In this episode of On Purpose, Jay Shetty joined Eva Longoria to share some wisdom from his new book, Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind For Peace and Purpose Every Day. Shetty believes the monk mindset is for anyone seeking more compassion, focus, discipline, or a sense of purpose in their lives. He explained to Eva Longoria that the monk mindset is possible and necessary in this day and age.

After living as a monk for three years, Shetty was fascinated by the minds of monks and had acquired many principles he felt were imperative for the world to hear.

“I read all these studies that showed monks from all traditions have the calmest, happiest, and most compassionate brains in the world,” Shetty explained.

Jay Shetty is considered a monk for modern times. After he left the ashram, he continued to live the principles in his everyday life.

“The last seven years since I've left have been like the exam,” Shetty shared with Longoria. “It’s almost like everything I learned in school I’ve been testing every year. I felt like so much of it worked, and I wanted to share its parts that worked with everyone.”

“Even though the world around us is different,” said Shetty, “if you look at the challenges humans face today, we all still strive to find love, purpose, more forgiveness, and less negativity.”

When Jay Shetty started to share his message, he gave speeches, coached people, worked directly with people, and pitched media companies. All of his work fell on deaf ears. No one was interested.

So, he turned to social media to share the wisdom he learned from the monks. It was free for everyone, and had the potential to reach a broad audience. Social media also gave him the ability to create the type of content he wanted to share.

He was blown away and filled with gratitude for the overwhelming response of love he’s received from people regarding his shared content.

Being highly educated, society told him he had three options - become a lawyer, a doctor or a failure. When he decided to live with the monks, he was blessed with an understanding family. Not everyone is that fortunate. Jay Shetty wrote Think Like a Monk in part to help others make a transition to break the molds of society.


Social media has a significant influence on most people’s lives. You can choose to ingest the positive or the negative effects of what social media spews into the world. It is human nature to gravitate toward gossip, and it takes work to avoid that negativity.

“I feel gossip or negative talk about people is a way to make ourselves feel a little bit better because someone else is struggling,” Jay Shetty explained to Eva Longoria. “The problem with that mindset is that tomorrow you might be the one struggling, and someone might be talking about you. If you're building your happiness on the unhappiness of others, then tomorrow someone's going to build their happiness on your unhappiness, and the cycle just goes on.”

If everyone can take the time to realize that each person is on their own journey and we all have lessons to learn along the way, we can help stop the downward spiral that gossip and negativity create.


Do you live a life confined by what society thinks you should be? From an early age, we have been taught to fit in, stand in line, and follow the crowd.“I think the challenge is that we've all built up boxes, and we try to put people into boxes to understand them,” Jay Shetty shared with Longoria. “The mind does that to make life easier, but it makes life more challenging because people are more diverse. People are more than the box and the label you put them in.”

“Our self-image is tied up on how we think others see us,’ Shetty shares with Longoria. “Most of our efforts at self-improvement are just us trying to meet that imagined ideal; it is not even for ourselves.”

As we become adults and evolve our thinking, we discover that we no longer want to follow the crowd. We need to figure out who the real person is that we want to be. This becomes a work in progress, and we need to challenge ourselves every day.

“I find that a lot of what's needed is personal stillness and silence and space to ask, ‘What do I believe in? Who do I want to be for myself?’” Jay Shetty told Longoria. “Think about how to best express that rather than getting tied up in the noise. I think this is something we have to do daily. It's not something you do once, and then you're done with it.”


The ego can manifest itself in a positive or negative sense. It can make you believe you have the best of something or the worst of something. If we can work to strip back ego and try to see someone or something for the way it is, unremoved from all bias, we can listen and understand someone for who they are as humans.Shetty urges viewers to remove the labels society places on people and situations. Once you strip back all the preconceived prejudices that you can understand the background and why something is or isn’t the way society thinks it should be.

We all come from different backgrounds and cultures. What may be acceptable or the norm in one culture may not be so in another. When we open our minds in these situations and listen with compassion and understanding, coming from a place of non-judgment, we can fully understand what the other person is saying, even if we disagree. That is a line between disagreement and understanding.

“The monk mindset looks at everyone without their labels, without their ideologies, without prejudice,” Jay Shetty shared with Longoria. “The monk mindset looks at humanity inside that person. When you start there, then you can have a conversation that penetrates someone's heart.”

Misconceptions of the Monk Mindset

There is a preconceived notion that monks lack ambition, dreams, and competition, but that is not true.

“There are certain mindsets of how a monk thinks about things,” Jay Shetty explained. “The first thing that we understood is that nothing is good or bad. Everything is given meaning by how you use it. It's not about not having it. It's about what you do when you get it,  and that's what shows detachment.”

The concept of detachment is summed up perfectly in a quote by Islamic teacher Ali ibn abi Talib. “Detachment is not that you should own nothing, but that nothing should own you.” Detachment doesn’t mean you can't have the car, or you can’t have the house or the career. It means that those things don't own you.

Jay Shetty believes that you do not need to live like a monk to think like one. The monk mindset can help you purify your intentions and give you more focus, clarity, and discipline, which allows you to engage in your endeavors to serve and support those around you.

“If you live your purpose and find your meaning, everything else will come as a by-product of that,” Jay Shetty explained to Longoria.


Gratitude is a warm feeling of thankfulness toward the world or individual. Feelings of gratitude are associated with greater happiness and help people feel positive emotions, improve their health, and build strong relationships.“When our gratitude is specific and detailed, not only do we feel more joy giving it, but the other person feels more joy in receiving it,” Jay Shetty explained to Longoria.

“When you're saying thank you to someone, tell them why you're thankful. Be clear about it.”

When you realize why you are thankful for something, it strengthens your gratitude for that person. When that person realizes how it made you feel, they become grateful for you, creating a beautiful human bond.

Your life changes when you choose to express gratitude. It is the simplest thing a person can do to achieve the monk mindset.

A life of abundance happens when you align your life with these principles. When you chase something that is not there, your life gets out of alignment, and you become dissatisfied. Shetty does not encourage anyone not to be successful or not to go after their goals. He wants to help you get there in a way that helps you keep success and joy once you have reached your goals.

When you begin to implement the principles from Think Like a Monk, you’ll be able to identify the dangers of negativity and stop the downward spiral before it happens. As you recognize the importance of finding your true identity, you can bust through the labels others have placed on you and become the best version of yourself. When you follow your true passion, it allows you to live a life filled with more compassion, peace, and purpose.

Jay Shetty expands on more principles he learned from monks in his new book, Think Like a Monk: Train Your Mind For Peace and Purpose Every Day. Pick up your copy today at for more wisdom from Jay Shetty.

More From Jay Shetty

Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode ON “3 Ways To Cultivate More Compassion In Your Life” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at

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