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Make Your Bed Book Summary, Review, Notes

“Make Your Bed” by Admiral William McRaven is an uplifting and inspiring book that draws on the author’s experiences as a Navy SEAL and his training to give readers tips for getting ahead in life. McRaven’s hard-won collection of life lessons includes lessons on taking risks, not giving up, and working with others.


The book’s main idea is that making your bed every morning is a good way to start building the habits and self-discipline you need to do well in anything. The author says that these seemingly small steps can lead to big changes if taken with a positive attitude and a willingness to work hard.


Book Title— Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe Even the World.
Admiral William McRaven
Date of Reading—
May 2023

Table of Contents

What Is Being Said in Detail


McRaven explains his fundamental opinion that people with solid foundations and ideas follow regular routines.

Discipline and organization are the cornerstones of trustworthiness and success. It’s the opposite for McRaven, who recalls his time guarding Saddam Hussein following his capture by US forces and says that Hussein “never made his bed.”

Navy SEALS are typically obliged to report to morning drills at a specified time and to go to sleep at a specific time. Arriving one minute late for morning workouts might result in hours or even days of punishment. 

Consequently, after a few days in camp, a Navy SEAL realizes that deviating a little from what is demanded of him can mean misfortune. Self-discipline needs that you always adhere to your strategy regardless of the distractions.

The same is true for anybody desiring success. When things don’t go according to plan, it’s important to stick to your strategy, even if it means finding a new way to accomplish your goals.

While you are aware that you should continue and adhere to your plans and goals, a part of you, may, at some point, wish to throw in the towel and give up. 

However, there is a part of you that desires to continue pushing until you attain your objectives. This internal struggle is referred to as “inner conflict,” and it is the primary impediment to self-discipline.

The first step toward developing self-discipline is to learn and recognize how to resolve internal conflict.

When it comes to Navy SEALs, they have instructors who are always pushing them, making sure that they don’t have any time to think about their own thoughts and feelings. Either they follow the rules, or they will be punished or removed from the institution.

You, on the other hand, do not have Navy SEAL instructors, so you must learn how to be your own mentor. You can do this by “recognizing your opponent.”

There are usually two opposing sides in any battle. The reason you are frequently unsure which side to take is that there is not always a right or wrong answer. Part of your wishes to preserve your energy and stay stress-free, which is good for your health on all levels, body, mind, and spirit alike, because you would be at peace.

However, the force driving you to follow through on your plans and accomplish your goals realizes that in order to sustain happiness and peace of mind for an extended period of time, you must first work to accomplish your goals in the short term. That part of you knows that if you work hard now, you’ll have plenty of time later on to relax.

Now, while you are in the midst of internal conflict, you should learn to discern which side to listen to, and you must listen to the side that makes the most logical case.

You must avoid making rash decisions at all costs.  Navy SEALS are well-known for not making abrupt, impulsive judgments because the decision, may put them in serious trouble. 

You must adopt a similar mindset and recognize that each and every decision and action you take has a substantial impact on your life and future, and that each and every choice must be thoroughly evaluated.


While training as a SEAL, McRaven and his small raft crew were required to carry their rubber raft with them at all times. The rest of the team had to work harder if one member was slacking off. There were always others to help and support one another if one member was ill or weak.

McRaven was reminded of this lesson many years later when he was injured during a parachute jump. The long and difficult recuperation was made easier by his wife’s constant support and her ability to keep him from sinking into self-pity. Whether in civilian or military life, we all rely on the assistance and support of those around us.

He still remembers that during these times, the other members of the crew would step up to the plate. In order to keep digging, the others would paddle even harder. 

Members of the group would donate some of their own food to aid the sick or injured person’s recovery. Afterwards, when the crew member was feeling better, he would do the same for the other person in return.

This test demonstrated to them that they could not complete SEAL training on the basis of their own strength. They discovered that they would be unable to survive fighting on their own. 

You can’t get through the tough moments all by yourself, and this lesson applies to regular life as well. You need the help of those who are close to you. Twenty-five years later, McRaven still held this philosophy.

