Always Make Your Bed & Don’t Ever Ring the Bell


Posted September 15, 2019

In May of 2014, Admiral William McRaven delivered the commencement address to the graduates of The University of Texas at Austin.  Last week, I had the privilege of viewing the video of the speech alongside my colleagues during a company meeting.  As a former graduate from the University and a retired Navy Seal, McRaven delivered a compelling and heartfelt message about the lessons he learned from basic SEAL training that could be applied to daily life and business.

His leading lesson was “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed. 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.”

Every detail matters in business.  They matter because it exemplifies how your work and company is perceived and experienced.  The details of your business should be consistent and polished because the details are the difference between excellence and mediocrity.  Therefore, start by making your bed, keep your workspace tidy, memorize someone’s name when introduced and ALWAYS use spellcheck! Again, every detail matters in business and in life.

During his delivery, McRaven spoke of discipline, teamwork, facing your problems head on and finding your inner strength during the most strenuous times.  In addition to his make your bed analogy, the message of his speech that resonated with me was his message of Tenacity. “In SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training. Just ring the bell.  If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”

When these words were spoken, it made me think about the virtue of Tenacity. The ability to persevere and never give up is the most important trait that an individual can possess.  To prevail in business and in life, you must define your goals, pursue them relentlessly, and most importantly, never give up.  Determination and sheer drive will distinguish those that will rise above when faced with adversity.  Hardships that come will always pass, but as McRaven famously said, “if you want to change the world, don’t ever, ever ring the bell and, if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made — and a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

Written By: Jodie Mateu, VP of Special Events & Productivity, and Franchisee

Share this article

  • Planet Beach on Facebook
  • Planet Beach on Twitter
  • Planet Beach on LinkedIn
  • Planet Beach on LinkedIn