Written by Toni Lee
Growing up in my parent’s household, every morning without exception, my bed was expected to be made. As a child, I had no idea why this small chore mattered so much to my mother, especially when I was going to ‘mess it all up again’ that evening.
Although I never got a clear answer from my mother, Admiral William H. McRaven’s book, “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World” offered not only clarity, but reaffirmed the satisfaction this simple task always brought me.
“If you want to change the world…”
In 2014, Admiral McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin on their commencement day. In his address, he attributed making his bed as one of the very first principles he carries with him from his Navy Seal training as a tool to overcome challenges and change the world.
While we may have a perfectly planned day, we are unable to control the events that we may encounter on a given day. Each day within our lives is a journey. By making your bed first thing, you are starting your new day with the accomplishment of a task completed. The attention to detail when making your bed illustrates discipline and focus, then when the day’s journey concludes it is a reminder of something that has been done well.
Stories of Challenge and Change
Throughout his short and easy read, Admiral McRaven, U.S. Navy retiree, shares his stories of his service in the military to illustrate each of his 10 pearls of wisdom.
If you want to change the world:
1. Start off by making your bed. Start your day with a task completed
2. Find someone to help you paddle. You can’t do it alone
3. Measure a person by the size of their heart. Only the size of your heart matters
4. Get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward. Life’s not fair—drive on!
5. Don’t be afraid of the circus. Failure can make you stronger
6. Slide down the obstacle headfirst. You must dare greatly
7. Don’t back down from the sharks. Stand up to the bullies
8. Be your very best in the darkest moments. Rise to the occasion
9. Start singing when you’re up to the neck in mud. Give people hope
10. Don’t ever, ever ring the bell. Never, ever quit!
This book is written in short chapters, and in my opinion, is best enjoyed one chapter at a time with a cup of coffee and an hour to relax and ponder.
You will learn from Admiral McRaven and undoubtedly envision the lessons from his military experiences working in your own life. Once finished, you will want to pass the book on to share with others. My copy of this book has been passed around and shared with many, including my sons. My sons now understand the ‘why’ behind the voice of mom’s daily stern words, “make your bed.”
How does money figure into a happy life?
Join us next month as Hunter Satterfield picks up (and can’t put down) behavioral finance expert Brian Portnoy’s book, “The Geometry of Life: How to Shape a Life of Money and Meaning.” Portnoy addresses an all too common question; does wealth truly fund contentment? At the heart of his perspective, he takes readers on a journey and tackles the big questions around how a joyful life and tending to financial decisions may be complimentary rather than separate.