Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

( 89 )

Overview

Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do. – Alex and Brett

A generation stands on the brink of a "rebelution"

Do Hard Things is the Harris twins' revolutionary message in its purest and most ...

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Do Hard Things: A Teenage Rebellion Against Low Expectations

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Overview

Most people don't expect you to understand what we're going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don't expect you to care. And even if you care, they don't expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don't expect it to last. We do. – Alex and Brett

A generation stands on the brink of a "rebelution"

Do Hard Things is the Harris twins' revolutionary message in its purest and most compelling form, giving readers a tangible glimpse of what is possible for teens who actively resist cultural lies that limit their potential.

Combating the idea of adolescence as a vacation from responsibility, the authors weave together biblical insights, history, and modern examples to redefine the teen years as the launching pad of life.  Then they map out five powerful ways teens can respond for personal and social change.

Written by teens for teens, Do Hard Things is packed with humorous personal anecdotes, practical examples, and stories of real-life rebelutionaries in action. This rallying cry from the heart of an already-happening teen revolution challenges a generation to lay claim to a brighter future, starting today.

Now includes:
—A new introduction from the authors, “Looking Back, Looking Ahead”
—Questions (and Stories) To Get You Started
—A list of 100 Hard Things to help inspire you
—A study guide for personal or group use

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  • Alex & Brett Harris
    Alex & Brett Harris  

Editorial Reviews

From the Publisher
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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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9781601421128
  • Publisher: The Doubleday Religious Publishing Group
  • Publication date: 4/15/2008
  • Pages: 256
  • Sales rank: 45,162
  • Product dimensions: 5.19 (w) x 8.27 (h) x 1.04 (d)

Meet the Author

Alex and Brett Harris founded TheRebelution.com at sixteen years old and co-authored two best-selling books by the age of twenty-one. The twins have been blessed to travel and speak in major cities around the world and have been featured nationally on ABC, CNN, MSNBC, and NPR, as well as in publications like the Wall Street Journal, Wired magazine, and The New York Times. They are sons of homeschool pioneers Gregg and Sono Harris and younger brothers of best-selling author Joshua Harris (I Kissed Dating Goodbye). Raised in Portland, Oregon, the brothers are graduates of Patrick Henry College.

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Read an Excerpt

What If…?
A Different Kind of Teen Book
Most people don’t expect you to understand what we’re going to tell you in this book. And even if you understand, they don’t expect you to care. And even if you care, they don’t expect you to do anything about it. And even if you do something about it, they don’t expect it to last.

Well, we do.

This is a different kind of teen book. Check online or walk through your local bookstore. You’ll find plenty of books written by forty-somethings who, like, totally understand what it’s like being a teenager. You’ll find a lot of cheap, throwaway books for teens, because young people today aren’t supposed to care much about books, or see any reason to keep them around. And you’ll find a wide selection of teen books where you never have to read anything twice–because it’s been dumbed down. Like, just for you.

What you’re holding in your hands right now is a challenging, hardcover book for teens by two teens who believe our generation is ready for something different. Ready for something that doesn’t promise you a whole new life if you’ll just buy the right brand of jeans or use the right kind of deodorant. We believe our generation of young people is ready to rethink what teens are capable of, and what the teen years are all about. And we’ve noticed that once some wrong ideas are debunked and cleared away, our generation is quick to choose a better way, even if it’s also more difficult.

Our teen years have been different than most, even radically so. We’re 19-year-old twin brothers, born and raised in Oregon, taught at home by our parents, and striving to follow Christ while making more than our share of mistakes. Strangely enough, we’ve also served as interns at the Supreme Court of Alabama at 16, as grassroots directors for four statewide political campaigns at 17, and as authors of the most popular Christian teen blog on the web at 18. We’ve spoken to thousands of teens and parents at our conferences in the United States and internationally and reached millions online.

Some might think our experiences would make us unable to relate to the average teenager. But that doesn’t really bother us because we don’t believe average teenagers exist. We’ve witnessed the ideas in this book transform “normal” teens into world-changers, and we’ve seen small handfuls of teens just like you accomplish incredible things when they’re willing to break the mold of what society says their capable of.

So the story starts with us, but it’s really not about us. It’s about something God is doing in the hearts and minds of our generation. We call it a teenage rebellion against low expectations. It’s an exciting movement that is changing the attitudes and actions of teens around the world. And we want you to be part of it.

This book explores a few simple but far-reaching questions:
• Is it possible that even though many teens today have more freedom than any other generation in history, we’re actually missing out on some of the best years of our lives?
• Is it possible that everything our culture tells us about the purpose and potential of the teen years is a lie, and that we are its victims?
• Is it possible that our teen years actually represent a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to accomplish something huge–both for ourselves and for our generation?
• And finally, what would our lives look like if we set out on a different path entirely–a path that required more effort but promised a lot more reward, and ultimately, a lot more fun?

We describe that alternative path with three simple words: Do Hard Things.

What We Don’t Mean
On the outskirts of a small town in Germany is the abbey of Dundelhoff. This small stone monastery is home to a particularly strict (and fictitious) sect of Dundress Monks who have each vowed to live a life of continual self-denial and discomfort.

