chop wood carry water Summary | 15 Chapter Summary and Lessons (2023)

chop wood carry water Summary | 15 Chapter Summary and Lessons (1)

Woodcut Carrying WaterJoshua Kalbis the story of a boy John who aspires to become a samurai warrior. But mastering a craft requires going through the process and being patient for years to get to the point you want.

But mastering a craft requires going through the process and being patient for years to get to the point you want.

This book is based on a boy: John and his journey to become a samurai warrior. With each chapter, author Joshua Medcalf teaches us valuable lessons that we can apply to our profession.

It doesn't matter whether you are a writer or have a regular job. Joshua Medcalf's book Chop Wood Carry Water will help you fall in love with the process of reaching your goal. This book is made up of 28 short chapters that end with a lesson that you can apply to your life.

In Chop Wood Carry Water Summary, I tell the story of each chapter and the lessons we can learn from it. So read to the end and let's get started with the first chapter of Joshua Medcalf's synopsis of Chop Wood Carry Water.

contents disguise

1 Summary of Chapter 1 – Chopping Wood with Water

2 Chapter 2 Summary: Build your own house

3 Summary of Chapter 3: Faithful in Small Things

4 Chapter 4 Summary – An Eye for the Journey

5 Chapter 5 Summary - Nothing is proof

6 Chapter 6 – Where do you find your identity?

7 Chapter 7 Lesson - Drink Salt Water

8 Chapter 8 Summary – Evil's ultimate weapon

9 Chapter 9 Summary - What Went Right?

10 Chapter 10 Resume - Insta-todo

11 Summary of Chapter 11 – Wandering Eyes

12 Chapter 12 Summary – The Rough Side of the Mountain

13 Chapter 13 Summary – Harnessing Power

(Video) Chop Wood Carry Water by Joshua Medcalf | Book Review | Animated Summary

14 Chapter 14 Summary – Diet Coke

15 Chapter 15 Lesson – The Path to Mastery

16 Who should read the synopsis of Chop Wood Carry Water?

Summary of Chapter 1 - Chopping Water-bearing Wood

Since childhood, John has been fascinated by Japanese samurai culture. Growing up, he dreams of becoming his favorite kind of samurai warrior: archers.

When he finally turned eighteen, he went to an ancient city in Japan and enrolled as an apprentice in a small community of samurai who lived outside the city walls and practiced their timeless traditions. There he learned that he could become a samurai warrior.

But to his surprise, on the first day, his sensei Akira asked him to chop wood and carry water.

It was a disappointment to John who had wanted to practice archery since day one and was quick to ask why he was chopping wood and hauling water.

Since they don't choose all modern cultures except for warmth and running water, Akira explained this.

Hence, they needed wood for burning and preparing meals for their survival and water for cooking and bathing.

Disappointed, John asked Akira, "When do we start filming?"

Akira smiled and said, "The shooting will take place soon. But first you must chop wood and carry water.”

John was frustrated but obeyed his sensei (teacher).

Lesson 1

Chopping wood and carrying water means doing everyday things again, and that doesn't sound exciting to us. But to get good at something, we have to get through boring stuff. That was the lesson the author wanted to teach in the first chapter about chopping wood and carrying water.

Summary of Chapter 2: Build your own house

The next day, John chopped wood and carried water, hoping to shoot soon. After the workday was over, Sensei took John aside to tell him a story.

The story was about an old architect named Kota who built houses in Tokyo. I used to build homes of the highest quality and have beenso good at his craft, and he was famous for the kind of house he built!

Eventually, Kota had had enough and was ready to retire. Eventually, he sent his boss two weeks' notice, asking for permission to retire.

But his boss has asked Kota to build the last home for a critical client before he retires.

It was daunting for Kota to build another house before retiring. After thinking for a day, he agreed to build the last house.

He began work on the last house of his life. But he didn't like the job very much and saw it more as an obligation than an opportunity.

You have delegated too many tasks to other people without paying attention to the finer points. He knew he wasn't doing his best, but he wanted to move on quickly.

After four months, Kota finished the house. Previous homes built by Kota lacked the "wow" factor, and everyone at the company noticed the same thing.

Kota went back to his boss and asked his permission to retire. His boss thanked Kota for his work and presented him with a small box. It was a gift as a token of appreciation for his lifelong work.

Kota opened the box and found the shiny new house keys. His boss smiled: "It's your house! You deserve that!"