As a leader, you must play a variety of roles. Even if you’re leading a small group or a large-scale organization, these responsibilities tend to be present. Management is an example of one of these roles. As a matter of fact, management is so important that it is almost regarded as a synonym for leadership.

Management is defined as the process of dealing with people and things, according to the dictionaries. While management is present at all levels of the hierarchical system, it is of particular importance to those in positions of leadership. Here are a few of the reasons why good management is a powerful weapon in the battle against leadership difficulties.


During SEAL training, it looked as if everyone was attempting to prove something to the rest of the group. He relates an incident that happened before he became a SEAL, when he was in college and participated in the ROTC program. 

On an informal visit to a SEAL training center in Coronado, one of the officers introduced him to someone he had previously seen in the hallway.

McRaven was taken aback to see the slender, almost frail-looking man in a facility known for extraordinarily strong and powerful special operations soldiers. It wasn’t until he met this gentle-appearing man that McRaven recognized he needed to stop looking at appearances when developing judgments of what people were capable of doing.

The size of your heart is the most important factor in determining your worth.

Make a plan for the next five to ten years and stick to it! Do you aspire to be the company’s financial director? Do you aspire to be the boss of your own company? Do you want to generate passive income?

There are no two people’s objectives that are exactly alike, and if you create goals based on what other people have set, you’ll be disappointed and they won’t be sufficient to keep you motivated. You’ll be more likely to stick with your objectives if you think about what you want your life to be like and create specific goals to get there.

If you only think about the things you want in life, such as “I want to have a car.” That sort of thinking will make the path more difficult. This is because it looks like a big goal that would be hard to reach. 

However, if you break down this aim and establish a goal like, “I’m going to save $5,000 this year toward purchasing my own car at the end of the year,” your goal becomes smaller and more manageable. You should break down your long-term goals into smaller ones once you have set down all of your long-term life goals.

Starting with five-year, one-year, monthly, weekly, and daily goals is a great way to organize your priorities. Every single day, you should be actively working towards those goals in order to keep attention and the essential amount of discipline that would enable you to achieve them.

To achieve your goals, you must have a clear picture of the steps you need to take. Break down those actions into smaller, more manageable parts. If, for example, you want to buy a house in the next few years but your wage only covers the cost of a car, you’ll need a better career and possibly additional sources of income.

Although, multitasking can be a good thing, but it isn’t always beneficial. One step at a time from your list of possible courses of action should be your primary focus. 

If you’re working on your resume first, devote all of your time and energy to it, and then go on to something else only once you’ve completed that task. If you’re looking for a job this week, don’t switch gears until you’ve found one that works for you.

When you concentrate on a single task at a time, it’s much easier to keep your mind organized and your self-control strong. The more tasks you have, the more likely it is that you will procrastinate and have internal conflict, which can stop you from getting things done and making progress.

To truly develop mental toughness, you must keep raising the bar. Beginning SEAL training, a Navy SEAL is given a series of less and more challenging tasks to perform, which gradually get tougher. Setting the bar higher and higher is the only way to build true mental toughness.


It’s easy to blame outside forces for one’s misfortune, to give up, and to believe that it’s pointless to try to change the course of destiny. It’s easy to believe that your upbringing and education shape your destiny. 

Nothing could be more false. Admiral William H. McRaven recalls the uniform inspections in this chapter in order for us to understand this point.

While he was on the Navy Seal, uniform inspections were done meticulously. The belt buckle had to be polished and free of scuffs, and the cap had to be perfectly starched. Nevertheless, despite the trainees’ best attempts, their attire was never considered enough. They were often criticized by their professors.

As a result of the uniform check, the soldier who didn’t pass was punished with the “sugar cookie.” This practice consisted of jumping into the ocean in full uniform. Afterwards, they had to roll in the sand until every inch of his body was completely covered with sand. The rest of the day would be spent sandy, wet, and freezing.

In truth, the goal of this exercise was to demonstrate that no matter how much work is put into achieving a flawless uniform, it is still unattainable. When bad luck strikes, you have to embrace the fact that you may be a part of the problem. The learner can be subjected to this apparent torment at any time to serve as a reminder to them that life isn’t always fair or easy.

