Text from video,
During the 2014 commencement speech of the University of Texas, the Admiral MacRaven, shared his life lessons learnt from his time serving as a Navy Seal.
Often, I get repelled by the military and all the negative associations that gravitate around it. Rigidity is one of them.
I can’t help but picture the army with a yelling sergeant, like the one from the Forrest Gump movie.
But the talk of Admiral MacRaven shed another light on this intense sense of discipline. He stated that to change the world, we must start by making our bed every morning.
And to me, it’s the last part of this sentence that is important: “every morning”.
We must do our bed every morning, with discipline.
The point here, is that, no matter what will happen during the day, we completed one task.
We achieved something.
Yes, that’s only making our bed, there is no difficulty doing this task.
But, when we do our bed, several things happen as a result.
First, we proved to ourselves that we could do something. And do it properly.
We have to start somewhere.
To do big things, we must learn to do the small ones first.
Second, we overcame our internal resistance that was telling us: “that’s OK, it can wait later. Surely you will do it tomorrow.”
That’s our first success of the day.
And third, as small as your success is, it’s one.
We are better off getting our bed done than undone. It’s a small victory leading to others during the day. It’s creating momentum.
No matter how bad yesterday was, we are starting this new day on a positive note, on a win.
We are unconsciously saying to ourselves: “OK, I got this and this is only the beginning.” We are creating an impulsion, mentally and physically.
When we complete a task, even small, we get a “feel-good” sensation as our body is releasing dopamine.
It creates pleasure, like when you eat chocolate.
And our brain remembers it, and will seek to get more of it. Namely to complete more tasks.
And it’s critical to get out of our inertia, to create momentum because as we start the day, it’s easy to get lost in our thoughts.
Maybe you are anxious about a customer meeting or with your quarterly performance review. You might already be imagining yourself going through the day and its challenges.
You might even think about all the things that could go sideway.
And you can alleviate some stress by paying attention to the small tasks you did with success.
You made your bed.
You went for a morning walk or run.
You practiced your spanish for 15 minutes.
You put kids at schools on time.
All these small things, they are daily successes we are blind to.
But they build momentum.
Imagine before going to your customer meeting or your performance review, what you would feel if you simply focus on all the things you did right and finished.
Your small wins energised you.
They empower you.
And if needed, you can even look at yesterday – and the day before.
You committed to go for your morning run every day, and you did for the last 3 days.
You committed to learn spanish 15 minutes every day, and I did for the last week.
You did it.
Every day you had a win.
It builds your momentum.
So, to start, you have to find what are your small daily wins, even if it’s just making your bed.
If you like this video, leave me a comment. And if you want more, follow me on my socials.