10% Happier | Inspired by Charm

Hey there, friends. It’s hard to believe we are already into the second week of January. Despite feeling a little behind, I’m always excited for Monday to arrive. I know that a lot of folks dread it, but for me, Monday always hold this “fresh start” feeling. It’s a clean slate, and as most of you know from reading my last post, a clean slate is a really good thing.

I also wanted to stop and thank you for the dozens of comments on said post. I’m in the process of responding to your comments. While I’ve read them all, I haven’t been able to fully respond to them just yet. Please know that your support, kind words, and forgiveness mean so much to me. It makes me eager and excited to tackle what I hope will be a truly amazing year.

Today I was going to blabber on about random things happening around these parts, but when I started writing my list and the first thing (the new book I’m reading) started to take up most of the post, I thought I would stop there.

Over the past few days I’ve been reading (maybe I should say listening to the audiobook while I spend hours shoveling snow) 10% Happier by Dan Harris. I believe the book came out this past year. Given its subtitle, “How I tamed the voice in my head, reduced stress without losing my edge, and found self-help that actually works,” I thought it was worth the read. Although I was a bit skeptical as I listened to the first couple chapters, as I near the end of the book I’m finding it to be thoroughly enjoyable and insightful. The story is Dan’s (He’s a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of GMA.) journey on the discovery of meditation and how it’s changed and improved his life. He references the good, the bad, and what he’s learned from self-help greats like Eckhart Tolle, Mark Epstein, and Deepak Chopra. Dan basically did all the self-help research and shared the parts that really worked for him and lots of others. (e.g., meditation).

10% Happier | Inspired by Charm

While he spent years figuring things out, he really made the “simple” act of meditation seem like an approachable, but not necessarily easy, way of generally improving one’s life, increasing happiness, reducing stress and so much more. For not a huge commitment of time or money, and with nothing to lose, I figured it was worth a try.

After devouring the book over the past week, I decided that giving mediation a shot this morning couldn’t hurt. So, for six minutes I silenced the world, sat still, and mediated. Now, it hasn’t changed my life just yet, but I didn’t hate the process.

Since I’ve only mediated once in my life, I’m not going to begin to tell you how to do it best. However, as Dan suggested, I sat in a comfortable position with my back straight, closed my eyes, and focused on my breathing for six minutes. It was surprisingly simple and the time seemed to fly by. It felt like only a minute passed and the timer went off on my phone.

I actually think I could like this.

So after reading this book, I’ve committed to giving daily meditation a try. I figure I really have nothing to lose and much to gain. Right?

Now, as I near the end of the book, there is more to the process. Things like practicing compassion and eliminating multitasking are two things I’d like to be more conscious of in the future. However, I figured – one step at a time.

I have about two more chapters to go in this book, but if the idea of meditation or improving your overall happiness / life has any interest to you, I would definitely recommend this book.

I am also curious to hear if any of you mediate, and if you’ve found it helpful in your life. After reading this book, I’d like to know if / how it’s working for others. Please share your experiences in the comments.

And have a great week!

 

Comments

  • Vanessa at

    Hi Michael,

    I am so happy you had such a great response. I always say “things happen for a reason.” I have tried to meditate…not very good at it though…I have three boys-so it is hard to get the quiet and calm needed. I will check out the book as well. You have helped me to get started on a better path for 2015-Thank you!

  • Charity at

    I just tried using the Calm app to help me mediate. Really liked the timer and soothing noise options. And guided meditations if you want. I’ve downloaded 10% Happier but haven’t around to it. Think I’ll start it this week!

  • Janet at

    Hi Michael

    I have been meditating since I was 12 years old and now I am 59, my older brother who was 12 years older than me taught me. He came home at Christmas time in 1967 with a record called In Search of the Lost chord by the Moody Blues, when he got ready to teach me how to meditate he also showed me the record. I had never heard of them up to that point and they were also new a few years making music. He told me one day between Christmas and new years that he wanted to teach me something. So we went up stairs to the bedroom. He said Janet I am going to show/teach you how to meditate. So he told me about the record and also said that most people meditate when its quiet, and sitting up right or with legs crossed. He went on to say that he does not believe in that way, because the world is not quiet when you want to quiet your mind.
    So the record was playing on the record player, and we laid down on the bed, he was teaching me being beside me with his eyes closed,
    He said…..now I want you to shut that voice off in your mind, and just be still.
    do some deep breathing of which he showed me before we began.
    and just listen he said, to the quiet mind.
    He went on to say that well other schools of thought believe you have to have everything quiet, the phone unplugged, the doors locked, sitting up right he did not believe it, because the world does not stop because you want it to you must stop the world.
    He also told me that when people pray they are asking God for things, when they meditate they are Listening to God and the still small voice in your mind.