By the time McRaven was assigned the sugar cookie penalty, it had been given to him by an instructor called Moki Martin, a clever and skilled soldier who later became disabled in an accident on his bike. Moki never questioned why this occurred to him; he simply adapted to the shift in his life and moved on. 

Self-pity and remorse have no value in the long run. A successful person does not question what cards they have been dealt; instead, they play the hand with the best of their abilities and see what comes out of it.

Next, McRaven shows us how to anticipate things and expand our creative brainpower. He discusses the types of projects that we should be planning. As well as when and how they should be planned.

Typical Planning Steps

  1. Make a Detailed Strategy
  2. Thinking Outside the Box
  3. Set a Date in Your Calendar
  4. Organize Your Living Areas

Finally, if you’ve developed the habit of directing your energy in the appropriate direction, it’s time to commit to excellence. It’s not enough to accomplish your goals and be successful at them. 

In order to grow, you must invest in yourself. You’ve already achieved one of the many goals you set for yourself. Becoming the best version of yourself is a matter of “Being All That You Can Be!”


During their Navy training, William H. McRaven and the other trainees had to regularly demonstrate their physical talents on a variety of challenging tests. They were all meant to test the candidates’ mental toughness as well as their physical endurance and stamina. The duration and number of repetitions for each exercise were clearly stated.

As a result, if a candidate was unsuccessful, they were added to a list. A “Circus” was planned for everyone on the list at the end of the day. A “Circus” was two extra hours of calisthenics aimed at persuading candidates to resign. 

A “Circus,” in addition to showing that the trainee was not up to the task that day, also suggested that he would be even more tired, which meant that the next day would be even more tough, increasing the likelihood of another Circus.

Admiral William McRaven Quote 3

During the training, however, everyone, without exception, ends up on the Cirque’s list at some point. Even more astounding for individuals who were always on that list was how much stronger they were by completing an additional two hours of calisthenics a day over the course of time. 

This Circus build inner strength and physical toughness with their grueling workouts. You will become more resilient if you experience failure.

It’s common for people to wait until it’s too late before they notice that their negative self-talk is having an effect on their behavior.  As humans, we all encounter difficulties at one point or another. It’s impossible to prevent it.

With experience and habits, we may overcome our human nature’s tendency to avoid problems and find the easy way out of difficult situations. We must first understand it in order to overcome it.

In a variety of situations, we feel the need to flee from the difficulties that confront us. The author sorted them into three groups based on how challenging they were to overcome.


Negative thoughts can manifest in a slew of different ways. One of the most common is mentally replaying a poor event in the same situation. All the bad things that happened as a result of your failure, including being laughed at, are still fresh in your mind. 

It’s all part of our built-in defense system. As a result, they will ensure that we avoid any obstacles that could potentially “hurt” ourselves. As a result, our task is to battle these natural tendencies and confront these obstacles head-on, hopefully defeating them.

It’s the only way we can learn and grow that we have to face and overcome obstacles over and over again in order to keep progressing. If you do this enough, you’ll become addicted to it because life gets boring and monotonous when there are no new challenges to overcome.


It was mandatory for Navy SEAL recruits to complete the “Combat Course” at least twice a week while they were in basic training. A three-meter-high wall, a nine-meter-sided net, and barbed wire were among the twenty-five obstacles in the course.

A thirty-meter rope crossing between nine-meter and three-meter towers was the most demanding test for the author. Rather than clambering up the tallest tower, you had to grab a rope and hang from it like a koala, then pull yourself up to the three-meter tower with your arms until your arms gave out from the strain.

There was a speed record in place for this race that had been established years earlier. As if it couldn’t be topped. However, one day, a student made a radical reversal in their course of action. 

As opposed to hanging from the end of the rope, he decided to climb it and pull himself over to the other end. His training would be effectively finished by an accidental fall from such an altitude. 

He didn’t hesitate, however, and ended up breaking the record by a long shot. In the weeks following the incident, McRaven admitted that he had conquered his fear and made it to the other side of the rope headfirst for the first time.

People who are emotionally healthy and conscious of their thoughts and behaviors are better able to deal with the stresses and anxieties that are a normal part of daily life. 

