Make Your Bed
30 pages • 1 hour read
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life...and Maybe the World
A modern alternative to SparkNotes and CliffsNotes, SuperSummary offers high-quality Study Guides that feature detailed chapter summaries and analysis of major themes, characters, quotes, and essay topics.
- Chapters 1-2
- Chapters 3-4
- Chapters 5-6
- Chapters 7-8
- Chapters 9-10
- Key Figures
- Index of Terms
- Important Quotes
- Essay Topics
Summary and Study Guide
Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…and Maybe the World is a work of self-help psychology by Admiral William H. McRaven. The book is a continuation and expansion of a commencement speech McRaven delivered at the University of Texas at Austin in 2014, which went viral on the internet. Formerly a high-ranking officer of the US Navy and Commander of US Special Operations Command, McRaven relates his experiences in Navy SEAL training to the challenges of living a good life in everyday circumstances. The book consists of 10 aphoristic lessons that McRaven contends apply to people in all walks of life. The Epilogue contains the actual speech delivered at the University of Texas commencement ceremonies, which the rest of the book elaborates on.
Get access to this full Study Guide and much more!
- 6,250+ In-Depth Study Guides
- 5,250+ Quick-Read Plot Summaries
- Downloadable PDFs
McRaven begins his book with an aphorism about starting small, or “making your bed,” to change the world. His rationale is that though spirituality and faith can endow individuals with resilience and peace, simple actions like making your bed form a kind of praxis that cumulatively contributes to human flourishing. The simple habit of making one’s bed as a planned and successful activity sets the day off on the right path, cultivating a mindset of positivity and order that carries over into the rest of one’s life. McRaven then analogizes life to a body of water that we must traverse and tells his readers to find a partner to help paddle. You can have one or even multiple life partners, romantic or not; it is only important to remember that success is contingent on interlocking social networks.
McRaven’s third aphorism turns to the treatment of others; he suggests that the only productive way to evaluate someone is by their compassion. In his fourth aphorism, McRaven tells readers to toughen up and persevere even when pressure mounts or situations seem hopeless. He bluntly terms people who give up “sugar cookies” and explains that during Navy SEAL training, cadets who ignore basic commands or forget their duties are told to roll in sand until it covers their entire body, like a sugar cookie. McRaven qualifies his assessment, conceding that some people remain sugar cookies despite hard work. Still, he argues that one of the best lessons you can learn is that life isn’t fair, and it’s how you respond to life that truly counts. He insists that the only way to face the future is to not blame our situations on other people, instead constantly aspiring to push through the failures and setbacks that inevitably come with life.
The SuperSummary difference
- 8x more resources than SparkNotes and CliffsNotes combined
- Study Guides you won ' t find anywhere else
- 100+ new titles every month
McRaven brings up other examples of punitive Navy experiences, including the “Circus,” which consists of several hours of calisthenics, during which SEAL veterans harass cadets. He states that Circuses are everywhere in adult life, but are always possible to get through. He also advocates for extreme risk-taking. In his view, since struggle and suffering are inevitable, developing a mindset of fear in response to obstacles only closes off opportunities for learning to surmount them. Moreover, taking risks is the only workable strategy for coming to know the limits of the self. McRaven writes that everyone has a huge wealth of innate courage that just needs to be coaxed out.
Next, McRaven reiterates advice he originally received from his chief petty officer. One evening before a difficult task, the officer told his recruits to be their best and to overcome their psychological doubt, fear, and exhaustion, crediting the ability to do so with allowing people to succeed on difficult missions. McRaven states that thinking of every challenge as an obstacle that can be overcome is useful even in dark moments, such as following the death of a family member.
McRaven’s final exhortation is never to quit. He employs the analogy of “ringing the bell,” which, during Navy SEAL training, signals that a cadet is too exhausted to complete a mission. McRaven contends that life is all about rejecting the bell and pressing onward through situations that seem too daunting. Even when ringing the bell seems the rational choice, self-improvement requires rejecting the “end” of existential challenge.
McRaven’s book, while presented in the context of military training, is focused on the general art of living. Since most things in life are beyond and outside our control, what matters is knowing what we truly have power over and how we conduct ourselves as we travel through the vicissitudes of life. In a way, daily life is a kind of combat against the forces that continuously push up against our desires; success will come if we handle them in an appropriate way.
Don't Miss Out!
Access Study Guide Now
Ready to dive in?
Get unlimited access to SuperSummary for only $0.70/week
Books About Leadership
Books that Feature the Theme of...
Memorial day reads, military reads, new york times best sellers, self-help books, teams & gangs.
Boost your life and career with the best book summaries.
Home » Make Your Bed PDF Summary
Make Your Bed Summary
Emir Zecovic | Posted on July 27, 2018 |
6 min read ⌚
Little Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World
You want to change the world.
Start off by making your bed.
Don’t believe us?
Then, let us rephrase that in the words of a decorated United States Navy admiral:
“ Make Your Bed !”
Who Should Read “Make Your Bed”? And Why?
In “Make Your Bed” Admiral William H. McRaven shares the 10 most valuable life lessons he learned by being a part of the US military.
As he says himself, they are universally comprehensible and applicable, so it doesn’t matter who you are or whether you like the military or not.
“Change in the world can happen anywhere,” emphasizes McRaven, “and anyone can do it.”
About William H. McRaven
He last served as the commander of the United States Special Operations Command (2011 – 2014), a position he got after serving for three years as the Commander of Joint Special Operations Command (2008 – 2011).
Back in 1995, “ Spec Ops, ” the first of the two books he has so far authored was published.
In 2012, he was played by Christopher Stanley in the Academy Award-winning movie chronicling the manhunt for Osama bin Laden, “ Zero Dark Thirty ,” and a year later he appeared as himself in the documentary “ Dirty Wars .”
“Make Your Bed PDF Summary”
William H. McRaven is 1977 graduate of the University of Texas at Austin and a decorated United States Navy admiral.
How are these things related between themselves, or, for that matter, to this book?
Well, McRaven retired from the Navy – after more than 37 years of service – on August 28, 2014.
About three months before that, as still the Commander of United States Special Operations Command, he addressed the Class of 2014 at the University of Texas at Austin.
The commencement speech went viral and has been viewed, in different versions, more than 10 million times.
We link it below.
But, before you watch it, we feel obliged to add a “spoiler alert” tag: it’s basically this book in 20 minutes minus some of the anecdotes and stories:
As you might have already heard (in case you decided to watch McRaven’s speech before going on to read this summary), Admiral McRaven was inspired to share the 10 most valuable lessons he learned as part of the US military by the slogan of his alma mater: “ what starts here changes the world .”
The question is – he adds after pointing this out – what the world will look like after it is changed.
So as to make sure that it looks better (of which he has no doubt to start with), he makes ten (once again: universally applicable) suggestions, which, chiseled and polished up a bit, make up the titles of the ten chapters of his book.
So here they are, “the 10 lessons [McRaven] learned from basic SEAL training that hopefully will be of value to you as you move forward in life.”
Key Lessons from “Make Your Bed”
1. Start Your Day with a Task Completed 2. You Can’t Go It Alone 3. Only the Size of Your Heart Matters 4. Life’s Not Fair – Drive On! 5. Failure Can Make You Stronger 6. You Must Dare Greatly 7. Stand Up to the Bullies 8. Rise to the Occasion 9. Give People Hope 10. Never, Ever Quit
#1. Start Your Day with a Task Completed
One of the first things you’ll learn if you want to take part of the basic training for being a member of the US Seal team is – the proper way to make your bed.
And that is lesson #1: always start your day by making your bed.
How will that change the world, you ask?
Well, it’s actually not the making of the bed that matters; it’s the discipline you put into it and, more importantly, the fact that, by making your bed, you are starting your day on a high note: already with a task completed.
The bonus: no matter how bad the rest of the day is, you’ll always come home to a made bed.
#2. You Can’t Go It Alone
Even a superhero has a sidekick – and you need plenty of them. To use McRaven’s example: if you want to steer a boat faster , you’ll need to find people to paddle with you.
And if you suffer a near-fatal parachute incident, you’ll need a partner to carry you through the pain and the depression (yes, that actually happened to McRaven):
None of us are immune from life’s tragic moments… It takes a good team of people to get you to your destination in life. You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others.
#3. Only the Size of Your Heart Matters
“Life’s battles don’t always go to the stronger or faster man,” wrote a fairly obscure poet sometime in the early 20 th century ; “but sooner or later the man who wins/ is the one who thinks he can!”
McRaven has, basically, the same advice: the best team during his Navy training was actually the one who was most often the butt of the jokes on account of the size of its members’ flippers.
But, it’s not the size of the paddles that counts; it’s the size of the heart. The passion and the perseverance .
So, please, don’t judge a book by its cover. Judge it by its content.
#4. Life’s Not Fair – Drive On!
“The universe,” writes Neil deGrasse Tyson , “is under no obligation to make sense to you.”
In other words, there’s a big chance that life is not going to treat you fair.
But blaming your lot on some outside force is both easy and wrong. What’s right is learning how to accept and rise above the unfairness.
“The common people and the great men and women,” concludes McRaven, “are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness.”