Instead of wearing comfy t-shirts and well-worn jeans like most people, their clothing is either itchy shirts made from hair or painful chain mail worn directly over bare skin. Instead of a soft mattress, plush pillows, and warm blankets they choose to sleep on the cold stone floors of the abbey with not so much as a towel. You might remember reading somewhere that monks are fabulous cooks? Well, that might be true generally, but not about these monks. They eat colorless, tasteless sludge once a day. They drink only lukewarm water.

We could go on, but you get the picture. No matter what decision they face, Dundress Monks will always choose the more difficult option–the one that provides the least physical comfort, the least appeal, the least fun. Why? Because they believe that the more miserable they are, the holier they are; and the holier they are, the happier God is.

Which makes these miserable monks the poster boys for Do Hard Things. Right?

Wrong!

If you’re like most people, your first reaction to the idea of “do hard things” is something along the lines of, “Hard…,” you think nervously. “Guys, I might need to be somewhere else right about now.

We understand your reaction. But we’re not undercover monks plotting to make your life miserable. We’re not recommending that you do just anything that’s hard. For example, we’re not telling you to rob a bank, jump off a cliff, climb Half Dome with your bare hands, or stand on your head for 24 hours straight. And we’re certainly not telling you to work harder so you can earn God’s favor.

But here’s what we are doing. We are challenging our peers to grab hold of a much better option than what the world is offering. It’s an option that has somehow gotten lost in our culture and most people don’t even know it. But we don’t just want to tell you, we want to show you. In the pages ahead you’re going to meet young people just like you who have rediscovered this better way–to reach higher, dream bigger, grow stronger, love and honor God, live with more joy–and quit wasting their lives.

That’s the short version of what we mean by doing hard things.

Don’t think of this book as a collection of nice opinions. Think of it more as an invitation to a revolution you don’t want to miss. In Do Hard Things, we not only say there is a better way to do the teen years, we show you how we and thousands of other teens are doing it right now–and how you can as well.

[Excerpt taken from Do Hard Things Manuscript - not final]

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Table of Contents

Foreword   Chuck Norris     xiii
Rethinking the Teen Years
Most People Don't: A different kind of teen book     3
The Birth of a Big Idea: Rumblings of a rebelution     9
The Myth of Adolescence: Exposing the low expectations that are robbing our generation     26
A Better Way: Reclaiming the teen years as the launching pad of life     46
Five Kinds of Hard
That First Scary Step: How to do hard things that take you outside your comfort zone     63
Raising the Bar: How to do hard things that go beyond what's expected or required     86
The Power of Collaboration: How to do hard things that are too big for you to do alone     107
Small Hard Things: How to do hard things that don't pay off immediately     131
Taking a Stand: How to do hard things that go against the crowd     146
Join the Rebelution
Generation Rising: Creating a counterculture from scratch (and a dash of salt)     167
A Thousand Young Heroes: Stories of new beginnings, impossible challenges, and the teens who are living them     183
World, Meet Your Rebelutionaries: Transforming your mission from a decision into a destiny     210
Do Hard Things, the Gospel, and You     225
Notes     233
Acknowledgments     236

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Customer Reviews

Average Rating 4.5
( 89 )
Rating Distribution

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(62)

4 Star

(14)

3 Star

(8)

2 Star

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1 Star

(3)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews
  • Posted January 29, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    Fabulous and informative. A must-read for youth.

    This is a fabulous book not only for teens but adults as well. Do Hard Things is so well written, I'm amazed (not to mention impressed) that it was penned by two eloquent young adults. It's clear to me that the authors have a great amount of insight and wisdom from personal experience that they have brought to the table with this book. Everyone wants their teens to do great things. So why not get a copy of this book for your church's youth group and start a rebelution at your church? I loved the part of the book where a teen felt saddened when they overheard someone say something like, 'Well at least they aren't on drugs.' Isn't that so true how many people don't expect much, and they are happy to settle with the fact that their teens are passable in life, or say it could be worse? Our kids these days seem to think that they can just grow up and somehow survive and also afford the fun stuff they can buy now (while they live at home.) So NOT true. I remind my boys every day about how expensive life is. But even more than that, the culture we live in truly doesn't expect enough from our young people. This book is an encouragement and a launching place for young people to begin changing their lives so they can make an impact on our world today. I wish all teens would read this book. I would take it a step further and even suggest it be required reading for high school students and college freshmen. These kids need to hear that they can change the world.

    13 out of 15 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    Very Political

    This book if very political in the right-wing, anti-choice,homophobic, kitchen and bedroom sexism, way. Only the authors aren't at all up front about their politics. They worked on Mike Huckebee,s campaign, but fail to mention this, I suppose in and attempt to hide their politics. They impose their politics insidiously, through other peoples' voices, but the stands they make are consistently right wing extremism. This is much less a spiritual guide and much more a call to political action. If you are an extremely conservative Christian, you will probably enjoy this book. But if the sexism and homophobia of right-wing conservatives offend you, then this book will offend you.

    6 out of 30 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 21, 2008

    Amazing!

