Make Your Bed was a commencement speech originally given by Admiral McRaven in 2014 at UT Austin. You can watch it here. Three years later he came out with a book, expounding on his speech. His speech, and subsequently the book, has 10 key lessons he learned from his time spent in Navy Seal training.
Though you probably won’t become a Navy Seal, you can still learn the lessons he did!
Make Your Bed
Here are the 10 lessons from Make Your Bed by Admiral McRaven.
1. Start your day with a task completed.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed
Start off your day with a win. Making your bed is a little thing, but if you can’t do the little things, you can’t do the big things. If nothing else, you’ll sleep on a clean, made bed.
Making your bed requires discipline, attention to detail, and pride in what you do.
2. You can’t go it alone.
If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
Life isn’t perfect. Some days you just won’t bat 100 percent. You’ll need other people to get you through those days. You’ll also need to support others through their difficult times as well.
If you’re a part of a team, not everyone has to be their best each time. You just have to work together. If you’re alone and you’re not at your best, you might go down swinging.
3. Only the size of your heart matters.
If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart.
This chapter is about grit. You might not be the strongest, smartest, or most experienced, but grit matters a hell of a lot more than those qualities sometimes. As long as you’re willing to grow and learn from your mistakes, sometimes grit is the most important of all.
Lesson 4: Life’s not fair, drive on!
If you want to change the world, get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
A “sugar cookie” is a Navy Seal punishment where one goes into the water and then rolls around in the sand — they have to stay that way the entire day.
Life isn’t fair, and the sooner you learn that the better off you’ll be.
While catharsis is useful, ruminating on continued negativity and defeat will get you nowhere. Sometimes life is just not fair. Don’t complain and don’t blame. Life is defined by how you react to the unfairness in life.
5. Failure Can Make You Stronger.
If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the Circus.
The Circus was the punishment for performing below average in Navy Seal training. To the outsider, it was a punishment. To an instructor, they knew the difficulties of the Circus would eventually strengthen them in the end.
In life, tribulations that don’t permanently injure you will make you stronger.
No one is immune from mistakes. True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again ormake the next tough decision.
6. You Must Dare Greatly.
If you want to change the world, slide down the obstacle headfirst.
Take calculated, thoughtful, and well-planned risk. Know your limits, but don’t be afraid to try.
Life is a struggle and the potential for failire is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or harship, or embarrasment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.
7. Stand Up To The Bullies
If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
You can’t be successful if you’re cowering in fear of the bullies. You’ll have to succeed by standing up to them.
Bullies are all the same […] They thrive on fear and intimidation. Bullies gain their strength through the timid and faint of heart. […] If you don’t find the courage to stand your ground, they will strike.
8. Rise To The Occasion
If you want to change the world, be your very best in the darkest moments.
Make your daily life and habits the best they can be. That way you’ll be prepared to be your best in your hardest times. In life, you don’t get that many opportunities to step up. Make them count by being the most prepared you can be.
At some point we will all confront a dark moment in life. In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best.
9. Give People Hope
If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
Bring up some positivity when you’re going through tough times. Your mood is changed by your mindset, so try to stay positive and hopeful.
Hope is the most powerful force in the universe. With hope you can inspire nations to greatness. [With] hope you can raise up the downtrodden. With hope you can ease the pain of the unbearable loss. Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference.
10. Never, Ever Quit!
If you want to change the world, don’t ever ring the bell.
If you really want something, are great at it, and are willing to work hard, continue to work at it. Success is not linear, it’s exponential. Don’t stop just before you’ve achieved success.
Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treatedm bemoaiing, your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life willl be long and hard. If on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds– then life will be what you make of it–and you can mke it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!
Favorite Make Your Bed Quote:
Hope is wishing something would happen.
Faith is believing something will happen.
Courage is making something happen
Don’t ever ring the bell.
Make Your Bed
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