#5. Failure Can Make You Stronger
During his SEAL Navy training, McRaven was part of a swimming team which always finished last.
The Circus, i.e., an endurance test which has made many cadets give up.
However, in the case of McRaven, the failure to win the swimming races only made him stronger: for the graduation test, he was part of the winning team.
So, keep calm – and fail forward .
#6. You Must Dare Greatly
Don’t be afraid to take risks:
Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment, will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.
#7. Stand Up to the Bullies
As part of their training, McRaven and his teammate were once commanded to swim four miles through potentially shark-infested waters. Refusing the task meant not completing the SEAL training.
So, as afraid as they were, they didn’t.
You’ll encounter many sharks – whether bullies or personal fears – on your path to greatness.
Stand up to them.
#8. Rise to the Occasion
Sometimes it’s inevitable that you’ll lose a loved one.
Unfortunately, no amount of shouting and screaming, no amount of sulking or depression, will ever change that.
Being a soldier, McRaven has learned this the hard way.
What you’re left with is to rise to the challenge and endure .
#9. Give People Hope
Sometimes, all it takes is just a little pat on the shoulder.
For example, during McRaven’s Hell Week (the dreaded seven-day endurance test which makes or breaks a SEAL), one of the guys was about to call it quits, when another started singing a song.
Soon, everybody joined in.
And even though it was past midnight and they were all covered in cold mud, somehow, they felt a bit more hopeful.
And they persevered!
#10. Never, Ever Quit
Don’t give up!
If a Navy SEAL who has lost both legs can find some meaning in life, certainly you can too, no matter how bad your day is.
No matter what happens, it’s your job to be unbroken .
Like this summary? We’d like to invite you to download our free 12 min app , for more amazing summaries and audiobooks.
“Make Your Bed Quotes”
Our Critical Review
Though certainly not groundbreaking (far from it), “Make Your Bed” is as inspirational as is William McRaven’s brilliant commencement speech.
Meaning: it’s one of those books you just can’t buy only one copy of.
Take our word for it: we’ve given at least six of them as gifts.
And had we known you personally, we probably would have gifted one to you as well.
Just a regular guy with a knack for writing, and digital marketing . Emir is the Head of International and SEO at 12Min . In his spare time, he loves to meditate and play soccer.
Improve Your Reading Habits in 28 days
Explore key insights and ideas from 2500+ titles in audio and text
Start Now for Free
Start learning at the speed of today's world.
- All authors
- Technology & Innovation
- Startups & Entrepreneurship
- Children’s Books
- Career & Business
- Biographies & Memoirs
- Spirituality & Mindfulness
- Society & Politics
- Sex & Relationships
- Self Help & Motivation
- Investments & Finance
- History & Philosophy
- Health & Diet
- Corporate Culture & Communication
- Productivity & Time Management
- Personal Development
- Marketing & Sales
- Management & Leadership
- Good old times
- 12min Originals
- Affiliates Program
- Join 12min Team
What if you could read 3 books per day?
3000+ book summaries await you for free on 12min.
Want to learn from the world’s best nonfiction books in just 12 minutes?
Make Your Bed Summary
1-Sentence-Summary: Make Your Bed encourages you to pursue your goals and change the lives of others for the better by showing that success is a combination of individual willpower and mutual support.
Favorite quote from the author:
Table of Contents
Make your bed review, audio summary, who would i recommend the make your bed summary to.
In 2014 Admiral William H. McRaven gave the commencement address at the University of Texas at Austin. While encouraging the students to improve the world , he gave many life lessons that could be of help. He had learned most of them during his Navy SEAL training – 6 months of runs in the sand, obstacles courses, unending calisthenics and continuous harassment by veterans, who wanted only the strongest to get to the end of it.
As a cadet, McRaven learned that success doesn’t depend on social status, race or religion. It’s not how good your parents were to you or which school you went to that determines your future. It’s a combination of the little actions and help from others that makes people successful.
The admiral’s speech went viral on Youtube and later became a book .
In Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life… and maybe the world , McRaven stresses that life is unfair, as everybody knows. In fact, what defines great men and women is how they deal with life’s unfairness. People like Helen Keller, Nelson Mandela, Stephen Hawking are just a few examples.
Here are my 3 favorite lessons about leveraging self-discipline and teaming up for a meaningful life:
- Making your bed first thing in the morning can lead to many tasks completed by the end of the day.
- If you want to change the world, never ever ring the bell.
- Find someone to help you paddle if you want to make a real difference in the world.
Do you want to be prepared for life challenges? Let’s see what we can learn from a Navy veteran who has held impressive key roles inside and outside the military!
If you want to save this summary for later, download the free PDF and read it whenever you want.
Lesson 1: Making the bed can boost your productivity and even give you hope in the bad days.
As a US SEAL cadet, McRaven had to make his bed to perfection first thing after waking up.
If he failed to follow the bed-making code, he had to perform the sugar cookie ritual, which has nothing to do with treats, as you can imagine. It’s more about diving into the cold waters of the Pacific Ocean and then rolling around on the beach until you are covered with sand head to toe. But why is making your bed so important?
While it may seem trivial when big assignments are waiting for you outside, starting off with this small task makes you feel a little proud and ready to deal with the rest of your tasks. And if you have a miserable day, coming back to a bed made – by you – will make you feel tomorrow will be better.
After a serious injury, McRaven spent many months lying on a hospital bed that had been wheeled into his government quarters. When he was finally able to stand up unaided, the first thing he did was adjusting the bed.
It was his way of showing that he was recovering and moving forward.
Lesson 2: If you want to make a difference in life, never give up, learn from failures and keep improving yourself.
During the SEAL training , McRaven and his fellows had to withstand uncountable challenges of strength and courage . Giving up at any time was very easy: they just had to ring a bell hanging in the center of the compound and they would be free, immediately.
Never ring the bell if you want to achieve big goals in life.
You may have heard of the Circus, another legendary punishment known to make many cadets quit the SEAL training. It’s two hours of additional calisthenics, paired with non-stop harassment by SEAL combat veterans.
During the training, McRaven was part of a swim team that constantly came in last place and had to face the Circus many times a week. At the moment of the graduation test though, they came in first: all those hours of calisthenics had made them stronger.
Life is full of Circuses. You fail, you keep training yourself, you get stronger .
Once McRaven’s team had to swim 4 miles in the dark. Scary enough in itself, but that night there were even reports of big white sharks near the coast. Since it was the only way to complete the SEAL training, they swam anyway.
If you want to achieve your full potential in life, don’t let fear stops you.
Lesson 3: Life is a struggle. To accomplish great things you need to fight. But you can’t do it alone: you need teammates.
SEAL cadets also have to overcome Hell Week, 7 days of endurance tests when many of them call it quits.
During their Hell Week, McRaven and his fellows had to spend a whole night sitting, covered in cold mud. In the middle of the test, some of them seemed ready to give up . Then one man began to sing. One by one the others followed him. Suddenly the mud felt less cold and the dawn closer.
Sometimes life gets very hard: the loss of someone you love, a disease or something you are not prepared for may crush your spirit. These are the moments when you need to dig inside yourself and bring out all your strength . But you also need the help of your friends and family.
Years ago the author was badly wounded in a parachute accident and he had to go through months of recovery and rehabilitation. He’s sure he would have surrendered to self-pity and depression if his wife hadn’t been there to support him.
In McRaven’s view, life is like a small rubber boat: you cannot paddle it alone. It takes a team of good people to get you where you want to go. So, as he says,
“Find someone to share your life with. Never forget that your success depends on others.”
Listen to the audio of this summary with a free reading.fm account*:
The 17-year-old discouraged about what he can do in life since he lives in a poor neighborhood, the 36-year-old who doesn’t like his life and blames it on his parents, and anyone who feels unlucky, demotivated or just lazy.
Last Updated on December 5, 2022
Clara is a SEO content strategist, writer, and proofreader from Sardinia, Italy. She is a cofounder, head of content, and COO of Botteega, a delivery service for local goods from high-quality shops and farmers. Clara wrote a total of 16 summaries for us. When she's not working on her own or her client's blogs, she teaches and does yoga. My favorite project of hers is Come L'Acqua — "Like Water" — a personal growth and mindfulness blog (in Italian).
*Four Minute Books participates in the Amazon Services LLC Associates Program, an affiliate advertising program designed to provide a means for sites to earn advertising commissions by linking to Amazon. We also participate in other affiliate programs, such as Blinkist, MindValley, Audible, Audiobooks, Reading.FM, and others. Our referral links allow us to earn commissions (at no extra cost to you) and keep the site running. Thank you for your support.
Need some inspiration? 👀 Here are... The 365 Most Famous Quotes of All Time »
Academia.edu no longer supports Internet Explorer.
To browse Academia.edu and the wider internet faster and more securely, please take a few seconds to upgrade your browser .
Enter the email address you signed up with and we'll email you a reset link.
- We're Hiring!
