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Embrace the suck


Two things bring me to this post. First is my response to a question raised on the blog of HR Good_Witch. Second is a tribute to the person that taught me this phrase and whom I suspect has had to embrace more than her fair share. I write it here to impart a little of the wisdom that she shared with me and as a note of thanks.

I was having a day. You know the sort, where every shade of s**t has conspired to gang up and unleash its evil full in my face (try to work with the imagery…). The sort where I had the anti-Midas touch, where everything just seemed more difficult than it needed to, every phonecall filled me with dread. I was at a loss, I had serious inertia and this in turn was spreading through my team. I turned to this friend for something to cheer me up, to cling on to and she told me the following,

“The bad news is there’s nothing you can do about those kinds of days. Nothing at all. Oh sure, I could wax lyrical about how you should always look on the bright side of life (hey, there’s a song in that), to think positive, to focus on something that makes you happy, like unicorns or frolicking kittens. But we both know that’s all c**p. For me, I have a method

Embrace The Suck. Today is going to suck. Keep that in mind, try to not take anyone’s head off, and just bear up under The Suckness.”

This may sound weird but quite frankly this is the most helpful, timely piece of advice that I have ever received. (Cue the simultaneous hari kari of a multitude of professors, consultants, experts…and my parents). It wasn’t an aggressive “put up and shut up” or a “take the pain”. It was instead direction to flow with the acceptance that things can be grim, unfair and unjust…and that its ok.

At that point in time it was exactly what I needed to do. To be at peace with myself, to stop dwelling and worrying, to stand up and be a leader and to lead my team and the business through the difficult days that we were having.

So as you progress through your week, month, life and things get trying, I offer to you these words of wisdom…..”embrace the suck”. At least it will get you smiling….

2 Comments leave one →
  1. Corporate Daycare permalink
    04/23/2009 02:58

    I first heard this expression when you used in your comment HR_Good Witch. It stuck with me.

    I’ve had days like you’ve described and knew that there must be some way to describe how we should deal with it (other than “tomorrow’s another day”).

    “Embrace the suck” was a revelation. Brillant.

    If there is one piece of advice in my HR arsenal that I will use again and again…it will be that one.


  2. HRD permalink
    04/23/2009 07:24

    @Corporate Daycare – It had much the same impact on me, its effect is pure genius.

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