If you poison it with bad ideas, the body quickly deteriorates and becomes immersed in disease and worry. Negative thoughts are rooted in and stem from the mind, and they are clearly communicated when the body is unwell.

People that are susceptible to negative thoughts are those who are constantly afraid.

A clean body is the result of a clean mind and heart. Thought is the root of both action and life. Hence, every action is based on a thought. Only if you are aware of your feelings and how you control them, can you improve your emotional well-being.

Meditation and other relaxation techniques might help you put your emotions back into balance.


The Navy SEALs are the first people who need to keep their emotions, particularly their anxieties, in check because they’re constantly exposed to life-threatening situations. 

The Navy SEALs are the ideal people to learn from when it comes to mastering terror control. They use a strategy called “The Big Four,” which has four components: goals, visualization, positive self-talk, and reactivity regulation.

In war, this level of bravery defies all concepts of patriotism and instead reflects the purity of the fearless spirit and is the ultimate epitome of sacrifice and loyalty to the soldier beside you in combat.

Setting goals is as prevalent among successful individuals as breathing is among those who aren’t. The distinction between average, successful people and Navy SEALs is that the SEALs’ goals are very explicit and specific, as opposed to general or ambiguous. 

How precise can you be? Their goals are separated into micro, short-term, intermediate, and long-term objectives.

Consider the Navy SEALs’ BUDS training program as an illustration of how exact they can be in defining goals. Rather than seeing the program as a six-month commitment, the most successful candidates broke it down into smaller, more manageable parts. 

A good illustration of this is their early morning 90-minute grinder sessions, which take place before they eat their breakfast. Before they think about anything else, they concentrate solely on completing the 90-minute program. So much so that they even further divide it up into sets, on which they concentrate solely. 

By breaking down their goals into smaller, more manageable chunks that are both specific and basic, they are better able to concentrate on a single objective at a time. 

As a result, Navy SEALs have a unique ability to keep track of and deal with their own problems because they set short-term goals and then work these goals into larger ones that are more long-term.

Why not use it in your personal life as well? Make a daily to-do list of the things you have to get done. Instead of looking at your schedule on a daily basis, look at it on a task-by-task basis. Concentrate your efforts and attention on a single task at a time, as the successful Navy SEAL candidates do. 

Put off starting a new task until you’ve finished the existing one completely. The mind of a Navy SEAL, on the other hand, is trained to be relentless in the pursuit of a goal through this method.



As part of their training to become SEALs, trainees learn how to attack enemy ships with submarines. With only a depth gauge and a compass, one of the tasks involves swimming more than three kilometers underwater to reach the destination. 

Even from a great distance, you can still see the lights of the nearby harbor. But as soon as they get close enough to have a look, the lights go out. The metal frame of the ship shuts out the moonlight, the street lighting, and the ambient light.

The trainees’ task is to locate the ship’s keel in the darkest and most remote portion of the ship. To do so, they’ll have to dive beneath the ship. When the machinery starts up, the noise level quickly rises to unbearable levels. With so much going on, it’s easy to get lost in the shuffle.

Every Navy SEAL knows that if you want to rely on your tactical and physical skills, you have to remain calm under the keel, where it is darkest. That is the place where the inner strength of everyone is revealed. To make a difference in the world, you must give your all, even when things look gloomiest.

Admiral William H. McRaven believes that facing and overcoming one’s anxieties, doubts, and exhaustion are critical. Everything depends on him finishing his assignment successfully, regardless of what occurs.

According to recent findings, the brain functions similarly to a muscle. Depending on how much effort you put into it, its condition either improves or worsens. Even if the brain does benefit from “exercise,” it’s not something we’re used to thinking of as a necessity. Here are the actions you can take to accomplish that.

  • Battle-proofing

Emergency conditioning, or “battle-proofing,” is the process of training your brain to handle the stress of combat. While lying in their bunks, Navy SEALs try to imagine they are in the thick of battle. It’s important for them to picture the sights, smells, physical exertion, and tiredness that they might see and smell in the middle of a fight, as well as other things.

Furthermore, the more details you include in your imagined experience, the more deeply embedded it is in your brain. So, whether you’re running a race or fighting in a battle, the more vividly you’ve visualized it, the better prepared you are for the event.