- Help Center
Make Your Bed Little Things That Can Change Your Life And Maybe the World
by Dr. Angelique McInnes
If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. In 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas, in a video which has since been watched over 10 million times. He shared the 10 principles he had learned during his Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his long Naval career, but also throughout his life. He explained how anyone can use these basic lessons to change themselves - and the world - for the better . . . Building on these principles in this book, McRaven recounts tales from his own life and from people he encountered during his military service who dealt with hardship and made tough decisions with determination, compassion, honour, and courage. Told with great humility and optimism, this timeless book provides simple and universal wisdom, practical advice, and words of encouragement that will inspire readers to achieve.
Free Related PDFs
Erik J Dahl
2014, Political Science Quarterly
Christopher Marsh , Nathanael Joslyn
The authors argue that the pursuit of theory is required for a scientifically-rigorous body of research on special operations. Following a review of the nature of theory and its role in the study of war and warfare, the authors argue against the development of a single, over-arching meta-theory of special operations. Instead, they propose that efforts at theory development should be aimed at a level below that of special operations, and suggest that focusing on the doctrinal division between surgical strike and special warfare offers great promise for developing theories of special warfare and surgical strike.
Stana Gul Ahmadzai
In Dirty Wars, Jeremy Scahill, author of the New York Times bestseller Blackwater, takes us inside America’s new covert wars. The foot soldiers in these battles operate globally and inside the United States with orders from the White House to do whatever is necessary to hunt down, capture or kill individuals designated by the president as enemies. Drawn from the ranks of the Navy SEALs, Delta Force, former Blackwater and other private security contractors, the CIA’s Special Activities Division and the Joint Special Operations Command (JSOC), these elite soldiers operate worldwide, with thousands of secret commandos working in more than one hundred countries. Funded through black budgets, Special Operations Forces conduct missions in denied areas, engage in targeted killings, snatch and grab individuals and direct drone, AC-130 and cruise missile strikes. While the Bush administration deployed these ghost militias, President Barack Obama has expanded their operations and given them new scope and legitimacy. Dirty Wars follows the consequences of the declaration that "the world is a battlefield,” as Scahill uncovers the most important foreign policy story of our time. From Afghanistan to Yemen, Somalia and beyond, Scahill reports from the frontlines in this high-stakes investigation and explores the depths of America’s global killing machine. He goes beneath the surface of these covert wars, conducted in the shadows, outside the range of the press, without effective congressional oversight or public debate. And, based on unprecedented access, Scahill tells the chilling story of an American citizen marked for assassination by his own government. As US leaders draw the country deeper into conflicts across the globe, setting the world stage for enormous destabilization and blowback, Americans are not only at greater risk — we are changing as a nation. Scahill unmasks the shadow warriors who prosecute these secret wars and puts a human face on the casualties of unaccountable violence that is now official policy: victims of night raids, secret prisons, cruise missile attacks and drone strikes, and whole classes of people branded as suspected militants. Through his brave reporting, Scahill exposes the true nature of the dirty wars the United States government struggles to keep hidden.
S. Alexander Hardison
2013, A Study of Several Reported Cases of Crisis Apparitions During the American Civil War (in Paranthropology: The Journal of Anthropological Approaches to the Paranormal. Vol. 4, 1a)
John P. Sullivan
Ñāṇiswar Library : Online Version (English &Bengali) জ্ঞানীশ্বর গ্রন্থাগার : অনলাইন ভার্সন (ইংরেজী ও বাংলা)
As a result, software companies producing high-volume shrink-wrapped products now include interface design teams and professionals as part of their product development groups. More recently, companies with modest audiences for their software, such as those producing in-house software or niche products, now expect that everyday programmers will design good interfaces as well as good code. Unfortunately, most programmers are sadly unprepared for this job.
FREE RELATED PAPERS
Jesus Garfias Hernandez
2014, Journal of Strategic Security
Rikke Haugegaard , Karina Mayland
This article is a contribution to the discussions about the unique capacity of Special Operation Forces (SOF). Based on data from interviews and observation in a field study among the Danish Frogman Corps, the Royal Danish Navy Special Operations unit, and the Danish Jaeger Corps, the Danish Army Special Operations unit, the article investigates the work environment of the two Special Operations units supporting an innovative capacity. What kind of leadership, processes and work climate support employee-driven innovation in SOF?
NETSOL New Trends in Social and Liberal Sciences
Chaos, machine, or evolving complexity? The butterfly effect suggests a world in chaos-with linkages so random or nuanced that just to measure or pre-state them is virtually impossible. To predict how they will interact is even less feasible. Thanks to "adjacent possibles" and the contradictory impulses of human behavior, much of our world appears to move in random spasms. Every new technology and policy outcome creates opportunities to push society in new and often unforeseen directions, driven by human agents who may introduce crucial but unpredictable goals, strategies, and actions. Against this view, complexity science seeks to identify patterns in interactive relationships. Many patterns can be plotted and, in some cases, foreseen. A comparison of political entities across the globe points to certain factors conducing to societal fitness. Analysis of states that have declined in fitness suggests why their strengths turned to weaknesses. A survey of societies that were relatively democratic points to several factors that contributed to their acquiring authoritarian regimes. Scientists and scholars can unveil some elements of order but should strive to do so without hubris. Wise policymakers will strive to channel both the "actuals" and "adjacent possibles" that then arise toward constructive futures.
1 U. Balt. J. Int'l L. 154 et. seq. (2013).
This article will assess the roles and responsibilities of Special Operations Forces (SOF) within the newly created U.S. Africa Command (AFRICOM) as an active proponent of a so-called “smart power” national security strategy. In particular, it will outline the economic, political, and military challenges faced in Africa; specifically, how and why SOCAFRICA is the U.S. force of choice for promoting human rights and rule of law in Africa. With the goals of the U.S. military in mind, questions will necessarily arise as to “what success looks like” for both the U.S. and African nations, and the roles of each in joint and combined civil–military initiatives. The concluding comments reflect on how these forces must model “what right looks like,” and provide specific modeling failures, and the consequences when that modeling did not take place.
Ronnie Leone II
2011, Retrieved May
Explorations in Teacher Education
Elite units of the guerrilla, counterguerrilla, and commando type offer politicians in democracies both a tool of policy and a source of fantasy (Cohen 1978, p. 101).
EFROSINI KRITIKOS, Independent Researcher
2005, Harvard University
This study investigates guided self-monitoring and correction of fossilized errors due to transfer of rules of L1 to L2. Its aim is to test the effectiveness of different forms of coded correction in setting new parameters in foreign language acquisition by suppprting the restructuring process and de-stabilizing fossilized or would-be fossilized forms. The hypothesis is that the more autonomous learners are in monitoring and correcting their own errors the greater the level of accuracy they will attain in future L2 written performance. An error analysis/contrastive analysis of learners’ written production led to a diagnosis of hypothesized fossilized errors. Then, four learners’ production of the errors in question elicited through sentence transformations was subjected to different types of error correction methods in order to see their effectiveness over a ten-week period. Methods ranged from full feedback, coded feedback, and no feedback. The results showed that there were no major differences in effectiveness between error correction methods. However, there were significant differences among learners. The strong learners benefited from all three methods, whereas the weak learners benefited from none and continued making the same errors throughout the ten weeks. The study looks at how individual differences play a role in successful foreign language acquisition. Also, it examines the nature of fossilization that would account for the differences found in the study. Finally, it offers suggestions to teachers for using correction methods in the classroom.
- We're Hiring!
- Help Center
- Find new research papers in:
- Health Sciences
- Earth Sciences
- Cognitive Science
- Computer Science
- Academia ©2023
- International edition
- Australia edition
- Europe edition
Make Your Bed: Small Things That Can Change Your Life … and Maybe the World by William H McRaven – digested read
‘Measure a person by the size of his heart – the guy with the biggest flippers is not always the man you want in a crisis’
O n 17 May 2014, I was asked to give a speech at the graduation ceremony of my alma mater, the University of Texas. I chose to tell them the 10 lessons I had learned during my 34-year career as a navy SEAL. I hope you enjoy them rather more than they did.
1 Start off by making your bed
The barracks at basic SEAL training is a nondescript building in Coronado, California. Rooms are spartan, with a simple steel bed on which there is a mattress, two sheets and a grey blanket. Every morning, we would have to make our beds. If the task wasn’t done properly, we would be sent on a 10-mile run. Making my bed taught me the importance of getting my day off to a good start. Years later, when we finally captured Saddam Hussein in Iraq , I was intrigued to notice that he had never made his bed. It’s that kind of laziness that can lead to the downfall of any dictator.
2 Find someone to help you paddle
During my SEAL training, we had to learn to paddle a boat in a crew of seven. Sometimes, one of the recruits was a bit tired so we didn’t go as fast as the other boats and the officers would make us all do 500 press-ups when we got back to the beach. This taught me the meaning of team work. And also to never get in a boat with someone I thought was a bit of a loser.
3 Measure a person by the size of their heart
Just because you are small, it doesn’t mean you are a failure. The guy with the biggest flippers is not always the man you want next to you in a crisis. During one mission behind enemy lines in Afghanistan, I got stuck inside a tight tunnel. Fortunately, I was with a man who was only 5ft tall. He was able to run for assistance. Saddam Hussein had big flippers.
