Most of us want to make a difference in our lives. But often we ask ourselves how we can practically go about it. Advice from inspiring personalities like Admiral William G. McRaven, who have achieved remarkable things, can help you to find courage, stick to your guns and finally reach your goal.
Admiral William G. McRaven, born in 1955, is a former Navy Seal with a distinguished military career. Among other things, he was significantly involved in the success of “Neptune’s Spear” – one of the most important military missions under the Obama administration.
In 2014, he was selected to serve as Chancelor at the University of Texas at Austin and delivered a great, motivational commencement address to encourage students to make a difference. For this he looked back on his career as a Navy Seal and gave valuable advice that applies to anyone who wants to make a difference in their life.
Here is a summary of his most important advice:
Make your bed
Start your day by making your bed. This way you have completed your first task of the day and can tackle the next one and the one after that. And if you’ve had a bad day, you’ll come home in the evening to a tidy bed that you’ve made and you’ll find the motivation you need to make the next day better.
Ultimately, it’s about having the discipline to do the little things, otherwise you won’t be able to do the big things.
Find people who will help you
You can’t change the world all by yourself. You always need good people to support you along the way. These can be family, friends, business partners, but also well-meaning strangers.
Show respect to everyone
If you want to change the world, you should show respect to everyone – regardless of the colour, origin, gender or social status of your counterpart.
Life isn’t always fair.
Sometimes you can try as hard as you want, do everything right and you will still fail. You therefore have to accept that you will fail again and again – no matter how hard you try. But the important thing is to get up every time and keep going.
Don’t be afraid to make mistakes
Mistakes cannot be prevented. We all make them – often and without exception. But the good thing is that every single mistake makes us stronger. The more mistakes we make, the more we learn from them and the greater our chances of success on our way to our goal.
Don’t be afraid of challenges
Sometimes you will face daunting challenges on your way to your goal. Don’t be scared by them, but tackle them, because they will make you stronger.
If you want to change things, sometimes you have to take risks and dare to do things that nobody else has done before you.
Face the bullies
In the world there are many who want to and will hinder your undertaking. Do not be afraid and face these people instead of running away. Show these people that you are not afraid and that you are the strongest.
Give the best in the darkest moments
If it gets uncomfortable, you have to keep going, stay calm and do your best. Use all your experience and knowledge and focus completely on achieving your goal.
Never lose hope
Sometimes motivation will wear heavily on you when you are stuck in the most unpleasant conditions. But never lose faith that you will still reach your goal.
Never give up
If you want to change something in the world, never ever give up. Never.
- Wikipedia entry on William H. McRaven
- Book: Make Your Bed: Small things that can change your life and maybe the world (Amazon)
Photo Credit: United States Navy, 2012