It’s a simple act – but as a Navy SEAL stated in recalling his time spent in BUD/S, “if done properly, you will have accomplished the first task of the day”. He goes on further to say, “it (making your bed) will give you a small sense of pride and it will encourage you to accomplish another task, and then 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 the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right (or aren’t willing, I say), you’ll never be able to do the big things right.” He finishes by saying, “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”.
I believe there’s much to be leaned from that paragraph. For our purposes, let’s just focus on two points: 1) Attitude, and 2) Small Tasks.
The fact that making your bed is a dull task and very few people enjoy it, much less take 5 seconds after making a bed to step back and say “that’s a perfectly placed pillow”, doesn’t negate that you have a choice in the matter and it can set the stage for the rest of your day, in some senses.
There are and will always be many things in a training program that don’t sound fun and indeed aren’t fun. However, if done well and with the right attitude, they will give you a greater sense of satisfaction whether you achieve your goal or not. It’s through the small and common tasks that you will ultimately become the best athlete you can possibly be. That may carry over into how you approach family and work too.
I challenge you to add a mental check box to your training log that asks, “did I make my bed today”? I can assure you it’s the small unremarkable tasks that will never be shared as a list of accolades on the steps of the podium. But whether you make the top step or not, you’ll know that you’ve done those small tasks and be better for it in the end.
And yes, I make my bed…