4 Get over being a sugar cookie
In all of SEAL training, there was no worse punishment than being coated in wet sand like a sugar cookie and not being allowed to wash for three weeks. One morning, after I had successfully completed an exercise, the instructor told me to roll in the sand. “Do you know why you are a sugar cookie?” he asked me. I replied that I didn’t. “Because life is unfair,” he said. This taught me that life was unfair. Get over it. Shit happens. So what if you lose a leg in a car accident? At least, you’ve got one good one left.
5 Don’t be afraid of the Circus
The Circus was a brutal session of callisthenics that broke many SEAL recruits because they were afraid of it. I wasn’t afraid of it so it didn’t break me. If you’re frightened, you lose. Saddam Hussein was afraid of the Circus.
6 Be prepared to jump
In SEAL training, we had to find the quickest way of getting down from a 60-metre tower. I consistently failed this test by using the zip wire. It was only when I was prepared to throw myself off head first that I passed. The multiple leg fractures I incurred were more than worth it. Sometimes you just have to show initiative.
7 Don’t back down from the sharks
One of the more hellish exercises we had to endure as SEALs was a 15-mile swim through waters infested with great white sharks. Although we lost several good recruits that night, the rest of us got to experience what it felt like to get lucky. Saddam Hussein never went for a swim with sharks.
8 Be your very best in the darkest moments
At night, it is often hard to see what you are doing. During these hours, it is important to be the very best you can be. Always remember that while you are alive you are not yet dead.
9 Start singing when you are up to your neck in mud
During SEAL training, we were often made to bury ourselves in mud for weeks at a time. Singing helped to keep our spirits up. So make sure you join a choir. Being in a choir gives you hope. Saddam Hussein was never in a choir.
10 Don’t ever ring the bell
At Coronado, there was a bell that SEAL recruits could ring to signify they wanted to give up and watch TV. I never rang that bell. Ringing a bell, even on a bicycle, is a sign of weakness. Saddam Hussein rang the bell three times a day.
Digested read digested: Don’t be as Sad as Saddam.
- Autobiography and memoir
- Digested read
Sam Thomas Davies
Make Your Bed by William H. McRaven
Hardcover | Audiobook | Get My Searchable Collection of 100+ Book Notes
The Book in Three Sentences
- Make Your Bed is based on Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech for the graduating class from the University of Texas at Austin.
- In it, McRaven shares the ten lessons he learned from Navy SEAL training.
- They are simple lessons that deal with overcoming the trials of SEAL training, but the ten lessons are equally important in dealing with the challenges of life—no matter who you are.
Want a Free Copy of My Summary?
Make your bed summary.
- Start your day with a task completed
- You can’t go at it alone
- Only the size of your heart matters
- Life’s not fair—drive on!
- Failure can make you stronger
- You must dare greatly
- Stand up to the bullies
- Rise to the occasion
- Give people hope
- Never, ever quit!
If you want to change the world … start off by making your bed.
Nothing can replace the strength and comfort of one’s faith, but sometimes the simple act of making your bed can give you the lift you need to start your day and provide you the satisfaction to end it right.
If you want to change the world … find someone to help you paddle.
You cannot paddle the boat alone. Find someone to share your life with. Make as many friends as possible, and never forget that your success depends on others.
If you want to change the world … measure a person by the size of their heart.
If you want to change the world … get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward. (If a Navy SEAL fails to follow basic requirements (such as making their bed perfectly), they’re instructed to roll around on the beach until they’re covered head to toe with wet sand—referred to as a “sugar cookie”).
The common people and the great men and women are all defined by how they deal with life’s unfairness:
Sometimes no matter how hard you try, no matter how good you are, you still end up as a sugar cookie. Don’t complain. Don’t blame it on your misfortune. Stand tall, look to the future, and drive on!
If you want to change the world … don’t be afraid of The Circus. (In Navy SEAL training, “The Circus” is another two hours of additional calisthenics, combined with non-stop harassment by SEAL combat veterans who want only the strong to survive the training.)
In life, you will face a lot of Circuses. You will pay for your failures. But, if you persevere, if you let those failures teach you and strengthen you, then you will be prepared to handle life’s toughest moments.
True leaders must learn from their failures, use the lessons to motivate themselves, and not be afraid to try again or make the next tough decision.
If you want to change the world … slide down the obstacle head first.
Life is a struggle and the potential for failure is ever present, but those who live in fear of failure, or hardship, or embarrassment will never achieve their potential. Without pushing your limits, without occasionally sliding down the rope headfirst, without daring greatly, you will never know what is truly possible in your life.
If you want to change the world … don’t back down from the sharks.
In life, to achieve your goals, to complete the night swim, you will have to be men and women of great courage. That courage is within all of us. Dig deep, and you will find it in abundance.
If you want to change the world … be your very best in the darkest moments.
Advice from one of McRaven’s chief petty officers: “Tonight, you will have to be your very best. You must rise above your fears, your doubts, and your fatigue. No matter how dark it gets, you must complete the mission. This is what separates you from everyone else.”
At some point, we will all confront a dark moment in life. If not the passing of a loved one, then something else that crushes your spirit and leaves you wondering about your future. In that dark moment, reach deep inside yourself and be your very best.
If you want to change the world … start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
We will all find ourselves neck deep in mud someday. That is the time to sing loudly, to smile broadly, to lift up those around you and give them hope that tomorrow will be a better day.
If you want to change the world … don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
Of all the lessons McRaven learned in SEAL training, this was the most important. Never quit. It doesn’t sound particularly profound, but life constantly puts you in situations where quitting seems so much easier than continuing on. Where the odds are so stacked against you that giving up seems the rational thing to do.
Life is full of difficult times. But someone out there always has it worse than you do. If you fill your days with pity, sorrowful for the way you have been treated, bemoaning your lot in life, blaming your circumstances on someone or something else, then life will be long and hard. If, on the other hand, you refuse to give up on your dreams, stand tall and strong against the odds—then life will be what you make of it—and you can make it great. Never, ever, ring the bell!
If you like Make Your Bed , you may also enjoy the following books:
- The 7 Habits of Highly-Effective People by Stephen R. Covey
- Ego Is the Enemy by Ryan Holiday
- The Obstacle Is the Way by Ryan Holiday
Buy The Book: Make Your Bed
Hardcover | Audiobook
- Business Book Summaries
- Psychology Book Summaries
- Self-Help Book Summaries
Or, browse more book summaries .
Make Your Bed by William McRaven | Book Summary
On May 17, 2014, Admiral William H. McRaven gave the “Make Your Bed” commencement speech at his alma mater, the University of Texas at Austin. He discussed the ten significant lessons he learned from his difficult Navy SEAL training.
Since then, he has encountered many people who wanted to know more. Thus, Admiral William McRaven was inspired to write the book, Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World , to detail the ten vital lessons:
Buy Make Your Bed on Amazon
Make Your Bed by William McRaven
Small Things That Can Change Your Life… And Maybe the World
These lessons helped Admiral William McRaven overcome SEAL training and found that they applied to overcome life’s challenges. Each chapter of Make Your Bed provides more context and stories for each lesson from the original speech.
Download the PDF Book Summary for Make Your Bed
Chapter 1 – start your day with a task completed.
“If you want to change the world…start off by making your bed.”
Every day during basic SEAL training, William McRaven would wake up and make his bed properly. It was not an opportunity for praise but was expected by the training instructors. Making the bed right was important as this habit showed discipline and attention to detail. Throughout his Naval career, William McRaven could count on making his bed consistently every day.
When you make your bed first thing correctly, you eat that frog and start your day off right with a small task completed. It shows you that the small wins matter and will encourage you to endure the work that you have ahead of you throughout the day. By the end of the day, you will have accomplished many tasks. And when you return to the made bed, you will be reminded of the importance of this small task.
Chapter 2 – You Can’t Go It Alone
“If you want to change the world…find someone to help you paddle.”
During SEAL training, the sailors are divided into boat crews of seven. The trainees have to work together to carry their raft on land or paddle it in the water to their destination. When someone often becomes sick or injured, the other teammates take on a greater share of the task. Like training, combat is so challenging that no one can endure it alone.
Later, William McRaven shares his story of a horrible parachute accident, which leaves him hospitalized for months. His boss helps him keep his career by finding a way to sidestep the required medical readiness evaluation. Throughout his career, William McRaven discusses the help received from those who had faith in him, saw his potential, and put their reputation on the line.
In life, you will deal with many obstacles and will need help to get over them. Thus, you build many strong relationships with friends, family, coworkers, mentors, etc. And always remember that your success depends on the help and guidance received from others along the way.
Chapter 3 – Only the Size of Your Heart Matters
“If you want to change the world…measure a person by the size of their heart.”
In Make Your Bed, William McRaven discussed that Navy “SEAL training was always about proving something. Proving that size didn’t matter. Proving that the color of your skin wasn’t important. Proving that money didn’t make you better. Proving that determination and grit were always more important than talent.”
A year before his training, William McRaven recounts visiting the basic SEAL training facility in Coronado. While talking with someone about SEAL training, he saw a thin, quiet, reserved man looking at photos. This sight clouded McRaven with judgment of feeling better, stronger, and more prepared for SEAL training than this man. However, he found out that the man was Tommy Norris, who was one of the most decorated and toughest SEALs ever.
