Do you make your bed? I have for as long as I can remember. It’s been so long that I don’t recall why I started, but I’m sure it wasn’t because my mom nagged me to do it. It couldn’t be that because I’ve continued to make my bed now even though I’ve lived alone for almost 20 years. Making my bed is probably my oldest habit.
Apparently making the bed is not as automatic for some people. Everyone knows they SHOULD make the bed, but they don’t have a good reason Why to do it. The Why for many people during childhood was probably their mother. Without mom around in college and young adulthood many people probably figured what’s the point? No one else will know the bedroom is a mess. It’s just my little secret, right?
That was the initial attitude taken in the articles I read in Psychology Today and apartment therapy, but both authors decided to start making the bed after each saw the positive correlation of doing so with general happiness. You would think that making the bed is the magic pill to a successful life. Just follow this simple process, like the Underpants Gnomes on South Park:
Step 2: ???
Step 3: Happiness
We now have a general reason Why to make the bed, but happiness is too abstract for my tastes. We need to dig deeper to show how making the bed improves your chances to live a happier life.
Admiral William McCraven gave a compelling reason during the Commencement speech to University of Texas in 2014:
“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.
“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.
“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”
This resonates with me in a profound way. Changing the world might be overly ambitious, but you can at least change yourself by starting off with a made bed.
Making your bed is an investment in yourself. It sets the stage for an organized & disciplined day. Being organized helps you recognize the mountain of distractions that lead to sloppiness in your life which keep you from happiness. Being disciplined means you actually do something about it. It’s not difficult when you’ve already started.
As always, thanks for reading. Please let me know your thoughts.