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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
Narrated by: Dan Harris
Length: 7 hrs and 50 mins
4.5 out of 5 stars (443 ratings)

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Summary

The perfect book for the spirituality sceptics who really do need meditation in their daily routine.

10% Happier is a spiritual book written for - and by - someone who would otherwise never listen to a spiritual book. It is both a deadly serious and seriously funny look at mindfulness and meditation as the next big public health revolution.

Dan Harris always believed the restless, relentless, impossible-to-satisfy voice in his head was one of his greatest assets. How else can you climb the ladder in an ultracompetitive field like TV news except through nonstop hand-wringing and hypervigilance?

For a while his strategy worked. Harris anchored national broadcasts, and he covered wars. Then he hit the brakes and had a full-blown panic attack live on the air. What happened next was completely unforeseen. Through a bizarre series of events - involving a disgraced evangelical pastor, a mysterious self-help guru and a fateful gift from his wife - Harris stumbled upon something that helped him tame the voice in his head: meditation.

At first he was deeply suspicious. He had long associated meditation with bearded swamis and unwashed hippies. But when confronted with mounting scientific evidence that just a few minutes a day can literally rewire the brain for focus, happiness, and reduced reactivity, Harris took a deep dive. He spent years mingling with scientists, executives and marines on the front lines of a quiet revolution that has the potential to reshape society. He became a daily meditator and even found himself on a 10-day silent meditation retreat, which was simultaneously the best and worst experience he'd ever had.

Harris' life was not transformed into a parade of rainbows and unicorns, but he did gain a passion for daily meditation. While the book itself is a narrative account of Dan's conversion amid the harried and decidedly non-Zen world of the newsroom, it concludes with a section for the novice on how to get started.

©2014 Dan Harris (P)2014 HarperCollins Publishers

What listeners say about 10% Happier

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    2 out of 5 stars
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Almost gave up several times

The narration wasn't great, but the most annoying thing about this book was it was more this guy's autobiography than a book that gave you any relevant advice. It's great how much he loves his wife but for the 200th time i hear about 'wonderful Bianca' and learn everything from her home cooking to how many guests they had at their wedding, it was getting a bit annoying. Only the final 3 chapters get into the actual meditation peice, this book could've been a third of the size. I wouldn't recommend.

22 people found this helpful

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Likes the sound of his own voice

A life story rather than anything useful relating to meditation. Couldn’t stomach it, gave up very early in.

4 people found this helpful

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An “enlightened” choice

I really enjoyed this book and engulfed it in almost one sitting which is testament to how it flowed. I liked how Dan flip flopped from his story through the years as being an anchor and how mindfulness slipped into his life and became part of him. Being sceptical myself, I also connected to the way Dan always questioned things he came across that seemed a bit woo woo. Even when he had made up his mind and perhaps been somewhat judgmental he still found a way to revisit his thoughts when something new arose to challenge his way of thinking. I will always practice meditation and mindfulness as I believe it is of huge benefit to everyone. Great book and must read/listen! Thanks Dan.

2 people found this helpful

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nice story but not giving me any tools

it gave me some knowledge about meditation, but not were to look or war to read if I want to avoid the whole chakra - faith part of meditation.

but it was entertaining.

1 person found this helpful

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Great story but narration let it down a little

What did you like most about 10% Happier?

Firstly, the story is entertaining and told in a light hearted endearing manner. It resonates with my journey. The only downside is the narration. Dan has an excellent TV voice but not suited to book narration. Even his own. It would have benefited from a professional voice over. The style was too 'TV news', imparting information and authority when a more sympathetic, story telling voice would have been better. Just my personal opinion. Take it or leave it.

3 people found this helpful

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Entry level mindfulness, cutting through the cr*p

Really enjoyed this book. Surprised it seemed more of a memoirs than a ‘self-help’ book but enjoyed it nonetheless. The author - presumably owing to his career in front of the cameras - is really engaging and keeps you wanting to know more. Really funny, down to earth and delves deep into the ‘human condition’ without ever becoming preachy. Good listen/read

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Enlightenment here I come, hopefully.....

Honest, funny, enlightening and inspiring. I dont usually write reviews but felt compelled to do so after listening to this. I finished it in a short space of time, listening whenever I was able as Dans narrative and his writing style drew me in. Not being American most of the references to colleagues and other individuals not known across the pond passed me by but ultimately that was not an issue. His initial skepticism and concerns about how meditation and Buddhism would fit into his daily life, followed by his search for answers and the difficulties he faced along the way were something I could relate to. I particularly liked the chapter about his retreat experiences. It has encouraged me to further my knowledge and moved me from toying with starting my own medition practice to actually doing so. Cheers Dan!

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Tale about why and how he embraced meditation

A great storyteller, Harris presents an honest an open account of his journey to incorporate meditation into his life.

Expect tale-telling read in the manner of a US news anchor. A little less “spiritual” in tone than I was expecting.

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awesome

Dan has such a nice voice and the book is intriguing!! a favourite listen
definitely

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Loved this.

So good, I'm on a similar journey to the author and found this refreshing. Ive just started meditating about 1 month ago and really haven't spoken to many people about it. To hear the authors version of when he began meditation made me feel reassured. Great story.

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  • Ansa Brink
  • 13-07-18

Absolutely fantastic!

This book opened a new world to me.

Dan has managed to promote the idea and practice of meditation with the backing and running commentary of real thoughs, feelings and a highlight reel of real world issues. The point is to preservere and keep asking questions.

I will listen to this book again and again and keep practicing to practice meditation.

2 people found this helpful

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  • Llewellyn
  • 23-08-18

Disappointed

Too self-centric. Basically an autobiography full of the author's ego. Puts others down to elevate himself.

1 person found this helpful

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  • Anonymous User
  • 17-07-20

Excellent

The honesty of the story allows the reader to see meditation as something achievable while managing expectations about the results of practice. My only criticism is that the performance sounds like you are being read news headlines(unsurprisingly), it can feel too intense.

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  • Anonymous User
  • 04-06-18

Straight TORTURE son.

This was absolutely useless, I have zero interest in this man's autobiography which is mostly what it is interwoven with his banal efforts to get involved with Mindfulness. Spare yourselves. Avoid at all cost