Your will to succeed depends on how much heart you have. Nothing else matters, including your size, race, ethnicity, educational level, or social status.
Chapter 4 – Life’s Not Fair—Drive On!
“If you want to change the world…get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.”
In SEAL training, one of the most painful punishments is being a sugar cookie. Instructors would punish trainees at whim, and they would have to get wet and then roll around in the sand. As many trainees strived for excellence, being punished was tough to accept, especially with no specific reason.
In Make Your Bed, William McRaven shares a story about Moki Martin, a SEAL instructor from his training days. Martin enjoyed long bike rides, but one day, he accidentally collided with another biker and was paralyzed from the waist down. Afterward, he did not complain and let his disability stop him. He drove on to live a full life.
“It is easy to blame your lot in life on some outside force, to stop trying because you believe fate is against you.” Sometimes, life’s not fair, and you will be a sugar cookie despite how much work you have done. Define yourself by how you overcome life’s unfairness. Do not complain or blame someone and move forward.
Chapter 5 – Failure Can Make You Stronger
“If you want to change the world… don’t be afraid of The Circus.”
One day during SEAL training, McRaven and his swim buddy finished last in a swim. Their punishment was enduring the Circus, which is an additional two hours of exercise that day. A Circus would cause more fatigue, making the next day harder with more Circuses likely to follow. Reoccurring Circuses forced many trainees to quit; however, McRaven and his buddy became much better swimmers and placed first in their final swim.
In July of 1983, William McRaven got fired from his squadron, leaving with a tarnished reputation. Fortunately, he was given another opportunity as the Officer in Charge of a SEAL platoon. McRaven used his previous failure as fuel to work hard and earn the respect of his men, which led him to succeed in the successive roles in his SEAL career.
In life, you will have failures and face Circuses. You will have to deal with the consequences, but you can overcome the failures. Your failures can educate, motivate, and strengthen you to be able to handle the difficult decisions to come.
Chapter 6 – You Must Dare Greatly
“If you want to change the world…slide down the obstacle headfirst.”
During SEAL training, the students had to run the obstacle course twice a week, with the most challenging obstacle being the “Slide for Life.” This step rope slide could be done either controllably slow by swinging underneath the rope or riskily fast by going headfirst on top. One day, William McRaven took the risk and went headfirst, finishing with a personal best time.
In Make Your Bed, William McRaven realized that risks were necessary to be a successful special operator. In 2004, William McRaven approved a risky hostage rescue mission that occurred during the day. The special forces team rescued the hostages, and the mission resulted in success.
Life will be difficult, and if you take risks, you may fail and deal with obstacles. You have to trust your abilities and overcome your fears to complete your work. Without daring greatly and getting out of your comfort zone, you will never achieve your full potential.
Chapter 7 – Stand Up to the Bullies
“If you want to change the world… don’t back down from the sharks.”
In SEAL training, students have to complete a four-mile night swim with the threat of many species of sharks. The instructors brief the trainees to deal with sharks by standing their grand and fighting them off if they try to attack. Since he wanted to be a SEAL so severely, William McRaven recalls that he gathered the courage to fight if necessary.
In Make Your Bed, William McRaven recounts his interactions with Saddam Hussein, the former Iraqi president that was now a U.S. prisoner. Even as a prisoner, Hussein would instill fear in and intimidate. Iraqis that came to the room. However, McRaven felt that he had to stand up to Saddam and show him that he did not have power anymore.
Without clarity, other people will dictate your choices and path forward. Without courage, the bullies will take over and prey on the victims. Thus, you need to have a clear vision or goal for what you want to accomplish. Your vision will give you the courage to be a leader , overcome the obstacles, and stand up to the people in your way.
Chapter 8 – Rise to the Occasion
“If you want to change the world…be your very best in the darkest moments.”
Towards the end of SEAL training, students have to swim underwater to a ship, plant a practice mine, and return to the beach without being detected. William McRaven recalls the instructors seeming as nervous as the trainees, because the dark, deafening sea significantly increased the risk of injury or death. In the darkest hour, the SEALs are trained to remain calm and maintain composure to complete their mission.
In Make Your Bed, William McRaven recounts the many sad moments of loss: “There is no darker moment in life than losing someone you love, and yet I watched time and again as families, as military units, as towns, as cities, and as a nation, how we came together to be our best during those tragic times.”
You will have dark moments in life, whether it is the death of a loved one or an intense tragedy. When these moments occur, you need to look deep within yourself and bring out your best. “You must rise above your fears, your doubts, and your fatigue. No matter how dark it gets, you must complete the mission. This is what separates you from everyone else.”
Chapter 9 – Give People Hope
“If you want to change the world…start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.”
The most challenging week of SEAL training or Hell Week is six days of no sleep, physical exercise, and harassment. On Wednesday of Hell Week, trainees spend all day in the freezing cold mudflats, being pressured by the instructors to quit.
During McRaven’s Hell Week, the class sang together to inspire and give each other hope. Later, he recalls a story of General John Kelley, who comforted and gave hope to the families of the fallen troops in a horrific helicopter firefight.
Hope is very powerful as it can inspire people and nations to greatness. In life, you will deal with loss and tragedy. And you can be the one to give hope that tomorrow will be better to ease the pain to lift yourself and those around you.
Chapter 10 – Never, Ever Quit!
“If you want to change the world… don’t ever, ever ring the bell.”
SEAL training ends when you either complete it or quit by ringing the bell in the middle of the training compound. If you cannot endure the pain, harassment, and exercise, you can ring the bell, and it’s over. However, William McRaven never rang the bell and graduated.
In Make Your Bed, he states that this lesson of never quitting was the most important. Throughout his career, William McRaven would be inspired by individuals who would not give up. One story involves a severely injured soldier from a bomb blast who did not complain and eventually overcame the injuries.
You will have difficult moments in life; however, do not give up and trust the process . You can choose to fall prey to pity, discrimination, or sorrow. Or you can never give up on your dreams and yourself and overcome the obstacles.
“Remember… start each day with a task completed. Find someone to help you through life. Respect everyone. Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often. But if you take some risks, step up when times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden, and never, ever give up—if you do these things, then you can change your life for the better… and maybe the world!
In his book, Make Your Bed , Admiral William McRaven provides ten powerful lessons from his SEAL training that will help you change the world. It encourages readers to take on life’s challenges and be willing to do even small things that can have a big impact.
As McRaven poignantly writes, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.” McRaven gives the readers a good dose of motivation to get out there and cultivate success within our lives.
His thought-provoking book calls us to action – so get a copy of Make Your Bed now! If you need more inspiration or motivation, check out our post on productivity quotes .
Dev is a strategist, productivity junkie, and the founder of the Process Hacker !
I will help you scale and profit by streamlining and optimizing your operations and project management through simple, proven, and practical tools.
To get help for your business, check out my blog or book a call here !
How Improving Mental Health Boosts Your Productivity
Getting your mental health in order is essential to getting your work done and how productive you are daily.
How to Be a Great Boss by Gino Wickman | Summary
In How to Be a Great Boss, Gino Wickman and Rene Boer help you become an amazing boss and get the most out of your organization and people.
The One Thing by Gary Keller | Book Summary
The ONE Thing by Gary Keller helps you focus on taking action on the most important task, such that everything else will be easier or unnecessary.
The Power of Full Engagement | Book Summary
In The Power of Full Engagement, Jim Loehr and Tony Schwartz teach you how to manage your energy to perform at peak levels in demanding environments.
Communicate Ideas Effectively in Three Steps
There are three easy steps that will help you communicate ideas effectively and briefly before you dive into more detail.
The 5 Levels of Leadership by John Maxwell | Summary
In John Maxwell’s book, The 5 Levels of Leadership: Proven Steps to Maximize Your Potential, he discusses the concept of the leadership levels. These levels of leadership are position, permission, production, people development, and the pinnacle.
Book Club #19: William H. McRaven’s Make Your Bed
In what has now become a viral commencement speech video , Admiral William H. McRaven addressed the graduating class of the University of Texas at Austin. He took “inspiration from the university’s slogan, “What starts here changes the world,” he shared the ten principles he learned during Navy Seal training that helped him overcome challenges not only in his training and long Naval career, but also throughout his life”. His speech was shared widely and enthusiastically because his advice could be applied so widely.
The popularity of his speech led to Penguin asking him to write a short guide based on those ten lessons. It’s called Make Your Bed . This is a review of that book.
It’s a short read, so this is going to a fittingly short review.
My alternative cover design for Make Your Bed. I really love how classy and minimal the original cover is with its black and gold accents, so I wanted to challenge myself to do something really different.
I’m a sucker for a commencement speech. My thesis adviser found this out much to his dismay. But I am. If you ever need a 10-20 minute boost to reset your day, week or month they’re usually wonderful sources of motivation. I think McRaven’s speech was recommended to me by someone on the internet (sorry I can’t remember who), and it really resonated with me. So, when I heard about his book a little while later via Ropes of Holland’s Reset Series , I knew I had to pick up a copy.
I read it in one sitting, in the bath, while on a solo holiday. It managed to reset my thinking in about 45 minutes, and I’ve dipped back into it a few times since.
