Thursday, April 3, 2014

10% Happier by Dan Harris

Standalone
256p.
Available Now
Publisher: It Books
Source: From Edelweiss and publisher for review
After having a nationally televised panic attach on Good Morning America, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. After learning about research that suggests meditation can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEOs, scientists, and even marines who are now using it for increased calm, focus, and happiness. "10% Happier" takes readers on a ride from the outer reaches of neuroscience to the inner sanctum of network news to the bizarre fringes of America's spiritual scene, and leaves them with a takeaway that could actually change their lives
My thoughts:
 I'm not a general fan of self-help books. Usually it is either a rehash of things you already know or at it's worse... it blames the victim for things they cannot possibly control. However, there are occasional gems that allow you to see the problem from a different angle. I wasn't sure about this one when I first heard about it and then I caught Dan Harris from ABC News talking about his book one night. Hm... he seemed down to earth and really sincere. I became curious.

I check out the titles of the chapters and I see "10. The Self-Interested Case for Not Being a Dick" and then in the preface I see... "I initially wanted to call this book The Voice in My Head Is and Asshole". Okay, this one might be right up my alley. :)

The book is more autobiographical in nature telling us how he came to figure out that meditation is his key to helping him deal with stress and his competitive nature. He didn't want to delete his drive or his sense of competition, but find a way to not allow that stress to overtake his life. He goes through several self-help gurus whom he mostly found ridiculous or hypocritical. He does find gems within some of them, but mostly he has many questions that go unanswered. Within his quest he starts to learn to separate the truth from fallacy and even found spiritual help from a devout atheist. All lead him to a retreat in which I could never complete. He does complete it and finds a small community willing to answer his questions and when he is ready to hear those answers he finds solace.

I give this book 4 stars. I think it is an honest look at what worked for one man and may work for others. Although this is pretty much an autobiographical book he does give the low-down to how he meditates in the appendix of the book if you need something quick to answer some of those general questions and how to do meditation. It is a book I would recommend those that are wanting to take up the practice but have not found a down to earth way of looking at it.

18 comments:

  1. I....eh, I would no pick it up, I'd read it but not buy it

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    1. Probably not your cuppa, but I was curious. :)

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  2. *snort* That line in the preface definitely would have made me consider picking this one up too Melissa! I like someone with a sense of humor, especially in a self-help situation. I kind of like that this is more autobiographical rather than simply a series of tips and tricks, discovering what he went through and what worked for him would be more interesting to me than an impersonal list of things to try.

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    1. Yea, it was that sort of stuff that made me curious. :) The autiobiographical part was more to help you understand how he came to what he has learned and I think it will speak to many men. :)

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  3. This sounds like a possible library read. I like the idea of just 10% improvement, of happiness. It doesn't have to be a total revamp to be successful or important. 10% is a lot, when you think about it.

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    1. It is! You can even look for his video and it does explain a lot.

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  4. Not a fan a self-help book but those chapter do sound funny!

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    1. Not a fan either, but this one made me curious. :)

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  5. I would skim this because it sounds funny. I like the chapter titles at least this guy made you laugh!

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  6. I like the snark, and would snag this from the library. The chapter headings alone make me curious. Thanks Melissa!

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  7. Hmm, not my cuppa either, but I see why it would be curious! :)

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  8. I saw Dan talking about his book not too long ago too. I wasn't all that interested, but now I'm wondering if I should pick it up. I wish I could get my 16 year old to meditate, but he just rolls his eyes.

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  9. I'm not competitive at all but I do have panic attacks so this definitely sounds interesting. I like that his approach is to find what what woke for him - from different sources if necessary.

    Snark is also right up my alley!

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  10. Hmm, interesting. Wonder if it would help me....Thanks for sharing about this one.

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  11. Haha, I think after "the voice in my head is an asshole" I would absolutely have to keep reading. You definitely have me curious about this one now! I even googled him and watched the ABC segment on it. I'm going to check this one out, thanks for putting it on my radar!

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  12. I confess it's nor really my kind of books, but I'm curious now that I see it worked for you... maybe it could be the case for me as well.

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  13. I've seen Dan talking about this on TV and was thinking about picking up a copy, and now you've convinced me! Although I wish he would have used the other title! *L*

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  14. never read a self-help book, they kind of scare me for those reasons but glad there is a new voice on the market.

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