  • Triggers

The term “trigger” can refer to a variety of things, but in this context of Navy SEAL mental fitness, the trigger is that which you have decided to focus on in order to kickstart all of your training. Think about what you want your trigger to be before you do anything else. 

This image can serve as a reminder of whatever is most important to you right now. You’ll save the use of your trigger for those moments when it’s absolutely critical, or in the case of the SEALs, if it’s life or death. When you use the trigger, your mental and physical strength are brought together, and you are ready to face anything that comes your way.

  • Changing your story

A productive person will either make the appropriate phone call, take the appropriate action, or simply stand by and do nothing at all. There will be occasions when any of these options will be the best reaction, but losing your calm is rarely the appropriate thing to do.

  • Waiting for the next best answer

While it’s important to pay attention to your gut feelings, there’s a vast difference between following your instincts and acting on impulses. 

Taking action on the spur of the moment, when adrenaline is pumping, is nearly always a mistake. It is very, very likely that you will choose the smarter option if you take your time, slow down, and wait for your instinctual, smart answer.

This is what Navy SEALs are trained to do. They work very hard to avoid acting on a hunch or a gut feeling. As the situation worsens, this becomes increasingly critical. It’s up to you whether or not to go with the second idea that pops into your head or stick with your initial plan. In the end, it’s up to you. The most crucial thing is to decide on the best next step.



Hell Week, the most difficult week of SEAL training, includes six days of no sleep, strenuous physical activity, and verbal and physical abuse. Instructors put trainees under extreme stress on the mudflats on Wednesday of Hell Week, forcing them to give up and leave.

They would be exposed to six days of torment and little sleep during Hell Week. This week was designed to pick out individuals who didn’t have what it takes to be a SEAL, and they were expected to perform at a high level.

This training portion of a SEAL’s journey is a life-altering experience. There are many benefits to mental testing, even for individuals who fail to make it through training. An individual will be able to take the required measures to become the best version of themselves. 

It’s impossible to return to one’s pre-training self. In the end, they’ll be better equipped to deal with anything that comes their way. This will have a long-term impact on their well-being.

That same mental strength may be developed and strengthened by people who are not interested in attending SEAL training. The mental strength it will require to achieve one’s goals is something we rarely consider when setting goals for ourselves. 


Whether or not you run 20 minutes a day to lose 30 pounds is a mental decision that must be made only if you are determined to do it. To achieve a goal takes more than a few tweaks to your daily routine; it also demands mental preparation.

Admiral William McRaven Quote 2

People realize that they live the way they do because it’s convenient for them. It doesn’t matter if we aren’t progressing, losing weight, or becoming a better version of ourselves; our daily routines have made us happy. 

To be successful, one must be willing to adapt to new situations. What is effective today may not be effective in the future.

When confronted with the demon of comfort, it is challenging yet rewarding to take a risk. Their perception of themselves prior to Hell Week is vastly different from who they are today. 

That previous version was never going to be good enough or successful enough for us to move on with it. The newly retrained SEAL is fully capable of completing any mission.

The objective is to make you realize that standing still does not work. Get out of your comfort zone, improve yourself, and pursue the dreams you’ve had for a long time. There is a glimmer of optimism, and it is conceivable for things to change. 

Don’t ever forget this. However, in order to achieve transformation, it requires a great deal of mental preparation. Because it’s hard, don’t be discouraged, because the rewards are enormous. In the best-case scenario, you’ll be able to look back on this time and see a completely different person.

When it comes to survival, William H. McRaven believes that we all have the ability to overcome our obstacles. We all have the potential to serve as role models for others. By clinging to hope, it is possible to alleviate the agony of loss.



SEAL training is well known for being the most physically demanding training available in the United States Armed Forces. In addition to extreme physical and mental stress, it tests one’s ability to function under severe sleep deprivation while dealing with extreme pain, sub-zero temperatures, and a positive attitude towards fellow recruits. 

It also tests one’s ability to function under extreme physical and mental stress. Recruits will consume up to 7,000 calories per day throughout this exercise and still lose weight.