The book itself is pretty simple, and I mean that in a good way. It features ten lessons McRaven has learned in his 37 years as a decorated Navy SEAL. That might put some of you off. I definitely wouldn’t naturally grab for a book by an Admiral. What would we have in common? McRaven’s job and training have put him through some of the toughest physical and mental challenges so he has a very tangible example for every lesson he shares. But you never feel like you’re reading a military guide book. I’m never going to go through BUDS training, but I could take something away from almost all of the advice he gives.
His lessons cover everything from the impact of making your bed, as the title suggests, to never going it alone and standing up to bullies. There’s something in there to help you solve whatever problem you’re trying to solve, big or small. Each chapter is discrete so you can easily dip in and out, or read it in one sitting as I did as the book in its entirety is just 129 (small) pages.
If you want a pick me up, a kick up the bum, or just a reminder that the little things can make a big difference you could do a lot worse than giving this one a read.
SOME QUESTIONS TO PONDER AS YOU READ
- What impact does McRaven’s title and 37 years as a Navy SEAL have on how you perceive his advice?
- Did you make your bed today? What effect did that have on your day?
- Which lesson do you think will have the most impact on your life?
- Do you feel there’s additional value in reading McRaven’s full advice over just reading/watching his speech which is included at the back of the book?
IF YOU WANT SOME FURTHER READING TRY…
- I’m kicking things off with a Guardian review . What?! Shock horror I know.
- In more of a change, I’m including my first booktube review as part of book club. This review from Brittany Reads really gets into the book even though it’s only 6 minutes long.
- Last but not least, watch the commencement speech that started everything .
IF YOU WANT MORE BOOKS LIKE THIS HAVE A LOOK AT…
- David Foster Wallace’s This is Water
- Marie Kondo’s The Life Changing Magic of Tidying Up
- Sarah Knight’s The Life Changing Magic of Not Giving a Fuck
- Jen Sincero’s You are a Badass
- Utility Menu
- Questions about Expos?
- Writing Support for Instructors
Your thesis is the central claim in your essay—your main insight or idea about your source or topic. Your thesis should appear early in an academic essay, followed by a logically constructed argument that supports this central claim. A strong thesis is arguable, which means a thoughtful reader could disagree with it and therefore needs your careful analysis of the evidence to understand how you arrived at this claim. You arrive at your thesis by examining and analyzing the evidence available to you, which might be text or other types of source material.
A thesis will generally respond to an analytical question or pose a solution to a problem that you have framed for your readers (and for yourself). When you frame that question or problem for your readers, you are telling them what is at stake in your argument—why your question matters and why they should care about the answer . If you can explain to your readers why a question or problem is worth addressing, then they will understand why it’s worth reading an essay that develops your thesis—and you will understand why it’s worth writing that essay.
A strong thesis will be arguable rather than descriptive , and it will be the right scope for the essay you are writing. If your thesis is descriptive, then you will not need to convince your readers of anything—you will be naming or summarizing something your readers can already see for themselves. If your thesis is too narrow, you won’t be able to explore your topic in enough depth to say something interesting about it. If your thesis is too broad, you may not be able to support it with evidence from the available sources.
When you are writing an essay for a course assignment, you should make sure you understand what type of claim you are being asked to make. Many of your assignments will be asking you to make analytical claims , which are based on interpretation of facts, data, or sources.
Some of your assignments may ask you to make normative claims. Normative claims are claims of value or evaluation rather than fact—claims about how things should be rather than how they are. A normative claim makes the case for the importance of something, the action that should be taken, or the way the world should be. When you are asked to write a policy memo, a proposal, or an essay based on your own opinion, you will be making normative claims.
Here are some examples of possible thesis statements for a student's analysis of the article “The Case Against Perfection” by Professor Michael Sandel.
Descriptive thesis (not arguable)
While Sandel argues that pursuing perfection through genetic engineering would decrease our sense of humility, he claims that the sense of solidarity we would lose is also important.
This thesis summarizes several points in Sandel’s argument, but it does not make a claim about how we should understand his argument. A reader who read Sandel’s argument would not also need to read an essay based on this descriptive thesis.
Broad thesis (arguable, but difficult to support with evidence)
Michael Sandel’s arguments about genetic engineering do not take into consideration all the relevant issues.
This is an arguable claim because it would be possible to argue against it by saying that Michael Sandel’s arguments do take all of the relevant issues into consideration. But the claim is too broad. Because the thesis does not specify which “issues” it is focused on—or why it matters if they are considered—readers won’t know what the rest of the essay will argue, and the writer won’t know what to focus on. If there is a particular issue that Sandel does not address, then a more specific version of the thesis would include that issue—hand an explanation of why it is important.
Arguable thesis with analytical claim
While Sandel argues persuasively that our instinct to “remake” (54) ourselves into something ever more perfect is a problem, his belief that we can always draw a line between what is medically necessary and what makes us simply “better than well” (51) is less convincing.
This is an arguable analytical claim. To argue for this claim, the essay writer will need to show how evidence from the article itself points to this interpretation. It’s also a reasonable scope for a thesis because it can be supported with evidence available in the text and is neither too broad nor too narrow.
Arguable thesis with normative claim
Given Sandel’s argument against genetic enhancement, we should not allow parents to decide on using Human Growth Hormone for their children.
This thesis tells us what we should do about a particular issue discussed in Sandel’s article, but it does not tell us how we should understand Sandel’s argument.
Questions to ask about your thesis
- Is the thesis truly arguable? Does it speak to a genuine dilemma in the source, or would most readers automatically agree with it?
- Is the thesis too obvious? Again, would most or all readers agree with it without needing to see your argument?
- Is the thesis complex enough to require a whole essay's worth of argument?
- Is the thesis supportable with evidence from the text rather than with generalizations or outside research?
- Would anyone want to read a paper in which this thesis was developed? That is, can you explain what this paper is adding to our understanding of a problem, question, or topic?
- Tips for Reading an Assignment Prompt
- Asking Analytical Questions
- What Do Introductions Across the Disciplines Have in Common?
- Anatomy of a Body Paragraph
- Tips for Organizing Your Essay
- Strategies for Essay Writing: Downloadable PDFs
- Brief Guides to Writing in the Disciplines
- Schedule an Appointment
- English Grammar and Language Tutor
- Harvard Guide to Using Sources
- Departmental Writing Fellows
- Writing Advice: The Harvard Writing Tutor Blog
- Search Please fill out this field.
- Raising Kids
How to Help Your Child Who Struggles to Wake Up For School
If your kid refuses to get out of bed for school, you're not alone. Here are some expert tips to make mornings easier.
Why Do Some Kids Refuse to Get Out of Bed in the Morning?
- Morning Routine Tips
- Bedtime Routine Tips
When to Contact a Health Care Provider
Israel Sebastian/Getty Images
Struggling to wake up in the morning is something most of us experience every once in a while, even kids. It’s normal for a child to need a little extra encouragement to get ready for school from time to time. But when they’re refusing to get out of bed every morning, or it’s a frequent battle to wake them up, it can be frustrating and concerning for everyone involved.
You might wonder if your child is staying up too late and not getting enough sleep. Or perhaps they’re anxious about school and worrying about an upcoming test. You can run through a million situations in an attempt to find the “why.” Luckily there are some things you and your child can do together to make mornings an overall better experience.
We spoke with pediatric experts to help you understand why your child is refusing to get out of bed in the morning, and a few tips on what you can do about it.
There are a variety of reasons that might contribute to your child's unwillingness to leave their bed when it's time to get ready—some of which have to do with school start times, which are obviously out of your control. But before you jump to concerns about bedtime routine or anxiety, consider that it could be as simple as what's going on in your child's sleep cycle .
Nina-Mare Rueda, ND , a naturopathic physician who works in both prenatal and pediatric care, points out that having a general understanding of your child's sleep and wake cycles can be helpful in cracking this particular mystery. The human brain cycles through different types of sleep patterns several times a night, some of which are a lighter sleep, while others are much deeper. "A child may be in one of the deeper parts of that sleep cycle, so it’s going to be harder to get them out of it."
Of course, there could be other factors involved, like late-night exposure to screens, psychological challenges, or certain medical issues like restless leg syndrome or sleep apnea. If you suspect anything might be affecting your child in those areas, it's best to seek the advice of a pediatrician or health care provider.
Dr. Sharma, MD, FAAP and Dr. Rebillot, MD of TinyTotsERdocs both point out that, since this recurring behavior could be related to a host of different issues, it's crucial to get to the bottom of it. "It's important to understand the different reasons why a child may have difficulty waking up in the morning and then seek the appropriate treatment strategies," they explain.
Tips For Establishing a Consistent Morning Routine
One strategy for helping ease the pain of getting up in the morning for school is to establish a morning routine that's predictable from day to day. Kids thrive on routine, and knowing what to expect and having tasks to complete can act as a motivator. For younger kids, it’s helpful to break tasks down into small steps and offer praise when they do them successfully.
“Routines are an important part of childhood development, as it creates a predictable schedule for children and gives them a sense of control in their environment,” Drs. Sharma and Rebillot explain. “Children with consistent routines at home develop self-regulation of their emotions, which means less morning struggles or meltdowns.”
