What is 10% Happier About?
10% Happier is a self-help book. It is a story about the author's approach to dealing with the voice in his head, which had propelled him through the ranks of a hypercompetitive business. The book describes his reluctant embrace of meditation after a drug problem, an on-air freak-out, and an unplanned "spiritual" journey. (10% Happier Summary).
10% Happier Quotes
1. [Favorite Quote]: “The pursuit of happiness becomes the source of our unhappiness.”
2. “There’s no point in being unhappy about things you can’t change, and no point being unhappy about things you can.”
3. "When you are wisely ambitious, you do everything you can to succeed, but you are not attached to the outcome"
4. “When you have one foot in the future and the other in the past, you piss on the present.”
5. "Learn how to be happy before anything happens. This happiness is self-generated, not contingent on exogenous forces; it’s the opposite of suffering."
6. “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."
7. "If you don’t waste your energy on variables you cannot influence, you can focus much more effectively on those you can."
8. "You can’t control what comes up in your head; it all arises out of a mysterious void. We spend a lot of time judging ourselves harshly for feelings that we had no role in summoning. The only thing you can control is how you handle it.”
9. “Everything in the world is ultimately unsatisfying and unreliable because it won’t last.”
10. “Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy. Because many people live habitually as if the present moment were an obstacle that they need to overcome in order to get to the next moment"
11. “The ego is never satisfied. No matter how much stuff we buy, no matter how many arguments we win or delicious meals we consume, the ego never feels complete.”
12. “Your demons may have been ejected from the building, but they’re out in the parking lot, doing push-ups.”
13. “We all have an innate feeling of being separate from the world, peering out at life from behind our own little self, and vying against other isolated selves. But how can we truly be separate from the same world that created us? "
14. “The fact that you exist is a highly statistically improbable event, and if you are not perpetually surprised by the fact that you exist you don’t deserve to be here.”
15. “When you squelch something, you give it power. Ignorance is not bliss.”
16. “If you stay in the moment, you’ll have what is called spontaneous right action, which is intuitive, which is creative, which is visionary, which eavesdrops on the mind of the universe.”
17. "People trained in self-compassion meditation are more likely to quit smoking and stick to a diet. They are better able to bounce back from missteps. "
18. "The water is the torrent of thoughts and emotions; mindfulness is the space behind the waterfall."
19. "If you can create an inner environment where your mistakes are forgiven and flaws are candidly confronted, your resilience expands exponentially.”
20. "I accept what is. And that’s why life has become so simple."
21. "What if somebody cuts you off in your car?” “It’s fine. It’s like a sudden gust of wind. I don’t personalize a gust of wind, and so it’s simply what is."
22. “Firm but kind is the smarter play."
23. "We suffer because we cling to things that won’t last.”
24. “None of us has moved very far from the seven-year-old who vigilantly watches to see who got more.”
25. “The route of true happiness, the Buddha argued, was to achieve a visceral understanding of impermanence, which would take you off the emotional roller coaster and allow you to see your dramas and desires through a wider lens. "
26. "Once you unburden yourself from the delusion that people are deliberately trying to screw you, it’s easier to stop getting carried away."
27. “We can do more than just think; we also have the power simply to be aware of things—without judgment, without the ego. This is not to denigrate thinking, just to say that thinking without awareness can be a harsh master.”
28. “If you’re never looking up, I now realized, you’re always just looking around.”
29. "It’s okay to worry, plot, and plan, he’s saying—but only until it’s not useful anymore.”
30. “it is entirely possible to be depressed without being conscious of it. When you’re cut off from your emotions, he said, they often manifest in your body.”
31. “The price of security is insecurity"
32. "Nonattachment to results + self compassion = a supple relentlessness that is hard to match. Push hard, play to win, but don’t assume the fetal position if things don’t go your way.”
33. "Nothing lasts—including us. We and everyone we love will die. Fame fizzles, beauty fades, continents shift. Pharaohs are swallowed by emperors, who fall to sultans, kings, kaisers, and presidents"
34. “The voice in my head is an asshole.”
35. “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."
36. "the “self” that we take to be the ridgepole of our lives is actually an illusion.”
37. “Best solutions often come when you allow yourself to get comfortable with ambiguity.”
38. "Every bite of food, every pleasant daydream—is designed to avoid pain or seek pleasure. "
39. “The failure to recognize thoughts for what they are—quantum bursts of psychic energy that exist solely in your head—is the primordial human error.”
― Quotes from the book 10% Happier by Dan Harris
Who is the Author of 10% Happier?
Dan Harris is a bestselling author, a correspondent for ABC News and the co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America. He regularly contributes stories for such shows as Nightline, 20/20, World News with Diane Sawyer and GMA.
Tal Gur is an impact-driven entrepreneur, author, and investor. After trading his daily grind for a life of his own daring design, he spent a decade pursuing 100 major life goals around the globe. His journey and most recent book, The Art of Fully Living - 1 Man, 10 Years, 100 Life Goals Around the World, has led him to found Elevate Society.