I grew up military. The phrase “Make Your Bed” was the first thing I heard every day and the it remains ingrained in my body and mind to this day.
My parents had long retired from the service by the time that I was born, but the good habits and unbreakable discipline my mom and dad learned in the service stayed with them and served not only my parents, but their kids and now my kids who are their grad kids for a lifetime. My dad woke us up every day at zero dark thirty with the sound of a bell, yes a bell a school bell to be exact that he, being an electrician by trade, had installed himself in mine and my sister’s rooms to rouse us out of bed without fail.
As soon as the vibration of the bell buzzed us across the sheets and signaling the start of the day; once our feet hit the floor we had to turn right around and make our beds. I hated it growing up. I’m grateful for it now. Why? Reading this new book by Admiral Willam H. McRaven, a former Navy Seal, brought into sharp focus how the simple task of making your bed as soon as you wake-up sets a person on the daily road and the lifelong path to of accomplishment and productivity.
Taken from a now legendary commencement speech General McRaven recently gave at University of Texas, which has gone viral, for it’s simple and profound prescription of action items that make the difference in not only your output, but also your outlook on life. My mother and father where to of the most productive and non-complaining people I’ve ever known. This book kind of drove home how helpful it is to start the day off doing something good for yourself, taking care of yourself by cleaning up after yourself which becomes it’s own reward when at the end of the day when a perfectly made clean bed is ready for you to retreat into no matter what happened during the day.
[Soldiers] all understood that life is hard and that sometimes there is little you can do to affect the outcome of your day. In battle soldiers die, families grieve, your days are long and filled with anxious moments. You search for something that can give you solace, that can motivate you to begin your day, that can be a sense of pride in an often times ugly world. But it’s not just in combat. It is in daily life that needs the same sense of structure.
Get the book. read it and relax. Write to me after you’ve read it and let me know what small tasks makes you feel like you’ve accomplished something everyday?
photos @ laurelcreative