When I was around 13 years old I was completely and utterly done with making my bed. All I did was get back into at the end of the day! Why cover it all back up when I was just going to get into it again? No one else was in my room either. It was an utterly useless activity to me.
Somewhere around this same time, my parents bought me a new set of bedroom furniture. And the new bed they bought me had a trundle bed. It’s a slightly elevated bed that has an extra mattress underneath that can slide out as needed.
After a few weeks of having my new bed, I had an epiphany! I could just pull out the trundle bed every night, sleep on it, and then slide it back in in the morning. I could leave the top part as is, and never need to make my bed again. I felt efficient and ingenious.
I’m not sure how much time went by like this, probably a couple of weeks, when one day my father stepped into my room first thing in the morning. The trundle bed was still out and I hadn’t put it back in yet.
“Why is the trundle bed out?” he asked.
“I slept on it last night,” I replied.
“Well, if I sleep on the trundle bed, I can just push it back under the bed. That way I don’t have to make the bed everyday.”
My father just looked at me for a minute before he walked over and pulled the covers off the bed and onto the floor. I looked up at him incredulously.
“You can sleep wherever you want. But you’re going to make your bed everyday no matter what.” He walked out of the room.
Being a know-it-all 13 year old with a towering opinion of myself and ideas, I was furious. It made absolutely zero sense to have to make the bed everyday when I had the trundle. Now I was back to making the bed everyday, regardless of whether I had slept in it or not. My father was being ridiculous! What a useless activity I was being forced to go through everyday. (Note: it never occurred to me to actually disobey my father or get around his edict in some way.)
The Snowball Effect
I thought about the above after a brief exchange with boxer Ed Latimore on Twitter. Someone had asked him about how to hit the re-set button after years of bad habits. Latimore suggested with making the bed everyday. I chimed in with how important I think making the bed is.
It’s the type of thing that many people scoff at. People don’t see the need for it. They’re mentally stuck in the same place I was when I was 13 years old. “I don’t need to do this! It doesn’t effect anyone!” It likely doesn’t affect anyone else – but you.
Everyday I lived in my parent’s house, I made my bed. As soon as I got to college, I stopped. I reveled in my messy sheets and covers. For a time at least. But then, my roommates and I started having
people girls over and I wanted my room to not look like trash.
Over time, I also noticed that making my bed actually made my day start right. It was a very small task, but it was a task nonetheless. On days I laid around in bed or didn’t make my bed, I was far more prone to just lay about and not accomplish much.
Embrace The Grind
When I make my bed, it starts my day off with accomplishing something, making my life a bit tidier. It builds momentum, creating a snowball effect for the rest of my day. Making my bed has moved beyond being a habit for me, it’s a discipline.
Discipline leads to diligence. Discipline sets the tone everyday. It’s a whetstone that helps true a blade. When you lose your way, face setbacks, feel defeated – it’s discipline that lets you continue to stay the course.
Discipline calms your mind. It is familiar and revitalizing. It allows you to accomplish things you would normally not be able to. Discipline is the foundation required to move past where you are and achieve something new. Discipline grinds your soft exterior down and reveals your strong inner core.