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10% Happier By Dan Harris: Book Review

10% Happier By Dan Harris: Book Review10% 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
Published by Dey Street Books on December 30th 2014
Genres: Memoir
Pages: 256
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After having a nationally televised panic attack, Dan Harris knew he had to make some changes. A lifelong nonbeliever, he found himself on a bizarre adventure involving a disgraced pastor, a mysterious self-help guru, and a gaggle of brain scientists. Eventually, Harris realized that the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out.
Eventually Harris stumbled upon an effective way to rein in that voice, something he always assumed to be either impossible or useless: meditation, a tool that research suggests can do everything from lower your blood pressure to essentially rewire your brain. 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.


Last Friday at my book club meeting someone mentioned Dan Harris’ new book 10% Happier. They didn’t say much about it, only that they thought it looked good. We were heading to Tulsa later that day so I took a gander at the reviews and downloaded it to my kindle.  (I always like to have something good on the kindle to read on the drive!)

Have you ever been reading a “self help” kind of book and asked yourself something like “yeah, that’s great for you… but how does this work in “real life”?”

That’s basically Dan’s book. I absolutely adored it. I’ll be honest, I’ve always been a fan of Dan Harris. He’s a little sarcastic, and a little more smart-alecky than most on air news folks. Which I kind of like. 😉

Well his book is written in the exact same way. He’s a cynical newsman wandering down the  “new age/spiritual” path. He calls it like he sees it… whether it’s thinking Eckhart Tolle is weird, or that Deepak Chopra is over the top and a little too commercial. He just says it all straight out… just like I think I would if I wasn’t censoring myself and wondering what everyone else is thinking.

Dan takes us through the moment when this quest all started, when he was live on air and had a panic attack, a complete meltdown where he couldn’t put two words together and ended up saying some pretty off the wall things.

He takes us through his complete and utter disbelief that any of airy fairy new age stuff can work to help us control the voice within and get control over our lives and emotions.

As a believer in all of this stuff; one who believes thoughts become things it was kind of fun to see how he manifested exactly who and what he needed along the journey. He ends up connecting with the mentors who are perfect for him, and help him to move through each step of the journey.

When I mentioned I was going to read this book on Facebook, someone commented… let us know if you’re 10% Happier.

Well, I’m not, (yet) though I did smile, and at times quite literally laugh out loud. Watching a completely stressed out, overwhelmed, and at times mean and unhappy guy go through a journey where he ends up feeling at peace, with himself, his life and his high stress career was definitely worth the read.

If you’re a skeptic, and you don’t believe any of this voodoo craziness can work for you, I highly recommend reading 10% Happier. It might allow you to create a crack just wide enough to let some light in and see there might be another way.

If you’re an all out believer in the power of meditation, I’d read it as well. It’s a fun and at times poignant journey, and was a pleasure to watch unfold.

You can get 10% Happier on Amazon.com in paperback, kindle and audiobook format.

jackie lee

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