Leadership Starts When You Wake Up

Abdul Hanan Abbasi
2 min readApr 4, 2021

“ If You Want to Change the World, Start Off by Making Your Bed “. These are the words of William McRaven, US Navy Admiral which he delivered during his address to the University of Texas at Austin graduating class of 2014. I had watched his address a few years ago and it had a profound effect on me.

I am sitting in my bedroom right now. It’s almost midnight and I feel a bit sleepy, so I’ll get right into it. When I read this activity, I immediately looked at my untidy bed and remembered the Admirals word. I started making my bed, first thing in the morning after listening to his words a few years ago. These words and the reasoning behind them really resonated with me. However, during the pandemic, and the “ lockdown” I somehow lost this routine. It’s just how the pandemic has affected me and the whole world. We have come out as changed persons, a bit negatively in my case.

It didn’t take long to make my bed. Doing it gave me a sense of satisfaction and also a realization as to how my life has actually gone off the rails and I need to get it back into order. A task that I used to do and should have done as the first thing in the day, I am doing it at the last moments of the day. I think I have not recovered from the traumatic experience of being infected with Covid-19 and then seeing my father being critically ill in hospital for a month. My life has lost direction ever since. The fragility of life hit me hard. Things that seemed meaningful don’t hold value for me anymore.

This pandemic has had adverse effects on most of us. However, I won’t let this continue. I will take back control of my life. I will assume its leadership and get it back in order. The first step in this is to start my day by making my bed. This will motivate me for the next task of the day. With each small step, I will surely reach my desired destination.