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Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven Book Review

 




Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven Book Review 


Make Your Bed by Admiral William H. McRaven While it's true that everyone faces challenges in life, not everyone faces the challenges of a Navy SEAL. 

Admiral McRaven joined the Navy SEALs in early 1980s. After 37 years of military service, midnight swims in the cold waters of San Diego, uncountable days without sleep and the most extreme missions, he learned 10 lessons that can help you get through the most difficult times in your life. 

Lesson number one, start your day with a task completed. Each day of your life will require you to complete some tasks. These might be as simple as working, driving your children to school, or cleaning your home. 

When faced with a long list of small tasks, you may feel overwhelmed, but if you start your day with one successful task, even if it seems as insignificant as making your bed, you will be setting yourself up for a successful day. 

Every morning in SEAL training, McRaven started the day by making his bed. And each morning, the instructors would inspect his bed. If made correctly, the sheets would be tightly tucked under the mattress, the extra blanket will be folded and placed at the foot of the bed, and the pillow will be perfectly centered. 

After visually checking the bed, the instructor would flip a coin in the air. If the bed was made correctly, the coin would land on the mattress and spring back up, high enough for the instructor to catch it. 

This happened every single day. Even though the reward was a simple nod of approval, that approval was the acknowledgment of McRaven's fulfillment of his duties. This acknowledgment greeted him at the end of each hard and long day, when he would come back to sleep in a perfectly made bed. 

Many years later, after 911, a parachuting accident left McRaven stuck in a hospital bed. He was eager to recover and join the fight alongside his countrymen, so when his doctors discharged him, the first thing he did was make his bed. 

This act symbolizes he's returned to normal life, and him getting back to being in control. McRaven's time in the Navy SEALs was often difficult, but he always found solace in the simple task of making his bed each and every morning. 

Lesson number two, you cannot go at it alone. Christopher Columbus is known to be the man who discovered America, but he didn't do it alone. He couldn't have, because the oceans are challenging at times. 

The waves get rough, and when those times come, you need someone to help you paddle. The same applies to achieving success in life. If you take the journey alone, you'll be spending a lot more energy than necessary. 

The secret is to find people to love and who love you back. Help them during their tough times, and you can be sure that they'll help you through yours. Lesson number three, only the size of your heart matters. 

There is more to you than meets the eye. It doesn't matter what job you do. It doesn't matter if your hair is straight or curly, whether you're tall, short, man, woman, because what defines you as a person is underneath all that. 

The size of your heart is what matters. Of course, same applies to everyone else. You have to look beyond what meets the eye. 

You must allow people to surprise you. Forget all those preconceived ideas and see the others for what they truly are, and give them value for it. Remember that even the smallest person can do the greatest things. 

Lesson number four, life's not fair, drive on. Life is not easy, don't try to make it that way. It never was. It's not now. And it will never be. 

Don't fall into the entitlement trap, the trap of feeling like you're a victim. You're not. Most things in life are more rewarding when you have to break a sweat for them anyhow. Many great historical figures overcame great adversity to reach great heights. 

Think of Nelson Mandela, or Martin Luther King, or somebody like Stephen Hawking. And just like them, at the end of the day, you're the only person responsible for determining your fate. So, drive on. 

Lesson number five, failure can make you stronger. Failure is inevitable. It's part of life, and if you haven't experienced it yet, you will. 

It doesn't matter how hard you try to succeed and how much you try to avoid failure, at some point you will fail. But that's okay. Use that failure to your advantage. 

It took Thomas Edison more than a thousand tries to develop a light bulb that worked. When a journalist asked him, "How does it feel to fail a thousand times?" He replied, "I didn't fail a thousand times. 

The light bulb was an invention with a thousand steps." More than a hundred years later, your challenges might be very different than those of Thomas Edison. Just like him, you will fail. And just like him, you can develop an incredibly strong willpower to succeed and work hard towards your goals no matter what. 

Lesson number six, you must dare greatly. In order to be able to learn from your mistakes, you first have to be willing to make them. Don't let the fear of failure stop you. Just because you failed in the past, it does not mean you will fail now. Don't be afraid of trying again. 

While it is true that life sometimes can be a struggle, and the potential of failure is always present, those who live a life of fear will never achieve greatness. Push yourself to the limits and dare greatly. 

Lesson number seven, stand up to the bullies. Bullying can exist in many forms and it can happen anywhere. But while there are thousands of different bullies in the world, they all share one thing. 

They feed on the fear of those they oppress in order to grow stronger. Very much like sharks in the water, circling their prey and waiting for a weakness. Unfortunately, there are more sharks in life than in the water. And you can find them anywhere in school, at work, and just in society. 

