rebelling against low expectations

Do Hard Things: A Message from President John F. Kennedy


On September 12, 1962, then U.S. President John F. Kennedy gave his famous “Moon Speech” at Rice University, with the goal of persuading the American people to support NASA’s efforts to send a manned space flight to the moon.

The full speech runs around 18-minutes, but these 47-seconds are the most well-known. Here, JFK explains why the United States wants to go to the moon and reveals that doing hard things serves to sharpen and equip us to be the very best we can be, both as individuals and as nations.

But why, some say, the moon? Why choose this as our goal? And they may well ask why climb the highest mountain? Why, 35 years ago, fly the Atlantic? Why does Rice play Texas?

We choose to go to the moon. We choose to go to the moon in this decade and do the other things, not because they are easy, but because they are hard, because that goal will serve to organize and measure the best of our energies and skills, because that challenge is one that we are willing to accept, one we are unwilling to postpone, and one which we intend to win, and the others, too.

Tell us about a challenge (big or small) that you’ve chosen to accept in your own life. Has tackling that challenge taught you more about yourself and what you are capable of doing and becoming? Why do you think doing hard things is good for countries, families, and individuals?

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About the author

Alex and Brett Harris

are the co-founders of and co-authors of Do Hard Things and Start Here. They have a passion for God and for their generation. Their personal interests include politics, filmmaking, music, and basketball. They are both graduates of Patrick Henry College in Purcellville, Virginia.

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rebelling against low expectations

The Rebelution is a teenage rebellion against low expectations—a worldwide campaign to reject apathy, embrace responsibility, and do hard things. Learn More →