Friday, November 26, 2010

Stockdale Paradox

Do you know why you succeed, do you know why you fail, do you know what happens next?

The stockdale paradox is like the pendulum that swings, the metronome that ticks, or the scales that do or dont come to balance. On either side is Belief and Rationality, but on either side pushed to far are Delusion and resignation. You need to test both sides and push the space but you need to know what lies beyond when you push to far!

"I never lost faith in the end of the story, I never doubted not only that I would get out, but also that I would prevail in the end and turn the experience into the defining event of my life, which, in retrospect, I would not trade."[11]

When Collins asked who didn't make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

"Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. Oh, they were the ones who said, 'We're going to be out by Christmas.' And Christmas would come, and Christmas would go. Then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And Easter would come, and Easter would go. And then Thanksgiving, and then it would be Christmas again. And they died of a broken heart."[11]

Stockdale then added:

"This is a very important lesson. You must never confuse faith that you will prevail in the end—which you can never afford to lose—with the discipline to confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”[11]

Witnessing this philosophy of duality, Collins went on to describe it as the Stockdale Paradox.


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