Simple Advice To Change The World

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world in hand1 Simple Advice To Change The World

Perhaps it seems naïve and idealistic to believe you can change the world. Perhaps you are skeptical about your chances of leaving a significant mark given your age, gender, socioeconomic status, or sexual orientation. But I believe that no matter who you are and where you come from, every person in this world has an opportunity to leave a mark and affect the world in a significant way.

Do you remember when you graduated high school or college? Adults probably gave you great advice but you didn’t know what to do with it at the time. That advice we give young people is often advice worthy of repeating to ourselves as we grow older and become into our own as individuals. Our perspective changes with experience and suddenly that advice takes on a new meaning.

I am a firm believer in listening to all the advice anyone has taken the time to share. I recently watched a commencement speech given at The University of Texas class of 2014 by Naval Adm. William H. McRaven, ninth commander of U.S. Special Operations Command, and he had some solid and simple advice for these young graduates that bears repeating.

He started off by telling these students that you just never know who you’ll meet and how you are going to affect them. How true is that? When has a stranger’s smile ever brightened a bad day but you never had the chance to tell that person how they positively affected you?

These lessons Admiral McRaven shared in his speech were all lesson he learned during SEAL training, but he tells these young graduates, “It matters not your gender, your ethnic or religious background, your orientation, or your social status. Our struggles in this world are similar and the lessons to overcome those struggles and to move forward—changing ourselves and the world around us—will apply equally to all.”

I think it is so important to remember that while we are all different, we all face struggles. We all have to put one foot in front of the other every day to keep moving forward. Along these lines, the Admiral advises the graduates to start everyday with completing one simple task to propel your day forward: Make your bed.

I love this piece of advice — it’s simple and doable. Maybe for you it’s not necessarily the task of making your bed but it is taking the first step to put on your running shoes to set yourself up to successfully meet your exercise goals. And then once you go on that run you’ll feel so full of energy and you’ll be inspired to eat a healthy meal. Whatever the task or goal, taking one step can spiral into a series of steps that push you closer and closer to your goal.

As Admiral McRaven put it, “By the end of the day, that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed. Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that little things in life matter.”

His speech contains additional straightforward advice and I highly recommend watching it in full:

As for today, take one small step and make your bed. Imagine what else you can accomplish in a day if you take each small step with great care and thoughtfulness.

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