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Women’s Book Club Discusses 10% Happier by Dan Harris

On November 10, 2016, The Women’s Group at Lubin Olson & Niewiadomski LLP held its third meeting of Read. Meet. Connect. The women of the group discussed the book 10 % Happier by Dan Harris, a New York Times Bestseller and winner of the 2014 Living Now Book Award for Inspirational Memoir. In his humorous account of his journey to peace-of-mind, Nightline anchor Dan Harris embarks on an unexpected, hilarious, and deeply skeptical odyssey through the realms of spirituality and self-help; ultimately reaching the conclusion that routine meditation practice has the capacity to make us “10 percent happier.”

After enduring a nationally televised panic attack on Good Morning America, Harris knew he needed to make some changes. Eventually, Harris realized the source of his problems was the very thing he always thought was his greatest asset: the incessant, insatiable voice in his head. His inner-chatter had propelled him through the ranks of a hyper-competitive business, but had also led him to make the profoundly stupid decisions that provoked his on-air freak-out. After exploring research that suggests meditation can do everything from lowering your blood pressure to essentially rewiring your brain, Harris took a deep dive into the underreported world of CEO’s, scientists, and even marines who are utilizing meditation for increased calm, focus, and happiness.  

The women of Read. Meet. Connect discussed “respond, not react,” and “non-attachment to results,” which are important mantras espoused in the book – and how, specifically, this advice may be interpreted by women in the workplace, given that sometimes women feel the need to speak more assertively and portray more conviction in order to be heard in the same way that men are. The group also discussed the theme of “metta” in meditation, which emphasizes the importance of empathy, and whether it is possible for women professionals to be “nice” while still maintaining their assertive and analytical qualities. We brainstormed methods for displaying empathy toward our co-workers without losing our “edge” or compromising our value in competitive industries.

We also discussed the theme of impermanence, which is the backbone of meditation practice – accepting that the only constant in life is change, and formulating ways to incorporate an acceptance of uncertainty into our professional success. We discussed how worrying too much can actually backfire and denigrate successful problem-solving, and analyzed ways to embrace impermanence and uncertainty while simultaneously striving toward our respective professional goals.

For more information please visit Read. Meet. Connect’s website at readmeetconnect.com