How to give like a monk

Do you feel stuck in your life? Do you lack direction? Well, today we are focusing on purpose. And what better way to kick off this month’s theme than with Jay Shetty. Jay Shetty is a former monk and is globally known for his work in the (mental) health world. He has a podcast called: “On Purpose” where he interviews celebs as well as scientists.

Jay Shetty discovered his calling during his time as a monk. In his book “Think Like a Monk” he describes the meaning of purpose. In Sanskrit the closest translation is Dharma which is loosely translated to your calling. Jay Shetty describes it as:

when your talent and passions connect with what the universe needs, 
you are living in your dharma (purpose)

How to find your Dharma

If we keep our minds open and curious, our dharmas announce themselves. Jay breaks it down into four categories: passion, skill, compassion and usefulness.

Source: Think Like a Monk, Jay Shetty

Moving on to gratitude

I am a deep thinker and sometimes I find it difficult to understand what I am doing here, i.e. on earth. It could be because I have a lot on my mind, or that I see people suffering and ask myself why I worry about all the small things happening in my life. Instead of being grateful for all that I have, I just focus on the negative feelings. As a result, I lack the motivation to do the simple stuff in life. But if you stay in this state too long you can get depressed. The solution is being grateful through acts of service.

Why should we be grateful? Well first of all the practice of gratitude makes you realize all that you have. But also, Jay Shetty said, When you’re present in gratitude you can’t be anywhere else. So you can’t be in your mind with all those (negative thoughts).

Gratitude through service

By doing for others we do for ourselves because charity does as much for the giver as for the receiver. We like to think: I’m doing this selfless thing but in hindsight, we are getting something out of it. Service helps you transform negative emotions.

Acts of service can be anything. As long as you help someone. It could even be doing groceries for your elderly neighbor or helping your sister/brother with their young children. Simultaneously, it could be helping someone who has less.

The benefits of gratitude through service:

  • You feel needed (usefulness).
  • You experience compassion.
  • You become grateful for the life you have.
  • Or you realize which aspects you want to add to your life.
  • You access a broader view of life, and problems, by giving.

Source image: Unsplash, Quinten de Graaf

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