“Why is it that young men and women of the past were able to do things (and do them well) at fifteen or sixteen that many of today’s twenty-five to thirty year olds can’t do?… The answer is that people today view the the teen years through the modern lens of adolelesence (which) …holds us back from what we could do, from what God made us to do, and even what we would want to do if we got out from under society’s low expectations.” p. 33
This is where Do hard things: a teenage rebellion against low expectations begins. Twins Alex and Brett Harris provide historical examples of what young people achieved at a young age before the concept of the teenager came about. And from this, they introduce the Myth of Adolesence. They challenge the idea that the years of adolescence are times for slowly growing up, with minimal responsibility and relatively low expections set before you.
Do Hard Things aims to challenge teenagers to do more with their adolescence than merely struggle to wear the latest fashions, idolise the next music sensation or wait for their future plans to fall into place. Alex and Brett believe that the teenage years are for developing and testing the skills to launch fully into the adult years – not a ‘vacation from responsibility’!
An example themselves, Alex and Brett outline where their life has taken them (this book being written when they were 18), and challenge other teens to ‘step up to the plate’ also.
Then, they outline and discuss ‘the Five Kinds of Hard’ (and ways to move beyond them):
- Things outside your comfort zone
- Things that go beyond what is expected or required
- Things that are too big to accomplish alone
- Things that don’t earn an immediate payoff
- Things that challenge the cultural norm
‘Do Hard Things’ aims to capture the hearts and minds of youth wanting to break out of the sterotype cast upon their generation. It shows that young people can achieve great things, while reminding us that the small things in life also matter.
Have a look to see how you might be challenged by what they have themselves have done.