Self Help or R.A.I.N.?

I came into my office one day and found a book on my desk. Starts to remind of the joke about a priest, a doctor, and an Irishman walking into a bar, but I digress. When I asked about the book, our company president chuckled and said it would be better and healthier for me than a glass of wine a day. I was intrigued. Here is what I found:

  • the voice in my head
  • mega evangelical churches
  • Eckhart Tolle
  • Deepak Chopra
  • Jew-Bus
  • retreats


Upon reflection though, some of these things had a familiar ring. I’ve heard of Eckhart Tolle and even read his best seller The Power of Now. Had I seen Deepak on television before? Mega evangelical churches were nothing new, but what of Jew-Bus? That just seems politically incorrect to me.

What I found when I dove deeper into Dan Harris’ #1 New York Times Best Seller 10% Happier was pretty darn cool.

Maybe I’m outing myself a bit (for those that know me, I’m sure they are laughing at this), but my mind works fast – too fast, sometimes. I get bored easily; I often want to make decisions and move on to the next one; I have a famously, or infamously, low impulse control score on the EQ test.

In his book, Dan talks about how to “respond,” rather than simply “react” in situations. This definitely hit home for me.

In a business world where we are inundated with the next big thing – the next book, the next innovative feature, the next whatever – I really enjoyed and found peace in Dan’s ideas and experiences on how to calm the voice in our head, to take a pause, and to simply be present in the moment. As Dan said, “Make the present moment your friend rather than your enemy.”

I don’t think I’m alone in this, but as a business owner, it’s so easy to get lost in whatever fire is burning brightest. Somedays it seems my life is as a moderator and not a leader. What problem needs my attention, what client needs a touch, what proverbial shit do I need to shovel. I always joke that only two people care about the trash on the floor: the janitor and the owner. I hate to admit this, but I’ve probably been caught worrying too much about the trash on the floor and not enough about where we are going as a company.

Dan gave me insight and ideas on how to add perspective to life, be the calm in the storm, and to quiet the voice in my head. He suggests that

All successful people fail. If you can create an inner environment where your mistakes are forgiven and flaws are candidly confronted, your resilience expands exponentially.

Since picking up this strangely titled book, I’ve started meditating. I haven’t done this since 1989, two years after Hubert Vogelsinger introduced me to meditation to help my soccer. I’m doing my best to implement R.A.I.N., all the while “hiding the Zen” as Dan recommends.

If any of this intrigues you or makes you pause, I’d highly recommend you pick up a copy of Dan’s book and see, hear, and feel how it impacts you. I’d be happy to talk about how it has impacted me, but I suspect this book hits people differently. I hope you enjoy it and it leaves you 10% happier and good luck with that voice in your head. 🙂

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