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

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In the workplace, a recent study of over 1,000 office workers showed that the strongest predictor of how well they dealt with demanding work was whether they felt respected and valued by their managers. If you teach someone to work hard when they're showered in praise, what do you think happens when you're not there to hand out the stickers? 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.

As a sport psych I recoil when I hear people bang on about mental toughness and this title felt similar. Also it kept referring over and over to the book Why buddhism is True: The Science and Philosophy of Meditation and Enlightenment (SPOILER ALERT no it's not true) - like why the heck do I need to know excerpts from this book! My summary can't replace the way Magness weaves story and science together to change who you are as a person. I even joined their Patreon community to get early access to their content and of course, to support their work. I initially read this book to gain insights for my own distance running journey, and to consider how Magness's ideas relate to Jesus's/the Bible's view of toughness.Really enjoyed the 3rd pillar, as i feel like i conquered being more present to my surrounding when i was in my college years, but have recently now have had more distractions and not embracing the feeling of the run. On the other hand, if we see the stressor as an opportunity for growth or gain, as something that is difficult but that we can handle, we’re more likely to experience a challenge response. On the other hand, if you’re honest with yourself, and acknowledge your strengths and weaknesses, what you’re capable of and what might scare you, then you can come to terms with what you’re facing and deal with it. When they dug further, the expert meditators had a “greater ability to fully embrace the feeling of pain and … let go of the appraisal of what the pain meant to them.

I didn't need a lot of the stories, but they can be very helpful/interesting for many readers, so I see their value. But you don't train firemen by sending them repeatedly into burning buildings and saying "The good ones will survive".The kind of toughness that chooses to accept reality, coexists inside of grit and grace, and that is framed fully in the uniqueness of each individual. The biggest downside of the tough guy macho man boss, coach, or parent is that their attitude breeds fragile humans. It was mostly a compilation of studies to show you how some people are lil babies and others are not. When we satisfy basic needs, we create an environment where people play to win, instead of playing not to lose.

Each chapter is chocked-full of interesting anecdotes (some personal, in-the-trenches experience), and the latest scientific discourse packaged in an engaging and digestible way.This was not the final Toughness Maxim in the book but like the first one that I quoted this one really summed everything up for me, “Purpose is the fuel that allows you to be tough. As someone who has repeatedly faced this in life, and especially so in the last few years, and as someone who used a combination of aggressive and disciplined workout regimens and mindfulness practices to take back a little bit of control of my own life, and to set in on a more sound footing despite external circumstances, I can very strongly relate with his suggestions. In the popular imagination, being tough means projecting confidence, pushing through pain without complaint, and ignoring soppy emotions. This section of the book deals with learning to know when and how to push through certain situations.

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