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  • Writer's pictureMaya

"Start off by making your bed"

Updated: Jan 30, 2019


Video Length: 6 minutes

Admiral William McRaven wrote this speech for the 2014 commencement at the University of Texas at Austin. In this speech, Admiral McRaven urges the graduates to make a difference in the world by accomplishing the small tasks in life, and that starts with making your bed every day.

Description & Discussion:

In this speech, Admiral McRaven drives home the point of intentionalism many times. In this particular part of the speech, he talks about his experiencing in BUD/S. He first talks about how his class was taught to face sharks if they were to circle them. They were to hold their ground and punch them as hard as they can. As he says, life will have sharks, but you have to continue and stand up to those sharks. In the next part, he talks about the boat crews and that he best crew they had were the “little guys” and in BUD/S training the only thing that matters is the size of your heart. In this world, if you want to make a difference, it’s about the little things you do to keep you going, it’s making your bed when you wake up or it’s the song you sing in the car on the way to work. There are always going to be ups and downs in life, but you have to know why you are doing what you are doing.

Decision, Design & Discipline:

This is by far one of my favorite speeches. It always reminds me that there are always going to be bullies in life and there are always going to be people there to knock you down, but it is the small accomplishments that you complete on a daily basis that snowball into big accomplishments over time, and you realize those bullies and the people who did not believe you are left behind and are small compared to achievements that lie ahead. It’s your character and the size of your heart that matters. If you believe in what you are doing, then it can be done.

Are there people in your life that have put you down? Why were they wrong? Think of the people in your life that support you. What are the small things you do every day? Do you make your bed? Do you do little things for the ones that support you, even if it’s as small as making them smile? Is there something you can start doing every day that’s a small task? Always remember, it’s the little things in life that count.

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