How to Make an Impact on the World Around You

This article is an excerpt from the Shortform book guide to "Think Like a Monk" by Jay Shetty. Shortform has the world's best summaries and analyses of books you should be reading.

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Do you want to know how to make an impact on the world? How can sharing your values with others make an impact on both of your happiness?

According to Jay Shetty, the author of Think Like a Monk, the final step in adopting a monk mindset is to share your values, strength, and compassion with others. It can be difficult to know where to begin, so Shetty describes three opportunities where you can leave a mark.

Here are tips on how to make a positive impact.

Examplify: The 3rd Stage of the Monk Mindset

Former Vedic monk and award-winning content creator Jay Shetty claims that the route to happiness and fulfillment is to Think Like a Monk. According to him, monks are the calmest and happiest people in the world because they live with a sense of purpose that aligns with their true, inner selves. 

Fortunately, you don’t need to cut yourself off from the modern world or shave your head to benefit from this mindset. Shetty draws from his experiences as a monk, ancient spiritual texts, and the latest psychological research to transform abstract concepts into actionable methods you can easily incorporate into your life. 

Shetty claims that there are three ongoing stages to adopting the monk mindset—the more you engage with and practice these methods, the happier you’ll feel:

  1. Purify: Become aware of and release external influences and internal obstacles that don’t align with who you really are.
  2. Clarify: Make conscious decisions and move confidently toward experiences that bring you genuine happiness and satisfaction. 
  3. Exemplify: Expand your feelings of inner peace and happiness out into your relationships and the world around you.

In this article, we are going to go focus on the third stage of the monk mindset: exemplify.

Exemplify: Make an Impact

Shetty argues that you can generate immense feelings of satisfaction and happiness by sharing your values, strengths, and compassion with others. He suggests that you begin to consider ways that you can make a positive difference and show your care for the people you value.

(Shortform note: Scientific research confirms that contributing to the wellbeing of others does make you happier. The studies showed that when you give (knowledge, assistance, time, or money) with the intention of helping others, you activate the same parts of your brain that are stimulated by pleasurable activities such as eating good food or having great sex.)

Here is his advice on how to make an impact on the world around you:

1) Track where you spend time this week. What opportunities are there for you to leave a positive mark in each of these places? 

(Shortform note: A practical way to complete this step is to take note of what you most complain about in your environment and to reframe these complaints into empowering questions. According to Tony Robbins, (Awaken the Giant Within), when you focus on asking yourself empowering questions, you encourage your mind to effortlessly come up with proactive solutions. For example, instead of complaining about the rubbish in your locale park, ask yourself questions such as, “How can I help to clean this park up?” Or, “What do I need to do to encourage others to pick up their rubbish?”) 

2) Think of three moments in your life when you would have benefited from help or guidance. Now think of a charity or cause for each of these areas. Do any of these have opportunities to serve that suit your unique skills and abilities?

(Shortform note: While this step does provide a way to come up with ideas to help others, it doesn’t necessarily help you find opportunities that align with your interests. For example, even if you once needed help navigating a tricky relationship, you might not be interested in helping others deal with the same issue. In The Success Principles, Jack Canfield suggests that you consider the philanthropic organizations you most admire to discover opportunities that align with your interests. Next, explore what needs they have for your skills or expertise so that you can come up with ideas to contribute to organizations that work in the same field.)

3) Regularly involve yourself in something that’s meaningful to you. This might take the form of pursuing a hobby or lending your support to a charity or political cause.

(Shortform note: If you’re worried about committing time to complete this step, consider ways that you can get involved from the comfort of your own home via the internet. For example, you can join mission-oriented groups that address specific problems, or you can volunteer your skills by assisting with tasks that can be done virtually and remotely. These methods provide an easy and convenient way to make a positive difference in the world without having to factor in commuting time.)

How to Make an Impact on the World Around You

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Like what you just read? Read the rest of the world's best book summary and analysis of Jay Shetty's "Think Like a Monk" at Shortform.

Here's what you'll find in our full Think Like a Monk summary:

  • Tips from a former Vedic monk on how to find happiness and fulfillment in life
  • The three stages to adopting the monk mindset
  • How to positively influence the world around you

Hannah Aster

Hannah graduated summa cum laude with a degree in English and double minors in Professional Writing and Creative Writing. She grew up reading books like Harry Potter and His Dark Materials and has always carried a passion for fiction. However, Hannah transitioned to non-fiction writing when she started her travel website in 2018 and now enjoys sharing travel guides and trying to inspire others to see the world.

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