Change Your Life By Making Your Bed

Change your life by starting off small and making your bed.

The following remarks about change are made by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations: "I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years.  But it all began when I went for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California. Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable. It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL. But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, change, chaos, failure and hardships. To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.

So, here are the ten lesson’s (about change) that I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life. Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed. If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the bed. It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection.

It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that we were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over. 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. 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.

So…If you want to change your life, start off by making your bed.”

Friends, this goes for all those of us who are not Navy Seals but want to make a positive change in the business world and in our life. Make your bed in the morning and  at the end of the day, you will have accomplished a task that a real warrior—a tough battle hardened Navy SEAL does every day! Over the next uncoming blogs, we will talk about the other nine suggestions from Naval Adm. William H. McRaven....but for today and all our tomorrow's let's take the one small step and make our beds.

 

About the Author

Val has written several books published by McGraw-Hill including: The Winner’s Attitude, Super Service 1st & 2nd editions, The Customer Service Manager’s Toolkit, OPEN Question Selling and Business Improv.

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