He immediately felt guilty that the house he had built wasn't of the best quality. If he had known that he was building his own house, he would have cared much more and tried his best.

The story ended and here is the lesson Akira Sensei taught John.

Lesson 2

The only thing that really matters on this day, or any other day, is who you become in it. Each of us builds our own house. Sometimes you may think you are building for your school, family, company or team, but you are always building your own home. I hope you build smart.

chopping wood carrying water chapter 2

Summary of Chapter 3: Faithful in Small Things

As the weeks passed, John became more comfortable with community life.

One day he woke up to find all the trainees excitedly announcing that they could take part in an archery tournament.

John could hardly contain his excitement. He couldn't stop talking about it.

Akira saw his excitement, grabbed his shoulder and sat him up. Sensei started telling him the next lesson.

Lesson 3

Everyone wants to achieve big goals, but few people want to go through the necessary process to reach the goal.

Everyone wants to be a samurai warrior, but few want to chop firewood and carry water.

(Video) Chop Wood Carry Water Summary (Animated) | Joshua Medcalf

As Mother Teresa used to tell people, "Be faithful to the little things, for therein lies your strength."

Everyone wants to be great until it's time to do what greatness demands.

Your greatest challenge during your time here will be to remain faithfully focused on the process while delivering the outcome.

Chapter 4 Summary – An Eye for the Journey

Then the excitement of the first few months subsided.

Now John practiced archery and chopping wood for four hours, hauling water for four hours which he thought was a waste of time!

John began to get frustrated and was only allowed to shoot at a target just two meters away from him, much to his frustration!

He asked Akira how long it would take him to become a samurai warrior and Akira Sensei told him it would take ten years. John was angry. But he came back and started going about his daily activities.

After a few months he got better. He then asked Akira how long it would take him to become a samurai warrior. Akira's answer was the same: ten years!

John asked how long it would take if he devoted every waking moment to becoming a samurai archer. No chopping wood or towing water, just archery. Akira shrugged. "Then it takes thirty years."

John had reached his emotional breaking point. And he asked Akira why it would take him more years if he devoted all his efforts to archery.

Akira looked at John sympathetically and said, "The reason it takes longer is that with one eye on the destination, you only have one eye on the journey."

John understood now. He decided to focus on doing his best, chopping wood, carrying water or bow and arrow, and putting the results aside.

Lesson 4

The mountain cannot be climbed by thinking about reaching the top during the journey, and it can only be climbed by concentrating on each step.

No one can climb a mountain at a time, and only one solid step can be climbed at a time.

The same can be applied to our lives. We always think about getting to the next point or achieving the next goal.

It's better to focus on the moment and forget about moving to the next goal.

Chapter 5 Summary - Nothing is proof

John began to put more effort into chopping wood, fetching water and even archery.

He began to chop more wood and carry more water than other apprentices.

He began to take pride in completing each archery drill and move faster.

One day, seeing more water in his bucket, Akira Sensei asked John why he was carrying more water.

John said he was doing his best.

Akira picked John up for not doing his best but trying to carry more water than the others. He began to see this as a test to prove himself.

Akira then started teaching him the next lesson.

Lesson 5

You keep ruining your potential because you keep seeing everything as a test.

The secret is to understand that nothing is a test, just an opportunity to learn and grow.

Many people never reach their potential because they test every situation in life.

If you see something as a test, just focus on passing the test rather than maximizing your growth through the experience.

Over time, the person who focuses on maximizing what they can learn and how to grow will be far greater than the person who sees life as a constant test to prove themselves.

Chapter 6 - Where do you find your identity?

Over time, despite Akira's warning not to focus on results, John began thinking about becoming a samurai warrior.

He started doing extra exercises. As a result, he developed pain in his shoulder. Now he could not shoot a bow.

Akira noticed the same and went to John. John knew he couldn't hide his pain from Akira Sensei.

Akira explained that it would take 6-8 weeks for him to recover from the pain.

John's face darkened as he realized he could be way behind schedule because of this.

Akira saw her sad face and asked a question, "John, who would you be if everything you do was taken away from you?"

John thought for a minute but realized he didn't have a good answer.

Here's the lesson Akira Sensei teaches John!

(Video) Chop Wood Carry Water - The Sketchbook of Wisdom

Lesson 6

We believe that our value depends on what we do. If John can't do his job ie chop wood, carry water and do archery for 6-8 weeks, he doesn't feel worthy.

