Can you cheer for the person who just defeated you?


American Idol's Adam Lambert was the other winner last night. 

Even though he came in second, his attitude came in first. The moment that Seacrest announced Kris Allen as the winner, Lambert flashed sincere happiness for Allen (you could see the empathy, no distracting facial ticks or head tipping).  

Afterwards, backstage, Lambert waxed philosophical about his feelings during the night. First, he started with what he gained: The experience of rocking out (and holding up) with both Kiss and Queen.  In the same night!  To him, that was worth it all.  

Can you do this? Can you find room inside yourself to cheer for a competitor in the moment of defeat? 

I mean, Lambert was the biggest odds on fave I've seen going into the finals since Underwood/Bice or Clarkson/JustinG.  It was a shocker for everyone, especially Lambert. His reflexes, though, show a sense of abundance and generosity that speaks highly of his future. 

Here's my point: Success is contagious, so catch some. Even if it is in the moment of unthinkable-defeat. Many American Idol losers are just that — losers in attitude.  It would be easy for Lambert to pontificate about his sexual orientation and middle America's attitudes about it (after all, at least 35 to 50 percent of AI phone votes come from fly-over states.)  But he doesn't.  When asked about it backstage, he laughed it off and reframed the conversation around the spectacle of the evening. 

Here's the second point: By cheering for others that did better than you, you control your own happiness in the end. By finding joy in Allen's gain, Lambert gets to go to bed last night savoring his experience and feeling great about how he handled defeat. His friends in the blogosphere, they didn't fare as well.