Change the World – Make your bed

A friend of mine, who is definitely not a military guy, sent me this video.


“If you want to change the world, make your bed.”   That’s the title that goes with the video and with Admiral McRaven’s commencement address in 2014 at the University of Texas.

If you have lived a while, you can see quickly how these ideas are relevant to Navy Seals, and how they are trained.

What seems to be less clear is how this affects us.

If you hear the whole speech, you get a fuller picture.  He offers several specific suggestions.  Well, specific in a way — metaphorical and general and useful to us in another way.

In Scrum, we start a sprint with a smallish promise, to get 8 or more small stories done by the end of the sprint.  Something that we know we can do, because we have done 20 story points before (or whatever our velocity is).

And we commit as a Team (a Team of 7 in our case).  A band of brothers, a small unit that will work together and get this stuff done together.  And respect and help each other, through all the small mistakes.

And we commit each day to doing a couple of small tasks.  Each task is 2-4 hours in size (maybe a bit smaller).  One task done, we gain confidence that the next task will be done. If one of us gets stuck, our teammates will help.  Everyone feels he must pull the oar evenly, but just as reliably as the next person.

In this way, we change the world.  It starts with us.

We conquer the sprint (usually).  We make our own lives better.  We make the Team’s lives better.  We make our customers’ lives better.

We can change the world.

The world is in need of a lot of changing.

No one has too much love, each person has not recovered fully from all his sorrows.  Many have much to contribute, and do not see yet the chance to do so.  Many are sick.  Many are hungry.  There is still too much violence.  There is not enough fun out there.  The world needs a lot of changing.

You can start it (again) today.



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