Articles do_hard_things

Published on October 4th, 2005 | by Alex and Brett Harris

A Lesson From The Vikings

This is part 1 of 23 in the series Do Hard Things

The Vikings were fierce pirates and warriors who terrorized Europe from the late 700’s to about A.D. 1100. Brutal and fearsome they looted and burned parts of England, France, Germany, Ireland, Italy, Russia, and Spain. Other Europeans were so frightened of the Vikings that a special prayer for protection was offered in the churches: “God, deliver us from the fury of the Northmen.”

Most historians attribute the Vikings devastating effectiveness to their warships, which were swift and light and could be easily dragged ashore. This allowed them to strike suddenly and then quickly retreat to the safety of the sea. However, my wise father has identified another contributing factor—one that holds incredible significance for all of us: The Vikings rowed themselves to battle.

Unlike the Romans, who used galley slaves to row their great warships, the Vikings took full responsibility for this strenuous activity. This tells us two things: 1) the Vikings didn’t feel that rowing was beneath them—they pursued competence in every area pertaining to their success, and 2) they were seriously ripped. No wonder the people of Europe were afraid of these guys—their muscles were moving twenty-ton boats through the water!

Here’s The Rebelution’s challenge: Do hard things. Learn a lesson from the Vikings. Do hard things and you will carry the battle every time. If you are willing to take on responsibilities that others delegate or neglect you will gain the benefits of that exertion.

Too often we delegate the responsibility for our education, our character, our future, etc. to others who hold far less of a stake in how things turn out. And more often than not a failure to perform in the areas of character and competence are due to a lack of past exertion.

Look around you. Many American young people are doing little more than “making it”—and this in a culture of unbelievably low standards. Few shoulder the burden of doing more than is required—yet that was the key to the Viking’s success!

In subsequent posts we will examine how we can “do hard things” by educating ourselves, tackling and maintaining normal responsibilities, and attempting the “impossible.” For now, I want you to ask yourselves the following questions:

  • Am I choosing to Do Hard Things in my personal life? In my education? In the goals I set?
  • Am I exceeding expectations or just getting by?
  • Am I robbing myself of greater achievements because I’m unwilling to take on certain responsibilities?



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About the Author

are the co-founders of TheRebelution.com 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.



  • http://galofgraygables.blogspot.com Hannah

    Fantastic post!! *Linking to it at my blog*

  • http://www.advancinghiskingdom.blogspot.com Marshall

    Very good. Brilliant observation!

    ;)

    Marshall

  • http://www.TheAccount.blogspot.com David Ketter

    Ditto….

    *works harder* ;)

  • Lauren Hammerstrom

    Excellent post Brett! Cool picture of the Viking too. In these next couple of posts are you going to give us some ideas of how to challenge ourselves? I am realated to the Vikings, so hopefully I can carry on that tradition =)
    Thanks!

  • http://www.rebelution.blogspot.com Brett Harris

    Lauren: Yes! This is the first post of our new series “World Wide Webelution.” In this post I merely intended to lay down the principle (i.e. Do Hard Things). In the next few posts we’re going to specifically address different areas (education, career, etc.).

    Also, if anyone has a particular area they would be interested in having us address we would be willing to consider it. God bless! Thanks for reading.

  • http://www.pastortrav.blogspot.com Travis Johnson

    Excellent!

  • John M Kirton II

    You know, its too bad you two don’t have a podcast! Talk about getting your stuff OUT!

  • http://www.agenttimonline.com Agent Tim

    Hey, we could always interview you on our (Blogging Boy Scout, Smarthomeschool, and Mission 3:16) podcast/radio show coming up on blogging. :)

    Very good post…

  • http://www.rebelution.blogspot.com Brett Harris

    John: Hey! Thanks for the encouragement. Alex and I are planning on starting a podcast sometime soon. We’ll let all our readers know when it happens.

    Tim: That would be great. Let us know what would be involved in that. If we have the time we’d love to do an interview. Also, if we do start a podcast ourselves we’d love to pick your brain about that sometime. God bless!

