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Get Happier! Discover and Use Your Signature Strengths in New Ways Daily
Visualize a time in your life when you were at your best?
What were you doing?
Who were you with?
How were you feeling?
As you recall a time when you were at your best self, you are probably remembering a time when you were simply being yourself, doing the things that come easily to you and feeling intrinsically energized.
That is what researchers Christopher Peterson and Martin Seligman call Value in Action (VIA) also known as character strengths.
What are Character Strengths?
According to their study, character strengths are the positive parts of a person’s personality that impact how you think, feel, and behave. They identified 24 character strengths that reflect who a person is at their core. We all possess their strengths in different degrees giving each of us a unique character strength profile. These strengths can be groups on basis of the degree of how is to core to who you are, is easy for you to use and how it energizes you as signature strengths, middle strengths, and weaker strengths.
According to their research, people who are aware of and intentionally apply their character strengths increase their chances of boosting their productivity and happiness by 18%, unfortunately, they found that only ⅓ of people have an active awareness of their strengths.
Knowing and leveraging Strengths can help you also
- Improve your relationships
- Enhance your health and overall wellbeing
- Build your resilience
- Strengthen your efficacy to manage overcome problems
According to The Architecture of Intentional Happiness framework, enjoying a happier life is a way of being. There are five ways of being that the framework encourages:
- Being Clear
- Being Aware
- Being Strategic
- Being Flexible
- Being Leveraged
Knowing and leveraging your character strengths is the key to enjoy intentional happiness because you are clear about what makes you unique, you are aware of your core, you can strategize how to show up in your day with flexibility as you leverage your strengths striving towards virtues you find most meaningful.
How to leverage your strengths to increase your happiness.
One of the most applauded interventions of Positive Psychology is using your signature strengths (the top 5 of the 24 character strengths in new ways. Applying your signature strengths brings out the best in you even in challenging times and enhances your social, mental, and emotional wellbeing. Studies validate that using your signature strengths in new ways is connected to long terms benefits such as higher levels of happiness and lower levels of depression for at least 6 months.
To utilize your signature strengths to boost your happiness, take the following steps
- Identify your strengths
What do you perform well in?
What energizes you?
What do you make use of frequently?
You can also take the VIA strengths Survey here
- Explore your strengths
Select your top 5 strengths and write down your answers to these questions
- How do you use this strength already?
- In what areas of your life do you use this strength?
- What other areas in your life could I use it more?
- What are other ways you could use this strength?
- Apply your strengths
For starters, select one out of your signature strengths and reflect on new ways to express it daily for the next 7 days.
- What is my plan? What exactly would I like to do? How frequently?
- When will this happen
Thinking up new ways to apply your strengths may be challenging. As your cheerleader, here are some tips to make it fun and exciting.
- Think of how to apply it in the different domains of your life; relationships, personal growth, education/business/career and leisure.
- Think of how to apply it in your thoughts, emotions and behaviors.
- Think of how to remind yourself to do the activity chosen. For example, if you are a visual person, you can create a vision board of your plan and use it as primer to remind you to do a different activity every day of the week.
- Repeat this exercise with newer ways to apply your signature strengths for the next week.
Using your strengths increases your chances of boosting your productivity and happiness by 18%. So go ahead and get happier as you identify, explore and apply your signature strengths in new ways for the next 7 days.
If you need a cheerleader to support as you leverage your strengths to flourish and boost your happiness, send me a mail at email@example.com and ask for Living Happier session with me.
To learn more about character strengths, visit www.viacharacter.org