top of page

TAI Motivational Moments Blog

  • Writer's pictureJerry Justice

Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...And Maybe the World

Make Your Bed book cover.

In life, it's often the smallest actions that yield the most profound results. Admiral William H. McRaven’s "Make Your Bed" encapsulates this notion perfectly, drawing from his extensive military career and personal experiences to inspire readers to embrace discipline, perseverance and the power of simple habits. This book, born from McRaven's viral 2014 University of Texas commencement speech, distills life lessons into actionable advice that can transform your daily routine and mindset.

About the Author

Admiral William H. McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL who served for 37 years. His career highlights include leading the operation that resulted in the death of Osama bin Laden and commanding the U.S. Special Operations Command. McRaven’s experience in high-stakes, high-pressure environments gives him a unique perspective on leadership, resilience and personal accountability.

Book Summary

"Make Your Bed" is structured around ten life lessons that McRaven learned from his time in Navy SEAL training. Each chapter is dedicated to one lesson, illustrated with personal anecdotes and insights from his military career. The book emphasizes the importance of starting each day with a task completed—making your bed—as a foundation for larger successes.

Key Lessons from "Make Your Bed"

1. Start Your Day with a Task Completed: Making your bed every morning creates a sense of accomplishment and sets a positive tone for the rest of the day.

2. You Can’t Go It Alone: Success is rarely achieved in isolation. Building strong, supportive relationships is crucial.

3. Only the Size of Your Heart Matters: Determination and passion are more important than physical strength or natural talent.

4. Get Over Being a Sugar Cookie: Life is unfair, and accepting that reality is essential for resilience.

5. Don’t Be Afraid of the Circus: Embrace failure as a learning opportunity. The more you fail, the more you learn and grow.

6. Slide Down the Obstacle Head First: Take risks and embrace unconventional solutions to overcome challenges.

7. Don’t Back Down from the Sharks: Face your fears head-on and stand your ground in the face of adversity.

8. Be Your Very Best in the Darkest Moments: Maintain your composure and perform at your best, especially when times are tough.

9. Start Singing When You’re Up to Your Neck in Mud: Maintain hope and a positive attitude even in the most difficult circumstances.

10. Don’t Ever, Ever Ring the Bell: Never give up, no matter how hard things get.

The Viral Commencement Speech

Admiral McRaven’s commencement address at the University of Texas in 2014 quickly went viral, resonating with millions around the world. In this speech, he outlined the ten lessons from Navy SEAL training, capturing the essence of his book. The speech’s popularity underscores the universal appeal and practicality of Admiral McRaven’s advice.


"Make Your Bed" is a powerful reminder that small actions can lead to significant changes. Admiral McRaven’s straightforward and compelling advice encourages readers to adopt habits that build resilience, foster teamwork and inspire perseverance. By starting with a simple task each day, we can create a ripple effect that transforms our lives and impacts those around us.

Follow-Up Question

What simple habit have you found to be transformative in your daily routine and how has it impacted your overall productivity and mindset?

Feel free to share your thoughts in the comments!

(As an Amazon Associate, we may receive a commission from qualifying purchases.)


Welcome to our Blog! It is completely free and is published daily to educate, inspire & motivate our readers.  If you have found it enjoyable or helpful, we invite you to subscribe to receive it in your inbox! We DO NOT sell or rent your personal information to any other party.

Subscribe to our blog

Thanks for subscribing!

bottom of page