Recently I watched a commencement speech given by Admiral William H. McRaven, a retired U.S Navy Seal, in 2014 to the graduating class at the University of Texas. I was so intrigued listening to his speech which recounted 10 lessons he learned from his 6 months of gruelling, demanding, tiring and debilitating Navy Seal training. These 10 lessons not only apply to life as a Navy Seal, but it equally applies to the challenges that each and every one of us
After giving his speech in 2014, which went viral, Admiral William H. McRaven decided that he still had so much more to share with the world from his 37-year career as a U.S Navy Seal (which included the capturing of Saddam Hussein). He felt a responsibility to expand on how those 10 simple lessons helped shape his life and did so by publishing a book a few months ago titled “Make Your Bed”. It is a small but extremely powerful, compassionate and optimistic book that I was able to read with ease. It is subtitled “Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe The World”. That for me was what caught my eye as I am always looking for inspirational and relevant words that pertain to my life.
Each of the 10 chapters recounts stories of perseverance, suffering, determination, courage and humbleness. Even
The title “Make Your Bed” which is in turn, the first chapter of the book is also the foundation for which all the other chapters are built on. How many times as a child did your parents tell you to make your bed, and how many times as a parent yourself have you mimicked those words to your own children. My kids can attest to this as I am constantly bugging them to complete this task, but I am continually let down in my efforts.
The Admiral drills into his reader’s heads how important it is to accomplish this task, no matter how small or senseless it may seem to many it can actually change the way you approach your day. He believes that if you want to change your life or conquer the world, it starts by completing this task first thing every morning, igniting a positive tone for what challenges may be thrown your way that day. It
helps lay to rest the struggles you may have encountered the day before, giving you fresh opportunities to face another day productively and ensure you complete many more tasks throughout your day. As silly as it may seem, developing this good habit can also help reduce your stress level and de-clutter your mind, as when you walk into your room with a well-made bed the aura of cleanliness will always make you smile and not to mention the satisfaction you feel when you get back into your tidy bed at the end of the day. Lastly, by completing this simple task at the start of every day can help to reinforce the importance that it’s the little things in life that truly matter and who in this world doesn’t need a healthy dose of that. I for one do, and from now on, the start of every day (whatever time that may be), I will be completing this task, maybe with hospital corners and all…and maybe just maybe, it will inspire my kids to follow…ya right, who am I kidding?
*I encourage everyone to watch Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech on YouTube…or read his book!*
Read Kim's original blog post here.
Wife, mom of 3 teenagers, dog lover, puzzle enthusiast, creative sole. Sharing my journey with depression and anxiety through blogging in hopes of educating and ending the stigma.