    Do Hard Things encourages teens to go the extra mile - refusing to be satisfied with meeting the low expectations of our culture. This book is challenging, convicting, and motivating, as it tells the stories of 15 and 16 year olds who reach out to the homeless, speak out against slavery, and much more. Overturning the myth that young people shouldn't shoulder responsibility, Do Hard Things is a book that every Christian teenager should read.

    5 out of 7 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted November 3, 2008

    Creating A New Generation

    Do Hard Things is an amazing book for our generation. It is exactly what today¿s youth needs to hear. It has inspired me to reach my full potential and use my teen years to their maximum ability. I wholeheartedly recommend that this book be shared with everyone you know. The myths regarding adolescence and the low expectations our society has set for America¿s youth need to be debunked. This book has the ability to change lives and I encourage every teen, adult, Christian, or non-Christian to pick up a copy because the words inside could never be more true than today.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted June 27, 2008

    Battle cry

    This book is dead-on! Written by two very eloquent, well-read guys, this is an important book for the youth generation.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

    Was this review helpful? Yes  No   Report this review
  • Anonymous

    Posted May 4, 2008

    ¿Rebelutionary¿

    I am amazed at how well Alex and Brett Harris write. They are 19-years-old, and they write better than many writers much older than them. Another amazing thing about the Harris¿ is their empathy and altruism. Through Do Hard Things, the Harris¿ encourage teenagers to become active in their world. They mix bible scriptures and modern examples to prove that teenagers are capable beings. Not only are they capable, but God expects greatness from them, as He does with everyone else. The Harris¿ conversational style is light, but the message woven through Do Hard Things is heavy. All teens, parents of teens, and youth leaders should keep this in their personal library. I am having my teenager read this, and I will save it for all of my other children.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 15, 2008

    This is a must-read

    This. Book. Changed. My. Life. I am so encouraged by the humility of the authors and the straight-forward way they approach their subject. They have written on a very important subject that needs addressing and did an amazing job. Please read it!

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted March 3, 2008

    Super-life changing!

    Teens--especially you Christians out there--buy this book! It will change your life. You will be inspired and CHALLENGED. Believe me,you can not read this book and go away unchanged. It helps put your life in focus.

    4 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted March 9, 2009

    more from this reviewer

    All teens should read Do Hard Things.

    All teens should read Do Hard Things.

    3 out of 6 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted January 2, 2012

    Anonomous

    This book is a must read!!! I went to one of their confrences and it was awesome and moving! I saw teens get saved and their lives be changed!!!!!! And this book will change teens everywhere!!!! Just like it has changed mine=]

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 30, 2011

    Do hard things

    Awesome, inspiring book! Must read!

    2 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted April 22, 2013

    This is a outstanding book!!

    Every teen should read this book. Whoever has not read this book should. U will learn alot from it. If u r not a christian this is a book that u should read. If u do not want to read this alone find someone that u think that will love this book.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted December 15, 2011

    Fabulous book! Every parent and teen should read.

    I thought this was a great book with a wonderful message that teens should be expected to do so much more than what we are expecting them to. My kids don't like the book (haven't read it yet), but I am suddenly expecting them to do much more around the house and be more responsible with their homework. It is a Christian based book, but has a message that is relevent even if you arn't a Christian. Where can I buy a case so that I can hand them out as gifts?

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 28, 2011

    This is a very good book!! I did not read this on my ereader but i like it anyways!! This book brought me closer to God and makes me think twice before i do things. And no i dont mean like " ahh this is dangerous!" I ask myself "is this what God wants me to do? How will this effect myself and the others around me?" I recomend this to any teanager wanting to make a diffrence in this world :)

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted August 26, 2011

    A must read!!

    An excellant book!!!! Wonderful message!! Very inspiring!!! Life changing!!! Rebekah, age 13

    1 out of 1 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted May 7, 2010

    I Also Recommend:

    I Also Recommend Sugar's "The Silent Crisis Destroying America's Brightest Minds

    I recommend Sugar's book because it deals directly with educational reality instead of outdated educational theory. 95% of all parents do not know what is really happening in this country, and those who get a wake-up call are able to take action and become victors,and those that are fast asleep become victims. Great News: The SMARTGRADES School notebooks place the new learning technology directly into the hands of all students. Brava.

    1 out of 2 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted June 21, 2009

    I Also Recommend:

    A Book That is Needed by Today's Generation

    My title says it all.

    1 out of 3 people found this review helpful.

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  • Posted April 26, 2009

    Do Hard Things

    Do Hard Things is a non-fiction book written by two teenage brothers about 19 years old. The purpose of this book is to raise teenage expectations for themselves. The brothers use many examples of kids who have achieved great things. In order to get what you want out of life you need to get better than a 2.0 in high school. It is really hard for a fifteen year old to worry about their life when they are thirty. In the end, the decision to try your best instead of floating trough high school is totally up to you.

    1 out of 4 people found this review helpful.

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  • Anonymous

    Posted September 5, 2014

    I love this book do much and i whoud not be saying this if i had not reed this book!

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  • Anonymous

    Posted July 2, 2014

    :)

    :) :) :) :)

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See All Sort by: Showing 1 – 20 of 89 Customer Reviews

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