Book Review: 10% Happier

Living in Silicon Valley can really skew your perspective on things and leave you feeling a lot worse off than you actually are, especially given the “rat race” nature of a lot of the startups and large companies here. I mainly started this book out of curiosity about the title, especially since it didn’t have an outlandish claim that it could change your life, but make you just a bit happier. The practical engineer in me just doesn’t think that something like that is possible. Once I learned that the author worked in another fast-paced environment and always felt the need to keep up, the media, it solidified my interest since I feel same way a lot of the time in my daily work.

What I actually discovered was one of the most approachable introductions into the world of meditation that I’d ever read. As someone who meditates on occasion, primarily to help calm my mind before sleep, I’d never really been able to really draw any other benefits from it. The only thing I really got was this idea of “noting” or taking notice of the thought that was going through my mind at the time. It’s supposed to help distance yourself from the thought and look at it from a less emotional, pragmatic perspective. This has definitely helped me take a step back from some high tension moments in my life, but meditation never really seemed worth the time for the so-called benefits.

This book was a great look at Dan Harris’s journey discovering the world of meditation from a skeptic’s point of view. I appreciated the lightheartedness of some of the situations that he ended up in as a result of his pursuit. He ended up being really relatable since a lot of the thoughts that he had about quieting the inner voice in his head are very similar to things that I’ve struggled with in the past. It has made me view meditation in a whole new light and has given me a lot of perspective about how to approach this practice with a more open mind.

Highly recommended.

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