186: Happiness is a Skill, and This 5-Minute Habit Can Help You Get Better at It

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Dan Harris had me at “meditation for skeptics.”

In the last 5 years, it seems like meditation has gone from a weird woowoo practice to a daily staple of most top entrepreneurs, executives, and leaders.

But so far, I haven’t been able to get into it. Have you?

I’ve tried a few of the guided meditation apps, including Headspace and Calm, but when I tried meditating in the morning, I had this impatient feeling like I should just get on with my day and start work.

You might recognize Dan from TV. He’s an Emmy award winning journalist and co-anchor on Nightline and the weekend edition of Good Morning America.

As a side hustle, he wrote a book called 10% Happier, chronicling his journey from a live on-air panic attack to finding in meditation a practice that has helped calm the voices in his head, and lead a happier life. He’s also created a guided meditation app by the same name.

Today on The Side Hustle Show, he joins me to share some of the science supporting meditation, how to get started if you’ve never done it before, and how even fidgety skeptics like Dan and I can find 5 minutes of zen.

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  • The scientific benefits of meditation.
  • The 3 steps to a beginning mindfulness meditation practice.
  • How long each session should last.
  • How quickly it took Dan to see results.
  • His suggestions for creating a meditation habit.
  • How to know if you’re “doing it right” and the compound effect of completing this “exercise for your brain.”
  • Dan’s #1 tip for Side Hustle Nation.


Join my free meditation challenge!

Leave a comment below and let me know you’re in for the 30-day challenge to make meditation a practice in your life. I’m going to give this a renewed effort during the month of August and will share my results (if there are any) at the end.

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Nick Loper

About the Author

Nick Loper is a side hustle expert who loves helping people earn more money and start businesses they care about. He hosts the award-winning Side Hustle Show, where he's interviewed over 500 successful entrepreneurs, and is the bestselling author of Buy Buttons, The Side Hustle, and $1,000 100 Ways.

His work has been featured in The New York Times, Entrepreneur, Forbes, TIME, Newsweek, Business Insider, MSN, Yahoo Finance, The Los Angeles Times, The San Francisco Chronicle, The Financial Times, Bankrate, Hubspot, Ahrefs, Shopify, Investopedia, VICE, Vox, Mashable, ChooseFI, Bigger Pockets, The Penny Hoarder, GoBankingRates, and more.

32 thoughts on “186: Happiness is a Skill, and This 5-Minute Habit Can Help You Get Better at It”

  1. Hi Nick,
    Thanks for this brilliant interview. I absolutely agree that mindfulness is essential for happiness.
    As Eckhart Tolle says, the biggest challenge we face is unconscious thinking. And the only way to tackle it is by being more mindful.
    Looking forward to the 30-day mindfulness challenge.

  2. Hi, yes the same as you – basically I’ve tried to get into it many times and make it a daily habit but have only normally managed a couple of days. Definitely need to give it a full go, I do believe it will have great benefits :)

  3. I’m in. This could not have happened at a better time for me — I’m sure I’m not alone there. Thanks for the nudge!

  4. Great podcast as usual. I am in for the challenge! I too have started and stopped this “critical to so many” philosophy.

    Nick, it would be great if you put a short note in here weekly to let the group know how you progressing. Also, what are you going to use as a guide? I was thinking of using the calm app.

  5. Hi Nick and Dan,
    Meditation can be different things to different people…
    Whether you are wearing orange robes and saying “ohm” a lot, or listening to some nice calming meditation music while on the train to work, or sitting under a tree in the park during your lunch break, the overall idea is the same – trying to stop your mind from going at a million miles an hour, to calm down and to relax is actually healthy for both your mind and your body. And eating chocolate ice cream can help too.
    Thanks, Matthew.

  6. I’ve been meditating since I heard Hal Elrod’s interview on the “Miracle Morning” on another podcast. Meditation is what keeps me on task, which is the opposite effect I anticipated. I used to wake up thinking I need to get everything done I can possibly do before rushing out the door to work. Now, I focus on the tasks that provide the greatest impact. Good luck with the challenge!


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