Make your bed

It is a simple task – making your bed. It’s one of the first things you should do everyday. One accomplishment down – now let’s tackle the day.

When I am reading a good book, I love to write in it and sometimes take notes. This may be a little weird but it works for me. If I am reading something really good or insightful, I love to share it.

Admiral William H. McRaven wrote Make Your Bed – Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World after giving a commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin. This former Navy SEAL shares lessons he learned during his training. Not only to they apply to his training, but these lessons are important in dealing with challenges we all face in life.

Here is what I took away from his book:

If you want to change your life and maybe the world, start off by making your bed.

If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle. 

None of us are immune from life’s tragic moments … it takes a team of good people to get you to your destination in life.  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.

Determination and grit are more important than talent.

Not the size of the flippers that count, it is the size of the heart.

It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you…. Nothing could be further from the truth.  The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness – Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking.  Stand tall, look to the future.

Failure can make you stronger.

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.

True leaders must learn from their failures, use lessons to motivate themselves and not to be afraid to try again or make the next tough decision.

You must dare greatly.

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 head first, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.

Stand up to bullies.  

If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.

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.

Give people hope.

If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.

With hope you can ease the pain of unbearable loss.  Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference.

We will all find ourselves neck deep in mud someday.  That is the time to sing loudly, to smile broadly, to lift up those around you and give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Never, ever quit.

Start each day with a task completely.  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 change your life for the better, and maybe the world!


I hope these notes make you want to pick up this book for a quick read or just give you some empowerment today in your life.

Make Your Bed wants you to think big while taking care of the small things. Start each day by making your bed and see how it changes you, your day, and maybe the world.

xoxo, Jane Anne

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