It's easy to feel more valuable when you're performing well, making more money, or being successful.

But at the same time you feel frustrated, down and depressed when your business fails and it seems like you are failing at everything.

The truth is that its value is constant and never increases or decreases. God always loves you no matter how you move.

You are more than a CEO, worker or coach. Don't find your identity in something that may disappear at any moment.

Chapter 7 Lesson - Drink Salt Water

All trainees were able to watch television once a week.

Akira Sensei and John developed a special bond by watching American sports together.

Akira started talking about the importance of creating a new life scorecard.

Pointing to Kobe Bryant, he asked why Kobe Bryant is still playing basketball, despite repeatedly saying that if he wins his sixth NBA title, he will be content and retire.

People live their lives believing that as they achieve more and make more money, their lives will be different.

But if performance hasn't filled that gap so far, how will more and more fill it in the future?

Like thirsty people who drink salt water, accomplishment only creates a greater desire to achieve more, and robs us of true satisfaction and fulfillment."

Write down all the qualities you admire in people who lead successful lives.

Write down the 3 or 4 most important qualities that are important to you. This is your score card. Evaluate yourself on these points twice a day.

Summary of Chapter 8 - Evil's Ultimate Weapon

One summer day, Akira asked all the trainees to stop chopping wood and carrying water an hour earlier to spend time at the lake.

All the apprentices stopped working and gathered by the lake to listen to the story of an old witch who sold her all the tools of evil like greed, envy, jealousy, pride, anger, lust, but she didn't sell the only tool to pass . .for your niece.

The name of this tool is discouragement.

Discouragement is stronger than anger, pride, jealousy, etc. Discouragement allows one to win a person's heart and no other evil tool can do that.

Discouragement can prevent a person from realizing their dreams and potential. It can come in any form, like a little voice in your head or a failure. Feed your heart with encouragement.

You can feed your heart with what you read, hear, see, hear and who you surround yourself with. So fill up with the right fuel.

Summary of Chapter 9: What Went Right?

On a practice day, John just couldn't shoot as well as he usually did.

He was distracted and ended the day frustrated. Akira asked him what went well in training. John said that everything went wrong. Then Akira taught him the next lesson.

Lesson 9

Our brain is more likely to remember bad experiences than good ones. We remember what went wrong more than what went right.

You should always treat every mistake as an experience to learn and grow. Always remember that your values ​​come from who you are, not what you do.

Each day, make a list of things that went well, areas for growth, and what you learned.

Chapter 10 CV - Insta-todo

Another year passed and John continued to grow and learn.

He developed strength by chopping wood and carrying water every day.

One night, Akira and John watched the new starring The Karate Kid movieJaden Smith🇧🇷 Akira had great admiration for Jaden's father Will.

He watched an interview with Will where he talked about the importance of ability over talent. They started discussing it.

Here's the lesson to learn from the Talent Vs Skills discussion.

Lesson 10

We only see the good in people through TV or Instagram. We don't see the struggle of the people.

We only see the 10 minutes of running on the ground, but we don't see the hours of hard work during training and imagine the superstar is talented. But we are all born with potential and must unlock it with hard work.

Chapter 11 Summary – Wandering Eyes

After that night, John began chopping wood and carrying water with a new sense of enthusiasm.

He still faced challenges, but he was in a much better place.

Eventually, however, John developed a rambling look. He started looking at other trainees. They all seemed to take better photos than John with less effort.

(Video) Lessons From Chop Wood, Carry Water Pt 1

John began to show signs of heaviness and Akira Sensei noticed the same. He went to John and here is the lesson he taught him.

Lesson 11

It's not important what we do, but what we become.

Always remember, you're building your own house and your neighbor's lawn isn't greener. It's greener where you water it.

We always compare ourselves to the best. Sometimes, for perspective, think of people who don't have clean water or basic amenities. At least you're a lot better than them.

Summary of Chapter 12 - The Rough Side of the Mountain

One day, when all the trainees arrived at the shooting range, the sky broke with thunder and it began to rain heavily. Everyone was ordered to go to the dining room.

John first told a story about how golf balls were made.

Originally, golf balls were smooth, without dimples. A man has noticed something strange.

As golf balls age and are used for a long time, they move faster. The same applies to our life. The more obstacles we face, the further we go on our journey. The rough side of the mountain makes us stronger.

