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Make Your Bed summary

William H. McRaven

Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe The World

4.1 (821 ratings)
11 mins

Brief summary

Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven is a motivational book that shares life lessons from Navy SEAL training. It emphasizes the importance of setting small goals, taking risks, and persevering through challenges, all while making your bed each morning.

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    Make Your Bed
    Summary of 5 key ideas

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    Start the day off right by making your bed, and never underestimate the importance of a teammate.

    If you’ve ever seen a movie where young soldiers were struggling through boot camp, you may have noticed their bunk beds and how orderly and neat they’re kept.

    It may seem like a small and insignificant detail but a made bed can get your day started on the right foot.

    The author and his fellow cadets were taught the proper way to make a bed in Coronado, California, as part of the basic training for being a member of the US SEAL team. And they also learned when to make their bed: first thing after waking up.

    If someone failed to follow the bed-making code, they would perform the “sugar cookie” ritual, which involved diving into the Pacific Ocean and then immediately rolling in the hot sand on the beach.

    Now, you may be thinking, “What’s the big deal about making your bed?” Well, it may be an easy task, but accomplishing any task first thing in the morning is the best and most productive way to start your day.

    It gets the ball rolling, so to speak: by finishing one job, you’ll find it easier to begin checking off the other tasks on your list. And before you know it, you’ll be feeling great and productive – all thanks to making your bed.

    Another life lesson from the military is the importance of teammates in your life.

    The author learned this the hard way, after a near-fatal parachute jump. Falling through the air, McRaven was struck by another jumper’s parachute, which caused his own parachute to become entangled with his leg. The force of his parachute’s deployment broke his pelvis and tore his stomach muscles from the bone.

    During his months of recovery, the author came to learn how important it is to have someone to help you carry on. If not for his wife, Georgeann, McRaven would likely have succumbed to depression and self-pity.

    Everyone experiences a time in life when he needs the support of someone who believes in him. You can’t make it through life on your own.

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    What is Make Your Bed about?

    Make Your Bed (2017) is a collection of the author’s ten most valuable personal experiences during his many years of service with the US Navy SEALs. Each is a simple yet priceless piece of advice that will have a positive influence on your life.

    Make Your Bed Review

    Make Your Bed (2017) is a practical and motivating book that explores the significance of small tasks and how they can impact our daily lives. Here's why this book is worth reading:

    • It offers simple yet powerful insights on how making your bed each morning can set the tone for a productive and successful day.
    • Through real-life stories and experiences, the book demonstrates the importance of discipline and attention to detail in achieving personal goals.
    • With its uplifting tone and relatable examples, the book delivers its message in a way that is engaging and surely devoid of boredom.

    Best quote from Make Your Bed

    ...it takes a team of good people to get you to your destination in life. You cannot paddle the boat alone.

    —William H. McRaven
    example alt text

    Who should read Make Your Bed?

    • Team leaders looking for inspiration
    • Anyone struggling to cope with life
    • Motivational speakers

    About the Author

    William H. McRaven is a retired four-star US Navy SEAL admiral. During his 37 years of service, McRaven experienced quite a lot, both in training and in battle. He has led troops in both Iraq and Afghanistan.

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    Make Your Bed FAQs 

    What is the main message of Make Your Bed?

    The main message of Make Your Bed is the importance of starting your day with discipline and accomplishing small tasks to set yourself up for success.

    How long does it take to read Make Your Bed?

    The reading time for Make Your Bed varies depending on the reader's speed, but it typically takes a few hours. The Blinkist summary can be read in just 15 minutes.

    Is Make Your Bed a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Make Your Bed is worth reading as it offers valuable life lessons and inspiration to lead a more disciplined and fulfilling life.

    Who is the author of Make Your Bed?

    The author of Make Your Bed is William H. McRaven.

    What to read after Make Your Bed?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Make Your Bed, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The Power of Habit by Charles Duhigg
    • Eat That Frog! by Brian Tracy
    • The Power of Now by Eckhart Tolle
    • The 5 AM Club by Robin Sharma
    • Quiet by Susan Cain
    • Willpower by Roy F. Baumeister and John Tierney
    • Emotional Habits by Akash Karia