Monday Morning Wake-Up Call

Here are some key attributes of the voice in my head. I suspect they will sound familiar.

  • It’s often fixated on the past and future, at the expense of whatever is happening right now. The voice loves to plan, plot, and scheme. It’s always making lists or rehearsing arguments or drafting tweets. One moment it has you fantasizing about some halcyon past or Elysian future. Another moment you’re ruing old mistakes or catastrophizing about some not-yet-arrived events. As Mark Twain is reputed to have said, “Some of the worst things in my life never even happened.”
  • The voice is insatiable. The default mental condition for too many human beings is dissatisfaction. Under the sway of the ego, nothing is good enough. We’re always on the hunt for the next dopamine hit. We hurl ourselves headlong from one cookie, one promotion, one party to the next, and yet a great many of us are never fully sated. How many meals, movies, and vacations have you enjoyed? And are you done yet? Of course not.
  • The voice is unrelievedly self-involved. We are all the stars of our own movies, whether we cast ourselves as hero, victim, black hat, or all three. True, we can get temporarily sucked into other people’s stories, but often as a means of comparing ourselves to them. Everything ultimately gets subordinated to the one plotline that matters: the Story of Me.

In short, the voice in my head—and perhaps also yours—can be an a**hole.

Dan Harris, from “Meditation for Fidgety Skeptics: A 10% Happier How-to Book


Notes:

  • Dan Harris Bio: Dan Harris is a co-anchor the weekend edition of Good Morning America on ABC News, as well as a correspondent for such broadcasts as Nightline and World News Tonight. He is also the author of 10% Happier, a #1 New York Times best-selling book about a fidgety, skeptical news anchor who stumbles upon meditation. Recently, Harris launched an app specifically designed to teach meditation to doubters and busy people. This ancient practice – too long associated exclusively with hippies and robed gurus – has been shown by modern science to boost resilience, focus, creativity, emotional intelligence, and overall mental and physical health. With meditation and mindfulness now being embraced by executives, athletes, educators and entertainers, Harris has become a leading voice for pushing for the practice into the mainstream, using plain English and dry humor.

Comments

  1. “Can be”? Is…is…the effort is to silence the voice, for more often than not, it’s highly critical.

    Liked by 1 person

  2. Yes, that inner voice is a bear. I have a little Post It on my mirror that reminds me daily that I deserve my kindness as much as anyone else does. Self-acceptance is a slippery fellow….

    Liked by 1 person

  3. Great stuff, David. However, I think Mr. Harris lowballs it. The less you listen to the inner, false voice the more you can enjoy 50-70% of the joy in life! Another great read is Michael Singer’s “The Untethered Soul.” More info here: https://www.amazon.com/Untethered-Soul-Journey-Beyond-Yourself/dp/1572245379

    Liked by 1 person

  4. Meditation is my go-to, especially when compulsivity gets the best of me.

    At some point, given enough alone time, and the quiet of meditation, forces the admission that if I still feel so miserable in the midst of being so alone, I might also be the source of those feelings. This leads to the miraculous insight that given enough quiet time, my feelings will, and do, settle down.

    So maybe the watery, squishy nature of being human will always respond to the environment we subject it to. Granted, we don’t have control over some aspects of our environments, but even, or especially, in the worst of times, some quiet down time has become the best medicine I’ve yet to find.

    Liked by 2 people

  5. Michael Zahaby says:

    I know this guy

    Liked by 1 person

  6. Christie says:

    I feel sorry for him…

    Liked by 2 people

  7. “All the world’s a stage,
    And all the men and women merely players ”

    We all have a role to play in this thing called life. If we stay to ourselves we may very well be responsible for the disfunction of the society in which we live. To be a hermit does no one any good, nor ourselves. Even John the Baptist, though a recluse, played the most important role of a human in history. Whether we are for a thing, against a thing, or stand neutral is important, because by doing so we have been counted. And in so doing we have had a significant effect on the growth of society.

    If no choses to act then there would be no play. Yet we know that the show must go on. And it will, with or without us. But, by standing up and being counted first proves our existence and second adds shape to the world.

    -Alan

    Liked by 2 people

  8. this: ‘Everything ultimately gets subordinated to the one plotline that matters: the Story of Me.’

    Liked by 2 people

  9. Sounds like I need to read this book!

    Liked by 1 person

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