My aim is to read at least one book a month as a goal. The month of January was Jay Shetty’s Think Like A Monk. I hope you enjoy my 5 valuable thoughts from Think Like A Monk.
Think Like A Monk Summary
Think Like A Monk is an international best selling book by Jay Shetty. The aim of Think Like A Monk is to reflect on his past experiences as a monk and how you the reader can live like a monk in the modern world. Think Like A Monk is broken down into three parts. 1. Let go 2. Grow 3. Give. Every chapter digs deeper to learn how to master your mind by fighting off negativity, finding purpose and giving service to others to name a few. Jay Shetty amazingly applies lessons of a monk that anyone can benefit from within their lives without having to become a monk themselves.
5 Valuable Thoughts From Think Like A Monk
1. Finding Purpose
Monks call purpose, DHARMA.
One goal monks have is to find their dharma.
Everyone has natural affinities to what they enjoy and are good at. The best way to find out what your dharma is. Is to try different skills to find out which ones you like and dislike. Only then will you truly know what your dharma is.
Jay Shetty has a formula that helped him discover his dharma, PASSION + EXPERTISE +USEFULNESS + DHARMA.
An interesting thought is that our dharma is inside all of us waiting to be discovered. That’s why it’s essential not to follow someone else’s purpose or have a purpose put on you by a parent, teacher or society. You have to find it within yourself. Whether that takes a day, a month or years. Finding your dharma is unique to you. Keeping open-minded and curious, there’s no doubt you will find it.
The optimal purpose is to find something your skilful and passionate about doing. Sometimes in life, we can find ourselves in a job we are skilful at but are not passionate about doing. That’s OK, don’t quit your profession straight away. Keep searching and when you find something, you are skillfully and passionate about. Grab it with both hands as long as it can support you financially unless it’s a hobby.
So it’s down to us all to take on the responsibility of finding our own dharma.
A well-written ending to the purpose chapter was,
“Dharma isn’t just passion and skills. Dharma is a passion in the service of others. Your passion is for you and your purpose is for others. Your passion becomes a passion when you use it to serve others”.
2. Letting Go Of Fear
One of the opening lines of this chapter really hit home. “We have so much to offer the world, but fear and anxiety disconnect us from our abilities”. This is so true and unfortunately fear can get in the way of all our greatness if we let it. Whether that be changing a career to find our passion or even asking the person you like to go on a date. Fear can effect all of us in different ways.
He states the problem people have with fear is influences growing up where we are made to feel embarrassed around fear. Whereas all fear intends express , is a warning to the mind that what’s about happen doesn’t look good or danger is upon us.
Fear is a great tool to have to warn us but if it’s used to stop us in our tracks. We are using it all wrong. When used properly fear can help us know that we need to find solutions to go forward. Whether that’s running away from danger or solving a problem.
Looking further into his own fears he found that there was more to his fear than he first thought. For example, he had a fear of exams but when he looked deeper into the fear. He found there was fear of not making his parents happy. Discovering the root of fears can help us overcome the problem. As painful a search this may be. It’s crucial to take control back of fear.
As the chapter goes on he comes up with a lot of fantastic solutions for anyone to overcome their fear.
My favourite quote from this chapter is,
“Our real problem is that we fear the wrong things. What we should really fear is that we will miss the opportunities that fear offers”.
This is powerful and no one wants to look back on their life and have regrets that fear stopped them from doing all they wanted to do.
3. Controlling The Ego
The chapter starts off by discussing that there are two egos. 1. The real ego 2. The false ego. The real ego makes us aware of reality whereas the false ego is crafted to preserve our sense of being the most or the best at something.
Jay Setty uses an analogy “When you trust the false ego to protect you, it’s like wearing armour that you thought was made of steel but is actually made of paper”.
There are so many people you come in contact with who seem to know everything or they perceive themselves as being the most important person in the room. This is not a trait that people like and the fastest way to alienate people because no-one like to feel belittled. You can look at the ego as a mask that can hide our true nature. With people liaing about who they are as a prime example. Deep down we know who we are but when people put on a mask full of false ego it can do more long term damage than we realise.
To counter the false ego Jay Shetty states we should focus on humility that can protect us from our own vanity. Being humble allows you to stay level headed and people like this more than a big head know it all. These people are destined to fail at some point and the fall can be a huge drop depending on how much your false ego has propped you up.
But a humble person does not need to worry about this as he is level headed. The goal is keeping your ego in check and not letting yourself get too big for its boots.
4. Having Intention Within Your Life
Jay Shetty states there are 4 roots of all in intentions. Fear, desire, duty and love. To distinguish which one of these intentions is good for you to follow, he says you have dig deep to the root to find out why you want this. By doing so you will have an answer to follow the intention you set out.
Once you know the intention you want to achieve it can do good for your life. It’s important to take action on this to plant the seeds for future growth.
Finally, he really opened my eyes to improving when I set goals or do a to-do list. He says you should also set a to be a list that will help live up to the intention you desire. This has helped me to pursue the goal knowing what actions like being more calm or disciplined to fulfil the goal. Creating more clarity to achieve the outcome I desire.
5. Getting Rid Of Negativity
This chapter has helped a tremendous amount in my own life. Not because I am an overly negative person but the tool he taught me about forgiveness which helps you overcome all negativity. It has brought peace of mind to my past and present. It’s now incorporated into my daily journal where I forgive myself and others from the day. This has led to a boost in mental health where I feel happier and less worried about life’s problems.
We all know there’s negativity all around us and that’s not going to change. But what we can control is who we spend time with, how we speak to ourselves and how we respond to negativity.
This important technique of forgiveness I never really thought about with much effort. But now it’s an important part of my shield against negativity.
Think Like A Monk Review
Think Like A Monk was highly recommended to me.
His first published book Think Like A Monk did not fail. In fact, it has helped me develop even further on skills I was already proficient in. The chapters of Think Like A Monk of being a monk are fascinating and his honesty is refreshing. Think Like A Monk is a must for anyone wanting to develop their mind to become mentally tough to internal and external forces. I have even caught myself when dealing with stress, especially parenting. What would a monk do? This has helped a lot in calming my mind.
With all the little techniques he sprays across every chapter you are definitely going to improve as a person. It’s one of those classics like Think And Grow Rich. Where you can easily see yourself reading it more than once springing up loads of aha moments to help you on your mindful journey.
I highly recommended this book to anyone wanting to develop their mental strength.
If you are inspired by the review of Think Like A Monk. Head over to my page what do I read for an easy way to get the book yourself.
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