A few years ago on Twitter I came across a man named Joshua Medcalf. I was interested in the principles he was talking about and found some of his speaking videos. Then, I read his book Burn Your Goals: The Counter Cultural Approach to Achieving Your Greatest Potential that he wrote with his friend and business partner, Jamie Gilbert. I have read a lot in the last few years but this book really struck a chord with me. I had seen many of the ideas and principles play out in my life and their approach made a lot of sense to me. A couple summers ago I attended "The Experience", a one-day workshop in Denver, Colorado with Joshua and Jamie.
Below are the principles outlined in Joshua's latest book, Chop Wood Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great. Rather than looking at what we can accomplish, we should be focused on who we are becoming. In order to do that, we must focus on the process of continuous individual improvement rather than the destination of achievement we think we want to arrive at.
You Are Building Your Own House
The only thing that is truly significant about today, or any other day, is who you become in the process.
Faithful In The Small Things
Your greatest challenge will be faithfully keeping your focus on the process, while surrendering the outcome.
One Eye For The Journey
Whether you are winning or losing, focus on the process and neither get too high or too low, but instead control the controllables. Take one step at a time and let go of the result.
Nothing Is A Test
Do not look at every situation in life as a test to prove yourself. Rather, see it as an opportunity to learn and grow and you will be able to fulfill your potential.
Where Do You Find Your Identity?
Your value is constant, it is priceless, and it never truly goes up or down based off of results or your performance. Your value comes from who you are, not from what you do.
Guzzling Salt Water
Like thirsty people guzzling salt water, achievement only creates a greater desire for accomplishing more, dehydrating us of true satisfaction and fulfillment.
Evil’s Best Weapon
Discouragement is one of the most powerful forces you will face. Make sure you fuel your heart with encouraging words by what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, who you surround yourself with, how you talk to yourself, and what you visualize.
What Went Well?
Write down at least 15 specific things that went well each day along with two areas for growth and two things you learned.
You do not shine under the bright lights; the bright lights only reveal your work in the dark. Too many people seek exposure from the bright lights, but the bright lights only expose their lack of faithfulness to their craft in the dark.
The grass is greener where you water it. Do not compare yourself to others and focus on your journey, and yours alone.
Rough Side of the Mountain
The rough side of the mountain will actually prepare you for life much better than the smooth side. The setbacks of today can quickly become the forging blades of greatness for tomorrow.
You might not be able to stop negative thoughts, but you don’t have to believe them or give them significance, and you can definitely talk to yourself rather than just listening to the negativity.
Mental training is not magic. It is deliberate, intentional, and extremely hard training.
The Path to Mastery
You may want to feel constant improvement, but mastery moves in steps, not constants.
I Aim With Everything
Everything impacts everything.
Excellence is a long and arduous process of invisible growth, where you are building the foundation that is necessary to sustain success. You must trust the process regardless of what is happening around you.
Road Signs On The Path To Mastery
Choosing to believe that anything that happens is in your best interest will turn all of the challenges and circumstances into a refinery that will shape your character and skills, and will develop within you an ability to change the world.
Be Where Your Feet Are
In order to play present you must live present. Remember, you are always training. There is always a choice. You may not like the choices, or the consequences, but you always have a choice.
Goal vs. Mission
Goals actually let you off the hook because you can let other people stop you. A mission is something you can do right where you are using what you have. You do not need anyone’s permission and only the person in the mirror can stop you from living that out.
It is the one who has surrendered the outcome who has the greatest chance of success. In order to reach your greatest potential you must operate with a heart posture of gratitude, commit to the controllables, surrender the outcome, and trust the process.
Your failures, shortcomings, and challenges can either end up as your excuse or your story. Choose courage, curiosity, and persistence.
The Illusion of Partially Controllable Goals
Partially controllable goals are alluring, but very dangerous and they can distract us from what is more important: the person we become on the journey.
When most people come face to face with their opportunities they run as fast as they can in the opposite direction, but when you decide to embrace the opportunity and chase it, you have the chance to build your character and skills.
Principles Instead of Feelings
At the end of principles there is life, freedom, hope, joy, and peace. But at the end of feelings is destruction.
Every one of us can turn our warrior dial up or down, and depending on the context of the situation and where we are at our best, we would be wise to do so.
Most people just want to be heard and loved, they don’t want your wisdom, and that is OK. Make sure you have an invitation before you share your knowledge and wisdom.
A New Name
Which name that you have been called in your life represents the strongest, kindest, and most authentic version of you?
Inspiring leaders to Rise Above and Enjoy the Journey!
Success vs. Achievement
Chop Wood Carry Water
Would You Rather...
First Things First
Do You Have Trouble Sleeping?
What is Your Plan?
One Word: Blessed
The Pursuit of Happyness
You Win in the Locker Room First
What Are You Training For?
Winning Is A Mindset
Always Be Faithful in Small Things
Are You a Leader?
What is Your Why?
I Love Watching You Play
Keep on Failing
The Coach is the Student
The Contrarian's Guide to Leadership
Now They Know
Esse Quam Videri
Powered by Purpose
Are You All In?
The Eyes of Your Heart
Sunrise or Sunset?
We Need Boundaries
What is Right Over Who is Right
Carry Your Bobsled
Do You Have Any Suggestions for Improvement?
Sing Out Loud
Be An Eagle
The Power of One
You Are a Lighthouse
I Hate The Grind
Closing the Gap
The Big Time
What Profit Are You Seeking?
A Better Life
Don't Do It For the Applause
A Harvest of Impact