Birding Despite Disability

Obsessions Don't Care About Limitations

Stuck in Peru – Day 23

Our Iquitos skyline
The most birding excitement in a long time

A good friend of mine, trying to help us keep our sanity during this little adventure, suggested I read about the [James] Stockdale Paradox. From Wikipedia:

The Stockdale Paradox

In a business book by James C. Collins called Good to Great, Collins writes about a conversation he had with Stockdale regarding his coping strategy during his period in the Vietnamese POW camp.

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

When Collins asked who didn’t make it out of Vietnam, Stockdale replied:

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

Stockdale then added:

This is a very important lesson. 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.

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

Looking like we get a flight today.  Not entirely optimistic. Wish us luck.

One response to “Stuck in Peru – Day 23”

  1. Hope the lack of a post today means you made it back! We were stuck in Germany after 9/11 but not for that long, and not held under house arrest!

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