Make your bed by William H McRaven is a book that started off as a graduation speech that has broken the internet with millions of views.
Listen to the speech here.
The book is just an elaborated version of the graduation speech.
Here are my 5 Takeaways:
1. Nothing can replace the strength and comfort of one’s faith, but sometimes the simple act of making your bed can give you the lift you need to start your day and provide you the satisfaction to end it right. If you want to change your life and maybe the world—start off by making your bed!
In order to do the big things in life right, it’s best to start with the small things. The simple task of making your bed ensures that you start your day with one completed task.
And performing this simple task over and over again creates discipline. And discipline can help you achieve many things in life.
Making your bed is a small task. But it’ll ensure you start your day in a satisfied and disciplined manner. So as William says, If you want to change the world start by making your bed.
And hopefully, this one completed task to start your day can trigger a chain reaction of other completed tasks throughout the rest of your day. But if not, no need to despair, you’d have come home to a made bed.
2. ” No SEAL could make it through combat alone and by extension, you needed people in your life to help you through the difficult times. “
Benjamin Franklin once said, ” Man is a sociable being ” and I believe it’s true. Isolation is dangerous and we must try our best to help and serve others.
Think about it, the self-made man is utter hogwash. Histories greatest figures had mentors and teachers to help them fulfill their greatest ambitions.
- Alexander the great was mentored by Aristotle.
- Mark Zukerburg was mentored by Steve Jobbs.
- Bill Gates was mentored by Warren Buffet.
- Kanye West was mentored by Jay Z.
- Harry Potter was mentored by Albus Dumbeldore (fictionally speaking).
As Aristotle says ” society precedes the individual “. Humans need other humans to get on in this world. Man cannot get very far in this life alone.
William also says in his book:
” You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others. “
I believe this is true. Because by being a positive influence and helping others, we also help ourselves.
As Benjamin Franklin said in his biography:
” To pour forth benefits for the common good is divine “.
3. ” Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still end up as a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on. “
In navy seal training if a recruit doesn’t make their bed or sort their uniform out up to certain standards ( basically perfection) some recruits become sugar cookies.
In the United States military, a sugar cookie is when a recruit runs into the ocean and then rolls around in the white sand becoming covered from head to toe with sand. Resulting in the recruit looking like a cookie covered in sugar.
But no matter how well a recruit made their bed, wore their uniform or prepared their equipment, recruits would be chosen as sugar cookies anyway, just to wear them down physically and mentally.
In life, we all become sugar cookies. Unfortunate things happen to us when we don’t deserve it, but that’s just the way life is.
But we have 2 options:
- We can complain about the undesirable things that have happened to us and blame our misfortune on others.
- Or we can take responsibility, and try to do our best in any given situation. We can do this by focusing on what we can control, and developing an optimistic outlook.
In my opinion and from experience, the first option is virtually useless. The second is far more effective.
4. ” Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever-present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment 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. “
The more you fail the more likely you are to succeed.
In order to succeed you need to at least try. There’s no success without effort, that’s a given.
In order for us to realise our full potential, we must first dare greatly, only then can we see what’s truly possible in our lives.
Remember : Who dares greatly wins.
5. ” In life you will face a lot of Circuses. You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments. “
The German Philosopher Friedrich Nietzsche once said ” That which does not kill us makes us stronger.“
If we can look at the hardest moments in our lives and face them head-on with optimism and courage, then these hard moments can forge our character and our will, so that we can deal with life’s hardest moments.
Just like weightlifting can make our muscles grow bigger and stronger, overcoming difficult situations can help us build ever greater mental fortitude, and can help us become more resilient.
Some More Takeaways From Make Your Bed By William H. McRaven
” Remember … start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better … and maybe the world! “
” 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 treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will 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 make it great. “
” At some point we will all confront a dark moment in life. If not the passing of a loved one, then something else that crushes your spirit and leaves you wondering about your future. In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best. “
The Bottom Line On Make Your Bed By William H. McRaven
This book provides practical advice on how to get through life, from a military veteran with 37 years of experience, who served in some of the most difficult operations in military history.
If this advice has served an extremely successful military veteran well during his life. It can definitely help you and me navigate this complex world.
Have you read Make Your Bed By William H McRaven? If you have, let me know what you thought of it in the comments below.