Think Like a Monk Book Summary I Jay Shetty

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Book –Think like a Monk – For Peace and Purpose every day (Summary)

Author – Jay Shetty

Genre – Self-Help

Published in –2020

‘A layperson who is consciously aiming to be continuously alive in the Now is a monk.’

We are often advised to seek experts in the field to learn skills or trade. Jay Shetty claims that for learning calm, peace, and purpose Monks are the experts to look forward to.

Jay claims without leaving worldly pursuits we can adopt the mindset of monks and become more successful at our worldly pursuits while maintaining perfect peace inside. Becoming a monk is a mindset more than a monk-like life.

About the Book

Jay Shetty chose to become Monk after completing college when most students prepare for jobs in corporate or starting business.  He spent three years learning from Monks, living in Ashram, and traveling around with Monks.

The monk’s teachings talk about forgiveness, energy, intentions, living with purpose, and other topics in ways that are as resonant today as they must have been when they were written.

Think like a Monk shares monk way by going into deep within for self-examination. The book suggests ideas in three stages –

Stage 1 – we will let go, stripping ourselves from the external influences, internal obstacles, and fears that hold us back.

Stage 2 – We will grow by reshaping your life so that you can make decisions with intention, purpose, and confidence.

Stage 3 – We will give, looking to the world beyond ourselves, expanding and sharing our sense of gratitude, and deepening our relationships.

Here are excerpts from Each Part –

Part I – Let Go

man looking at mirror

1) Identity –

  • Jay states that we have so much layered identity and we constantly struggle to play the part in impressing others, that we miss out our real selves and don’t dare to do things we like to do just to avoid criticism or upsetting others.
  • Line worth pondering about Identity – I am not what I think I am, I am not what you think I am, I am what I think, you think I am.
  • The only way to build a meaningful life is to filter out that noise and look within. No matter what you think your values are, your actions tell the real story. What we do with our spare time shows what we value.

2) Negativity

  • When we criticize others, we can’t help but notice the bad in ourselves. But when we look for the good in others, we start to see the best in ourselves too.
  • Like the Idea of Switching Negative Channel – SPOT, STOP, SWAP –
  1. Spot This needs more effort in the beginning to catch ourselves when we indulge in negative thoughts.
  2. Stop – The moment you spot you have boarded in Negative thought train, stop the train.
  3. Swap – As soon as you stop, swap your thoughts to something positive, or at least neutral. Have fun with this.

3) Fear

  • Jay suggests that we will never be able to eliminate fear completely and it’s not the feeling of fear, but what we do with determines the outcome.
  • Work with Fear – Try shifting from I am angry to I feel angry. I feel sad. I feel afraid. A simple change, but a profound one because it puts our emotions in their rightful place.

Part II – Grow

1) Routine

  • Talking about his routine in ashram specially morning routine he advises to wake up earlier than usual time, it may not be 4 a.m. Start with 15 minutes to usual time and increase it to an hour eventually. There are many books written on benefits and ways to get up early like The Miracle Morning, The 5 A.M. Club.
  • Considering morning is quiet, it is perfect time for writing, meditation, quick exercise, longer shower or having tea with peace. This will help you start your day well and set the tone for upcoming day.

2) The Mind

  • Should-self, Want-self – There is constant battle between our should-self and want-self to act on anything or not to act. We often ignore what we know we should do and good for us in exchange of what we want to do in the moment, which may not be the best solution.
  • Addressing yourself with name, self-talk is powerful way of improving self-awareness and reframing our self-talk for getting better at everything we want to pursue.

3) Ego

  • It follows that the biggest obstacle to learning is being a know-it-all. This false self-confidence is rooted in the ego.
  • In the act of criticizing others for failing to live up to higher standards, we ourselves are failing to live up to the highest standards.
  • Consider theses three questions before you judge someone next time-
  1. Am I finding fault in order to distract myself or others from my own insecurities?
  2. Am I projecting my own weakness onto them?
  3. And even if I am doing neither of those things, am I any better than the person I am criticizing?

Part III – Give

1) Gratitude

Woman bowing in gratitude
  • When you start your day with gratitude, you’ll be open to opportunities, not obstacles. You’ll be drawn to creativity, not complaint. You will find fresh ways to grow, rather than succumbing to negative thoughts.
  • Don’t judge the moment. As soon as you label something as bad, your mind starts to believe it. Instead, be grateful for setbacks. Allow the journey of life to progress at its own pace and in its own roundabout way. The universe may have other plans in store for you.

2) Relationships

  • Whenever you give out any energy love, hate, anger, kindness, you will always get it back in one way or the other.
  • Focus on quality of time spent with loved ones rather than quantity. When you are there, be there 100% it better to spend 15 minutes with your kid with full focus rather than spending 1 hour listening to him while fiddling with your phone simultaneously.

3) Service

  • It’s hard to think about selflessness when we are struggling. And yet that is exactly what Jay learned as a monk. Selflessness is the surest route to inner peace and a meaningful life. Selflessness heals the self.
  • In Long Walk to Freedom, Nelson Mandela writes, “No one is born hating another person because of the color of his skin, or his background, or his religion. People must learn to hate, and if they can learn to hate, then they can be taught to love, for love comes more naturally to the human heart than its opposite.

I have also created videos of a few quotes from the book I read- Hope you like it. Please do subscribe to YouTube channel self-help books quotes- Myread4change


One need not necessarily become a Monk to discipline the mind and lead a peaceful life and Think like a Monk shows the way, how one gets the best of both worlds. Read this book and you will walk away with great ideas to improve your life.

You may download Think like a Monk Free E-Book here. If you like this book, you may also like Ikigai and The Untethered Soul.

Hope this book summary helped you in some way. Please share your thoughts in the comment. I would love to hear from you.

Thank you for reading.


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