Make Your Bed (Achievement Nudge about Achieving More)

woman making a bed with all white linens in a neutral room - featured image for achieving more blog by truby achievements

Last Updated on July 22, 2024 by Bill Truby

If you want to have more personal power and achieve more…make your bed.

Achieve More Big Things by Giving Attention to Little Things

There is a long list of major achievers in our history. Two surgeons, Paul Lauterbur and Peter Mansfield, invented the MRI in 1977 enabling a view of our insides without invasive surgery and without X-rays. In 1989, Tim Berners-Lee brought the Internet to the public, forever changing the world by giving us another one. The list of “world-changers” goes on. And you can be one in YOUR world, too. Here’s how.

Admiral William McRaven was a Navy SEAL for thirty-six years. According to him, all “world-changers” have the same skills that he learned in SEAL training. He says all of the training, including the six months of tortuous, sleepless, health-depriving activities that culminate in “hell week”, is designed to do one thing: Find people who can have the mental power to achieve in an “environment of constant stress, chaos, failure and hardships.” (Sounds like life, doesn’t it!)

The admiral says the learning boils down to very simple concepts, one of which is to make your bed every morning. Instructors check to see how this seemingly unimportant task is done, and they expect perfection. The premise? If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right.

Making the bed is seen as a symbolic act that has core characteristics of self-control, self-confidence, obedience to a higher power, a sense of pride and accomplishment. The attitude you have while doing this trivial task reveals if you’ll be able to achieve over time. Every day, a SEAL starts out with an act of self-discipline. How that act is performed determines how bigger acts are achieved. How do you start your day?

This study goes on to show how choosing a simple act of achievement you accomplish perfectly drops a pebble in the pond of your world that ripples out to more and greater achievements. The first act is a conscious one. The ripples that follow move out in an easy and natural way, and it doesn’t take long for this to change your entire world.

This concept reminds me of something I read when I was twelve that moved me. It influences me to this day. It was a story in the Bible about the time Jesus rose from the dead. An angel rolled the stone away. Jesus had just come back to life. All the angels were waiting to sing a song of victory. The disciples needed Him. He was anxious to go to his father. But before He left the tomb, Jesus stopped to fold his grave clothes.

I think of this story every time I have a mundane task to do. Even though the entire universe was waiting for Him, even though he couldn’t wait to see His father, even though this was one of the most important moments in the light of eternity, before doing anything else, Jesus took the time to make His bed.

Bill Truby

Founder and President of Truby Achievements