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

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However, the roadmap we were given to overcome life’s challenges and tribulations is oftentimes not grounded in reality. We hold on to ideas that better resemble a middle school football coach’s ideal of toughness than reality. All actions that clue us in on Knight’s actual definition of toughness, one founded on showing no weakness, bulldozing through obstacles, and utilizing fear to establish authority and control. Perhaps you’ve pushed through physical pain only to find that the more you ignored it, the more unbearable it became. 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.

What’s the X factor that allows one smart, innovative thinker to found a company or invent a product that makes waves, while their equally smart, innovative peer makes barely a ripple? 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. He has real skill in bringing his concepts to life with a mixture of lovely language, peer-reviewed studies and fascinating anecdotes and stories. In reality, perseverance through failure should be rewarded in children (and adults)—continuing to pursue a hard task, through failure, which is what actually builds toughness and grit.I find mental toughness and the ‘harden up’ mentality so unhelpful and feels rather outdated when it is actually mental flexibility that helps athletes thrive in both performance and wellbeing. It’s this idea of bravado and masochism persevering; someone that exudes bombastic energy with bold self-confidence.

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. Do Hard Things is one of those books that you read and think "Wow that was amazing, I learned so much".Fueled by lessons learned over 20 years of building production code for side-projects, small businesses, and hyper growth startups. Instead of scrolling through your social media news feed, this is a much better way to spend your spare time in my opinion. The author’s experience is in sports so there are a lot of sports stories in the book, but he also uses stories from many aspects of life to illustrate his ideas.

It shows how traditional markers of toughness, like putting on a brave face and pushing past pain, can actually hinder physical and mental performance outcomes in the long term. to create high output (defined loosely) individuals and teams, you have to pair high expectations with nurture and support. Steve Magness is a world-renowned expert on performance, coauthor of Peak Performance: Elevate Your Game, Avoid Burnout, and Thrive with the New Science of Success and The Passion Paradox: A Guide to Going All In, Finding Success, and Discovering the Benefits of an Unbalanced Life, and the author of The Science of Running: How to Find Your Limit and Train to Maximize Your Performance.And fulfilling our basic needs helps not only with well-being, but also with the ability to persist.

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