My favorite research study of all time.
Last week this blog focused on my favorite TED talk of all time. Shawn Achor referenced some research that I have been studying for more than a decade. I originally became interested in the research after hearing Chuck Colson speak. Yeah, the same Chuck Colson that was President Nixon’s hatchet man. This is the same Chuck Colson who went to jail for his role in Watergate (younger readers, look it up!). Chuck was referencing a “recent” study noting that “while no one knows what makes people happy,” the researchers discovered that happy people all have one thing in common: they are thankful!
It’s my favorite TED Talk in the world . . .
I’ve done a ton of research in the areas of happiness, gratitude, attitude and forming positive habits. When you and I serve on a great team of people who love each other and bring their best to work . . . there is nothing like it!
Don’t you love to be around thankful people? Wouldn’t you love to become a more thankful person? Both are possible. Here are two verified results: you’ll be happier and more productive.
Unforgiveness affects Guys and Ladies differently
Here’s what the research indicates:
Guys: Lack of forgiveness tends to slowly erode your social confidence. When you are around others you start to become quieter. That’s because if you haven’t forgiven, then internally it is harder for you to trust. The longer this goes on, the more unable you are to communicate what’s going on inside. Rather than being willing to give helpful insights, you choose to not say much of anything. Your undetected insecurity leads you to continuously analyze (judge) others. Many guys already struggle in some of these areas, but forgiveness issues compound the problem.
Ladies: Holding on to an offense causes many of your interactions to seem harsher than you intended (to others, not to you). Sometimes your thoughts seem to be tainted by hostility. You can’t see it, you think everything is fine: “Don’t worry, I wasn’t really mad.”
The 2-step process that helps every leader
(To get the most out of this important subject, please read last week’s blog.)
Harvard Business review has many articles and an entire issue devoted to forgiveness. Scientists have discovered that lack of forgiveness (of yourself or of others) leads to “psychopathology.” Don’t be scared of such a big word, it’s actually quite simple. The root word pathology means “the study of sickness or disease.” Therefore “psycho” pathology has to do with the study of mental illness. Fact: Forgiving others is absolutely necessary for optimal mental health. Lack of forgiveness is a BIG cause of psychopathology!