One of the key insights of Positive Psychology is that happiness and satisfaction are markedly increased through the exercise of virtues and strengths.
“Success is achieved by developing our strengths, not by eliminating our weaknesses”Marilyn vos Savant
Positive Psychology has identified six core virtues:
- Wisdom and knowledge
- Love and humanity
- Spirituality and transcendence
These core virtues in turn are comprised of 24 strengths or 'Values in Action'. The research has shown that each of us has relatively enduring preferences and propensities for certain of these strengths and that satisfaction and happiness are increased whenever we utilise these strengths and values in our daily lives.
The creators of the field of Positive Psychology, Prof. Martin Seligman and his colleagues, have developed a test to measure your key or signature VIA (Values In Action) strengths. You can access the test from the following web page:
once you have registered, select ‘VIA Signature Strengths Questionnaire’.
Take a moment to complete the test and determine your top 5 or so strengths. Alternately, look through the following list of strengths and pick out 5 that really speak to you; that you consider to be the most important and valued for you.
- Love of Learning
- Social Intelligence
- Forgiveness & Mercy
- Humility & Modesty
- Appreciation of Beauty
By focusing on these and other strengths and virtues in your life you can build emotional resources and resilience. Using these will increase and strengthen your ability to enhance your life and create happiness both in your own life and the lives of others.
Strengths based living is definitely a crucial step to life enhancing, so add it to the tools you use to make the most of your life. Look at all the contexts of your life and find ways to enhance them using your key strengths and values. You'll make a positive and fantastic difference.
life enhancing smiles,