  • Sarah Schmidt

    Wow! We just had a youth group retreat, and it was all about leadership. One of our mottos was “Do What’s Hard” was a great inspriration for us. Thanks for the insight! It’s good encouragement for those struggling to live a passionate life for Jesus! God’s blessings in all you do. Also, I just recently discovered your website, and haven’t gotten a chance to look at everything. But if you haven’t talked about this issue, please consider writing about homosexuality. I know so many Christains who struggle with this sin and so many who don’t know how to react to it. Just a thought. Thanks!

  • http://www.extreme-calling.blogspot.com Carley Anderson

    Yes. This world is always giving messages, such as, “Take it easy on yourself” and “relax”. Thanks for the reminder that the Christian life is not always easy.

  • http://malung-tv-news.blogspot.com dave bones

    This is wicked. Well done guys.

  • http://www.agreaterhope.blogspot.com rebekah_rachel

    What a great object lesson. I’ve found that doing the things I fear the most can be hard, yes, but when they are rooted in God and steeped in conviction, they are the most rewarding and honourable things that I can do.

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  • Aaron

    Way cool you guys. Keep it up!

    1st Timothy 6:12
    “Fight the good fight of the faith. Take hold of the eternal life to which you are called when you made your good confession in the presence of many witnesses.”

  • http://google ryan clark
  • http://jasmine.blorc.com Jasmine

    Thank you for reminding me (us) that God created us for His glory and for excellence.
    Too often, I forget that. I think that if I read my bible, go to church, share the gospel a little, be kind, be sober, enjoy His presence, then I’m doing great. What an insult to His glorious calling.

    Thank you for reminding me to ask God for dreams, and to be bold enough to do the hard things He has called us to do.

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  • Mean Mr. Leigh

    Yeah, the Vikings were tough all right. They owe it all to rowing their own boats, plundering, and . . . . . Lutefisk!

  • anglo-saxon

    I’m assuming you don’t condone what the vikings went around doing…?!

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  • http://kirknkim.arilion.com Agent 13-6

    Excellent! As a almost thirteen year old what type of hard work should I be doing?

  • ruslan

    Excellent perspective on our Walk in Faith. Christ walked alone, and even when the 70disciples that followed Him turned away from Him, He looked at His own and said “do you want to walk away ALSO” and they replied ” who should we turn to, You have the….” i make you look at Christ as Someone, Who was carrying someking of reponsibility, which He was willing ot complete even if everybody turned away from Him. And ofcourse being acquited with Christ, knowing that He was carrying out His Fathers Will, and DETERMINED to carry it to the CROSS, no matter if those that was with Him would turn Him down, in a way a singular Attitude, but most important contributor to Christs overwhelming strong attitude was, ” He was WILLINGLY, carying NOT His will, but a Desire with Passion, someone elses, and in Christs case, His Fathers Will :0)” thats where His Strength came from. thank you for your time

  • Charlene V.

    Thanks for writing this. Its the cold hard truth I needed to hear (again).
    To God be the Glory,
    ~CV~

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  • Athyra

    Except that the Greeks didn’t use galley slaves.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Alex Jordan Harris

    Thanks for the catch, Athyra!

  • Ian de Asis

    Thank you so much for this one. It’s a shout out for me. I’m an A student. Lately I’ve been letting go, letting my grades slip, not caring anymore if I pass or fail. I know I shouldn’t be discouraged by cicumstances. Thank you. I’ll pick up my oar and row to the battle once more.

