Tuesday, June 03, 2014

What Could Make You Happier?

I am excited to again bring the reading knowledge of Don Kardux, of Business Navigators, to you with his monthly book report.

Don says, "John Bunyan and Dan Harris have something in common.

In February of 1678 Bunyan published an allegory titled ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’.

Three hundred and thirty six years later Dan Harris published ‘10% Happier’.

  • In each book the central character is in search of relief from the burden they carry..

  • In each book they meet an assortment of good and bad characters.

Bunyan’s characters are clearly defined by their names, Evangelist, Mr. Goodwill, Mr. Legality, Mr. Worldly Wiseman and Mr. Giant Despair (who lives in Doubting Castle).

Harris also meets interesting characters who are not so clearly defined, Charles Gibson, Diane Sawyer, Peter Jennings, Ted Haggard ( a Christian preacher), Eckhart Tolle (an expert in meditation) and Deepak Chopra to name a few.

But it’s Dan’s journey to get relief from his burden and the steps he takes and the people who help (or don’t) is what makes this twentieth century ‘Pilgrim’s Progress’ fascinating and a great read.

Dan says, “According to the Nielson ratings data, 5.019 million people saw me lose my mind. It happened on June 7, 2004 on the set of  Good Morning America”.
Yep, Dan Harris, our author was and still is an anchor on Good Morning America.  You can see him most any day.
And that’s part of the fun of this book. Television personalities become, for many of us, very real in a personal sort of way and so reading how Dan got into and finally out of his “Valley of the Shadow of Death” is significant and enlightening.

For Dan the answer was a form of Buddhist meditation. It made him 10% happier.
The appendix: Instructions is a practical way to implement this approach. 

My son Chris introduced this book to me and says that it works. I believe him.

Finally Dan has these thoughts on the last page of the book.
“Forget your preconceived notions. Forget the dopey packaging and the unfortunate cultural baggage. Meditation is worth the work- even if you’re too embarrassed to admit to your friends that you’re doing it.
Under the sway of the ego, life becomes a constant low-grad crisis. You are never sated, never satisfied, always reaching for the next thing, like a colicky baby. Meditation is the antidote. It won’t fix everything in your life, make you taller, or (most likely) land you in a state of bliss on a park bench. But it can make you 10% happier, or maybe much more.”
I urge you to read this book. It might make your life better."

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