All too infrequently a person’s life inspires us to greatness in the forms of legendary confidence and courage…such was the life of John McCain.
David Hawkins, in his book Power vs. Force, describes legendary as follows:
“The great become legendary when they teach by example. It isn’t what they have, nor what they do, but what they have become that inspires all of mankind, and that’s what we honor in them.”
In my mind two things highlighted Mr. McCain’s confidence:
- His ability to move forward quickly and decisively.
- His willingness to admit his mistakes.
Confident people act when they feel they have sufficient information to move forward. They are also humble enough to know that they’re going to make mistakes with any action they take. As a result they readily admit those mistakes because they know that mistakes are simply a part of the learning process…and they’re always in the learning mode.
As I indicated in an earlier blog post, courage is often associated with heroic acts…and they are indeed courageous. But courage can be an everyday experience for it takes courage to care enough about others to put aside your own fears, anxiety and frustration and put another person’s welfare ahead of your own.
Done often enough you begin to realize that such courage isn’t as selfless as we might have imagined. For, as Ralph Waldo Emerson said:
“It is one of the most beautiful compensations of this life that no man (person) can sincerely try to help another without helping himself.”
John McCain, not only demonstrated his courage during his captivity by refusing to be set free ahead of his fellow servicemen, he demonstrated consistent and genuine concern for the welfare of all Americans during his senatorial career.
I’m not a betting man, but I’d be willing to be that Mr. McCain had no desire to be held out as a legend. That mindset would have been obvious and off-putting to the vast majority of us.
Indeed, anyone who seeks legendary status is unlikely to gain it for it is egocentric. It puts self ahead of others. We’re ill-inclined to help those who seek recognition ahead of the satisfaction of helping others. I had never seen that in the brief glimpses I had of John McCain.
If you want to be known for legendary confidence and courage, don’t seek it. Instead, focus your attention and action on enriching the lives of others. You’ll quickly discover that the psychic rewards you get enrich your lives so fully that you, like me, will feel like you can never get ahead of the giving curve. No matter how much you give you’ll always get multiples in return. It’s that simple.
For our kids
As David Hawkins said we become legendary when we lead by example and in doing so enable others to see what we’ve become…a loving, caring, generous person who enjoys a rich, full life regardless of our circumstances.
Kids mimic the behaviors of the adults in their lives. Become legendary and they will too.