This On Purpose episode reflects an interview with Jay Shetty in the Almost Adulting podcast hosted by Violet Benson.
The discussion revolves around lessons from Jay’s newest book, Eight Rules of Love, such as the profound themes of love, relationships, self-awareness, and the pursuit of meaningful connections.
This episode serves as a powerful reminder that love, in its truest form, has the potential to transform lives and bring profound joy and fulfillment.
Learning from Setbacks
Jay Shetty shares with Benson the hurdles he had to cross from a monk to a public figure. He remembers the struggle to reconnect with society and secure a job post-monastery. Since his skills as a monk were not perceived as transferrable to conventional jobs, he underwent a challenging period of self-rediscovery.
Jay’s transition was slow, strenuous, and unfolded in several phases – a characteristic he believes is inherent to many life transitions. He landed a corporate job eventually, only to realize after a few years that it didn’t resonate with his life purpose. He yearned to share his learnings as a monk, particularly meditation and mindfulness techniques, with others.
According to Jay, the most formidable challenge in his journey was accepting his transformation and growth or simply giving himself the freedom to be more of himself. Therefore, he encourages people to change their outlook. Rather than feeling like a failure, he suggests viewing the experience as hitting rock bottom, which implies that the only way forward is upwards.
Now Is The Best Time
Jay speaks against societal stereotypes concerning age, qualifications, and timelines. He encourages everyone to avoid society’s conventional approach and live on their terms. According to him, the worst advice you can receive revolves around limitations associated with being too old, too young, overqualified, or underqualified.
People tend to project their insecurities when giving advice. While Jay Shetty believes in being mindful so as not to adopt these insecurities, he also suggests showing compassion. He emphasizes the importance of maintaining balance and safety during transitions.
Navigating Negative Emotions
Violet Benson noted that often, friends and family give advice based on their experiences and not necessarily from a harmful place. She and Jay Shetty emphasize the damaging impact of negative emotions on daily life.
Jay shares three mindsets he learned in the monastery that he refers to as “cancers of the mind” in his book Think Like a Monk – complaining, comparing, and criticizing. He shows how complaining reveals a lack of control and influence over situations. Comparing oneself to others sets up one for failure, fostering insecurity and an endless competition cycle. Finally, criticizing often comes from a place of inaction and does not contribute to personal growth.
Jay Shetty clarifies that these behaviors should not deter one from expressing feelings or being open but rather serve as a guide to cultivate mindfulness. People often overemphasize feelings, which are fleeting and inconsistent. Instead, focus on modifying thoughts and actions as they can more effectively change how you feel.
Find Your Door
‘Finding your door’ represents a crucial strategy for overcoming the often debilitating cycle of overthinking and indecision that plagues our career and life choices. According to Jay, it isn’t possible to decipher one’s passion, purpose, or career path by simply thinking or theorizing. Instead, the way becomes more evident when we engage in proactive action, allowing us to experience, learn and evaluate.
While many tend to merely consume the work of successful people or observe their public personas, Jay Shetty and Violet Benson underscore the importance of digging deeper. By following their paths, you can learn not just from their successes but also from their setbacks.
The Art of Slowing Down
Jay Shetty articulates the significance of slowing down. It applies as much to our career choices as to our personal ones. While the adrenaline and enthusiasm of the initial phase often push for quick decision-making, Jay asserts that this approach could lead to hasty errors and complications down the line.
Therefore, slowing down involves being more selective and discerning in one’s choices, especially those we allow into our professional circles. Contrary to the conventional understanding, it doesn’t imply achieving less or stagnating. Jay Shetty points to the life of acclaimed artists such as Kendrick Lamar and Mr. Beast, who have excelled by adopting a slow and steady approach, prioritizing quality over quantity.
Jay Shetty shares the two biggest lies he has confronted within himself: “I’m not good enough” and “I am good enough.” The former lie often leads to self-sabotage, critical self-judgment, and a fear of rejection.
Jay highlights how we often complain, compare, and criticize ourselves more than anyone else. However, we can discover hidden talents and abilities that exceed our expectations by taking action and stepping out of our comfort zones. He shares his journey of overcoming shyness and stage fright to become a renowned public speaker, emphasizing that we only truly know our potential when we take that first step.
Love and Forgiveness
Jay Shetty explains that carrying unforgiveness in our hearts weighs us down, blocking positive energy and hindering our capacity to give and receive love. He draws an analogy of a closed hand, unable to hold anything new when tightly clenched onto revenge, bitterness, or negativity. Conversely, forgiveness frees up space in our hearts and allows us to embrace love, compassion, and connection.
Choosing love can be daunting for those accustomed to a life filled with misery and hatred. Society often encourages forming groups united by a common enemy. However, Jay emphasizes that choosing love is not about eliminating all challenges or pretending they don’t exist. It’s about living for approval rather than seeking validation or disproving others.
During his time as a monk, Jay Shetty learned that monks didn’t wait to receive love; they actively expressed love, kindness, compassion, and joy in every interaction. This realization led him to understand that love isn’t solely about receiving but also about giving. Society tends to idolize romantic love, but Shetty emphasizes recognizing and valuing different forms of love, such as familial love and friendship. Love should not be hierarchical, and each love format is unique and significant in its own right.
One of the fundamental principles discussed in Jay Shetty’s book, Eight Rules of Love, is unconditional love. Benson admits her difficulty in understanding how unconditional love is possible, based on her experiences that made her believe love comes with terms and conditions.
While unconditional love is real, it may not be immediately realistic in romantic relationships, Jay clarified. He introduces the idea of different layers of love, starting with transactional love, where people expect something in return for their affection. Reciprocal love follows, where mutual acts of kindness and support are given without keeping score. Finally, the highest form is unconditional love, which requires selflessness and loving someone without expecting anything in return.
