The Campaign For DA

5.18.2015

Commencement Address From Naval Adm. William H. McRaven


I learned about this last week (it happened a year ago) but, man, it has really stuck with me. In addressing the graduating class of the University of Texas, he had some advice which some thought quirky coming from a Navy SEAL During training, he told the audience, he and his fellow servicemen were all required to make their beds. It seemed to be a mundane and silly task at the time. But now, his first piece of advice to those about to make their way in this world is this: Make your bed.

"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.

"If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed."

I cannot tell you how much I believe this. Many, many years ago, after a particular troubling time, I resolved to make up my bed every day.  I had no idea why I decided to do that because I never made my bed.  But now I know what was behind my newly found motivation.

When Mrs. LL and I got married, I told her I would have few requests and almost no demands. But I did have one: The bed would be made every day. I didn't care if it I did it or she did it or we did it together, but I told her that it was very important to me. And, I'll be dang, we've kept it up.