Monk Mode: Transform Your Life By Doing Less (+5 Tips)

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As Buddha stated, “We are what we think. All that we are arises with our thoughts. With our thoughts, we make the world.” 

Those powerful words of wisdom cannot be denied. And that is what this article primarily addresses.

Entering into Monk Mode allows us to stop wasting our precious thoughts on mundane frivolities, and instead, focus them on goals, actions, and becoming a better, more valuable human being.

Here’s how to use this magical method to transform your life.

Introducing Your Nemesis: Monkey Mind

Monkeys jump from branch to branch through the trees like the thoughts of an unfocused mind jump from topic to topic. Hence the term “monkey mind”. An untrained mind hinders progress by making its owner a hostage of chronic banality. 

Are you feeling anxious? Are you lacking purpose? Are you addicted? There’s a reason. 

  • Netflix. 
  • Sugar. 
  • Video games. 
  • Juul
  • Porn.
  • Social media.

Modern society is frying your brain like a Mcdonald’s french fry.

You think you’re using these technologies as tools, but instead they’re using you. This is no conspiracy – these tools were designed to addict you. 

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There are two main neural systems that regulate decision making:

  1. Your Monkey brain – dominated by the amygdala (if I got a fancy degree from Harvard, I’d refer to this as the A-System )
  2. Human brain – dominated by the prefrontal cortex (sometimes called the I-System )

This ability to consider the long-term ramifications of our actions is indeed what sets us apart from the monkeys . It’s the reason why you’re able to make it this far in the blog post instead of throwing poop at people on the streets like our herbivore ancestors. This monkey brain lives inside of you. And if you don’t tame it, it will master you like Gepetto mastering Pinocchio. 

Your monkey mind is addicted to the dopamine these technologies provide and it’s time to starve it.

What is the antidote? 

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Introducing Your Savior: Monk Mode

From MonkEY mode to Monk mode…

Effective people focus their thoughts and actions on goals as a lifestyle. They have NO TIME to listen to your monkey brain.

Greatness comes from giving up the frivolities that most people care about and indulge in. The only way to work on your self is to get the monkey off of your back.

An addiction to hedonism will destroy your life.

Most people live their entire lives focused on the external world. More cars. More money. More clothes. Monk mode flips this mentality on its head. Instead of focus on the external world, in monk mode you turn your attention within.

You become intensely curious and aware of your inner world. Like a light shining on a lake, this allows your deepest inner thought patterns to come to the surface. Then and only then, can you tame and master them.

Monk Mode is a framework for self-improvement. It works to increase self-value and develop your best traits while letting your poor traits slip away forever. Monk Mode is a very powerful method of self-transformation, and is a reproach on the modern tendency towards over indulgence.

But it doesn’t come without sacrifice. It’s so aptly called monk mode because of the ascetic nature of monks. What many religious individuals have realized is that pleasure comes from subtracting, not adding.

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Before we get into that, let’s discuss why this timeless method for self-improvement is so very important in today’s high-fevered global society.

Importance of Monk Mind Today

The world is crazy. Politicians have gone insane. Most people are permanently attached to some electronic device that keeps them “wired”. 

They live in a constant barrage of texts, phone calls, video chats, emails, social media posting, and other time thieves that really do not add a lot of value to their lives.

Sure we all need some socialization and communication – but most people are getting FAR too much and almost no time and space to really concentrate.

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Some symptoms of this dopamine addicted world include:

  • Short attention span – Studies show that the attention span of an average student has dropped from 12 seconds to 8 seconds. Chimpanzees have an attention span of 20 seconds. There you have it – humans are less focused than monkeys. 
  • Cluttered mind
  • Anxiety – Constant dopamine makes you upset when you’re not getting it. Do you feel a constant state of depression and anxiety? It may be because your dopamine bar has been reset too high and your brain is addicted. You’ve got a heroin addict living inside your head.
  • Instant gratification addiction – Only looking for immediate results.
  • Dysfunctional personality styles: Excessive social media has been shown to lead to dysfunctional personality styles: narcisissm, shyness, need for confirmation, constant negativity and low self esteem

It’s a huge reason for the increase in depression today.

