5 Lessons From Dan Harris’ “Ten Percent Happier”

According to Dan Harris, meditation has the ability to quiet the mind and make us “10% happier.”

It takes time to learn and practice, but once perfect, it has the ability to change our lives and help us better react to situations at hand. 

He explains this idea in his inspirational memoir, Ten Percent Happier

Because we can’t all have time to sit down and read the entire thing, we’ve created a list of the most prominent quotes and lessons from the book. 

Who knows, maybe one will inspire you to find time to read the whole thing. 

“Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy.” 

According to Harris, many people live as if the present moment were an obstacle. Instead of living in order to get to the next moment, it’s important to be happy with where you are. 

If you can never be satisfied with the current moment, you will have to live your life in continuous stress. 

“What mindfulness does is create some space in your head so you can, as the Buddhists say, “respond” rather than simply “react.” 

This quote strives to explain the concept of mindfulness in more detail.  According to Buddhists, we are completely out of control of what comes into our head. 

It all arises as a mystery, yet we spend a lot of time judging ourselves harshly for those feelings. 

Instead of allowing our thoughts to take over, we can start learning how to control our reactions for more healthy interactions.  

“Striving is fine, as long as it’s tempered by the realization that, in an entropic universe, the final outcome is out of your control.”

Life is out of our control. The more we strive to control it, the more stress we will feel. 

Don’t waste your energy on what you cannot change. Rather, focus on that in which you can. 

Doing so will allow you to stay motivated and remain resilient, even if you fail at first. 

“Marturano recommended something radical: do only one thing at a time. When you’re on the phone, be on the phone. When you’re in a meeting, be there. Set aside an hour to check your email, and then shut off your computer monitor and focus on the task at hand.”

This is all about being present in the moment. Don’t worry about what you did earlier today, or what you need to do later. Worry only about what you are doing right now. 

It’s also important to take breaks throughout the day. Find a few moments between tasks to focus on your breathing. This will help you to become more focused on what’s important.

“We can do more than just think; we also have the power simply to be aware of things—without judgment, without the ego.”

Sometimes it’s best to approach things without much thought. Take them as what they are and try not to overthink it. 

When you begin to appreciate things for what they are, you will begin to find the beauty in everything. 

All in all, every form of mindfulness has it’s ways to improving our lives. Whether it be meditation, breath work, or awareness. 

As you read through these quotes, I hope you found some information or words that resonated with you. 

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