Jerry called and he sure had a lot to say.
I have not spoken with Jerry before and he felt it was time we had a little chat.
He told me that he reads my blog from time to time and that he thought it was time to write about, what he described as, the most important habit of all.
Jerry is a combat veteran. He did two tours of duty in Afghanistan and has seen and done things to horrific to describe.
He has been out of the service for almost 3 years and is working feverishly at building a career in the private sector.
His call to me was not to discuss any part of his military career, but rather to share his experiences back in the “civilian” world and why he thought it necessary for me to write about the habit he was calling to discuss.
He calls it The Habit of Sucking It Up and he believes that this is the principle habit required to enjoy success in life.
On a daily basis he interacts with people, both clients and colleagues, who do nothing but “bitch whine and complain” about the challenges in their lives.
He explained that no matter the circumstance, somebody will always be unhappy and will complain about how unfair their life is at that very moment.
He tells me he is surrounded by people whining about how early they have to get up in the morning, how hard they have to work, the stress of ferrying the kids to and from activities, being too tired to go to the gym, how difficult it is to lose weight, how gut-grinding it is to deal with rejection in the workplace and everything else in their lives that may require some effort or cause some discomfort.
And he’s sick of listening to the never ending complaints.
Jerry’s a firm believer in putting your head down and doing whatever it takes to get the results you want. He pushes himself to the limit in everything he does because he has taught himself to “push through the pain to get to the gain.”
He feels the The Habit of Sucking It Up has been lost in our society and rather than “sucking it up and getting on with it” we have become far more comfortable with protesting and complaining.
Jerry also has a part-time business as a personal trainer and is astounded at how few of his many clients truly push themselves beyond their limits to reach their goals while the majority, having paid him “really good money” constantly negotiate with him to go easy on them.
Jerry laughingly told me that when he becomes king he will mandate military service for all high school graduates because “we’ve become a weak nation of whiners who quit as soon as things get tough and a little bit of military discipline will be the greatest gift the country can ever bestow upon its youth.”
And those who drop out of school prior to graduation, well, “they just get to begin their military experience a little earlier.”
Jerry does not consider himself to be a tough guy but did express his disgust at how weak he believes so many of his fellow citizens to be. He thinks The Habit of Sucking It Up could well be their salvation.
He cited the example of one of his colleagues who had to get up at 4:30 in the morning for a month in order to complete a work project. Apparently this associate was driving those around him to distraction with his incessant complaining about the ordeal of getting up so early before Jerry explained to him – “in a less than polite manner” – that the 30 days would pass whether he complained bitterly or not and that all of his work friends would be greatly appreciative he could simply allow the 30 days to pass without a daily reminder of his suffering.
In other words, “just suck it up.”
I thought some of Jerry’s words were a bit harsh but I cannot disagree with his message.
Sometimes life deals us lousy cards. The Habit of Sucking It Up teaches us to play the hand as best we can, silently without complaint, because it is what it is and all whining does is embitters us and causes those around us to become unwilling recipients of our misery.
Whining doesn’t cause the reason for the whining to go away.
The Habit of Sucking It Up and “just doing it” is the secret sauce that separates the champions from all the rest.
Thanks for the reminder Jerry.
Let’s make a habit of meeting like this.
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