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How to Do Hard Things

How to Do Hard Things

Recently, one of my sons asked me to help him work out each morning. The first morning, I went into his room to wake him up, and he popped right out of bed to do his workout. The second morning when I went to wake him up, he said his legs hurt, and he did not want to work out. So, I asked him, “will your legs tell you what to do, or will you tell your legs what to do?”

What did I mean by that? At various points in life, we have a choice: let our discomfort prevent us from pursuing excellence or push through hard things to achieve our goals. In their book Do Hard Things, Alex and Brett Harris wanted to inspire kids like them (they were 18 when they wrote the book) to be willing to do hard things.

As parents and educators, how do we teach our kids to do hard things?

  1. Allow them to fail.
  2. Equip them to face their fears.
  3. Be honest and compassionate with them.
  4. Lead by example.
  5. Encourage them to persevere.

Let’s be honest, we have all been tempted by an inner voice to quit, give up, or throw in the towel when things get tough. Our kids will be tempted as well. But, when we fight the temptation to do the easy thing at the expense of the right thing, we experience the benefits of pressing through the hard stuff to achieve the good. We can teach our kids how to do this, too. 

"And let us not grow weary of doing good, for in due season we will reap, if we do not give up." -Galatians 6:9


How to Do Hard Things:

  1. Start small and practice regularly. Experience small victories.
  2. Do what is hard for you and not anyone else.
  3. Pursue excellence, not excuses.
  4. Be known for what you do (more than for what you don’t).