If you give in, they will attack you, but they won't hurt you if you stand up for yourself. Dig deep inside yourself, and you will find the courage you need to face these sharks. Lesson number eight, rise to the occasion. 

If there is one thing you can expect from life, it is to be unpredictable. You may lose a loved one, a job, a dream. You have to be your very best in the darkest moments. When 9/11 happened, it was a shock. It was a disaster. But everyone came together and fought back as one. 

Lesson number nine, give people hope. At some point in life, you will be stuck in the mud, and it will feel like you don't have the energy to get out. But as Stephen Hawking said, "While there is life, there is hope." And while there is hope, there is a light at the end of the tunnel. 

When these dark moments come, be the light that gives hope to yourself and to those around you, because just one person can change the world by giving people hope. The ninth week of SEAL training is known as, "Hell Week." 

It is six days of no sleep, physical and mental exhaustion, and one day in the mud flats. McRaven and his group were ordered into the mud, the cold and the wet consumed each man until there was nothing visible but their heads. 

They were drenched, filthy, freezing and bone tired. With three more days of Hell Week left, many of the men started to lose their resolve. With just 15 hours to go, one of the instructors told the men they could come out of the mud. 

They would be served hot coffee and chicken soup, and they could relax for the whole night. And while that was tempting, it also meant giving up the dream of joining the Navy SEALs. When some of the men were starting to lose hope, someone started singing out of nowhere. 

It was a well-known song and everybody else joined in. The instructor told the men to stop, but they didn't. Suddenly, the mud felt a little bit warmer, and the ending felt closer. The singing had brought the men together and gave them hope. 

If one of them could find the strength to sing during this horrendous moment, they could all find the strength to survive the night. And they did. 

Lesson number ten, never, ever quit. Life will get tough at times and things will not go your way. When this happens, don't quit. If you throw in the towel whenever odds seem small, you will never win big. 

Stand your ground and work despite the odds, because no one can stop you from doing what you love. And when you do what you love, you will succeed. You see, if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. 

Find someone to help you paddle, measure other people by the size of their hearts, get over being a sugar cookie, and keep moving forward. 

Don't be afraid of the circus. Slide down the obstacles headfirst, don't back down from the sharks, be your very best in dark moments. Start singing when you're up to the neck in mud and don't ever, ever ring the bell. 

In Admiral McRaven's words, "If you cannot do the little things right, you will never do the big things right." Now, let's see how you can implement all of this into your life. Hey. Welcome back. So, that was Make Your Bed. And you've probably seen the speech out there. 

The book is even greater. As you can see, it's full of incredibly motivational advice. Life advice, how to deal with some of the darkest times in your life ... But how do you implement it in your life? Because some of it is a little bit high-level. How do you implement it on a daily basis? Well, as the title says, the easiest way is to make your bed. 

It might be like, "Hey, this is a little bit silly and it's a little bit simple. Why does it work?" Well, here's why, because it sets you up for success. Imagine you wake up in the morning, and you go to take a glass of water, and you break it. 

You know, it's significant. You're going to break so many things in your life. But it sets you up in a bad mood for the rest of the day. And you've been there. Something has happened in the morning that's seemingly insignificant, and the whole day is ruined. Same thing with making your bed. 

It's insignificant, but it sets you up for success. You started the day with something that you controlled, that you successfully achieved. It sets you up. It primes your mind to succeed for the rest of the day. 

And the second reason, assuming you end your day with going to bed ... The last thing you do is you go to bed, you're going to see that your bed is fully made. This part is you're like, "Hey, today I did this." Instead of going to bed and something is on your mind, you see your bed. 

It's clean, it's crisp, it's organized. It sets you up in the right mind, not only to sleep, but also gives your whole day a sense of what you do in the morning; the last thing you see before going to bed is your made bed. 

Ta-da. It works. It's simple and it works. Another thing that is similar, but I found to work extremely well, is to organize your desk. Your workstation, wherever you're working. 

A lot of us work from home these days, the last thing you do is organize it. The next morning when you go there and everything is ready for you, you can just jump into your work. 

Because imagine the next day you go and there's documents on one side, your keyboard is somewhere, your mouse is somewhere. You cannot find it. 

It sets you up for disaster. But if the last thing you do is set up your desk ... You're closed for the day, you set up your desk, your workstation, to be ready for the next day. It sets you up for success. It's the little things that make a big difference, because it's compounded every single day. 

It's the compound effect. It sets your first success for the day, it compounds over the rest of the day, but also compounds for the longevity of the entire task. Imagine you set yourself up for success every single day. 

Day in, day out, week in, week out. A year down the road. It makes a big difference. It's simple, but it works. Make your bed. Of course, you can use some of the other advice, but making your bed is the first step. 


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