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Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations Hardcover – April 15, 2008
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Praise for Do Hard Things
“Do Hard Things is an extraordinary book. In fact, I believe it will prove to be one of the most life-changing, family-changing, church-changing, and culture-changing books of this generation. I'd love for every teenager to read this book, but I'm just as eager for every parent, church leader, and educator to read it.”
– Randy Alcorn, best-selling author of Heaven and The Treasure Principle
“This book is one I would recommend to any of my friends, teen or not. If it doesn't help you, you are lying.”
– Carter B., age 14, North Carolina
“Do Hard Things is so important. It is challenging teenagers to rebel against the low expectations placed on them. And the voices that are asking teens to rise to meet this challenge are voices from their own generation. That thrills me.”
– Chuck Colson, best-selling author of How Now Shall We Live?
“I love the way it is written. It is crystal clear, to the point, interesting, funny, challenging, encouraging, and an easy read.”
– Lisa R., age 15, Australia
“Adult expectations for youth are too low. And these twins are out to raise them. Don't adapt to the low cultural expectations for youth. Set high ones. Youth can become examples for adults. Think that way. Dream that way. Or as the Harris brothers would say, ‘Rebel against low expectations.’”
– John Piper, best-selling author of Don’t Waste Your Life
“The message of Do Hard Things is going to awaken the dreams and passions of thousands of young people all over the world. How do I know this? This radical, yet relatively simple idea, has changed my life.”
– Erika H., age 18, Michigan
“In a culture where laziness and ease is often the order of the day for teenagers, Do Hard Things presents a radical and provocative alternative. I heartily recommend this book.”
– R. Albert Mohler, Jr., president of The Southern Baptist Theological Seminary
“This book has totally changed the way I think. I recommend it to any and every teen who has a desire to turn their life around and make a difference.”
– Ashley W., age 13, Georgia
“Alex and Brett capture the passion and potential of our generation perfectly in this book. In Do Hard Thingsthey encourage us to go above and beyond the status quo in everything from schoolwork to serving the poor. This is a truly unique and sorely needed book.”
– Zach Hunter, author of Be the Change and Generation Change
“This book is amazing. It changes your whole way of thinking. I believe that every single teen needs to buy a copy of this book. Thanks, Alex and Brett for challenging us!”
– Stacie L., age 15, Kentucky
“This is an important book. And not just for those wanting to launch successfully into adulthood, but also for discontent twenty- and thirty-somethings who long to be catapulted into significance.”
– Ted Slater, editor of Boundless, Focus on the Family
“I'm not exactly a teenager anymore. But as I was reading I began to see how this can apply to anyone. It's never too late to start. I absolutely cannot wait to suggest this book to the 'kidults' in my life.”
– Matt R., age 26, Georgia
“Alex and Brett are the real deal and Do Hard Things is a real wake up call, not just for young people, but for all God's people. I can't recommend it highly enough.”
– Shannon Ethridge, best-selling author of the Every Woman's Battle series
“This book is a wake up call to a generation that is down in the dumps. It's like a coach screaming from the sidelines, ‘You can do it!!!’. I'd recommend it to anyone, young or old.”
– Douglas A., age 17, England
“Do Hard Things is the textbook for anyone who works with teens; it’s a philosophical and foundational must-read.”
– Timothy Eldred, executive director of Christian Endeavor International
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Top Customer Reviews
High expectations, it seems, often results in greater performance. Tragically, we live at a time where we expect very little of teenagers. The teen years, we seem to think, are a time where we can and must expect little. If our teenagers manage to avoid dangerous drugs, manage to avoid pregnancy and manage to avoid completely derailing their lives, we consider these years a success.Read more ›
The verse that motivates their ministry is I Timothy 4:12. I smiled when I saw that as it was my life verse until I was 30 and decided I might need a different verse since I wasn't exactly a youth anymore. I've often wondered what my parents did or didn't do that made me believe anything I wanted to do/be was possible if it lined up with God's Word and will.
There was an expectation that everything was training. The teen years weren't a time to goof off. Instead, they were a time to prove myself and gain increasing independence as I proved myself faithful. Everything I've done, accomplished, am doing is a direct result of that philosophy.
In a sense this is exactly what Do Hard Things is about. It challenges teens to intentionally do 5 kinds of hard things:
1. Things that are outside your comfort zone.
2. Things that go beyond what is expected or required.
3. Things that are too big to accomplish alone.
4. Things that don't earn an immediate payoff.
5. Things that challenge the cultural norm.
We'd all benefit from applying those principles to our lives. But how much better if we taught them to young people. I've talked about this book since starting it. Eric is lined up to read it. I'll be giving it as graduation gifts. And it will land in my children's hands by the time they are twelve, so we can fully discuss and apply these principles in their lives.
Being a bona fide book lover (and God-lover too), I couldn't help but open the book and start reading it before the mailman had even left my driveway, even though at 40-something I am far older than the intended target audience. I was immediately surprised. In the opening pages the Harris brothers describe "an imaginary abbey of Dundelhoff" ... "on the outskirts of a small town in Germany" whose monastic inhabitants "eat colorless, tasteless sludge--once a day. (and) They only drink lukewarm water". The Harris brothers criticize the imaginary monks who "believe that the more miserable they are the holier they are and the happier God is." That seemed like a slam on real monks, and was also a misrepresentation of what the monks I've read about believe. Is it coincidence that these authors chose this example for an illustration of what kind of hard things not to do, or did they know that Martin Luther, who led the protestant break from the Church, was a defected German monk? Further, framed in this way, a monks' life was presented as a folly.Read more ›
Most Recent Customer Reviews
This is a book that can change every teenagers life. The message that God has a plan for your life and it starts now, not when you turn 21, is so inspirational to a young person... Read morePublished 13 days ago by KatMac
Not what I was hoping it would be. Ok maybe for young Christian groups.Published 1 month ago by Erinn Jankowski
great challenging read...shared list of 100 hard things in back of this anniversary edition with my 10 year old...looking forward to him getting older and getting more out of itPublished 1 month ago by Yvonne Vonderweidt
I found this book to be an absolutely fantastic read! I’m sure that many of us have either have seen teens, young adults or even adults in their late forty’s who just wallow... Read morePublished 2 months ago by Kharim