Accomplish something great by starting small

May 18, 2015 By and    
Ken Albrecht

Ken Albrecht

What kind of advice would you expect the commander of U.S. Special Operations Command to give to students of his alma mater?

In 2014, U.S. Navy Adm. William H. McRaven told graduates at the University of Texas, “If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed. If you make your bed every morning, you will have accomplished the first task of the day,” he said. “It will give you a small sense of pride, and it will encourage you to do another task, and another, and another. And by the end of the day that one task completed will have turned into many tasks completed.”

The veteran Navy SEAL went on to say, “Making your bed will also reinforce the fact that the little things in life matter. If you can’t do the little things right, you’ll never be able to do the big things right. And if by chance you have a miserable day, you will come home to a bed that is made — that you made. And a made bed gives you encouragement that tomorrow will be better.”

Accomplishing something great begins by putting effort into the small, mundane activities of our workday. Cutting corners and leaving tasks undone may save time, but in the long run, we end up hurting ourselves. By completing even the simplest of tasks, we become better suited for the larger ones that lie ahead.

Ken Albrecht is president of Reliable Propane in Clarence Center, N.Y.

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