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  • Make Your Bed

    Robert Stevenson, Make Your Bed

    I was raised in a military family. My Dad was a pilot and Wing Commander in the U.S. Air Force and retired as a Colonel. There wasn’t a lot of conversation with my Dad growing up. I usually said “Yes sir,” “No sir,” or “No Excuse sir.” Things were also extremely regimented, all the way down to the simple task of MAKING MY BED. What was the big deal about always making my bed? Why even waste the time to make it up? I was just going to have to unmake it before I could jump back in it at night. I wasn’t a fan of having to make my bed, but there was no way in the world, that I was going to challenge “The Colonel” and not make it up. So, every morning I would roll out of bed and make it up … a task I still do today.

    I don't remember my Dad ever sharing with me “WHY” it was so important to start the day with making my bed. I probably wouldn’t have agreed with him, even if he did tell me, but I think (as an adult) knowing the “WHY” is just as important as doing the task. I personally feel that many parents, bosses, managers, and leaders are making a big mistake with not sharing the “Why” we need to do something … and “Why” we need to do it a certain way.

    I recently came across a commencement speech at the University of Texas given by U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McCraven, who was a former Navy SEAL and the commander of the forces that organized the raid to kill Osama bin Laden. He was sharing with the graduating class what he felt was some key advice on success. Just looking at the Admiral standing at the podium in his white Navy uniform with all his medals was a pretty impressive sight to me. I figured I was going to be hearing some HEAVY DUTY, deep thinking, and profound words of wisdom from an Admiral.

    The Admiral stated, "If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.'' The moment I heard the statement, I’m thinking, are you kidding me. What is it with these military people and making beds? But I kept listening and things started making sense; you see, the Admiral threw in the “WHY.”       


    "If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,'' he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And 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 the little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you'll never be able to 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."

    The Admiral went on to give 10 lessons for the University of Texas graduates to help make them successful in life. I highly recommend you go to YouTube and check out his speech

    So, tomorrow morning, when you roll out of bed, you have a simple choice to make … do you start your day with a small sense of accomplishment by making your bed, reinforcing that the little things do matter, or let it stay unmade; it’s your choice.

    Successful People are Disciplined
    Discipline is YOUR Choice

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