Want to Change the World? Make Your Bed

Ben York |

Brothers, if you haven't watched this speech, I'd not only encourage you to do so, but also to bookmark it and make a conscious point to re-watch it on a regular basis. 

This speech was originally delivered as the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin on May 17, 2014, by U.S. Navy Four-Star Admiral, William H. McRaven.

The entire speech is equal parts motivating and inspiring, and has impacted countless number of lives for the better.  

But there are two key portions that Admiral McRaven stated so eloquently that I'm confident each will unquestionably--and immediately--help you move forward if you are struggling.

1. Making 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."

2. Never Ring the Bell

"Finally, in SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o'clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims.

Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.

If you want to change the world don't ever, ever ring the bell."


If I had to summarize what these two passages (and the entire speech) is about, I'd say sacrifice. 

Above all, in order to impact the world and to do your part, you have to be willing to put others before yourself. 

Just like making your bed, life is about the little things. The details. When it comes to success there are, literally, zero shortcuts. 

The best part? Every single human being has the opportunity to make a difference. 

Will it require hard work? Absolutely.

Sacrifice? You better believe it.

But as the admiral stated, start each day with a task completed.

Life isn't fair. You will fail. And that's alright.

But if you take risks, face down the bullies and help the downtrodden, the next generation will live in a far better world.