rebelling against low expectations

How do you decide what hard things to do?


JAKE WRITES: I have so many great big project ideas, but how do I decide what idea to pursue with all my efforts and what ideas to scrap? How do I remain passionate enough about one project to stick with it even when I have another great idea?

I have quite the list of things I want to pursue. Many of these ideas I’ve begun planning or writing, but it’s hard to see them through when another idea pops into my head. In fact, I started a nonprofit, though it’s sizzling out for one of two reasons – either because God wants me to go a different direction or I’m just not putting the time and energy into it that it requires.

I don’t know how to choose between equally good ideas. At one point or another, I’ve felt called by God to pursue all these different ideas – so which one does God really want me working on?

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  • I’ve felt the same way as you’ve had. The first thing I would do is pray about it, though I think you’ve probably already been doing it. I would also get more people involved, like your Christian friends, your parents, your pastor, etc. It’s hard to stay motivated when you are the only one keeping the project moving.

      • You can do a lot of hard things even in your school, such as share the gospel, make new friends, point them to the cross. Just do what God tells you to do, either through his word, or if he puts something on your heart.

          • So are a lot of Rebelutionaries such as myself. Hard things aren’t usually glamorous. When people think hard things they think starting a ministery or ending world hunger which an happen but hard things aren’t those things usually. Hard things can be working on your school diligently, doing your best to keep your relationships with your parents good, and it can be doing chores around the house.
            Although I would love to be involved in an effective ministery in the church, that isn’t an option right now and my calling at the moment is to prepare for my future by doing school and preparing to one day have my own house

  • Wow…this is SO me!! I’m looking forward to reading the other answers.

    My only advice was going to be the EXACT same things @jojoavav:disqus wrote…so I won’t repeat it. I’d also just add (which Jojo implied in his comment) a good idea might be to have others involved as prayer partners (maybe just one or two people). Share with them your ideas and ask them to pray for you that God would guide you. Remember, the Bible talks about “where two or more are gathered” He will be in their presence. So pray with people in your life (such as the people Jojo listed) and ask them to pray for you on their own as well. =)

  • I have that problem I always start what seems to be a good idea then I come up with something better and the other thing just sits there. it keeps going.
    I guess we should stick to it and glorify GOD by finishing our work. And don’t start a new project until the first is finished.

  • Jake, I would recommend taking a step back. When I first read Do Hard Things in early 2014, I put the book down and tried to think of a big project to take on.
    I had ideas, but never any “big” ideas that worked out. In the end, I had to apply the concept to daily life and just be diligent in my school work, loving in my relationships and humble.
    Big projects aren’t wrong, but if you’re all fired up and just want to “pick” any old project that comes your way, you may find that they’ll fizzle out.
    When I gave up on finding a big project, some found me. My mum said, “hey, why don’t you run a kid’s club?” (Vacation Bible School, or whatever you call it). My two sisters and I had two days to prepare for the three days of kids club, but we took the challenging opportunity and it worked out really well.
    Later that year, I ran another kids club and my family and I organized and ran the MAF Marathon (
    The strange thing is that these never even felt like “Big Hard Things”. The small things were harder by a long way.
    I think what I’m trying to say is that instead of racing out and choosing a project, you might be better off practicing the much harder “small hard things” while you wait to find a specific need that really touches you, that you can realistically do something about. I wasn’t ready for a big project at that time. It’s been good for me to wait and grow stronger spiritually. I could have started a blog two years ago, but I would have regretted much of what I posted, because since then I have had the opportunity to understand and explore what I believe more.
    I think my problem in the beginning was that I really wanted to do a “Big Hard Thing” just for the sake of doing it! If you really want to do it just for God’s glory, pray and give it to him, and he will make it clear.
    I hope you find this helpful! 😉

  • “At one point or another, I’ve felt called by God to pursue all these
    different ideas – so which one does God really want me working on?”

    I can honestly say that this is primarily between you and God, and the best advice I can give you (and the method that I follow) is that you’ll have to ask God and patiently discern His specific will for you. Chances are, only He knows what it is.

  • You can’t do everything so do more good. God will be glorified, and you won’t be overwhelmed. Probably pick one thing and be faithful.

  • Attack it with prayer. There is nothing that will answer your problems or questions better than being in the presence of the One you serve. 🙂 You may have all these ideas and projects, but just remember that you aren’t alone… starting from the beginning, He’s right beside you, guiding you! You just gotta ask Him how you can best serve Him for that moment of time.

  • Would you (or anyone else) happen to be preparing for the new SAT test? I’m looking for a study partner, maybe over skype? I’m good with Algebra, I can help you.

  • Assuming that all your ideas are good and pleasing to God (which I bet they are) the best way to go about it is to take inventory of your strengths and weaknesses. Don’t think about what you wish your strengths or weaknesses are, just worry about what your actual ones are. Next, go through all your ideas (I assume you enjoy and are passionate about each one) and see which ones most align with your strengths. I believe that God calls us to the things that we enjoy and are also good at too. If you still have multiple things, sort them by how much you enjoy them and/or are good at them. The one or two at the top of the list are the ones you should probably go for 🙂 Hope that helps!

  • My advice would be what others have eloquently said before me: PRAY!! And then whatever God says, be bold enough to follow and obey (which turns out to be among the hardest of all hard things). In prayer ask for what you need to start a project; strength, vision, passion, humility, guidance, or whatever else, and above all seek to glorify God. Once you see whatever God’s will is, do it fully and passionately and you can´t really go wrong.

  • I think there’s a lot of truth in what Heather C said. You don’t necessarily need to rush out and do something just because it’s big and hard. Often, the best course is to take what comes along, and to devote yourself to it wholeheartedly. (Effectively: “Whatever your hand finds to do, do it with your might”).

  • Work on one you think will have the most impact and then after
    that we’re all good and going full steam ahead work on more and more into what you are doing.

  • Hey, ive been a long time follower of Do Hard Things, read there book when it first came out, participated in a Do Hard Things bible study at my church …..etc…..I dont know tho how to become apart of the program or how to participate in any current programs, or to start my own….. any tips or help would be nice…I am coming up on the tail end of my senior year and i kind of want to get seriously invloved but i dont know how…..

    • I’m in the same exact boat brother. One thing I’ve been doing lately is trying to start a new Bible study. I figured since there’s already so many Bible studies out there, starting a new one wouldn’t really do much, but then I thought about how I have my own sphere of influence. I know a lot of people who don’t go to all the same Bible studies I go to. So far so good. Lemme know if you any any other ideas.

  • I know what you mean! I just recently started reading do hard things but I’m having a hard time deciding what to do! There are so many options out there.

        • Starting a video gamine business where you pay to play in a sociable environment somewhere either in a garage, building, or storeroom. Where we will have desktops, x-box, etc and have daily tournaments, and contests. Somehow circulating it in a christian environment, and inspire entrepreneurs through games and hobbies. My brother and I have had this Idea for ages, but I am actually starting to think about it seriously but the cost of all of the necessities is extensive.

    • TRUTH. =( so inspired by Do Hard things… but my dream for a career seems so far away and I just feel kind of helpless and stuck in the /now/ stage. I want to be a pianist, but it’s so difficult and it stresses me out so much! It takes a lot of continual practice, and, at the time being, I’m not really being involved in anything much but practicing hard. I feel like I should be doing more… but what??

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 →