Do you avoid discomfort? Or do you embrace it? The fact is, the more comfortable we become with being uncomfortable, the more we enable ourselves to succeed in life and in business. In this episode, I interview Navy Seal Combat Veteran, Brent Gleeson. Brent was part of multiple tours with Seal Team 5 and after retirement from service, he joined the world entrepreneurship. He was later named one of the top 10 CEOs by entrepreneur magazine and is now a bestselling author. In this episode we’re talking through his book, Embrace the Suck: The Navy Seal Way to an Extraordinary Life.

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Brent Gleeson on Getting Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable:

Brent Gleeson started off this episode with his definition of Embrace the Suck.

Embrace the suck: it’s about taking a counter-intuitive approach to personal development by moving away from turning lemons into lemonade philosophy and being able to better digest the lemons in the first place. – Leaning into pain and suffering and changing the narrative in our minds about what true adversity really is.

“If it doesn’t involve at least a little pain adversity or challenge, it’s not worth doing.”

Embracing the suck is about learning to push the boundaries of your comfort zone, purposefully build resilience and mental fortitude by practicing daily diligence. And learning to take calculated risks.

How have you been able to figure out how to take a calculated risk?

I learned how to do this as a seal in combat. During my training 9/11 happened, so we instantly became a war-time seal. We had to use as much information as we could get but it was limited so we had to execute on an 80% plan.

What advice would you give to someone who can’t make the calculated risk?

You need to know your why and channel your passion, drive, and willingness to take a risk. If you don’t have these, chances are you will either fail, fall short, or just decide that it is not meant for you.

Why is it important for entrepreneurs to do something that is challenging every day?

This is the path towards personal and mental development and growth. You have to push the boundaries of your comfort zone on a daily basis to feel the necessary pain and discomfort that signifies development and growth. Successful entrepreneurs are lifelong learners.

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How do you know that you are making progress in the areas that you need to grow in?

It all comes back to self-reflection. I find that the people who are best at their own personal growth and development really crave feedback from others – leaders, mentors, peers, and especially those they lead. Our own development is about preparing for moments that you don’t foresee.

What does “choosing wisely what we suffer for” mean?

It goes back to acknowledging that there will be setbacks and roadblocks, team level of suffering and individual suffering. Even now with the pandemic business large and small are having to significantly pivot and reinvent themselves. Now is the time to really look for opportunities to do things differently. Suffer for the right things based on setting and pursuing the right goals that you are passionate about or that bring good into the world.

Talk to us about organizing an 80% plan:

It comes down to better planning. Have a clear objective. Identify threats and blockers. Identify resource needs to achieve your goal. Apply lessons learned. – (Who has done this before that you can learn from.) Know who, what, and when. This makes a 50-60% plan, then you want to go through the red team process.
The red team is a small team of people who can poke holes in your plan. They will give you an outside perspective and come up with things that you maybe haven’t thought of yet.
Then you can start planning contingencies. What can go wrong and how do you combat it? Now you’re 80%.

Brent Gleeson’s final thought:

“Discipline and accountability aren’t just the path to winning more in life but also the true gateway to happiness and fulfillment.”

Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

▶ Read the book: Embrace The Suck
▶ Brent Gleeson’s website: Taking Point Leadership