    well that changed my life needless to say, I am a spiritual coach/teacher, made it my life’s work to help people find that and so much more in there lives, to become spiritual warriors

    So glad you have the chance to learn this it will change your life Michael

  • terri at

    Deepok and Oprah have free 21 day motivations every once in awhile. They got me hooked. I prefer the guilder ones since it starts me thinking positive things. 🙂

  • Meredith at

    Thanks for the tip, Michael! I’m always on the lookout for a good, motivational read. A powerful book can totally change your perspective. Those are the books I mark up and keep. The last one that impacted me and that I continue to reference was David Wolfe’s The Sunfood Diet Success System. The first half of the book is on motivational stuff and the second half on the raw food diet. But, even if you’re not a raw foodie, it’s awesome.

    Thanks again for your work! You rock!

  • Arli at

    1. People have been mediating for hundreds/thousands of years,
    2. Everyone I know who consistently meditates says it really does help them…..
    So, there must be something to it!
    A meditation instructor once told our beginner class to start with a minute or two a day, and work up from there. Also, do not pass judgment on yourself if your mind wanders, as it will.
    I’ve been out of practice for a long while, but you’ve just helped me find my resolution/goal for 2015!
    Thanks, Michael, and keep it up!

  • Sue at

    Thanks, Michael! I’ve been wanting to start meditating for a really long time now. I feel inspired to start and am going to read this book (and follow some suggestions in the comments).

  • Susan at

    Yes to meditation!
    Hubby and I both do it-and my adult kids, do, too.

    Hubs does 20 ( or more) minutes very early in the AM before work; we both do ten minutes together later, before bedtime. His practice helps to keep his pain at bay ( migraines are a PITA), mine makes me slow down and focus/relax my “monkey mind.”

    There’s a magazine called Mindful that’s really fun to read, too-
    http://www.mindful.org/

    I don’t mind zen like music in the background when I meditate; my husband can’t deal with anything except absolute quiet. He likes to sit in lotus position; I prefect to stand in tree pose. There is truly no right or wrong way-just a focus on the breath, a pushing away of thoughts, and a state of being aware.

    Enjoy your new practice. Make it a daily priority and you WILL see happy changes 🙂

  • Kim@NewlyWoodwards at

    Were you already reading/listening when I commented about it on your last post or did you start after that? What a small world!

    I really enjoyed the book, too. It definitely gave me some tools to keep the voice inside my head from getting to me. And I love that he was a cynic about it, too. I think I’m actually going to read it again after I have some time to digest, but I have been meditating a bit and it’s been good for my mind.

    • Michael Wurm, Jr. at

      Kim! Sorry I haven’t gotten to respond to your other comment yet, but I did download and start 10% Happier before I read your comment. Either way, I just finished it last night and really loved it! I didn’t expect his full story, but the whole thing made sense at the end. SO much valuable insight. Glad you enjoyed it too!

      xo Michael

      • Kim at

        Such a small world! I’m amazed at the difference meditating and yoga have had on quieting my mind and making me a calmer person. It’s good for me. And it’s great for my family.

  • Amanda at

    This sounds interesting. I think I’ll check it out. Thanks for sharing.

  • Kimberly at

    I’ve tried meditation in the past but was never able to stick with it, but I might start giving it a try tomorrow morning before my morning workout and dog walk. If you want to hear an interview from the author check out a pod cast called “Rich Roll” he has he’s own ap but also can be found on stitcher and itunes. The author talks about his “panic attack” on air and how he was assigned to do research on this topic and how he felt prior to the assignment and how he felt after. It’s a good interview about 2 hours long and you get to learn more about the author. I’m going to check out the book also.

    Wishing you a happy and healthy New Year!
    Kim

  • Jess at

    Thank you for sharing! I will definitely check this book out.

    I took a short meditation class at work last year and I’ve been meaning to start ever since. No time like the new year! Our instructor used exercises from the books “Mindfulness: An Eight-Week Plan for Finding Peace in a Frantic World” and “The Mindful Path to Self-Compassion: Freeing Yourself from Destructive Thoughts and Emotions.” Just in case you’re looking for more suggestions 🙂

  • Daisy at

    I just happened to find you on instagram and am loving your blog. I have always said I love Mondays because it has so much hope. On Monday I have so many plans for the week and they all seem doable by Friday I feel like I need two more work days and by Sunday I feel like I need two more days off. But Monday is the perfect reset where I can start again. Meditation is hard for me, as I have a hard time sitting still for any length of time the very reason I always fall over in my yoga tree pose. Six minutes seems doable so I shall have to try. Thanks for the inspiration

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