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

"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

Order before launch day (June 21st), then just fill out this form to receive your free bonuses. Details are below.

From beloved performance expert 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.

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Praise for Do Hard Things

“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.


"We celebrate stories of coaches and leaders who practice the ‘weed-out’ school of toughness, but research shows that is precisely the wrong way to cultivate fortitude. It is past time to bring the stories in line with the science, and that's what Steve Magness does in Do Hard Things."

—David Epstein, New York Times bestselling author of Range and The Sports Gene


"Steve delivers a critical message for our current age of posing and performance: real toughness is not about callous bravado, but instead about the ability to navigate difficulty with grace and an unwavering focus on what matters."
—Cal Newport, New York Times bestselling author of Deep Work and Digital Minimalism


“A thoughtful examination of what it really means to have the right stuff.”

~Adam Grant, #1 New York Times bestselling author of THINK AGAIN and host of the TED podcast WorkLife


“Steve Magness is one of the giants of modern thinking about high performance across domains, blending a broad knowledge of cutting-edge psychology with hard-earned practical experience from the world-class athletes and other experts he coaches. In his new book, he takes on an age-old question—who triumphs, and why, when the going gets tough?—and reveals that many of our cherished instincts and assumptions are wrong. A crucial read for anyone who cares about delivering their best when the stakes are highest.”

—Alex Hutchinson, New York Times bestselling author of Endure


“Steve Magness possesses an incredible range of wisdom and knowledge about the science, psychology and practical sides of sport performance. REAL TOUGHNESS is a master class in how to develop resilience, persistence and confidence under pressure.”

—Christie Aschwanden, New York Times bestselling author of Good to Go


"Do Hard Things is an incredibly deep and completely new approach that examines why and how people overcome the toughest situations. Explaining different stories in a very entertaining lecture for the readers, Steve Magness, one of the most recognized authors and thinkers in sports science, gives us a master class on how to develop resilience and skills to perform at our best in difficult situations."

—Killian Jornet, World Champion Endurance Athlete


"In DO HARD THINGS, Steve Magness dismantles the widely endorsed but damaging suggestion that toughness is about bulldozing your way through difficult situations. Magness' version of toughness—"real toughness"—is more nuanced, forgiving, flexible, and learnable. Real toughness means processing stressors thoughtfully, deliberately, and with vulnerability, rather than superficially and rigidly. DO HARD THINGS changed how I think about stoicism and strength, both on the sports field and more broadly, and I can't recommend it highly enough"

—Adam Alter, Professor of Marketing and Psychology, New York University Stern School of Business, New York Times Bestselling Author of IRRESISTIBLE and DRUNK TANK PINK


"Do Hard Things will change your mind about what it means to be tough. Steve Magness makes a beautiful and compelling case for the value of inner strength over outer strength and humility over bluster. A must read!”

—Annie Duke, author of Thinking in Bets


"Steve Magness has established himself as a leading voice in performance optimization and achieving one's personal bestness, arete as the Greek's say. In Do Hard Things, Magness questions longstanding beliefs that toughness is developed through hubris and infallibility. What he reveals is both hopeful and reassuring. Do Hard Things is essential reading for anyone looking to cultivate inner strength in a genuine and authentic way."

—Dean Karnazes, ultramarathoner and NY Times bestselling author

Order today and you'll receive:

  • Bonus deleted chapter: Why We Quit and What We Can Do About It?
  • Online course: 30+ hours of written, video, and audio content to walk you through improving your mental game. (A $200+ value for free!)
  • Guide to toughness: A guide outlining the key concepts of the book
  • Practices of toughness: A guide with dozens of exercises to help you develop your mental muscle.
  • Developing resilience in sport, business, and life. Short specific guides on how to implement Do Hard Things for your various endeavors.
  • How Tough are the best performers in the world? I collected measures of grit on some of the top performers in history. Are they all bastions of toughness, or are they actually more like the rest of us? See for yourself as I walk you through the data to understand toughness
  • A Free Training Plan! You'll receive sample training plans designed for 5k, half-marathon, and marathon racing!

How do I get these bonuses?

1. Order Do Hard Things before June 21st.

2. Fill out this form.


Interested in having me speak to your  team? Make a bulk order, and I'll come speak on zoom to your team! Fill out this form if interested.