In the spring of 2014 Admiral William H. McRaven was invited to deliver the commencement speech at his alma mater, The University of Texas. The Admiral prepared remarks targeted for completion in under 20 minutes. It typical Navy SEAL fashion, he completed his task in 19 minutes and 27 seconds……if you’re on time, you’re late!

That was supposed to be the end of it. The internet had other ideas. The speech went viral. It has been viewed in its entirety over 10 million times. When combined with excerpts, out takes and creative use of his presentation, “Make Your Bed” has gone viral with over 20 million views.

Admiral McRaven had no intentions to write a book. If he had intentions to write a book it would more likely have been based on his 37 years in Special Warfare Operations, culminating in being assigned as the Commander US Special Operations Command, leading all special operations forces in the entire US Military.

Make Your Bed is based on the ten key points that must be embraced for success. Any success. Business success. Personal success. Success in combat.

The title of the book is the first point of success to be accomplished every day. Make your bed. McRaven shares that in SEAL training everyday beings the same, make your bed. While not a great accomplishment in and of itself, making your bed assures you will begin your day with a success. And from the success will come the next success of the day. And the next. And the next.

And at the end of your day. No matter the challenges faced. You will have a nicely made bed to climb into giving you hope that tomorrow will be a better day.

Another of the Admirals key points is “Find someone to help you paddle”. This lesson was born in Navy SEAL training where teams paddle rubber inflatable boats in the frigid surf off Coronado. It would be impossible for one person paddling alone to navigate the crashing surf. Yet a team of SEALs, paddling together can accomplish what no single SEAL could accomplish. No one succeeds alone.

Navy SEALS operate in darkness, undercover and in silence. It is rare that you are ever aware of any of their operations. Such was not the case with Operation Neptune Spear, the raid that led to the death of Osama bin Laden on May 2nd 2011.

Admiral McRaven is credited with the organization and execution of that operation. As long and intense as that day had to have been, how do you think the Admiral started that day? Make Your Bed!

Make Your Bed is a fast read. It’s a simple read and it’s one of those books that earns a spot on your “read this when you need a fast boost” reading list. Make Your Bed makes a great gift for the graduates in your life.