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

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 - Dan   Harris 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.