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,
Thanks Grant. Signed up and doing the tests. Very interesting and insightful results.ReplyDelete
I agree totally that happiness and satisfaction are markedly increased through the exercise of virtues and strengths. It is valuable to know your weakness in any particular area and I feel it is even more important to find your strengths in areas that you may be as strong but most important by far is to know, focus on and use your strengths.
Hi Grant - Good stuff.ReplyDelete
The VIA Survey's not bad for a free report. The BusinessDNA guys are also worth looking at. They simplify the VIA approach into 8 Strengths complimented by 8 Struggles. It comes out of work done at the Top Gun flight school in the US would you believe! The BusinessDNA has a slightly deeper framework that articulates how to take the information and build-out teams - this makes it more useful in building high-performance teams based on values.
Also check out the latest research from Watson Wyatt (formally Towers Perrin) - there is some great research starting to emerge linking the importance of values and vision to people engagement and financial returns. This has been missing from the discussion about values at the corporate level.
It’s probably also worth noting that the centre piece of the Business Excellence Framework (which is gaining a lot of traction in local government in Australia) is a strong linkage to Values and Vision, particularly in terms of creating the right behaviours within the organisation.
Hey E and Dave, great comments and some really good additional info and ideas. Thanks for sharing that. Values and Strengths are fractally critical in focusing our patterning systems, from the personal level outwards to our social and organisational. As always -- as you both point out -- the crucial distinction is the importance of putting these into action.ReplyDelete
Thanks again for commenting and for your great feedback.
"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."ReplyDelete
Too many people assess their strengths and weaknesses only in terms of enhancing their "success," by which they mean financial success. I like the way you get people to take a look at their *whole* life.
Hey Jean, great pickup, you are so so right!! Too many people do focus only on enhancing their financial success and leveraging their strengths in that direction. Life is so so much more than money. Real wealth involves freedom, relationship, generosity and other skills and attitudes I've blogged a lot about over the last year or so. Strengths in all contexts and domains leads to a very valued and valuable life.ReplyDelete
Thanks for weighing in with a great enhancing comment. I really appreciate your continued sharing.
I work off the idea a weakness is simply a strength overused. I encourage people to learn to exercise control over their strengths to better balance life. It's not a matter of bad habits or weaknesses, but tweeking our strengths.ReplyDelete