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The 24 Personal Strengths

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The 24 Personal Strengths: An Overview - Positive-Living-Now. The 24 personal strengths listed here are the character traits that express our core values.

The 24 Personal Strengths: An Overview - Positive-Living-Now

When we use and develop them in the various areas of our lives, we feel energized, purposeful, and real. The strengths are organized according to the six core virtues that appear in the major religious and philosophical traditions across the centuries. To live in alignment with them, these belief systems agree, is truly to live the Good Life. To learn how to identify your key strengths, see: What’s Right With You: Discover Your Personal Strengths. Wisdom and Knowledge Curiosity/Interest in the World: You are curious about everything.

Courage Valor and Bravery: You are a courageous person who does not shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. The Virtue of Transcendence: How to Use and Improve Your Strengths - Home » Strengths & Virtues » The Virtue of Transcendence: How to Use and Improve Your Strengths Strengths are a key concept in positive psychology. Seligman and Peterson produced a handbook providing a systematic classification and measurement of strengths, the VIA Character Strengths and Virtues. In this fundamental text, Seligman and Peterson categorize 24 strengths into 6 classes of virtues. Reham Al Taher’s excellent article summarizes the key points of this handbook (Taher, 2015). This is one of a series of articles on how to use and improve strengths which looks at the strengths classified within the value of “transcendence”: those strengths which connect people to the wider world, providing them with meaning and purpose.

The Positive Benefits of Creativity - Positive-Living-Now. Quick: Think of five things you could do with a new box of crayons.

The Positive Benefits of Creativity - Positive-Living-Now

(C’mon. Play along.) Got ‘em? Now notice how thinking of those five things made you feel. Seeing with Fresh Eyes: The Power of Curiosity - Positive-Living-Now. “I think, at a child’s birth, if a mother could ask a fairy godmother to endow it with the most useful gift, that gift would be curiosity.” ~ Eleanor Roosevelt If I could change Mrs.

Seeing with Fresh Eyes: The Power of Curiosity - Positive-Living-Now

Roosevelt’s beautiful wish in one little way, I would insert the word “undying” before “curiosity.” Curiosity is a gift that we’re all given at birth. The trick is to keep it alive as we mature. Instead of seeing with fresh eyes, we see through a veil of memory and assumptions as we become familiar with the world. What Ever Happened to Open-Mindedness? - Positive-Living-Now. In a time when we seem to be sharply divided on almost every public issue, I often find myself wondering what ever happened to open-mindedness.

What Ever Happened to Open-Mindedness? - Positive-Living-Now

Linked with judgment and critical thinking, open-mindedness is one of the strengths measured by the VIA Inventory of Strengths, a free, scientifically validated self-assessment survey that’s been taken by over 1.3 million people worldwide. Let me tell you what I mean. My colleague Lisa is a passionately political person. You don’t need to spend much time with her to know exactly where she stands on the issues of the day. The Love of Learning: Pass It On - Positive-Living-Now. In May of 2008, David McCullough, two-time winner of the Pulitzer Prize and recipient of the Presidential Medal of Freedom, gave the commencement address for the graduating students of Boston College.

The Love of Learning: Pass It On - Positive-Living-Now

“For many of you of the graduating class,” he said, “the love of learning has already taken hold. For others it often happens later and often by surprise, as history has shown time and again. That’s part of the magic.” His own love of learning shines through his entire address, and I heartily encourage you to read it. You’ll be the richer for it, I promise. I have to assume that if you’re reading this post, love of learning ranks fairly high on your list of personal strengths. The Positive Power of a Wise Perspective - Positive-Living-Now.

You might have noticed, if you are a student of positive psychology, that I’m writing a series on the 24 Character Strengths identified by Martin Seligman and the late Chris Peterson, two of the founders of positive psychology.

The Positive Power of a Wise Perspective - Positive-Living-Now

(You can find the earlier ones by clicking the “Articles Index” at the top of this page and then scrolling down to “Strengths, Individual.”) This week, I set out to give you some insight into the power of perspective, or wisdom. It turned out to be a bit of a daunting project. I started by looking at the description of the strength that accompanies the VIA Character Strength Survey itself. The Meaning of Courage - Positive-Living-Now. Courage.

