Want to learn about resilience? In Do Hard Things, Steve Magness masterfully reshapes our perception of it. Here are the key lessons:

  1. Success causes us to narrow toward obsession, which helps in the short term, but backfires over the long haul. Cultivating perspective is the antidote
  2. You’re only as good as those around you. Surround yourself wisely
  3. Hard mindless work is easy. Hard intentional work is hard.
  4. Be deliberate on your work and recovery. We’re good at the former, not the later.
  5. It’s easy to major in the minors. Keep the main thing the main thing.
  6. Resist the urge to always step-in. Let people wrestle with problems.
  7. Coach people up. Teach them the skills. Then let them do their job. Resist micromanaging.
  8. Complex to simple. Chasing complexity fools you (and others) into thinking you are on the right path.
  9. Work on eliminating. A good book is made great by cutting the mess, not by adding more writing. Same goes for most things in life.
  10. Think ecosystem, not egosystem. Raising your whole environment up will life you up as well.
  11. Know when you are building and when you are maintaining. We can’t grow in every aspect all at once. Going into maintenance mode, allows space to grow elsewhere.
  12. Use your environment to help you. Create your own home-field advantage for whatever tasks you care about.
  13. Find the right state. Figure out how to prime yourself for the work you want to do.
  14. Counterbalance your strength. If striving or pushing is your skill, then you need to learn to be content. Our strengths often become our downfalls. Prepare for that.
  15. Learn how to turn it off. Don’t carry your work home. Don’t go nuts during the family monopoly game because you think you are competitive.
  16. Diversify your sources of meaning. If one thing is the only thing, you are setting yourself up to be fragile, to overreact to a loss
  17. Run your race. The comparison game never ends well. Focus on executing your process
  18. Sometimes quitting is the tough (& right) decision. Self-awareness & quieting your ego allows you to know when to quit.
  19. Create Space, Stay in the moment, Focus on one thing at a time
  20. When it gets tough, don’t fight, relax.
  21. Win or nothing is a projection insecurity. Life is about being secure in giving your all. Regardless of where that puts you.
  22. Consistency over intensity. It's about stacking week after week of solid work
  23. Under preparation is a coping strategy for stress. It allows you to protect your ego because you didn't 'try.'
  24. Failure is inevitable. It’s going to hurt. But the best transition to see it as informational, instead of self-defining.
  25. Practice gratitude. Take time to appreciate the good things in your life, no matter how small they may seem.
Do Hard Things