Difficulties often prepare ordinary people for an extraordinary fate.

Summary of Chapter 13 - Harnessing the Force

One night, John and Akira took a long walk to the edge of the property.

They saw the great oak tree that had been uprooted and fallen. Many trees were uprooted and blown over by the wind.

But a company came and set it up to build "a wind farm." The wind can be creative and destructive at the same time. It all depends on how you enjoy it.

It can be precisely applied to our lives! You can't control how people talk to you, but you can control how you talk to yourself.

Like the wind, its power can create or destroy. Worrying is a form of negative talking. When we worry, we imagine negative consequences. The same goes for our inner critic. It's a form of negative talk.

So calm your inner critic, or at least don't believe it.

Chapter 14 Summary – Diet Coke

One night John was watching TV when an advert was on. It was a product that promised users to lose ten kilos in two weeks. What a ridiculous idea!

Sensei entered the room shaking his head and they started talking about the announcement. That's the lesson we can learn from it.

Lesson 15

Most people want to consume what they want in 86,000 seconds of a day and a quick hack for their overweight body in the remaining 400 seconds of a day. They think this will replace all the negative training they've been doing all day!

Mental training is not magic. It requires deliberate hard work. There's no quick fix to hard work, and there's nothing sexy like a weight loss commercial.

Chapter 15 Lesson - The Path to Mastery

John has now gone from a two meter target to a full target over a hundred yards away. It took four years.

When the day came, John looked forward to taking a shot. When he did, he was out of character. I was disappointed. He had shot every day for four years and now he couldn't hit the target.

Once again, he felt he wasn't cut out to be a samurai archer. John expected Akira to respond with his usual wise words, but he led him away from the line of fire onto a patch of earth.

He bent down and used an arrow to draw something like this.

chop wood carry water Summary | 15 Chapter Summary and Lessons (2)

John asked curiously, "What is that?" Akira replied, "It's the road to championship."

While John and all of us wanted to feel a steady improvement, dominance moves differently. It moves in steps, not constant.

You have to be on a long plateau before you get that good at your craft.

This brings us to the end of the Chop Wood Carry Water summary. The book has 28 small chapters and you can finish it in 2 hours so I recommend reading a book.

Who Should Read the Summary of Chop Wood Carry Water?

Chop Wood Carry Water Summary can be read by both beginners and regular readers as the book has small chapters. This book contains a great deal of wisdom through captivating stories that will keep you going to the end.

What is the problem with chopping wood with water?

The theme of the book Chop Wood Carry Water is that a boy wants to become a samurai warrior. Throughout the journey to reach her goal, her teacher Akira has been teaching her the importance of falling in love in the process.

Who is the main character in Chop Wood Carry Water?

John is the main character in Chop Wood Carry Water. His teacher Akira also plays an important role.


What is the theme of chop wood, carry water? ›

What is the theme of chop wood carry water? The theme of chop wood carry water book is that a boy wants to become a samurai warrior. Throughout the journey of achieving his goal, his teacher Akira taught him the importance of falling in love with the process.

What message is Akira trying to convey to John chop wood, carry water? ›

For example, John wanted to become a samurai archer. Instead of practicing archery all day, he was asked to chop wood and carry water every day by his trainer Akira. Akira did this to inculcate the discipline and consistency within John's mind and soul.

Where does chop wood, carry water take place? ›

When he got to the monastery he was told that each morning he had to chop wood for the monks fires and then carry water up to the monastery for ablutions and the kitchen.

What does chop wood mean? ›

When you chop wood, you usually hit it with an axe, splitting each length into narrow pieces.

Why then does he agree to chop wood for surgery? ›

No, Lushkoff is not a willing worker. He only agrees to chop wood for Sergei because he was caught in his lies and trapped by his own words. Thus out of pride and shame he agrees to chop the wood.

What does carrying water mean? ›

(transitive, idiomatic) To perform menial tasks for; to serve; to assist; to be forced by politics or pragmatism to endorse or promote a belief, individual, or organization that in reality one does not fully support.

How do you chop wood? ›

Wood chopping step-by-step
  1. Position yourself with your legs well apart.
  2. Raise the axe up behind your head or over the shoulder.
  3. Keep your arms extended.
  4. When you swing the axe, the hand nearest the head of the axe should slide down the handle shaft.
  5. It may help to bend your knees slightly before you strike.