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  • Vinnie the Tooth

    Yes it is true the Vikings were both hard men and feared. They were great warriors and most likely ripped as well, do to their physical life style. However I would caution any student of history to not down play the Romans just because they used slaves to row their war galleys to war does not mean that they were any less dangerous than the Vikings. The Romans were not a seafaring people, although they did have some memorable sea battles. The Romans were mostly land based warriors and although they had mounted knights, the legions were predominately foot soldiers that literally marched acrossed vast distances of Europe, parts of near Asia, North Africa and most of the Middle East. Romans soldiers walked great distances to battle and were still in shape to fight once they arrived. Review Caesar’s campaigns in Gaul. Five long years of foot marching and fighting, crushing every Gaul and Germanic tribe they came across, until all of Gaul was conquered. The Romans were quite simply down right mean and extremely ruthless. They were able to do this because they were extremely formidable and in excellent physical condition. Just look at some of the ancient Roman releifs that still exist today, like Trajans Column as well as others, they depict Romans in battle with physiques like wrestlers and professional athletes of today, much like the picture of the Viking you have used on your web site. Romans, like the Vikings were genuine badasses and meaner than a pitbull with rabies. The Romans also left a legacy that lasted 1,000 years, the Vikings didn’t quite make it that far, although I still love them and rank the Vikings at the top of the badass list, with the Romans.

  • stefanie

    You forgot to mention one little thing…
    The Vikings believed that any victim they made would be their slave in Valhalla (viking warrior heaven). A wounded Viking was the most terrifying thing in the world, since they tried to take as many with them as they could instead of cower and flee, like the rest of the world did.
    Nice message though.

  • http://ninva.deviantart.com/ Mark Saline

    From my youth, I was taught to just pass by… I decided that writing is my own chance to fight back. For me that was in the impossible (long story). Now, I will have to learn how to use this ability, and how to manage many others that may pass my way.

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  • Ariana

    This article really hit my heart strings.The Lord has really been putting doing hard things on my heart.It really encouraged me,thank you.May God bless you and keep you and make His face shine upon you.

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  • Ben

    Very Good.

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  • Jordan Y

    Wow, this is truly challenging and convicting. So many times I have justified different things such as bad grades or things that didn’t get done by blaming it on circumstances or other people. But a lot of times I need to just man up and take responsibility for my own education, my own jobs, even if other contributed to the failure. Because ultimately I’m responsible for myself, not others.

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  • http://polarwanderings.blogpot.com Polarbear

    I like your site and the things that you are all about. I wish I had thought of it when I was your age, but I did not know Christ then. My only caution would be to clearly communicate that we don’t do hard things for us, but rather, we do the right things (those communicated by God in the Bible), even when it is hard to do. There are lots of things that we can do that “look” right to others, but listening to the Spirit and submitting totally to Him, means we will do hard things. God’s calling to action is always hard, but always rewarding. Keep up the great work and keep rebelutionizing the world for Christ!

  • Daniel

    I find your fathers observation very brilliant and believe in doing hard things (even though more often then not i find myself slacking:(). i can relate this to my life through wrestling because it is very easy to tell who is slacking and doesn’t really care because they will just fall flat there back as soon as you shoot in on them where as the ones who try and do things without being told will put up a very strong and painstaking fight

  • Henry

    Excellent — it meshes nicely with a quote I read the other day about the failure of modern men to “puncture the smelly orthodoxies of our age”:

    “The first duty of the modern intellectual, wrote George Orwell, is to
    state the obvious, to puncture ‘the smelly little orthodoxies . . .
    now contending for our souls..’ Orwell meant by these the totalitarian
    doctrines that mesmerized the intellectuals of his time and that
    prevented them from accepting the most obvious and evident truths
    about their own and other societies . . . If humankind, as T.S. Eliot
    put it, cannot bear very much reality, it seems that it can bear any
    amount of unreality . . . The complacent disregard by [literary
    society] of the social catastrophe wrought in the [lower reaches of
    society] appalls me almost as much as the catastrophe itself. Never
    has so much indifference masqueraded as so much compassion; never has
    there been such willful blindness” (Theodore Dalrymple, Life at the
    Bottom, pp. 244-245).

  • Jill

    You guys are truly a role model! You have started a fire for Christ that WILL NOT go out! God bless you in all that you do for Christ’s sake!

  • Uan

    The Viking expansion is commonly thought to be a result of the population had outgrown agricultural potential of their Scandinavian homeland. For a coastal population with superior naval technologies, it made sense to expand overseas in the face of a youth bulge effect (too many young people).

