The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life - Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process

( 4 )

Overview

In those times when we want to acquire a new skill or face a formidable challenge we hope to overcome, what we need most are patience, focus, and discipline, traits that seem elusive or difficult to maintain. In this enticing and practical book, Thomas Sterner demonstrates how to learn skills for any aspect of life, from golfing to business to parenting, by learning to love the process.

Early life is all about trial-and-error practice. If we had given up in the face of failure, ...

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The Practicing Mind

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Overview

In those times when we want to acquire a new skill or face a formidable challenge we hope to overcome, what we need most are patience, focus, and discipline, traits that seem elusive or difficult to maintain. In this enticing and practical book, Thomas Sterner demonstrates how to learn skills for any aspect of life, from golfing to business to parenting, by learning to love the process.

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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781608680900
  • Publisher: New World Library
  • Publication date: 4/10/2012
  • Edition description: Reprint
  • Pages: 168
  • Sales rank: 149,895
  • Product dimensions: 5.06 (w) x 7.82 (h) x 0.45 (d)

Meet the Author

Thomas M. Sterner has studied Eastern and Western philosophy and modern sports psychology and trained as a jazz pianist. For more than twenty-five years, he served as the chief concert piano technician for a major performing arts center while operating a piano remanufacturing facility. He has also worked in the sound and video arts fields as a recording engineer, audio and video editor and processor, and composer. He is an accomplished musician, private pilot, student of archery, and avid golfer. He lives in Wilmington, Delaware.

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 4 )
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Sort by: Showing all of 4 Customer Reviews
  • Posted May 5, 2012

    Entertaining, but not particularly useful

    I've been reading several books relating to consistent practice and human improvement (Coyle's "The Talent Code", Colvin's "Talent is Overrated", even Gladwell's "Outliers" has some relevant material) and I have to admit that "The Practicing Mind", to me, was inferior to these. It read more like a personal journey--which is fine--but I was hoping for controlled studies, etc which SHOWED correlations and results and gave solid guidance. So--entertaining, pleasant, worth a read, but not particularly useful in a journey towards mastery; for this niche, I'd even recommend Leonard's "Mastery" over this.

    2 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 7, 2013

    Sterner provides his personal experience developing discipline a

    Sterner provides his personal experience developing discipline and practice, providing useful and implementalbe suggestions for a person trying to gain more discipline and focus in life. I took quotes from the book and used them in a daily reflection to improve my focus and discipline. The book is not intended as a research paper on mindfulness or practice, but as a practical guide built on first person experience. I recommend the book to others and have bought a couple extra copies to share with family and friends. I recommend this book over authors like Gladwell ("Outliers") who tend to cite papers and sound authoritative but do not always get the science right or develop helpful suggestions that a person can use to change their own behavior. It is also more accessible to a western audience then many excellent mindfulness books by authors such as Thich Nhat Hanh (The Essential Writings is recommended). I would give the book 5 starts for how useful it has been in my life, but Sterner does get a bit wordy in places -- still an excellent book you can use to change your life.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 6, 2013

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 11, 2013

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