Admiral William McRaven's Speech

to Graduates of Texas U, Austin

something for us all

As a commander of the forces that killed Usama bin Laden and a Navy SEAL for 36 years, Admiral William McRaven knows a thing or two about courage and changing the world. In one of the most inspiring commencement speeches (full video), Adm. McRaven advised graduates at his alma mater – the University of Texas at Austin – on how to change the world.
Here are his 10 life lessons for grads on how to go about doing that:
  1. 1. If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed.
  2. 2. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle.
  3. 3. If you want to change the world, measure a person by the size of their heart, not the size of their flippers.
  4. 4. If you want to change the world get over being a sugar cookie and keep moving forward.
  5. 5. If you want to change the world, don’t be afraid of the circuses.
  6. 6. If you want to change the world sometimes you have to slide down the obstacle head first.
  7. 7. If you want to change the world, don’t back down from the sharks.
  8. 8. If you want to change the world, you must be your very best in the darkest moment.
  9. 9. If you want to change the world, start singing when you’re up to your neck in mud.
  10. 10. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell.
Read part of his speech below explaining the tenth piece of advice: In SEAL training there is a bell. A brass bell that hangs in the center of the compound for all the students to see. All you have to do to quit is ring the bell. Ring the bell and you no longer have to wake up at 5 o’clock. Ring the bell and you no longer have to be in the freezing cold swims. Ring the bell and you no longer have to do the runs, the obstacle course, the PT — and you no longer have to endure the hardships of training.
All you have to do is ring the bell to get out. If you want to change the world don’t ever, ever ring the bell. […] Know that life is not fair and that you will fail often, but if take you take some risks, step up when the times are toughest, face down the bullies, lift up the downtrodden and never, ever give up — if you do these things, the next generation and the generations that follow will live in a world far better than the one we have today.