Faith and Discipline

March 31, 2020

Faith and Discipline

Vice Admiral James Stockdale, US Navy (Retired) Medal of Honor Recipient, was imprisoned in 1965 after being shot down while flying a mission over North Vietnam.  He was ultimately released after seven long years of brutal treatment.

Author Jim Collins asked Stockdale years later about his experience, and had an interesting conversation in which he asked Stockdale about who did not make it out of the POW camp.

Stockdale's response?  "Oh, that's easy - The optimists. They were the ones who said, 'we're going to be out by Christmas.' and then Christmas would come, and Christmas would go.  And then they'd say, 'We're going to be out by Easter.' And then Easter would come, and Easter would go.  And then Thanksgiving.  And then it would be Christmas again.  And they died of a broken heart.  This is a very important lesson," Stockdale emphasized: "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 must brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be."

This mentality is perfect for preparedness, which is at its essence the discipline that Stockdale is talking about paired with the faith that you will prevail.  It is also very applicable to our current situation with Coronavirus.  We are in this for the long haul.  This will not be finished by Easter, and you still have a chance to get what you need before the worst of it hits in a few weeks.  Take Admiral Stockdale's words to heart, and buckle in for the long haul.

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