What does making your bed have to do anything with changing your life!? A lot apparently!
My own personal life changed when I saw a little video given by a grown gentleman to students at the University of Texas, Austin.
In the video, an older aged gentleman is making a speech. It was his initial moment during the speech when he talks about how he makes his bed every morning that fascinated me. Why would a grown man, Admiral William H. McRaven, who is a retired US Navy Seals, get up and make his bed? It so turns out, as he explains in his book, the simple act of making his bed allowed for him to start his day with a sense of accomplishment and sets the tone for the remainder of his day’s activities- positive, upbeat and a drive to go out and achieve things.
“If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. “
I thought about it and tried out this technique myself. My habit has always been to leave my bed messy in the morning, as almost always, I am rushing to get dressed, have breakfast and leave the house for my 1-hour commute to work. I don’t have time to make my bed– I’ll let the domestic help that comes to my bed.
However, after watching this video, I decided to make my bed. I didn’t have to do much. I just straightened out the bed sheet, arranged the two pillows on the headboard side, and finally readjusted my comforter and lay it down properly on the bed. It felt silly at first, but I noticed the change it brought inside of me.
I truly did feel like I have achieved something, as small as it may be, but I achieved it at 7am in the morning! It truly did set the tone for the rest of my day. I felt great about it, and this little act of mine would remind me throughout the day of things I can achieve.
The video of his went viral and has now been seen by millions of people world over and prompted Admiral William H. McRaven to come out with his book Make Your Bed, which went on to become New York Times #1 bestseller.
The book is split up into ten chapters, and each chapter covers one aspect of your life that the author suggests can change your life altogether.
Chapter One: Start your day with a task completed
Two: You can’t go it alone
Three: Only the size of your heart matters!
Four: Life’s not fair- Drive on!
Five: Failure can make you stronger
Six: You must dare greatly
Seven: Stand up to bullies
Eight: Rise to the occasion
Nine: Give people hope
Ten: Never, ever quit!
These chapters are adequately explained and the author gives personal examples from his life as a US Navy Seals to show the life lessons he’s learned. These principles can be applied to any person, regardless of their background, culture, age, and gender. The chapters are short, concise and precise and makes for an easy, quick read.
“Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”
Make Your Bed is the kind of book that I love to keep on my bedside and glance from it from time to time to remind myself of how little things in life can take me so far ahead, to help me overcome obstacles, to help me help other people and to live my life in such a way, I can make a considerable difference in the lives of people around me.