Those that have earned authenticity are rare. At birth we are genuine – then people, environmental conditions and pop-culture pull us down windy trails until we find ourselves as a variation of what we once knew to be pure.

At some point, many of us quietly face the tension of knowing that who we have become is not much more than a glimpse of our pure-self; a shell of our authentic-self. For all of us, there are those moments that the public tension of feeling the shell of oneself peeling away from what feels to be an inevitable and unfortunate reveal of the hollowness felt from not being authentic — produces incredible bodily responses that are so primal that we breakout into physiological displays of reptilian survival. We sweat, we breathe heavy, our hands shake, we have floods of adrenaline flooding our brain and body, all while do nothing more than thinking about being “found out.”

Some of us mask or dampen the pain of not living to one’s capacity through anger, or arrogance, or numbing (alcohol, tv, drugs), or the aggressiveness of shaming others to take the attention off of our own terror of a shell-peeling reveal of not being “good enough.” Good enough for whom we ask? That question marks the beginning of the path back to authenticity, eventually toward and possibly answering the question, “who am I?”

But for those that move from the tension of “being found out” — to knowing exactly who’s one authentic self is, by having the ability of true command of one’s mind, emotions and to have influence on one’s purpose in life — that path traveled from tension to command is striking.

This conversation is with Dan Harris who most of you know as a co-anchor of “Nightline” and the weekend edition of “Good Morning America” on ABC News — or 20/20 — or — from his New York Times best selling book: 10% Happier: How I Tamed the Voice in My Head, Reduced Stress without Losing My Edge and Found Self-Help That Actually Works.

Dan has faced the public tension, in a panic attack that happened on live television.

 

 

Dan comes from an authentic place, in which he’s earned his authenticity from facing down, anxiety, panic attacks, and going within to re-calibrate his authentic self.

If you’ve ever felt the tension between ambition, restlessness, and being way out of balance — and — at the same time — pushing harder for achievement at the cost of meaning — and at the same time –wanting to have a meaningful and achievement-rich way of living — with loved ones and a career — I think you’re going to really enjoy this conversation — and Dan.

“Being honest with yourself about your own bullshit is easier.”Click-To-Tweet

In This Episode:

  • Embracing not taking himself too seriously
  • Finding love in meditation
  • The humbling nature of sharing insight with others
  • The difference between pleasure and happiness
  • His method for showing gratitude
  • Surrendering to the process of meditation
  • Learning from his parents via “show, not tell”
  • Dealing with not being as smart as his parents and brother
  • Risk taking integrated in his DNA
  • The moment before and after his panic attack on live TV
  • Becoming aware of the triggers for his panic attacks
  • Having a pre-disposition for anxiety
  • The emotions around not being nominated for an EMMY this year
  • External vs. internal rewards
  • Approaching his newest venture with an open mind
  • Why being honest with yourself is the easiest thing to do
  • Inside his meditation practice

 

Quotables

“Sharing information that’s useful to other people just doesn’t get old.”

“I think I’m at my worst when I take myself too seriously. I often make my worst mistakes or have my most annoying moments of self-righteousness or self-obsession when I take myself too seriously.”

“We’re constantly in the hunt for the next hint of pleasure. We have hedonic adaptation where you can have all this great stuff in your life but you take it for granted very quickly and bake it into your baseline expectations. “

“As I’m going to bed I make a list of the things I’m grateful for. Many of which are not new and shiny.”

“I talk about mindfulness like being an inner meteorologist where you can see the storm before it hits landfall.”

“Mindfulness helps you draw the line between useless lacerations and useful laceration.”

“When you have good relationships, life is just happier.”

 

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Books:

 

Dan Harris is a correspondent for ABC News, an anchor for Nightline and co-anchor for the weekend edition of Good Morning America.