The Meaning of Courage - Positive-Living-Now

The very word conjures up images of acts of bravery in the face of life-threatening danger. We envision roaring flames, mountainous drops, raging rivers, a hail of bullets, a screech of wheels, and some heroic soul putting it all on the line to save the life of another or reach the heights. We love the stories. They sing of the best in us. We feel larger just for hearing them. And rightly so, because each of us is courageous in his or her own way. Perseverance - The Power Key to Success - Positive-Living-Now. In our instant-gratification, short-attention-span, multitasking world, we’ve lost sight of one core element of high achievement.

Perseverance - The Power Key to Success - Positive-Living-Now

That element is perseverance – the power key to success. The ability to keep on keeping on, even when our efforts are met with disappointment or failure, is an ability that can make all the difference in the world. And that’s the definition of perseverance: to keep on keeping on. It comes from being committed to your goal, and from believing in yourself and in your goal’s possibility. It borrows strength from resilience and optimism and brushes elbows with courage along the way. Listen to the story of anyone who has reached a significant goal and you’ll hear a drama about someone who had to rebound from setback after setback along the way. The Liberating Power of Honesty - Positive-Living-Now. “Honesty is the best policy,” Shakespeare said.

The Liberating Power of Honesty - Positive-Living-Now

We’ve heard that quote a thousand times. But it’s his next sentence that cuts to heart of things: “If I lose my honor,” he said, “I lose myself. ” With those two simple lines, the old bard told the whole story. Evade the truth and you lose not only your honor, but your undermine your own reality. Positive psychologists recognize the association of honesty with integrity and genuineness, too. Setting an Absolute Standard We all like to think of ourselves as basically honest. Increase Your Happiness: Add Some Zest to Your Life - Positive-Living-Now. No matter how badly the day was going, the energy in the room picked up whenever Jack walked through the door.

Increase Your Happiness: Add Some Zest to Your Life - Positive-Living-Now

Jack was a big and boisterous man, whose face easily broke into a smile. “How’s it going, Jack?” Someone would ask him. And, without fail, Jack would boom out, “Beautiful!” Jack’s zest for life made us all smile. How to Make More Love - Positive-Living-Now. A high school friend once said to me, “Everybody writes about love; but nobody has.” It was one of those comments so profound in its simplicity that it’s stuck with me to this day.

The first part of his comment became almost painfully relevant as I set out to research this article about the positive psychology’s character strength of “Loving and Allowing Oneself to be Loved.” Seemingly everybody does write about love! Happily, the most visible writer on love these days happens to be one of positive psychology’s brightest lights, Dr. Barbara Fredrickson, a specialist on positive emotions. . , was even highlighted in an article in this year’s Valentines issue of O, the Oprah magazine. And the acclaim she’s receiving is for good reasons. In this brief YouTube clip, Dr. The World-Changing Power of Kindness - Positive-Living-Now. Tucked away in positive psychology’s list of character strengths is one, little gentle one that, when applied, has the power to improve your day, build healthier relationships, slow aging, improve heart functioning, and make people happy.

That’s what the research shows about kindness. But the positive power of kindness is even wider and deeper than that. Embracing, as it does, our inborn empathy for one another, our compassion for suffering, and our longing to contribute in some, small way to the well-being of others, kindness speaks of the best in us. It’s a quality so profound that the Dalai Lama even named it as the basis for his entire belief system. “This is my simple religion,” he said; “There is no need for temples, no need for complicated philosophy. Mark Twain said, “Kindness is a language which the deaf can hear, and the blind can read.” The Contagious Nature of Kindness Dr. “I believe that kindness is contagious in three ways. How to Develop Your People Smarts - Positive-Living-Now. Few things contribute to our success in the world or to happiness in our personal lives as our degree of ‘people smarts’ – the ability to relate well with others.

