5 Life-Enhancing Books Like Make Your Bed

Make Your Bed is a simple book with a profound message; about how our actions, no matter how small, can have an outsized impact on our lives.

Based on the commencement speech below, Admiral McRaven shares advice from his military career that can help us overcome challenges and achieve more.

So if his message struck a chord and you want more books like Make Your Bed, then check out the list below.

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5 Books Like Make Your Bed

1. The Obstacle Is the Way: The Timeless Art of Turning Trials into Triumph by Ryan Holiday

The Obstacle Is the Way is based on the philosophy of Marcus Aurelius, the Roman Emperor who believed that everything that happened in life, both good and bad, was a test or lesson.

Holiday stresses the importance of maintaining a positive attitude, being resilient, and taking action despite setbacks, providing anecdotes and examples from history to illustrate his points.

Holiday begins by discussing the importance of developing an “inner game” and learning how to not get wrapped up in emotions such as anger, envy, and regret.

He believes that once we have mastered our inner selves, we can then apply this mindset to our professional and personal lives.

Next, Holiday discusses the concept of resilience and how it is not about being unbreakable but rather about bouncing back quickly from setbacks, citing examples of people who have overcome great obstacles such as Winston Churchill, Abraham Lincoln, and Steve Jobs.

Finally, he provides advice on how to take action despite fear and setbacks, proposing that it is important to have a clear goal in mind and to focus on what can be controlled rather than what cannot.

Overall, The Obstacle Is the Way is a helpful guide on how to overcome any obstacle in life – the book is well-written and easy to read and is filled with helpful tips and anecdotes that will inspire readers to keep moving forward despite difficulties.

2. 12 Rules for Life: An Antidote to Chaos by Jordan B. Peterson

Jordan B. Peterson is a clinical psychologist, tenured professor of psychology at the University of Toronto, and a public intellectual.

The book is a self-help guide based on Peterson’s life experiences and lectures.

  • The first rule, “stand up straight with your shoulders back,” is about taking control of one’s life and developing a strong sense of self-awareness. Peterson argues that if we do not take care of ourselves and put our own needs first, we will become overwhelmed and paralyzed by life’s challenges.
  • The second rule, “treat yourself like someone you are responsible for helping,” urges readers to be kind and patient with themselves, even during difficult times.
  • Rule three, “make friends with people who want the best for you,” stresses the importance of positive relationships in order to maintain mental health and well-being.
  • Rule four, “compare yourself to who you were yesterday, not to who someone else is today,” encourages individuals to focus on their own progress rather than measuring themselves against others.
  • This rule ties into rule five, “do not let your children do anything that makes you dislike them,” which cautions parents against setting unrealistic expectations for their children.
  • Rule six, “set your house in perfect order before you criticize the world,” advocates for living an orderly life in order to avoid becoming overwhelmed by negativity.
  • Rule seven, “pursue what is meaningful (not what is expedient),” urges readers to find purpose in their lives and focus on long-term goals rather than short-term gains. 
  • Rule eight, “tell the truth – or, at least, don’t lie,” stresses the importance of honesty in all aspects of life.
  • Rule nine, “assume that the person you are listening to might know something you don’t,” encourages listeners to be open-minded and consider different perspectives. 
  • Rule ten, “be precise in your speech,” stresses the importance of clarity and accuracy in communication.
  • Rule eleven, “do not bother children when they are skateboarding,” reminds adults that it is important to give children space to explore and learn without interference.
  • The final rule, “pet a cat when you encounter one on the street,” recommends engaging in simple acts of kindness in order to make the world a better place.

3. Tuesdays with Morrie by Mitch Albom

Mitch Albom, a highly successful sports journalist, had a chance meeting with his old college professor Morrie Schwartz.

Despite having not seen each other in many years, the two men soon began to talk regularly on Tuesdays.

It was during these conversations that Morrie shared his wisdom on life, death, and everything in between.

Tuesdays with Morrie tells the story of Mitch’s visits with Morrie, as well as Morrie’s illness and eventual death.

Interspersed throughout the book are passages from Morrie’s lectures at Brandeis University in the 1970s, which explore topics such as love, work, and coping with death.

Although Mitch was initially hesitant to visit Morrie towards the end of his life, he is grateful that he made the effort. Mitch learns a great deal from Morrie, and their time together is a reminder that it’s never too late to learn and grow.

4. The 5 AM Club: Own Your Morning. Elevate Your Life by Robin S. Sharma

The 5 AM Club is a book by Robin Sharma that discusses the importance of waking up early and creating a morning routine.

Sharma believes that if people wake up early and use that time to work on themselves, they can achieve great things.

Sharma argues that most people feel best in the morning and that this is the best time to work on personal growth, citing research that shows how human beings are naturally designed to wake up early and that by using this time wisely, people can set themselves up for a successful day.

The book provides specific tips for creating a morning routine, as well as examples of people who have achieved great things by following this plan.

Crucially, readers are given a five-step plan for creating a successful morning routine, which includes setting goals, exercising, reading, writing, and meditating.

5. The Power of Habit: Why We Do What We Do in Life and Business by Charles Duhigg

In The Power of Habit, Charles Duhigg delves into the science of habits and their role in our everyday lives, exploring how they are formed, and how they can be used to create positive change.

Duhigg’s main argument is that habits are a powerful tool that can be used to improve our lives both professionally and personally.

He cites studies on habit formation and offers tips for how to break bad habits and instill new ones, while also examining the role of habits in organizations.

He offers a variety of strategies for changing bad habits and creating productive routines, but stresses that change is not always easy.

The process of habit formation takes time and effort, but the results can be worth it.

Throughout the book, Duhigg provides case studies of people and companies who have harnessed the power of routine to achieve tremendous success.


Make Your Bed contains essential life lessons that we would do well to heed.

The books listed above are perfect pairings and have given me an incredible toolkit for personal growth.

Check them out and let me know your favorite!