On The Stockdale Paradox

Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties.

AND at the same time

Confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

– Jim Collins, Good to Great

We’re reading Good to Great for our management team’s book club at SDLF.  I’m halfway finished, and so far the above is my favorite quote.  I love this quote because I think it builds upon the optimistic thinking craze of the current moment in an extremely important way.  While I am certainly an optimistic, forward-thinking, we-can-do-this, life-is-good, sort of person, I often find myself disgruntled by the concept that things will just “happen” if I just believe in them enough.  There is a lot left out of the discourse of optimism that forgets the necessity of hard work, planning, and staying on track.

In the above quote, we are reminded that success, or greatness, can only happen by doing BOTH of these things well.  It is crucial to the process of becoming great that we identify within our reality those things that may be preventing us from greatness and begin to tackle them.  These things may be hard to admit, sometimes so hard that we are unable to see them clearly in the beginning.  But, with practice, we can learn to identify the facts of our current reality, make the necessary changes to begin movement down the correct path, and all the while retain the faith that this entire process will lead you to greatness some way, some how as long as you remain relentlessly dedicated to the cause.


About EV

life enthusiast. explorer. dog lover. constantly analyzing, impossibly impatient, and loving it.

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