Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven Book Summary

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Admiral William H. McRaven, who retired after more than 37 years of service in the US Navy, wrote the inspirational book Make Your Bed. The address McRaven gave at the University of Texas’ commencement in 2014 served as the inspiration for the book and received millions of views on YouTube. The book is a compilation of the life lessons McRaven picked up while serving in the Navy and how to use them to succeed and find fulfillment in daily life. The need of taking baby steps to reach your goals and make positive changes in your life is the book’s core theme.

Beginning the day with a task finished from Chapter 1

The importance of starting your day with a task finished and how it sets the tone for the rest of the day are discussed in the book’s first chapter. McRaven emphasizes the value of starting each day by making your bed in the morning. He demonstrates how, while appearing to be a tiny and unimportant activity, making your bed can significantly affect your outlook and productivity throughout the day.

Making your bed can give you a sense of pride and success, which can inspire you to take on harder projects later in the day, according to McRaven. Making your bed every morning, according to him, will help you start the day off well and create a good tone for the remainder of it.

Chapter 2: Enlist Assistance Paddling

In this chapter, McRaven stresses the value of cooperation and the need to surround yourself with individuals who will encourage you and support your endeavors. He tells tales from his time serving in the Navy, where he discovered the value of having a group that can cooperate to complete a mission.

According to McRaven, nobody succeeds on their own and everyone needs support and assistance from others. Finding someone to paddle with you or work with you towards a shared objective, he says, can make all the difference in realizing your dreams and finding success.

Chapter 3: Don’t judge a person by the size of their flippers—measure them by the size of their heart

McRaven explores the value of morality and integrity in this chapter. He contends that a person’s success should not be determined by their outward achievements or worldly things, but rather by their heart and character.

For McRaven, the key to long-term success and fulfillment is having integrity and being genuine to oneself. He contends that the key to achieving great success and pleasure is to put your attention on developing your character and leading an upright life.

Life’s Not Fair, Keep Driving!

McRaven explores the inevitableness of setbacks and difficulties in life in this chapter. He says that mastering these setbacks rather than avoiding them is the key to success.

McRaven discusses tales from his experience in the Navy, during which he encountered various obstacles and setbacks but discovered how to overcome them. He contends that you can develop resilience and succeed if you acknowledge that life is unfair and are willing to press on in spite of setbacks.

Chapter 5: Failure Can Strengthen You

McRaven examines the significance of failure in this chapter and how it can spur development and achievement. He contends that failure is a necessary component of life and that the secret to success is to learn from your mistakes and turn them into opportunities for development.

McRaven tells tales of his own mistakes while serving in the Navy and how he overcame them. He contends that you can grow stronger and more resilient to adversity by viewing failure as a teaching opportunity.

You Must Dare Greatly, Chapter 6

McRaven highlights the value of taking chances and being extremely courageous to succeed in this chapter. He contends that in order to succeed, one must frequently venture beyond of one’s comfort zone and take calculated risks.

In his personal accounts, McRaven describes how he overcame his fears and took risks while serving in the Navy, ultimately leading to his success. He says you may push yourself to new limits and accomplish things you never believed were possible by taking chances and being extremely courageous.

Stand Up to the Bullies in Chapter 7

McRaven highlights the significance of sticking up for what is right in spite of resistance or hardship in this chapter. He contends that developing character and succeeding in life need standing up to bullies and standing up for what you believe in.

McRaven recounts incidents from his experience in the Navy in which he had to confront bullies and stand up for what was right. He contends that you can develop courage and integrity and ultimately succeed by confronting bullies and standing up for what is right.

Rise to the Occasion in Chapter 8

McRaven highlights the significance of rising to the occasion and taking chances when they present themselves in this chapter. He contends that readiness and a willingness to seize opportunities when they arise are key components of success.

During his service in the Navy, McRaven learned the value of being ready to take chances and rise to the challenge. He shares stories from those experiences in his book. He contends that you can succeed and make the most of your life if you are ready and willing to seize opportunities.

Chapter 9: Instill Hope in People

McRaven explores the significance of inspiring others to attain their goals in this chapter. He contends that spreading optimism and prosperity via aiding and inspiring others is possible.

McRaven discusses tales from his experience in the Navy when he saw the value of giving his fellow soldiers encouragement and motivating them to accomplish their objectives. He contends that you can have a beneficial influence on the world and succeed in your own life by bringing hope to others.


A motivational book called Make Your Bed presents useful life lessons based on McRaven’s experiences in the Navy. The book places a strong emphasis on developing character and integrity, setting modest goals, and getting support and assistance from others. Following these guidelines, according to McRaven, can help you have a successful and fulfilling life. Make Your Bed is an instructive and inspirational book that offers helpful advice for anyone trying to better their lives and accomplish their objectives.

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