Join in the discussion – The Commencement Speech

Welcome to the first week of N Good Health’s Healthy Reading Book Club featuring, “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World,” by Admiral William H. McRaven. Whether you have previously participated in one of our book clubs or are joining us for the first time, we are so happy you are taking this time for yourself.

My name is Erin Wiedmar, and I am N Good Health’s clinical nutritionist and your Healthy Reading Book Club moderator. Be on the lookout for weekly emails that will detail the assigned reading. Then follow up with your comments on our discussion board. Don’t be shy! The more you share, the more meaningful our conversation can be throughout the weeks.

Let’s get started!

Week 1: Watch the commencement speech online

Did you watch it? If not, click on the link above before you read on.

This book is an expansion on this speech given in 2014. I did some digging on the Admiral to learn a bit more about his background:

  • Admiral McRaven graduated from University of Texas at Austin. He later graduated from basic SEAL training in 1978.
  • He has commanded in what seems like every level within the special operations units – if anyone out there can speak U.S. Navy, please fill us in!
  • He is credited for overseeing the raid that lead to the death of Osama bin Laden in 2011 – Operation Neptune Spear.
  • Admiral McRaven retired from the U.S. Navy in 2014.
  • He is married and has three children.
  • He is a decorated hero to say the least. I think I counted at least 29 badges and medals, including the Presidential Service Badge.

What I took from the speech is not any ground breaking lessons, but the stories. He has a unique way of casually telling the listener about some of the most unpleasant situations a young person could ever go through. I could see those SEALS singing in that mud and I thought of my son. How can I make sure he has these moments where he is forced to “sing in the mud?” I think of the term “Bulldozer Parent,” the parent that clears the path for their child so they never have to face any obstacles. I don’t want to be that. So, first thing I have on my brain from the speech is, get my kid in the mud!

Discussion: Once you’ve read/watched the assigned section, answer this question in the comments section below.  

What was one part of the speech that sparked interest for you?

0 thoughts on “Join in the discussion – The Commencement Speech

  • Really cool to hear an a actual Seal tell his stories. In our culture we typically only have images of Hollywood actors like Steven Seagal.
    I feel like most people would rather do just about anything than sit through a graduation commencement. I can only remember one graduation speech. It was an analogy about a red sock accidentally put in the white laundry and bleeding on everything and picking it pink. The graduates were to be like the red sock and leave their mark on those they came in contact with.

  • Leslie Kenney - Pharmacy says:

    I really enjoyed this speech. This obviously talented, decorated and courageous man was able to tell his story in a simple way yet with just the right detail that the message is clear to all of us. I wish or hope that I am able to articulate my story in such a relevant and succinct way, especially when it really matters (i.e. like patient or staff education). I’m excited to read more of this story in the book!

  • I was amazed at the rigor of Seals training! But inspired on how going through it together created a team of brothers who supported each other.

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