LIFE TRANSFORMING LESSONS FROM THE INSPIRATIONAL BOOK MAKE YOUR BED
This is an inspirational article based on the lecture given by Dr. William McRawen during the graduation day of college students. He was a retired admiral of the US Navy. He gave his precious thoughts as a commencement speech for the graduating class from the University of Texas at Austin. He explained about the ten lessons which he learned from Navy SEAL training, and it became very popular in a very short time because it had a universal appeal and helped people all over the world. I have explained FIVE points to you right now which I found very useful.
Make your bed
This is the first lesson which he gives and it may seem a little silly at first but it is not. He says that the first thing you should do when you get up is to MAKE YOUR BED and this is the title of the book. The reasons for making the bed are many. He says, “It was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day, it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task. The bottom sheet mattress, the top sheet, the pillow, and the blanket should be in perfect order and there should be absolutely no deviation from this. The sheets should be tight with no unevenness in any corner.”
If you make a clean bed then at the end of the day, even if things did not go as per the plan and you get disappointed, at least you will feel good that you can now rest on a clean bed.
You cant go it alone
The admiral had a major accident when he had to jump from the aircraft which was 12000 feet from the ground. He had a collision with another jumper and in the process, he got detached from the parachute and fell down even before the parachute landed, 5000 feet from the ground. He got severe injuries all over his body and it seemed to him as this was the end of his career. The admiral had faced a lot of life-threatening accidents in his life but due to his mental strength and athletic abilities, he would always come out of it.
But this injury was very serious and he felt that it would mark the end of his career because the US Navy required very high levels of physical fitness. But during this time his wife helped him immensely. He says, “She cleaned my wounds, gave me the required daily shots, and changed my bedpan. But most importantly, she reminded me of who I was. I had never given up on anything in my life and she assured me that I was not going to start now. She refused to let me feel sorry for myself. It was the kind of tough love that I needed, and as the days went by, I got better.”
Even his boss found some medical evaluation policy for the US Navy and somehow saved his career.
This is a highly important lesson. He explains, “None of us are immune from life?s tragic moments. Like the small rubber boat we had in basic SEAL training, it takes a team of good people to get you to your destination in life. 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.”
Life’s not fair – Drive On!
Not everything in the world happens based on the rules which are decided. Nobody will follow the principles of Bhagwad Gita or the Bible in its entirety. In short, we have to be prepared if we face some unfavorable situations even if we have done anything wrong.
The Admiral gives his example for this. One day his instructor came for examination in his room. They checked his bed, it was neat and clean, all the sheets tightly wrapped to the corners. They checked the uniform of the general, it was totally neat and clean. But the instructor told the admiral that he needs to take the “SugarCandy” punishment. Now “SugarCandy” was the term used in the Navy where the students were told to go to the wet mud and crawl on it till their whole body was covered with mud. This punishment was generally given, when the students did not make their bed or their uniform was not done properly.
A lot of the students had to undergo “SugarCandy” without any fault of theirs and because of this many of them, left the training. But the admiral did not complain.
When he completed his “SugarCandy” punishment, the instructor asked him that did he know why he got “SugarCandy” punishment without making any mistake? The instructor told him that it was because he wanted to teach him an important lesson that not everything in life will be fair and we have to be prepared to face adverse circumstances even if it is not our fault but we have to drive on and never give up.
Give People Hope
If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
The admiral had very rigorous training for the whole week. It was six days of no sleep and unrelenting harassment by the instructors. There were long runs, open ocean swims, obstacle courses, rope climbs, endless sessions of calisthenics, and constant paddling of the inflatable boat small (IBS). The purpose of Hell Week was to eliminate the weak, those not tough enough to be SEALs. Soon after arriving they were ordered into the mud and began a series of races and individual competitions designed to keep them cold, wet, and miserable. The mud clung to every part of the body and apart from the head the rest of the body was in wet mud.
At that time the instructor came and offered comfort to all the trainees. He had got coffee and chicken soup and told the trainees that they could relax till the sun came up the next day. But then he added, but for this 5 of the 10 trainees had to quit, then all the other trainees will also get relaxation.
It was a very lucrative deal and some of the trainees thought that if they would quit, even others’ will get comfort. At that time one of the trainees got up and was about to quit. But the trainees knew that if one person would quit gradually all will begin to quit.
At that time one of the trainees from the back began to sing. And gradually, one by one, all began to sing and the atmosphere became light, positive, and inspirational. The energy levels of all the trainees rose. Even the trainee who had got up, came back. The instructor told everybody to stop but nobody did and in the end, he also smiled.
The important lesson we can learn from this is that we have to give people hope, give them positive thoughts. If some person or some team is feeling down, even some positive energy or inspiration given to them can prove to be the turning point.
Never, Ever, Quit
Ring the bell
The instructors told the SEAL trainees that if you think that you are finding it too difficult, there is so much torture and physical or mental challenges here, you can just ring the bell and leave the training. But the instructors told them that if they did that, they would regret all their life.
Now out of 1500 students around 330 graduated and other students rang the bell. It is very important to understand from this that we should never, what the admiral says, ring the bell. We should never quit in life but face all the challenges otherwise we will have to regret it.