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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.
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.
I bought this book to learn how to get better in the skills I have been practicing - programming, guitar, basketball, golf, and squash. I hope to find some suggestions about practicing anything but this books has goes far beyond that!
This book teaches me to enjoy the process of practicing and stay at the present moment instead of thinking about the end goals, where no one ever reaches because we always shift our goals. Reading this book made me aware about my wrong thought - we will be happy only if we achieve something. I know this idea has stolen happiness of millions of people around the world.
This book helps me to reach inner peace, calmness, and enjoy every moment of my life. Really recommend it anyone, particularly those who never enjoy their lives because they have not achieve their goals.
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.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I would recommend this book to any one who wants to improve their thinking brainRead more