Consider Using a Reward System
For younger kids, you may consider using a reward system to help motivate them to complete daily tasks, like getting dressed or brushing their teeth. "Children respond well to positive reinforcement," say Drs. Sharma and Rebillot, pointing out that the reward doesn't have to be a toy or anything huge. Even a sticker chart might do the trick, and could give your child a sense of accomplishment.
Ask Your Child How They'd Like to Be Woken Up
Some kids thrive with alarm clocks; others might prefer a gentle wake-up from their parent or caregiver. Emotional events during the waking hours can affect sleep, so if your child is jolted awake each morning by a loud, unpleasant sound, they may associate waking up with fear or anxiety. Try out an alarm clock that uses songs or calming sounds instead . It might take some trial and error before you figure out what works best, but it's worth it to find the right strategy that will make mornings go more smoothly.
Plan for the Morning at Night
Consider including your child in this decision making. For example, pick out their clothes before bedtime, and ask them which shirt they’d like to wear in the morning. Have them pick out the pants and shoes to go with it. Give them two or three breakfast options, and have them choose which they’d like to eat. This gives them a little more in control, and makes the following morning easier for you.
For tweens and teens, encourage them to pick out their clothes the night before and help them establish this routine to make it habitual.
Tips for Creating a Consistent and Calming Bedtime Routine
Children tend to get insufficient sleep because of a combination of late bedtimes and early school start times. Ensuring you’re following a consistent bedtime that allows your child to get the proper amount of sleep for their age may just make mornings an easier task for both of you. Fortunately, there are a few things you can do to establish healthy sleep habits before they even climb into bed.
Avoid Food and Drink Right Before Sleep
It's a good idea to make sure that your kids aren't eating or drinking too much water right before bedtime. "This can cause abdominal discomfort or increased waking to urinate in the middle of the night, and can prevent a restful nighttime sleep," Drs. Sharma and Rebillot say.
Steer Clear of Screens
Studies suggest that avoiding screen time (which includes TV and tablet use) at least 30 minutes to an hour before bedtime can increase sleep benefits for kids. "This can be difficult for children who utilize screens to do homework," point out Drs. Sharma and Rebillot, adding that it can be helpful to have your kids do homework earlier in the day, if schedules allow.
Introduce Calming Bedtime Rituals
If your child showers in the morning, consider having them switch to the evening, where a warm bath or shower may help them wind down. "This helps promote relaxation, lower cortisol levels, and promote blood circulation," Drs. Sharma and Rebillot explain.
You can also read a book with your child or simply recap your child’s day together . A calm conversation may be just the thing to create a sense of comfort before going to sleep.
If you've exhausted every strategy and the issue isn't resolving, or if you suspect there's something more concerning contributing to your child's sleepiness in the morning, it's always a good idea to consult a pediatrician or health care provider.
“It’s beneficial to reach out, even if it’s during a wellness visit with your primary care physician,” Rueda shares, pointing out that a provider might want to look further at blood-sugar regulation, thyroid balance, adrenal balance, metabolic rate, and how the body is responding to stress . "This helps to give you a snapshot of your child’s health."
Additionally, if your child is showing any signs of anxiety, depression, or their teachers report behavioral or mood-related issues at school, it's important to check in with a health care provider. If you notice your child snoring loudly or gasping while sleeping, that might also warrant a call to a medical professional, as it could signal sleep apnea or other sleep-related disorders.
At the end of the day, you know your child best. If their refusal to get out of bed in the morning is out of character, or accompanied by other mental or physical issues, reaching out to a pediatrician or a health care provider is always a good idea. Together, you can work on a strategy or treatment plan to make mornings more pleasant for everyone involved.
Vandekerckhove M, Wang YL. Emotion, emotion regulation and sleep: An intimate relationship . AIMS Neurosci. 2017 Dec 1;5(1):1-17. doi: 10.3934/Neuroscience.2018.1.1. PMID: 32341948; PMCID: PMC7181893.
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Schools Start Too Early .
Patel AK, Reddy V, Shumway KR, et al. Physiology, Sleep Stages . [Updated 2022 Sep 7]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-.
Wheaton AG, Chapman DP, Croft JB. School Start Times, Sleep, Behavioral, Health, and Academic Outcomes: A Review of the Literature . J Sch Health. 2016 May;86(5):363-81. doi: 10.1111/josh.12388. PMID: 27040474; PMCID: PMC4824552.
Hale L, Kirschen GW, LeBourgeois MK, Gradisar M, Garrison MM, Montgomery-Downs H, Kirschen H, McHale SM, Chang AM, Buxton OM. Youth Screen Media Habits and Sleep: Sleep-Friendly Screen Behavior Recommendations for Clinicians, Educators, and Parents . Child Adolesc Psychiatr Clin N Am. 2018 Apr;27(2):229-245. doi: 10.1016/j.chc.2017.11.014. PMID: 29502749; PMCID: PMC5839336.
Nazem MR, Bastanhagh E, Emami A, Hedayati M, Samimi S, Karami M. The relationship between thyroid function tests and sleep quality: cross-sectional study . Sleep Sci. 2021 Jul-Sep;14(3):196-200. doi: 10.5935/1984-0063.20200050. PMID: 35186196; PMCID: PMC8848531.
Yale Medicine. Pediatric Obstructive Sleep Apnea .
By clicking “Accept All Cookies”, you agree to the storing of cookies on your device to enhance site navigation, analyze site usage, and assist in our marketing efforts.
Make Your Bed Feel Like a 5-Star Hotel Mattress With These Tips
Posted: October 17, 2023 | Last updated: October 17, 2023
There's just something special about a high-end hotel bed. From the plush mattress to the crisp, expertly tucked white sheets, these beds truly take comfort and indulgence to another level. It might even make you wonder how to re-create that luxurious hotel experience at home.
There are several ways to make your bedroom feel more like a hotel – some of which are simpler than you'd think. Below, we'll divulge some hotel-quality mattress secrets and luxury bedding tips to transform your mattress and elevate your bedroom experience.
Opt for high-quality bedding
Not only does high-quality bedding usually feel softer and lavish, but it can also help you get a better night's rest -- especially if you're a hot sleeper. High-thread count sheets made of natural fabrics (like cotton, linen and bamboo) are cozy but breathable, helping you stay comfortable while you sleep.
If you have allergies , you might want to look into buying well-made, hypoallergenic bedding to help you breathe easier at night. Cotton, bamboo and silk are three of the best anti-allergy bedding materials. It's also important to wash your sheets and pillowcases every one to two weeks to get rid of allergens .
Of course, high-quality bedding tends to cost more than other types -- but if you're looking for a luxury experience, it may be worth the price.
Skip the fitted sheet
Many hotels don't use fitted sheets at all. Instead, they use tightly tucked flat sheets. There are a few reasons for this, but hotels typically choose flat sheets over fitted sheets because they're easier to wash, press and fold. Durability is also a factor since fitted sheets have elastic corners, which can make them wear down quicker than flat sheets.
Want to replicate this hotel bed strategy at home? The first step is to buy a flat sheet one size larger than your mattress. So, if you have a queen-size bed, you'd need to buy a king-size top sheet. Then, lay the sheet on your mattress (on top of the cover and topper) and tuck it underneath with hospital corners . After that, you can add your usual flat sheet and comforter .
Layer your bedding the right way
Strategically organizing your bedding is another great way to make your bed feel like a hotel bed. Ideally, you'd start with a plush and luxurious mattress that suits your sleeping style and body type . If that's not an option right now, you can simply add a cushiony topper to your existing bed. Either way, don't forget to add a cover to protect your mattress or topper.
From there, put a fitted sheet or flat sheet on the mattress, then add a top sheet. To create an extra-plush and high-end look, tuck a cover-less duvet around the bottom half of your mattress. Then, top it off with a fluffy decorative duvet, pulling it up high enough to cover the first duvet.
Use plenty of plush pillows
Cushy pillows are another key component of a hotel-worthy bed. For the most luxurious look, you'll want to use a mix of pillow shapes and pillowcase designs. This adds texture and depth to your mattress, which makes it look more inviting and sophisticated.
Start with two or three square Euro pillows at the head of your bed, then place a couple of sleeping pillows in front of them. You can use decorative shams, standard pillowcases or a combination of the two. Finish it all off with a few decorative throw pillows in different sizes and styles.
Consider all-white linens
Having crisp, all-white linens is one of the easiest ways to recreate that high-end hotel look at home. Hotels typically use white sheets because they don't hide stains, proving that they have a high standard of cleanliness. Besides that, white linens look sleek and serene and create a peaceful ambiance in any room.
With that said, light-colored linens may be a bit harder to take care of than their dark counterparts. Spills and stains are more obvious on white sheets, so you'll need to be diligent about cleaning them.
Add a soft mattress topper
Mattresses can be expensive, and not everyone has the budget for a high-end model. Fortunately, a plush mattress topper can make it feel like you have a luxurious hotel mattress at home -- without breaking the bank.
