Make your bed every day – and change the world

A commencement speaker in Texas gave some solid advice to graduates recently.  The comments came from Navy Admiral William McRaven, a NAVY Seal and currently commander of the U.S. Special Operations, likened life experiences to his military training…He said it best himself. See it here:

Changing the world starts with making your bed.

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23 thoughts on “Make your bed every day – and change the world

  1. Spencer Jenssen says:

    This speech is truly incredible. This is a man of honor, and illustrates the need to take risks to better the world. After listening to this speech, I feel making my bed everyday, although something I don’t want to do everyday at 0445 every morning before work, is something that grants an achievement before the day even starts. This speech truly exemplifies the struggles of life through the eyes of a NAVY seal, and I think through his perspective, there is no other way to define life as not usually fair, but beneficiary if those risks are taken and through the challenges only rewards will be given.

    • Iain Kennedy says:

      I felt the exact same way after the speech. I wanted to start making my bed because it made so much sense the way he explained the sense of accomplishment. At the beginning of the speech I saw it was 20 minutes and groaned, but after watching it and listening to the life lessons presented by such a wise, seasoned veteran I am inspired to better myself. He really does put into perspective how bad things could be, and how everyone experiences hardship and trials. It’s how we deals with these adversities that defines who we are as a person.

  2. Rama Taher says:

    “If you wanna change the world, you have to be your best at the darkest moments.” This statement actually ignites anyone who watches the speech. McRaven did a very inspiring speech to the graduates of 2014 . His optimisim is felt by everyone as he is being very realistic. He gives so much hope to the students and to anyone who is watching as well.
    I personally got touched after seeing it and felt like there is still hope and its never too late to start anything even if I failed before. As McRaven said that people will probably fail but they have to keep on trying and change the world.

    • Karin Ellis says:

      I think this is a perfect response to that video. He really shows you that no matter what has happened, you can create a better opportunity for yourself and pick yourself up over and over and try again. I love him saying it all starts with a made bed. It really is a great place to start, if you make your bed in the morning by the time you get home you will have a safe clean place to lay your head to forget about the rough day you might have had. Very inspiring and a great commencement speech! 🙂

      • Spencer Jenssen says:

        Your response is definitely what I was thinking. At the end of the day, no matter good or bad, a made bed to lay down to after a busy day really wipes out the thoughts of the days’ events that occurred. It’s almost like even if you failed at something that happened during the day, you accomplished something by laying down to a bed you made before any of the days events occurred. Aside from the bed making, this speech truly is inspirational.

      • Spencer Jenssen says:

        I completely agree, well said. This video certainly gives hope to those who have failed before and never thought they could recover from that failure. This video is an excellent motivational tool if you ever find yourself in a jam or even if you have failed at something to pick yourself back up and keep moving forward.

  3. Jacob Wessell says:

    Some great advice from a man who has led a very respectable career in the Navy. So true that the advice given is applicable whether you have served in the military or not. Making your bed reinforces the fact that the little things in life matter.

    • Cara Purdy says:

      I agree with Jacob about the advice being applicable to every avenue in life. Also that making your bed builds discipline and self control which are building blocks to success in other areas of life as well. This speech was truly inspiring. Thanks for sharing.

    • Marion Thiriat says:

      I agree with what Jacob and Cara both said, this speech was truly inspiring! Reminding you that you have to stay true to yourself, close the real essence of life and keep in mind where you come from. Really motivating !

  4. Patrick G says:

    wow this is amazing. Graduation season sometimes throws up some “dud” speakers, but regardless of you political affiliation, how much youre into the armed services or not, its not to be inspired by a brave man like Mr. McRaven. And to see McRaven humbled and honoured to be amoungst the graduates only adds to the class of this man. Bravo!

  5. Cody Hakala says:

    This commencement speech only made me realize how much I need to work on my public speaking. It really is an art, or another language even. Commanding the attention of 8000 college students and talking to them on a level that resonates must be a rush. But then a navy seal veteran has probably experienced more intense adrenaline fixes in his lifetime. This video also ruined the last hour of my study time, as I persisted to watch other commencement speeches in comparison. This one is pretty good though.

