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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 (2014)

de Dan Harris

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1,5586211,568 (3.85)30
"A spiritual book written for--and by--someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book, 10% HAPPIER is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution"--

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This was more about Dan Harris and less about meditation than I expected but it was still a worthwhile read for me.

At times I considered abandoning it but pushed on and was ultimately worth it to take away the message that it's at least worth trying the practice to see if it helps. Having a skeptic who voices some of my own misgivings come around to supporting the idea is certainly compelling.

What I found most interesting is that many of the ultimate lessons Harris learned are things I think I already recognize and practice. I'm not sure if it's the Catholic upbringing (I've often said to my husband Mass to me is less about true faith and more about getting an hour to zen out in a place with familiar/comforting ritual) or the marathon running where I spend hours and hours in my own head doing little but breathing in and out and "noting" what's going on with my body. Perhaps I've been meditating all this time and just didn't know it!
( )
  hmonkeyreads | Jan 25, 2024 |
I originally bought and read this book for a psychology class I was in during undergrad. At that time I was 20, and in a very different place in my life. Reading the memoir now, as a 25 year old (which is both no time and all the time difference at the same time), I found that I felt much more connected to and invested in the information. Before, I skimmed the book and briefly reflected on how I could probably benefit from meditation. However, when I read this story this time around I spent a lot of time making connections from the authors mindset to my own, and how meditation has and continues to improve my daily life.

Comparative to most self-help books, I think that Dan Harris really recognizes how those books aren't a cure all, and his book won't be either. Rather, he acknowledges there are benefits to mindfulness when you put the effort in yourself. There is a sense of personal responsibility in your own mindfulness and it made me feel powerful. ( )
  clougreen | Jan 18, 2024 |
Entertaining and informative. Dan Harris does a great job telling his story. I enjoyed his humor as well as his introspective insights and blunt perspective. Highly recommended. ( )
  travisriddle | Dec 25, 2023 |
Half memoir, half self-help guide into meditation, because this is just as much about Dan Harris' journey into meditation and mindfulness as it is about the practice itself...or maybe even more so. If you're a skeptic or looking into the phenomenon rather than specifically exploring it (ie, looking for the WHY more than the HOW), this book does a good job of telling the story of how a egotistical junkie (drugs & adrenaline) eventually finds some zen and how he wrestles with the whole notion when he does find it. Listening at 1.4x, it flows pretty quickly. But the narrative always moves forward, it doesn't rest in platitudes, and it's a bit interesting to read some behind the scenes journalism, too. (Harris spends the first 4 chapters at least just setting up his character and lifestyle as a lead into why and how he encountered meditation). Even if you're not looking to go zen, the book is rather interesting.
  LDVoorberg | Dec 24, 2023 |
I enjoyed the book, and it delivered what I was looking for: A fairly skeptical initial view of meditation, etc. and how/why the author becomes a fan of it in the end.
I have to admit though that throughout the book the authors pessimism, and rush to judgement (like when he decided Chopra wasn't sincere or serene just because he was telling people to get his good side before a TV shoot) became a little annoying and distracting. This "fatal flaw" of the author just grated against me.
At least I did like that my internal dialogue while reading ("damn this guys cocky, arrogant, close-minded...etc.") was validated by the author himself towards the end as he either acknowledges that he was wrong about sooo many things due to his rush to judgement or pointed out how his wife reflected these traits back to him.
I suppose this is a review more of how the authors negative parts of his personality seep thru the page more than of the book itself, but that's my review. I'd recommend it. I'm interested enough to pursue the subject matters in the book. ( )
  DannyFr | Nov 26, 2023 |
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"A spiritual book written for--and by--someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book, 10% HAPPIER is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution"--

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