There are a few things to consider when looking for a mattress topper . First, if you have any allergies, opt for a breathable, chemical-free topper that's made with hypoallergenic materials, like natural latex foam or wool.
It's also important to factor in your preferred sleeping position because that impacts how soft or firm your mattress should be. For instance, back sleepers usually need a firmer sleeping surface, while people who sleep on their side require something a bit softer.
Use two duvets
As we've mentioned, doubling up on duvets is a great way to make your bed appear fluffier and more luxurious. There are a couple of ways to do this, with the first being the tuck method we described above. This is the better option if you or your partner sleeps hot because you can easily remove one of the duvets before you go to bed.
Another way to use the dual-duvet strategy is simply by inserting two duvets into one duvet cover. The benefits here are twofold: You'll get a super-fluffy, luxurious look while also keeping yourself extra warm on chilly nights.
Read more: Best Duvet Covers
Be sure to have a sturdy frame and headboard
From a practical point of view, a bed frame helps extend the lifespan of your mattress and promotes better airflow while you sleep. But from an aesthetic perspective, a sturdy frame -- like a platform or canopy bed frame -- can (literally) elevate the look of your bed and pull your entire room together.
Similarly, using a headboard makes your bed look more polished and adds a decorative flair to your space. Hotels commonly have upholstered or leather headboards, which often extend up most of the wall toward the ceiling. If you're the DIY type, you could try to re-create this look to give your room that sophisticated hotel vibe.
Regularly maintain your bed
To make sure your mattress lasts as long as possible, it's important to look after it. (A few upkeep tips: use a mattress protector, don't eat or drink in bed, and spot-clean stains immediately). Depending on your mattress brand and model, you might also need to rotate it every few months to prevent it from sagging in certain spots. Check your manufacturer's instructions for more specific instructions.
You'll also want to take care of your bedding so it stays in good shape and helps protect your mattress. Generally speaking, this means washing your sheets every week to get rid of dead skin, dust mites and bacteria.
Read more: How Often Should I Wash My Sheets and Pillowcases?
More for You
Matthew Berry's Fantasy Football Rankings for Week 9 of 2023 season
Ukraine has taken 17,000 Russians off the battlefield without firing a shot, US Army special-ops general says
Republicans' IRS Plan Backfires
McDonald's CEO sends dire warning to California
Cornell University cancels classes Friday amid ‘extraordinary stress’ on campus after violent antisemitic threats led to the arrest of a student
Daylight Savings Ends This Sunday: Here's Where Legislation Stands On Changing It
The Bank of Japan’s Early Warning for the U.S.
Israel's missile ships are joining US combat power in the Red Sea as more Iran-backed militants fire weapons its way
'Lying to America': GOP lawmaker blasts his fellow Republicans, vows he won't seek reelection
Vitamin D deficiency: key signs that you’re not getting enough
Venezuela Breaks a Promise to Biden
Court fights to prevent Trump from running again for the White House turn to Minnesota
Anheuser-Busch CEO has a new message on Bud Light boycott
Watch a Japanese research ship fire an electromagnetic railgun
"If Joe Manchin runs, he will win," says chair of Democratic Senate campaign arm
When I got my first job, my dad gave me 2 pieces of advice. 10 years later, I'm still using them.
My father, Elie Wiesel, survived Auschwitz. He'd ask these questions about Israel-Hamas war.
Judge Chutkan Blocks Trump From Seeing Prosecutor's Evidence
For Better Or For Worse by Lynn Johnston
39 Netflix Original Movies Actually Worth Watching
The Right Way To Clean Your 3D Printer Bed (And Why You Need To)
3D printers have become very popular recently, and while the technology has become more accessible on a consumer level (both in price and comparative ease of use), it's still a bit more involved than more traditional 2D printing. There are a whole lot of factors to think about when deciding on and using your own 3D printer, including particulars like print model structures, how to deal with issues like a printing error or stuck print , and regular cleaning.
Cleaning out a regular paper printer is usually a matter of checking some settings or pressing a button to clear the printer heads (though it can get more complicated sometimes). Taking care of built up gunk on 3D printers, however, requires more consideration due to the sheer amount of variables at play. While there are many types of 3D printers on the market, the most common models are Stereolithography (SLA) and Fused Deposition Modeling (FDM), which will be the focus of this guide.
Don't attempt to clean your 3D printer before first making sure the suggested supplies are safe to use, though. Depending on the printer bed and the kind of printing material you use, some cleaning methods could cause irreparable damage to the printing surface — thus ruining future prints and requiring the purchase of replacement parts. If you aren't sure what your bed is made of, check the manual or manufacturer's website before you attempt to clean it.
Cleaning a FDM printer bed
FDM 3D printers are fairly easy to clean, however it's recommended that you do so after every print to stave off surface adhesion and print warping problems.
- Return the printer's axes to their home (a.k.a. centered, or starting) position and turn the printer off.
- Be sure to clear off any and all excess material from the printer bed before you begin cleaning. Basically any large bits, failed prints, and other chinks of debris that can be easily removed by hand.
- Use a soft brush to brush away smaller additional pieces and remnants.
- Pour some isopropyl alcohol (90% or above) onto a clean cloth and gently wipe the bed to soften any remaining plastic residue. Warm soapy water can also work if you have no alcohol on-hand, but in either case make sure to pour the liquid on the cloth as pouring or sparing directly onto the bed could cause it to reach delicate areas and damage other components.
- Steady the bed with one hand and carefully wipe the bed with the other, using the cleaning cloth with alcohol. You may need to wipe an area more than once if the residue is being stubborn.
- Pour some water onto a fresh cloth and wipe down the surface of the bed to remove any potential alcohol residue — otherwise you risk damaging the bed's surface or coating.
Also, make sure the printer bed is dry before you turn the printer back on.
Different surfaces make a difference
Not all 3D printers use the same printing surface, and not all surfaces react the same way to a given cleaning method, either, so make sure you know what you've got before you start.
- For all types, remove the printing surface, if possible, to prevent any chance of the cleaning solution getting into more delicate areas.
- If you're using a layer of tape across the printer bed, use a scraper to remove leftover filament and residual.
- Replace any damaged sections with fresh tape. Try to keep the surface even and avoid leaving fingerprints.
- When replacing the entire surface, peel all the tape off and use isopropyl alcohol (or acetone) to remove leftover residue and adhesive, then carefully apply a fresh layer.
- For glass, use a plastic or silicone scraper to remove large chunks of material residue.
- If the glass is removed, use a clean cloth with warm, soapy water (window cleaner also works) to clear off the rest of the residue.
- If the glass isn't removed, use a cloth with isopropyl alcohol to wipe off the surface before printing.
- For Polyetherimide (PEI) sheets, wipe down the surface with isopropyl alcohol (or warm and soapy water) on a cleaning cloth. Use acetone approximately once per month to smooth out the surface (use fine-grit sandpaper if it's scratched).
- If the PEI sheet is too damaged to smooth out, it's time to get a replacement sheet.
Consult your printer's manual if you're unsure what surface material it uses.
Dealing with materials
The kinds of materials you're printing with also make a difference, with the most common consumer-level options being the durable Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene (ABS), strong but flexible nylon, and the widely used Polylactic Acid (PLA).
Stuck ABS can be dealt with using either heat or acetone, though acetone should be a last resort as it could damage the printer's PEI sheet enough to make it unusable. So instead, try heating the printer bed to 100 degrees or more to soften the ABS bits, then gently remove them with a plastic or silicone scraper.
Taking care of nylon is a similar matter, except you'll want to stick with heat only (no acetone). Typically a heat gun will do the trick, so long as you can get it to around 375 degrees Fahrenheit (190-degrees Celsius). Just hit the nylon with the right amount of heat to get it melting, then carefully peel it off the bed using a plastic or silicone scraper.
PLA is also a lot like dealing with ABS, but this time around you should wait for the printer bed to cool down before you start cleaning. Once it's cooled, use a plastic or silicone scraper to peel up the plastic residue. For stubborn bits, use a clean wiping cloth with a bit of isopropyl alcohol to gently wipe down the surface of the bed.
Cleaning a SLA printer vat
SLA printers are a bit trickier to clean as they use liquid resin (which is both messy and toxic). Make sure you put on a mask and gloves and move to an open or well-ventilated area before starting.
- For a quick cleaning, set the printer's exposure to 20 seconds and let it cure what's currently in the vat.
- Use a plastic or silicone scraper (metal could damage the surface) to gently peel out the sheet of resin.
- Use a small filter and funnel to pour the uncured resin back into its container while straining out any solids.
- For a more thorough cleaning, pour resin from the vat into a stainless steel funnel and strainer to separate debris, then store the unused resin in an opaque container.
- Using a silicone or plastic scraper, gently scrape any remaining resin out of the vat. Make sure the edges are also clean.
- If there's any resin stuck to the vat's FEP film, spray the film with 95-percent (or higher) isopropyl alcohol then push down gently on the film to pop off the resin. If not all the resin comes off, use the scraper very carefully.
- Use a small amount of alcohol on a clean wiping cloth and slowly wipe the FEP film until it's clear.
Before you finish, inspect the film and vat for cracks or scratches (these can cause leaks). If you see damage, you may need to buy replacements.