critics, casualties, gossip, and conflicts, we start to see the world negatively in those terms. There are external and internal ways that you can inverse the negativity. Of course, you can check these ideas in the book.


When you deal with fear and hardship, you realize that you’re capable of dealing with fear and hardship. This gives you a new perspective: the confidence that when bad things happen, you will find ways to handle them. With that increased objectivity, you become better able to differentiate what’s worth being afraid of and what’s not. When you meet someone who gives off a negative vibe, you feel it, but you don’t think that vibe is you. It’s the same concept with our emotions__ they are just something we’re feeling, but they are not us. You can try to shift from “I am angry” to “I feel angry”, “I feel sad”. Put your emotions in the rightful place and give us the space to examine our fear and the situation without judgment.


The author mentions four fundamental motivations which are encouraging us to do something. 

  1. Fear – Driven by fear of sickness, poverty, or death
  2. Desire – Seeking personal gratification through success, wealth, and pleasure
  3. Duty – Motivated by gratitude, responsibility to do something
  4. Love – Compelled by care for others and the urge to help them

Fear and desire can be powerful motivators, but it’s not sustainable. As long as we keep attaching our happiness to external events of our lives, which are ever-changing, we’ll always be left waiting. Because our search is never for a thing, but a feeling we think the thing will give us. However, if we work with responsibility and love, we define ourselves by our intentions rather than our achievements and life will become more meaningful.



When your natural talents and passions connect with what the universe needs, they become your purpose. If you are spending your time and energy living on purpose, you have the satisfaction of using your best abilities and doing something that matters to the world. As Steve Jobs said, “Your time is limited, so don’t waste it living someone else’s life”. You can’t be anything you want_ you can’t do everything. Our limitations make space for the gifts of other people. Instead of focusing on our weaknesses, we lean into our strengths and look for ways to make them central in our lives.


Keeping a systematic routine plays an important role to seek an effective and impactful lifestyle. Firstly, let’s try to wake up one hour earlier than you do now every morning. And then take some time for Thankfulness, Insight, Meditation, and Exercise. You can express gratitude to someone or something; gain insight through reading book or listening to podcast; spend around fifteen minutes alone, breathing, visualizing or with sound; do some basic stretches or work out. Secondly, make sure to fall asleep with positive vibe or ideas. Because the emotion you fall asleep with at night is most likely the emotion you’ll wake up with in the morning. Location has energy_ Time has memory. Therefore, if you can do something at the same time or do something in the same space every day, it will become easier and natural.

The Mind

“For him who has conquered the mind, the mind is the best friend; but for one who has failed to do so, his very mind will be the greatest enemy”.

The Bhagavad Gita | Think like a monk

If your mind says, “You can’t do this,” respond by saying to yourself, “You can do it. You have the ability. You have the time.” You are also required to practise detachment. In fact, detachment is not that you own nothing, but that nothing should own you. To try detachment, think of challenges you can do: giving up TV or your phone, sweets or alcohol; abstaining from gossip, complaining, and comparing.


Humility allows you to see your own strengths and weaknesses clearly, so you can work, learn and grow. But if you are trapped in ego and pomposity, you can’t clarify yourself what you really are because you do not recognize or understand how much you don’t know and you follow the biggest obstacle to learning is being a know-it-all. On one hand, we should attempt to be like salt. People notice salt when there is too much of it in the food or not enough. Nobody ever says, “Wow, this meal has the perfect amount of salt.” Salt is humble that when something goes wrong, it takes the blame, and when everything goes right, it doesn’t take credit. Do not build ego, but confidence. The ego wants to prove itself. Self-esteem wants to express itself. Instead of putting effort to prove yourselves, just try to be yourselves and be authentic.



There is always something we must be grateful for in our daily lives. Think about how much gratitude you owe somebody. Try to express your recognition for particular gratitude and remember the good things you’ve obtained until now. Gratitude has been linked to better mental health, self-awareness, better relationships, and a sense of fulfillment. Keep a gratitude journal; every night, spend five minutes writing down things you are grateful for. 

Kindness and gratitude are symbiotic. They seem developed together, working in harmony. If you have the sense of enjoying gratitude, you also tend to be kind and affectionate to your communities, bringing the highest intentions to those around you.


In order to build a healthy relationship, you should have a genuine intention for getting involved in that relationship. Are you getting on with someone because they care about you; they know inside of you; they are available when you need them? And try to be aware of what sort of trust you have between you and the people around you. When you can identify the trust, you might need to reinforce and rebuild pure trust on a daily basis. It will allow you to maintain positivity within your relationship.


If you tend to expect what you did for somebody, it means you don’t still find selflessness indeed. Monks live in selflessness and service__ to think like a monk ultimately means to serve. We seek to leave a place cleaner than we found it, people happier than we found them. The act of giving to others activates the pleasure center of our brain. According to the monk’s thinking, when you are living in service, you don’t have time to complain and criticize, your fear can go away and you would like to detach material or material. Therefore service is the direct path to a more contented and happy life.


After reading this book, I hope you can observe the forces that influence you and detach from illusion and false beliefs, and continually look for what motivates you and what feels meaningful. By the time you have to make a decision, have an argument, are scared, upset or angry, or lost, ask this question, “What would a monk do at this moment?”. You’ll find the most effective solution at that moment. And eventually, when you can adapt to your real self and get accustomed to living on purpose one day, you won’t need to think what a monk would do. You can simply ask “What would I do?”.

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