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10% Happier summary - available in audiobook and text formats 11m 23s

10% Happier

Dan Harris

A spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never read a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution.


The Bottom Line

A meditation skeptic tells it like it is: The practice won’t solve all your problems but it can help in tangible, quantifiable ways — from lowering your blood pressure to helping rewire your brain

I. Introduction

Dan Harris’s story begins with an on-air freak-out. The ABC News anchor and correspondent was on a career upswing, covering stories around the world and reporting from war zones. Still, he wasn’t happy, and his success wasn’t bringing him enough satisfaction. After five months reporting from Iraq, he returned stateside, only to chase the highs and blunt the lows with cocaine and ecstasy. The result? A panic attack during a live broadcast of Good Morning America.

Harris consulted a psychiatrist, stopped taking drugs and realized that the source of his discontent was what he’d always relied on as his greatest asset: the relentless voice in his head that pushed him to achieve — but also offered a barrage of counterproductive commentary. To quiet the incessant chatter, he reluctantly agreed to try meditation, met with Buddhist teachers and participated in a 10-day silent retreat.

In the end, his efforts to build a practice of mindfulness didn’t convince him that enlightenment is truly attainable, but he does report being 10% happier. He began his journey skeptical of Eastern-infused habits, of talk of past live, and the search for nirvana. What he learned is that there’s plenty of valuable, practical advice to be gleaned from these habits, which are available to anyone looking for more peace and contentment in their life.

II. Meditation as Exercise, not Religion

III. The Fourth Option

IV. Beware the Hypocrites in Self-Help

V. Meditation Is Backed by Science

VI. Meditation Helps You Help Others (Help You)

VII. Ambition and Mindfulness Are Compatible

The Takeaway


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