It’s the Little Things…….
I recently read an article that referenced the 2014 University of Texas Commencement speech delivered by Admiral William H. McRaven, who at that time was the U.S. Special Operations Commander. He spoke for roughly 19 minutes to the graduating class and delivered 10 points to them as they embark on their new lives post college. If you are interested in watching the speech, I will include the link below. Although he made several interesting points, his first one is one that caught my attention: “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”
Here is this part of the speech:
“Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your bed.
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack—rack—that’s Navy talk for 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. It will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to do another task and another and another.
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.”
It’s that last sentence that really resonated with me. Of course, it will be the big things you do in life that get you noticed, promoted, raises, etc. but it’s the little things that you do day to day that contribute to the reputation you will build. It’s the little things that can compound on each other. It can as simple as greeting everyone at work with a pleasant “Good Morning” to start their day or taking a few minutes to ask someone how their day is going. It could be spending those 20-30 minutes before bed reading a book to better yourself professionally or showing enthusiasm and taking pride in doing something as routine as performing maintenance on your tank, vehicle, etc. and setting the example for others to follow. It is those habits of doing the basic things well that ultimately lay the foundation for you to do the big things well.
If you want to be truly successful, it starts with “making your bed.”