    Maybe the lesson here is that young people acting en masse can really be quite destructive…

  • Philip Glader

    what is sweet is the story of how the Vikings became converted…

    because if they hadn’t anyone of Scandinvain decent could very well still be ferocious warriors killing, raping, pillaging, offering human sacrifices all done in the name of our gods.

    Personally, I find the Ultimate Creator of the World to be incomparably and altogether lovely, when set against a god like Thor who demands violence to be appeased.

    “Do Hard Things” (in the name of Christ, for the Redemption of Humanity)

  • Ben

    Great post, I wrote a report a few years back on how the Vikings helped spread Christianity.

  • Brynne

    That was an great illustration. The one message God has been impressing on me lately is to “do hard things” (well, the slogan came from y’all’s blog :) I do not want to back down from anything He has planned for me just because it seems too hard, uncomfortable, or inconvenient. Yes, sometimes even painful…

    Hebrews 12:1 – 3 is amazing… I’ll post it because I’ve really been inspired by it lately:

    “Therefore, since we have so great a cloud of witnesses surrounding us, let us also lay aside every encumbrance, and the sin which so easily entangles us, and let us run with endurance the race that is set before us, fixing our eyes on Jesus, the author and perfector of faith, who for the joy set before Him endured the cross, despising the shame, and has sat down at the right hand of the throne of God. For consider Him who has endured such hostility by sinners against Himself, so that you may not grow weary and lose heart.”

  • Evan

    Brilliant post! You’re right, too many people are doing little more than “making it.”

  • lauren

    your message is very inspiring but im not sure what hard things i should be doing besides keeping up with school, chores, etc….?

  • Eleanor Anna

    Very encouraging post! Being related to vikings I am elated about the afct that you choose ot learn a lesson from them :)

  • Ariel Climer

    I highly agree with what you are saying. It is in line with the the title and theme of Spike Lee’s famous film: Do the Right Thing. Doing Hard Things is definitely what teenagers today are encouraged not to do. In fact, they are generally encouraged to do whatever is easiest, which is usually what our culture is also doing. But, I also want to caution you against using violence as an example for doing “hard” things. However, violence, though hard at times because of how wrenching it is to our pysche, is not generally what is the most difficult. It is good and right to do what is difficult. A famous poet named Rainer Maria Rilke affirms this in his Letters to a Young Poet. But are we to look to the violent, dangerous culture of the Vikings for guidance?! That is what we already are!
    Rather, I suggest we look to a peaceful culture who does hard things, such as Ghandi and his friends, who more closely resemble the actions of Christ. By doing what is hard, while at the same time, laying our lives out for others to persecute and also embrace, we are then placing ourselves in the footsteps of Christ, instead of the footsteps of American culture. I implore you to take this into consideration and write what you think about it.
    And as a response to lauren, I think in high school, or for teenagers anyway, other than school and chores, I would begin the journey of learning to meet many types of people and to embrace them. Your parents will probably not necessarily be teaching you this yet. Chances are, from your possibly American upbringing, you have been taught to be tolerant, but not all embracing. From college, I have learned that there is a lot of unlearning we must go through. Because of this, I suggest learning about who it was Jesus really reached out to and who these people are analogous to now. Because, these analogies are important if we are to be a loving church.

    peace,
    ariel

  • Daniel

    very interesting input on challenging ourselves! I didn’t know that’s why vikings were so successful…

    Also, I thought you said they were successful because their ships were ‘light’ but then you said they were 20 tons? I don’t know if that is light for a warship or not but it’s just a question…

  • http://yahoo.com zach

    soo awsome I wish I could build up that much body strength

  • Bill

    Read your book and loved it. At 70 I still challenge myself, Habitat for Humanity, Living Waters and Katrina rebuild, teaching school and Enviorthon Advisor. I truly believe the youth lof our country are the answer. Keep up your challenge to the youth.

  • Joy

    Want to go marauding like Pagan Barbarians? Learn from the Mongols!

    Once ragtag thieves in the dry mountains of Ural, in 100 years they conquered most of Asia and the Middle East, Russia and parts of Poland, Hungary and Germany. They fought the Egyptians in Palestine and almost pushed into Austria, defeating every army in their path.

