This week we added an interesting self-help book to our collection. Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... and Maybe the World is written by Admiral William McRaven, a retired Navy SEAL who ended his military career as Commander of all U.S. Special Operations Forces. In 2014 he gave the commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin and his speech became an internet sensation with over ten million views. In it he shared the ten principles he learned during his SEAL training that have helped him overcome challenges throughout his life. He explained how everyone can use these lessons to change themselves, and the world, for the better.

In this book, Admiral McRaven explains each principle in detail and gives examples from his own life and the lives of those who have inspired him to show how these seemingly little things can have drastic impact on our lives. For example, the title lesson “make your bed”, means much more than just taking a few seconds to make the bedroom a little neater. He explains that in SEAL training making the bed correctly was the first thing expected of them each day. By completing this task, it gave them a sense of accomplishment and pride, which led them to do the next task, and the next, and so on. By the end of the day, they could look back on all of their successes. McRaven says that doing this one little task the first thing in the morning can give anyone a positive lift and allow them to face whatever challenges occur throughout the day.

This is just the first of the ten lessons, and Admiral McRaven summarizes them in this way: “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, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up – if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better...and maybe the world.”