This year I started making my bed every day.  This is actually kind of a huge deal. Not just because I’m the wake up exactly 10 minutes before I need to be out the door type person. But because I’m also the type of person who would have dirty laundry pile up and would sleep straight on the mattress with nothing but a comforter as a blanket. This year I decided to start making my bed  I haven’t missed a day and it’s already March. It required me to spend an extra 5 minutes on a task that mostly I appreciated when I went to bed later that night.  It seemed like nothing, and after a few weeks it turned into waking up 10 minutes early, so I’d have five MORE minutes to straighten up around the house or send out a quick email before walking out the door to work. And then it turned to 15 minutes so I had an five MORE minutes to meditate on the day, make my plan, and decide to be amazing.

I love motivational videos, quotes, podcasts, auto/biographies… just about anything I can listen to or read that makes me want to do better and be better.  This year, I’ve started listening to motivational videos every day on my walk into work. It has 100% changed the way my day continues.

I particularly love anything that has to do with military, special forces, and in general the elite of the elite.  Is this because I’m  in the military or spent time deployed? No. Far from it.  But what I have learned is that the most impressive and successful people that exist are exactly who I want to learn from. And these amazing men are who I want to learn from. I don’t care if you are hoping to be a Navy SEAL, a psychologist, open your own business, stay at home mom, or just training for a race – I promise you the lessons they have learned and share will touch you.  They will find something deep in you that reminds you why you want to be great.

Recently, I listened to Admiral McRaven’s commencement address to the University of Texas in 2014.  You’ve probably seen many articles that have talked about his theory of changing the world. It’s exactly why I started out this year with the small change of making my bed every morning.

“It was a simple task, mundane at best. But every morning we were required to make our bed to perfection…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 will encourage you to do another task… and another… and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed turns into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.  So if you want to change the world, start out by making your bed.” (Full version HERE)

In 2013, when the article came out a friend of mine sent it out to a few of us.  The article was titled “Sweat the Small Stuff” and it had a similar theme to Admiral McRaven’s commencement address.

“‘Don’t sweat the small stuff’ […] is a dangerous mindset because success or failure often depends on minute details. “What ‘don’t sweat the small stuff’ should mean is, ‘don’t worry about the little things you cannot control.”

This struck me this weekend because it is all too simple to ignore small tasks, habits, or changes because ‘it doesn’t really matter anyways’ but it’s exactly that type of thinking that will ultimately lead to failure.

I recently read the book ‘Mental Toughness‘ which is about the mindset of elite warriors. In the opening remarks the author describes how most elite warriors – Delta Force, Rangers, Navy SEALs – will typically describe themselves as an ‘average guy’ but to the rest of the world we see them as heros, badasses, untouchables! The theme I keep seeing over and over break down into some basic principals that each of these elite warriors  have that make them successful:

A Winning Mentality
Positive Self-Talk
Control Doubts
Anticipate Success
Project Confidence
Develop Strategies and Game Plan
Exercise Patience
Continuous Testing

Whatever it is you are doing, whatever your goal is, the above attributes are absolutely vital to your success. The lessons from elite warriors who strategize their next military move can be applied to the savvy business person determining how to grow their business.

Personally I find these guys absolutely motivating! I started listening to Marcus Luttrell’s Podcast “Team Never Quit” I dare you to not find some motivation in listening to these amazing stories.

I’m not a special operator and never will be. But when I start my day listening to their stories, and hearing what they attain their success to I know that it’s the same path that will pave the way to my own success in my business.

These guys are pushed to their physical and mental breaking point every single day. It is exactly the dose of harsh reality that I need to kick my ass and shut down the excuses. There is no reason that they can perservere through the hardest of training and combat situations and I can’t take the same principals and apply them to my nice comfy life to make me better and make my business grow.  It doesn’t have to do with being the best, the fastest, the strongest.  It has everything to do with never giving up, never quitting, and being mentally strong. It doesn’t have to do with never failing, but with getting back up, making your plan, and doing better.

SMALL changes…. HUGE results.

I started making my bed every day this year, and it’s changed my life. It’s forced me to pay attention to the little stuff, the minute details, the seemingly unimportant.  The continue to compound in ways that make me a better person all around.  I’m a better person and I smile more and I care more. You don’t know who you touch by simply being the best version of you.  It’s time to make your bed, and start changing the world.