Personal Development,

The Practicing Mind – Book Summary

The Book in a few sentences

In school, while learning to program or learning to drive or when making a speech we learned the importance of paying attention from a very young age. However nowadays we are more focused on multitasking, rather than focusing on what we are doing. We work more on the result instead of the process of achieving that result. Doing what we should be doing and being completely aware of what we are doing will lead us to reach a level of performance that feels complete.  Focusing on a task and practicing it(actively practicing) is very different and beneficial from passively learning.

List of Key Ideas

  • If you cannot control your thoughts, then you’re not controlling yourself. Without self-control, you won’t be able to use your real power on any task.
  • If you’re not aware of your thoughts that you think in each moment, then you are like a rider without reins. You will not have any power on where you are going.
  • Awareness must be the first thing that you should be aware of. You cannot control anything that you’re not aware of.
  • The real skill is practicing the goal. The real skill is not having the goal. When focusing on practicing, stress and internal questions like “When will the goal be reached? When will the task be completed” will disappear. Also  when practicing properly, difficult learning process disappears too.
  • Golf example from the author:

I made a list of everything I would cover in that particular golf lesson, and divided up each task so that I could work on only one aspect of the golf swing at a time.  In the course of practicing each item, I would make anywhere from one to two hundred swings in front of a mirror with a short club I had cut off so it wouldn’t hit the ceiling.  I followed this up during the week with three trips to the range to actually hit balls, but again, only working on one part of the swing at a time.  When at the range, I put most of my energy into ignoring what the ball flight looked like.  I was in the process of learning parts of the golf swing.  I didn’t expect to be hitting good shots.  A beautiful golf shot is the result, or product, of all the parts being correct.

  • We have a very bad habit of caring only about the goal instead of the process of reaching to that goal. We do this frequently in our daily lives. This also prevents us to enjoy the present moment of practicing(or learning something).
  • Very erroneously, we think that there is a magical point that we will reach and be completely satisfied.   We look at the process of achieving the goal as a necessary nuisance that we have to go through in order to achieve our goal.
  • Good practice is not stressful. Focus on the present and know what you are doing. Forget the rest for that moment.
  • Goals are like a rudder on a boat. They only provide the direction.
  • Goals are not the destination to our journeys. Goals are just like a compass. Indeed just a compass to find the buried treasure.
  • One should be aware of that there will not be a point of time where feeling “done”. There will not be a time that one can will feel totally satisfied.
  • Make yourself a time just to sit. Everyone needs a relaxing time.

Buy the book on Amazon or Barnes & Noble.

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