The Practicing Mind by Thomas M. Sterner is a book that offers guidance on how to develop a more mindful and disciplined approach to life. The book is based on the idea that life is a practice, and that with the right mindset, we can cultivate the skills needed to achieve our goals and live a more meaningful and fulfilling life. The book offers several key ideas and principles:
The Process-Oriented Approach
Sterner emphasizes the importance of focusing on the process rather than the end result. He argues that when you become too fixated on the outcome, you can become anxious and discouraged. Instead, he encourages readers to enjoy and be fully present in the process of learning and doing.
Present-Moment Awareness
Sterner emphasizes the value of being fully present in each moment. He suggests that when we are completely engaged in what we are doing, we perform better and find more satisfaction in our actions.
Practice as a Path to Mastery
The book highlights that mastery in any skill or field requires consistent, deliberate practice. Sterner stresses that practice is not a means to an end but rather an end in itself. He encourages readers to enjoy the act of practicing and to embrace the journey of improvement.
Eliminating Distractions
Sterner discusses the detrimental effects of distractions and multitasking. He advocates for the elimination of distractions to enhance focus and concentration during practice and daily activities.
Patience and Persistence
The author underscores the importance of patience and persistence in the pursuit of excellence. He suggests that setbacks and failures are natural parts of the learning process and should be embraced as opportunities for growth.
Non-Judgmental Observation
Sterner encourages readers to observe their thoughts, emotions, and behaviors without judgment. This practice of self-awareness can help individuals detach from negative self-talk and self-criticism.
Applying Mindfulness Beyond Practice
While the book primarily focuses on the application of mindfulness to skill development and practice, Sterner also discusses how these principles can be applied to various aspects of life, including relationships, work, and personal well-being.

"The Practicing Mind" promotes the idea that by cultivating mindfulness and adopting a process-oriented approach, individuals can find greater joy, satisfaction, and success in their endeavors, ultimately leading to a more fulfilling life. It offers practical advice on how to develop these skills and apply them in daily life. The book’s insights and strategies are helpful for anyone looking to cultivate the skills needed to achieve their goals and live a more meaningful and fulfilling life.