November 25, 2015 • Bookshelf

“10% Happier”

I keep a Microsoft Outlook task list of books highly recommended to me. Currently, the list has over 100 books. I average tackling 2-4 books per month, however the list never seems to shorten. Learning truly is a continual journey. On my list I record who suggested the book, my degree of excitement about the book/subject matter, and the date. Typically I choose the next book based on how many people have suggested the title. This book was different. Rich Manders, who is in my EO (Entrepreneurs Organization) forum, and a frequent guest on The Second Stage, suggested 10% Happier by Dan Harris. Rich, so highly recommended the book, I just assumed it was a business best practices book. I’m glad I didn’t know the topic or I might not have listened. Meditation, monkey mind, compassion, enlightened self-interest……..really?

I finished the book about a week ago and have not stopped thinking about it.

As busy business professionals, family members and contributors to our communities, we work harder and harder to get everything done. That is all we know. Dan Harris, in his book 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress Without Losing My Edge, and Found Self-Help That Actually Works–A True Story, suggests another way. Meditation.

A few of my favorite concepts from the book:

  • Nothing lasts: Embrace and enjoy it. View with a wider lens.
  • Money mind: Minds are never at rest.
  • Mindfulness: Be present.
  • Compassion: I suspect you know what this means?
  • Enlightened Self Interest: Outcome is out of your control, all you can do is everything you can do.

At the end of the book, Dan provides his list of “rules” to live by entitled The Way of the Worrier (a spin on the Samurai Code “The Way of the Warrior”), outlining how to be compassionate without losing your edge. If all you have is 30 minutes, read this last chapter.

The Way of the Worrier

  1. Don’t be a jerk;
  2. (And / But…) When necessary, hide the zen;
  3. Meditate;
  4. The Price of security is insecurity, until it is not useful;
  5. Equanimity is not the enemy of creativity;
  6. Don’t force it;
  7. Humility prevents humiliation;
  8. Go easy with internal cattle prod:
  9. Nonattachment to results; and
  10. What matters most?

I know the above is touchy feely Buddha stuff, but if you’re running hard, out of time, and wish you could do more with less stress, it is worth your time to explore this title. In hindsight, Rich’s suggestion was a business / personal best practices book.

Let me know your favorite title and why in the comments section below.  I would love to add it to my ever growing list of recommended titles.

And for additional suggestions to help you on your entrepreneurial journey, check out The ScaleCo Bookshelf.

About ScaleCo

ScaleCo Capital is a Cleveland-based lower middle market private equity firm that focuses on control-oriented leveraged buyout and growth equity investments in fast-growing companies based primarily in the Great Lakes region. ScaleCo partners with companies in the verticals of business services, tech-enabled services, value added distribution and assembly, and training, compliance, and education sectors, bringing operational expertise and strategic resources to scale their growth potential and build long-term value. To learn more, visit scaleco.com.

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