Play to your strengths…. we have all heard it! If posed the question, would you have a hard time identifying your strengths? I have found that many people find it difficult to name more than a few. The good news is that you possess varying degrees of 24 different character strengths named in the VIA Character Strengths quiz! Click the link to find out what they are.
According to Positive Psychology research, you are more focused and engaged with life when you are playing to your strengths. This engagement creates a lot of feel-good emotions due to the growth and personal development you experience while enjoying something you are competent at! I encourage everyone to prioritize their natural abilities by pursuing goals and tasks that play to those strengths. Research has shown that using 4 or more of your signature strengths in your working hours will lead to a more positive work experience.
Some interesting findings report that when you score high on bravery, kindness and humor, physical illness is less likely to take a toll on your well-being. Strengths of the heart, or as I like to refer to it – your feeling brain, are more positively correlated with well-being than strengths of the brain such as creativity and judgement. Kindness, fairness, judgment, honesty, and gratitude are the most common top strengths. The strengths that are least prevalent are prudence, modesty, and self regulation. Although both genders report honesty and gratitude in their top 5 strengths, women scored highest in kindness, love and fairness, whereas men scored highest in hope, humor, and curiosity.
In addition to engaging in activities that utilize your top-scoring strengths, you can also do activities that correlate with the top 5 strengths that relate to subjective well-being… aka happiness! These happiness traits are: Curiosity, Love, Optimism, Gratitude, and Zest… CLOGZ!
In case you need some inspiration, here is a happiness boosting activity for each of the five:
Curiosity: Try a new food from a different culture and research the history behind the cuisine.
Love: Send a loved one a surprise gift (consider using the power of Amazon Prime!) Make sure they don’t know about it until it’s at their front door!
Optimism: Contemplate an obstacle you are faced with. Brainstorm what thoughts you would need to think to feel more hopeful about the situation. After that, practice those thoughts to fuel inspired action!
Gratitude: Thank someone who influenced your personal growth. Share with them how they impacted and enhanced your life.
Zest: Greet your spouse, children, roommate, or friend like how a loyal dog would greet its owner after being away for a week.
Take the quiz and send me your results! I would love to learn more about you and your strengths.