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The Practicing Mind

Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life

By Thomas M. Sterner
9-minute read
Audio available
The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner

The Practicing Mind (2005) offers a smart and simple solution to handling anxiety when working toward our goals. These blinks show the impact our expectations have on our productivity, and reveals steps you can take to live in the present, enjoy your progress and really get things done.

  • Students struggling to overcome procrastination
  • Creatives beginning a new long-term project
  • Freelancers who feel like their work keeps piling up

Thomas M. Sterner studied Eastern and Western philosophy and modern sports psychology. Working as the chief concert technician for a major performing arts center, he prepared and maintained the venue’s concert grand piano for hundreds of world-renowned musicians. He also produced a radio show about the practicing mind and continues to teach his techniques to businesspeople and at sports clinics.

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The Practicing Mind

Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life

By Thomas M. Sterner
  • Read in 9 minutes
  • Audio & text available
  • Contains 5 key ideas
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The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life by Thomas M. Sterner
Synopsis

The Practicing Mind (2005) offers a smart and simple solution to handling anxiety when working toward our goals. These blinks show the impact our expectations have on our productivity, and reveals steps you can take to live in the present, enjoy your progress and really get things done.

Key idea 1 of 5

Because we raise our expectations of ourselves, we never feel satisfied.  

Sometimes it seems that, no matter how much you practice something, there’s always going to be someone out there who does it a little bit better than you. It’s frustrating, to be sure. And it can shape our attitude toward several aspects of our lives. But why do we feel frustrated by this in the first place?

If there’s one flaw that all humans have in common, it’s striving for ideals that simply aren’t attainable. We’ve all got a picture in our minds of what we believe is a perfect life, making our real lives seem inadequate by comparison. Some of us want a better job, some of us want more friends, and some of us want to change our appearance.

You probably aren’t surprised to hear that these high expectations are fed by mass media and marketing. Think of all the polished, perfect and wealthy people that are featured in magazines and advertisements. Nearly all products marketed to us today are made desirable by convincing us that our lives just won’t be as good without them.

Of course, high expectations aren’t all bad. We can use images of a better life to inspire us to work hard and achieve more. Unfortunately, we tend to use them as nothing more than objects of comparison. We compare our performance to our colleagues’ performance in the workplace. When we look in the mirror, we’re keen to compare our appearances with those we see on the street.

And there’s yet another problem with the way we engage with our ideals. Rather than working toward one goal and feeling satisfied when we achieve it, we raise our expectations as we achieve more. This means that our ideals move further away from us, and we’re stuck constantly pushing ourselves to reach goals that we don’t value once we achieve them.

In short, the feeling that we’re never good enough is a source of constant anxiety for us all. But what if we don’t want to feel anxious all the time? Well, then it’s time to make some changes. Find out more in the following blinks.

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