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Stockdale Paradox – Humility – Warriors for Doug Benefit

Posted by Douglas A Wick on Fri, Aug 3, 2012

The range of emotions I’ve been through since learning I had Acute Myeloid Leukemia have often left me exhausted.  Yet another range is the deep appreciation and sense of gratitude.

I feel humbled, overwhelmed and undeserving of the attention and generosity that so many of you have provided to me and my family.

Leukemia Ribbon resized 600

Throughout my illness I’ve referred to Jim Collins book, Good to Great and the Stockdale Paradox.  It states, “Retain faith that you will prevail in the end, regardless of the difficulties, AND at the same time, confront the most brutal facts of your current reality, whatever they might be.”

In the bible James 2:17 it states, faith by itself, if it is not accompanied by action, is dead.”

In previous blogs I’ve documented the steps I took to ensure that I perceived this challenge as just that.  I refused to wear hospital gowns instead choosing to each day dress in my normal fashion that I would for work.  When my physician assistant allowed me the green light to continue to work with my clients we created signs to put on my hospital door to prevent interruptions. Prioritizing my top six to do’s for the next day continued to be a regular part of my daily routine.  Finally I added perhaps the most important element, one hour plus of meditation to separate my mind from my physical being, move closer to God, and ultimately discover restorative powers that would help overcome this illness.

One of my favorite sayings is the universe rewards action. It is my belief without these actions I would not be where I am today, a position that places my AML in remission.  In fact the reduction of my cancer to the degree it achieved with my last two biopsy are as much I believe a testament to the treatment I received as to the attitude, mental preparation, meditation, prayers, thoughts and encouragement that both I demonstrated and overwhelmingly received from all of you. 

Is there a way I can repay you and everyone that has contributed their generosity to me and my family?  I know that I will have neither the time nor the ability to do so.  My hope is that like I, you believe what goes around comes around.  If you so believe, then you know that the gifts you have so generously provided my family and I, are already on their return journey to you, just perhaps from another source.

Please, please, please, accept and understand how thankful I am for everything every one of you have done and perhaps will continue to do for me and my family.  I am eternally grateful. 

There is a final message to the Stockdale Paradox, “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.”

This I will promise you.  This challenge is a defining moment in my life.  I’ve learned more in these five months about myself, my selfishness, my impatience, disrespect, and temperament, than a lifetime has previously been able to achieve. 

It’s made me examine and change my thinking and actions forever.  Because of it I am and will be a better husband, father and person.  As my health improves I plan to give back generously.  

By doing so I believe I will demonstrate in action that this truly has been the defining moment in my life.  The universe rewards action.  I intend to be a very active participant in giving to help others achieve their full potential just as you have done so generously to me. 

A number of my friends and business associates have arranged a benefit for me on August 9th

If you’d like information on the Warriors for Doug Benefit on August 9th at Kirkwood Community College’s Johnson Hall click here.

Topics: Acute Myeloid Luekemia, Jim Collins, Stockdale Paradox

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