Stockdale Paradox (Part 2)

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  • Washington, D.C. (March 4, 1976) – Medal of Honor recipient Rear Adm. James B. Stockdale, center, chats with guests including Assistant Commandant of the U. S. Marine Corps, Lt. General Samuel J. Jaskilka, right, following his award ceremony in the East Room of the White House. U.S. Navy photo by Dave Wilson (RELEASED)

This is part 23 in the series: RESILIENCE

Stockdale Paradox (Part 2)

I told you that I didn’t like his (Adm. Stockdale) definition of “optimism.”  I don’t think he’s talking about optimism. I think he’s talking about self-efficacy, meaning, “What did I learn from yesterday so that I could survive today?”

When we start hoping someone will rescue us, that’s the entry for our own disaster. I don’t know how you are going to solve the particular problems that face you. I may not know how to help you in your particular situation, but if you’re thinking and are waiting on someone else to come and rescue you, then you are headed for disaster.

Sure, get advice, counsel and wisdom. But know that you have to do the work. You need to figure out, “What do I know?” and “What have I learned in this period of adversity?”, and then apply it to today, and keep on moving forward. That’s how people survive.

  • What do I know about my history?
  • What do I know about my training?
  • What do I know about my experiences of adversity?
  • How I have succeeded, and how I can apply them to my situation today?

That, he said, was success. If you want to have success in your life, don’t run from adversity.  Learn from it.

Photo credit: U.S. Naval Academy

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By |August 30th, 2018|Categories: Resilience, Writing|