The Practicing Mind And Value

One key tenet of my life is to constantly question the value of the things in my life. This is especially true in a country that has an economy that is built around consumerism. One of the reasons I teach the guitar is that I truly believe it adds value to the person's life that is studying. Therefore, whenever I suggest a product on this blog I want it to be of true value to the reader.

As you probably can guess, I spend a lot of time reading about music and practicing. Understanding the most effective way to practice for each individual allows the practitioner to attain the rewards quicker and easier. With this in mind, I stumble on a book that I think will be helpful for many. I admit that I am not completely through my first reading of the book but find that it has many helpful ideas to explore.

The book is The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life — Master Any Skill or Challenge by Learning to Love the Process by Thomas M. Sterner. I find the most interesting statement in the title are the last five words, "Learning to Love the Process." This is the area that eludes most of us in whatever endeavor, including guitar, at some point in the journey.

The Practicing Mind is about remembering what you already know at some level and bringing that memory into the present, where it will both serve to place you on that path and empower you to partake in the journey. This book will reintroduce you to a process you followed to acquire a skill before you knew what process meant, and it will remind you that life itself is nothing more than one long practice session, an endless effort to refine the motions, both physical and mental, that compose our days.

The above excerpt is only from the introduction but is packed with some intriguing promises as goals for the outcome of the book. So far, it has been fulfilling the statement fairly well. He opens the book with the realization of how his music studies helped him develop his overall learning process. Then he begins to relate that his realization and culmination of ideas began to take shape when he took up golf and applied the concepts of music practice to golf.

This is where I will end my discussion of the book's content because it is the overarching theme of the book and my life. Guitar to me is a reflection of life and vice versa. Almost everything that I have learned in my pursuit of guitar applies to every other aspect of my life. This is also what I feel is the most important thing I can pass on to each of my students. The way you learn to practice the guitar is the same way you learn and practice a multiplicity of other skills in life.

I highly recommend this book and am actually yearning to read it instead of writing this post. But alas I also have other business issues to deal with. In any case, if you need a gift for yourself or for someone else this Christmas, this book will add value to their life and yours. Enjoy.

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