Early life is all about trial-and-error practice. If we’d given up in the face of failure, repetition, and difficulty, we’d never have learned to walk, tie our shoes, or ride a bike. So why, as adults, do we often throw in the towel when at first we don’t succeed? Modern life’s technological speed, habitual multitasking, and promises of instant gratification don’t help. But in his study of how we learn (prompted by his experiences as a musician and adult newbie golfer), Thomas Sterner has found that we have also lost the principles of practice; the process of picking a goal and applying steady effort to reach it. The methods Sterner teaches show that practice done properly isn’t drudgery on the way to mastery but a fulfilling process of building focus, mind-calming clarity, and joy-filled effort in and of itself. The practicing mind savors the baby steps that lead to great strides.