Life lessons from a monk: rapid-fire interview with Jay Shetty


Not so long ago Jay Shetty was living the life of a monk in India, taking cold showers and meditating for up to eight hours a day. But when he eventually returned home to Britain he was in for a nasty shock. "Fun fact: No one wants to hire you when your resume says 'served as monk for three years' under 'Experience," he says on his website.

But by sharing the lessons he learnt as a monk, he soon found he could play a role in bringing positive change to the world. His down-to-earth attitude has turned him into one of the most loved social media stars and now he's just released his first book, Think Like a Monk, in which he shares his wisdom.

In this fun rapid-fire interview Jay opens up about everything from his own reading habits to whether he's ever Googled himself.

Do you prefer fiction or non-fiction?

That's easy for me - nonfiction. I love real-life stories I love deep dives into people's lives and I like learning lessons that way.

What's the last new thing you tried?

I'd have to say - it sounds terrible - but it's probably cooking a proper meal. I cooked a real meal for my wife. She she loved it. It turned out great I was so scared. 

Your favorite thing about India: 

Oh so many things about India - the culture, the colours, the incredible love that people have there. It's the culture and you feel that energy through everyone.

How do you get over writer's block? 

So if I'm experiencing writer's block then what I usually do is start a conversation with someone about the topic that I want to write about. So let's say there's a theme and I'm struggling to be creative I'll call someone up and start talking to them about it and naturally ideas start to flow.

What book do you wish you could have written? 

Ah,that's a great question. Okay so the book I wish I could have written is Walter Isaacson's biography of Steve Jobs and the reason is I would have been able to spend time with Steve Jobs. That would have been the book I wish I had written.

Have you ever Googled yourself? 100%, yeah. I remember the first time after one of my first videos went viral. It was a unique experience and I'm so grateful to find out all the crazy things you all search for.

If you had to recommend just one book what would it be?

Wow, just one book. Okay, I would say the Bhagavad Gita [a 700 verse Hindu scripture]. 

Who should read Think Like a Monk? 

Genuinely anyone who wants to find their purpose. If you want to find your purpose live your passion and actually create a meaningful incredible life then this book is for you. If you're struggling with failure you want to overcome rejection and know how to build a mindset for navigating negativity it's all in this book.

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