They have made the decision that their dream of becoming a Navy SEAL will not come to pass, though it gives them instant relief. Even if you put in the effort to try and have made progress so far, the small sense of pleasure that comes from ringing the bell is tempered by the disappointment of failing.

They’re one day closer to achieving their goal for every day they don’t ring the bell, and they’re one step closer to achieving their goal. Resilience and perseverance, as well as the refusal to give up in the face of adversity, are demonstrated by this gesture. 

The Navy SEAL mindset is to resist the temptation to constantly succumb to failure, no matter how difficult the situation seems. Despite this, it is clear that this is not an easy task, as evidenced by the fact that 80 percent of SEAL applicants do not complete the training.

Although you are unlikely to be put through the same brutal physical and mental tests that SEALs receive during their training, the concept of ringing the bell can still convey an important message. 

You must make the decision to never wear a bell in your normal life. Do not give up or deny yourself the opportunities to achieve the goals you want so much. Don’t take the easy way out and deprive yourself of more substantial benefits.

Keep in mind that you yourself are your biggest impediment and at the end of the day, you will be responsible for most of your failures. Senior officers are available to keep SEAL candidates in check and on track to complete the program, but this is a privilege most of us don’t have on a regular basis, which is a significant disadvantage. Instead, you must maintain your determination and drive to maximize your potential and achieve success.

Most Important Keywords, Sentences, Quotes

CHAPTER 1. Start Your Day with a Completed Task.

“If you want to change the world… start off by making your bed.”

“Making my bed correctly was not going to be an opportunity for praise. It was expected of me. It was my first task of the day and doing it right was important. It demonstrated discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter small the task.”

“In battle soldiers die, families grieve, your days are long and filled with anxious moments. You search for something that can give you solace, that can motivate you to begin your day, that can be a sense of pride in an oftentimes ugly world. 

It is daily life that needs this same sense of structure. Nothing can replace the strength and comfort on one’s faith, but sometimes the simple act of making your bed can give the lift you need to start your day and provide you the satisfaction to end it right.”

CHAPTER 2. You Can’t Go It Alone.

“If you want to change the world… find someone to help you paddle.”

“I learned early on in SEAL training the value of teamwork, the need to rely on someone else to help you through the difficult task.”

“No SEAL could make it through combat alone and by extension you need people in your life to help you through the difficult times.”

“You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others.”


CHAPTER 3. Only the Size of Your Heart Matters.

“If you want to change the world… measure a person by the size of their heart.”

“SEAL training was always about proving something. Proving that size didn’t matter. Proving that the color of your skin wasn’t important. Proving that money didn’t make you better. Proving that determination and grit were always more important than talent. I was fortunate to learn that lesson a year before training began.”

“In 1969, Tommy Norris was almost booted out of SEAL training. They said he was too small, too thin, and not strong enough. But much like the young sailor in my class, Norris proved them all wrong and once again showed that it’s not the size of your flippers that count, just the size of your heart.”


CHAPTER 4. Life’s Not Fair – Drive On!

“If you want to change the world… get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.”

Admiral William McRaven Quote

“Because, Mr. Mac, life isn’t fair and the sooner you learn that the better off you will be.”

“Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still end up as a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!”


CHAPTER 5. Failure Can Make You Stronger.

“If you want to change the world… don’t be afraid of The Circus.”

“In life you will face a lot of Circuses. You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments.”

“I realized that the past failures had strengthened me, taught me that no one is immune from mistakes. True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again or make the next decision… You can’t avoid The Circus. At some point we all make the list. Don’t be afraid of The Circus.”

CHAPTER 6. You Must Dare Greatly.

“If you want to change the world… slide down the obstacle headfirst.”

“That obstacle course is going to beat you every time unless you start taking some risk.”

“It was a simple lesson in overcoming your anxieties and trusting your abilities to get the job done. The lesson would serve me well in the years to come.”

“Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.”

CHAPTER 7. Stand Up to the Bullies.

“If you want to change the world… don’t back down from the sharks.”

“Our goal, which we believed to be honorable and noble, gave us courage, and courage is a remarkable quality. Nothing and nobody can stand in your way. Without it, others will define your path forward. Without it, you are at the mercy of life’s temptations. 

