Make Your Bed | William H. McRaven

Summary of: Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World
By: William H. McRaven


In the book ‘Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World’, William H. McRaven shares valuable life lessons learned through his experience as a US Navy SEAL. Drawing from various episodes in his life, McRaven conveys the importance of small acts like making your bed, accepting that life is not always fair, learning from failures, embracing risks, and being a source of hope and inspiration for others. The summary explores the significance of these lessons and provides readers with engaging and thought-provoking anecdotes from the author’s life.

The Importance of Making Your Bed

Making your bed is a simple yet crucial task that can set the tone for a productive day. The author, who was part of the US SEAL team, learned this during basic training in Coronado, California. The military also teaches the value of having a supportive team, as the author experienced after a near-fatal parachute accident. He credits his wife for helping him overcome depression during his recovery. These important lessons teach us that we all need support and a sense of accomplishment to thrive.

Never Judge a Book

Do not judge people by their appearance or assume that life will always be fair. These are the lessons McRaven learned from the recruitment center where he met Lieutenant Tom Norris, who had a heroic past despite his humble appearance. During SEAL training, McRaven also faced unfair challenges, which made him realize the futility of resisting life’s obstacles. The key is to accept that life is not always fair and move forward. So before placing your trust in someone, ask yourself what you really know about them, and do not jump to conclusions. The message is simple: Never judge a book by its cover, but always judge it by its heart.

Embracing Failure

Failure, although negative, can be used to an advantage. Sometimes, it’s unavoidable. Instead of allowing it to overpower us, we can use it to make us stronger and more determined. Failure can make us take chances. Winning big requires taking big risks. A willingness to take risks is necessary to get far. McRaven’s experience with SEAL teams shows that taking risks even in the trickiest situations can lead to success. When faced with failure, we should keep trying, take more risks, and learn from our mistakes.

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