Consider This

Robert Stevenson’s Thoughts on the Pursuit of Excellence

Embrace the Suck

October 23, 2022

by Robert Stevenson

"Embrace the Suck”!  Say what? What did you say? Did I hear you right? You may have no idea what that means. But a Marine, Navy Seal or Army Ranger understands perfectly what it means, and we all can learn from this phrase.

The phrase “Embrace the Suck” is used to motivate soldiers to ignore the pain and discomfort of the moment and not just come to terms with it … but relish it, deal with it, handle the misery … so when things SUCK, they know they’ll conquer the problem facing them.

Some of you may be wondering what a military saying has to do with our business and personal lives. How about EVERYTHING! Our journey in life comes with many unexpected problems and issues that must be dealt with: Bad health, lack of money, sucky job or boss, weather (storms), inflation, shortages, Covid-19, and divorce issues … to name a few.

A recent example: Hurricane Ian. Thousands of families are dealing with the horrific aftermath of destruction. Some people will give-up and quit under the stress and hardship, while others will “Embrace the Suck” and rebuild.

I remember the day our son, Tyler, was diagnosed with Type 1 diabetes at nine years old. He/we hadn’t done anything wrong. We didn’t cause it. But there it was staring us in the face; a lifetime illness – with no cure. I can’t say I am fond of the phrase, “It is what it is,” but in this case, it fit. We could either “Embrace the Suck” or not. It’s a choice. We can either shut down or rise-up to meet the challenges? We can complain, whine, talk about how unfair this is … or motivate ourselves and others to push forward? We chose the latter. Years later, Tyler would say, “At least I have a disease that I can control.” He fully “Embraced the Suck” and is winning the fight.

Helen Keller, who lost her sight and hearing at 19 months and went on to an extraordinary life of accomplishments (American author – 14 books, disability rights advocate, political activist, lecturer and is in the Alabama Woman’s Hall of Fame) once said: “Although the world is full of suffering, it is also full of the overcoming of it.”

Successful people “EMBRACE THE SUCK”!

"Your only true security in life
is your ability to perform."

About the Author

Robert Stevenson is an expert at building a high-performance business culture, improving efficiency, and accelerating growth. He is one of the most widely sought-after speakers in the world today, as well as a best-selling author. He has owned five companies, sold internationally in over 20 countries. Robert has spoken to over 2,500 companies throughout the world and his research in the area of corporate and entrepreneurial success is extensive. Over 2 million people have benefitted from his powerful, practical, and thought-provoking programs. He is a true master at blending facts, inspiration, conviction, and humor into all his programs.

Companies like FedEx, Prudential, Lockheed Martin, Anheuser-Busch, Chevron, American Express, and Berkshire Hathaway continue to rely on him for a fresh, unique perspective on businesses’ most crucial issues. To learn more about Robert and what he can do for your team visit his website at

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