    They were 100% cavalry 100% archers, the first modern mobile army operating under egalitarianism not chivalry. They learned to ride and shoot as soon as they could walk. They used information warfare to terrorize the enemy even before the first arrows flew.

    If only American Christians would fight the good fight like the Golden Horde, and lay our wicked little hearts awaste and aflame for Christ! Til the the Gorious Day of our our Holy Lord, Huzzah!

  • Manu Anand

    Just heard you guys on NPR. You guys totally rock!! Am reading “The World is Flat” as well.. And coming from India, I do realize that absolute importance of your campaign. Keep challenging and keep pegging!!
    -Manu

  • http://www.Essentialwholesale.com Kayla

    We took our son to your conference in the Portland area. The Viking story was one of my favorites. I wrote about you in my blog this week http://essentialu.typepad.com/my_weblog/2008/06/rebel-against-l.html

  • Cole M

    Wow! I love Rebelution soooo much! This is just one of so many Amazing blogs! Im going to the Conferance in the Dallas Area and im so excited!

  • Libby

    Hey I like that post. It’s cool. I love story’s about vikings!

  • Katelyn

    That is very interesting, I never thought about who was actually rowing the boats!!

  • Echo

    This is very interesting. I never thought that the Vikings would be rowing themselves to their own battle. I guess in many ways we need to do the same thing; not wait for someone to pull us up from the low expectations of today, but for us to stop what we are doing and prove oursleves worthy of the great expectations God has planned for us.
    And by the way, thank you for coming to Exalt Camp. It was truely eye opening, and now I am pumped up and ready to do hard things.

  • Kaitlyn

    I still think it strange that the Vikings are used as an example for so many good things, but they did work hard. Hey, maybe if I worked harder on training my dog he would stop biting me and trying to eat the cat! I think it’s cool that you did use the Vikings because we are Icelandic too. I’m also glad that someone has been able to say what we’re all probably thinking. Now all I need to do is get my cousin Sam to read the book “Do Hard Things” when I’m through with it.

  • Kelley R

    my kid sister is reading the book Do hard things, by the two guys that started all this and she has been telling me about it a lot. I have seen a few things about the way I do things that could be improved and i have been working on them all. I completely agree with Echo about rowing ourselves, and I am very intrigued by the decision to use the Vikings as an example. Most people hear the word Viking and go off in a rampage about the heathen warriors. a Viking to those people is a giant, blonde, horned helmet, sword swinging, god of death. Which is wrong. I agree that the Vikings are a good example about how to do Hard Things and self reliance.
    In my first semester of college I paid for all three classes straight out of my pocket. I could have gotten a loan or even had my parents help, but I got more satisfaction out of the knowledge that I didn’t use money from someone else to educate myself. I took those classes more seriously knowing that if I failed it was my own money going down the drain. It made me try a little harder and raise my own level of standards up a little. My paying out of my pocket was my own personal way of ‘rowing myself to battle’. I did it for my own personal satisfaction that while everyone around me was borrowing money I had done it on my own which many people said I wouldn’t be able to do. It was hard and I had to give up a few things like going to the movies all the time and buying stuff cause it was pretty, but isn’t that the point? Doing something the way it should be instead of letting someone else take care of me while I went out and blew my hard earned money?
    Not that there’s anything wrong with loans. I just wanted to take myself to the next level on my own steam and be able to look back and say I got here by myself. Several of my friends thought I was stupid for paying for myself, but they were the ones who were using Daddy’s money and they have very little respect for themselves and their future.

  • TSR

    Then again, the Romans conquered most of Europe, the middle east, and northern Africa, while the Vikings didn’t manage much more than scattered coastal raids and the occasional temporary stronghold in north Britain. Maybe there’s something to be said for specialization too.

  • Malana Johansen

    I love your book and even as a MUCH older adult, I was challenged to do hard things. I am a middle school teacher and trying to inspire my students to do hard things as well. Have you ever thought of developing a curriculum for Christian school or homeschoolers to use (of course I realize your time is precious). Just a thought. God bless you as you change the world. (We’re Danish too. The Vikings left their mark)

  • http://none mattias lavoie

    wow…..

