Make Your Bed: Little things that can change your life

Author: William H McRaven

2 Hours

“Make your bed” is written by hugely successful, retired Navy Admiral who shares his wisdom for life. It is brilliant and it is also short and concise. Masterpieces don’t have to be volumes in length. I appreciate authors who get to the point. He tells stories from his career, and then shows you the lesson from them. Everyone should read it, it is such an easy, enjoyable read.

I appreciate authors who can talk about taking risks and potentially embarrassing yourself.

“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 headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.”

The word embarrassment stands out for me. I have put myself in so many embarrassing situations. People around me have been embarrassed for me and you can see it written all over their faces. However, I survived the embarrassment and if anything, the embarrassment helped me get to the top of my mountain just a bit quicker.

When I studied for my MBA, I would speak up when I didn’t understand a concept. I was like a dog with a bone. “Does anybody have any questions?” and my hand would go up every single time “Please explain that again? I didn’t get it”. I could feel the embarrassment thick in the air. I didn’t pretend I knew what the lecturer was talking about. When I started the MBA I had been a clinician for eight years, so this was not my world. Corporate finance, economics and accounting were all my mountains to climb. Interestingly, the people who were the most embarrassed for me, were the people who knew the least about the subject.

He also touches on topics like making your bed, accomplishing something everyday matters. About taking calculated risk, rather than recklessly taking every risk that is presented to you. It’s about rebuilding one step at a time, persevering, having patience. About the power ‘of one person to inspire those around him, to give them hope’. Sometimes it is easy to see to give up in the face adversity. However, perseverance pays off.

This book inspired me to make small changes in my life. It is motivating, inspiring and would be an excellent gift for someone about to transition from one stage of life to another. Great for young people as they go out into the world, a new Mum, if you are starting a business, someone about to retire, there is something in there for everyone.

Admiral William H McRaven (US navy retired) served with great distinction in the Navy. In his 37 years as a navy SEAL, he commanded at every level. As a four-star Admiral, his final assignment was as Commander of all US Special Operations Forces. From 2015 to 2018, he was Chancellor of the University of Texas System.