Saturday, February 1, 2014

Book Review: Do Hard Things

It is rare for me to check a book out from the library and, within the first few chapters, run out to buy the book.  That is exactly what happened with Alex and Brett Harris's Do Hard Things. I checked this book out in audio form from my local library and began listening while walking on the treadmill. The words of this twin team challenged my heart and soul so dramatically that I immediately wanted to place the book in the hands of my own teen.

Written by teens, for teens, Do Hard Things, is a manifesto against society's low expectations for the teen years. If I could put this book in the hands of every teen I know, I would do it. Indeed, I encourage every reader who is interested in rising above the status quo to embrace this book - read it and apply the principles outlined within its pages. I found encouragement and motivation for my own life. At a point when I was contemplating giving up on my writing goals, I began to listen and believe that God may indeed have a purpose behind my desire to write. It fueled the flames of my internal passion at a time when the embers were fading. I cannot thank the authors enough.

The style and structure of this book makes it easy to read. The authors begin by exposing the myth of adolescence, outlining how low our culture's expectations of teens have fallen. Next they list five kinds of hard things and offer encouragement for meeting those challenges. They provide examples from history and from current day teens who have come alongside the authors in this vision for stepping up to the plate, joining in their "rebelution" by following their blog,

Using the telling illustration of how elephant trainers can hold an elephant down by simply placing a rope around their foot (after teaching the elephant at a young age that resisting against heavy chains is pointless), Alex and Brett warn that the tremendous potential of young people is being held back by a thin rope of cultural expectations to use these years as a time for partying and enjoying life, free from greater responsibilities or challenges to impact their world. They urge readers, young and old, to choose hard things and raise the bar. They encourage every reader to seek God's given purpose and follow a road that, while hard, will reap untold rewards.

As Chuck Norris writes in his introduction to the book, "Each of us is called to reach for greatness. There really is a hero in all of us. We've all been designed by God to be a blessing to many - a hero to some. But there's only one way to get there - it's described by the title of this book: Do Hard Things.... The authors sound a battle cry to raise the cultural bar on teenage potential and to challenge young people to reach for their God-given best."

I cannot recommend this book highly enough. As important as it is for teens to read this message, it is equally important for all Christians to consider what God desires from the years with which He has entrusted us. He calls us to do the hard things. He equips us to carry it out. Our world is in great need of individuals who are willing to hear the challenge and rise to the occasion.


Jennifer Atkinson said...

Ooooohhhh, good recommendation! This may get on my list of potential graduation gifts. Since my middle daughter is a senior, this year will be a higher-than-normal set of graduation gifts and I like to do books. Thanks for the review!

Wendy said...

I will probably have to bribe my own senior to read it. Perhaps if I offer him money, he'll give it a cursory read. It packs a powerful message and one every teen should hear. I picked it up at Half-Price books and it was in excellent shape.