This quote may seem a bit ridiculous at first, but when I listened to the full speech by Navy Seal Admiral William H. McRaven, I realized it was anything but. In fact, it gets more meaningful and powerful with each line he delivers. There are many takeaways, all equally important, and I do hope you will give it a listen after reading this, the link is below. For this moment, I’m just going to focus on what’s simple and obvious but resonated with me the most.
Our lives get so crazy, busy, and stress-filled sometimes that we wake up and just hit the ground running with a mind-numbing to-do-list of things we feel must get done. Instead of just diving into the madness, why not start off by making the bed? At the very least, the bare minimum, we will already have a small sense of accomplishment and can check one thing off the list. Not to mention, no matter how great or shitty the day may be, we will come home to a nice, neat, well-made bed. Those are definite wins, and easy ways to positively affect the day.
Beyond that, making our bed every morning is a reminder that the little things matter. If we do the little things right, it makes the bigger things possible. I know that for myself, I can get overwhelmed by the bigger, seemingly more important tasks I need to do sometimes. Focusing on the end game, the ultimate goal, can paralyze me by making it seem unreachable, unachievable. Instead, if I just take things one step at a time, I find a sense of pride in each small task completed, which drives me to complete more and more tasks. Eventually, I find myself that much closer to my goal.
“If we do the little things right, it makes the bigger things possible”
There are quite a few creative projects I’ve sat on and made no progress towards over the years simply because the ideas seemed too big and daunting to complete. If I would’ve bitten off achievable amounts of them along the way, no doubt more would’ve been completed by now.
I’ve talked a lot about how “one day at a time” is a mantra in recovery and has been the single most important slogan and motto for me in finding sobriety. Start small, do something achievable, and then move forward. This has changed my life.
In our house, the bed gets made first thing in the morning. Sometimes I handle the duties, other times my wife, Natasha, beats me to it, and there are days where we make it together. We both have learned and recognize the significance. It works.
Short version of the speech: