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The book is divided into three parts: Let Go, Grow, and Give.
In Let Go, the author asks us to let go of all the narratives that we have accepted.
We can Grow in the area of our choice once we let go of all the noise around us.
Last, we need to Serve society.
Becoming a monk is a mindset anyone can adopt.
Our identity often comprises external influences from the internet, TV, school, family, media, friends, news, etc.
We cannot live our whole lives on the values others define for us. That is why we should filter the ones which do not resonate with us.
Jay asks us to write down some values that we live by, mention their origin, and put a checkmark next to them if we share them.
This will help us understand where our values come from and do we associate with these.
I am not what I think I am, and I am not what you think I am. I am what I think you think I am.
As per the book, Comparing, Complaining, and Criticising are three cancers of the human mind.
Jay recommends a technique called Spot, Stop, Swap to discard negativity.
To spot means to be aware of our negative feelings. We can analyze where these negative feelings emerge from.
Then we stop ourselves from taking action because of our negative impulses.
Last is swap, which suggests reacting mindfully.
If you think you were too small to make a difference, try sleeping with a mosquito.
First of all, we must understand that we are not our feelings. Instead of saying, I am afraid, shift to, I feel afraid.
Now that you are seeing your fears from a distance, you need to reach the root of the fear.
Keep asking yourself, "Why am I afraid?", until you do not get to the base of your fear.
Once you know the reason, you can detach yourself from it.
It is not possible to control all external events, but if I simply control my mind, what need is there to control other things?
In this chapter, we are told to purify our intentions.
Jay encourages us to plant seeds, not weeds.
Intentions like love, compassion, service, etc. are good intentions aka seeds.
Intentions like ego, envy, greed, anger, pride, competition, etc. are bad intentions aka weeds.
Everything you do in the day from washing to eating breakfast, having meetings, driving to work... watching television, or deciding instead to read... everything you do is your spiritual life. It is only a matter of how consciously you do these ordinary things.
Jay motivates us to find our Dharma.
Dharma = Passion + Expertise + Usefulness
According to this, Jay mentions four Vedic personalities: the creator, the maker, the guide, and the leader.
Your Passion is for yourself, your purpose is for others.
Jay advises us to wake up just 15 minutes earlier and not to pick up our phone for those 15 minutes.
Then he suggests we try this new morning routine, abbreviated as T.I.M.E.
Thankfulness: Express gratitude first thing in the morning.
Insight: Learn through reading a book or listening to a podcast.
Meditation: Do a guided meditation or breathe normally.
Exercise: Move your body. You can do yoga, dance, or cardio.
Transform your evening routine by going to bed a little earlier so you do not have any problem waking up the following day.
Rules and routines ease our cognitive burden so we have the bandwidth for creativity.
Jay asks us to treat the voices inside our heads as Monkey Mind and Monk Mind.
The Monkey mind is like a child that wants attention. The Monk Mind is an adult that can reason with the former.
If the Monkey mind says, "I can't do this." The Monk Mind can respond with, "You can do this."
This is how we need to be conscious of our thoughts and change our narrative to get control over our minds.
Sometimes our own minds work against us. They convince us to do something, then make us feel guilty or bad about it, often because it's gone against our values or morals.
Our Ego is a hindrance to our progress.
The ego makes us think that we are the greatest and the smartest.
An inflated ego leads to low self-esteem. A little blow to our ego is like a little blow to the house of cards. We start to feel, "If I am not great, I am terrible."
We must focus on building our self-esteem by working on our short-term goals.
Our short-term goals are obtainable on a daily or monthy basis, which helps us on the way to our long-term goals.
Accomplishing short-term goals give us confidence and help us improve our self-esteem.
They are forever free who renounce all selfish desires and break away from the ego cage of "I", "me" and "mine".
Monks always remember that everything that we have is not ours but it is given to us for a certain period.
Similarly, we must also remember that everything that we have is not going to be with us permanently.
We must be thankful even for the mundane things in our life.
As per Jay, the most important part of being grateful is not saying thank you but having trust in life itself.
When life brings misery, we must see an opportunity to grow.
When one door of happiness closes, another opens, but often we look so long at the closed door that we do not see the one which has been opened for us.
Nowadays, we depend on one person for all our needs. We must know that the person who can give us spiritual advice, may not be able to give us business advice too. We must keep our expectations in check.
As per the book, there are four different kinds of relationships: Competence, Care, Character, and Consistency.
Competence: The person who has the right skills to solve your problem.
Care: They want what is best for you.
Character: They have a strong moral compass.
Consistency: They show their consistency by being there for you whenever you need them.
Jay also mentions four stages of trust, which are as follows:
Neutral Trust: Positive qualities exist that don't merit trust.
Contractual: I will scratch your back if you scratch mine.
Mutual: You know you'll be there for each other in the future.
Pure: You will have each other's back no matter what happens.
We are all connected to each other, biologically. To the Earth, chemically. And to the rest of the universe, atomically.
If we look around nature, it is always serving.
The sun provides heat and light, trees give oxygen and shade, water quenches our thirst, and so on.
To be one with nature, we must serve too.
We must remember that what we are giving to others was not ours in the first place. You cannot take credit for your service.
Selflessness is the surest route to inner peace and a meaningful life. Selflessness heals the self.
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