10% Happier Book Review
“The Price of Security is Insecurity.”
I was gifted 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works--A True Story by Dan Harris by my good friend Mike Taccona. For Christmas, I’ve been gifting my friends books and they ask what I would like and my go-to answer is anything you think that will make me a more well-rounded person. This book is a continuation of my own inner exploration with meditation and mindfulness.
Dan Harris, the man many of us know through YouTube ads promoting mindfulness and meditation. The man we watched break down on national television, a horrifying display that made us all cringe, fearful of being in his shoes. This book starts how one would expect it to. A motivated young journalist struggling, trying to make it big in the news world, a daunting task. No matter how well Dan was doing, better wasn’t good enough. He was always looking towards the next horizon. His motto, “the price of security is insecurity,” was the foundation for all of his future successes. Helen Thomas puckers up our lips with this sour quote about the cultural norms of the news world.
“You’re only as good as your last story” – Helen Thomas
So how does a news anchor discover meditation and mindfulness, and better yet how did Dan harness their true potential? Dan found that grounding himself was the key component to achieve a clear mind, to achieve true self-awareness. We can all say we don’t have time for that or our brain’s wiring isn’t suited for this practice. Heck, the type A who can never let off the gas would scoff at this idea. The power of this book is its potential to reach out to the naysayers. It is the power of Dan’s voice that can motivate others to see and experience the encouraging benefits of meditation and mindfulness.
“Dan makes Woody Allen look like a Buddhist Monk.”
As a journalist, Dan is able to craft a narrative into have shaped the space of meditation and mindfulness from Eckhart Tolle to Sam Harris and many more. He shares his opinion of each person he meets and even when his initial impressions of them were wrong. Even if he doesn’t agree with everything, someone says he takes steps to try and learn from them anyway.
The book paints a personal journey we all have to take when stepping into anything. This is how Dan meandered into what I call mindfulness, and still, after years, Dan has questions that he hasn’t fully answered for himself. But he is in a place better than where he started.
In conversation with a friend and Senior Producer Kris, Dan found a simple way to articulate why he meditates:
“‘I do it because it makes me 10% happier.’ The look on her face instantly changed. What had been a tiny glimmer of scorn was suddenly transformed into an expression of genuine interest. ‘Really?’ she said. ‘that sounds pretty good, actually.’”
If you need a down to earth example on where to start with meditation this a great place to start. Healthy doses of skepticism and humor included.
Looking for more book recommendations?
Check out our complete book list, we’re adding more regularly!
Going Down the rabbit hole?
My conversation with Michael Greenberg, a dermatologist with over 40 years of experience, touches on some of these topics even though not meditation specifically.
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