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Wednesday, November 4, 2015

Character Strengths... What Are Yours?

So we're learning about character strengths in my "Stress and Well-Being" class and I wanted to share with you some info.

The University of Pennsylvania has a website called Authentic Happiness created by Dr. Martin Seligman (Positive Psychology).

You can take various tests on the site, but the one we took this past week was: VIA Survey of Character Strengths

You can take that or any of the other tests after you create a login.  The login doesn't have to be real... you can make one up.  You don't have to go to your email to see the results.

Give yourself some time, though.  There are a lot of questions... 20 pages as I recall, in the one test  mentioned above.

So here are my results of character strengths in order.  The top five are considered your "signature strengths".

  1. Love of learning -
  2. Curiosity and interest in the world -
  3. Creativity, ingenuity, and originality -
  4. Gratitude -
  5. Leadership -
  6. Zest, enthusiasm, and energy -
  7. Kindness and generosity -
  8. Appreciation of beauty and excellence -
  9. Fairness, equity, and justice -
  10. Humor and playfulness -
  11. Forgiveness and mercy -
  12. Citizenship, teamwork, and loyalty -
  13. Judgment, critical thinking, and open-mindedness -
  14. Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness -
  15. Perspective wisdom -
  16. Honesty, authenticity, and genuineness -
  17. Capacity to love and be loved -
  18. Caution, prudence, and discretion -
  19. Social intelligence -
  20. Bravery and valor -
  21. Modesty and humility -
  22. Industry, diligence, and perseverance -
  23. Spirituality, sense of purpose, and faith -
  24. Self-control and self-regulation -

Totally not surprised by my top five.  I've always lovee learning.  I'm curious about everything in the universe.  As far as creativity, yeah... that seems like one of my top strengths alright.  Gratitude, is something I think I developed later in life.  Leadership... I can see that.

As far as the things at the bottom?  Ha!  Yeah, I have no self-control or discipline.  I'm also not spiritual.  And I'm pretty sure humility escapes me entirely.

Social intelligence?  That would be rock bottom, but position 19 isn't too far from that mark.

My initial response is that people with the opposite strengths than me are more worthy.  But then I step back and say, "No, there's a place in the world for all of us."  We don't all have to be Mother Theresa.

And an interesting thing my professor said is that rather than become consumed with fixing the bottom character traits, work on strengthening and using the top ones.  She gave the analogy of a sailboat.  If there are leaks in the hull, yes, you have to do what something to keep the boat from sinking, but just do what is absolutely necessary for that.  Then concentrate on our sails (your top strengths) because those are what move you forward.

So if "curiosity, learning, and leadership" are some of my strengths, then I shall continue to find ways to use those to my best advantage.

What did you results end up showing you?  I hope you share some of your thoughts in my comments section.

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