Daily Opportunities to Be Mindful as a Non-Meditator
Dan Harris is as American as it gets. He’s outgoing, confident, and calls a spade a spade. He’s been an anchor for ABC News for the past 20 years, informing his fellow citizens on what matters. He has reported from war zones, interviewed drug lords, and co-hosts Good Morning America on weekends.
In short, Dan Harris represents a life most Americans aspire to live: be a strong voice, follow your ambition, but keep your feet on the ground and your heart in the right place. But, like all of us, Dan Harris is human.
For the first few years at ABC, he was a workaholic. Feeling he didn’t deserve his dream job in his 20s, he overcompensated. He fell into depression and turned to recreational drugs. All of this culminated in one incident: In 2004, Dan had a panic attack, live and on the air, in front of five million people.
How do they say? It’s all fun and games until someone loses an eye.
Having lost not his sight but his peace of mind, Dan decided enough was enough. Prompted to examine his life by the event, he went on a multi-year journey — the kind he had previously laughed at others for. He traveled around the globe and spoke to mental health professionals, brain scientists, spiritual leaders, and self-help gurus. The answers he found helped him let go of the drugs, become calmer, more mindful, and “about 10% happier.”
In his book of the same name, Dan points to one tool above all that fueled his 10-year-transformation: meditation. I know, I know. If you’re anything like Dan — or me, for that matter — you’re rolling your eyes right now. “Breathing exercises? Sitting cross-legged? Listening to ocean sounds? That’s not for me.” That’s why I told you Dan’s story. Because while, yes, a rigorous meditation practice may not be right for you, the end result — mindfulness — definitely is. And there’s more than one way to go about attaining it.
In fact, if you’re a meditation skeptic, Dan is your guy. In his book, he approaches mindfulness with the same, healthy skepticism you’ve brought to the table. He’s the last person you’d expect to teach this kind of stuff, which is exactly why it’s easy to trust and…