Lessons From the Tank
by Joe Altieri
June 28th, 2021

Make Your Bed. Or Don’t.

Mark Cuban doesn’t make his bed. (Someone probably does it for him, but that’s not the point here.)

Recently, I saw a product on Shark Tank designed to help people make their beds faster and easier: The Better Bedder. The pitch was barely underway, when Mark weighed in and said that long ago he calculated how much time per week, month and year is (in his mind) wasted making your bed, and he decided his time was better spent on more important things. He wasn’t interested in making his bed, so he was out.

I get it. Lots of people don’t like to make their bed. But consider Admiral William H. Raven’s famous quote: “If you want to change the world, start by making your bed.” Obviously, that’s a very different point of view.

Who do you resonate with more? The person with a strict, disciplined approach to work, fitness and life—someone who sets their alarm for 4:40 a.m., works until 7:00 p.m., takes one exercise break, and never deviates from a set schedule. Or do you identify with the person who wakes up when he feels like it, goes with the flow, and gets his work done right before a deadline? They may have no set schedule, but might be living a productive and healthy life, nonetheless. The chances are good that one of these scenarios just feels “wrong” to you. But is it?

The Admiral and Mark Cuban are both very successful, influential people who know what they’re talking about. And I agree with both of them. (Despite the ever-present political narrative of these strange times, that really is allowed!)

Successful people are confident in what they believe and the ways in which they go about reaching their potentials. But they are also equally aware that one size does not fit all. They are as committed to their goals as they are to constantly reevaluating their methods.

If you feel like your routine (or lack thereof) is missing something, now is not the time to be set in your ways. Instead, start experimenting with a new pattern. Mix it up and try a different approach in the areas that feel stale. Need to loosen up a little? Try it! I’m guessing your family and co-workers would welcome that change. Need more discipline? Bite the bullet and commit to doing what needs to be done.

As leaders, we know that very little is ever achieved in our comfort zones, and an open mind is essential to our current and future success.

However you do it, find what works for you, prioritize your time and stick with it (but constantly reevaluate), and don’t let anyone judge you for your made or unmade bed. Because one thing is for sure—whether it’s Mark’s messy heap of sheets and blankets, or the Admiral’s perfectly tucked and smoothed masterpiece, we are all making our own beds every day, so to speak, and we’re the ones who have to sleep in them.

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