I feel confident in saying that no one will forget the last couple of weeks or upcoming weeks in our lives. We all have been flipped upside down from the Coronavirus (COVID-19). High School and college students having their year cut short and missing out from sports, FFA, or seeing their friends. I know that I took this hard, as did most students.

When I found out that the rest of the semester was online and that the CDC began recommending more strict countermeasures to prevent the spread of Coronavirus, I knew that the rest of my time, influence, and potential impacts as State Reporter would be limited to the 20 acres of the family farm.

Furthermore: I knew that I would not be able to spend any time with the people who had become my closest friends: I couldn’t make random Walmart runs, stay up until 2 am playing Super Smash Bros, or enjoy a post-workout protein shake in their company.

When I realized that the next few months would be radically different than I wanted, I consulted in a book that has given me a great amount of wisdom and hope in my life. In fact, I carry that book wherever I go in an FFA capacity. In it, there is a proverb that helped me tremendously in the state officer candidate process, transitioning into college life, and now, has started the adaptation for the rest of this self-quarantine.

“If you want to change the world, start off by making your bed”

The author, General William H. McRaven, began every morning with making his bed. What began as an expectation set from his instructors became a habit that he kept throughout his life: on the USS Grayback, in Iraq, and every day out of uniform. McRaven kept this habit, not because of the comfort that a neatly made bed provided, but rather that as McRaven described:

[making his bed] was my first task of the day, and doing it right was important. It demonstrated my discipline. It showed my attention to detail, and at the end of the day it would be a reminder that I had done something well, something to be proud of, no matter how small the task.”

Right now, all our lives are affected by the Coronavirus. Kansas schools and colleges canceling in-person classes and transitioning to online learning and social distancing recommendations preventing us to see our friends and family. With so much that we can’t control, we must focus on the things that we can.

We can control the choices we make.

We can control our courage to find positivity to spread.

And most importantly:

We can control the millions of small actions we do that keep us moving forward.

For McRaven, it was his discipline to make his bed that kept him traveling along this path. What’s yours? What do you do to keep pursuing your dreams despite adversity?

Trust in yourself and Love Thy Neighbor,

J.W. Wells

PS, this YouTube video encapsulates all points made in the book, Make Your Bed. Give it a watch.