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Forgiveness and Fitness. What?

August 30, 2014

Did you know that anger, holding grudges and feelings of retribution are harmful to your health?  

A few months ago, I had the honor of interviewing Professor Kim Cameron from the University of Michigan a true expert on the topic of forgiveness and leadership. 

During the interview, Professor Cameron confirmed that anger and holding grudges are indeed harmful to our health and went on to connect the dots between forgiveness and leadership.  

As you will learn, forgiveness is not weak or cowardly!

Forgivenessisnotweak.jpgDuring this week's The Fitness Minute, I share the story of how I wasted hours of valuable gym time using the gym to further my negative feelings, anger and grudges towards some co-workers.  

Check out the recording below to find out how I was hurting myself and wasting valuable energy at the gym by allowing my anger and resentment to drive my actions and focus.  The time we spend at the gym is precious and we should not waste a moment of it on anything other than our goals!   Why let others rob us of the little time we have to work on what WE are can achieve?

While I am in favor of leveraging the gym to let out some steam, it is too easy to give in to anger and let it control our thoughts.  Instead of furthering my resentment towards others and justifying my contribution to conflict with my co-workers, I could have helped my health and lead positive change by forgiving them.   

Easy to say but very hard to do...

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Professor Cameron makes a wonderful point about forgiveness being a process of problem solving and I could have lead the process of problem solving with my co-workers, instead of wasting gym time to harbor negative feelings of anger and resentment.  

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At the conclusion of the interview, Professor Cameron shares 4 levels of personal maturity that map to our ability to forgive others.  The levels are:

Level 1: I will forgive you only if I or someone else gets you back.  I can forgive you as long as you are punished.

Level 2: I will forgive you because it is expected of me.  I will forgive because those are the norms.

Level 3. I will forgive if you admit you did wrong and apologize.  Only then will I forgive you.
 
Level 4. My forgiveness is absent of conditions. I will forgive you because I feel compassion towards you. While I don’t like what you did, I can authentically forgive you, regardless of any circumstance.    

If you are like me, the process of forgiveness is one of the most challenging when it comes to the quality of my leadership.  At what level of personal maturity do you find yourself most often?


Until next time, I leave you with two questions to ponder:

Are you a good leader?  And how do you know?

Self-reflection can be painful but as they say, no pain no gain.  

Thanks for sharing everyone!

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