It is very important to leave the world for a time to remember who we are and what we are living for. So many people fail to integrate positive lifestyle changes that could totally transform their lives.

Monk Mode is an extreme approach to improve your emotional, physical, and mental state simultaneously. It teaches you to mitigate destructive Monkey Mind thought patterns and place your focus where it needs to be: on making you the best person you can be.

Three I’s of Monk Mode

Monk Mode focuses on three primary areas: Introspection, Isolation, and Improvement. Let’s take a closer look at each:


The process to enter Monk Mode begins with some serious introspection. You have to be willing to admit your worst faults. If you don’t admit them and face them, then you will never achieve victory over them. 

Only you know what makes you less than the person you want to be. Be honest with yourself and don’t hold back. Look inward and honestly evaluate yourself. Admit your weaknesses. Accept them and place your ego and emotions aside.


The Monk Mode framework acknowledges that most people waste far too much time on activities that provide only immediate gratification but no real long-term value. These activities strip away a person’s limited time without offering any personal advancement.

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If you want to enter Monk Mode and reap its great benefits, then you’re going to have to learn to spend a lot more time alone. It Is Imperative. If you want to develop yourself to your best potential, you’re going to have to learn to love doing what most “average” people do not.

Monk Mode mandates that you drop unnecessary social activities and spend more time alone. Other people’s emotions, needs, politics, religions, and personal beliefs will not advance you as a human – and you need to stop worrying about them and being burdened by them.

Note that Monk Mode does not encourage the total elimination of all social activities. Hanging out with friends, maintaining a healthy sex life, and enjoying a day of frivolous fun with no deep meditation in mind are all fine.

The goal of Monk Mode is to minimize unnecessary, low-value interactions – not to abolish all communication and activity with others. It is Monk Mode – not Hermit Mode.

Here’s the bottom line: Winners don’t hang out and waste time with losers. Choose your social activities and interactions with others very carefully. That alone can transform your life.


When you cut out unnecessary social interactions and other mindless activities from your life, it gives you room to finally work on yourself.

When you’re mindlessly scrolling through tik tok, and training your monkey brain to crave the dopamine hits of likes, you cannot focus on reading that book…or meditating…or eating the right food.

You are what you consume, whether that is food or information. If you consume crap, your life will be crap. Free your mind, and change your life.

What to Cut Out In Monk Mode

You probably get the gist by now. Monks don’t scroll through tik tok all day. Here are some of the biggest things that feed your monkey money, that you should cut out during monk mode.

  • Social media
  • Mindless internet browsing
  • Junk food
  • Masturbation
  • Porn
  • Alcohol & drugs
  • Making fun of vegans

In this regard, it’s like a less restrictive version of dopamine fasting. But the idea is similar: you need to remove. the addicting behaviors that overstimulate dopamine.

Benefits of Monk Mind + Things to Do

When you love yourself more and take intentional steps to become the best person you can be, you make yourself more valuable to the world. Then, when you choose to engage in social activities, you will have more to offer those around you.

In other words, you can’t truly love anyone else until you love yourself first.

In Monk Mode, you can begin engaging loads of beneficial activities instead of wasting your life. For instance, when you’re in monk mode, the only activity I suggest doing is reading my twitter and blog all day.

Okay I’m, kidding of course. Sign up below for a list of 5 things I like to do in monk mode:

For some ideas, sign up below:

There are endless other activities that you can focus on henceforth instead of the poor choices you have placed focus on in the past. Monk Mode is about redefining yourself, increasing your value, building confidence, growing in compassion, and understanding life better.

Conclusion: It’s Time to Use Monk Mode to Transform Your Life

If you are ready to commit to developing your Monk Mode skills and attributes, then you’re going to need to be willing to part with the things that have held you back for so long – and this can be very challenging for some people. 

You will need to carefully consider and redefine your availability for social obligations, your job, intimate relationships, business goals, and various other important elements of life. 

You cannot engage Monk Mode half-assed. You cannot simultaneously self-improve and self-destruct. Monk Mode can transform your life in numerous very beneficial ways. However, only you can sacrifice what is needed to develop and enjoy those benefits.

Sign up below if you’d like some suggestions of what to do when you go full monk mode.