Having a job as a correspondent for ABC News must make you feel pretty good, right? The pay is excellent, millions of people will recognize both your face and your name, and you will have the opportunity to convey to everyone what matters most. However, the strain can eventually become too much for some people, and they succumb to it.
Twelve years ago, this occurred to Dan Harris, and his voice cracked during a live, on-air panic attack while he was broadcasting on national television. He began a long journey into the science of stress, which eventually led him to the practice of mindfulness, after becoming persuaded that it was time to do some digging into himself and his life. This best-selling book from 2014 is based on the author’s experience of how he overcame his own skepticism and was able to learn to control his ego through the practice of meditation.
The following are three lessons that will show you why your ego causes problems, that letting it go won’t cause you to lose your touch, and how meditation helps with this process:
- Your ego, unfortunately, can never be appeased, and this is the problem.
- Be simple, but don’t be a simpleton; here’s why letting go of your ego won’t turn you into a doormat.
- Through the development of a fourth habitual response, meditation fosters greater levels of both mindfulness and compassion.
Lesson 1: Your ego prevents enjoyment by seeking more.
Your inability to appease your ego is a direct result of the friction that arises whenever you try to act in the here and now while simultaneously dwelling on the past and the future. In a manner not dissimilar to that described here, the author Eckhart Tolle addresses this problem in his book The Power of Now.
According to Dan Harris, your ego is constantly evaluating your value by looking at your own assets, appearance, and social status, and then searching for the next best person who has more of those things to compare yourself to. Because of this, the default setting for your ego is more. The moment you give your ego a new accomplishment, toy, or compliment, the bar for desire is repositioned, and it immediately begins searching for the next thing it can get its hands on.
It feeds off of tension and anxiety, and it will immediately search for the next more significant accomplishment to which you can compare yourself; if there isn’t one, it will dig up some long-forgotten problem or crisis and bother you with it. Because of this, the ego is never satisfied, and it is up to you to take responsibility for this, because no matter what new heights you achieve, it will never be enough.
Lesson 2: Why losing your ego won’t make you a pushover.
It’s possible that at this point you’re thinking, “If my ego is what drives me to accomplish greater things, won’t I lose my edge if I completely let go of it?”
Nope! That is in no way something that must be the case at all. Quite the opposite, in fact. People frequently go to extremes in their adoption of the Buddhist philosophy of renunciation, going so far as to deny themselves the experience of orgasming during sexual encounters or allowing others to make their dining selections at restaurants rather than expressing their own preferences.
That’s just stupid. When the Indian meditation teacher Munindra was haggling over the cost of a bag of peanuts at the nearby market, one of his students approached him to ask how this related to a lesson he had taught them earlier about keeping things straightforward and uncomplicated. The answer provided by Munindra was, “I said to be simple, not a simpleton!”
Being mindful doesn’t turn you into a pushover; all it does is make you more creative and productive. It gets rid of the need for competition and fuels your drive by getting rid of incorrect assumptions and negative thoughts. As a result, instead of the typical stress, you’ll approach things more clearly because you won’t be giving in to aggressive temptations.
During Dan’s time at the meditation retreat, he found that he was able to fill pages and pages of paper with notes because his mind was less cluttered and chaotic, allowing his creativity to flow more freely.
Lesson 3: A fourth habitual response from meditation makes you more conscious and empathetic.
What exactly are some of the ways in which meditation can assist us in taming the ego and refueling our drive?
It teaches us to be more mindful, which enables us to better exist in the present moment, and it also helps us be more compassionate toward other people. This is accomplished by meditation, which provides you with a fourth habitual response. According to the ancient teachings of Buddhism, we typically demonstrate one of three typical habitual responses to each and every one of our experiences:
- We want it. Have you ever been hungry and happened to pass by a place that served hamburgers?
- We do not accept it. Have you ever had a spider crawl across your hand? You probably discarded it almost immediately after receiving it.
- We zone out. I have no doubt that you pay attention to the flight attendant’s safety instructions from beginning to end on every flight. I don’t think so.
But once you get the hang of meditating, you’ll have the option of selecting a fourth alternative: observing without passing judgment on what you see.
It is common for it to begin with a physical ailment, and you may become aware of it when your legs hurt or when your nose itches. However, you should fight the urge to scratch it and instead just let it be. However, after some time, this will begin to transfer over to your feelings and thoughts as well. You will become aware of yourself when you are engaging in negative behaviors such as gossiping, acting on bad habits, or thinking negative thoughts, and you will be able to simply observe your feelings until they pass without reacting to them.
To whom Should I Recommend This Book?
- The teenager 15 years old, frequently feels irritated by her fellow students.
- The 32-year-old individual has a demanding and stressful career in an environment that is competitive.
- Such as journalism and the beliefs of those who consider meditation to be hocus-pocus.
10% Happier Book Review
The teenager 15 years old, frequently feels irritated by her fellow students.
the 32-year-old individual who has a demanding and stressful career in an environment that is competitive.
such as journalism and anyone who considers meditation an option.
My view of meditation is somewhat skeptical. If that describes you, then you will enjoy reading this book very much. It adopts an approach to mindfulness that is entirely grounded in science and does away with the woo-woo, flower power, and hippie nonsense associated with the practice.
I like that this book focuses more on persuading you to give it a try than it does on explaining the process because the process is really straightforward: you just need to sit quietly and concentrate on your breath. If you find that your thoughts have wandered, try to bring them back. That is the extent of the matter. The book “10% Happier” explains that, and then it focuses on the benefits, which are much more important for beginners than getting the technique down perfectly.