Think like a monk Book summary :7 Takeaways for a better life

Table of Contents


Our present world is full of distractions. We rarely have time for stillness and calmness. Everyone is busy craving wealth and worshipping money. But are we all happy inside? Does money, wealth or power actually bring peace to our minds? In this “Think Like a monk” book summary, we will be highlighting some of the key ideas of Jay Shetty that will help us to look for more purposeful and happier lives. 

Before knowing the key ideas, we should know few words about the author

Author Introduction

Jay Shetty is an award-winning content creator, motivational speaker and has a massive social media following. He speaks about life purpose, relationships, peace, and so much more. 

His life changed after he met a monk at 21 years of age. Then he spent half of his summer vacations working for a financial organization and the other half as a monk in India. Jay has learned the monk ways by living in the ashram. He later chose to come back home and preach what he learned through social media.

As of today, his youtube videos have more than 7 million views, his Instagram has 8.2 M followers, and he has the #1 Health podcast.

Avoiding the Social Mirror

" I am not what you think I am, I am not who I think I am, I am who I think you think I am."

This quote might seem a little complicated, but it is mostly true. Let me explain it to you. Every average person judges themselves by the judgment of others. They set limits that are not set by them but by people around them. When people say, “You are not good at this,” we don’t question if that person is right or wrong. We accept the fact that we are not good at this. This is the social mirror.

One of the reasons our lives are miserable and not liberating enough is this social mirror. Everyone is telling us what to do, what not to do. In this crowd of opinions, we forget our core values. We forget what we are capable of doing. There is no harm in taking advice from other people, but ensure that the social mirror is not limiting your potential. 

Key Idea: Don’t believe the social mirror

Think like a monk summary

Let go of the internal negativity

Negativity is contagious, and it spreads fast. When you start noticing only the bad things in your life, you should understand you have filled your life with negativity. We create a victim mindset that all the bad things in the world are happening to us and us only. The victim mindset creates a selfish attitude. We forget that everyone in this world is fighting their own war, their own problems.

How do you get rid of negativity from the core of your heart? By accepting and forgiving. Accept the mishaps that occur in your life and forgive the responsible ones. Letting go gives us freedom, and freedom is the only condition for happiness. 

Do not pressurize or beat yourself for the bad things that happen in your life. Let them go. The less time you fixate on something else, the more time you have for yourself.

Think like a monk summary

Practicing mindfulness

Have you ever thought about how much of your life goes on autopilot? No obviously. We do so many activities in our day-to-day lives without awareness that we fail to celebrate the little things in our life. 

Jay Shetty mentions practicing mindfulness in all aspects of our lives. We must enjoy the little details of our everyday tasks. Humans miss so much of life due to automation and lack of awareness.

Even if it is showering, studying, reading or whatever small task it is, try to feel the smaller details. Mindfulness is a practice that can help us to enjoy the privilege that we already have. You are privileged that you are sitting in an airconditioned room while some people are burning in the scorching heat of summer. You are privileged that you can eat fries and chips any day you want while some people are starving to death.

Be aware of your facilities and cherish the small things in life through mindfulness.

Key idea: Practice awareness 

Let go of your ego.

We always think we are better than others, and we deserve better than others. But how just is the statement? Why should anyone be better than others because of his wealth, power or money? They shouldn’t. Remember, nobody deserves a better seat in the theatre of life.

Break your ego on your own, or life will break it up for you. Humbleness can give you far more peace than ego ever will. You don’t have to be better than anyone; you can be you. If you know your true worth, you don’t have to prove it to anyone.

Key Idea: Be humble 

Dealing with relationships

Every person comes into our lives for a reason. If you believe that, then remember that they all have something to teach us, or we have something to learn from them. They are a totally new world to explore.

Many people in your life come and go. Some stay longer than others. But how many people among them do you trust? Do not mix liking and trusting. You might like your neighbor, but you do not trust them (always). Trust is the single most important factor in a relationship. It would be best if you kept the trust of everyone you come through in your life. Also, feel grateful for the people you can trust because there are not many and honored by those who trust you. 

Think like a monk summary

Controlling the monkey mind

In the book, the distracted and deviated mind is regarded as the monkey mind. The monkey mind is our obstruction to peace and harmony. It is like a monkey that jumps from branch to branch and doesn’t like stillness.

Our monkey mind abhors stillness, but as we mentioned earlier, stillness is the key to harmony. There is immense peace in stillness and patience. The monkey mind forces us to focus on things that matter the least but give instant gratification, e.g., scrolling social media, procrastinating, gossiping, and so much more. If we don’t illuminate our monk mind, then the monkey mind takes charge 

Key idea: Take control of your monkey mind.

Think like a monk summary

Shaping your routine

In the book Jay Shetty suggests many ideas to shape your routine for good. 

Here are some of the tips shared in the book 

  • Every day after waking up, affirm yourself that you are fortunate to be alive and you are not going to waste it.
  • Wake up one hour earlier than you already do. Allocate this time for yourself only. If you feel difficulty waking up 1 hour early suddenly, start waking up at least 15 minutes earlier.
  • Do something at the same time every day to make it easier. 
  • Do something at the same pace every day to make it easier.
  • Before going to sleep every day, visualize the changes you want in your life. It may not change your life, but it will change the way you see it.

Thats about it. This book is a mouthful of more than 300 pages. There are plenty more ideas and concepts, but these are the ones that I found appealing. Utilizing these key thoughts, I have shaped my life for the better, and you can too.

Wrapping up |Think like a monk book summary

Thinking like a monk is not easy, but it is worth it. All our life, we chase money, wealth and power only to find happiness, but monks are happy even without any of these. If we were truly able to think like them, we would be far happier, and the world would be a better place than it is now. 

This book is a great read if you are into self-help books. The ideas shared in this book can shape your life to be peaceful and calm. Hope you have a better and happier life.


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