“Embrace the Suck” Origin
One of the most inspiration speeches on the internet is this one by David Goggins (warning, contains not safe for work language), where he encourages everyone to “Embrace the Suck”. He even goes as far as to call it the one statement that changed his life. The thumbnail of the video I linked even says that phrase. The question remains though is “what does he mean by this”?
What it Means
Life clearly dealt him a bad hand. He talks about his learning disability, his abusive father and the racism he experienced from a young age. In his adult life, he became over weight, barely held down a job, and had no discernible hobbies, goals or achievements. David described himself as being “bottom of the barrel” and “below mediocrity”. He described his time in NAVY Seal training as the hardest thing in his life, and he failed repeatedly. He trained for 3 “Hell Weeks”. A “Hell week” is 130 hours of continuous training. After failing the second one, his commanding officer gave him 1 final chance. David believed he was too banged up, but wanted so badly to pass. He knew internally what I have said before about how failure teaches success, and pushed himself forward.
During his final “Hell Week”, instead of complaining about how bad he had it, he trained his mind to ask itself how to get by his obstacles instead of avoiding them. Despite the fact that he didn’t have enough time to recover, he went in with the mentality that if he thought something was too hard, he’d do it. He’d wake up earlier than he wanted to, work harder than he wanted to, and push his mind and body to the absolute limit.
What to learn from this
His advice to you is not to focus on pushing your strengths, but to improve upon your weaknesses. Put emphasis on stuff you can control. He says that growing can only come from pain.