Jay Shetty highlights that unconditional love often exists between parents and children. Still, it takes time and nurturing for romantic relationships to reach that level.
Exercising the Love Muscle
Jay Shetty’s book emphasizes that love is not just an emotion but also a skill that can be learned and developed. He explains that understanding love as a skill enables individuals to actively pursue its mastery. He suggests practical exercises to develop this skill.
Firstly, Jay encourages finding something to love about one’s body, mind, and heart each day or week. This practice allows individuals to appreciate their worth and cultivate self-love.
Secondly, he recommends learning to understand the needs of others in terms of attention and space. By paying attention and discerning whether someone requires a listening ear or assistance in problem-solving, individuals can better express their love for others.
Lastly, Jay Shetty advises individuals to communicate how they want to be loved. By openly expressing their preferred love language, individuals allow their loved ones to choose how to express affection best.
Boundaries Marked by Fear
In Jay Shetty’s view, fear is an unformed boundary that can hold us back from experiencing genuine connection. He suggests transforming our fears into principles, agreements, and limits to address them constructively. Both individuals can overcome insecurities and build healthier relationships by turning fear into a conversation and setting clear expectations.
Jay Shetty shares a personal example of expressing his fear that his commitment to his purpose might scare someone away. They created a strong understanding and avoided misunderstandings by discussing this fear with his wife and finding practical ways to support each other’s priorities. Jay encourages individuals to have these conversations and transform their concerns into productive dialogue, principles, and boundaries.
Enjoying Time Alone
Jay Shetty emphasizes the importance of time alone and getting to know oneself. He suggests that being alone is an opportunity to develop self-awareness and discover one’s likes, dislikes, and life goals. Spending time alone allows individuals to avoid losing themselves in relationships and create a sense of self-worth and individuality. Jay recommends engaging in activities alone, solo dates, and nurturing self-interests. By becoming interested in oneself, individuals can cultivate a sense of joy and contentment in their own company.
People may fear spending time alone because they may not like who they are. Yet individuals are not defined by their current state and have the power to change and grow. Therefore, Jay encourages individuals to embrace the opportunity to improve themselves and build a fulfilling life, regardless of their current self-perception.
Self-love and self-awareness are essential not only during periods of solitude but also within relationships. Developing a solid sense of self allows individuals to maintain their identity and avoid losing themselves in their partnerships.
“We’re in This Together”
The rule “win or lose together” from Jay Shetty’s book can be particularly difficult due to the ego’s influence. He discusses how couples often focus on winning arguments and, in doing so, unintentionally lose the person they love. He suggests shifting the perspective to focus on winning together by finding common ground and coming to agreements and commitments. It involves treating the relationship as a team effort rather than trying to prove oneself right or make the other person wrong.
Jay clarifies that winning together does not mean sacrificing one’s feelings or suppressing their needs. Instead, it involves creating agreements, commitments, and boundaries together. Both partners should openly communicate their needs, find compromises, and work towards the relationship’s well-being.
Jay Shetty encourages individuals to spend time alone to develop self-awareness and avoid losing themselves in partnerships. Moreover, he emphasizes the significance of treating relationships as collaborative efforts, with partners working towards common goals and respecting each other’s needs and boundaries.
Facing the Real World Around You
It is crucial to face the real world and navigate relationships based on facts rather than idealized versions in our minds. Jay Shetty argues that asking the right questions is vital, shifting the focus from whether someone is the “right” person to whether both individuals are willing to make it right.
Jay stresses that there is no perfect partner but rather a person willing to work on the relationship with you. He cautions against the tendency to romanticize past relationships, as memories often emphasize the positives while overlooking the reality of the situation. Moreover, he encourages individuals to ground themselves in reality and focus on the facts when evaluating relationships.
How to Love 101
Benson asks Jay Shetty for the best advice from his book, which covers every love stage, providing practical wisdom and insights for finding, maintaining, and letting go of love. Jay explains that the book is not based solely on his knowledge and experiences but is a curated collection of scientific research, wisdom, and real-life stories. He aims to offer a comprehensive view of love that can benefit readers at any relationship stage.
Benson observes that Jay’s relationship with his wife involves constant learning about each other. He agrees, stating that love means continuous learning. He draws analogies to other areas of life, such as sports or hobbies, where individuals consistently seek knowledge and engagement. He emphasizes that love should be approached with the same curiosity and commitment to growth, as continuous learning and understanding are crucial for successful partnerships.
Jay Shetty acknowledges that perfection does not exist and suggests focusing on the concept of flow state. Flow state occurs when a challenge aligns with one’s skill level. He advises individuals to balance skill and challenge rather than fixating on perfection or progress. One can experience a sense of progress and fulfillment by aligning abilities and challenges.
Find Your Tribe
Jay Shetty advises those struggling to cultivate meaningful relationships to connect with people who genuinely want to connect with them. He highlights the importance of making efforts with those who reciprocate the action. Jay acknowledges that often, people focus on chasing after those who do not have space for them in their lives. He urges the listeners to recognize and appreciate those who already love them and try to deepen those connections.
Many people may already be showing us love. Still, we fail to recognize it because we are fixated on someone who does not reciprocate. Therefore, Jay encourages individuals to shift their perspective by connecting with those who love and care for them. By experiencing genuine connections, the need to chase after unrequited love naturally diminishes.
Jay Shetty and Benson highlight the importance of challenging these conditioned beliefs and embracing the love already in our lives.
More From Jay Shetty
Listen to the entire On Purpose with Jay Shetty podcast episode on “Jay Shetty ON 3 Negative Traits That Affect Our Thoughts & How to Gradually Break Free from Your Limitations” now in the iTunes store or on Spotify. For more inspirational stories and messages like this, check out Jay’s website at jayshetty.me.