I usually lump nonfiction reviews into bulk posts because I don’t have much to say about them. Same goes for Dan Harris‘s 10% Happier, but it gets its own post because I’m doing my best not to get behind. Which means this’ll be a short one.
I’m not sure what section of Barnes & Noble you’d have to look in to find 10% Happier, though I figure it’d be either biography or self-help. Both categories might help, but I’ll vote the former because it was much more interesting to me on a biographical level.
The title refers to Harris’s claim that meditation has made him 10% happier. He works in the cutthroat news industry and has anxiety issues. After various investigations and attempts to allay his anxiety, he settles on Buddhist meditation. He meets various self-help celebrity gurus like Eckhart Tolle and Deepak Chopra along the way and examines how meditation has affected his career and his private life. At the very end, he offers a list of ways people with similarly stressful careers might become happier.
I guess I read 10% Happier because it’s featured on Good Morning America so often, and I thought it might be interesting. And it is – except not in the way Harris probably intended it. Sure, meditation is good by almost all counts. I should meditate. You probably should, too. That’s fine. What’s really interesting here is Harris’s account of his career. I had never thought about what newsy celebrities put themselves through to get to the top, so I had no idea the degree of stressed caused by constant, insane competition. No wonder Harris went a little crazy after a while.
So. Should you read this? Maybe? I liked it. It’s well-written. It’s a good starting point if you’re interested in meditation as it points you in various directions you might want to pursue. Am I going to pursue said further research? Probably not. I might give meditation a try at some point. Which all means that if you’re into meditation or finding out what being in television news is all about, it’s worth a read.
Photo credit: Jules Antonio