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Think Like a Monk

Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day

By Jay Shetty
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What is Think Like a Monk about?

Think Like a Monk is a transformative guide that draws on the ancient wisdom of monks to help readers find peace, purpose, and happiness in their modern lives. Shetty shares personal anecdotes and practical exercises to help readers cultivate mindfulness, gratitude, and compassion. Through his teachings, readers can learn to overcome negativity, live with intention, and create a life of fulfillment.

Jay Shetty is a former monk turned motivational speaker and author known for his insightful perspectives on personal growth, mindfulness, and finding purpose in life. His book "Think Like a Monk" offers practical advice on how to live a more fulfilling and intentional life. Shetty's writing style is engaging and relatable, making complex ideas easy to understand and apply to everyday life. His unique blend of Eastern wisdom and modern insights makes him a sought-after voice in the self-help genre.

10 Key Ideas of Think Like a Monk

  1. Start Your Day with Purpose

    Begin each day by setting a clear intention. This means taking a few moments every morning to reflect on what you want to achieve and how you want to behave throughout the day. The reasoning behind this tactic is that starting your day with a purposeful mindset helps guide your actions, keeps you focused on your goals, and reduces the likelihood of getting distracted by less important tasks.

    • Set aside 5-10 minutes each morning for reflection: Before you dive into your daily tasks, find a quiet space where you can sit comfortably without distractions. Use this time to think about what you want to accomplish for the day and how you want to approach it.

    • Write down your daily intentions: Keep a journal or notepad specifically for this purpose. Writing down your goals and how you wish to conduct yourself not only makes them more tangible but also serves as a reminder throughout the day.

    • Visualize your day: After setting your intentions, close your eyes and visualize how you want the day to unfold. Imagine yourself achieving your goals and overcoming challenges with grace. This mental rehearsal can boost your confidence and focus.

    • Create a morning routine that supports your intention-setting: Incorporate activities that calm your mind and prepare you for the day, such as meditation, light exercise, or reading something inspirational. This helps create a positive mindset conducive to following through with your intentions.

    • Review and adjust your intentions nightly: Before bed, take a few minutes to reflect on your day. Consider what went well and what didn’t. Use this insight to adjust your intentions for the next day, learning and growing from each experience.

    • Example

      Example 1: If your intention is to be more patient with your colleagues, visualize scenarios where you might typically become impatient. See yourself handling these situations calmly, listening actively, and responding with understanding.

    • Example

      Example 2: Suppose you aim to focus more on your health. Your morning reflection could include setting specific intentions like choosing healthier food options, dedicating time for a 30-minute walk, and drinking more water throughout the day. Visualize yourself making these choices with ease and enjoying the benefits.

  2. Practice Gratitude

    Make it a habit to acknowledge and appreciate the good in your life. You can do this through journaling or simply reflecting on things you're grateful for each day. Practicing gratitude shifts your focus from what you lack to what you have, fostering positive emotions and reducing stress. It also improves relationships by appreciating the value others bring into your life.

    • Start a Gratitude Journal: Every night before you go to bed, write down three things you were grateful for that day. They can be as simple as a sunny day or a good cup of coffee in the morning. This habit helps you end your day on a positive note and trains your mind to focus on the good.

    • Express Gratitude to Others: Make it a point to thank someone every day. It could be a text to a friend thanking them for their support, a note to a colleague appreciating their help, or simply saying thank you to the barista who made your coffee. Acknowledging others' contributions not only strengthens your relationships but also enhances your own sense of gratitude.

    • Mindful Reflection: Dedicate a few minutes each day to reflect on the aspects of your life you're thankful for. This can be done during a quiet moment in the morning, on your commute, or while taking a walk. Think about the people, experiences, and opportunities that have positively impacted your life.

    • Example

      Imagine you had a particularly challenging day at work, but during lunch, a coworker shared an encouraging word that lifted your spirits. Before going to bed, you write in your gratitude journal about how thankful you are for supportive colleagues.