    • Spencer Jenssen says:

      I was actually thinking the same exact thing. For a moment, I imagined myself talking up there in front of all those people and realized that it would be a complete disaster. This speech certainly sparked my interest in improving my public speaking skills. The confidence level he has was incredible and a great example of a fine product from the military.

  6. Trang Trinh says:

    What a powerful speech! It’s not too late to start now. I believe it must come from within to make a chance. Start from little things then bigger. Even though it is sometimes hard to do but it is rewarding to see the result that people change because you have made a positive change in them and yourself especially.

  7. Katie Miller says:

    We all know amazing speeches really only come along every now and then, but its so great to see this being publicized and credited! So inspirational!

  8. Pia Droessiger says:

    I really love this speech. His words seem so honest and positive. I understand that every speech will probably have a positive outlook on life but his are also believable and not just dream speeches. I had to watch a lot of other graduation speeches for another class before and there were people asked that are comedians or just generally popular people and they just don’t make it in heart and quality to this speech. The only other one that really struck out to me is the Steven Jobs one.

    He just as Naval Adm. William H. McRaven hit it home with addressing the issues that our world isn’t perfect and that we need to see action to change the world. Jobs speech is even a little bit more addressed to the heart as he talked about doing a job that you in your heart desire and you will be happy with it and about love and lost and how things can and will change. I believe those speeches are so important as the sentence “ to make your bed in the morning” the sad the idea for our future and what we believe we can achieve.
    “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” I can relate to this, maybe simple task as I already saw this speech about a year ago. I nanny for a family and one time the boy came home from practice and said the couch made them watch this super long video about attitude. I asked some more about it and later we adults watched it so see what it was about. Funny story I always made my bed that was just asked of me as a kid and has never changed when I tried to get the kids here to do so it was the biggest struggle. From then on I thought I found my explanation because Naval Adm. William H. McRaven said so too. I believe that it is a simple task but it does set the road for your whole day just the same as if you wake up in a good or bad mood. I think what those speeches most aim to is to encourage in us that we have choice and free will and the ability to change if we just have the right mindset and attitude. In many cases we only see one out, and that is because we are so used to sticking things out and wait for the better. I could go on and one with each of his 10 points because I think we can all relate to them and that is what makes this such a great speech. I hope it does help people believe in themselves and the ability to make a changes and not to not work hard but for the right cause.

  9. Joey Wallace says:

    This speech is very inspiring. “Changing the world” are some very big words, but when you put it in basic terms, it is really about doing a lot of small things that add up. Making your bed every day is a great example of that. If you do have a bad day, going home to a made bed does make it a little better.

    I really liked his quote ” If you want to change the world, you have to be the best during your darkest moments”. This is true because if you want to be the best you can be, you have to be well rounded in all aspects even in your weak areas. When someone is successful in all areas people notice that and want to be better. I notice some people say their public speaking skills are not so great and they wish they could speak publicly at the same skill level as this navy seal. This is a way to change the world one step at a time as well (just like making your bed) because people see you speak your opinion, and it inspires others to do the same.

  10. He made a great analogy for the long journey of graduates. Doing the complete right thing is very tough because when people try to do that, they have to go against the mainstream of the society; if people want to disclose the facts certain group of people are trying to hide such as governments and big corporations, they have to go against these extremely powerful entities. In the process of doing the right things, there are many obstacles and threats which will face and thus, many people end up giving up what they are tying to do because they are scared or threatened. To achieve the goal, people need to do a small thing step by step as the speaker focused on making a bed everyday, and they also need to find folks with the same ambitions, never give up, be persistent, and keep a hope, as he did in the training. His speech made me remember the importance of being persistent with keeping a hope until I achieve what I want to do in my future. I want to make the world better for our next generations. Even though the world may look like being better, when I look at the roots of all the problems in the world, I do not think that the world hasn’t gotten better. It’s hard to tell for many people to realize the facts because media never tell them to us. I’m not talking about the details here, but I want to contribute to make the world better even though what I do looks like a very small thing. In that way, his speech is great.

