There’s a popular phrase in the Marine Corps. “Embrace the Suck”. Infantry “grunts” choose to live a spartan, rugged lifestyle in order to become acquainted with discomfort. When the rubber meets the road the Marines are so accustomed with suffering that they thrive in the face of adversity.
Paulo Coelho, author of the famed “The Alchemist”, themes the novel that the real treasure in anything is the difficult journey therein and not the destination. That the struggle and obstacles to whatever goal you have in mind is more valuable that the goal itself.
For Example, for fitness guru’s, the person with the six pack abs knows that just having the appearance isn’t what makes you a fitness success. Its the weeks of tiring workouts and nutritional discipline that takes place. For the entrepreneur, its not the flashy suit and the brand new luxury car, its the long hours of sales calls and branding that takes you hours over the average 9-5.
As goes parenting. As parents we don’t just birth well-groomed, mannered, responsible, and motivated children. Its a battle. Its an obstacle ridden journey. Being a Marine Veteran, a fitness enthusiast, and an entrepreneur, sometimes being a parent is the most strenuous role I’ve ever endured. But the beauty is in the dirty work. Not just the literal dirty work as in diapers, bodily fluids and messes; but facing the mental and moral hardships we have to confront in order to raise our children into the men and women of the future. Letting your child experience pain and discomfort of natural consequences. Teaching our kids how to deal with failure. Right from wrong. Facing a cruel world of rejection. Dealing with tantrums, whining, and back talk. Not to mention the affiliated struggles to having children that aren’t directly related to them. Such as financial struggle, social isolation, decision pressure, provision guilt, and just general fatigue. Just typing it all out makes the hardships of the Marine Corps appealing!
Parents. I implore you, EMBRACE THE SUCK. The daunting duty that we as parents have been tasked, is a long and bumpy road. But there is a silver lining all around it. Little by little our children will succeed. Small victories become big victories. Compassion, understanding and love will emit from this next generation and the treasure of our lifetime of teaching “in the trenches” will be more than monumental. We will change the world through our kids. I know my babies will change the world. Im changing the world through them. One deep breath and a cup of coffee at a time.