The Stockdale Paradox is a very good thing to know about. Particularly now with a pandemic and other social/economic hardships we all are dealing with in different degrees. Essentially it’s “Retaining faith that you will prevail in the end, while at the same time confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they may be.” Vice Admiral James Stockdale.
Over the years this has actually become a familiar theme in my life.
I have tried to practice it’s principles in my own life and have encouraged others close to me to do so also.
It helps to us accept the often difficult circumstance we all face in life and do the best we can to survive it with a positive “lets do this the best we can” attitude. It’s a realistic and effective mindset for everyone to be come familiar with and very helpful for chronically ill people as well. It helps people in tragic circumstances not develop a victim mentality, or feel overly sorry for themselves, but rather become a planner, problem solver……a one step at a time warrior.
People who face misfortune, uncertain negative life issues, health problems, and financial burdens can all too often start to lose the feeling of self-worth, self-esteem, live in constant fear, and loss of hope.
Life for so many is reduced to a personal journey of strife, social stigmas, filled with judgement from those who view them unfairly as less fortunate and inferior than they are. Being judged and viewed as a failure along with the “you brought it on yourself” label can be very discouraging to say the least! Unfortunately most people have little empathy for the “strugglers” let alone take the time to commend the physical and emotional endurance it takes to battle life’s short comings and unwelcomed adversities.
The Stockdale Principal can really help troubled people gain the proper perspective about their difficulties whether or not they endure them due to a wrong decision or through no fault of their own.
To survive the stress, hardships and tragedies in my own life I have often told myself… Overcoming even the smallest obstacle (problem) is as good as conquering a gigantic challenge (problem).
Doing this is not easy but gives a mindset of a success, a small triumph that in turn helps one to continue to face the challenges life brings our way…like the little engine that could.
The Stockdale Paradox reminds me of how the Apostle Paul faced the unbelievable hardships he did and as a result gave us all so much hope and encouragement that we find in written in the Epistles.
It also reminds me that life’s unseen calamities and even what some see as an outright failure isn’t in the end as bad as we may have thought. Tragedy and failure are really just words! If we can see them this way and realize that “this too shall pass” these things can actually become a Segway for us to try an alternative method or “something new”.
When facing a very tough issue one of my favorite things I try to tell myself is that “Singing is better than crying!”
Another….How do you eat that elephant in life that you must?…One bite at a time. LOL
This may sound silly but these are some of the things found and fostered within the mindset of the Stockdale Paradox. Rome wasn’t built in a day and getting through what we all are facing these days doesn’t happen overnight.
Maybe that’s why I find myself in the industry I have worked in for over 20 plus years. Life Insurance!….Kind of a Stockdale Principal thing too! Prepare for the worst but hope and pray for the best! A small price to pay for the security of KNOWING that your family and business will survive one of life’s worst tragedies.
Happy New Year… Hoping, praying and “Stockdale Paradox thinking” for a better year in 2021.