Chop wood, carry water


Lincoln Reed | The Echo

Taylor University hosted Joshua Medcalf—speaker, author and CEO of Train to be Clutch—in Rediger Chapel on August 29. Medcalf spoke to Taylor’s athletes and general community about the journey toward greatness.

Train to be Clutch focuses on leadership, life skills and mental training. In his lecture, Medcalf shared topics discussed in his book “Chop Wood, Carry Water: How to Fall in Love with the Process of Becoming Great,” which every athlete received a copy of following Medcalf’s lecture.

With the background as a collegiate athlete playing soccer at Duke University, Medcalf emphasized the importance of preparation and process in one’s journey toward success. Among his many stories and anecdotes, Medcalf used two key illustrations.

His main metaphor described a master house builder who wants to retire. However, he is assigned one last job by his boss. Seeing this assignment as an obligation instead of an opportunity, he builds the house with reluctance and doesn’t do his best work. He goes through the motions and does only the necessary things to finish the home. To the builder’s dismay, his boss hands him a set of keys and explains that the house was meant as a parting gift to him for his retirement. The point? You build your own house.

“Whatever you put your hand to, understand you are building your own house,” Medcalf said. “The bright lights only reveal your work in the dark.”

According to Medcalf, goals are useless. Instead, people should commit to a process.

Also as a Christian, he urged students to fulfill the potential given to them by their Creator. Instead of choosing a life of comfort free from challenges, students should aim to do what God wants them to do.

“I hope that you stop getting by with average,” Medcalf said. “I think you were created for a purpose . . . and I really think if we understood and grasped in the depths of our soul that God loves us the way that he does in spite of us, we would go out and change the world.”

“Photograph provided by Money and Sport”