Fully Engaged by Thomas M. Sterner

Fully Engaged by Thomas M. Sterner

Ever notice how little time we actually spend during the course of a day focussing upon the moment that we are in?

As work loads increase, future deadlines loom, projects are planned, and to-do lists are made, we are constantly under pressure to operate from a need to catch up with the future.

The result of this constant projection of consciousness out and away from the current moment means that we tend to miss out on the fact that we are constantly allowing ourselves to be driven relentlessly forward by circumstances that we are not firmly in control of.

Present Moment Functioning

In his book Fully Engaged: Using the Practicing Mind in Daily Life – the follow up to his highly successful first book on personal success development The Practicing Mind, CEO and founder of the Practicising Mind Institute, Thomas M. Sterner describes how the key to regaining personal power is through becoming immersed in what he calls Present Moment Functioning.

This he explains is defined by the growing the connection to the observer within yourself through a process called ”thought awareness training.”

The tool that he advocates for developing this ability is that of meditation and explains how through the practice it becomes easier to monitor what thoughts are arising within you and which of those you have no direct responsibility for creating.

Being aware of the jumble of thoughts and ideas that do emerge allows us to firstly interpret ourselves more accurately and then to move on to perform more effectively with our daily tasks.

Goals to Inspire You

Sterner explains the way in which you interpret your experience in this moment is affected considerably by how you set your goals. More so, by focussing upon the moment the goals are achieved we can self-sabotage our sense of self-confidence.

He suggests that our our desire to reach our goal “….is a misuse of the goal itself because it pulls us out of the process of achieving and creates a sense of struggle.”

And struggle is the single most debilitating experience for any one who wants to improve themselves internally

Our Review of Fully Engaged by Thomas M. Sterner

The concepts that Sterner espouses in his book are fundamentally those of mindfulness and self-awareness. These are ideas that anyone involved in spiritual work using today’s popular tools will recognise and already understand.

The author extends the use of these tools into the process of expanding self-awareness and whilst he offers some stimulating philosophical ideas I feel that only being only 100 pages in length this book’s narrow format tends to mean that the explanation of them becomes overtly simplistic.

In effect this makes for a book that is very low on content and very high on padding.

Where this becomes most annoying though is in the fact that the author makes endless references throughout to himself, his life and most of all to his first book. This approach becomes both tedious and pointless; and this near self-absorption actually makes it difficult for the reader to work out which of the author’s ideas might be relevant to their current life situation.

If you enjoy the rambling, personalised and anecdotal approach to spiritual teaching then this is a book that you will enjoy. However, I found that by the end it just simply felt like an exercise in ego-polishing.

Sadly, for me Fully Engaged did not fully engage and the book only served to remind me of just why so many people are deeply critical of New Age pesuedo-psychology.