Make Your Bed


Make your bed - develop a morning routine

“His master replied, ‘Well done good and faithful servant! You have been faithful with a few things; I will put you in charge of many things. Come and share your master’s happiness!’ -Matthew 25:23

I’ll never forget being in Navy boot camp, It was one of the most challenging, physical, and worthwhile experiences of my life. Within a couple weeks I was named the RPOC (Recruit Petty Officer) of Ship’s staff. Which meant I was responsible for overseeing the maintenance, cleanliness and leadership of the entire berth. There were 4 divisions in a berth, and about 12 sailors from each berth. That meant I was responsible for about 48 other sailors. This was the first experience that I had in leadership. I had no idea what to do.

One of the first things that they teach you in boot camp is how to fold your clothes. There is a right way to do it, and a wrong way to do it. If you folded your clothes the wrong way, then all of your clothes would be thrown from your locker and onto the floor, where you would have to fold them again. If you folded them the right way, then you did it right. You weren’t applauded or praised, it just meant you could be proud of the work you did.

Every night at 2200 it was lights out, you had to fold your clothes, and remove any of the collar devices that you had been wearing and store them in one of your drawers. I wore chief’s anchors on my collar to signify that I was RPOC.

On one particular night I got lazy, and did not remove my anchors. It just so happened that on that night, the RDC (Recruit Division Commander) that was on duty, decided to do rack inspections while everyone was asleep. During a rack inspection the RDC would look at your clothes and check your collars and other things, to make sure that you were doing things right.

I have never jumped out of a bed as fast as I did that night. The RDC had found the anchors on my collar. He started yelling obscenities that I can’t even explain. He had thrown all of my clothes onto the floor. There I was, being yelled at and humiliated the whole time I was folding my clothes. Once I was done folding them, he inspected them again, but he made me do push-ups, sit-ups and jumping jacks while he was inspecting. After he was satisfied, he left.

When I met with the ships staff the next night, I told them that story, and how I had decided to try and take a shortcut. Then I asked them if they had done something like that recently. Most of them raised their hands. I explained to them that something so seemingly small and finite could have such huge implications. In fact, if I was to make a shortcut or overlook small things, it would affect everyone else around me. (When I decided not to put my anchors away (Insert Navy Joke!) I made everyone else suffer because they lost sleep while the RDC yelled at me.)

I stressed that we all make mistakes, but that everything is a choice, a mentality, it is our character that matters. Outside of boot camp, would removing my anchors really matter? Probably not to anyone else, but to me, it was about my character. Since I did that right, then I knew that I could treat everything that I did with that same attitude. Everything that I do matters, so I need to do it extraordinarily well.

To this day, I take that approach. I am not perfect by any means. The reason that it matters to me though, is because I know it matters to God. If I am faithful with the smallest things in my life, then I know that He will allow me to have more, once I have been able to do the best with what I already have.

To further dive into this read about what Admiral McRaven had to say about making your bed.

Admiral William H. McRaven, in his commencement speech at UT in Austin Texas had this to say about one of the top 10 lessons he learned as a Navy Seal.

“Every morning in basic SEAL training (BUD's), my instructors, who at the time were all Vietnam veterans, would show up in my barracks room and the first thing they would inspect was your 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 — that's Navy talk for bed.
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 little things in life matter. If you can't do the little things right, you will never 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.
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.”

Main Idea: The small things count. Make your bed, remove your anchors, and don’t cut corners.


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#be limitless