  • bob

    this was inspiring

  • Kat

    Wow! I just started to read “Do Hard Things”. I’m amazed at what you two young men have accomplished! I can’t wait to put these principles into practice so I too can “do hard things” for HIS Glory!

  • http://www.therebelution.com Rachel Price

    You guys are exactly right!!! Too many people want things to be just handed over to them. If you want something, you have to work for it! The Vikings had to work hard just to reach their destination. They had to fight there way to battle, and then fight in the battle itself! Talk about doing hard things! These guys had to have an amazing amount of stamina and dedication. They had there eyes set on their goals and didnt expect victory to just be handed over to them on a silver platter. I think alot of times we dont realize that sometimes the journey is more important than the destination.

  • http://www.therebelution.com Rachel Price

    One more thing… not only did the vikings row their own ships, they also built them. Just building one of these gigantic ships had to take skill, dedication, brute stength, and teamwork. If these ships were not made well they could be the demise of the viking warriors. They had to be sturdy enough to make it through the harsh seas and then through battle too. If they were damaged the vikings had no way of getting home, and were at the mercy of their enemies. They didnt do things half way. They couldnt afford to. They knew what it took to get the job done right and they didnt take short cuts.

  • Micah

    Dear Brett and Alex,

    This post has really encouraged me in both my athletic and my spiritual life.

    As a high performance cross-country skier, this draws a complete parallel. For racing we must train throughout the year very hard. Weight training in addition to hundreds of miles of hiking, running, biking, and roller skiing (Skiing on short metal shafts with wheels attached to the bottom) are all required in order to race well during the ski season.

    Although in my athletic life I am diligent, this diligence in lacking in the spiritual and academic aspects of my life. My goals are to have a daily commitment to reading the Bible, and to not procrastinate in any of my school subjects. I will try to relate to my friends and family keeping Christ in mind.

    Your book and posts are encouraging me, and I am sure many others all over the globe.

    Keep up the good work!

  • saysha hill

    THIS ARTICLE WAS A VERY INTERESTING ONE

  • C8lin Mead

    Oh my goodness, I laughed so hard at the “seriously ripped” part, but it’s so true. This is the story I’ll be telling to myself when the snow blower breaks again and we have to shovel our humongus driveway:)

  • Louis Gervais

    I really like this lesson from the vikings.

  • Ashleigh Hagan

    Hah! I knew it, when my friends would ask me who’s better Pirates or Ninjas? I always replied Vikings. Seems that I was correct, haha. Well this just gives me more motivation to be a Viking for Jesus! Thanks :)

    Your Sister in Christ,
    Ashleigh

  • Quinn

    Did u know that viking baserkers doped themselves up on a mixture of opium, male wolf piss, and wolf blood? the mixture and the fact that they couldnt get into there heaven if they didnt die with a sword in hand or in battle is what made them so crazy and fearless in battle!!!!!!!!!!!

  • Matthew

    well to answer all the questions in order no, just getting by, and yes. the truth is that I don’t challenge myself. I’ve bought into the world of just getting by. I’ve seen it in places in my life that if I try I can succeed but i don’t. if we all learn to step outside the box we can accomplish so much.

  • Muriel

    Lauren Hammerstrom: Yeah, I guess with a name like Hammerstrom you must be related to the Vikings :)

  • http://????? Amanda

    The vikings are perfect examples for churches think about they practiced and had fabulous teem work if one person was off the whole teem was.

  • 李小陽

    the vikings are challenging themselves and do hard things GOOD!

  • http://yahoo.com Charlie

    i like it. nice choice of comparison

  • Kalle

    Dear Alex and Brett,

    Thank you so much for this post it showed me if Vikings can do hard things than teenagers can! This blog has helped me so much even though I am only 12 and not even a teen yet it really encourged me for when I am a teen I can do hard things!

  • Will fox

    awesome article, i guess we all need to start, pulling our own weight, ha ha.
    seriously, those vikings had to be pretty tough, they might have been thieves and the “Scourge of Europe” but they were also the “Scourge of Sloths” too.

