The Stockdale Paradox

Optimism creates resilience.

Being optimistic and realistic aren’t necessarily mutually exclusive.

Vice Admiral James Stockdale was a Vietnamese prisoner of war. When being held in captivity he realised that those with blind optimism would have their hopes of escape or release continually dashed, whereas those with the faith that they would eventually get out, but recognising the reality of their predicament would be stronger mentally.

In a nutshell

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

If optimism and realism aren’t opposites, and can in fact work together, it allows you to remain grounded whilst remaining focussed.

How could the Stockdale Paradox help you in your life?

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