24 Character Strengths
Identify Your Top Five for a Better Life
Most people don't have a clue what their top character strengths are! But ... if you identify your top 5 strengths from the list of 24 character strengths on this page .... you will know and be able to name the best of who you are, you'll deal with change with less stress, and you'll find your path to happiness, balance, and success in all areas of your life.
Here is an important question for you to think about, "Which do you think will help you improve your quality of life the most?"
Knowing your strengths?
Knowing your weaknesses?
Surprise! Working on weaknesses doesn't work as well as knowing your strengths! Most people think so, but that just isn't true! Scientists from the field of Positive Psychology have done a lot of research about character strengths and their research says that simply identifying your top 5 character strengths from this list of strengths below is far more valuable than to work on trying to improve your weaknesses. And by the way, these Character Strengths are NOT the same as your talents like dancing, painting, athletics, and mathmatical or musical prowess....
When you conciously work WITH your top 5 character strengths, you have the key to improving the quality of your work, relationships, your play, your volunteering, your finances, dealing with change, reducing your stress, and becoming generally happier .... you name a domain of life, it will improve!
List of 24 Strengths: 6 Core Virtues
Read the each one of strengths. At the bottom of the page is a series of questions to help you think about which ones are your top character strengths.
You'll find that the 24 strengths are catagorized into 6 Core Virtues. These virtues are human qualities valued by philosophers as well moral and religious thinker for over 2500 years and they show up consitently across cultures and nationalities. They represent the essense of what is good and right with humans. Read on to learn what is good and right with you!
Wisdom: The viture of wisdom is about knowledge that is sought out, worked for and then used for good. It isn't the same as IQ. It is understanding and insight and clarity and doesn't necessarily come from academic training.
- Creativity: Not only do you love thinking of new ways to do things, it is a crucial to who you are. With this as one of your top character strenghts, you are never satisfied with doing things the conventional way if a better way is possible, and for you there are always possiblities!
- Curiosity: This character strength produces an interest in just about everything and anything. You find all subjects and topics fascinating, and love exploring and discovering and you are always asking questions.
- Love of learning: You love learning new things, whether you are in a class or on your own. You have always loved school, books (and now the internet!), museums. You find opportunities to learn wherever you go and what ever you do.
- Perspective: You are able to provide wise counsel to others. You have ways of looking at the world that make sense to yourself and to other people.
- Open-mindedness: You tend to think things through and examine them from all sides. You don’t jump to conclusions and are able to change your mind in light of evidence.
Courage: This virtue includes the emotional strengths that involve exercising choice and the will to accomplish goals in the face of opposition, to overcome fear and insecurity. It includes the strong desire to serve and protect others.
- Bravery: You don’t shrink from threat, challenge, difficulty, or pain. You speak up for what is right even if you encounter opposition and act on convictions ven if they are unpopular.
- Persistence: When you work hard to finish what you start, you are exercising this character strength. No matter what the project is, you get it done in time. You don't give up easily.
- Integrity: You are an honest person, not only by speaking the truth but by living your life in a genuine and authentic way. Your are down to earth, without pretense, and people think of you as a "real person."
- Zest: This is vitality. Regardless of what you do, you approach it with excihement and energy For you, life is always and adventure, never boring.
Humanity: The virtue of humanity is like empathy, it is a genuine sharing of the joys and the suffering of others. Humanity exemplifies kindness and concern even when it is not returned. It involves "tending and befriending" others
- Capacity to love and receive love: You value close relations with others. The people to whom you feel most close are the same people who feel most close to you. Having sense of belonging is important to you.
- Kindness:You are kind and generous to others, and you are never too busy to do a favour. This is altruistic "niceness" where you enjoy doing good deeds for people, even when you don't know them very well.
- Social intelligence: This character strength is sometimes labeled high Emotionally Intelligence. If this is one of yor signiture strengths, you are aware of the motives and feelings of other people. You know what to do to fit in to different social situations, and you not only know what to do to put others at ease, you love doing it.
Justice: Justice is the virtue that ensures equality and fairness for everyone. Responsible leadership and true justice only exist when everyone rules agrees on the rules and appropriate action is taken when those rules are broken. These strengths underpin a healthy community life.
- Citizenship, Teamwork, and Loyalty: You excel as a member of a group. You are a loyal and dedicated teammate, always doing your share or more and work hard for the success of the group.
- Fairness: Treating all people fairly is one of your most important principles. You do not let your personal feelings bias your decisions about other people. You always try to give people the benefit of the doubt.
- Leadership: You excell at tasks of leading others; encouraging a group to get things done and preserving harmony withing the group by making everyone feel included. You do a good job organizing activities and seeing that they happen.
Temperance: The strengths that define this virtue are the about self-control and restraint. By controlling overindulgence, and encouraging moderation, a person can free themself of the burden of excess.
- Forgiveness and mercy: You forgive those who have done you wrong, you don't hold a grudge and always give people a second chance. Your guiding principle is mercy and not revenge.
- Modesty and humility: You do not seek the spotlight, preferring to let your accomplishments speak for themselves. You do not regard yourself as special and others recognize your humilty and modesty.
- Prudence, caution and discretion: You are a careful person. You do not say or do things that you might later regret.
- Self-regulation and self-control: You conciously regulate what you feel and what you do. You are a disciplined person, in control of your appetites and emotions, not visa versa.
Transcendance: These virtues include strengths that create connections to the universe and give life meaning and purpose. The acknowledge that something bigger and better is beyond humanity, not just after this existence, but here and now in our everyday lives. It is a perception of things outside of the ordinary; the awareness taht there is a higher purpose or a greater intelligence.
- Appreciation of excellence and beauty: You notice and appreciate excellence and beauty and skilled performance in all domain of life; from nature and art, to mathmatics, to everyday experiences.
- Gratitude: You are aware of the good things that happen to you, and you never take them for granted. You always take the time to express your thanks.
- Hope, future-mindedness: You expect the best in the future, and you conciously work to achieve it. You believe that the future is something you can control. If things don't go your way this time, there is optimism about how it will all work out anyway.
- Humour and Playfulness: You like to laugh and tease. It is important to you to bring smiles to other people. You try to see the light side of all situations and usually figure out a way to have fun.
- Spirituality: When this character strengths is one of your top strengths, you may or may not be religious or follow specific doctrine, but you do hold strong beliefs that there is a higher purpose and meaning in life.
So Which Are Your Top 5 Signature Strengths?
Take out a pen and paper and answer a few questions.
- Which ones resonate with you?
- Ask yourself which ones are you using when you are being really you, when you are at your best.
- Do you feel more enthusiastic and energized when your are using it than when you are not?
- Does it feel natural to you?
- Do you feel frustrated, depressed, or irratible when you are constrained from using it?
- Which ones would your friends or family or co-workers say are the real you?
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