book review: do hard things

I finished it…the book Do Hard Things by Alex and Brett Harris (check them out at!).

It was great! I would recommend it to any teen — or young adult — Christian or not.

There are three parts: Rethinking the Teen Years, Five Kinds of Hard, and Join the Rebelution. And, might I add, the foreword by Chuck Norris… (:

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.

Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris, pg. 3.

This book focuses on…well, basically, what’s wrong with teens today. Okay, that sounded totally negative and now you’re probably never going to want to read this book…

Scratch that.

It analyses how teens have changed in the past. It tells the brief stories of three teens from early America — specifically three born in the years 1732, 1801 and 1821: George, David and Clara. You’ll have to read the book to find out about them (I’m trying to draw you in with curiosity, by the way…).

“The teen years are not a vacation from responsibility,” we had told the columnist. “They are are training ground of future leaders who dare to be responsible now.”

Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris, pg. 13.

A humorous story I really want to share…and you can learn a simple but important lesson from it, too. (:

In our family, we like to reminisce (and laugh) about a huge step forward Brett took a little over ten years ago. He bravely fought, he flailed, he nearly drowned. But we should let Brett tell the story.

“I still remember my first shower. It was a horrible experience. I was eight years old…

“I didn’t ask to be promoted from Junior Bath Taker to First-Class Shower Taker, but one day my parents realized, “He’s eight years old. He’s still taking baths!” But baths were all I had ever known. Baths were neat and tidy undertakings where the water flowed in safely below my head and — provided I didn’t splash too much — stayed below my head and out of my eyes.

“It didn’t help that Alex loved showers.

“Before I could object that day, I found myself wearing nothing but my birthday suit and staring up at that dreadful showerhead. It pointed down at me like an executioner’s gun. Then Dad pulled the trigger, the shower began to rumble and hiss, and I was screaming before the first drop of water hit.

“As scalding droplets stung my skin and water flooded my eyes, nose, and ears,  I became convinced that my parents hated me. They couldn’t possibly love me! What’s more, I wasn’t sure I loved them anymore either.

“It’s a good thing we lived in the country. Otherwise the screams coming from the upstairs bathroom of the Harris home would have given neighbors reason to call 911. By the time Dad let me out, I was a furious, miserable eight-year-old kid with soggy lungs.

“But that was ten years ago. The funny thing is that this morning I took a shower and didn’t think twice about it. The hot water felt good on my face. I didn’t worry about drowning. I didn’t hate anybody.

“Isn’t it incredible that seemed so impossible when I was eight years old is now a vital, enjoyable part of my everyday routine?”

Do Hard Things, by Alex and Brett Harris, pgs. 65 – 66.

In the second part, the twins talk about, as previously mentioned, five kinds of hard. This includes things like taking the first step, collaboration, etc.

Check out Colossians 3:23 and 1 Corinthians 10:31.

If it falls your lot to be a street sweeper, sweep streets like Michelangelo painted pictures, sweep streets like Beethoven composed music. … Sweep streets like Shakespeare wrote poetry. Sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and earth will have to pause and say: Here lived a great street sweeper who swept his job well.

– Martin Luther King Jr.

That’s found on page 144 of Do Hard Things as well, by the way. (:

It’s also the whole idea of the book. Accepting challenges that God gives us now while we’re still teenagers will bring us closer to God, make us stronger leaders and will help us use our lives for God’s glory. It will help us stay geared toward Him, helping and training us to do everything we do for one person’s glory: His.

I really hope you’ll pick up this book somewhere and read it! You will not regret it and it will change your view on teens today…if not your life.

God bless!



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