Embrace the Suck Book Summary - Embrace the Suck Book explained in key points
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Embrace the Suck summary

Brent Gleeson

The Navy SEAL Way to an Extraordinary Life

4.5 (343 ratings)
17 mins

Brief summary

'Embrace the Suck' by Brent Gleeson is a motivational book that encourages readers to develop resilience and mental toughness to overcome challenges. It provides practical tips and examples from the author's military experience to inspire growth and success in all areas of life.

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    Embrace the Suck
    Summary of 4 key ideas

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    Key idea 1 of 4

    Turn pain into motivation and face challenges with positivity.

    Brent Gleeson and his fellow trainees faced the ultimate test of strength and resilience: the six-day Navy SEAL selection course called “Hell Week.” The program is designed to push soldiers to their limits. But explosions, smoke grenades, and machine gun fire are just the beginning. The real challenge comes from surf torture, a grueling regimen involving constant exposure to the freezing ocean. As a result, the course has a failure rate of 70 to 80 percent. Crazy, right? But here’s the thing. Those who survive the verbal and physical onslaught share one crucial trait: they embrace the suck.

    Basic Underwater Demolition/SEAL training isn’t for the faint-hearted. To succeed, applicants must learn to transform their pain into a powerful source of motivation. The question is, how do they do it? What separates those pushing through from those who ring the bell and quit? To answer this, we need to delve deeper into psychology.

    Have you ever faced a seemingly insurmountable challenge? Perhaps you’ve even considered quitting before you began. It’s natural to try and avoid pain and adversity, but the problem is that doing so prevents you from achieving your full potential. So, how can you overcome your fears and build your resilience? Here’s where embracing the suck comes into play.

    Retired SEAL Jason Redman is a true fighter in every way. Despite being shot seven times in battle, he refused to see himself as a victim. Instead, he focused on his recovery, declaring his hospital room a pity-free zone. Redman accepted his injuries, pain, suffering, and uncertainty with remarkable bravery. With an unwavering determination, he achieved a full physical recovery. His story shows that anyone can overcome even the harshest obstacles with the right mindset and attitude.

    Embracing the suck is about confronting problems head-on. It’s about accepting that we don’t always have control over what happens to us, but we do have control over how we react to it. We can develop the skills and resilience needed to handle even the most difficult situations by approaching our challenges with a positive mindset. Then, rather than seeing obstacles as roadblocks, we begin to see them as opportunities for growth and improvement. This shift in perspective empowers us to take action and tackle future challenges with greater energy and resolve.

    Before using painful experiences to fuel your growth, though, you need to understand where you are now. One practical way to answer this is to describe your core values. These are the fundamental beliefs and principles that guide your actions and decisions. They reflect your personality and the legacy you wish to leave. Are you ready to identify those values? 

    Great! Grab a stack of Post-it notes and jot down four to six core values. Don’t overthink it – focus on capturing what matters to you most. You might include values such as health, family, faith, or integrity, to name but a few. 

    Before moving on to the next step, you should be aware that it isn’t enough to simply acknowledge your core values; you should embody them, too. For that reason, take action and actively integrate them into your daily life. 

    After identifying your core values, the next step is to develop supporting behaviors that align with them.

    These supportive behaviors must be specific, measurable, and achievable. For example, if one of your core values is health, you could develop a diet plan, exercise regularly, prepare nutritious meals, and ensure you get enough sleep. Similarly, one of your core values might be integrity. In that case, supporting behaviors might include honest and transparent communication; fulfilling your commitments and responsibilities; and standing up for what’s right, even when it’s difficult.

    Remember that small, deliberate actions can have a substantial impact over time. Actions, as they say, speak louder than words. But staying on track can be tough with the constant distractions of your hectic life. So, how can you remain focused and committed to your values?

    Consider using a calendar or a goal-setting app to jumpstart your progress. Improving your accountability is crucial to living out your core values. So display your supporting behaviors in a prominent location, such as on your wall or in the notes app on your phone. The more often you see them, the more likely you are to take action. Try experimenting with different accountability methods until you find the best one.

    Of course, setbacks and mistakes are inevitable. When they happen, it’s important not to be too hard on yourself. Instead, use the time to reflect on your approach and the supporting behaviors you’ve put in place to figure out where you went wrong. Perhaps overindulging in sweets derailed your diet, or failing to schedule your time correctly cut your workout short. By analyzing your actions and identifying areas for improvement, you can develop mental resilience and a grittier mindset. As Gleeson puts it, you’re building up your brain calluses.

    So, embrace the suck, learn from your mistakes, and keep moving forward. By reframing your obstacles, you can realize your full potential and become the best version of yourself. So, take some time to consider your values and devise strategies to implement them. Focus on your goals and recognize that every challenge you overcome is a plus for your growth. Because embracing the suck builds wisdom and strength, it helps you understand what truly matters in your life and commit to your values and priorities.

    In the following section, we’ll look at the importance of commitment.

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    What is Embrace the Suck about?

    Embrace the Suck (2020) teaches you how to embrace challenges and use them as a tool for personal growth. Through candid storytelling and actionable steps, Brent Gleeson empowers you to expand your comfort zone, build discipline, and transform your mindset to create a fulfilling life.

    Embrace the Suck Review

    Embrace the Suck (2015) by Brent Gleeson is a book that explores the power of embracing adversity and challenges in order to achieve personal growth and success. Here's why this book is definitely worth reading:

    • It offers real-life stories and practical strategies that inspire readers to overcome obstacles and develop a resilient mindset.
    • Through insightful anecdotes and personal experiences, the book provides guidance on how to navigate difficult situations and thrive in the face of adversity.
    • With its engaging narrative and thought-provoking ideas, it keeps readers captivated, ensuring that the topic of embracing adversity is anything but boring.

    Who should read Embrace the Suck?

    • Recent graduates or career-changers
    • Stressed-out mid-level managers
    • Retired military veterans

    About the Author

    Brent Gleeson is a Navy SEAL combat veteran, award-winning entrepreneur, and author. He’s known for his leadership, team-building, and transformation expertise. He’s the founder and CEO of TakingPoint, and his previous book, TakingPoint was an Amazon best seller.

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    Embrace the Suck FAQs 

    What is the main message of Embrace the Suck?

    Embrace the Suck teaches you to find positivity and growth by embracing challenges and adversity.

    How long does it take to read Embrace the Suck?

    Reading time varies. However, you can read the Blinkist summary of Embrace the Suck in just 15 minutes.

    Is Embrace the Suck a good book? Is it worth reading?

    Embrace the Suck is worth reading as it provides valuable insights on overcoming challenges and finding resilience.

    Who is the author of Embrace the Suck?

    The author of Embrace the Suck is Brent Gleeson.

    What to read after Embrace the Suck?

    If you're wondering what to read next after Embrace the Suck, here are some recommendations we suggest:
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    • The 3-Minute Rule by Brant Pinvidic
    • The Way of the SEAL by Mark Divine
    • The Art of Positive Thinking by Elizabeth R. Brown
    • Emotional Intelligence by Daniel Goleman
    • Super Human by Dave Asprey
    • Raising Men by Eric Davis
    • The 4 Stages of Psychological Safety by Timothy R. Clark
    • The Pursuit of Excellence by Ryan Hawk