Making your bed will not help you change the world

The latest trend in self-help books teaches men that mundane tasks are the secret to fulfillment

A man making a bed.
(Image credit: Illustrated | Everett Collection Inc / Alamy Stock Photo, Zenobillis/iStock, javarman3/iStock)

I cannot remember the last time I made my bed. I suspect that it must have been during the Clinton administration. I could not even say with any certainty how one goes about this particular chore. A cursory search suggests that something called "hospital corners" is involved.

Until very recently I had not thought very much about this personality defect of mine. I had not even considered that it might be a defect. But a chance look at the Amazon bestseller list has given me pause. William McRaven's Make Your Bed: Little Things That Can Change Your Life... And Maybe the World has been on all the bestseller lists longer than my son has been alive. Like a disturbingly large number of popular books these days it has been adapted by the author (with, I suspect, the contributions of one or more hired hands) from a YouTube video.

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