The 5 pillars of success (for me)

A strong house requires a strong foundation.

Chris Wojcik
6 min readAug 4


Photo via Rodrick Wortham

At 22, I won the purple belt no-gi World Championship in Brazilian Jiu-Jitsu.

This was, at the time, a remarkable, life-changing, and eye-opening achievement for me. It was perhaps the best achievement that I was capable of earning at the time in my life.

But this victory was achieved without a foundation. I was not a complete person back then. I was 22, and not many 22-year-olds are “well-rounded”. I certainly was not.

Nonetheless, for a time, I feared that I’d peaked at 22. I thought I was already at the top of the mountain of my potential for success, happiness, and peace.

The reality was that I was merely just discovering how big the mountain really was.

Over the next 4 years (I turn 26 on Monday), I’ve completely restructured my life. I’ve become more systematic, more professional, happier, and, most importantly of all, more well-rounded.

These are the 5 pillars that keep me functioning at a high level in everything I do.


There are 2 kinds of dreamers in the world.

First, there are those who embrace failure as part of the process. This is the kind of person I am striving to be. This is why I moved my whole life across the United States last week to chase a dream. This is why I have failed so much in Jiu-Jitsu, writing, and my life.

I take a lot of shots. If you’ve wrestled with me, you know that’s true. I play life on offense.

I strive to be the kind of dreamer who doesn't stop shooting.

The other type of dreamer is the person who is scared to fail but dreams anyway. This is the kind of person I used to be. These people are typically unhappy and resentful of person type 1.

In Jiu-Jitsu, these are “sandbaggers”. The guys who only take matches they know they can win. The guys who are obsessed with protecting their brand.

All of my success, happiness, and ambition come from chasing failure.


Ah, love.