    • Example

      After a long week, a friend invites you over for dinner, taking the time to cook for you. Recognizing the effort and care behind this gesture, you send them a heartfelt message the next day expressing your gratitude for their friendship and the lovely evening.

  3. Meditate Daily

    Incorporate meditation into your daily routine to cultivate mindfulness and inner peace. Meditation involves focusing your attention and eliminating the stream of jumbled thoughts that may be crowding your mind. Regular practice enhances self-awareness, reduces stress, and improves concentration. It serves as a foundation for developing other positive habits and attitudes.

    • Start Small: Begin with just 5 minutes of meditation each day. Choose a quiet spot and a comfortable position. Focus on your breath, inhaling and exhaling slowly.

    • Set a Regular Time: Make meditation a part of your daily routine by doing it at the same time every day. Whether it's first thing in the morning or right before bed, find a time that works for you.

    • Use Guided Meditations: If you're struggling to focus or don't know how to start, use guided meditations. There are many free resources online and apps that can help guide you through the process.

    • Create a Dedicated Space: If possible, dedicate a small area in your home as your meditation space. This can be a corner of a room with a cushion or chair, designed to be inviting and calm.

    • Be Patient and Consistent: Understand that meditation is a skill that takes time to develop. Be patient with yourself and consistent in your practice. The benefits will grow over time.

    • Example

      Imagine setting your alarm 10 minutes earlier than usual to sit in a quiet part of your home, focusing on your breath and starting your day with a clear mind.

    • Example

      Consider using a lunch break at work to find a quiet spot outside or in an unused conference room, where you can spend a few minutes meditating to reset and refocus for the afternoon.

  4. Cultivate Self-Discipline

    Self-discipline is essential for achieving long-term goals and overcoming immediate gratifications that don't align with your values. Develop self-discipline by setting clear goals, establishing routines, and practicing restraint in the face of temptations. This tactic is crucial for personal growth, as it enables you to control impulses and make choices that lead to success and fulfillment.

    • Identify Your Core Values: Start by understanding what truly matters to you. This could be family, health, career advancement, or personal growth. Knowing your values helps in making decisions that align with your long-term goals.

    • Set Specific, Achievable Goals: Break down your long-term goals into smaller, manageable tasks. For instance, if you aim to improve your health, set a goal to exercise for 30 minutes, three times a week. Make sure your goals are specific, measurable, achievable, relevant, and time-bound (SMART).

    • Establish Daily Routines: Create a daily schedule that incorporates activities leading you towards your goals. This could include a morning routine of meditation, reading, or exercise. Consistency in these routines builds discipline over time.

    • Practice Mindfulness: Be present and aware of your actions and decisions. Before giving in to a temptation, pause and ask yourself if it aligns with your values and goals. This moment of mindfulness can help you make choices that support your objectives.

    • Seek Accountability: Share your goals with a friend, family member, or mentor who can hold you accountable. Regular check-ins on your progress can motivate you to stay on track and resist temptations.

    • Example

      If one of your core values is health, and you're tempted by unhealthy food, practice restraint by preparing healthy meals in advance and reminding yourself of the benefits of eating well, such as increased energy and better mood.

    • Example

      For someone aiming to advance their career, self-discipline might involve dedicating an hour each evening to professional development, such as taking an online course or reading industry-related materials, instead of watching TV.

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Think Like a Monk Summary: Common Questions

Think Like a Monk focuses on applying ancient wisdom and practical advice from monk philosophy to enhance personal growth and find purpose in life.

Mohammad YektaBy Mohammad Yekta
We would recommend Think Like a Monk to anyone seeking self-improvement, mindfulness, or a new perspective on life. Whether you're feeling lost, overwhelmed, or simply looking to cultivate a more peaceful mindset, this book offers valuable insights and actionable tips inspired by monk teachings that can help you navigate life's challenges with grace and purpose.

Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind for Peace and Purpose Every Day by Jay Shetty is a standout book in the Mindfulness & Happiness field. For a concise summary and key takeaways, sign up for free on our platform. You'll be able to access insights from this book and summaries of other noteworthy books.

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