Book Review: "Chop Wood Carry Water"

I am currently reading Joshua Medcalf’s Chop Wood Carry Water for the third time with my basketball team at SLU. The first time I read it alone after one of my coaches recommended it, the second time with my team at SLU, and now we are reading it once again.


In my opinion, this book is a must-read for anyone who wants to excel in whatever they are doing, or to anyone who feels the need for some help with mental toughness. This book has taught me to focus on what is controllable in life and to try my very best regardless of the circumstance. I believe that the different lessons among each chapter target a variety of different people, whether it be athletes, students, musicians, or honestly anyone willing to motivate him-/herself/themselves and strengthen his/her/their mindset.


One of my favorite chapters in the book is chapter 12, titled “What Went Well?”; this chapter includes a journaling idea that can be practiced every day...


Find a blank notebook and designate it to be your journal for growth. At the top of a page write:


Worth Statement: My value comes from who I am, NOT from what I do.

Growth Mindset: Anything that happens to me is in my best interest. It is an opportunity to learn and grow.

What Went Well: (Write out 15 specific things you did well today. Feel free to use examples of areas you got better in even if they weren’t the very best you are capable of.)

Areas For Growth: (This section was formerly called “Weaknesses”, but we are looking at them as growth opportunities now.)

What I Learned: (This can be something that you already know but learned the importance of again.)


This journaling practice can help people who struggle with negativity and self-confidence. The Growth Mindset in particular focuses on what is controllable in life; anything that happens to you that is out of your control is seen as an opportunity to learn and grow, rather than something that is detrimental.


I wanted to share these details about my favorite chapter, but do not want to spoil too much of the book because I highly recommend everyone reads it. It is a very easy read, but it holds so many beneficial lessons and practices that can allow you to take control of your mindset and turn it into something powerful!



Disclaimer: Her Campus St. Law U is neither sponsored by nor affiliated with any brands or companies mentioned in this article. 

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