Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

by Steve Magness
Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

Do Hard Things: Why We Get Resilience Wrong and the Surprising Science of Real Toughness

by Steve Magness


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National Bestseller

"In Do Hard Things, Steve Magness beautifully and persuasively reimagines our understanding of toughness. This is a must-read for parents and coaches and anyone else looking to prepare for life's biggest challenges." — Malcolm Gladwell, author of Outliers and Talking to Strangers and host of the Revisionist History podcast

From beloved performance expert, executive coach, and coauthor of Peak Performance Steve Magness comes a radical rethinking of how we perceive toughness and what it means to achieve our high ambitions in the face of hard things.

Toughness has long been held as the key to overcoming a challenge and achieving greatness, whether it is on the sports field, at a boardroom, or at the dining room table. Yet, the prevailing model has promoted a mentality based on fear, false bravado, and hiding any sign of weakness. In other words, the old model of toughness has failed us.

Steve Magness, a performance scientist who coaches Olympic athletes, rebuilds our broken model of resilience with one grounded in the latest science and psychology. In Do Hard Things, Magness teaches us how we can work with our body – how experiencing discomfort, leaning in, paying attention, and creating space to take thoughtful action can be the true indications of cultivating inner strength. He offers four core pillars to cultivate such resilience: 

  • Pillar 1- Ditch the Façade, Embrace Reality
  • Pillar 2- Listen to Your Body
  • Pillar 3- Respond, Instead of React 
  • Pillar 4- Transcend Discomfort   

Smart and wise all at once, Magness flips the script on what it means to be resilient. Drawing from mindfulness, military case studies, sports psychology, neuroscience, psychology, and philosophy, he provides a roadmap for navigating life’s challenges and achieving high performance that makes us happier, more successful, and, ultimately, better people.

Product Details

ISBN-13: 9780063098619
Publisher: HarperCollins
Publication date: 06/21/2022
Pages: 320
Sales rank: 32,400
Product dimensions: 6.10(w) x 9.10(h) x 1.20(d)

About the Author

Steve Magness is a world-renowned expert on performance, coauthor of Peak Performance and The Passion Paradox, and the author of The Science of Running. He is the co-host of two podcasts: The Growth Equation podcast, with Brad Stulberg, and On Coaching with Magness and Marcus, with Jon Marcus. He has written for Runner’s World and Sports Illustrated, and he has been featured in The New Yorker, Wall Street Journal, the New York Times, Men’s Health, The Guardian, Business Insider, and ESPN The Magazine, and he has been featured on NPR and CNN International. Magness has served as a consultant and speaker for NASA, the Houston Rockets, Murphy Oil, the Brooklyn Nets, the Cleveland Guardians, the Seattle Sounders, the New Orleans Pelicans, Athletics New Zealand, Canadian Athletics, New Zealand High Performance, and more. He lives in Houston, Texas.

Table of Contents

Introduction: How We Got Toughness Wrong and Where to Go

Chapter 1 From Tough Coaches, Tough Parents, and Tough Guys to Finding Real Inner Strength 3

Chapter 2 Sink or Swim: How We Took the Wrong Lesson from the Military 23

The First Pillar of Toughness: Ditch the Facade, Embrace Reality

Chapter 3 Accept What You Are Capable Of 41

Chapter 4 True Confidence Is Quiet; Insecurity Is Loud 59

Chapter 5 Know When to Hold 'Em and When to Fold 'Em 85

The Second Pillar of Toughness: Listen to Your Body

Chapter 6 Your Emotions Are Messengers, Not Dictators 115

Chapter 7 Own the Voice in Your Head 139

The Third Pillar of Toughness: Respond Instead of React

Chapter 8 Keep Your Mind Steady 163

Chapter 9 Turn the Dial So You Don't Spiral 193

The Fourth Pillar of Toughness: Transcend Discomfort

Chapter 10 Build the Foundation to Do Hard Things 229

Chapter 11 Find Meaning in Discomfort 253

Acknowledgments 269

Notes 273

Index 293

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