Cover Image: Do Hard Things

Do Hard Things

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Member Reviews

Great resource for coaches, parents, or anyone simply hoping to grow their resilience.

Steve Magness does a fantastic job in this book of distilling and delivering science in a way that is approachable and easy to absorb for busy folks (which usually describes coaches and parents) and he breaks it up with applicable anecdotes which illustrate his points perfectly. The conversational tone makes this an easy read despite actually being fairly heavy on the informational content.

I will definitely be revisiting this one as I continue on my parenting journey.

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Really loved this one! All of the personal stories were great, especially the running ones. It gives lots of advice that you can actually work on. Sometimes books on mindset are just to pump you up but this one seemed to give great ideas of how to do the work and accomplish you goals. It seems like a great book for a leader.

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In the first part of the book Magness discusses “toughness”, and the things that our culture has associated with being tough. He uses the example of coach Bobby Knight, and how his style of coaching was indicative of and older generation's ideas of toughness. Magness also discusses parenting styles, and the differences between a more authoritarian style and a more permissive style. He uses a few different examples and analogies to demonstrate his main point: that our modern society has “a fundamental misunderstanding of what toughness is.”

Magness then covers each of his “Four Pillars” of real toughness, with a few chapters focused on each one: 1) Detach the facade, embrace reality, 2) Listen to your Body, 3) Respond instead of React, and 4)) Transcend discomfort.

Overall I enjoyed reading this book. Some of Magness's ideas about confidence and self-esteem were very insightful, and I appreciated his ability to use examples from many different fields to illustrate his points. His analysis of emotional responses was also profound, as he was able to articulate some ideas that I haven't seen conveyed so clearly before. I feel like I can use some of this advice to improve my interactions with other people; and perhaps I'll be a better parent and partner as a result.

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Magness found the perfect mix of personal narrative, studies and evaluation to round out this book. He included his experience as runner, but did not just rely on his own ideas. He backed up his ideas with supporting stories and research articles. It read well through out.
I liked how the book is structured to explain a concept and also have take aways. It was slightly athlete focused, however he does give examples from other areas so it’s still relevant for everyone.
My favorite quote from the first chapter that really sets up (and summarizes) the book: “Real toughness is experiencing discomfort or distress, leaning in, paying attention, and creating space to take thoughtful action. It’s navigating discomfort to make the best decision possible.”
The ideas presented will move you away from “tough it out” and into tuning into your body and mind to make the hard decisions.
Thank you Netgalley and HarperOne for the ARC.

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Lots of good, actionable info here. I didn't need a lot of the stories, but they can be very helpful/interesting for many readers, so I see their value. There are lots of additional approaches (Buddhism for example) that readers may want to explore in addition to the helpful ideas here. Recommended.

Thanks very much for the free ARC for review!!

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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:

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