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You are here > Home > Categories > Free content > Volume 11, Issue 17: The Stockdale Paradox Part II
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Volume 11, Issue 17: The Stockdale Paradox Part II

Having introduced the Stockdale Paradox in the article preceding this one, I thought to expound more on the concept to enhance your appreciation of its application in the pursuit of your goals. Below are word by word snippets from the Good to Great book by Jim Collins that will help drive the point home.

"The Stockdale Paradox is about retaining absolute faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, and at the same time, confronting the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.

Life is unfair - sometimes to our advantage and sometimes to our disadvantage. We will all experience disappointments and crushing events along the way, setbacks for which there is no reason, no one to blame. It might be disease; it might be injury; it might be an accident; it might be losing a loved one; it might be getting swept away in a political shakeup; it might be getting shot down over Vietnam androgen into a POW camp for eight years.

What separates people, Stockdale taught me, is not the presence or absence of difficulty, but how they deal with the inevitable difficulties of life. In wrestling with life's challenges, the Stockadale paradox has proved powerful for coming from difficulties not weakened, but stronger.

An optimistic thinks he will be out by Christmas. He ends up with a broken heart and gives up hope if he remains chained Christmas after Christmas.

The Stockdale Paradox says: "We are not going to hit breakthrough by Christmas, but if we keep pushing in the right direction, we will eventually hit breakthrough." This process of confronting the brutal facts helps you see the obvious, albeit difficult steps that must be taken to turn the flywheel. Faith in the endgame helps you live through the months or years of buildup.

If you diligently and successfully apply each concept in the framework, and you continue to push in a consistent direction on the flywheel, accumulating momentum step by step and turn by turn, you will eventually reach breakthrough. It might not happen today, or tomorrow, or next week. It might not even happen next year. But it will happen.

And when it does, you will face an entirely new set of challenges: how to accelerate momentum in response to ever rising expectations, and how to ensure that the flywheel continues to turn long into the future. In short, your challenges will no longer be how to go from good to great, but how to go from great to enduring."

Taken from the Good to Great book by Jim Collins.


For His Glory,

Lillian Chebosi



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