Our connection with others enriches our lives with meaning and knits society together. It lets us see beyond our differences to the things that we share in common. Learning how to develop your people smarts – to increase your social intelligence – is one of the best ways to increase your satisfaction with life. And happily, your brain is wired for connection. It takes little more than attention to start refining your people skills.

What is Social Intelligence? Karl Albrecht, executive management consultant and author Social Intelligence: the New Science of Success says that our behavior toward others falls somewhere on a spectrum between having a “toxic” or a “nourishing” effect. Toxic behavior makes people feel devalued, angry, frustrated, guilty or otherwise inadequate. And it really is as simple as that. Putting Justice and Fairness to Work in the World - Positive-Living-Now. “Daddy,” my friend’s daughter asked him as he drove her home from school, “what is justice?” It was a pretty big question to come from a ten-year-old, and it caught him totally off-guard. Images of courtrooms and congressional chambers swirled through his mind as he tried to drill down to the essence of the word.

He thought of crowds of protestors shouting for justice and fairness on both sides of all kinds of issues. He finally gave up and said that it was too complicated for him to explain right now. He wasn’t, he told her, even sure that there was such a thing. Defining Justice, Fairness and Equity Justice. In common language, we tend to use the words interchangeably. The Power of Synergy: Good Citizens, Good Teams - Positive-Living-Now. Good citizens build strong nations; good teams meet high goals. There’s a magic in working with others; it’s the power of synergy, the 1+1=3 formula, where strength is multiplied by people working together.

If you thrive when you’re working in a group toward a common goal, chances are you rank high for the character strength called “Citizenship, Teamwork, and Loyalty.” Chances are, too, that you’re an extrovert—someone who is energized by being with other people. But even introverts, who need plenty of time alone, often find deep satisfaction in working with others who share their goals, or in making a contribution to a larger cause. That’s because working with others gets things done. Ideas about what makes a good citizen or a good team fill thousands of books and websites. The Power of Positive Leadership - Positive-Living-Now. Picture someone who’s a leader and chances are you’ll think of a corporate president, a military officer or political figure. But the mom who is managing a household, or a coworker who’s in charge of a team, or the neighbor who shepherds a troop of Cub Scouts is a leader, too. If leadership is one of your top personal strengths, the VIA Strengths Survey would tell you that you enjoy “encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony within the group by making everyone feel included.

The Practical Wisdom of Prudence - Positive-Living-Now. Some time back, I decided to give all my inner voices names. I thought that would make my dialogues with them more intimate. There’s the brave one, Sally Forth, for instance, who encourages me when my confidence is drooping or I’m feeling shy. The Hidden Strengths of Modesty and Humility - Positive-Living-Now. In today’s celebrity culture, where glamour and fame ride high, the traits of modesty and humility seem more like throwbacks to some dusty, forgotten age than qualities to be desired. But don’t let their unassuming nature fool you.

The hidden strengths of modesty and humility sing to our hearts and appeal to our highest nature. How to Power Up Your Self-Control - Positive-Living-Now. Almost all of us want to change some part of our lives. Yet less than half of us who want to make a change actually succeed. And the number one thing we blame for our failure is our own lack of willpower. If a study of rankings on the VIA Character Strengths Survey is any indication, most people rank low in the self-control department. The Wow Factor: Appreciation of Beauty and Excellence - Positive-Living-Now. What sets off the Wow inside you? The Gratitude Solution - Positive-Living-Now.

“The struggle ends when gratitude begins.” ~Neil Donald Walsh. Living with Heart: Hope, Optimism and Future-Mindedness - Positive-Living-Now. “The very least you can do in your life is figure out what you hope for. And the most you can do is live inside that hope. Not admire it from a distance but live right in it, under its roof.”

Are We Having Fun Yet? The Power of Humor and Playfulness - Positive-Living-Now. If you’re one of the lucky ones who rank high in the personal strength of humor and playfulness, chances are good you’ve had your fun and giggles today. Good for you! And good for the rest of us, too–because you brighten our slightly dimmer worlds. Ordinary Meaning: Finding Your Purpose in Life - Positive-Living-Now. If you secretly cringe at the suggestion that you need to find your capital-P Purpose in life, you’re not alone.