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I really liked this book. While listening to Dan Harris contend with that irksome voice in his own head as he navigated his career and relationships, it gave me some strength in dealing with my inner nagging critic. To be really effective in gaining more happiness though, Dan has convinced me to try meditation.
Self help gurus like Deepak Chopra or Eckhart Tolle may have touched upon the power of meditation but they have so much other mystical baggage that ultimately I'm turned off following what they have to say. Dan's deeply skeptical mind mirrors my own and his wry witty observations makes for a very entertaining journey as he tries to figure out what is important and what is not of value with all the ideas that have flowed from an eastern Buddhist philosophy.
Dan actually does not get to trying meditation until the book is almost half over and that is fine. His life's voyage to this spot is entertaining and sets the stage for why he needs to do this and gives him a vehicle to explain how it makes a positive difference in his life.
The book closes with how science has embraced and backed up the benefits of meditation and mindfulness and a helpful list to follow. I have just downloaded the accompanying PDF that comes with the book and will follow the meditation instructions. Dan suggests I start with five minutes a day. Not a bad investment of time if we can get ourselves 10% happier.
103 of 106 people found this review helpful
I've been around the block with the self-help books. From Chopra to countless others and wish this book was around years ago. It's basically a long news segment on an industry that can prey on people in their most vulnerable state of mind.
Harris gives fair assessment to the big names of the industry that he interviews and makes the reader think that he's finally found something that works, then he slams it by cutting through the BS. He's highly skeptical and doesn't get fooled easily, which I like. Out of the many books I've gotten here on Audible, this is one of the few that I can say was actually beneficial. I'm not saying I won't venture back into the realm of self-help topics, but I'll be more cautious and analytical next time.
I highly recommend as a pre-read before trying the works of Chopra or Tolle.
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571 of 598 people found this review helpful
What an enjoyable book. I am enjoying work written and read by people who work in performing media. I found the style humorous and engaging, as you'd hope from a professional story teller. I didn't know Dan Harris by his work, but it was easy to get the gist his career in the US TV news machine. Able to tell a tale against himself, it's honest enough to provide insight into Dan's psychological troubles but the wider picture stops it becoming too Woody Allen. You have the large world events and the micro-politics of the media. Dan's work reporting on the religious right and the peculiarities of Deepak Chopra is fascinating and funny.
He asks a lot of the questions that came up for me, in trying to practice mindfulness in a secular way, purely for psychological health, when the science showing the effectiveness became overwhelmingly positive. I think he's the first non-Buddhist white western guy that I've come across who's written an account of having a crack at mindfulness for his mental health. Unlike us regular joes, it's pretty amazing that when he had a question, he was able to use his reporter status to go and question Tolle or Goldstein. That makes for a pretty unique book to.
It's interesting to see what happens when one skeptical guy tries mindfulness for 4 years. It's a humorous, informative and heart-warming journey.
4 of 4 people found this review helpful
Where does 10% Happier Unabridged rank among all the audiobooks you’ve listened to so far?
This audiobook now takes over as my favourite of all time. I don't normally get round to writing reviews but I did it for Danny Baker's "Going to Sea in a Sieve", because it was so good, and this one is even better. It is just as entertaining but you learn something too.
What did you like best about this story?
As you would expect, an audiobook by this author is very well read. He does that kind of thing for a living. Hearing this story in the author's own voice adds so much to the experience.
Which scene did you most enjoy?
I loved the description of the ten day meditation retreat. He really nails how the garlic muesli, robes and sandals hippy-dippy stuff can be a turn off, but he's also open minded enough to see it through to the end.
Did you have an emotional reaction to this book? Did it make you laugh or cry?
Dan is very honest about his journey, which really makes for a better story. Whilst the book is very, very funny, and on a regular basis, the humour doesn't undermine the message, and you are right there with him as he takes risks with his career and his relationships. It's a serious book but hugely entertaining.
Any additional comments?
If you have thought about mindfulness meditation but were put off by all of the trappings and the 1960's associations, this is definitely for you. It might be the book that finally convinces you to give meditation a try.
No hesitation, no doubt - a five star audiobook.
3 of 3 people found this review helpful
I'd been on and off with meditation for a few years - knowing that it greatly benefited me but at the same time struggling to engrain it into my regular routine. This book absolutely changed that however, as Harris's skeptical, secular approach to explaining meditation was a refreshing and welcomed change to the usual airy fairy explanations I'd come across before.
I was slightly bogged down at first by the biographical nature of the beginning of the book, which I didn't expect when I bought it, but in hindsight I think it was very important and necessary so Harris could establish himself as a real person to me, making the message he ultimately conveyed carry much more weight.
I powered through this book a few months ago, and upon completion, I was happily meditating every single day, which I still am doing now. I would strongly recommend to try out the 10% Happier subscription guided meditation service as well, which I'm now also subscribed to, as it has been a great help to guide me through daily meditations.
If you have any interest in meditation, I would highly recommend this book. Whether you have no idea at all about it, or you were like me and you'd delved into it before but had struggled to maintain a routine, this is for you.
1 of 1 people found this review helpful
Certainly one of the better books I've read lately, and possibly one of the best on mindfulness.
Dan's language, of course, is excellent. Laugh out loud funny in parts.
I found the first quarter a little slow/dry, but if you stick with it, it's really a very worthwhile read.
Thanks for the insights Dan!
1 of 1 people found this review helpful