I picked up a few books from the library yesterday. I figured I should start my research with the authors that initially inspired my ideas, so I now have three books by Marcus Buckingham and one book by Alex and Brett Harris waiting for me to read. The book by the Harris twins is named Start Here, so I figured I should probably read that one first – you know, since it told me to.
Start Here is the follow-up to the first book the Harris twins wrote, Do Hard Things. In Do Hard Things, Brett and Alex challenged teens to a “rebelution” against the low expectations set for teens by our culture. It was the first book I read that started the gears turning in my brain on this issue. The chapters on the myth of adolescence struck a deep chord, and I loved all the examples they set forth of teens doing great things when they allowed themselves to be used by God. I’ve always loved the passion and potential in teenagers, and Do Hard Things was the hard evidence of those ideas. I partly wanted to read Start Here just to see the next step in their mission, but I’m also kind of hoping for some help myself. They wrote for teens, but I, too, need some advice on how to pursue a big idea that’s been placed on my heart, and that’s what they offer in this book.
So far I’ve read the first three chapters, and I’m just as impressed by the Harris boys’ work as I was on their first book. The target audience is definitely teenagers, so some of it takes some translating to make it apply to my situation (changing “homework” to “my job” and “chores” to “housework,” etc.), but the messages are still very good.
“Pursue faithfulness, not success” (4).
“When your heart and mind are alert, you can see opportunities to do hard things in everyday things” (9).
“Remember, neither fame nor obscurity is the goal. The goal is obedience to God, effectiveness in whatever He gives us to do, and a heart that glorifies Him” (21).
And that’s just in the first two chapters. Chapter three is when the book really launches into the practical tips for making a great idea work. I began taking notes as their ideas and guiding questions helped me bring my vision into focus.
- What would I do if I had unlimited time and unlimited resources?
- What could I do toward reaching that goal with the limitations I face?
- What should I do? (What am I being called to do?)
- What do I bring to the table, and where do I need help?
- What are others already doing? What can I learn from them?
- Who knows more about this than I do?
- Where do I want my project to be a year from now, and what do I need to do to get there?
I started by neatly writing out each question, but as I answered them, my note-taking turned into furious scribbling as I sorted through my ideas. What was good about these questions is that the finally forced me to look at the step-by-step process of what I’m trying to do. What is my end goal, and what do I need to do to get there? I won’t copy all my notes here, but I determined that I what I really want to do is this: combine strength-based training with career-placement explorations and bring it to the high school level in order to give teens an exciting focus for their futures. I’m still brainstorming the nitty-gritty of what that would look like and how to make it happen, but that’s my idea… for now.
Finally, near the end of chapter three a passage jumped out at me.
Along the way, you might discover secret rebelutionaries. These are the young people around you whose hearts are silently crying out, “God has bigger plans for me than this. There’s more to me than what this culture expects.”
Your mission: find these people! They probably won’t reveal themselves until you reveal yourself. You may have to do your initial hard things alone. But if you start living as if the idea of adolescence is a lie and start doing hard things, you’ll attract the secret rebelutionaries who just needed to hear the battle cry and see a fellow soldier running into the battle. (47)
I know I’m not the teenager that Brett and Alex had in mind when they wrote this, but I want to take this on as my mission as well – to ignite the desire of every teenager to become a rebelutionary, whether they’ve heard that term or not.
What about you? What would you do if you had unlimited time and resources?