[February 22, 2019] Yesterday, while reading some of the comments in my post about Good Habits, several readers commented on a 2017 book by Admiral William McRaven. They liked it. This past weekend I was winter camping with a Boy Scout Troop, and I was able to apply some of McRaven’s thinking to the activities these boys undertook. The newly elected senior scout leaders were settling into their positions and learning a bit about why being a leader is not easy but, when done correctly, is most satisfying. Of course, mistakes were made by the boys, yet none were injured. Only one cried (that I know of) and that was because some of his teammates locked him out of their cabin in the middle of the day. We will deal with that issue promptly. This is a long way around my point here, but McRaven’s book tells us how to avoid common mistakes and motivates us all never to give up.
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life … And Maybe the World, U.S. Navy Admiral William H. McRaven, 2017.
Surprisingly, USA Today calls this a “powerful” book. Even the media’s hyper-sensitivity and political correctness, they still are honest enough to recognize those important life lessons in McRaven’s book. Let’s not beat around the bush … this is a self-help book. But it’s one that is “refreshing.” McRaven illustrates his book with great anecdotes that help us navigate his easy-to-read book (even for young teenagers). One thing I like is that he works hard at teaching us some of the forgotten methods of our parents and grandparents; we thought they were a bunch of old fogies but, boy, were we wrong.
The main point in “Make Your Bed” is that life is tough. If you meet life’s challenges with discipline, determination, a positive attitude, and the support of others, you will have a meaningful life that inspires others. Too many kids today are unable to take risks, make an informed decision, work on a team, or lift themselves up after a bad day. Anyone can incorporate his life’s lessons into their daily activities. McRaven does not, however, write his book as a military primer or for military types. This book is for everyone; young or old.
Some of the lessons he teaches us are that life is not fair, teamwork is the path to success, what doesn’t kill you makes you stronger, taking calculated risks is good, have hope, and rise to the occasion when called. This is solid, unfiltered advice. As McRaven says, “don’t be a sugar cookie, move forward bravely and with resilience!”
Overall, an exceptional book and highly recommended.
To go to the full Professional Reading list, simply click on this direct link: www.theleadermaker.com/reading-list/
Side Note: Please remember and take a look at Tom Copeland’s reading blog. His website, which I highly recommend, can be found here: https://militaryreadinglists.com/map