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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
My favorite passage is where he talks about having so many urgent and consequential deadlines that he can't possibly do them all in time, and his income and career will suffer - he does a 180 and s-l-o-w-s down however instead of hyperventilating and speeding up. And gets done sooner! With less stress and so much more peace of mind.
Reading this you would have every right to be skeptical; all i can say is i've tried it. I found myself in a similar situation - everything on the line, big consequences to several things at once, not enough time - and suddenly remembered this firsthand example shared by the author.... and i slowed down.
And like the author, i also got the several things done all at once, just inside all deadlines. So you might try this yourself if you're super jammed.
If this works - and i'm suggesting along with the author that it does - it doesn't necessarily mean go super slow all the time and in all circumstances. Or to try to be absolutely frictionless - a certain level of stress keeps us alert and alive and can even be fun. But this is about circumstances in which there is so much stress it becomes clear that the stress itself has reached levels that are - counterproductive. And it helps smooth out the ride in general overall to follow this practice.
Again, why would it work to slow down when all indications and pressures are that it's time to speed up?
1. The energy burned up in stress is maintained to get the work completed. Slowing down in such a situation allows you to be completely immersed in the project or assignment and all of its details and how they piece together.
2. Plus you're not wasting time and energy making mistakes and then making up for the mistakes like when allowing yourself to feel pressured and rushed. You move with the assurance that some one won't also say, oh well, you got it done on time but the work was crap.
3. When there's a lot of extra adrenalin and cortisol it can actually be corrosive to your body. Not being caught up in that kind of negative cycle allows you to do your best work.
So all of your resources get engaged in doing your best work in good time.
A great firsthand account woven with delightful perspectives. Easily readable. You can learn a lot in one read-through but you may want to read at least once again. Could be one of those books to review every year or two.
This is a life changer without telling you what to do or how to do it. Got another book with all kinds of incremental goals and cartoon images designed to motivate, but read this first, and the quality of this one was so much greater.
Doesn't preach, doesn't pump you up, doesn't yell, kind of an antidote for all the rushing and pushing in our society today, and best of all just speaks from experience.
The title is very fitting - it's about a mind that understands that all effort and learning is a practice in the moment - and it's about engaging the mind itself also as a practice.
Would give it 6 stars if i could.
I also seldomly write Reviews. But after devouring this book within hours, i feel compeled to highly recommend this little gem!
Really! Thomas M. Sterner did such a great job with this book, he is not among the best known Self-help-Gurus, but his advice, combined with a clear crisp writing style are invigorating.
Be aware: This is NOT another "Pink-and-Fluffy-Make-me-feel-good"-Book! This is an Action Guide that will kick your "Inner Rear-End" into High Gear into constructing
the Life you ever wanted. It is packed with practical, do-it-know steps that will move you forward in whatever you are trying to accomplish (be it in the Arenas of
Sport, Finance, Self development, Managing tough Family situations, etc.)
If you will read only ONE MORE book about "Life Management" then grab this one, put it to work. It will help you with:
- Calming the inner dialogue, so you can focus on problem solving and even enjoy tough challenges!
- Finding the quiet and peaceful mindset needed to handle any situation, no matter how difficult (it is really that good!)
- Learn almost anything in a short time and enjoy the process (I handed this book to a friend who works in the Financial markets and he has find
his way back to trade in Profit! Needless to say that he is very enthusiastic about this little Booklet)
> If you know somebody who is depressed or otherwise frustrated, do her/him a favour and give this book as a Gift > they will be eternally thankful.
If you are still not convinced, go ahead and buy the book anyway, because you mostlikely will keep this one close.
I wish you all success and happiness! :-)