Back in November of 2016, I interviewed a Green Beret named Jason Van Camp for my INC column in a piece called “How to Get Comfortable with Being Uncomfortable.”

We got to talking about his life in the military, and what he has applied from the military to his business pursuits. When I asked him his greatest lesson from the military he shared that the words “embrace the suck” came to mind.

I had never heard that before, and he chuckled at my confusion. I learned that the term means that you should get comfortable being uncomfortable. Once you make this your default setting, then anything deviating from that point really isn’t that bad at all.

The post went viral, and was read by millions.

In a world where change is the only constant, learning to thrive in discomfort isn’t just a skill; it’s a necessity. And who better to learn this from than a Green Beret? Yes, those masters of resilience, adaptability, and downright grit. If you’d like to learn more about Jason Van Camp, I encourage you to read his book “Deliberate Discomfort.”

Let’s take a fresh look at this timeless lesson in the context of our current world.

Embrace Change Like It’s Your Best Friend

Change isn’t just inevitable; it’s rapid and relentless. Remember when we thought technology was moving fast? Well, buckle up, because everything from work norms to global politics is shifting under our feet.

In an AI powered world, things are moving faster than anyone could imagine. We have to be hyper vigilante to keep our feet underneath ourselves.

The Green Berets excel because they don’t just tolerate change; they embrace it. It’s about seeing change not as a hurdle but as a new landscape of opportunities.

Comfort Zone? Nope – Growth Zone

Our comfort zones are cozy, but nothing grows there – not really. The magic happens in the ‘growth zone’.

That’s where you’re stretched, challenged, and yes, a bit stressed. But that’s also where you learn, adapt, and thrive.

It’s about rebranding discomfort as a personal development seminar that you didn’t have to pay for!

Don’t believe me? Think about a major hardship in your life. Did you learn from that? I’m sure you did. Which means you GREW. Which means this is where the magic happens.

It’s why arduous exercise is so important. The rigor of your academic workload make you into a great student. Difficult workouts make you stronger. When you get to that “pain cave” you get used to that feeling. You don’t panic.

You expect it to come. When it does, you look it in the eye and welcome it. “ok, cool, it’s time to grow.” Let’s do this.

Fail Forward, Always

Failure isn’t just an option; it’s a requirement on the path to success. You’re going to stumble. You’ll face-plant, and it’ll hurt.

But here’s the thing – every Green Beret knows that each failure is a stepping stone to victory.

The key is to learn, adapt, and go again. Fail forward, my friends.

Mental Toughness: Your Secret Weapon

Mental toughness isn’t about being emotionless. It’s about resilience. It’s recognizing that your mind can be your biggest ally or your greatest enemy.

The battle is won or lost in the six inches between your ears. Cultivate a mindset of perseverance, positive self-talk, and relentless determination.

Teamwork Makes the Dream Work

Finally, don’t go at it alone. The strength of a Green Beret lies as much in their team as in their individual skills. Surround yourself with people who challenge you, support you, and push you to be your best. Together, you’re unstoppable.

As we wind down 2023, and prepare for 2024 the world isn’t getting any simpler. But with a Green Beret’s mindset, we can navigate this ever-changing landscape.

We can transform discomfort into our playground.

Embrace the chaos, and remember – comfort is overrated anyway.

Keep up the good work,