Written by Carissa Abazia

I recently read a book recommended to me by my inspiring and gracious CEO, Todd Scrima of Summit Funding, Inc.

Mr. Scrima is not only a brilliant man who is particularly focused on helping people achieve professional wealth and greatness, he’s a firm advocate for practicing gratitude and motivating people to embrace their best self. After many years of focus and hard work, he’s achieving all kinds of great results, including operating one of the nation’s most successful mortgage companies. Mr. Scrima believes one thing: if you do the hard work, you will succeed, as highlighted in the book he recommended, Chop Wood, Carry Water.

This book was exciting and awe-inspiring to read. This book is about putting your head down and doing to hard work while practicing patience, continually, along the way.

When all is said and done, greatness isn’t a position or title. And it’s not achieved overnight. Greatness is realized when we are willing to have faith in the process and do the things most people find boring, monotonous, and un-sexy. The author remarks “everyone wants to be great, until it’s time to do what greatness requires” (Medcalf, page 16).

I believe we all can be great if we choose to be. It’s a choice first, and only afterward can we learn and practice the skills to achieve greatness. Like Mr. Scrima, I believe greatness can be developed if we embrace the following principles as proclaimed by the author, Joshua Medcalf:

“Greatness isn’t for the chosen few. Greatness is for the few who choose.” (page 10)

“The secret is to understand that nothing is a test, but only an opportunity to learn and grow.” (page 22)

“Your value comes from who you are, not from what you do. Every human being is infinitely priceless.” (page 24)

“Uncomfortable isn’t a choice, but where you experience it is. Life will always be difficult somewhere.” (page 27)

“Under pressure you don’t rise to the occasion, you sink to the level of your training. That is why we train so hard.” (page 27)

“You fuel your heart with six things: what you watch, what you read, what you listen to, who you surround yourself with, how you talk to yourself, and what you visualize.” (page 25)

“Let’s ignore the ‘flaws,’ focus on finding what you did well and how you got better.” (page 39).

“Talent you have naturally. Skill is only developed by hours and hours and hours of beating your craft.” (page 42)

“Most people never realize their potential, because when things get hard, or they experience failure, they just quit.” (page 43)

“I never gave up, and I realized the whole time I was building my own house.” (page 45)

“If it rains, bottle the water and sell it. If crap falls from the sky, package it and sell fertilizer. If it is sunny, plant a garden. Use what you and you alone have been given. You do not know what other people are going through, and everyone has their own unique struggles.” (page 46)

“Most people want the ninety-foot tall bamboo tree without the five years of the process…Like a bamboo tree, it is a long and arduous process of invisible growth, where you are building the foundation that is necessary to sustain success.” (page 64-65)

“Live by principles, instead of feelings.” (page 89)

“One: you are building your own house. Two: to play present, you must train to live in the present. Three: you must surrender the outcome and commit to the process of you will become your own worst enemy. And four: no matter what my circumstances are, always chop wood and carry water.” (page 95)

“It is so much more comfortable to believe talent is reserved for the chosen few than it is to work your ever-loving butt off to become the best you are capable of being.” (page 102).

Ultimately, courage, openness, diligence vulnerability are core strengths that every person is capable of.  It i’s a choice we make. To that end, let’s strive to be more influential, to inspire others, to do the hard work, and to overcome our own doubts. And to never forget that we must always carry water and chop wood.


Thanks for reading!

Carissa Abazia