Numerous names fit the definition of a ‘modern day guru’. Of those names, Jay Shetty surely makes the cut. The British vlogger and motivational speaker has over the years garnered tonnes of fans, including Hollywood celebrities. “I do not consider myself a guru at all,” he says adding that his intention has always been to make wisdom “as accessible relevant and entertaining and deeply transformative as possible.”
Shetty spent three years living as a monk, a significant part of that period was spent in India. “We would wake up at 4am, have cold showers, sleep on the floor. All of our possessions fit inside a gym locker,” he recounts.
“I learnt so many incredible lessons during that time. I learnt how discipline and routine and focus can create an amazing life,” adds Shetty who has 3.59 million followers and include stars like Will Smith and Ellen Degeneres. Jay has also appeared on the latter’s show.
His book, a culmination of his experiences and written as a guide/self-help, titled Think Like A Monk, couldn’t have come at a better time. “It is incredible how when you trust timing, it serves people well. I’m grateful that during the lockdown, it is going to be of use to people right.”
Shetty says that when he started out, the intent was to share the wisdom he’d acquired after living as a monk. “When I started out, I saw so much anxiety; I saw so much stress and pressure. I just thought what if we could share insights with people and reduce this problem,” he says.
He adds, “My intention was just that maybe I’ll make a video and maybe a few people will watch it and it helps even one person, then that’ll be amazing. I set out just to start giving people an opportunity to watch and listen to something that would help them learn about how they can improve the quality of their life.”
The primitive accommodation and the experiences led him to research how a monk’s thoughts and values were still not known to many around the world. “I was curious to find out that if there were any studies done on the minds of monks,” he says, this is after he completed his three-year-sojourn. The revelations, he says, did not disappoint him. “There is a lot of scientific research that shows that monks have the happiest, calmest and the most present minds in the world. Moreover, they had the highest rate of gamma waves, which is linked to happiness, attention and joy,” he says.