I wanted to share something that I found to be inspiring and thought some of you might take away a little inspiration as well.
I was perusing Amazon for a book (or two) to buy when I came across “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven. The title itself was intriguing, plus I saw that it received 4.5 out of 5 stars with over 1,000 reviews. I decided to check it out.
McRaven’s book is based off his 2014 commencement speech he gave at the University of Texas at Austin. The customer reviews on Amazon praise how the life lessons McRaven walks through, things he took away from his Navy Seal training, are applicable to anybody. With more curiosity, I decided to look up his speech on YouTube.
The first thing that stood out to me was McRaven’s comment on how the struggles we face, the life lessons to overcome those struggles, and how we can help change the world are universal; it doesn’t matter your background, gender, etc. This was something I had never thought of before, but I liked this perspective. It’s reassurance that we all have the ability to rise above and make a difference in other people’s lives and in the world.
McRaven continued to list out his ten lessons toward making a change. His first one was where the title of the book will make sense: making your bed every morning. You might be thinking, “How is making my bed going to make an impact?” McRaven shed light on this question: Although a small task, making your bed every morning leaves you with a sense of accomplishment. It leads you to completing your second task of the day. Then your third, fourth, and so on.
There are times when we might do our absolute best at something, but the outcome still doesn’t turn out as we had hoped. When that happens, just keep going. That’s how life is sometimes, but we can’t let it hold us back (or as McRaven put it: get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward).
One of McRaven’s lessons that I’ve been learning more and more is that failure will happen, but don’t be afraid of it. Failure is a part of life and though many of us might put it at the top of our list of what we fear most, we shouldn’t be afraid that it’s going to happen. We can embrace it and let it motivate us forward.
Another lesson that stood out to me was to be your very best in the darkest moments. When you feel like you’re in a dark place and it’s hard to think straight, or you feel stuck, find your inner strength to let it help you through those times.
A powerful lesson that McRaven discussed was to never give up. This is so easy to do, especially when things are tough. That doesn’t mean you throw in the towel though. If you want to change the world or make an impact, giving up isn’t the way to do so.
These obviously aren’t all ten, but McRaven’s lessons are great for anyone at any stage of life. I enjoyed listening to his speech and I would still like to get the book because it probably goes a little more into each of his lessons.
Has anyone else read his book or listened to the speech? What are your thoughts? What are other inspirational speeches you’ve heard? Let me know in the comments!