VIA Character Strengths

Something really interesting has happened to me this week. I prepared three out of four assignments for my course now, at its very early stage and put my heart and soul into it. I reviewed it and really did feel that it’s a good work – the best of me, really. But I have to be honest, so far I was one of those students who would deliver their best work last minute and feel that it could have been a bit better too. I know that studying with a full on life is a bit more challenging, but I feel something has shifted inside of me since I have learned about my top five character strengths and discovered that actually all of them are true. Just so you understand what I mean, let me explain. As I am working through bereavement course I am also still studying positive psychology. Quite recently I have learned about the VIA character strengths used for positive interventions (new habits supporting our resilience in preparation for challenging times or simply to maintain our wellbeing). I discovered that my top five are as follows and after a closer examination I have discovered that actually, at the moment, there are the values I do live actively, I feel in the flow in those and they do energise me (criteria for ensuring they are actually relevant to us):

#1 Curiosity and interest in the world

#2 Appreciation of beauty and excellence

#3 Gratitude

#4 Love of learning

#5 Hope, optimism, and future-mindedness

The awareness of those, however, made me more confident in those areas too. I do cultivate my curiosity through learning and now I know I should spend more time on it. I appreciate beauty (love flowers and gardening, for example) but also excellence – which is a new concept for me to practice (I used to pretty lazy, to be honest) but it does feel right and good. Life tested me enough for me to treasure gratitude and now I also revert to it in times of sadness and challenge. Hope and optimism were a bit of a surprise at first but the more I learn about optimism from Seligman and his team, I am actually discovering that even in more challenging times my optimist side prevails, I might just not see it this way all the time. I am ever so glad that I found out about the character strengths and I strongly recommend the survey to anyone. You can take theVIA Survey of Character Strengths test here for free (just register) : https://www.authentichappiness.sas.upenn.edu/testcenter

Below all of them in one handy visual:

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