Chop Wood, Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great by Joshua Medcalf


Reviewed by Daryl Brown, Watson Engineering

Reading and discussing books together is an idea introduced to Watson Engineering Company (WEC) by firm president, Tim Watson. It’s been a great way to learn new concepts from outside the company while providing an opportunity to learn from within.

Chop Wood, Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great tells the story of a boy’s journey to become a samurai archer. Led by “Akira-Sensei” the boy comes to learn that doing the most mundane and simple tasks repeatedly (chopping wood and carrying water) and over a long period of time is how he will achieve his goal.

Written by entrepreneur and performance psychology expert Joshua Medcalf, the book is one WEC design drafter Daryl Brown really enjoyed. A short and easy read, Daryl found Chop Wood, Carry Water had great lessons and examples. “For me, it was much more effective to read and learn from the boy’s experiences than to just read about the lesson and what needs to be done to improve,” explains Daryl. “I like seeing the application and learning the ‘why’ behind the principle.”

Daryl identifies three key takeaways from the book:

  • Composure - We can view the obstacles we face in life as experiences to learn and grow from. And by doing so, we have the potential to be great.
  • Great things come by small and simple things - Focusing on accomplishing the small tasks along the way -- something as simple as watching our thoughts – helps us to reach greatness. The habits we create become a foundation of who we want to become.
  • Worth and value - We should not have our identity wrapped up in what we do, but rather who we can become.

Daryl recommends the book to anyone who is trying to reach a goal or become great at something. “It has great lessons and examples and is applicable to any age,” he says. He and other WEC team members have found the book club a great way to foster personal and professional development, connect with coworkers, and share perspectives.


Daryl Brown is a Certified Survey Tech and Design Drafter at Watson Engineering, Inc. in Cedar City.

Read 1713 times
Rate this item
(0 votes)

About The Author


Our name says it all: we are your LINK to success in the AEC industry.

Our Clients

  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5
  • 6
  • 7
  • 8
  • 9
  • 10
  • 11
  • 12
  • 13
  • 14
  • 15
  • 16
  • 17
  • 18