Finding Focus

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“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 rudder to steer your efforts.
  • Be deliberate, have an intention about what you want to accomplish, and remain aware of that intention.

Doing these things will eliminate the judgments and emotions that come from a product-oriented, results-driven mind.”

— from The Practicing Mind, Thomas Sterner

How I came across this handbook is lost in the mists of time, but I’m glad I did! The full title says it all: The Practicing Mind: Developing Focus and Discipline in Your Life. What a pithy, valuable guide! For me, the biggest takeaways from the book is the power of the present: focusing on what we’re doing when we are doing it. Let’s briefly unpack the four steps above:

Keep yourself process-oriented:  Focus on the journey, not the destination. Focus on the act of writing and creating, not what you want or have to produce.

Stay in the present:  Be where you are doing what you are doing. If your mind drifts off, gently bring it back to the task at hand.

Make the process the goal:  Let go of any stress about achieving or making something happen. Don’t create any boundaries around what you are doing – focus on doing.

Be deliberate:  Think in terms of intention, not goal. A goal is a point in time you are striving toward. An intention is about the desire to develop a skill, to improve and grow.

Finding focus is challenging, but doable. Let’s make it our intention as we all write on!

About karinwritesdangerously

I am a writer and this is a motivational blog designed to help both writers and aspiring writers to push to the next level. Key themes are peak performance, passion, overcoming writing roadblocks, juicing up your creativity, and the joys of writing.
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