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Summary of Make Your Bed 

Short summary

The motto of the University of Texas states that “What starts here changes the world.” Once a graduate of this institution, Admiral William McRaven came back to deliver a commencement speech for the graduating class of 2014. With over 30 years of experience as a Navy SEAL, McRaven compiled a list of invaluable principles to help anyone change the world for the best. Not everyone wants to change the world, and not everyone needs to. We are also small worlds, universes. The way we treat other people defines how they treat us back. Our behavior resonates with the environment we live in. Imagine that you wake in a bad mood. To get to work, you take a bus. On your way to the seat, you push a couple of people around. Depending on the level of their self-confidence, they may not react at all or have their mood ruined as well. While still riding, they may send out some pretty hurtful texts to their friends, and as they get off, they might go on projecting their irritation onto others. Do you want to be the person who triggers all of this social anxiety? This book will help you develop a discipline to make it through the day and inspire others to build a brighter future for all.

Key points


Making your bed can be an accomplishment

In the training Admiral McRaven underwent, making a bed was a task along with uniform inspections, long swims, and obstacle runs. However, it was the first one of the day, and every cadet was expected to complete it immaculately. The habit Admiral McRaven acquired in the naval program (NROTC) stuck with him for the rest of his life. Having recovered from a serious injury, the first thing he did was get up and, you guessed it, make his bed. Why is it so important then?
Start every day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Always respect everyone. Note that life is not fair and that you will fail often. ~ William H. McRaven
From popular culture, we know that any military training is about discipline. Being disciplined means performing assigned tasks at regular intervals. This practice may seem automatic and lifeless, but its value lies in bringing more order into the chaos of our existence. Moreover, it makes you attentive to detail, of course, if you do it the army way. At home, your bed should be neat and pleasant to look at. Finally, bed-making is the easiest yet very real thing you can accomplish in a day. If you managed to do that, what else are you capable of?
Our daily routines, when completed, can give an immense sense of pride and even bring consolation.
Motivation doesn’t appear out of nowhere. It would help if you prepared the ground for it. Making a bed is a perfect start. Nonetheless, you can do other things too: don’t leave the dirty dishes to sadly dry in the sink until later. You can also clean your shoes right after you come back from the stroll in the rain. These quick and simple tasks save up your future time. Most importantly, these accomplishments help you realize that your will is strong and can take control when necessary.
The US forces captured Saddam Hussein In December 2003. Saddam was held in confinement, during which time he was kept in a small room. He slept on an Army cot, but with the luxury of sheets and a blanket. His covers were always crumpled at the foot of his cot. ~ William H. McRaven

Find people to rely on

The second advice suggests that whatever we do, we should not do it alone. It reminds us of “The Story of Seven Sticks,” where quarreling brothers were each given a stick by their father. They were later told to break their sticks. The brothers did it with ease. The wise father then made a bunch out of seven other sticks and asked his sons to break it. And that was a nearly impossible task. The moral of this tale is that together we are stronger no matter what.
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Make peace with the imperfection of life


When life gives you lemons, make lemonade


Don’t fear, dare!


In the darkest time, there is always light



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