Every morning, as a kid, I made my bed. Why? My mom told me to, and I was living under her roof.
Admiral William H. McRaven, the Navy SEAL veteran who commanded the forces that organized the raid to kill Osama Bin Laden, gave the commencement address to the Class of 2014 at the University of Texas in Austin. His talk was “10 Lessons to Change the World.”
Here’s his first lesson about how to change the world:
“Make your bed. Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors … would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.”
It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection. It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle-hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
If you make your bed every morning you will have accomplished the first task of the day … By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.
Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you will never do the big things right.
In tandem, according to The Power of Habit, by Pulitzer Prize-winning New York Times reporter Charles Duhigg, making your bed can boost productivity and create stronger skills for other life projects.
So I presume if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.