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Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall In Love With the Process of Becoming Great
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Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall In Love With the Process of Becoming Great

4.14  ·  Rating details ·  2,375 ratings  ·  283 reviews
Guided by “Akira-sensei,” John comes to realize the greatest adversity on his journey will be the challenge of defeating the man in the mirror.

This powerful story of one boy’s journey to achieve his life long goal of becoming a samurai warrior, brings the Train to be CLUTCH curriculum to life in a powerful and memorable way.

Some things you will learn…
—No matter how it feel
Kindle Edition, 112 pages
Published December 14th 2015 by Lulu Publishing Services
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Average rating 4.14  · 
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Nov 24, 2017 rated it it was ok
Maybe I just wasn’t in the mood to read 100 pages of axioms and trite motivational phrases?
Jackie B. - Death by Tsundoku
I appreciate what this book is trying to do. But it doesn't work for me. Endless typos and grammatical errors in this edition. As someone who knows quite a bit about Buddhist teachings (you know, for a non-practicing American) I found this dull, disquieting, and in some cases, distasteful. This is a confusing book which allows a modern day American boy to attend a 10-year long Samurai archery school (why, who knows?) and uses sports, pop-culture, and Buddhist references to teach him discipline. ...more
RJ from the LBC
If you overlook the sloppy editing and occasional typographical errors, there's some good - but not necessarily groundbreaking - advice on the process of "becoming great" buried in these pages, wrapped in the trappings of the motivational story of a young man who journeys from America to Japan to become a Samurai Archer.
Southey Blanton
Sep 22, 2016 rated it did not like it
I saw this book, it didn't have a ton of pages so I picked it up, really have never tried any sort of Self-Help, motivational type book before and this one hammered home the point about why I haven't.

I'm not sure if the author actually did any research on Samurai culture as halfway through the main advice giver Akira-Sensei expounds on the lord and his love and it made me think, wait didn't these men practice Buddhism or the native Japanese religion of Shinto? Overall this book just seems like a
Edward Lerner
Jun 05, 2019 rated it did not like it
This is a book bosses give employees trying to trick them into working harder instead of mentoring them or paying them more. Completely fictional nonsense and regurgitated banal aphorisms. How am I supposed to sympathize with a story where a kid can just move to Japan and attend some samurai archery school? Why did I go to college when that was an option?
Jan 04, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I learned a lot of lessons I am capable of inputing in my day-to-day life. I think that's really important because a lot of people focus on long term goals and what will happen. This book focuses a lot on what you can do now. What will change your life now. I like that, I'm very interested in changing not only my life but my everyday BAD habits. I thank this book for giving me the ideas and motivation to do that. Also this book helped me climb 6,800 ft!
Cole Hession
Feb 07, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Joshua conveys a compelling story of a man named John, who’s childhood dream is to become a samurai archer. Through the mundane work of “chopping wood and carrying water” as well as the many struggles of “beating on his craft” John preserves time and time again. A brilliant story of what falling in love with the process looks like and how to become a master of your craft.
Ellen Baldwin
Jan 14, 2020 rated it really liked it
This was a book the COO of my company gave to everyone for the holidays. It has some interesting points about working hard and not expecting anything great to come easily. The thing that resonated with me the most recognize that everything, good or bad, is an opportunity to learn. Quick read.
Sep 01, 2019 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
This book must get good reviews for the wise principles it shares. I agree: the principles are good, but they could have been delivered better.

I listened to this book because my husband had added it to our Audible account. The title had me thinking I was starting a non-fiction book, and I was excited by the promise of learning "How to Fall in Love With the Process of Becoming Great". I wish it had been delivered in a non-fiction format with only inspiring, true stories.

Instead, the reader is giv
Tyler Haladuick
Oct 03, 2019 rated it liked it
Happy go lucky and light-hearted. Needed more quotes and depth in the story to push the reader to want to make the changes outlined. A simplified version of every self help book in existence; but too much so.

Chinese symbol for crisis is the combination of two words: danger and opportunity.

Everybody wants to be great until it's time to do what greatness requires.

Goals actually allow you to shirk responsibility. But a mission? Only the person in the mirror can stop you from living that out.

Melissa Koser
Jan 19, 2020 rated it it was ok
This book gets its stars from having great tips for self-betterment, with practical applications included. It could have been a 4 or even a 5-star book if it had done only that.
However, everything is completely overshadowed by the story of John going to Japan to train as a samurai archer. Each chapter agonizingly follows the same lame formula: John encounters a problem, gets told by the sensei that HE is the problem, says “I never thought of it that way!”, and vows to do better. John is an idio
Kira Karlblom
Dec 15, 2017 rated it really liked it
Joshua Medcalf does a great job of explaining overcoming adversity and life's challenges in his novel Chop Wood Carry Water. This novel is a quick read and is very relatable to young athletes because it provides helpful advice when coming upon a challenge. At the climax of the novel one of the main characters (John) was training to be a professional fighter, but had multiple setbacks along the way. Some include- injuries, losing hope, or motivation. The reader can relate to John because he is a ...more
Ryan Rodriquez
Aug 26, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Two elements; one that builds, one that nourishes. Both can be harnessed but only by using tools. The tools that are used to "chop wood, carry water" aren't the ones you'd think. The proverbial process of chop wood, carry water is what is being talked about here. Although, the process of the physical acts should not be diminished.

