“What a bunch of hippy dippy baloney!”
– Lord Business (Will Ferrell) from The Lego Movie
I have always been attracted to the self-help movement. I have gone to countless lectures and read tons of books promising to help me love myself, stop worrying, solve all of my physical and mental woes, find the career of my dreams, become an amazing parent and on and on and on. Although I’ve learned lots of valuable information….to be perfectly honest – sometimes I really struggle to wrap my head around the concepts. And often there is an underlying feeling that tugs at the back of my mind – could all of this just be a bunch of crap wrapped up in fancy language?
Case in point – I’ll never forget the frenzy surrounding Gary Zukav’s book “The Seat of the Soul” after his appearance on Oprah back in the 90’s. I pretty much ran to the bookstore to buy his book and after slogging through the first chapter I grimly realized that I wasn’t going to understand a single word. No matter how many times I tried to persevere – it simply didn’t make any sense to me. Same damn thing with Eckhart Tolle – and I even took Oprah’s online course to help me out. Nothing. All I felt was very jealous of the people around me who seemed transfixed and transformed by “A New Earth“.
More recently, based on glowing recommendations from good friends, I signed up for newsletters from a few new-age self-help gurus. And you know what? Over half of the stuff I receive makes me scratch my head in confusion. Gems of wisdom like: “Only the mind decides on what it would receive and give.” “You can’t fear your way into Love, only with trust does Love blossom” and “Enjoy the in between what was and what will be.” Say what?!
But I am excited to share that I have stumbled upon quite possibly the best “self-help” book I’ve ever read. It was a stroke of good luck that I just happened to watch a video of ABC news reporter Dan Harris talking about how his on air panic attack set in motion a series of events that led him to discovering a way to become “10% Happier”. I was immediately drawn to Dan’s down to earth manner, his irreverent and hilarious skepticism and his brutal honesty about his own journey. I could relate to his struggles understanding “spirituality” and “self-help” and I liked his humorous approach to a subject matter that often takes itself far too seriously.
Click link below to watch the video: (email subscribers you may need to go to my site at http://www.lorileighwilson.com to view)
So just like my dash to the store for “Seat of the Soul“, after watching Dan’s video I made a beeline for Chapters to pick up his new book “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”
Honestly – I read the entire book in 2 days! And I can say as a person who has flown through more self-help tomes than you could shake a stick at – this is definitely worth the read. It’s like having a conversation with an intelligent and witty friend as Dan shares the story of his stressful and competitive career, his ensuing drug use and his struggles with depression and anxiety. He then goes on to interview and report on the top guns in the “spirituality” industry and starts untangling their confusing and often conflicting theories. I won’t give too much away but I will share that as a result of his research, he proposes a very easy and actionable plan that has been scientifically proven to make us less stressed and happier. And it takes 5 minutes a day.
So if you are interested in becoming 10 % happier (not a bad return on investment right?) – then grab a copy of Dan’s book. I would rate it a 10 out of 10. And I promise – there’s no frilly language, hard to understand theories….or hippy dippy baloney in sight.
8 thoughts on “How You Can Be 10% Happier”
Great one Lori. I’ll trade you with my book when I get home.
Once again thanks for sharing your thoughts and research Lori, I am a self-help junkie as well and will be picking up this book based on your recommendation.
Make your day a great one!
I think you’ll really like it Connie! Thanks for commenting!
I totally agree with you. So many self-help books are awash with new age nonsense. Eckhart Tolle’s Power of Now is up there as the worst. He uses so much ridiculous language that the book is confusing and actually a little funny to read. I’m convinced most people don’t understand these books but are too proud to say otherwise. However the thing is that a lot of these books are just revisions of already existing simple ideas. My favourite self-help book is The Conquest of Happiness by Bertrand Russell. Very little bullshit.
Thanks for weighing in Dan! I’m definitely going to check out The Conquest of Happiness. Little bullshit sounds just about right ; )
Yes, thank you for sharing Lori, I just popped out to pick up the book this evening and will make some time to read it over the weekend. Love your blog girl!
Thanks for your support Kym! I hope you like the book as much as I did : )
I read the book and agree with your analysis, I have been meditating semi-regularly for several years and found the book/direction that helped me the most when I started was Jon Kabet-Zinn’s guided meditation tapes (yup tapes that is how long ago it was) and his book “Wherever You Go, There You Are” . I was interested to see that Dan Harris referred to Joh Kabet-Zinn in his book. Having been “too busy” to meditate recently, this post and book has me back to daily meditation and it feels good.