I love commencement addresses!
Exceptionally smart and successful people carefully prepare and present their best insights
and experiences to inspire young adults as they leave college.
This address by U.S. Navy Admiral Bill McRaven is full of wisdom and inspiration for all ages.
These life lessons are life changing. Hope you enjoy!
University of Texas at Austin Commencement Address
by Admiral William H. McRaven
I have been a Navy SEAL for 36 years. But it all began when I left UT for Basic SEAL training in Coronado, California.
Basic SEAL training is six months of long torturous runs in the soft sand, midnight swims in the cold water off San Diego, obstacle courses, unending calisthenics, days without sleep and always being cold, wet and miserable.
It is six months of being constantly harassed by professionally trained warriors who seek to find the weak of mind and body and eliminate them from ever becoming a Navy SEAL.
But, the training also seeks to find those students who can lead in an environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.
To me basic SEAL training was a life time of challenges crammed into six months.
So, here are the ten lesson's I learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.
Every morning in basic SEAL training, my instructors, who at the time were all Viet Nam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they’d do was inspect my bed.
If you did it right, the corners would be square, the covers pulled tight, the pillow centered just under the headboard and the extra blanket folded neatly at the foot of the rack.
It was a simple task—mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection.
It seemed a little ridiculous at the time, particularly in light of the fact that were aspiring to be real warriors, tough battle hardened SEALs—but the wisdom of this simple act has been proven to me many times over.
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 the little things in life matter.
If you can't do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.
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.
So if you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.