Lessons From Senator John McCain


Lessons from Senator John McCain.

In this week’s Success Newsletter, I would like to discuss the lessons of success from Senator John McCain.

As people around the globe celebrate the historic and unprecedented win by Senator Barack Obama as President-elect of the USA, my purpose in writing this newsletter is not to discuss politics, voting choices or ideologies but rather to highlight the success principles that can be gleaned from the extraordinary response by Senator John McCain to the win by Senator Obama.

Accepting and acknowledging defeat or a loss is probably one of the hardest challenges that we all must face in life. And no matter how talented, successful or smart we might be, no matter who our counsel or guide is, no matter how well prepared we might be, defeat and loss will confront us; be it in the form of a goal not achieved, a failure of a business or a relationship, or a dream not realized. The difference between our ultimate failure and success, between misery and enjoyment, between bitterness and satisfaction, depends not on the original loss or defeat but rather, it depends entirely on our response to that loss or defeat.

Senator John McCain’s concession speech last night was an astoundingly exemplary and inspirational speech. It would be expected, maybe even understandable, for the defeated person to express disappointment, bitterness, regrets or even resentment towards the victor. But Senator McCain did no such thing. Instead, he completely dissolved his own ego and disappointment to honor the achievement of Barack Obama, the will of the American people, and to put his country first above his own personal dreams or goals.

Senator McCain’s response was astounding because he displayed the qualities of a real leader by accepting responsibility, admitting that he did make mistakes and calling on everyone to unite and work towards the betterment of the country. In other words, he could have dug in his heels and remained defiant and sour but instead he appealed to the defeated people before him, his live audience, to move forward and think of the future and what is best for the country.

Senator McCain accepted the result, the defeat, and he honored and acknowledged the victory of his opponent and the qualities that his opponent displayed; He said, “his success alone commands my respect for his ability and perseverance.”  McCain acknowledged that the victory by Obama is a historic one: “I recognize the special significance it has for African-Americans and for the special pride that must be theirs tonight.”

It was inspiring to see Senator McCain show the depth of his human side by expressing sympathy and compassion for Obama’s personal loss: “I offer him my sincere sympathy that his beloved grandmother did not live to see this day.” McCain also maintained his integrity by reaffirming that there are differences between him and Obama and that those differences will remain but that he pledges his loyalty and support to Obama and the US. McCain also displayed phenomenal courage and strength of character by not allowing the live audience before him to boo or negate Obama’s victory but rather McCain sought from the crowd of thousands and called out to them to unite and join him in congratulating Obama’s victory as well as to support Obama as President.

When facing defeat, disappointment and loss, it is an easy and almost automatic response to express regrets and speak of what could have been, but McCain didn’t do that. Instead, he turned it around and spoke of gratitude for what he saw as a phenomenal opportunity to run for President, reminding everyone to focus on the hope and promise of America and reaffirmed that he is a servant of this country. All in all, Senator John McCain expressed admirable qualities of humility, responsibility, maturity, loyalty, respect, gratitude, graciousness and hope. Although, I may have leaned towards Senator Obama, Senator McCain teaches us in a positive manner that we can learn just as much from the defeated person as we can from the victor.

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I wish you the best and remind you “Believe in yourself -You deserve the best!”

Patrick Wanis Ph.D.
Celebrity Life Coach, Human Behavior & Relationship Expert & Clinical Hypnotherapist

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3 replies
  1. Avatar
    Van says:

    I found myself re-respecting Senator McCain after his concession speech, I was moved by it and believed it was genuine.

  2. Avatar
    Gillian says:

    John McCain moved me deeply last night. He is and will be forever a true American Hero.

    Also, I wanted to point out how wonderful Cindy McCain is and her humanitariun work around the world.

    I love them both dearly!

  3. Avatar
    Ellen says:

    Your words expressed much of what I felt listening to John McCain’s speech last night and I believe it showed the man that everyone so respects.

    I believe taking responsibility for all of our actions is one the most important things a person can do. I think it shows self-respect.

    Thanks for the message.


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