Optimism Kills

Confront Reality, Faith to Prevail

After his release from prison, a reporter asked Admiral Stockdale, “How in the world did you survive eight years in a prisoner of war camp?”

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

The reporter then asked, “Who didn’t make it out?” Admiral Stockdale replied,

Oh, that’s easy, the optimists. They were the ones who said, “We’re going to be out by Christmas.” And Christmas would come and 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.

Emphasis added by me.

Keep your smiley-smiley to yourself.

You are a contagious lethal poison.

Previously here:

Rhonda Byrne’s Law Of Greedy Attraction
Quote: Rob May
Self-Confidence Vs. Self-Delusion
Defensive Pessimism: Part Of The Real Secret

Explore posts in the same categories: Reference - Life

2 Comments on “Optimism Kills”

  1. JamesM Says:

    Mike, you didn’t include what I think is the best part:

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

  2. mikecane Says:

    That’s because I was quoting Stockdale, not Collins. But the link was there for everyone to click through for the rest. Thanks.


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