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No, it doesn't matter if you make your bed or not

No, it doesn’t matter if you make your bed or not – Off The Mat

No, it doesn't matter if you make your bed or not

Have you seen the commencement speech from Admiral McRaven in which he talks about the importance of making your bed? Like many things, people take this too literally. The point of the speech isn’t to say that making your bed is the basis of a successful day; rather, what makes this action a potential success booster is the MINDSET that it promotes. It’s about starting the day off by setting and completing a task.

I’ll give you another example.

One morning last week I spent 20 minutes looking for dog shit. (Actual dog poop.) Flowtron, my faithful lab / MFY mascot, decided to do his business 100 yards from where I was standing, so it was difficult to locate the exact location of the excrement. Rather than giving up, I spent 20 minutes on the task, persevering until I was able to locate and bag that poopy. Why? Because I started a task, and I was going to see it through until the end.

To create a mindset of getting-shit-done for the day, it doesn’t matter if you’re picking up poop, making your bed, or putting the dishes away. The point is to do something easy that encourages you to attempt more significant and more difficult tasks as the day progresses. (Bonus: It also gives you a nice shot of dopamine; your body’s way of rewarding you for completing objectives.) And if that means making your bed, go ahead and make your bed, too.


Here’s what’s going on this week.

Fitness focus: Core engagement for hamstring release
This is one aspect that I’ve really neglected, both in my teaching and in my personal practice. Next time you’re doing a downdog, instead of thinking about pressing your hips up back, I want you to think the following: Hike your hips up and back, and squeeze your hip flexors and your abdominals toward one another. This not only creates better core engagement, but provides a safe hamstring stretch as well – without straining your lower-back. It will also help you get closer to that elusive straight back in downdog!

Music I’m listening to: Peaceful Piano Playlist on Spotify
I found this last week, and really enjoy it. Great for mornings or late evenings.

Product I’m enjoying: Hypersphere
Used this Wednesday night to help my hips recover from squats. I think the best spot I’ve found for this is the vastus medialis oblique (the quadricep head located just above and to the inside of your knee), which is super helpful for after squats to help release tension and boost recovery.

Book I’m reading: The Divine Comedy
I’ve read so much about The Divine Comedy without actually reading the text itself that I decided it’s time to finally read it. It took me a while to find a version that looked good, and I eventually settled on this one. I’ve read a few cantos so far, and what I like about this version is that it explains all of the references. It’s a classic, and you should probably read it sometime in your life if you haven’t yet.

Personal Struggle: Creating bad habits
This week I’ve gotten into the habit of starting work later than I want to. I find that I’m most productive when I’m not using technology, but so much of what I do requires internet, so it’s difficult. Need to do a better job of making my work available through doodles in my notebook, instead of google docs – where distractions are many.


If you liked this email and want to read more like it, click the button below to sign up for my Off the Mat with Dean newsletter.

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It’s a chance for you to see me putting into action the practices and habits that I’m asking you to do for yourself, to show you that what I’m talking about in my emails, blogs, and on social media is exactly the same stuff that I’m doing on a daily basis in my own life.

No, it doesn't matter if you make your bed or not

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