The science of your best qualities has a lot to say about the connection between being yourself and leading a more meaningful life.
Personal intro + definition
Love, curious, loves to learn and appreciates beauty& excellence. That's me according to my VIA top character strengths. For most of my life, I’ve been focusing on what I should improve about myself (you need to promote yourself more, speak up). Then came quarantine and I enrolled in Yale’s most popular course ever (!) Science of Well-being and learned about the benefits of well, being myself. These strengths didn't even feel like strengths, but more of what comes naturally to me. And they are defined as feeling effortless, essential (how other people might describe us) and energizing.
Why should I care about character strengths?
Knowing facts is not the same as experiencing them. When I’ve put my character strengths to practice I started to feel the surge of energy and a certain this-is-how-life-should-be-feeling. At this time Playground was just starting, and in retrospect, I am sure that curiosity helped me research, whereas appreciating beauty and excellence helped me build this website. But apart from enjoying work more (Benefit 1) and being happier (Benefit 2), the other areas that I used to want to improve, no longer seemed as challenging.
3 I Increases your well-being
4 I Makes you less stressed & more resilient in face of hardships, illness, and loss
5 I Improves your relationships
6 I Helps with self-acceptance (1& 2 are in the text)
What are VIA character strengths?
Character strengths is a concept coming from positive psychology, a branch of psychology focusing on research of well-being. Unlike traditional psychology which mostly centres on dysfunction, this sub-field founded by professor Martin Selingman aims to help people have better & more meaningful lives. There are 24 culturally universal and morally valued character strengths. This means that my strengths would be appreciated both in Serbia and when I take a trip to Colombia. They are grouped into 6 categories of virtues ( Wisdom, Courage, Humanity, Justice, Temperance, and Transcendence) and everyone possesses all of them in different degrees. It’s also important to mention that if for eg. creativity is your last strength, it only means that it’s not as intuitive to you. And of course, your combination makes you u-nique 😜. You can learn more about classification and theory here.
Over to you
Now you know that being your best self will make you happier, more successful and have better dates. So are you practising being you? Or first things first, what are your strengths? Discover by taking the official VIA test here (they will ask for your email).
P.S. Next week we share how to use them. Also, I am not personally associated with the VIA institute, but like to share what I tested and supported me.