The optimist problem

As the Stockdale Paradox says:

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. 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.

Sound familiar?

“If we just get to November…” or “When we get a vaccine…” or “When unemployment check comes…”

Look, there are many people who are hurting right now and so many that have died from this tragedy.

I’m an optimist and I have no doubt that the generous voices of the world will eventually prevail.


I’m happier when I put power into the narrative that this story is not over and I know in the end I will prevail; rather than surrendering my happiness into someone else’s hands.