How Are Emotional, Mental and Physical Health Connected?

Character is a muscle that must be exercised.

Summary
Transcript

In this backstage interview from Leadercast Live 2018, Dr. Jim Loehr—chairman, CEO and co-founder of the Human Performance Institute—explains how emotional, mental and physical health are intertwined.

“Moral and ethical capacities or competencies are muscles, just like the physical body,” shares Jim. “You build those by investing energy in them through lifting weights or doing some kind of maneuver or movement that puts them under stress; it places demand on them. Energy investment spawns growth.”

Watch the video to learn more from Jim.

The Johnson & Johnson Human Performance Institute actually represents an integration of the physical, emotional, the mental and the spiritual in one complete interconnected dynamic. We've had over 250,000 people go through the institute. We collect so much data, we do so much testing; blood work, all kinds of things, lean body mass with BodPod, and everything else. We try to use that data to help develop insights and correlations with things that will help us to be better, and help people find their way through this very, very complicated world of competitive activities, sports in particular.

For me, character is the... it's a muscle. There's what I call ethical and moral character, which is really the way in which you treat other human beings, such as kindness and compassion, and gratefulness and humility. Then there's performance character which helps you achieve extraordinary things. Those are really important for achievement, but they have no morality whatsoever attached, so you could be a great achiever and have no moral base. For us at the institute in tracking people's lives and looking at the data, the highest priority is always on the moral and ethical side.

The whole notion that both moral and ethical capacities or competencies are muscles, just like the physical body. You build those by investing energy in them through lifting weights or doing some kind of maneuver or movement that puts them under stress; it places demand on them. Energy investment spawns growth. The same thing is true when it comes to kindness, acts of kindness, or compassion, or even confidence, or resiliency. These are muscles that can be grown with investment.

So, how would you build let's say the muscle of kindness? An act of kindness, just by doing something that actually shows kindness; by going out and actually talking about kindness with someone else, with your children; by reading about it, by visualizing about it. There are lots of ways to put energy as a human being into a particular dynamic. The same thing is true with all the muscles of character, both performance, and moral, and ethical. If you make that a big, big issue in your life, and you take a good chunk of your human energy and invest it there, it is by far the best investment you will make, because that spawns achievement, it spawns health, and it spawns happiness.
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Dr. Jim Loehr

Dr. Jim Loehr is a world-renowned performance psychologist and author of 17 books including his most recent, Leading with Character. He also co-authored the national bestseller The Power of Full Engagement.

Dr. Loehr’s ground-br...

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