Retired United States Navy Admiral William H. McRaven offers the most practical advice. Take it. Follow it. Make it your own. The Navy SEAL says so.
Admiral McRaven first shared his basic lessons in a commencement address for the graduating class at the University of Texas at Austin in May of 2014 and this book divides them into ten principles. The first step is to make your bed. This demonstrates discipline and shows attention to detail. You do not have to make your bed military style with sheets so tight you're able to bounce a quarter off of them, unless you learned how to do this from your dad, like I did! Making your bed in the morning starts your day off with an accomplishment, something that you've done well and something to be proud of, even though it's a small task.
All of the principles shared in this smart little book build on the concept of doing your best, giving it your all and changing the world. My favorite words of wisdom are from number two, "You can't go it alone. If you want to change the world, find someone to help you paddle." One of my own personal mantras is "team work is dream work" so I found a lot to relate to.
Some of the recommendations pertain to the Navy in a way that I found charming and somewhat humorous, but are applicable to everyone if you turn it around. One of the best stories is found in number seven, "Stand up to bullies. Don't back down from sharks." Navy SEALs spend a lot of time in the water and the admiral shares a story about punching sharks in the nose to disorient them and make them flee. I am going to take this advice as a metaphor. I am never, ever, never going to punch an actual shark. Never. But I'll stand up to bullies. And you should, too.
I'll also never tire of words of encouragement and you or someone in your life may feel the same. This book makes an excellent stocking stuffer or graduation gift.