Embrace the suck. If you’ve ever served in the military, there’s a very good chance you’ve heard and lived this mantra. If you weren’t crazy enough to join the military, you probably get it but just in case, here’s the meaning …
To accept the unavoidable or shitty circumstances in front of you.
Whatever unpleasant circumstance life throws at you, give it a warm friendly hug.
Who in their right mind would choose to embrace pain or suffering? It’s probably not on anyone’s top 10 list of things to do ever. It seems so wrong. As crazy as it seems though, welcoming the challenges in front of us can be quite beneficial for our every day wellness.
How can embracing the suck help my life?
Changing your mindset about the challenge in front of you helps reduce stress and the negative effects of that circumstance. It allows us to push through when we want to give up. When we take a step back and reevaluate, it allows us to refocus our energies in a better way. Sometimes we might even see the obstacle in front of us is a blessing in disguise.
Additionally, if we dwell on what we can’t control, it can take an extreme toll on our mental and physical health. We can become angry to severely depressed to suicidal. Some of us might become overeaters, alcoholics, drug addicts, or harmful to others. Of course these unfortunate situations happen to people not facing unpleasant circumstances, but it seems to happen more in the unforeseen shit storms of life.
What if we recognized and embraced that bad things are going to happen and decided to react differently to them?
Changing my mindset has changed my life.
I remember my first ruck march at Fort Benning like it was yesterday. It was one of the most brutal days of my life up to that point. Hauling 60+ pounds of gear on my body for 20 miles with a banged up, grapefruit sized swollen knee was the definition of suck! Drill Sergeant said I needed to embrace it.
At first all I could think about was the extreme hate for my Drill Sergeant and how bad this day was going to be. But something changed a few miles in. I actually started to accept the pain and suffering … even to the point of welcoming it. As we continued our forced march, my mind focused on the good coming from this unavoidable circumstance.
15 miles closer to being done and going home. 10 miles closer to hugging my kids. 5 miles closer to making out with my wife. 30 steps before earning my Blue Cord and crossed rifles. Every step I told myself the positive and not the negative. I embraced the suck and completed the mission.
What I learned from the military about mindset.
There are an insane amount of situations we cannot control. We will experience pain and hardships we don’t want to encounter. There are challenges ahead that could break us or kill us. Yet we must drive on and fight the fight.
If we accept and embrace these circumstances, it prepares us for what’s ahead. If we keep a positive perspective, we’ll adapt and improvise in a way that’s beneficial to our mission. The same goes for our mental and physical well-being.
I remember these valuable lessons learned in the Army and it’s changed my life. If I can make it through that hellish nightmare, I can probably make it through anything else. You can too.
Will YOU embrace the suck and drive on?
Total wellness begins with mindset. You have to decide to follow a happier, healthier path. It requires embracing the suck (and there are going to be days that really suck) and being determined to stay positive regardless of the circumstances. It’s not going to be easy, but it’s doable.
Today I’d like to encourage all of our warriors in battle.
I don’t know what you’re going through or what challenge you’re facing. It might be really serious like PTSD or a disease. It could be less serious like aching muscles from a 20 mile ruck. Whatever the case, you have the intestinal fortitude to make it through as long as you have the right perspective. You can embrace the suck.
For those of you who have served or are serving in the military, I believe in you. You have done what only 1% of the population will ever do. This doesn’t mean you’re better than everyone else, but rather you have something special in your DNA to help you overcome those less than desirable circumstances. You can do this!
We are all going to face a situation we don’t like. We can either embrace it and turn it into a positive, or we can run from it and end up in a way worse place. The choice is up to you.
I challenge you to embrace the suck and drive on.