  • Sam

    Hi guys, just wondering, why are we idolising and emulating a group of men who are well known at the most violent, brutal, greedy, wantonly destructive and inhumane in history?
    Cheers,
    Sam.

  • Sejin Bae

    Sam: Thats not a point what he is trying to make..
    We definitely do not appreciate the violence that Vikings brought to the world but
    “They were able to do that because they pushed themselves into the “HARD” things!
    You know what I’m saying? If they were wimpy guys like other people, they would have not achieved what they were seeking for.

  • http://therebelution.com Yechan Choi

    This is an excellent post. Keep up the good work.

  • Cara

    This is truly amazing, and this really got me thinking that I should try harder instead of just trying to ‘get by’! . Even Vikings show us that anything is possible if we just push our. I just discovered this blog and website. It has open my eyes to MANY things… even though I’m new to being a teenager it’s good to have this blog to help me though things.

  • $73ph3n (h1$h0�m

    Wow… just, wow… this really is wicked, I mean, I never thought that anyone would do the things that the vikings did, I never knew until the other week when a kid in my homeschool co-op speech class rambled on for 15 minutes on the vikings and how they would row their own boats and carry them over land, well, now I do XP.

    This really tells me that I should be doing more than just doing somewhere between the minimum and the maximum. Keep up the good work guys, I’m reading Do Hard Things, and will probobally read Start Here.

  • katelyn wyant

    I think this was cool:) I’m the typ of person who likes an object lesson to illistrate the point….and this was a good one:) keep up the good work:)

  • Savannah

    WOW! That is so COOL!

  • Hayley

    Wow…… I bet they also had to really struggle with hard winter seas, so they had to be REALLY tough. I’d just get sea sick :-))

    Thanks, Hayley S. S.

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  • http://web.me.com/madforbooks/Madelines_Blog/Welcome.html Madeline

    Oh my gosh. You guys are scarily right, I just got back from a trip with my aunt and her family, and i heard my cousin say “As long as I get C’s or better for senior year, then I’ll be able to get to Lsu, Mom. It’s the teachers job, not mine.” I couldn’t say anything- I WAS IN FLIPPING SHOCK!!!! (Sorry for the language.) I’m lucky to have parents who are on this side of society- meaning they hate it. Honestly, I hope that anyone who reads this please checks out my blog!!! Rated PG for screaming, ranting, and not suitable for anyone who is OK with today’s norm. Thanks!!!

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  • Adele

    This is some great stuff!! Were learning about the vikings right now in class, I’m going to bring this up!

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    Your posts are good . This is really interesting again. I love coming back to read your blog via your twitter updates.

  • Cheyenne G.

    How will I know if what I’m doing fits the requirement of “Doing Hard Things”? Many things are hard… my math homework for instance but how will I know for sure without a sliver of a doubt that I’m doing something Hard and doing it for God and the people around me?

  • The Elephant in the Room

    Er… You do all realize that the Vikings slaughtered Christians in the thousands, right?

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  • Melissa Nicole

    I believe that I chose to do hard things. The only problem is, though, that most of the time I don’t go through with it or I don’t do my best,and that makes me feel
    like a failure. Most people think that I’m irresponsible or that I don’t care beacuse of past situations that I have failed in or have not completed. What people don’t
    know is that I feel terrible inside for not having completed a responsiblity or not having done school work. For example, I always tell myself that at the begining of
    each school year I am going to maintain a good grade in all my classes and I’m going to do my best and complete all my work on time, but by the end of the
    first semester, I’m scrambling last minute to finish make up work for a failing class.

    I am robbing myself of greater achievements because I’m simply just lazy, and that has to change.I don’t like just “getting by” I want to work hard.
    I want to achieve something by working hard and exceeding not only my expectation, but other’s expectations.I want to feel proud of completeing something
    I set myself to and I want to challenge myself. I need to make a change in order to move foward and do what I want in life.