Without courage, men will be ruled by tyrants and despots, without courage, no great society can flourish. Without courage, the bullies of the world rise. With it, you can accomplish any goal. With it, you can defy and defeat evil.”

“Bullies gain their strength through the timid and faint of heart. They are like sharks that sense fear in the water. They will circle to see if their prey is struggling. They will probe to see if their victim is weak. If you don’t find the courage to stand your ground, they will strike. 

In life to achieve your goals, to complete the night swim, you will have to be men and women of great courage. That courage is within all of us. Dig deep, and you will find it in abundance.”

CHAPTER 8.  Rise to the Occasion.

“If you want to change the world… be your very best in the darkest moments.”

“Tonight, you will have to be your very best. You must rise above your fears, your doubts, and your fatigue. No matter how dark it gets, you must complete the mission. This is what separates you from everyone else.”

“At some point we will all confront a dark moment in life. If not the passing of a loved one, then something else that crushes your spirit and leaves you wondering about your future. In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best.”

CHAPTER 9. Give People Hope.

“If you want to change the world… start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.”

“Once again, we had learned an important lesson: the power of one person to inspire those around him, to give them hope. If that one person could sing while neck deep in mud, then so could we. If that one person could endure the freezing cold, then so could we. If that one person could hold on, then so could we.”

“Hope is the most powerful force in the universe. With hope you can inspire nations to greatness. With hope you can raise up the downtrodden. With hope you can ease the pain of unbreakable loss. Sometimes all it takes is one person to make a difference.” 

As last statements he continues with, “We will all find ourselves neck deep in mud someday. That is the time to sing loudly, to smile broadly, to life up those around you and give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day.”

CHAPTER 10. Never, Ever Quit!

“If you want to change the world… don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”

“If you quit, you will regret it for the rest of your life. Quitting never makes anything easier.”

“Of all the lessons I learned in SEAL training, this was the most important. Never quit.”

“Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will be long and hard. 

If, on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds-then life will be what you make of it-and you can make it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!”

“Remember… start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, set up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift the downtrodden, and never, ever give up-if you do these things, then you change your life for the better… and maybe the world!”


Book Review (Personal Opinion):

Although the concepts discussed in Make Your Bed are not particularly groundbreaking, Admiral McRaven’s anecdotes and examples are inspiring and instructive. Since I had almost no prior knowledge of the Navy, I was genuinely interested in most field experiences.

A lot of times, the best advice is also the easiest. In my perspective, that is the book’s main premise. The author’s ten lessons are useful to everyone looking to succeed and improve oneself. Even though they may seem obvious, it’s helpful to be reminded of them occasionally.

Most readers won’t take longer than a few hours to finish this. The book was fairly easy to understand thanks to the author’s clear and concise writing style.

Rating: 9/10

This Book Is For:

  • People who want to change their lives for the better and to find purpose.
  • People who want to learn to make tough decisions with determination, compassion, honor, and courage.
  • People who want to achieve more, even during difficult moments.


If You Want to Learn More

Here is the video of Admiral William H. McRaven’s 2014 Commencement Speech at the University of Texas. University of Texas at Austin 2014 Commencement Address – Admiral William H. McRaven.

How I’ve Implemented the Ideas from The Book

After experiencing a lack of motivation and a feeling of purpose in my life, I began making my bed every morning, even if I was rushed or fatigued. 

Making my bed was difficult to get into at first, but in the long run it provided me a sense of control and order, which transferred to other aspects of my life. I discovered that I was more motivated to do other duties and set and attain goals.

During a particularly difficult period at work, the lessons from the book came in handy. I was dealing with a difficult project and felt overwhelmed, but I reminded myself of the value of perseverance and little, incremental efforts. I was able to complete the project successfully and with a stronger sense of accomplishment by being disciplined and focused.

One Small Actionable Step You Can Do

If you want to use some of the ideas from “Make Your Bed,” one small step you can take is to make your bed every morning. It might seem like a small thing, but it can give you a sense of success and organization that can help you in other parts of your life. 

Also, setting specific goals or tasks for the day ahead can help you stay focused and inspired.