How many pages is chop wood, carry water? ›

Product information
Publisher‎Lulu Publishing Services (December 2, 2015)
Paperback110 pages
Item Weight‎6.1 ounces
6 more rows

What is something in the water book about? ›

Erin is a documentary filmmaker on the brink of a professional breakthrough, Mark a handsome investment banker with big plans. Passionately in love, they embark on a dream honeymoon to the tropical island of Bora Bora, where they enjoy the sun, the sand, and each other.

What book has the fish jumping out of the water? ›

A Fish Out of Water is a 1961 American children's book written by Helen Palmer Geisel (credited as Helen Palmer) and illustrated by P. D. Eastman.

What does the author mean by a wood? ›

What does the author mean by "a wood?" A mini forest.

What happens to wood in water? ›

Wood is a porous material. This means that, over time, exposure to water will permeate the wood's membranes, causing it to rot, soften, and fall apart. Additionally, water compromises the structure of wood, leading to mold growth and expensive restoration efforts.

Who used the chop wood for? ›

Answer: It was Olga who used to chop wood for Lushkoff.

Who used to chop wood for luck of? ›

Answer. It was Sergei's cook, Olga who chopped woods for Lushkoff.

What is the full meaning of chop? ›

An abbreviation for a chemotherapy combination that is used to treat non-Hodgkin lymphoma and is being studied in the treatment of other types of cancer. It includes the drugs cyclophosphamide, doxorubicin hydrochloride (hydroxydaunorubicin), vincristine sulfate (Oncovin), and prednisone.

What does wood mean Sexualy? ›

(idiomatic, slang, possibly vulgar, literally or figuratively) To cause someone to have an erection, usually due to sexual arousal. I don't really like her, but in that dress she's giving me wood.

What is chop slang for? ›

plural of chop. (slang) Jaws, mouth.

Who is Sergei Why was he angry? ›

Solution : He was disgusted at his dishonesty because he had seen him on another street pretending that he had was an expelled student in need of money, and now he claimed to be a village schoolmaster who had lost his job due to intrigues at the school. His lies disgusted Sergei.

Was the beggar happy to chop wood How do you know? ›

The scarecrow of a beggar shrugged his shoulders, as if in perplexity, and went irresolutely after the cook. It was obvious from his gait that he had not consented to go and chop wood because he was hungry and wanted work, but simply from pride and shame and because he had been trapped by his own words.

How did Sergei recognize the beggar? ›

Ans. A close look at the beggar's face made Sergei think that he had seen the man somewhere before. Then his eyes fell on his overshoes, one of which was high and the other was low. This made Sergei remember suddenly that he had seen this beggar in Sadovya Street a couple of days before.

Who used to chop woods on behalf of the beggar? ›

Answer: It was Olga who used to chop wood for Lushkoff.

How many pages is chop wood carry water? ›

Product information
Publisher‎Lulu Publishing Services (December 2, 2015)
Paperback110 pages
Item Weight‎6.1 ounces
6 more rows

Why is it important to carry water? ›

Because roughly 60 percent of the body is made of water, it is important to drink enough to maintain the body's fluid balance, which helps transport nutrients in the body, regulate body temperature, digest food, and more. The easiest way to remember to drink more water is to carry a water bottle at all times.

When you learn to carry your own water Meaning? ›

Positivity. Perspective. To me, this quote embodies a mindset of gratitude. So often we go through life without acknowledging the blessings that are around us because they are merely there by circumstance.

How do we carry water? ›

Best Way to Carry Water When Running
  1. Nathan SpeedDraw Plus Insulated Flask.
  2. CamelBak Quick Grip Chill Handheld Water Bottle.
  3. BottleBand.
  4. Buddy Pouch H2O.
  5. URPOWER Running Belt.
  6. CyberDyer Running Belt Waist Pack.
  7. Team Hydrate Water Bottle Bands.
  8. Avantree Water Bottle Belt.


1. Chop Wood Carry Water - Thinking Bigger - Episode 2
(Thinking Bigger)
2. Chop wood, carry water #shorts
(Terry Gorry Solicitor)
3. Carry Water & Chop Wood - The Secret to Achievement and Beyond
(Sensei Dan Rominski)
4. Webinar | Chop Wood & Carry Water - because there are no transformation shortcuts
6. EdTalk: Chop Wood, Carry Water - Chapter 4
(The SEL Zone)


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