"The process of life should actually be the goal itself."
In those times when we face a formidable challenge or desire to acquire a new skill or get sucker punched right in the gut by life itself, what we need most are the virtues of fortitude, patience, focus, and discipline; traits that seem elusive or difficult to maintain. In this engaging and practical book, Thomas Sterner demonstrates how to learn skills for any aspect of life, from golfing to business to parenting, by learning to fall in love with the process.
By focusing on “process, not product,” you’ll learn to live in each moment, where you’ll find calmness and equanimity. When it comes to learning something challenging this book will turn y sense of futility into an attitude of pleasure and willingness.
The way to a more fulfilling and meaningful life is through adopting a Practicing Mind -the process of experiencing life itself moment by moment, using your awareness to shift and control your energy and effort.
This done through having a practicing mind.
What is the Practicing Mind?
The practicing mind is a mind that focuses it's awareness on the present moment. It is objective. It calmly passes no judgement, resisting the urge to immediately stamp any meaning or definition onto a situation. This allows a person to better control their efforts and energy, and move them in the appropriate direction, unencumbered by false pretenses and misinterpretations.
"...the practicing mind is quiet. It lives in the present and has laser-like, pinpoint focus and accuracy. It obeys our precise directions, and all our energy moves through it. Because of this, we are calm and completely free of anxiety. We are where we should be at that moment, doing what we should be doing and completely aware of what we are experiencing. There is no wasted motion, physically or mentally”.
The Benefit of the Practicing Mind:
A practicing mind fosters a fully engaged life. When we practice mindful living (focusing on each moment by moment) and "make the process the goal" everything in life can be used as a tool to empower and improve your life.
The good, the bad, the ugly all become instruments for immediately making you a stronger, and better version of yourself. The practice of being mindful of what is happening in the present moment and responding accordingly is the gateway to freeing ourselves from the stress and worry of the future and the burden of limiting beliefs that stem from what has happened in the past.
WHEN YOU STAY ON PURPOSE, FOCUSED IN THE PRESENT MOMENT, YOUR END GOAL COMES TOWARD YOU WITH FRICTIONLESS EASE!
“When we learn to focus on and embrace the process of experiencing life, whether we’re working toward a personal aspiration or working through a difficult time, we begin to free ourselves from the stress and anxiety that are born out of our attachment to our goals, our sense that ‘I can’t feel happiness until I reach my goal’.”
“When you shift your goal away from the product you are trying to achieve to the process of achieving it, a wonderful phenomenon occurs: all pressure drops away”
When you allow yourself to experience life moment by moment you take control of your life, and allow yourself to live a more engaged, and fulfilled life!
The biggest challenge we will face in adopting a practicing mind is that it requires both patience and discipline. This challenge present a little paradox:
“A paradox of life: The problem with patience and discipline is that developing each of them requires both of them”.
If you are not in control of your thoughts, then you are not in control of yourself.“
With deliberate and repeated effort, progress is inevitable."
“When we subtly shift toward both focusing on and finding joy in the process of achieving a goal instead of having the goal, we have gained a new skill. And once mastered, it is magical and incredibly empowering."
“Real peace and contentment in our lives come from realizing that life is a process to engage in, a journey down a path that we can choose to experience as magical."
How To Practice The Practicing Mind:
“In summary, creating the practicing mind comes down to a few simple rules: Keep yourself process-oriented. Stay in the present. Make the process the goal and use the overall goal as a rudder to steer your efforts. Be deliberate, have an intention about what you want to accomplish, and remain aware of that intention."
SIMPLIFY SMALL SHORT SLOW
SIMPLIFY: When working on any task, break the task down to its most rudimentary parts. Direct your thoughts on the incremental elements of the task itself (think Tea ceremony).
Simplicity in effort will conquer the most complex task.
SMALL: Think of your end goal only a the RUDDER or BEACON that serves only to keep you on course and moving in the direction you have chosen. Focus your efforts only on the small meaningful steps that move you along in the direction you want.
SHORT: Deliberately make you intentional actions on a meaningful task short. Say, "I chose to write for 45 minutes every day until my book is complete."
SLOW: Deliberately work at a pace that allows you to pay attention to what you are doing in the present moment. Resist mindless activity. Deliberate, intentional Attention on the present task.
Tips to Remember:
-You cannot change effectively what you are NOT aware of.
-Experiencing impatience is one of the first symptoms of not being in the present moment, not doing what you are doing, and not staying process-oriented.
-Progress is a natural function of staying focused on the process of doing anything.
-1st step towards experiencing patience is catching when your mind runs wild and drags your activity and efforts with it.
-2nd step towards experiencing patience is excepting that perfection is an illusion and everything is in process.