I’m virtually convinced that no new wisdom exists in the world. We all just mix it up and say it a little differently and send it out into the ether and it lands in people’s consciousness at different times and different places and sometimes it resonates and sometimes not so much.
Every single person I know understands at least some simple wisdom, however for me, if some dude in a monastery or ashram suggested it, I wouldn’t consider it as credible. I love all those guys, don’t’ get me wrong, I just far prefer listening to someone still here, today, in the center of real life.
That’s why I’m so enamored with Dan Harris and his awesome new book “10% Happier”. It’s a personal tale, a raw account of addiction and struggle and survival and insane courage.
It’s filled aggression and cocaine and serious spiritual practice.
No wonder I relate.
I consumed each page vibing with nearly every tale and I found myself directly capable of using this wisdom in my life right now, this moment:
“Some of the only times I could recall being fully present were when I was in a war zone or on drugs”
“Meditation is now increasingly being viewed as a software upgrade for the brain.”
“Mindfulness, happiness, and not being a jerk are skills I can hone the rest of my life—every day, every moment, until senility or death. And the payoff is less reactivity, less rumination, and—who knows?—maybe stream-entry. I have willingness and curiosity. I have confidence and trust. I guess another word I could use is . . . faith.”
“What’s with you and the whole meditation thing?” Trying to avoid another long, unsuccessful answer, I blurted out, “I do it because it makes me 10% happier.” The look on her face instantly changed. What had been a tiny glimmer of scorn was suddenly transformed into an expression of genuine interest. “Really?” she said. “That sounds pretty good, actually”
“Perhaps the most meaningful exchange I had on the subject was a completely random discussion with my uncle Martin at my parents’ annual summer pool party. Martin, a former entrepreneur who was now in the early stages of Alzheimer’s, turned to me and asked an intriguing question: “Which is more exciting to you? Reality or memory?” I paused, considered it, and said, “I wish I could say reality, but it’s probably memory.” And then I asked, “What about you?” At which point Martin stared blankly back at me and asked, “What was the question?”
“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. Another tip: take short mindfulness breaks throughout the day. She called them “purposeful pauses.” So, for example, instead of fidgeting or tapping your fingers while your computer boots up, try to watch your breath for a few minutes. When driving, turn off the radio and feel your hands on the wheel. Or when walking between meetings, leave your phone in your pocket and just notice the sensations of your legs moving. “If I’m a corporate samurai,” I said, “I’d be a little worried about taking all these pauses that you recommend because I’d be thinking, ‘Well, my rivals aren’t pausing. They’re working all the time.’ ” “Yeah, but that assumes that those pauses aren’t helping you. Those pauses are the ways to make you a more clear thinker and for you to be more focused on what’s important”
~ quotes from 10% Happier By Dan Harris. ORDER IT HERE!