It’s time to change the world

Reading several of your responses over the last couple weeks, I wish one of you all could write this intro. I struggled with these last few chapters. I was able to connect with the message at the end of each story, but each story, to me, brutally emphasized how intense military life can be. I know that all I can do is be grateful for the life I have and give back to my community in any way that I can – what are your thoughts?  I realize that is not the actual point of these chapters, but it is what I left with.

Week 2: Chapters 7 to 10

I’ll leave it brief. I want to hear from you. 

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

What did you take from these last few chapters? And what is one thing you will never forget from this book?

Off to the circus!

I’m not one for motivational quotes. Just seeing the words doesn’t connect with me. This is a new approach to the motivational quote, it’s the motivational story. When something unfair comes my way, nothing is worse than someone saying, “Well, life’s not fair.” But now, I can conjure up the image of Admiral McRaven covered in sand on that beach and remind myself, “Sometimes you’re a sugar cookie.” Now that visual might actually help me move forward.

Week 3: Chapters 4 to 6

These stories are so visual. He does a great job of making you feel like you were there. I get physically uncomfortable and stressed for him. When he was sliding down that rope, my hands actually started sweating.

The story of Moki and him never showing pity for himself – amazing. People that can move forward like that and think, “Ok, what’s next,” as opposed to “Woe is me,” are everything. We only get one life, and I hope that I’m the kind of person that when faced with a directional change can go where it takes me. I think you get better at these things as you move through life – because you’ve been to a circus or two. Correct me if you think I’m wrong, but I hope that as I move through more of life’s experiences, I’ll learn to have a bit more grace and my skin will grow a bit thicker. I hope I’m not going to be this live wire for life! I may be in dire need of some more circuses for that to happen, but I’m sure I’ll get my turn.

Dare greatly. Another one of my personal not-so-strong suits. I’m very risk-averse by nature. My only solution thus far is to surround myself with people that push me. My sister is one of them. She’s always pushing me to step outside my comfort zone. She does it all – she’s an Ironman, a mom, travels, is always looking for a good time, sends everyone she’s ever met a birthday card (on time!), she doesn’t stop. Not a day goes by that she’s not inviting me to go here or go there. For about every 10 asks, I say yes, and I always have the best time! She asks for what she wants, and most of the time, she gets it! This is a bad example, but I bet she’s talked her way out of a dozen speeding tickets. She sees no barriers, no is not an option, and she’s very goal oriented. She dares. My husband, same way. So, in watching those closest to me, I’m learning. I’m learning not to be such a tightwad, stick in the mud, boring, a hater – or whatever else they’ve call me

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

This is a two part question:

What is something that you’ve “failed” at, and are you better or worse for it?

What is one thing you’ve dared to do that you are so glad you did?

And we’re off – flippers and all.

The first few chapters were a quick read, but boy did they take you some places. My stomach turned reading about the Admiral’s pelvis being ripped apart by that parachute. I would get so immersed in the story, but kept coming back to, “How can I apply this?” I tried to let that go and just hear this man’s story. Not everything has to be about ME! And that is the exact notion that became quite ironic as I was reminded about the importance of teamwork.

Week 2: Preface to chapter 3

In these chapters, you’re given a deeper dive into the Admiral’s SEAL life – from how he entered the recruiting office, to hearing about fellow SEALs he trained with, to the grueling process of making his bed.

I have a confession. I don’t make my bed. And I couldn’t help but feeling like a piece of you know what as I read about this man’s discipline, drive and experience. But, I don’t think that was his point. He’s here to teach, to prepare. Being more prepared for life’s ups and downs is crucial. Like he said, no one is immune to life’s tragedies.

So, where do we start? Well, I have a challenge for you! Make your bed – and ask others in your house to do the same – for one week. A week! We can do that, right? See if you feel more prepared for the day. Do it and then tell us all how it went.

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

What or who helps you feel prepared for life’s inevitable ups and downs?

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?

It’s time to start making your bed!

With over 200 responses to the online poll, N Good Health is excited to announce “Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life…And Maybe the World” by Admiral William H. McRaven as the next installment in the Healthy Reading Book Club.

Participants will read “Make Your Bed” together virtually and follow along guided discussions provided by N Good Health through email. You can then connect with your peers online through postings on the Healthy Reading Book Club site. “Make Your Bed” is available for purchase anywhere books are sold. Assigned readings and discussions will take place over four weeks.

More about “Make Your Bed”

McRaven’s book is an expansion of his 2014 commencement speech at the University of Texas at Austin where he shared life lessons with the graduates learned from his time as a Navy SEAL trainee. Among which is the power of completing simple tasks such as making your bed. For questions concerning the Healthy Reading Book Club, contact N Good Health at (502) 629-2162.

So, grab your book and let’s get started! Are you excited about this book selection?

Vote today!

N Good Health wants your input to choose our next book as part of the Healthy Reading Book Club. We’ve tackled titles including “The Daniel Plan, 40 Days to a Healthier You” and “The Blue Zones.” Where should we go next? Read these short descriptions and then click the link to pick your favorite.

The winner will be announced soon. Watch Nsite to join the Healthy Reading Book Club.

  1. How Not to Die

Written by Dr. Michael Gregor, this book examines the top 15 causes of death in America and tackles how nutritional and lifestyle interventions can often be the needed approach for preventing chronic disease. This book is full of practical advice and cutting-edge science and may be what you need to live a longer, healthier life.

  1. Make Your Bed

The only non-food book on the list, Make Your Bed is based on Admiral William H. McRaven’s commencement speech for the University of Texas at Austin’s graduating class. McRaven shares simple lessons for dealing with the challenges of life – no matter who you are.

  1. In Defense of Food

Michael Pollen is one of the most respected names in nutrition advocacy. Pollen dives into the supermarket, the diet industry, the health food industry and more to examine what we “should” be eating. Read about the philosophy and science behind why we eat the way we eat in the United States.

  1. Salt, Sugar, Fat

Well-known nutritionist, Michael Moss, takes the reader through the history of the demise of home-cooked meals. Learn about how the processed food industry has managed to hook us all by cramming salt, sugar and fat down our throats for decades. Maybe if we get angry enough, we can overcome it!