Through hardening the mind and stern focus on consistency and production, Joshua Medcalf shows us how to fall in love with the process of becoming great. The question i
Jul 20, 2019 rated it really liked it
This is a great book to read as a group or as an individual! My boss chose this book for us to read as an office to see how we could improve ourselves individually and as a staff.

In this story, John has a strong desire to become a samurai warrior. He goes away to samurai school and quickly learns from his sensei, Akira, that the key to becoming the best samurai warrior is to chop wood and carry water. John learns a series of lessons over his five years with Akira. Some of the lessons he learned
Sep 22, 2017 rated it it was amazing
My good friend Ian R. loaned this book to me. Ian pushes me to read positive, inspiring books that challenge me to be better physically, mentally, and spiritually. This one did just that. It's a simple read broken into 2-3 page chapters, each of which contains a thoughtful parable related to the story as a whole (young American travels to Japan to become a samurai). The central theme of the book is learning to be process-focused instead of goal-focused. It's the kind of book I'd like to read alo ...more
John Anderson
Oct 07, 2019 rated it really liked it
To be honest, I only gave this book 4 stars because the protagonist was focused on becoming an archer; because of that, I felt I gained some valuable insights into how to improve my own skills.

The actual style of the book annoyed me as it seemed to be written in a choppy manner, perhaps for readers with a limited vocabulary. If not for the archery focus, my actual rating would have been around a 2.5 and I would have gone for 2 stars as a result.

Bottom line: there were some valuable insights and
Simone Cimminelli
Aug 19, 2019 rated it it was amazing
A short great book

Truly inspiring well written... Highly recommended. I have read it in a day and I see myself going through the book again and again. I will get my daughter reading it for sure
Jan 26, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Great and easy read! Wonderful stories and lessons to apply in your daily life.
Feb 06, 2019 added it
Great book full of life lessons
Feb 07, 2019 added it
Great book to learn life lessons.
Ken E.
Jan 10, 2020 rated it it was amazing
A great narrative on following in love with the process. If you’re looking for a book that reminds you of your mission and purpose, this is the one.
Brennan Letkeman
Jan 06, 2020 rated it did not like it
Shelves: gave-up
This might be a deep pull, but when I was a kid we had these cheesy christian devotional story-a-day books and the formula was always some children accidentally winding up in trouble or something and then their parent or a kindly pastor would walk by and notice and say "that reminds me of a bible story..." and go on to tenuously link the small intro anecdote to the mostly unrelated scripture verse.

Chop Wood Carry Water is that but replace the bible verses with Mr. Miyagi quotes.

You don't need th
Julie Steinbarger
Jul 06, 2017 rated it it was amazing
This is one of my new favorite books. I will be buying all my nieces and nephews this book for Christmas. I will also be giving this book for graduations. Such great advice for everyone.
Joshua Garwood
Apr 29, 2020 rated it it was amazing
Enjoyed this book a lot - easy to read and full of great lessons and reminders of how to get the most out of life.
Anders Nielsen
Oct 06, 2019 rated it it was amazing
Short loveable tale on how to focus on the process instead of goals. I got a lot of good notes out of it, that I will revisit from time to time
Martin Szabo
Feb 17, 2020 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
This story came at the right moment in my life. It struck a deep note. At times it felt a bit too simplistic but I believe it otherwise stands on solid ground.
Amy Moritz
Mar 31, 2016 rated it really liked it
I saw a tweet from Candace Parker about this book so of course I went to find it. Because, well, that's how I roll sometimes. And of course she did not steer me wrong. This was a great read -- easy with lots of flow and an interesting story (a young man who went to train to be a samurai archer) to present life a host of life lessons. Many of them I had heard and thought about before but life is about learning not perfection and I enjoyed being able to think about them again. The meat of the book ...more
Alex Adkins
Jul 22, 2018 rated it liked it
In a succinct, sometimes even terse, Medcalf is able to encapsulate what it means to Chop Wood and Carry Water. The path to essentially loving the process and understanding we are all running our own race's are at the core of the concept. I liken this novel to the image of an iceberg and how at face value, we see only what's above water when in reality, all of the foundations are unseen, much like the accomplishments in our own lives. This novel is a good reminder to find your why in life withou ...more
Feb 16, 2017 rated it it was amazing
Shelves: personal-reading
This book is a great quick read. It provides many opportunities for reflection and thinking about the journey we call life. I loved the analogies in the book. Here is one of the great pieces of advice---True Mental toughness--Have a great attitude, give your very best, treat people really really well, have unconditional gratitude--regardless of your circumstances.
Nathan Holm
Jan 04, 2016 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
This is great read and resource for anyone who serious and intentional about maximizing their life.
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