  • Ethan

    This blog article has inspired me to push myself harder. From this moment on I will challenge my intelligence and physical abilities by exceeding my goals and, I will try to feel the pain so I can have the gain. Although the Vikings were a ruthless and violent culture they had earned what they fought for so they deserve every single victory. I will do the same, I will work hard to reach past my goals .

  • alejandro paredes

    i think that in life the things you regret are the challenges you back away from. you cant regret something you do because you learn from it and it makes you who you are. the challenges you dont take are the oppurtunities you miss to grow and develop as a person. The challenges you propose to yourself have to push you to try your hardest.

    the harder you try the more you will be able to do and improve yourself. i think hard work is what makes you a more valuable person. never backing away is the best to do. the results are there when you try hard. i think school is something we should accept and try are hardest at

  • samm seals

    I have always been extremely proud of my swedish and norwegian heritage. and very proud of the integrity I learned from my family members.

  • Sanchez

    It’s true, if we continue to do small things we won’t be able to know what’s our full potential. We just have to push ourselves to do hard things in life. Especially in school. If we could achieve doin the ïmpossible”were able to easily take ourselves to the finish line. Now we face a generation which is filled with laziness though to fact of the technology rising. Making human life easier for us. It’s a great help an all, but we have to do things ourselves,if not whats the point in learning and achieving. Push yourself to do hard things and you will succeed. Atleast that’s my understanding.

  • hyuk

    Doing hard things are really annoying, but if we done it we feel something good. im learning english… it’s hard thing to do… but im not sure about whether im doing well or not. i think doing hard thing is pretty important, but the way to do that hard thing is the more important… for example if im learning English but i never practice the vocab… it’s not going to work… (actually it’s me…). Doing hard thing is important and how you do it is also important too…

  • bryanocasio

    this is true.. if it werent for the vikings rowing themselves, undoubtedly they would not have been as ripped as they were.. the lesson projected here is very true. We need to take ourselves to the challenge.. we cannot expect people to carry us to a challenge.. first of all itll make you look like a wussy and second of all youll just make it worst for you. you wont be accustomed to working.. thank you for presenting this teaching to the teen world, god bless you

  • jose

    Over the years teens have been more prone to just meet their goals rather than surpassing them for their own personal gain. If todays teens were half as dedicated as the vikings you could be sure that the worlld would be filled with many over achivors. I think that one of the main reasons why this isnt so is because of the way teens are desensiticed at a young age. The media thinks its better to chill and relax instead of puting in hard work and dedicating yourself too better yourself.

  • jose llama

    I think it is very true they rowed very rapidly that’s why they are ripped for people talking a challage is like taking a dare . And for people working hard is good and for some bad. People in the modern era expect them to be carried by other people instead of doing it themselves they expect the people to achive succes for the but if you work in a team you can achive greater than if you work alone because one person can change you but more people can change the world

  • Alexander

    I am new to this website ,but like your book, Do Hard Things. This is my second full day of reading your book and I am near the mid- end. I agree that Vikings rowed (sometimes sailed) everywhere.

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  • Matt

    Hey, I just read the thing in your book about the Vikings, and one of my great great great great or somewhere around there grandfathers was an evil viking king! He was one of the ones that was one of the most feared in those times, but sadly, he wasn’t as famous as Eric the Red….and now I know how he was able to be so powerful and conquer so many people……

  • Eydís Gunnarsdóttir

    Typical misrepresentation of the Vikings, full of still-steaming ku dritt.

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  • Lucas

    (sorry about the above, trying to test)

    You guys rock! I love reading your books and reading your articles! There is a lesson to be learned from the vikings! Thats awesome!

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    I feel like I challenge myself and “do hard things.” I am really stretching myself to be healthy in all areas. Whether that be exercise regularly, eat organic foods, use the best natural cosmetics, etc. Its been hard at first but very worth it:)

  • Christian Welsh

    This is a great post i agree! I am allways ready to help. I love helping people . I believe that everyone should help and do there part instead of saying, oh i think that guys gonna do it so i wont. Thats not the attetude help whenever you can and don’t complain. If you do hard things and look for a reward you will probably get it but i dont look for earthly rewards i want my rewards in heaven!!!!!!!!

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