Make Your Bed: The Best Talk I’ve Heard About Success
Admiral William McRaven gave a rousing commencement speech at the University of Texas in May 2014. It highlights how the military will change you and will instill in you habits that set you up for success. The following quote was one that struck at my soul as it is a reflection on how I view even the most mundane of tasks:
“If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day. It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another. By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.”
It’s true, you really should make your bed. It may sound trivial, but making your bed can do wonders. I’ve had this mindset since I was a wee little thing. My rose-covered comforter was smoothed to perfection, the pillows fluffed just so, and my teddy bear perched upright and centered.
When I went to basic combat training (BCT) after enlisting in the Army, hospital corners and a tightly tucked in wool blanket were two things I was exceptionally skilled at. No drill sergeant was flipping over my bunk in disgust!
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
There’s more to this whole bed-making idea than just neatness. It’s about the discipline, the starting off your day by accomplishing one goal, and the aptitude for paying attention to details.
I encourage you to start each day with a task completed. Make your bed. Take pride in your work, and then move on to the next task at hand. Maybe your to-do list is to create posts for social media content (raises hand), complete an assignment before its deadline, fit in that workout, be a kind and loving parent (not always as easy as it seems), or somehow manage to finish what your commander asked of you. Perhaps making your bed will give you the jumping off point to succeed at the rest of your day.
“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.”
ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Kayley Nammari is an Army brat and a veteran of the US Army Reserve where she served in the Intelligence Corps in both an enlisted and officer role. She no longer targets terrorists but instead wrangles her two young sons. While searching for a new handbag, she came upon Sword & Plough’s website and has been using her wool handbag ever since. She now sports a mini tote to hold an assortment of sippy cups, baby wipes, and a book about tractors.