- Paperback: 168 pages
- Publisher: New World Library; Reprint edition (April 10, 2012)
- Language: English
- ISBN-10: 1608680908
- ISBN-13: 978-1608680900
- Product Dimensions: 0.8 x 5 x 8.2 inches
- Shipping Weight: 9.1 ounces (View shipping rates and policies)
- Average Customer Review: 349 customer reviews
- Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #18,982 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)
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The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process Paperback – April 10, 2012
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Geoff Colvin, author of Talent Is Overrated
I use the techniques I have learned from The Practicing Mind every day. The approach is relevant for both business executives and their junior golf children on and off the course. I recommend it to all my students because its lessons will help them in both golf and life.”
Eric MacCluen, PGA Professional and Director of Golf Instruction at Applecross Country Club
The Practicing Mind engagingly transforms difficulty into devotion, offering a practical, easy-to-understand approach that will transform your view of even the most challenging or mundane steps on your journey of life.”
Marney K. Makridakis, author of Creating Time and founder of ArtellaLand.com
Thomas Sterner gives us a useful, thoughtful, much-needed book on the often-overlooked science and art of practice. It blends careful research with plenty of enlightening and entertaining personal stories. Anyone hoping to excel at anything should read this. Keep on practicing!”
Roy F. Baumeister, coauthor of Willpower: Rediscovering the Greatest Human Strength
As you embrace the process-oriented approach described in The Practicing Mind, you’ll achieve better results in any endeavor.”
Michael J. Gelb, author of How to Think Like Leonardo da Vinci and Brain Power
From the Inside Flap
Early life is all about trial-and-error practice. If we had given up in the face of failure, repetition, and difficulty, we would never have learned to walk or tie our shoes. So why, as adults, do we often give up on a goal when at first we don’t succeed? Modern life’s technological speed, habitual multitasking, and promises of instant gratification don’t help. But in his study of how we learn (prompted by his pursuit of disciplines such as music and golf), Sterner has found that we have also forgotten the principles of practice the process of picking a goal and applying steady effort to reach it. The methods Sterner teaches show that practice done properly isn’t drudgery on the way to mastery but a fulfilling process in and of itself, one that builds discipline and clarity.
By focusing on process, not product,” you’ll learn to live in each moment, where you’ll find calmness and equanimity. This book will transform a sense of futility around learning something challenging into an attitude of pleasure and willingness.
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Top customer reviews
A long time follower of the Buddha refreshed my understanding of meditation and mindfulness but the bardo got in the way. As a life long sceptic, all dogma has an odor of rot about it. The Practicing Mind has the freshness of morning air in the mountains. Succinct, clean and clear.
One of the biggest takeaways from this book is how to approach how you see goals. The way people set and strive for goals is one of the primary reasons of frustration and failure in the Western world. This is why people aren't able to focus very well.
We get gratification for setting goals and even muster up the patience for creating a plan for getting there, but when it comes to actual execution, many people drop the ball. Once I changed the way I approached the goal and learned to pay attention to what's in front of me (the process), I saw an instant spike certain areas. I'm not going to describe those areas or end result, because it's all about each moment.
* It covers some important takeaways, but does not really "focus" on "focus"
* writing style is not very engaging
* personal anecdotes abound, it lacks findings from academic or peer-reviewed research. What works for one person (author), may not work for everyone
Here are the key takeaways:
Focus on the process, not the final product/result/goal.
Paradoxically, cultivating either patience or self-discipline requires both of them.
Be non-judgmental, about yourself and your work.
Perfection is a never-ending quest and makes you judgmental.
Focus can be achieved by 4 'S' words: simplify, small (tasks), short (duration) and slow (deliberation).
New habits are formed by practice (60 times per day, 21 days to a new habit).
Old habits are removed by a trigger, a "pre-shot" routine that diverts the focus from the goal to the process instead.
The idea is based on Zen and on being process oriented. The message it's trying to give out is: to stay in the present moment. The practicing mind got it's title I assume when we are focused on the actual process instead of the overarching goal. It's like the time when we're just doing things for the sake of doing it, not to become of a goal. For example, drawing for the sake of drawing, not for being a better artist. The goal is still there but it's not used as means of measuring progress but a rudder, only to steer us to the path we want to go to.
I also particularly liked the DOC method - Do, Observe and Correct. It has some roots in easter philosophy, medition, zen or the likes but for me it's CBT-ish. Tackling and solving problems with emotional indifference especially at times when you're just plain irrational; It's a good method.
This is a must have for self improvement literature readers.