  11. The speaker used a great analogy between his experience in the training and a path we take in our lives. Changing the world is not a simple thing. People have a different interest. Some people are interested in helping other people and others are interested in making profits as much as possible at the cost of other people’s lives. When these different people interact, the conflict usually happens.

    Even though the story of the speaker gave could be explained from the both perspectives to some extent, the story fits well in the live of the former people. To change the world, those people need to make a tremendous effort. They will face many obstacles and get scared sometimes, as the speaker experienced in the training, and some people might give up their goal, as people rang a bell in the training. The very important things people need to achieve their goals are to be persistent, have folks who work with you, and keep a hope. If they have these three things, they won’t give up easily and will achieve their goals.

    People who could make the world better, such as social activists, politicians, artists, and musicians, were strongly determined and always kept a hope. This is why these people were not afraid of the people who tried to stop the social movements.

    His speech made me remember again the importance of keeping a hope . It is because I’m not completely determined yet, but when I dig into and see the roots of the problems which have been unsolved for many years, I feel scared. I think it’s very difficult to change the world because those problems are very complex and closely related to each other. However, if I lose a hope, nothing would happen to my life. Therefore, as the speaker said, I will keep my hope and be persistent to make the world better.

  12. The speaker used a great analogy between his experience in the training and a path we take in our lives. Changing the world is not a simple thing. People have a different interest. Some people are interested in helping other people and others are interested in making profits as much as possible at the cost of other people’s lives. When these different people interact, the conflict usually happens.

    Even though the story of the speaker gave could be explained from the both perspectives to some extent, the story fits well in the live of the former people. To change the world, those people need to make a tremendous effort. They will face many obstacles and get scared sometimes, as the speaker experienced in the training, and some people might give up their goal, as people rang a bell in the training. The very important things people need to achieve their goals are to be persistent, have folks who work with you, and keep a hope. If they have these three things, they won’t give up easily and will achieve their goals.

    People who could make the world better, such as social activists, politicians, artists, and musicians, were strongly determined and always kept a hope. This is why these people were not afraid of the people who tried to stop the social movements.

    His speech made me remember again the importance of keeping a hope . It is because I’m not completely determined yet, but when I dig into and see the roots of the problems which have been unsolved for many years, I feel scared. I think it’s very difficult to change the world because those problems are very complex and closely related to each other. However, if I lose a hope, nothing would happen to my life. Therefore, as the speaker said, I will keep my hope and be persistent to make the world better.

  13. Dominic Upshaw says:

    I thought this video was really cool. It was a little dramatized being that all of his anecdotes were derived from Navy Seal trainings, but they were still relatable. Soon I too will be graduating college and so it’s easy for me to feel like the next step is scary or exciting at times like these students probably feel. The future can be very daunting and seem super complicated, but like the speaker said it is most important to do the little things like making your bed in order to work up to getting the bigger things done. This applies to my life for sure, so it was nice to hear that it can all be done as long as you never give up persevere through all of the hardships. In order to change the world, this is a necessity, but so is congregating with other people to work toward a certain goal.

  14. Luis Cacho says:

    This guy’s public speaking is so natural and fluid; I received my associates in communications and public speaking and have gained a new respect for people who produce great speeches. As a Navy Admiral, a listener would almost have the preconceived notion of boredom before he even speaks if he or she wasn’t associated with the military; But the way Admiral McRaven delivered this speech started off so casually and cool that the listeners looked passed his uniform and looked at him as a person who was sitting in the same seat as they were 37 years ago. It’s great to see a person of such high power to extend his olive branches of knowledge.

  15. Michael Hanacek says:

    The strength in this presentation for me, is finding ways to relate to the things you don’t like to do, and be optimistic of the future. It also give hope, to future graduates that we can make a change in the World. Lessons to overcome struggles include strengthening our own characteristics, developing structure, and developing discipline. The little things matter in life, and if you can’t do those right, you will never be able to the big things in life. Denzel Washington’ Commencement Speech at University of Pennsylvania:

    . He talks about failing, but not to fall forward, not backwards. He talks about his own failures and how no one really notices them, only his accomplishments. The connect to Admiral McRaven speech is not to quit in life, but to keep continuing forward.

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