In part one of this blog series, I discussed how I helped young Turner understand what mindset he should attain in order to practice well. I wouldn’t have been able to explain the idea of focusing on process versus product quite so well without the help of a book called The Practicing Mind. I was personally exploring the topic of mindfulness last summer and a friend advised me to check out this book. The Practicing Mind is written by a musician, for musicians, originally with the intent to discuss how to practice. The author, Thomas Sterner, instead found himself broadening the book’s purpose to general mindfulness. He found mindfulness to be the connecting factor between anything in life that one practices, whether it is a golf swing or a Beethoven Concerto.
Below is an excerpt from the book, to help further explain the idea of “process versus product” oriented thinking:
“There is an endless nature to life. There is always more to be experienced. Deep down we know this and are glad for it. The problem is that everyday life steals this from us. It pulls us away from this perspective with a constant bombardment of advertisements all promising to fulfill us, but none of it ever works: “Get this, do that and life will be perfect.” We need to let go of this futile idea that happiness is out there somewhere, and embrace the infinite growth available to us as a treasure, not something that we are impatient to overcome.
People involved in the arts understand this endless nature through direct experience. It is part of all the arts. That is why I believe that a personal pursuit in some form of art is so important to a person’s sense of well-being. It teaches you this true nature of life right up front if you pay attention. When I was in my late teens, there were two incidents that created so much more patience within me as a result of a change in my perception.