Review of Make Your Bed

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  • Concrete Examples
  • Insider's Take
  • Inspiring


Six months of tortuous military boot camp set William H. McRaven up for a lifetime of overcoming obstacles and dark moments. After 37 years as a US Navy SEAL, the now retired admiral has endured and achieved a great deal. He teaches readers how to persevere and prevail. If you want to change the world, McRaven suggests you begin by making your bed daily. He focuses on the importance of carrying out simple acts of discipline, completing incremental tasks to achieve your goals and having the courage to persevere. 

About the Author

Retired Admiral William H. McRaven served for 37 years as a US Navy SEAL.


Make your bed every morning. It's a small easy task that you can complete before your day gets underway.

McRaven was a United States Navy SEAL for 37 years. He retired as the commander of all US special operations. He’s been in combat and led troops, sowing the seeds for his success during his basic training for Navy SEAL operations. His advice for changing the world starts with completing a simple task: “Make your bed.” He made his bed every day during basic training and continues to do so, a life-long routine.

McRaven explains the Navy’s exacting standards for making a bed. He reports that the ultimate test of a well-made bed is to bounce a quarter on it. Making your bed is a small task, but doing it correctly builds discipline. No matter what else happens that day, you have the satisfaction of having completed one task well. Throughout McRaven’s naval career, he tells how always made his bed, thus upholding the Navy’s high regard for “cleanliness and order.” As he writes, “I sometimes fell short of being the best, but I never fell short of giving it my best.”

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