Equal parts memoir and road map to living a less stressful and more vibrant life, bestselling author Jesse Itzler offers an illuminating, entertaining, and unexpected trip for anyone looking to feel calmer and more controlled in our crazy, hectic world.
Entrepreneur, endurance athlete, and father of four Jesse Itzler only knows one speed: Full Blast. But when he felt like the world around him was getting too hectic, he didn't take a vacation or get a massage. Instead, Jesse moved into a monastery for a self-imposed time-out. In Living with the Monks, the follow-up to his New York Times bestselling Living with a SEAL, Jesse takes us on a spiritual journey like no other.
Having only been exposed to monasteries on TV, Jesse arrives at the New Skete religious community in the isolated mountains of upstate New York with a shaved head and a suitcase filled with bananas. To his surprise, New Skete monks have most of their hair. They're Russian Orthodox, not Buddhist, and they're also world-renowned German shepherd breeders and authors of dog-training books that have sold in the millions.
As Jesse struggles to fit in amongst the odd but lovable monks, self-doubt begins to beat like a tribal drum. Questioning his motivation to embark on this adventure and missing his family (and phone), Jesse struggles to balance his desire for inner peace with his need to check Twitter. But in the end, Jesse discovers the undeniable power of the monks and their wisdom, and the very real benefits of taking a well-deserved break as a means of self-preservation in our fast-paced world.
Wasn’t a fan
I admire the courage and effort it takes to write a book.
I can see how this book could be helpful for someone feeling unmotivated and needing a push to follow their goals. If you are that person, then you may be inspired by Jessie’s story and drive.
I personally didn’t gain much from this book. I feel like I have read books similar. I craved a little more vulnerability in and about Jessie’s experience. I felt like I was walking next to him in the monastery and observing what he was seeing. However, I craved to know more about what he was feeling.
I also struggle with phrases like “strive for happiness”. Happiness is based on our happenings which we don’t always have control over. Striving for happiness can also be an avoidance of ones pain and loss. Joy comes through the grief when our happenings aren’t lining up the way we desire. So I guess I disagree with some of Jessie’s messaging in this book.
Again I admire Jessie’s drive, passion and his desire to inspire others. I just didn’t really gain that from this book personally.
I like his rawness with the way he writes. However I found myself a bit bored listening to the story and counted down how much longer I had to go to finish it so I could get a different book going. (Weird rule of mine. I guess hoping it will get better)