OK, OK! If you’re a seminarian from Saint Charles Seminary reading this post, you’re saying to yourself, “OK, Deacon Brandon… what gives?! We’ve heard this when Father Dailey preached during Forty Hours!” Yes, it’s true. HOWEVER, on the recommendation of Father Redcay, the pastor at my diaconate assignment, I picked up a copy of Admiral William H. McRaven’s #1 New York Times Bestseller entitled “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life… and Maybe the World” over the summer. I had it before Dailey!
Admiral McRaven is a retired U.S. Navy SEAL, having served for 37 years. Based on his time and experiences in the Navy, he outlines 10 things we can all do that can change our lives… “and maybe the world.” Here is just a taste of his practical wisdom for when we encounter life’s darkest moments…
- Make your bed: start the day with a task completed. It establishes discipline, and can give you the lift you need to know you accomplished something.
- You can’t go it alone: find someone to help you paddle. You are not invincible; realize your success depends on God and others helping you.
- Measure a person by the size of their heart.
- Life’s not fair: get over it. Lots of things test your patience and determination. Stand tall and look into the future.
- Failure can make you stronger. Let your mistakes make you stronger.
- You must dare greatly: meet obstacles head-first. Trust yourself to overcome anxieties and have faith in your abilities. Push yourself.
- Stand up to bullies: don’t back down. Bullies (whatever they may be in your life) rise up when there is no courage.
- Rise to the occasion: be your best in the darkest moments. When your spirit is crushed, reach deep inside yourself to rise up.
- Give people hope. It takes only one person to inspire, unite, and give hope to those around him.
- Never, ever quit! Quitting is sometimes much easier than continuing. Don’t give up on your dreams.
Admiral McRaven’s book is available as an ebook and in the print edition. I highly recommend it; it’s an easy but very inspiring read. Words we can all live by. And maybe, just maybe, we can change the world!